Carnival’s VIFP Loyalty Club Changes (2024)

On March 21, 2024, Carnival Brand ambassador John Heald once again teased big changes coming to Carnival’s VIFP Loyalty Club. The loyalty club is Carnival’s way of recognizing and rewarding each Very Important Fun Person (VIFP) that sails with the cruise line. It’s been around in current state since 2012-2013 with few updates – and it’s become clear that changes are needed.

Carnival's VIFP Loyalty Club Changes (2024)

What does it take to earn status in the current VIFP Club?

Carnival’s VIFP Club is made up of 5 tiers. As a first-time cruiser, you’re in the Blue Tier. By your second cruise, you’ve already moved up in the club to the Red Tier. From here, the VIFP Club changes from number of cruises to number of nights. The Gold Tier is not far off from the Red Tier at only 25 nights. Then, the big jump happens: the fourth level in the club (Platinum Tier), requires 75 nights. Finally, and this one’s a whopper, to reach the top-level of the club – Diamond Tier – you need to sail 200 nights on Carnival Cruise Lines.

The table below summarizes each what you need for each tier:

VIFP Club TierNumber of Nights
BlueN/A – First-time cruiser
RedN/A – Second cruise on Carnival
Gold25 Nights
Platinum75 Nights
Diamond200 Nights

Why change is necessary – and probably overdue

John Heald shared today that, “there is no doubt it needs a massive refresh” while speaking about impending changes. And while 75 and 200 nights may seem like a lot to some, the reality is the program has become overcrowded. When they give out the award for Youngest Cruiser at the Platinum and Diamond Party, it regularly goes to someone under the age of 10. In fact, we recently sailed with a Diamond cruiser that was just four years old.

More and more, we’ve seen Carnival limit the benefits to Platinum and Diamond cruisers as the cruise operator struggles to deliver based on the number of loyal cruisers on board. It’s really apparent with new ship launches, Journeys Cruises, and unique sailings, however, even on standard sailings, the Platinum/Diamond line for guest services sometimes is just as long as the standard line.

If you still wonder if change is needed or not – just read through any one of the many VIFP groups or message boards out there. Loyal cruisers have been requesting change for some time, and those voices are getting louder. For example, in today’s program there is very little to differentiate between Platinum and Diamond Tiers. Then, once you get to the top tier, there’s not a lot of incentive to keep you coming back. Sure, the free laundry is definitely a nice perk, but take a look at some of the top-tier benefits on the other cruise lines and you’ll begin to see why people are looking for change.

Carnival’s VIFP Loyalty Club Changes (2024)

While we don’t have the specifics yet about what will change, we know that Carnival will target the overcrowding that leads loyal cruisers feeling not very “important.” As Delta execs famously said last year, when everyone has status, no one has status. This could mean the number of nights to reach a specific tier becomes larger, or, it could signal an overhaul of the tier system altogether.

Could we see new tiers introduced? A lot of cruisers ask for a level between Platinum and Diamond to help bridge the gap. However, what we’d most like to see is maybe a Double Diamond or Triple Diamond Level to really differentiate, recognize, and reward the most loyal cruisers to the line (free WiFi each sailing perhaps?).

What’s likely not to change, however, is how they measure the program in number of nights. With that said, there is some chatter that Carnival could add cruiser spend into the calculation, in addition to nights. For example, those who book a suite accommodation or spend more on board could get more VIFP points for a given sailing. Whether or not one believes $$$ equals loyalty is likely irrelevant to Carnival as they look to bring in as much income as they can to pay down debt taken on during the pandemic.

We also hope they keep the Diamond Lunch! 😉

When will VIFP Club changes roll out?

Today is the third time Heald has referenced changes to the program. It’s also the third timeframe he’s shared for when changes would roll out. Originally, changes were set to roll out in the spring of 2024. In a future update, that got moved to end of summer. But that, too, was short lived. In today’s live stream, Heald shared that we would see a new program before the end of the year.

We’re hopeful these changes reflect wanting to get the program right the first time. I’m sure they’re taking a lesson from the backlash against Delta Airlines received when they overhauled their status program. We’re ok with the cruise line taking a little extra time to make sure they get it right.

VIFP Club Grandfathering

There’s almost as much speculation about what happens to existing VIFP Club members as there is about changes to the program! When Carnival announced changes to the VIFP Club in 2012, they gave cruisers until the end of 2013 to achieve status within the then current framework.

Cruisers who sailed more than 10 cruises by December 31, 2013 became Platinum in the new Club whereas guests who were previously Platinum became Diamond! As for the rest:

“All guests who sailed with Carnival fewer than 10 times were placed in the level that corresponds with their VIFP Points (i.e., cruise days). Guests with fewer than 25 VIFP Points were placed in the new Red level. Those who have earned 25-74 VIFP Points were placed in the Gold level.”

Will Carnival grandfather once again? Will the cruise operator give those working on the next level time to get there? What about those cruisers that have cruise days that far surpass the Diamond Tier 200 night requirement, will they recognize their tremendous status?

Lots of questions, but very few answers. We’ll be waiting and watching.

What do you think?

Are you ready for Carnival to change the program? We’d love to hear what you’d want to see in the new VIFP Club. Be sure to leave a comment below.

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