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Cruise Life Magazine Vol. 2 No. 3

In This Issue – All About Cruise Loyalty Programs

  • What They Are
  • How To Join
  • Their Major Benefits

Loyalty Programs • An Introduction

If your future plans include more then an occasional cruise, you might want to consider focusing your future cruising on one or two particular cruise lines. Cruise loyalty programs offer a number of benefits that can include discounts on or even free internet, laundry, photos, cocktail parties and fancy coffees. Some lines also offer cabin upgrades and priority treatment with boarding and tender usage.

Picking Your Cruise Line – There are a lot of similarities between the major cruise lines but there are also differences that make some more suitable to individual needs. They all feature good dining options from main dining room dinners to buffets to specialty restaurants and good lounge entertainment and production shows, but the things that set them apart is often related to the passengers they try and cater to.

Most lines cater to families but a few are stand outs because of their children’s programs. Two of the best are Disney and Royal Caribbean. There is also the price range that varies from one cruise company to another. At the economy end of the range are Carnival and Norwegian. Stepping up a bit in price are Royal Caribbean, MSC, and Princess followed by Holland America and Celebrity, which are a bit higher priced. At the premium end you will find Cunard, Disney and Oceania with Silver Seas and Seabourn being the ultra exclusive lines.

Besides simply price, there are a number of other things to consider when picking a line. Following are some observations regarding a couple of cruise lines:

Carnival – Besides being the price leader, Carnival a a favorite with young adults. Especially in the Caribbean, these ships have a non-stop party atmosphere. The food and service generally get high marks and the cabins are a bit roomier then many other cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean – Good value in a cruise line that’s really focused on families. It has one of the best kids’ programs at sea with great entertainment options. Many of the ships have basketball courts, climbing walls and a couple feature ice skating rinks the Flo-Rider surfing attraction, sky diving and amusement parks. Check the features offered by each ship on the RCL website.

Celebrity – Features a step up in service and appeals to a more sophisticated cruiser. Celebrity is noted for their enrichment programs, which include lectures and classes. They also feature a number of longer itineraries and more exotic destinations than some of the other lines.

MSC Cruises – Has been trying to “break into” the U.S. Caribbean market and has offered some really good pricing. Overall the ratings are not at the top of the list.

Disney – The name alone says kids & family and you won’t be disappointed. From movie themed areas to Disney characters the whole ship is a Disney experience. One feature that really appeals is an evening dinner rotation that moves your group to a different style restaurant each night and your table staff goes with you. Oddly Disney is also really good at providing adult only areas that are more strictly enforced than other lines.

Plans and Perks – If you plan on cruising on a regular basis, even as infrequently as once every year or two, you should still join a cruise line loyalty program. Royal Caribbean’s is The Crown & Anchor Society and it’s free to join. If you don’t join you won’t earn the points. In their case, once you reach Diamond status you get a dedicated lounge on board with specialty coffee, some free internet, a free photograph, a special gift and a free cocktail party each evening. Priority boarding and other perks are also offered.

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Royal Caribbean Flo-Rider

Carnival Cruise Line has their VIFP Club with members-only promotions, invites to cocktail receptions while you sail, priority boarding & more. Like most programs, the more you cruise the more you get.

Celebrity has the Captain’s Club  and when you reach Elite status you get access to the Captain’s Club Lounge for daily coffee, breakfast and evening Cocktail hour. Other features are complimentary 90-minute Internet package, some complimentary dry cleaning and laundry on every sailing, a private shipboard departure lounge serving continental breakfast, priority tender service in tender ports of call and more…

If you’re going to cruise anyway, you would be wise to commit your loyalty and begin accumulating some perks.

One additional note, Celebrity is part of the Royal Caribbean family and frequent cruise status can be extended in a one-time transfer between these cruise companies.

Just like airlines and hotels, cruise companies want you to be a frequent customer and they have developed a number of plans to entice you to keep coming back. With names like The Captain’s Club, Mariner Society and Latitudes they generally structure their programs so the more you come back the more status you attain on cruises and rewards you get. Unlike hotel points and airline miles you don’t cash in your rewards, and the more you cruise with a cruise line or company the more benefits you get.

Because the cruise lines know you do have a choice in making a cruise selection, more so than with airlines, they want you to have good reason to stay with them. Each cruise line has differences in their programs and some offer better benefits than others. they all operate a tiered system of better and better perks the more you cruise with them.

