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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    235

    Default Specific Room request - cruise ship pricing?

    Hi -

    I was too late to get in on the discussion about requesting a specific room for additional $$, but I've been thinking about it.

    When we book a cruise, there are many tiers of cabin category pricing to choose from. For instance:

    A "cabin guarantee" tier for each main cabin type, meaning you have no say as to what deck you are on, or fore or aft, just that you are guaranteed a cabin in the "verandah" category, for instance.

    There's also a "specific room" pricing tier, for.. well... a specific room within the distinct cabin category.

    Pricing is different on each deck, and even within the same category of cabin type. A cabin on a higher deck is more expensive than a lower deck, for instance, because it is closer to the "hub" of the ship. This is not necessarily to mean that a 2nd or 3rd floor room should be more expensive, but maybe one closer to the "hub" of the resort.

    And, even on a cruise, the upgrade premium is much more expensive than the proposed $100 / trip. Once that specific room is booked for any given week, it would be taken out of inventory as available in the reservation system.

    When we book a cruise, we can click on a floor plan icon, and see which cabins are available for the cruise. We can then, either choose another week if "our" cabin is booked, or choose another cabin or category.

    When we book a "guaranteed cabin" category, we are notified which room we have received soon after we pay our final payment (with our documents).

    Though this would mean re-vamping the room types within the reservation system, this would be an option to let people "pay" for a specific room, floor or building, and have it guaranteed.

    It would also relieve the front desk staff of having to make the room decisions at check-in, because all guests would know which room they have before they arrive.

    Just a thought...

    Beergirl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,013

    Default

    A minor difference...

    When a party fails to show for a cruise, the boat leaves without them, and the cabin can not be filled, unless that person can "catch up" at a port-of-call.

    When a party fails to show for a room at a resort, that room can be appropriated to another client; the later arrival of the original guests then is accommodated if/when they arrive.

    Subtle difference, but contrasts cruisin' with resortin'.
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    235

    Default I guess I don't get it

    Hi Chris,

    I guess I don't get what you're saying.

    Beergirl

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    290

    Default

    Plus, cruises are more like airplanes in that everyone arrives and departs on the same day. It is much more complicated at a resort where people arrive and depart at different times.

  5. #5

    Default

    Although I'm hesitant to re-open a subject that was already closed, I'd love to share a suggestion. Last year we stayed at a very upscale resort where we chose a certain category of rooms and every one of those rooms had the same view, accommodations, and services...amazing I might add! We definitely paid top $$, but it was so worth it...to us. We loved knowing what to expect upon arrival and were that much more thrilled when we were brought to our room and it was even better than pictures.

    At CSA, we love the island feel of the rooms and the amazing view of the turquoise water...amazing as well. We do spend some time in our room...we do want to arrive and open our atrium doors to see the water, we do want to enjoy a Red Stripe on the vernadah together in the late afternoon, and we do want the privacy of being on the upper floor. We are lucky enough to experience this once a year, it's worth it to us to spend the money and know we are in a room where for one week each year, these small requests are met.

    If guests had a choice to pay a price for a certain category of rooms (not necessarily a room number)and know they'd be met upon arrival, you might be surprised how many would pay for it. Then again, those who didn't find this option appealing could opt-out and pay less for a different category and enjoy the things that make their vacation most enjoyable for them.

  6. #6

    Default

    One thing - out of many - that sets us apart from our competitors is that we have limited the number of room categories at each of our resorts. It makes it easier to communicate and for travel agents, tour operators and guests to understand.

    Couples Resorts

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    797

    Default

    "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get."

    It's more fun this way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,953

    Default

    hmmmm cruise ships have how many thousands of people, ancd Couples has 3-400 hundred. Big difference. Still don't like the class system.
    Vicky

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,013

    Default

    Beergirl -

    I'm only saying that you have presented a well reasoned idea, but the premise that operating a resort like a cruise isn't quite right for the reasons I mentioned.

    Sorry for not being clearer in my response.
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  10. #10

    Default

    So very true, Randy....and we return this year to experience those very things that set couples apart from the others. Kudos to your original question/thread to see what your guests prefer. Regardless of the outcome, you asked the question and the responses were telling....both pro and con.

  11. #11

    Default

    I can certainly understand the value-added viewpoint as Beachwalker discussed as well as the opposition to a class system as Vickyj mentioned. I love Couples for what it is and don't want to mess around with a good thing. However, I don't think that the room selection idea would really create any division of classes. Unlike different color wristbands, for example, that clearly differentiate allowable perks and services, there is no class distinction in making a room selection.

