Weekly Wednesday – Loyalty

All of the major cruise lines have loyalty programs, and it is important that you make sure to register for them prior to your sailing. Every line has perks available when you cruise a second time with them. Some perks benefit the cruiser more than others, and it can get quite confusing as you read about them. Today, we’re going to dive deep into the rewards programs. We put them head-to-head at the end of the article to see who will win you over with their loyalty!

Feel free to jump to one of the lines listed below, or read the whole article
American Cruise Lines | Carnival Cruise Line | Celebrity Cruises | Disney Cruises | Holland America Line | MSC Cruises | Norwegian Cruise Line | Princess Cruises | Royal Caribbean International

American Cruise Lines

Whether you sail one time or twenty times, The Eagle Society is your ticket to benefits and perks when you sail American Cruise Lines. It is free to enroll, and it comes with savings, VIP access, rewards, and gifts. Being part of this program will give you special savings on cruises and promotions and you can receive a credit for $500 every time you refer a friend that becomes a member of the program.

One of the perks of The Eagle Society is if you live in a town that’s near one of the ports-of-call for any of the ships, you can come onboard the ship for lunch or dinner, no cruise necessary, and when you’re sailing, you can bring a friend or family member onboard to join the dining experience. Beginning on your 4th cruise, you’ll get upgraded to the premium level shore excursions. Sail just 10 times and get your eleventh free! If you can’t wait that long for benefits, there are complimentary luggage tags, name tags and other member-only gifts waiting for you on board your next cruise.

Learn more by visiting their website.

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Carnival Cruise Line

VIFP logo – Photo: carnival.com

Are you a very important fun person? You may think you are, but if you’re not enrolled in Carnival’s loyalty program, then you’re missing out! Become a VIFP (very important fun person) on your very first cruise, earning a blue Sail & Sign card. The real perks begin when you sail a second time with Carnival and you receive your red Sail & Sign card. Your major benefit is a complimentary 1-liter bottle of water delivered to your stateroom. You earn one VIFP point for every night of your sailing and remain a red-card holder until your 24th night. Your Sail & Sign card color is determined by how many nights you will have sailed by the end of the cruise, meaning if your next sailing will reach 25 nights by the last night onboard, you’ll be toting around a Gold card and be qualified to enjoy a complimentary beverage on the final night of a 5+ day cruise, plus you’ll receive a Gold VIFP pin on every sailing.

Platinum is the next level, achieved at your 75th point (night) and comes with priority check-in and boarding, an exclusive party with complimentary drinks and appetizers, a chocolate-covered strawberry plate each sailing, complimentary beverage at Seaday Brunch, a unique and collectable pin denoting the ship and year, Carnival logo gift on every sailing, complimentary wash & fold laundry service for up to 3 bags, and priority line for: Guest Services, water shuttles, debarkation.

Stay onboard for 200 nights and receive a Diamond sign and sail card with all of the benefits of a Platinum sailor plus guaranteed seating in the Main Dining Room for dinner, priority reservations at Specialty restaurants, unlimited wash and fold service, VIFP Club luggage tag set, dedicated number for sales and service, and one-time: free cabin upgrade or third and fourth guests sail free, donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, complimentary meal for two at Specialty Restaurant of choice.

Check out all of the levels offered by Carnival.

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Celebrity Cruises

Welcome to the Captain’s Club where you can take advantage of exclusive offers found with Celebrity Cruises. Starting at the Preview level, you can receive complimentary access to the Captain’s Club Loyalty Desk and newsletter with all of the latest program information. Once you set sail on one of the ships, you’ll be a member of the Classic level which includes an invitation to the Captain’s Club Celebration event and other exclusive onboard premium offers. Earn Club Points based on your stateroom category and the number of nights you set sail (2 Club Points per night for inside and ocean view staterooms, up to 18 Club Points per night for Reflection, Penthouse & Iconic Suites).

On your 150th point, you’ll move up to Select level and receive discounted internet and laundry service specials. Cruising on up to 300 points will get you into the Elite level with complimentary internet and laundry, plus a Captain’s Club cocktail hour.

