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I have two “free” cruises booked over the next year or so. One of them is on Holland America and even though I do not gamble they will make money off of me with the free cruise they offered me after I paid to both upgrade to a rear balcony cabin as well as daily access to “The Retreat”. The other one is a return to Carnival and that one I also paid to upgrade to a huge rear balcony vs. the standard free side one they offered.
Both of these offers, while indeed a free cruise to start with, may in the long run be a really smart move as I have a feeling I am going to fall in love with Holland America and sail them a bunch more and I may change my very negative viewpoint of Carnival.
While I submitted offers to the above lines and got a quick response and booked sailings I also at the same time submitted a request to Royal Caribbean at the same time and never got anything back – until this week.
The offer did not look like a full free offer but just some kind of a discount. That and the sailing had to be done by October of this year. My schedule for the rest of 2023 is so full that I literally only had one week in the end of September that I maybe could squeeze in another cruise.
After checking what ships were available that week I picked a fall sailing to see the northeastern US coast. I have sailed something similar in the past on NCL and it was delightful. But I had to call to see just what the offer was.
After a few minutes on hold the RCI casino rep came back on the line and told me that it was not a free offer but just a discount and no balconies were left for the offer and the best they could do was an ocean view with a discount.
Um… yeah no thanks!
Honestly I was, before I called, quite excited about this as it has been many years since I last sailed on RCI and I wanted to give our resident RCI expert MJ some feedback.
I am not sure why Holland and Carnival presented such good offers while RCI such a poor one other than the fact that we know all the cruise lines are booking (and even overbooking) sailings right now and demand has not been this strong for a long time and maybe that is why there simply is little need to try to entice folks with a free match offer.
Have you tried an RCI match offer for a cruise? If so was your offer better than mine? I would love to know! – René
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