Every week, we take the best in cruise news and summarize it for you.
If you cruise on Carnival frequently, you’ll want to sign up for their revamped loyalty program to get neat perks ranging from a complimentary specialty beverage, special cocktail parties, priority embarkation, complimentary laundry service and even complimentary dinner at specialty restaurants. Also – Crystal announces what experts they’ll be having onboard their upcoming food and wine cruises and you can now take a small ship cruise to the Puget Sound (American Cruise Lines) and to Costa Rica (SeaDream Yacht Club).
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Carnival Cruise Line Revamps Loyalty Program
Carnival Cruise Lines has revamped and rebranded its guest recognition program which offers a variety of exciting benefits and perks to the line’s loyal past guests. Rolling out fleetwide later this month, the “Very Important Fun Person (VIFP) Club” is divided into five levels based on the number of cruise days taken, each offering its own perks and benefits (Blue, Red, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond):
- Blue (pre-cruise and first-time cruisers):In a cruise industry first, guests who have never sailed with Carnival before can join the VIFP Club for access to members-only specials, promotions and other offers.
- Red (2nd sailing to 24 cruise days): Benefits include a complimentary alcoholic/specialty beverage at breakfast or lunch or at the Punchliner Comedy Brunch Presented by George Lopez, a new e-newsletter, and members-only cruise specials and other offers.
- Gold (25 to 74 cruise days): Members receive a keepsake Gold member pin, a Gold, Platinum and Diamond members-only shipboard cocktail party with complimentary drinks and appetizers, as well as all of the benefits of Red level VIFP Club membership.
- Platinum (75 to 199 cruise days): In addition to Gold level benefits, members receive priority embarkation, debarkation, tender service and dining times (including in main dining room and specialty restaurants, if applicable); an enhanced logo gift item, along with a ship- and year-specific pin each voyage that will be redesigned annually; a dedicated phone number and concierge desk on board; complimentary wash-and-fold laundry service; casino buy-one-get-one tournament entry; and complimentary arcade $5 play for guests under 18.
- Diamond (200-plus cruise days): In addition to Plantinum level benefits, members receive guaranteed dining times and specialty restaurant reservations; acknowledgement from the captain at the Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Party; unlimited wash-and-fold service; complimentary dinner for two in the specialty restaurant of their choice, if applicable; complimentary luggage tag and passport holder; a one-time complimentary upgrade or a third or fourth guest sail free offer; and a $100 per member contribution to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Crystal Brings Aboard Experts in Food and Wine on Upcoming Themed Cruises
Renowned for providing intimate access to the cream of the international culinary crop, ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises is bringing aboard esteemed chefs, wine experts, and mixologists to enlighten guests on Europe’s culinary arts and host a $1,000/person rare wine experience, with mentors including:
- Norway’s upcoming Bocuse d’Or contender, Ørjan Johannessen, and his coach, past Bronze winner Odd Ivar Solvold, giving an insider’s peak into, and taste of, training to become the best chef in the world.
- Christian Moueix, scion of the French winemaking family behind Chateau Petrus (one of the most expensive wines in the world) and a dozen other wineries in Bordeaux and Napa.
- Hans Peter Fink, an award-winning master chef and winner of Lyon’s Bocuse d’Or.
- Doug Frost, wine author and one of only three people in the world to achieve both Master of Wine and Master Sommelier certifications.
- Andre Rochat, Las Vegas’s original celebrity chef (the Palms’ Alizé, Monte Carlo Hotel’s André’s, and more) and owner of one of the most extensive collections of wine, armagnacs, cognacs, vintage ports, and spirits in the world.
- Robin Kelley O’Connor, a 30-year wine expert and former Head of Wine for Christie’s Americas’.
- Dr. Patrick Farrell, a Master of Wine who has helped create instant decanters that decrease bitterness in wine and whiskey.
American Cruise Line Introduces new Small Ship Puget Sound Itineraries
American Cruise Lines announced today the addition of a new itinerary for 2013 – Puget Sound and San Juan Islands. Offered aboard the 100-passenger American Spirit, roundtrip cruises from Seattle will showcase the most beautiful inland waterways on the West Coast. Puget Sound, which will include the San Juan Islands, will be the newest offering in American Cruise Lines’ Pacific Northwest cruise collection, which includes Alaska’s Inside Passage and the Columbia & Snake Rivers.
American Cruise Lines’ Puget Sound and San Juan Islands itinerary will introduce guests to the pristine areas of the Pacific Northwest and the San Juan Islands with unique and breathtaking cruises, unparalleled in scenic and cultural diversity. Guests will discover wildlife, historically rich ports, and enjoy intimate contact with the natural wonders and active people of these regions.
SeaDream Yacht Club Announces Small Ship Cruises to Costa Rica
SeaDream Yacht Club just released its 2013 year-end voyage schedule and for the first time the luxury, mega-yacht SeaDream I will be transiting the Panama Canal to spend several weeks sailing along the “rich coast” of Costa Rica.
November 9, 2013, SeaDream I will sail from Barbados to Panama City, Panama. The 10-night voyage calls on Isla de Margarita and The Los Roques Islands of Venezuela; Curacao; Cartagena, Colombia; San Blas, Panama including a transit of the Panama Canal; all of which are “firsts” for SeaDream. From Panama, SeaDream sails to Caldera, Costa Rica, making it her home port for six consecutive voyages. The last of these voyages spends New Year’s Eve in vibrant Panama City, Panama.
SeaDream has arranged for a highly qualified Naturalist to sail aboard all Costa Rica voyages. This paradise of active volcanoes and beautiful beaches has abundant wildlife including 1,000 butterfly species and 1,200 varieties of orchids. The surfing, hiking, rafting, zip lines and deep sea fishing is among the best in the world.[box] Click to Subscribe to CruiseSource to stay on top of Weekly Cruise News! [/box]