Earn 750 Club Points with Celebrity and become an Elite Plus member giving you the same perks as the levels prior, plus discounts on beverages and specialty dining, unlimited complimentary cappuccinos and lattes, 240 free internet minutes and much more. The highest level is Zenith at 3000 Club Points. You gain access to Michael’s Club & the Retreat Lounge, a complimentary premium beverage package, complimentary laundry and unlimited internet.

From a Captian’s Club memebr

For Celebrity Elite, the best perks are the free unlimited drinks every evening (however many times free drink packages are included as a perk on Celebrity Cruises now). The other best Elite perk is you get a free bag of laundry per sailing which means you can pack lighter! Also a free 90-minute internet package which is awesome!

Find out how much your stateroom is worth on Celebrity

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Disney Cruises

Castaway Club logo – Photo: disneycruise.disney.go.com

Extending off the ship, Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club members receive many different perks and benefits. After completing your 1st cruise, you are eligible to join the club at the Silver Castaway level. This entitles you to bookings 1 day before they’re released to the public, book your excursions up to 90 days prior to sailing, Castaway Club Member Communications, and a dedicated phone number. Once at the terminal, you’ll get exclusive cruise check-in and a welcome back aboard gift.

After you complete your 5th sailing, you’ll be a Gold Castaway member giving you advance booking opportunities 2 days before the public and the ability to secure onboard activities up to 105 days in advance. You’ll receive the same benefits as the Silver level, plus early access to port arrival times, an onboard Castaway Club reception and discounts on select items while onboard.

On your 11th cruise, you will be elevated to the Platinum Castaway giving you access to sailings 3 days before the general public and the ability to secure your onboard activities up to 120 days in advance of the sailing. Your benefits will be the same as Gold, plus you’ll have priority check-in at the cruise terminal and complimentary dinner at Palo each time you sail.

Check out the Castaway Club details here.

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Holland America Line

Become a part of the Mariner Society when you sail with Holland America Line. You earn Cruise Day credits for every day that you sail and for each purchase you make onboard (earn one bonus Cruise Day credit for each $300 spent on qualified purchase). Starting with the first level, 1-Star Mariner amenities include a Mariner Welcome Onboard Lunch, a special collectible gift, Mariner Brunch with complimentary sparkling wine, a free subscription to the Mariner magazine, special offers on select sailing, and a 50% discount on kids and extra guests in your stateroom. When you receive your 30th Cruise Day credit, you get upgraded to a 2-Star Mariner which comes with a complimentary photo of the ship, 10% discount on logo clothing sold onboard, 15% discount on online purchases at shophollandamerica.com, an annual cruise planner and a special recognition lapel pin.

The benefits keeps coming when you have 75 Cruise Day credits with the addition of a 25% discount on specialty restaurant surcharges, on specialty coffees, Sommelier Suites packages and all mini-bar purchases, a Mariner Welcome Onboard Reception, discounts on select treatments in the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, and advance information on new itineraries. Once you have 200 Cruise Day credits you become a 4-Star Mariner and your discounts onboard increase to 50%, you get complimentary cruise fare on kids and extra guests staying in your stateroom, complimentary laundry and pressing services, wine tasting and a one-year subscription to Travel + Leisure or Food & Wine magazine, plus your discount in onboard shops increases to 15%.

The highest level is a 5-Star Mariner with 500 Cruise Day credits. It comes with all of the benefits of the other levels, plus up to $30 credit toward any internet package, two complimentary dinners in the Pinnacle Grill, Tamarind or Canaletto, and a complimentary day pass to the Greenhouse Spa & Salon on each cruise.

Learn more about the Mariner Society.

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MSC Cruises

Voyagers Club logo – Photo: msccruisesusa.com

Become a member of the MSC Voyagers Club on your first sailing. Points are earned based on the type of MSC Experience purchased, onboard services and expenses. There are 5 categories of room experience and each one has a base point value. The more nights you sail, the greater the point value. You are eligible for the Classic Membership on your first cruise. It comes with a 5% discount on cruises all year, plus up to 15% discount on Voyages Selection departures. Sign up before you sail to receive the pre-board MSC Voyagers Club e-newsletter, personalized luggage tags, a welcome back cocktail, a collection of flexible onboard offers, and online personal area. To remain active, you must sail once every 3 years, otherwise your MSC Voyagers Club status will be reset.

