Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor Society members will notice some interesting alternatives to amenities they’re accustomed to receiving.
In a letter sent to Diamond Plus and Pinnacle society members, global supply chain issues are cited as the reason for temporarily adjusting how benefits are offered.
Preferred Wines Unavailable
Cruise travelers on all lines and at all loyalty levels have noticed shortages in recent weeks, from fewer selections available on buffet menus to smaller supplies of certain beverages onboard.
Now, loyal cruisers on Royal Caribbean may be unable to receive the welcome beverage they prefer, because such beverages may not be available.
In a letter sent to guests, Royal Caribbean International states that they are “currently out of stock for the Crown & Anchor preferred chosen wines.”
Global supply chain issues are the problem, and the cruise line is continuing to “work through the worldwide supply chain issues.”
While the nature of the supply chain issues affecting Crown and Anchor Society beverages is not detailed, it may be any of a number of problems.
With staffing shortages affecting many industries, it is possible that slowed production has limited supply of preferred wines or other gift options. There may also be difficulties in shipping items throughout the Royal Caribbean fleet.
The bonus amenities – including wines, “elegant” gifts, soda, and cupcakes – can be personally selected by each guest, providing customization for an even more personalized and enjoyable loyalty reward.
Previously, eligible Crown and Anchor Society guests could select from three different red or white wine options, for example, with the exact selection depending on the individual guest’s point level within the loyalty program.
Now, due to the shortages, different wines are available, which still include three red options, three white options, and a rose.
For guests who have a fine palette for specific wines, the change can be disappointing, but it is important to note that Royal Caribbean International is working diligently to substitute available wines of similar quality and variety.
Other Gifts Impacted
It isn’t just wine preferences affected by the supply chain shortages. Fruit truffles are no longer available as an elegant gift selection, and available soda selections have also been changed slightly.
As manufacturing and shipping challenges continue, it is likely that further changes may be made to the gift selections as well. Overall availability may also vary for different ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet, depending on how popular certain items may be on specific sailings.
Guests with a sweet tooth will be glad to note that both the red velvet and vanilla cupcake selections remain available at this time.
More Changes to Loyalty Programs
Adjustments to loyalty gifts and program benefits have not been exclusive to Royal Caribbean International by any means.
Earlier this year, Carnival Cruise Line adjusted benefits for its “VIFP” loyalty members, with some benefits temporarily discontinued due to health and safety protocols.
Most notable is the cancelation of past guest parties. Another favorite benefit that is missing aboard Carnival ships are the priority boarding privileges, as the cruise line needs to maintain assigned embarkation appointments to keep crowds minimized and to more easily work through verification of additional documents, COVID-19 test results, and health screenings.
Onboard, subtle changes to Carnival’s loyalty program include the fact that gifts are no longer delivered to guests’ staterooms, but instead must be picked up from appropriate venues on board.
This is intended to minimize the number of crew members accessing guests’ staterooms, but could also be related to overall staffing shortages.
Other cruise lines are seeing similar changes at the moment, but loyal guests can be assured that their favorite benefits, amenities, and gifts will return to their favorite cruise lines as soon as possible.
Above all, seasoned cruisers should remain flexible and adaptable to these changes, particularly to crew members carrying out the alterations, often without warning and certainly without any ability to bring back benefits that just aren’t possible at the moment.