Spotlight On: Cruise Line Loyalty Programs
Ever wonder how your favorite cruise line’s loyalty program compares to the other lines?
Cruise lines know that most cruisers don’t just stop at one cruise and in turn want to reward their most loyal clients with past guest programs where the more you cruise, the more special offers and complimentary amenities you receive!
While each cruise line loyalty programs differ slightly in how you earn points and how you are rewarded, there are a number of amenities that tend to be standard across the board. For example almost all of the cruise lines include some sort of past guest newsletter as a benefit of their loyalty program. In addition, most programs include a dedicated contact aboard the ship as well as a cocktail party or get together of some sort. Many cruise lines also have a dedicated lounge, available just for guests of certain past guest levels.
So what are the best features of each cruise line’s loyalty programs? Below, I’ve highlighted what I think are some of the stand out features of some of the top “contemporary” cruise lines. Of course, the more cruises you take, the more rewards you receive but I’ve mainly included what top features are available for most levels for each program.
Royal Caribbean: Crown and Anchor Society
-Tiers are determined by cruise points, you earn one Cruise Point for every cruise night you sail with Royal Caribbean and DOUBLE the points when you purchase a suite
• Quarterly savings certificates
• Balcony and Suite Discounts (Platinum members and higher)
• Onboard booking bonuses (when you book your next cruise onboard)
• Onboard Benefits such as a coupon booklet, priority check-in (where available), robes for use onboard (Platinum and higher), a dedicated lounge (Diamond and higher)
Royal Caribbean Top Tier Members receive benefits such as:
Diamond Plus: Reduced single supplement, complimentary upgrades (when available), Priority seating for shows, meal with an officer, upgraded bathroom amenities, choice of additional gifts ordered pre-cruise, preferred location and table size seating requests in the main dining room, behind the scenes tour, concierge lounge access
Pinnacle Club: Benefits from all tiers plus- Pinnacle Club Gold Card with exclusive privileges, complimentary 7-night cruise in a Balcony stateroom for 700 and 1050 cruise points
Did you know? Crown and Anchor Society Platinum members and higher receive equivalent recognition in Celebrity Cruises’ Captain’s Club and Azamara Club Cruises’ Le Club Voyage[fblike]
Celebrity: Captain’s Club
-Captain’s Club uses tier credits rather than cruises to determine your benefits, you can receive up to 3 credits per cruise: 1 for sailing with Celebrity, another if you cruise on an itinerary that is 12 nights or longer and one more if you cruise in a concierge class, aqua class or suite stateroom.
• One category upgrade (when available)
• Invitation to Captain’s Club Celebration event onboard
• Onboard discount booklet with special offers during each cruise
• Pre-sailing specialty restaurant reservations
• Discounts on onboard services such as laundry and internet packages (Select tier and higher)
Celebrity Top Tier( Elite Members) receive benefits such as:
-A complimentary internet package, priority tender service, private departure lounge, access to the Persian Garden (1 port day only), invitation to “elegant tea” and complimentary laundry and dry cleaning ( 1 bag of laundry, and 1 item for dry cleaning).
*This year Captain’s Club Members were able to take advantage of priority access and exclusive savings as new 2014 and 2015 sailings opened for booking[box] CruiseSource recommended by NY Times for our original cruise sale analysis. Click here to subscribe for free! [/box]
Holland America: Mariner Society
-Earn “Cruise Day Credits” for each day that you cruise. You can also earn additional credits by spending $300 in eligible onboard purchases such as specialty restaurant surcharges, spa treatments and shore excursions.
