Turku Beckons

I’ve returned to Turku for another review of construction progress and meetings with the shipyard.  A lot of progress has been made since my last visit, but it all still very much looks like a construction site. 

This is one of the frustrations of building ships; there is so much infrastructure and technical backbone to a vessel that it does not feel like the final product until very close to delivery.  Even worse, there is scaffolding everywhere which blocks your view of all spaces onboard.  The Yard always claims that it needs the scaffolding so its workers can do their work.  Sounds good, but I can’t get rid of the feeling that they put the scaffolding up each time before I arrive just to frustrate me. 

One of the spaces that is just coming to fruition onboard the ship is our new Diamond Club lounge.  I was looking forward to seeing it in place.  We have never before devoted so much space or such a prominent location to such a lounge and I was quite excited about it.  It is located on deck 6 as a mezzanine overlooking the forward part of the Royal Promenade.  The location makes it easy to get to and beautiful to be in.  Or at least that is what the drawings showed. 

I was anxious to see it for two reasons.  Firstly, as noted I was excited about the enhanced positioning of the lounge and wanted to see how the real thing compared to our drawings.  But another reason relates to a controversy that arose a week or so ago about some of our existing lounges.  The concierge lounges on some of our ships had become so crowded that we could no longer properly handle all the demand.  We announced that effective July 1, we would be limiting use of those lounges to suite guests and Diamond+ members.

Many of our Diamond members were upset.  They valued the clubs both for the opportunity to mingle with kindred spirits and for the amenities offered in the lounge.  We received hundreds of complaints and the internet chat rooms were abuzz with postings.

We learned several important lessons from the brouhaha.  Most importantly, we saw how passionate our loyal Crown & Anchor members felt about the company and its product.  They cared deeply and they were unhappy at anything we did that they believed undermined our commitment to excellence.  I view that as a good thing.  Secondly, we realized that we had greatly underestimated the importance they placed on this amenity.  They placed a much higher value than we appreciated on a place where they could relax and enjoy themselves in the company of other similarly minded souls.  And lastly, we got a real taste of the importance of good, open communications. 

In the end, we delayed the change until September 1, announced an interim substitute and vowed to continue to look for better ways to accommodate our Diamond members.  I can now attest that OASIS’ Diamond Club is a major step forward.  The actual location and space are terrific.  And as Adam Goldstein mentioned in his latest communiqué, we have a lot more ways in which we will recognize and thank our most valuable Crown & Anchor members.  Adam also mentioned that we were looking for new and better ways to communicate as well.  This blog and Adam’s about-to-be-released forum are examples of those efforts.

15 Responses to “Turku Beckons”

  1. Elizanessie says:

    Thank you Richard for some details on the Diamond Club lounge.

    I love the DC lounge on Freedom Class & very excited to see what the one on Oasis (& Allure) will be like.

    The RP is one of my favourite places on RCCL ship and to have the DC nearby well that is an added bonus.

    Hope it wasnt too cold in Turku.

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  2. Scott says:

    Mr. Fain, could you please be so kind to tell us what the color of the hull is going to be? Light blue or white?

    Thank you

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  3. Brian says:

    Mr. Fain I apluad the efforts that Royal has done to keep everyone happy. I must ask you will the Oasis and the Allure have a baby blue hull. There is a great debate going on, on the chat boards. I feel that it is an add touch and it will make the ship stand among the rest.

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  4. Al says:

    On the Oasis will the Dimond Plus members have access to both the Concerge Lounge and the Diamond Club lounge room?

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  5. Libby says:

    Thanks for continuing line of open communication. The promptness with which you and Adam responded to the explosion of concern is commendable, and again, you’ve delivered the WOW at another important level. Thanks for all you do!

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  6. treborrv says:

    I’d love to see more pictures – if you or someone else gets the opportunity to post some additional shots from the construction, I’d really appreciate it.

    June 19th 2011 can’t get here soon enough!

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  7. DanSmith says:

    Mr. Fain,

    Keep up the great work. Everyone appreciates it so much! Thank YOU.

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  8. Cruise Lines says:

    Diamond Club on Royal’s Oasis starts to shine…

    I am so glad to read that I am not the only one who looks at a cruise ship under construction and sees, well, a building site. In his latest blog on the progress of Oasis of the Seas, Royal……

  9. Heinu Schütte says:

    It is great that the passenger maritime industry is booming, but what about all the smaller and classic cruise ships, often ex liners, that are being lost. Shouldn’t we all doo something about it?

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  10. David & Janet Peterson says:

    Diamond members 117167138 & 117167141 – 13 cruises on RCCL – 21 total
    After acheiving diamond status, we had never even considered another cruise line! Now, after the announced changes, we have signed up on Grand Princess Nov 30 – 21 day transatlantic cruise. We always enjoyed the self-service latte machine during the day. The Viking Crown Lounge was a great solution for un-crowded fellowship. Why not a 2 drink & 2 latte a day credit on your cruise account?

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  11. Simon says:

    Dear Richard will you be able to bring dogs on board at all. i love reading your updates and i am planning on writing a book for school on oasis of the seas. with your permission that is. i am from Australia. thanks i love oasis of the seas.

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  12. john61 says:

    Mr. Fain, you say RCCL learned several important lessons from the brouhaha over the Diamonds and the concierge lounge however RCCL failed to reinstate these benefit to the Diamonds therefore I see you learned nothing at all with the exception of giving Diamond members lip service. RCCL established a Loyalty program and set specific goals. Many guests reached those goals only to have them taken away after the goal had been reached. RCCL could completely restore the benefits at this point but that would not change the fact that they treated a large number of their most loyal guests with disrespect.
    There are numerous ways RCCL could have handled this situation but failed in my eyes. You as a business man should know it’s cheaper to keep existing customers than to get new ones.

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  13. John says:

    It appears as though with all of the Diamond Benefit issues and RCCL not giving these benefits back to the folks that earned them the RCCL executives really don’t care about their Diamond members…in fact it looks to me like they are trying to get rid of them.

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  14. Heather says:

    I just got to my Platinum level and have been working my way to Diamond, but it seems just as I get close to the finish line, you pull the rug out from under me. What do I have to look forward to, if I continue crusing with RCCL? Almost reaching a level to get great benefits and then those benefits get taken away? Don’t make promises of great rewards, then take them away from us.

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  15. Room Telephone…

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