I'm a member of the Crown & Anchor Society which is the loyalty program for Royal Caribbean. I know all about this program, but nothing about other cruise lines loyalty programs. I think it would be interesting reading about them. Any other member's out there?
We are in the Celebrity program - they changed it after we joined in the 90's and we were essentially grandfathered into the new program which means we get priority embarkation at our member level while new members at our level don't get priority embark. Of course, being platinum in the RCI program probably means more for us if we cruise with Celebrity these days.
Carnival doesn't really have a loyalty program worth noting, at least in my view, and we've cruised extensively with Carnival over the past few years.
For my money, RCI has the best program. But as you know it doesn't really kick in until you get into the platinum level and then it really takes off when you reach diamond and diamond plus.
Originally posted by Dave Beers:
Of course, being platinum in the RCI program probably means more for us if we cruise with Celebrity these days.
It sure does. Your Royal Caribbean Platinum status gives you Select Status in Celebrity's Captain's Club. (Similarly, with our recent Celebrity Cruise, we were kicked up to Select, which makes us Platinum Members of Royal Caribbean.) Select members get "perks" like wine seminars, a senior officer's cocktail party, a tour of areas like backstage at the show lounge.
Sonny, you'd receive, in addition, a private departure lounge (whatever that is) and priority tendering.
I happen to like NCL's Latitudes perks, although they're not necessarily enough to get me to book another NCL cruise. We've actually been members for quite a long time -- we joined when the repeater's club was called Embark.
I hear there will be another level that's higher than Diamond Plus. I think it will be over 75 cruises. I guess I'll never see that level. It's like finally getting to the top of the stairs only to find another flight of stairs.
Princess has a pretty good program, called Captain's Circle. I'm not sure it's good enough to make you cruise Princess just to work your way up. The best way to keep people coming back is to offer a good product--a good value for the dollar--and that is what keeps me coming back. But the rewards certainly don't hurt, and are kind of a nice little "thank you".
Princess recently modified the program slightly to benefit those that take longer cruises, which includes a good percentge of their clientele. After one cruise you are a Gold Member. This gives you some inconsequential perks like Princess Passport (a little book in which to keep souvenir "stamps" of your cruises), a member benefit card, quarterly newsletter, free photo contest, onboard host, special section in the Princess website to monitor your cruise history, referral rewards (credits for getting others to book), and standby program, which I don't think anyone understands--not even Princess. And then a few worthwhile items like the onboard cocktail party, certain other onboard events, and probably most useful, preferential pricing offers. I do a lot of comparison shopping before I book, and I have saved anywhere from $200.00 pp on a 7 day Mexican Riviera up to $500.00 pp on a 15 day Panama Canal cruise.
Then starting your 6th cruise or after completing 50 cruise days you reach Platinum status. This gives you all the Gold benefits plus: Preferred Check-in, $75.00 to $200.00 pp internet credit (depending on length of cruise), free upgrade to the better Travel Insurance package, Platinum disembarkation lounge, and (wow!) complimentary cruise atlas--which anyone can get free by calling 1-800-PRINCESS.
On your 16th cruise of after completing 150 cruise days you reach the coveted Elite level. This gives you all the previous benefits, plus: afternoon tea served in your cabin (if desired), upgraded stateroom amenities, deluxe canapes when desired, complimentary ONE-TIME mini-bar set-up, complimentary wine tasting, 10% boutique discount, priority tender embarkation (although one of our members had trouble with this one), priority disembarkation, and possibly best of all, complimentary shoe polishing, dry cleaning and laundry services.
Now all of this isin't bad--a very nice way of rewarding loyal customers. But it's not, or shouldn't be a goal in and of itself.
The best way to reward loyal customers is to keep giving them such a memorable vacation that they wouldn't even think of going somewhere else; and Princess needs a little work in this area.
Carnival's Platinum (on your 10th cruise) level gives you:
1. VIP Check In and Debarkation
2. Carnival Logo Item (usually a nice beach bag)
3. Free Wash and Fold (as many times as you need it)
4. Free Slots or Blackjack tournament entry
5. Concierge Line at the Purser's Desk
6. Priority Tendering at ports that use the tenders instead of docking
7. Guaranteed Dining Time (which is nice for us since we have to eat at 5:45pm)
8. Priority Spa Appointments
9. Private "Behind the Scene" tour of just Platinum members.
10. Canapes one night delivered to your cabin.
11. Petit Fours one night delivered to your cabin.
12. Personalized Stationary waiting in your cabin.
13. Past cruisers discount on future cruises.
All in all, considering the inexpensive price we pay for Carnival cruises...I believe their Loyality program is just about right in line.
We are actively campaigning for them to add an Elite (Black) card for 25+ cruises. And we have given them some "suggestions" as to the additional perks we would like.
We have cruised with 11 different cruise lines and are in all the repeater clubs including RCI Diamond, Celebrity Elite, Princess Platinum etc. IMHO the best, by far, is RCI once you reach the Diamond level. Why? It gets you unlimited access to the Concierge Lounge which has 24 hour expresso/cappucino (its a real high tech computerized machine that really works), and also allows you to attend the daily cocktail hour (usually 5-9) which included free drinks and decent munchies. Tender priorty (Princess, RCI, HA and just about all the lines) is great for those of us who like to do our own thing on shore.
Cruise Credits are points that determine your Crown and Anchor status. The more Cruise Credits you have, the more benefits you'll receive. You earn 1 Cruise Credit after completing a 3 to 11 night cruise. You will earn 2 Cruise Credits if you complete a 12 night or more cruise. You will also receive 1 Cruise Credit if you are in a suite.
You are a Gold Member from 1 to 4 cruises. After you complete your 5th cruise you will be a Platium Member. After your 10th cruise you'll become a Diamond Member (this is when you really get the perks). After 24 completed cruises, you become a Diamond Plus Member.