Much to the chagrin of Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society members, the cruise line has announced that it is dropping the popular balcony and suite discounts as of September 1, 2016, for its loyalty program participants unless they book more than 6 months in advance.

Image of Anthem's Sister Ship, Quantum of the Seas © 2014 - Marshall Jackson

Quantum of the Seas © 2014 – Marshall Jackson

The change was rolled out on a promotional flyer recently and reads:

“Encourage your clients to book now! As of September 1, 2016 balcony and suite discounts will only apply to sailings booked more than six months out.”

The balcony discount is one of the most valuable perks of being loyal to Royal, and it is disappointing to see it removed for cruises booked less than 6 months in advance.

My Take

Disappointing, but there is some good news. If you’re booking less than 6 months out, you can now take advantage of other opportunities like the American Express Cruise Privileges program which may equal or exceed the value of the Crown & Anchor discount. In a bit of other good news for Royal’s most prolific cruisers, Pinnacle Club members, the discount is increasing by $25 starting August 15, 2016.

In the end, I’m not sure this is totally bad news for me as most of my sailings are booked more than 6 months in advance. Further, I can now take better advantage of the Amex Cruise Privileges program for those sailings I book a little closer in. However, for many Crown & Anchor members, especially those that live near ports and tend to book within shorter timeframes, it’s a problem…..and not a small one.

-MJ, August 11, 2016