Royal Caribbean has updated its Crown and Anchor Society loyalty benefits and is removing one benefit of Diamond Plus Members.
Currently, Diamond Plus members are able to access the Concierge Lounge if the ship on which they are sailing does not have a Suite Lounge. However, there has been an inconsistency from ship to ship and sailing to sailing as to when Diamond Plus members would have access or not.
Since ships have different size lounges with different capacities, these things had to be taken into consideration when deciding which loyalty level would be permitted to access specific lounges. The other factor to be considered was the number of guests sailing at specific loyalty levels. Therefore, one sailing might permit access for Diamond Plus guests, but the next sailing on the same ship might not.
In an effort to manage these inconsistencies and overcrowding of the Concierge Lounge, Royal Caribbean decided to “standardize Concierge and Suite Lounge access across the fleet.” In the email to Diamond Plus Members, Royal Caribbean explained that they needed to be mindful of onboard operations in order to deliver “the award-winning experience” know and love.
Royal Caribbean has always reserved the right to limit access to Diamond Plus members, but this change limits both Concierge and Suite Lounge access to Suite guests and Pinnacle Club members exclusively. Of course, Diamond Club members will retain access to the Diamond Lounge areas.
Royal Caribbean has slowly been phasing out the Concierge Lounge. With each new or refurbished ship, a Suite Lounge was added until less than half the fleet today has a Concierge Lounge. Those with a Concierge Lounge include Vision-class ships, the Voyager-class Explorer of the Seas, and the Quantum-class ships, Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, and Ovation of the Seas.
It is not uncommon for cruise lines to adjust their loyalty programs when there is an increase of guests attaining loyalty status. Keep your eyes open to see if this is the only change, or if Royal Caribbean will be making more changes soon.