I’ve known a number of Princesses – Island, Diamond, Dawn, Majestic and have booked future time with Golden (see above picture) & Diamond (again) – see picture below.
My wife & I enjoyed our time so much with each Princess we thought it only right that we share our good fortune with our friends around the world.
To encourage our friends to join us, I told them that they would receive USD $25 each (USD $50 per cabin) to spend on their second cruise, if they accepted my invitation to join us on a particular cruise.
I also told them that I would receive USD $25 for each person that I persuaded to sample the charms of a real Princess.
Two friends from New Zealand and two friends from the UK flew to Rome and joined us for the twenty-eight-day
Majestic (see pic above) voyage from Rome to Singapore, which we all enjoyed. I have e-mails confirming that our New Zealand friends had accepted the ‘refer a friend’ bonus in February 2017.
On returning home we persuaded five local friends to join us for a cruise from Sydney to Tasmania later this year, and I told them of the USD $25 that each would be credited for their second cruise. Four of our friends accepted the invitation in March 2017.
A couple of weeks ago I contacted the cruise company in Sydney and asked why the bonus for persuading my Kiwi & Pommy friends was not showing on my account, because I wished to use my share of the ‘encouragement bonus’ for the Tasmanian cruise. I received an answer and have posted two parts of it below –
Unfortunately our refer a friends program has been discontinued as of the 11th May 2017. This means that we are unable to provide you with the benefits of the refer a friends program.
Remember my UK & NZ friends accepted in February . . . and four of our Australian friends accepted in March.
Please also be aware that the program was only applicable for guests who referred guests who lived in the same country. For example as you live in Australia the benefits could only be applied to friends who also live in Australia. The program was also set up for the past passengers and non past passengers to travel on the same cruise.
I couldn’t find any mention of the closing of the program on their web site, and as recently as last week I received an e-mail advising me that one of our Australian friends (the fifth one) had accepted the USD $25 offer! In fact, I have e-mails confirming that all my Australian friends have accepted the refer a friend offer. Now I must tell them that they will not be receiving the promised bonus.
The other concern is that one can only persuade Australian friends, yet the web site states Australian & New Zealand friends . . .and still has the refer a friend active link on the main web site.
I persuaded one couple that a Princess is worth more than a mere Celebrity – even though they have already experienced two Celebrities, and didn’t wish to change – but friendship prevailed, and now I must cancel their promised cash bonus.
I can accept that the UK couple are not part of Australia / New Zealand, but as the web site specifically mentions Australia / New Zealand as a refer a friend ‘catchment’ area why have the NZ friends not been credited?
As a global popular Princess why would you place restrictions on possible future sales just because someone has friends outside their home area?
Our Princess promises that we will ‘Come back new’, but I doubt that the nine friends that we introduced will come back at all . . . and if they chat to their friends statistics tell us that each one will negatively influence between ten and twenty-five others against a certain princess. The negative influence is not a deliberate act, but comes out in general conversation.
To paraphrase Warren Buffet – it takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to lose one.
I sent an e-mail to my Princess, about the whole ‘refer a friend’ system and I received a reply, which stated – Your comments have been noted.
Considering the overall cost of cruising, the amount of money involved is very small, but the principle is huge.