• Welcome back embarkation lunch
• Special offers such as 50% cruise fair discount for 3rd and 4th guests on select sailings
• Discounts on onboard purchases such as specialty dining surcharges, wine packages and mini bar purchases (3-Star Mariner and higher)
Holland America Top Tier (5 Star Mariner Members) receive benefits such as:
-Complimentary cruise fare for 3rd/4th guests in the stateroom on select sailings, two complimentary dinners in the Pinnacle Grill, complimentary cooking class, complimentary laundry and pressing services, discount on an internet package, priority disembarkation and tender service, priority check-in, discount on specialty restaurants charges as well as wine packages, a complimentary wine tasting, a day pass to the thermal suite, and a complimentary one year subscription to Travel + Leisure or Food & Wine magazine
Norwegian Cruise Line: Latitudes
-Earn one point for every cruise night. You can also earn additional points by booking a suite or haven accommodation, booking 9 months or more in advance and booking a special “Latitudes Insider Offer”.
• Exclusive onboard benefits
• Monthly “Latitudes Insider Offers” on Select Sailings
o For example, for the month of August book select Alaska, Europe, NCL Getaway and Hawaii cruise and receive up to $250 onboard credit.
• Discounts on onboard purchases such as internet packages and the duty free shop
Norwegian Cruise Line Top Tier (Platinum Members) receive benefits such as:
-Chocolate covered strawberries, concierge service, complimentary dinner for two at Le Bistro with a bottle of wine, complimentary laundry service, complimentary sparkling wine in your stateroom and a “Behind the Scenes” ship tour
Princess: Captain’s Circle
-Move up levels depending on the number of cruises you have sailed, or days you have cruised. For example you reach the second level by finishing your 4th-5th cruise, or 31-50 cruise days, whichever comes first.
• Princess Cruises Captain’s Circle Members who book early can enjoy an additional savings of up to $100 per person off their cruise fare (for the first 2 passengers in the stateroom)
• Circle Members who book early will be eligible for a reduced deposit of 50% of the standard deposit, for all cruises, excluding World Cruise voyages
• Members Only Onboard Events
• Preferred Check-In (Platinum and Higher)
Princess Top Tier (Elite Members) receive benefits such as:
-Complimentary laundry services, priority ship-to-shore tender embarkation, 10% boutique discount, complimentary wine tasting, complimentary mini-bar setup, deluxe canapés on formal night, upgraded stateroom amenities and afternoon tea in your stateroom.
Carnival-VIFP Club (Very Important Fun Person)
-There are five levels in the VIFP Club. Blue, for first-timers, followed by Red, Gold, Platinum and the top level, Diamond, all determined by how many days you’ve cruised.
• Special past guest rates and sales on select sailings when available
• Onboard amenities such as a complimentary beverage at the “Punchliner Comedy Brunch”, priority check-in (Platinum and higher) and complimentary laundry service (Platinum and higher)
Carnival Top Tier (Diamond Members) receive benefits such as:
-Free cabin upgrade or 3rd and 4th guests sail free, guaranteed main dining room and specialty dining reservations, laundry services, special invitation from the captain, and a complimentary meal for two at the specialty restaurant of your choice
CruiseDeals.com Exclusive Offers
Our way at of rewarding our clients isn’t just providing the best service and price on your cruise; we also love offering exclusive extra incentives on select cruise lines through the year. Check out all of our exclusive sales going on right now:
Disney Cruise Line: Free Onboard Spending Money
Receive up to $500 “CruiseDeals” cash when you book virtually any cruise. The cruise deals cash amount is based on your total cabin price. Learn more about this special Disney Cruise sale here!
Avalon Waterways: Free Gratuities
Receive free prepaid gratuities when you book any Avalon River cruise! Learn more here.
Viking River Cruises: Free Gratuities + Onboard Credit
Book select Viking River cruises by August 15th and receive $150 onboard credit plus free prepaid gratuities! Learn more about this exclusive Viking River Cruise special here.
Celebrity: More Caribbean on Us Sale
Receive $50 to $100 onboard credit or prepaid gratuities for suites when you book select 2013 Celebrity Caribbean cruises, on top of even more onboard credits from Celebrity. Learn more about this special Celebrity Caribbean cruise sale here.[fblike]