Loyalty Programs Compared

Celebrity Cruise Line

Take Your Vacation to a New Level with Captains Club

Cruising with Celebrity really does have its benefits. Join the Captain’s Club and enjoy an array of cruise rewards. And, the more you sail with us, the greater the rewards. You’ll earn points on every sailing and enjoy discounts, offers, and perks that all add up to an even more incredible cruise vacation experience. Get priority boarding and complimentary laundry service, stateroom upgrades, access to exclusive voyages, and exciting cruise club events on board. As a valued loyalty member, you’ll also receive personal invitations to other members-only events happening on our sailings throughout the world. Simply join our cruise loyalty program and start earning points on your next cruise. As a valued member of the Captain’s Club, you’ll vacation with us like never before.

  • Classic 2-149 Club Points
  • As a Classic member, you’ll receive complimentary access to our Captain’s Club Celebration event. You’ll also enjoy great ways to save with exclusive onboard premium offers.
  • Select 150-299 Club Points
  • As a Select member, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of a Classic member, plus discounted Internet and laundry service specials.
  • Elite 300-749 Club Points
  • Our Elite members know that loyalty yields great rewards, including complimentary Internet and laundry services and complimentary Captain’s Club cocktail hour.
  • Elite Plus 750-2999 Club Points
  • In recognition of our most devoted Elite members, we have created Elite Plus – delivering a high level of recognition with greater benefits including; discounts on beverages and specialty dining, unlimited.complimentary cappuccinos and lattes, 240 free internet minutes and much more.

CARNIVAL’S VIFP CLUB®

VIFP CLUB®How it works IT’S SIMPLE: CRUISE MORE AND THE PERKS JUST PILE UP.

VIFP CLUB® What you get

VIFP RED (Points after 2 Sailings or More)

  • Complimentary 1 liter bottle of water (delivered to stateroom on all sailings)

VIFP GOLD (After 5 Sailings or More)

  • Appreciation drink on 5+ day cruises (on the last evening of the cruise after 5pm)
  • Gold VIFP pin on every sailing
  • Priority check-in and boarding

VIFP PLATINUM (Based on Points)

  • Platinum and Diamond VIFP Party on 5+ day sailings (featuring complimentary drinks and appetizers)
  • Complimentary beverage at Seaday Brunch (on ships where brunch is not available, complimentary beverage at breakfast or lunch in Main Dining Room)
  • “Chocolate Delight” strawberry plate (delivered to stateroom on 5+ day cruises)
  • Unique, collectible pin (noting specific ship and year) received on each sailing
  • Priority spa reservations
  • Priority tender boarding (ship to shore only)
  • Casino: Buy-one-get-one-free tournament entry (Blackjack or Slot only)
  • $5 worth of complimentary arcade credits (guests under 18 only)
  • Carnival logo gift on every sailing
  • Priority Guest Services assistance by phone
  • Priority line at onboard Guest Services desk
  • Priority debarkation
  • Priority reservations at Main Dining Room and Specialty Restaurant
  • Complimentary Wash & Fold laundry service (2 bags on 3 – 6 day cruises,
  • 3 bags on 7-13 day cruises, 5 bags on a 14+ day cruises)

VIFP DIAMOND (Based on Points)

  • Guaranteed seating time requested in Main Dining Room for dinner
  • Priority reservations at Specialty restaurants
  • Unlimited complimentary Wash & Fold service
  • Special event invitation from the Captain on each sailing
  • One-time free cabin upgrade OR third and fourth guests sail free
  • One-time donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®
  • One-time complimentary meal for two at Specialty Restaurant of choice
  • VIFP Club luggage tag set (presented once at Diamond level)
  • Dedicated toll-free number for sales and service

Holland America Line Mariner Society

Join us for any cruise and return a Star Mariner. You’ll feel the special treatment as soon as you come aboard as our way of saying, “Welcome back!” As a Star Mariner, you’ll receive:

  • Mariner Welcome Onboard Lunch
  • A special collectible gift presented to you on board
  • Mariner Brunch with complimentary sparkling wine
  • A free subscription to the print or digital** version of Mariner® magazine (print version available to US and Canadian residents only)
  • Special offers on select sailings
  • A 50% cruise fare discount on kids and extra guests staying in your stateroom on select sailings

As a 2-Star Mariner, additional benefits you’ll enjoy:

  • A complimentary photo of the ship
  • A 10% discount on select Holland America Line logo clothing sold onboard signature shops (may exclude already discounted merchandise)
  • A 15% discount on merchandise from shophollandamerica.com (Discount only available in the United States and Canada)
  • An annual cruise planner
  • A special recognition lapel pin

As a 3-Star Mariner, additional benefits you’ll enjoy:

  • A 25% discount on specialty restaurant surcharges and on specialty coffees in all dining venues*, wine packages*, and all mini-bar purchases*
  • A 25% discount on BLEND (available only on Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and Ryndam)
  • A 25% discount on individual wine bottles over us$100
  • Mariner Welcome Onboard Reception
  • Discounts on select treatments from the Greenhouse Spa & Salon
  • Advance information on new itineraries