    Besides the benefit derived by me from making the room selection, the fact that I paid an extra $50 to get a Deluxe Ocean room on the 1st floor instead of the 4th floor would not change anything else for me or anyone else. There would be no apparent indication that would invite any special treatment from Couples employees. The housekeepers, the bartenders, and the cooks would still treat all guests with their usual top-notch service.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    20

    Default

    if I may be so bold...

    would it be possible to book the rooms in real time like theatre tickets? You/TA would be able to see exactly what rooms are available at the time you book, you pick which one you want and "reserve" it.

    This would alleviate any surprises at check in and encourage people to book further in advance if they wish to have a certain room. Since rates are usually higher the further out you book, this would be a bonus to Couples, and those of us that just want a room can wait for a sale.

    Does this make sense? Foe example, you want to book a one bedroom oceanview from May 1 - 8, the reservation system would show which one bedroom ocean view rooms are available, the client picks one and thats it. No muss no fuss. Couples must be doing something along these lines now as you would need to know how many OV rooms would be available on any given date. Rooms would just be assigned immediately.

    just my two cents...edited because I just realized how close this was to the original post, guess I didn't read it as closely as I thought :-)
    Last edited by Caracol; February 17th, 2010 at 07:43 PM. Reason: edited for stupidity

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    449

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beachwalker View Post
    Although I'm hesitant to re-open a subject that was already closed, I'd love to share a suggestion. Last year we stayed at a very upscale resort where we chose a certain category of rooms and every one of those rooms had the same view, accommodations, and services...amazing I might add! We definitely paid top $$, but it was so worth it...to us. We loved knowing what to expect upon arrival and were that much more thrilled when we were brought to our room and it was even better than pictures.

    At CSA, we love the island feel of the rooms and the amazing view of the turquoise water...amazing as well. We do spend some time in our room...we do want to arrive and open our atrium doors to see the water, we do want to enjoy a Red Stripe on the vernadah together in the late afternoon, and we do want the privacy of being on the upper floor. We are lucky enough to experience this once a year, it's worth it to us to spend the money and know we are in a room where for one week each year, these small requests are met.

    If guests had a choice to pay a price for a certain category of rooms (not necessarily a room number)and know they'd be met upon arrival, you might be surprised how many would pay for it. Then again, those who didn't find this option appealing could opt-out and pay less for a different category and enjoy the things that make their vacation most enjoyable for them.
    This is how booking currently works. We pick a certain category and get the room category we pay for. As for service... we're all treated as equals, which to me, is part of the charm or Couples. I was very turned off by the different levels of service at the S resorts and if Couples were to implement the same, I'd be less inclined to vacation there. And for the recored, it has nothing to do with not wanting to pay for good service. We pay top dollar for our room category (BFVS) and don't feel we should be treated any different from someone in a room further from the beach.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    358

    Default

    One way to solve the problem of specific room requests is to go back to the original (as I understood it) concept of if that room is vacant at check in then you can have it -

    When did Couples begin accepting advance requests for specific rooms anyway?

    We booked a specific room category this December and it was unavailable at check in (which I still don't understand other than the resort overbooked that category) so we were upgraded to a category I was unhappy with. I specifically booked the cliffs and got beach front - the staff was very accommodating and moved us without issue although it was a drag the first day not being able to unpack - oh well.... Life went on and by the time we got to our room the 1st full day at CSS we had already forgotten the inconvenience. The staff was so great we just left our packed bags, went to the beach and stopped at the front desk to pick up our key.

    As far as requesting specific floors - we are prone to being naked or having sex on our balcony so out of respect to other guests we request a 2nd or 3rd floor. I guess if we had to pay extra we would but I bet one incident and we'd be moved no charge.
    ... it keepsh me shane

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    270

    Default

    I'm so afraid that this may be the tide turning on the "perfection" that is Couples......next thing you know, people will start asking for "plunge pools" and "butler service".....I hope not...please management, keep in mind that by leaving things as they are, people will still return, and they still have the options of room "categories"...makes me think of the beach chair "savers" and the folks who miterate themselves(and the pool), rather than forfeiting their swim up bar stool all day...

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    259

    Default

    Caracol,

    I really like your idea of picking a room online. I would suggest that Couples do an experiment and pick just one of the 4 resorts and try the pay for room option. Try it for a 3 month period. Ask your guests what they think.....after all the data is in. Make decision, either way its worth checking out. IMHO

    Jay

  17. #17

    Default

    Thank you for everyone's input, recommendations and comments. I am closing this thread now as there are enough suggestions for us to evaluate.

    I will let everyone know IF we decide to change any of our booking policies.

    Couples Resorts

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