Different cruise lines do different things as perks for their loyalty members. I know that I just mentioned yesterday in relation to towels. For me, given off-spring in University, a hot tub in California and currently dogs in the house – those towels have been a great take-home perk.
But on ship? Perhaps those critical items for most cruisers boil down to two item categories (alcohol & caffeine beverages). Those of you who don’t do either can just skip down to the bottom of this note.
Royal, when they added additional lounges for the loyalty program with ship renovations starting ~2012 hit a gold mine in their Diamond Lounges. Not only were they offering a free happy hour (3 hours) to guests above but there was a lounge to relax in. More interesting to me – they installed restaurant grade WMF Coffee machines that could deliver a latte, cappuccino, expresso or coffee from grinding beans through hot steamed milk with a press of a button. For those of us who are tea drinkers – a side spigot delivered extremely hot water.
On a number of the other ship lines – you don’t get a nice coffee machine unless you are sailing in a suite. On others, they are included, but you have to go somewhere to have it made and handed to you. Me? I like being able to wander in at 0330 in the morning and get a decaf something. I know how to operate the WMF machines – where to add milk, beans or how to empty the grounds.
Imagine my dismay when I found the Freedom has new and different machines installed.
and then I looked at the front –
you have four choices in both caffeinated and decaffeinated.
But you can’t get just steamed milk (think for hot chocolate). And there is no spigot for hot water. They bring thermoses of hot water – but it just isn’t at a decent temperature for more than an hour and I certainly don’t expect them to replace the hot water every hour…
As several of you have noted – all lines are doing small things to cut costs. If the coffee machine needed to be replaced, eliminating a separate button for milk and one for hot water probably saved money. And it will decrease the amount of milk used.
The ship list in port today – Cozumel – included us, Carnival Paradise, Celebrity Equinox and also allegedly a second Carnival Ship as well as the Navigator OTS.
Having been here before and not having much of any need to shop – I obviously had time for cross-stitch and audiobooks….