EXPERIENCECruises under 5 nightsCruises from 5-9 nightsCruises of more than 9 nights
MSC Yacht Club80015002000
Point breakdown based on the cruise experience you book onboard.

Earn 2,200 points and move up to Silver Membership. The privileges from the Classic tier follow you, plus you receive $50 onboard credit, milestone reward and a complimentary fresh fruit basket on each sailing. At 4,300 points, with a Gold Membership you’ll reap the benefits of the prior tiers plus a complimentary one-hour thermal area session each cruise, receive a complimentary gift, photo during the welcome back cocktail party and a birthday cake, plus get priority disembarkation for tender boats. The highest level is Diamond Membership and this is reached at 10,000 points. You’ll receive the same benefits as the other levels plus priority line for boarding, complimentary specialty restaurant “Tasting Menu” dinner, complimentary spumante with chocolate-dipped fruit, courtesy bathrobe and slippers, exclusive Black Party, chocolate ship, dancing class, late cabin check-out and priority disembarkation at end of cruise.

Unique to MSC Cruises, you can participate in their status match program. This is available for Hotel, Cruise line, or Tour Operator loyalty programs. You simply send in as much information as you can regarding your current program and MSC will match your loyalty value with their program, guaranteeing you a 5% discount on future cruise bookings and many other benefits available to MSC Voyagers Club members.

Learn about the MSC Voyagers Club here.

Enter your information for the status match program.

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Norwegian Cruise Lines

Sail with Norwegian Cruises and become a part of the Latitudes Rewards program. Points are earned for every cruise night and you will receive twice the points for booking a Concierge, Suite, The Haven, or Latitudes Rewards Insider Offers. You’ll become part of the Bronze level with 1 to 29 points which is when you’ll receive priority check-in at the pier, a bottle of sparkling wine, 10% discount in the Duty-Free shops, additional internet minutes for free, onboard Latitudes Rewards representative, monthly Latitudes rewards insider offers, exclusive offers form Caesars Entertainment and the online newsletter. Get 30 points and be upgraded to Silver level and receive all of the benefits from Bronze, plus upgrade your Duty-Free shop discount to 15% and participate in the exclusive cocktail party, plus get 10% off shore excursions, 20% off photos and 15% off Spa Signature Treatments.

Once you have 55 points, you become a Gold member and will receive an increase to 25% discount on photos and 20% discount on spa services, plus 1 carton of Just Water, 50% off 1 bag of laundry, and priority tender tickets and disembarkation. At 80 points, you’re Platinum level with the final increase in photos to 30%, 25% discount in the spa, 1 free bag of laundry, plus priority embarkation, dinner for two at Cagney’s or Le Bistro with a bottle of wine, Dinner for two at Moderno or La Cucina, 30 free internet minutes, Chocolate-covered strawberries, Behind-The-Scenes ship tour, and Concierge Service. 175 points gets you to Platinum Plus which gets you 2 cartons of Just Water, 60 free minutes of free internet, dinner with the officers, and priority restaurant & entertainment seating. The highest tier available is Ambassador at 700 points. It comes with all of the benefits that the other levels have, plus 100 free internet minutes and a complimentary 7-day cruise.

Find out all the details about the Latitudes Rewards program here.

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Princess Cruises

Become a member of the Captain’s Circle when you sail with Princess Cruises. Once you complete your first cruise, you’re eligible to become a Gold member. The benefits include Captain’s Circle launch savings on cruises, preferential pricing offers, members only onboard events, Circle Host onboard as your concierge, Princess Passport – a way to commemorate your travel experience, Collectible Destination Stamps at the ports, a subscription to Circle Magazine, and an online portal. Achieve Ruby status on your 31st cruise day and get all the Gold benefits plus upgraded vacation protection, exclusive shoreside access to the Captain’s Circle Help Desk phone line and a recognition pin.