As a 4-Star Mariner, additional benefits you’ll enjoy:

  • Complimentary cruise fare on kids and extra guests staying in your stateroom on select sailings
  • A 50% discount on specialty restaurant surcharges and specialty coffees in all dining venues*, wine packages*, and all mini-bar purchases* (restaurant packages do not apply to discount and wine packages discounts exclude wine cards, Cellar Master packages, individual bottles, wine-by-the-glass and beverage gift cards)
  • Complimentary laundry and pressing services*
  • Priority tender* and check-in*
  • A complimentary wine tasting
  • A 15% discount on select Holland America Line logo clothing sold onboard shops (may exclude already discounted merchandise)
  • A complimentary one-year subscription to Travel + Leisure® or Food & Wine® magazine (one per household, available to US and Canadian residents only)

Princess Captain’s Circle

Levels and Benefits

Gold

  • Available after completion of your first Princess cruise
  • Discounts on cruise bookings made at least a year in advance
  • Deposit reduced to 10 percent on early cruise bookings
  • Special offers on select itineraries throughout the year
  • Access to members-only onboard events
  • Princess Passport memory book
  • Collectible destination stamps
  • Access to a dedicated onboard host
  • Subscription to Captain’s Circle magazine and e-newsletter
  • Gold member recognition pin
  • Access to Captain’s Circle online information center
  • Chance to win a photo contest for a free cruise

Ruby

  • Available from your fourth cruise or after 31 cruise days
  • Receive all Gold perks
  • Free package upgrade when you purchase a standard Princess Vacation Protection plan
  • Exclusive access to shoreside Captain’s Circle help line
  • 10 percent off commemorative cruise DVD
  • Ruby member recognition pin

Platinum

  • Available from your sixth cruise or after 51 cruise days
  • Receive all Ruby perks
  • Complimentary copy of the Cruise Atlas, which includes itinerary details for the coming year and is released annually
  • Preferred check-in at the start of your cruise
  • Access to Platinum Disembarkation Lounge, including light refreshments
  • Free internet credit from 150 to 500 minutes, depending on length of sailing
  • Platinum member recognition pin

Elite

  • Available from your 16th cruise or with 151-plus cruise days
  • Receive all Platinum perks
  • Priority tendering and disembarkation
  • Early or late disembarkation upon request
  • Complimentary shoe shine service
  • Complimentary laundry and dry cleaning services
  • One free mini-bar set up
  • Complimentary in-cabin canapes on formal nights upon request
  • Complimentary in-cabin afternoon tea
  • Upgraded bath amenities
  • 10 percent discount at onboard boutiques
  • Free wine tasting
  • Elite member recognition pin

Princess Captain’s Circle

Levels and Benefits

Gold

  • Available after completion of your first Princess cruise
  • Discounts on cruise bookings made at least a year in advance
  • Deposit reduced to 10 percent on early cruise bookings
  • Special offers on select itineraries throughout the year
  • Access to members-only onboard events
  • Princess Passport memory book
  • Collectible destination stamps
  • Access to a dedicated onboard host
  • Subscription to Captain’s Circle magazine and e-newsletter
  • Gold member recognition pin
  • Access to Captain’s Circle online information center
  • Chance to win a photo contest for a free cruise

Ruby

  • Available from your fourth cruise or after 31 cruise days
  • Receive all Gold perks
  • Free package upgrade when you purchase a standard Princess Vacation Protection plan
  • Exclusive access to shoreside Captain’s Circle help line
  • 10 percent off commemorative cruise DVD
  • Ruby member recognition pin

Platinum

  • Available from your sixth cruise or after 51 cruise days
  • Receive all Ruby perks
  • Complimentary copy of the Cruise Atlas, which includes itinerary details for the coming year and is released annually
  • Preferred check-in at the start of your cruise
  • Access to Platinum Disembarkation Lounge, including light refreshments
  • Free internet credit from 150 to 500 minutes, depending on length of sailing
  • Platinum member recognition pin

Elite

  • Available from your 16th cruise or with 151-plus cruise days
  • Receive all Platinum perks
  • Priority tendering and disembarkation
  • Early or late disembarkation upon request
  • Complimentary shoe shine service
  • Complimentary laundry and dry cleaning services
  • One free mini-bar set up
  • Complimentary in-cabin canapes on formal nights upon request
  • Complimentary in-cabin afternoon tea
  • Upgraded bath amenities
  • 10 percent discount at onboard boutiques
  • Free wine tasting
  • Elite member recognition pin

Royal Caribbean

Cruising with Royal Caribbean International® is truly a rewarding experience, especially when you’re a member of our Crown & Anchor® Society. You’ll receive benefits not only when onboard, but also when you’re planning your cruise. And – as your points grow, so do your benefits and status.

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