September 20, 2019
(4:22 p.m. EDT) -- Royal Caribbean has confirmed that it is ending its Dine-Drink-Discover program next year.
The program, which offered select perks to passengers booking Central Park and Boardwalk balcony cabins on the line's Oasis-class ships, will be removed from all sailings departing on or after January 1, 2020.
Cruisers currently booked in the affected staterooms prior to September 18, 2019, on sailings between January 1, 2020, and April 2021 can either keep the Dine-Drink-Discover program on their bookings or opt out in favor of a $50 nonrefundable onboard credit per stateroom.
Passengers sailing in Boardwalk and Central Park Balcony cabins on Oasis-Class ships between now and December 31, 2019, remain unaffected.
In a statement provided to CruiseCritic, Royal Caribbean said:
'Royal Caribbean International's Dine-Drink-Discover program will be discontinued on sailings departing on or after Jan. 1, 2020. The cruise line continually makes enhancements to its robust lineup of experiences and amenities, and that includes the introduction of new offerings and the departure of others.
'The departure of Dine-Drink-Discover is a result of careful consideration and our guests' feedback, including insights from research conducted to further anticipate what travelers value most in their vacations.
'Royal Caribbean is communicating the update and compensation information to guests and travel advisors beginning Sept. 18, 2019.'
Members on Cruise Critic's Royal Caribbean message boards have taken issue with the line's decision.
'What really gets me though is the official statement,' said member awestover89. 'They're taking away a benefit in order to exceed client expectations? That makes no sense at all. They're taking it away because it eats into their profits, but of course they can't say that. They could at least come up with something better though.'
Others stated that, without the perks, they would rethink the decision to book Central Park or Boardwalk staterooms in the future. 'Takes away one reason for me to book a [Central Park] balcony,' dwp10mm said. 'I always get two rooms, and we have used the free lunch for Sabor on both Harmony and Oasis. But since Sabor is likely on its way out, I guess it won't matter for me in the future.'