It’s been less than one month since Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas embarked from Miami, Florida, on December 10, 2023, but some passengers are already finding the cruise to be beneath their expectations because of alleged unfair treatment toward some of the guests.
Not Happy About Pinnacle Guests
The 274-night sailing onboard Serenade of the Seas is the longest of its kind. When all is said and done, the cruise will have sailed to all seven continents, called at 150 destinations across 65 countries, and visited the 11 wonders of the world.
But drama is already brewing onboard Serenade of the Seas less than one month into the nine-month voyage. In a now viral video on the @UKsecrettravel channel on TikTok, a woman known as “Tea Captain” certainly had some tea to spill in a video titled “Ultimate World Cruise Guests Are Not Happy!,” which has been viewed 2.1 million times by the time of this publication.
You can watch the video below:
According to an unnamed source currently onboard Serenade of the Seas, some guests are unhappy with the cruise line treating certain passengers better than others.
Namely, Pinnacle members are receiving preferential treatment compared to other passengers on board. Pinnacle members are the highest tier of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program.
The TikToker’s contact alleges that Pinnacle members are being given special treatment and opportunities not available to other passengers, such as exclusive opportunities and not having to wait in line to board the ship.
“They’ve been invited to meetings in town halls, which all the guests haven’t been invited to,” says The Tea Captain. “Things that are going on in these meetings are affecting the ship.”
The source also says all Pinnacle members got to see the Northern Lights, but no other passengers were made aware of the “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. The other issue at hand, per the travel influencer, is that “world cruisers” who are staying for the entire nine-month journey may be getting better treatment than “segmenters,” or passengers who are only onboard for a portion of the sailing.
Approximately 700 passengers are completing the full nine-month sailing, but some cruisers are only joining the cruise for one of four segments, each of which still lasts for more than 60 nights, or on shorter nine to 28-night cruises wrapped into the World Cruise itinerary.
In her video, the Tea Captain reports that many of these segmenters are being excluded from social media group chats by other passengers because they were not completing the full cruise, causing them to miss out on opportunities during their time onboard.
“So, to wrap up, a lot of segmenters on the cruise are really unhappy with how Royal Caribbean are handling the situation. They’re treating the guests completely differently when they’ve paid the same price,” the Tea Captain says to conclude her video.
What is Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society?
The Crown and Anchor Society is Royal Caribbean’s loyalty program to reward its guests. The more cruises someone takes with the cruise line, the more benefits they reap.
Pinnacle members have the highest rank, which earns them extra benefits onboard Royal Caribbean cruises and why they may be getting extra perks on the Ultimate World Cruise. In fact, it’s quite normal for the major cruise lines to offer extra perks to their more elite loyalty members – a fact that was pointed out in many comments on TikTok.
Passengers earn points for every cruise they go on, which leads to a higher status within the society and more benefits. Every night spent on a Royal Caribbean in a normal stateroom earns one point, while each night spent in a suite earns two.
All guests are automatically enrolled in Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society after they complete their first sailing with the cruise line.
There are several tiers within the Crown and Anchor Society that are reached as points are gained. The lowest tier is Gold, which requires three points or one three-night sailing to reach. But avid cruisers can work their way up to the top tier, Pinnacle status, which requires 700 points.