Posted May 18th, 2015
The Best Cruise Operator Loyalty Schemes
When it comes to ocean cruising, there is so much competition and so the operators do everything they can to ensure you continue to sail with them in the future. As well as making sure that your time on board is perfect and continually launching new ships and itineraries, one of the best ways they do this is by providing a loyalty scheme for customers.
The benefits of these will vary from cruise line to cruise line but they normally include things like excusive discounts, extra perks whilst on board, and even priority booking. Let’s take a look at some of the best loyalty programs out there at the minute.
World Club – Cunard
Cunard’s World Club loyalty scheme has four different levels; silver, gold, platinum and diamond. All you have to do to become a member is sail with the cruise line once and then you can start to work your way through the benefits. After your first cruise, you will already be a silver member; giving you access to the World Club desk shoreside and a dedicated point of contact during your cruise. Once you have completed two sailings or 20 nights on board, you will be upgraded to a gold member, whilst seven voyages or 70 nights on board will earn you platinum member status.
However, the pinnacle of Cunard’s World Club is diamond membership. Once you have completed 15 voyages or 150 nights on board you will enjoy fantastic benefits such as priority disembarkation, priority check-in in Southampton and New York, discounted luggage transfers, a complimentary meal in a speciality restaurant, an additional internet plan and much more.
Crown and Anchor Society – Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean’s guests can enrol in the Crown and Anchor Society for free and start earning points from the moment they plan their first cruise. Your points will build up the more you spend during the booking process and on board, and you can keep track of how much you’ve earned with a personalised online Cruise Meter.
Benefits start when you have as little as 3 points and so you will be entitled to priority check-in, the use of the exclusive departure lounge, and membership rates right from the start. As you make your way through gold, platinum, emerald, diamond and diamond plus rewards, you’ll become a Pinnacle Club member upon earning 700 points. To say thank you for your loyalty, Royal Caribbean will then provide you with a complimentary seven-night cruise in a balcony stateroom, priority access to upgrades on any cruise, a Pinnacle Club Gold Card stacked with exclusive privileges, and so much more besides.
Oceans - Fred. Olsen Cruises Lines
Oceans is another program which uses points to determine the level of rewards you have access to. When you sail with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, you will earn one point for every night you spend on board. This will then help you work your way up the three tiers, from blue to silver and finally on to gold.
Membership perks along the way will include discounts on cruises booked either twelve, nine, or six months in advance (depending on your Oceans status), money off your onboard spend and an invitation to an exclusive Oceans cocktail party. In addition, gold members will receive discounted shore excursions when they are booked before you depart, a welcome aboard gift, and personalised luggage labels.
Captain’s Club – Celebrity Cruises
The Captain’s Club is another reward system that works on points, but this time Celebrity Cruises have given it a bit of a twist. Instead of everybody earning the same amount of points per cruise or per night, you can boost your tally by opting to stay in higher graded accommodation. This means that you’ll receive three points per night when staying in an interior or ocean view cabin and a whopping 18 points per night if you upgrade to a penthouse suite.
The benefits you’ll receive will depend on where you sit on the various Captain’s Club levels. These start even before you earn any points, as you will have access to Celebrity’s online magazine when you are a Preview member. Work your way up to Zenith status and you can look forward to complimentary drinks, laundry, luggage service and internet, as well as an entirely free 7-night cruise to the Caribbean or Bermuda in a standard balcony cabin.
Peninsular Club – P&O Cruises
There are four basic levels to the Peninsular Club; Pacific, Atlantic, Mediterranean and Caribbean. However, if you surpass these, there are two more exclusive tiers with the names Baltic and Ligurian. Points are accumulated on a per night basis in order to help you move up the tiers, but when you reach the final two, a level of frequency is applied as well. This means that in order to remain a Baltic or Ligurian member, you must have cruised for a specific number of nights in the three prior years.
Benefits of this loyalty scheme include those that can be used on board, in P&O’s home port of Southampton, and before booking. Amongst these, Peninsular Club members will receive free Champagne in their cabin, discounts in the bars, shops and on shore excursions, priority booking and exclusive member cruises.
Le Club Voyage – Azamara Cruises
The ‘Le Club Voyage’ loyalty program works in a similar way to Celebrity’s scheme in that you can boost the number of points you earn per night by upgrading the level of your accommodation. Azamara Cruises’ tiers are labelled as Adventurer, Explorer, Discoverer, Discoverer Plus and Discoverer Platinum.
The main reward that guests can look forward to is varying numbers of complimentary nights. These range from two, for those who have Explorer status, to ten for anyone who has racked up enough points to be a Discover Platinum member. Other rewards for members of this highest tier include $200 of onboard spending money, discounted spa treatments and priority check-in at certain ports.
As you can see, all the major cruise lines have excellent loyalty schemes to keep you coming back for more time and time again. You will receive access to these when you book with Fred.\ Cruises, just tell us your membership number and your points will be added to your tally.