Once you’ve sailed with Princess for 51 days, you’ll become a Platinum member carrying all of the Ruby benefits plus complimentary destination brochures, priority embarkation, platinum disembarkation lounge, complimentary internet packages, and a platinum member recognition pin. The top tier within the Captain’s Circle is Elite, reached at 151 days. You’ll be able to see what sailings are going to be available before the public, priority water shuttle embarkation, and priority disembarkation. Shoe polishing service, laundry services, Mini Bar setup and Grapevine wine tasting are all complimentary. You’ll also receive Deluxe Canapes upon request for formal nights, afternoon tea in your stateroom, upgraded bathroom amenities, 10% discount in the onboard shops and an Elite member recognition pin.

Check out the details of the Captain’s Circle.

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Royal Caribbean International

Crown & Anchor Society – Photo: royalcaribbean.com

Sail with Royal Caribbean and be part of the Crown & Anchor Society. You earn one Cruise Point for every night you sail and double points when you book a Suite. You are automatically signed up for the program when you take your first cruise, or you can sign up prior to your sailing and be enrolled in the “Pre-Gold” status. Once you have sailed, you’ll qualify for the Gold perks at just 3 points. With Gold status, you’ll be invited to priority check-in, private departure lounge with continental breakfast and exclusive trivia. You get access to exclusive cruise rates and priority notice on special offers. All levels of the Society get reduced rate upgrades, exclusive email offers, member cruises, a special membership desk, newsletter and member-only secured section on the website.

Platinum members begin at 30 points and receive the same benefits as Gold plus exclusive top tier event, robes in your stateroom and a signature lapel pin. Discounts are available for bookings on Balcony and Suite staterooms and you’re eligible for status matching on Celebrity and Azamara. At 55 points, you become Emerald and add on welcome waters and snack + beverage selection. Once you reach 80 points, you’re Diamond level which adds milestone recognition, chef’s choice gift/amenity, priority wait list for the spa and seating in the main dining room, exclusive Diamond Club, priority departure, nightly Diamond events, daily breakfast with specialty coffee and entertainment tour.

When you reach 175 points you are upgraded to Diamond Plus which includes all of the previous levels, plus behind the scenes tours, personalized gift/amenity, concierge club access, priority seating at the shows, and exclusive access to a specific call center. Once you have received 340 points, you also get a meal with an officer, upgraded bathroom amenities, a bonus gift, and the single supplement cruise fare is reduced to 150% from 200%.

The highest level membership within the Society is Pinnacle Club which is reached at 700 points. The additional benefits include personalized lapel pin, Pinnacle Clube SeaPass Card with exclusive privileges, a Milestone cruise certificate valued at the prevailing rate of a 7-night balcony stateroom, and when you reach 1,400 points (and every 350 points thereafter) you’ll qualify for a Milestone cruise certificate valued at the prevailing rate of a Junior Suite stateroom.

From a Crown & Anchor Society member

For Royal, the Diamond tier has some amazing perks! They have a dedicated Diamond Lounge on many ships that is exclusively for Diamond guests and above, and you get free drinks every evening and appetizers. During the morning they have light breakfast offerings and premium coffees for free. The best perks though for Diamond members come in the form of automatic discounts off the price of your cruise (balcony and above)! Discount varies based on length of sailing and how far in advance you book, example $225 off for sailings of 6-9 nights if you book at least 6 months in advance. Lastly, a perk I really enjoy is reciprocal status in the MGM MLife casino loyalty program. This can get you free valet parking at Las Vegas Casinos, and other perks, which is great for those who love to get away to Vegas as well.

Curious to learn more about the Crown & Anchor Society?

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The amount of benefits across the major cruise lines that service the United States are impressive! Some of them are better than others, but in general all of the cruise lines have robust programs in place to reward the seasoned cruiser. I think the best way to experience the programs is to sail exclusively with your “brand” of choice and get to the desired level before you start to reach out to the other brands. Some of the lines make it easier to jump between brands such as the MSC Status Match Program or Royal Caribbean allowing members of the Crown & Anchor Society to reap similar benefits on the sister lines. Are you a member of any loyalty programs with the cruise lines? What level are you at and what’s your favorite perk(s)?

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