If you’ve discovered the delights of cruising and plan to spend your holidays at sea more regularly, then you should definitely explore the benefits of cruise loyalty programmes.
With cruise lines rewarding their returning guests with perks such as priority boarding, drinks packages, VIP access and other upgrades throughout the ship, signing up to a cruise loyalty programme will make your cruise holiday even more special.
But who has the best cruise loyalty programme, and how do you join? Check out our guide below to find out more.
What is a cruise line loyalty programme?
Cruise lines have created cruise loyalty programmes to reward their most loyal customers and retain their business for future cruise holidays. They work similarly to frequent flyers programmes, offering returning customers a range of perks and discounts, which get better the more cruise holidays you go on with the cruise line.
How do I join a cruise loyalty programme?
Signing up for a cruise loyalty programme is usually free, and most cruise lines sign you up automatically from the end of your first cruise holiday. Typically, you can then track your status online. Alternatively, you can get in contact with the cruise line directly for an update.
With most cruise line loyalty programmes, you accumulate more points every night you cruise. There are different grades or tiers that you can progress through by earning more points.
Most points do not have an expiration date, but it’s worth double-checking with your specific cruise line.
How to get the most out of cruise line loyalty programme
The benefits from a cruise loyalty programme get more lucrative the higher you move up the tiers or grades. And there are ways you can move through these faster to get more from your cruise loyalty programme:
- Cruise more often with the same cruise line, or sister cruise lines under the same umbrella company, e.g. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd includes Royal Caribbean Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises.
- Book longer cruises – remember, on most cruise loyalty programmes, you earn points per night you cruise, so booking a transatlantic or repositioning cruise, where you are at sea for more nights, will gain you more points.
- Cruise solo – you may have to pay slightly more for a cabin as single occupancy, but you can earn more loyalty points.
- Upgrade to a suite – you can double your points on some cruise lines!
- Look out for special offers with double points promotions.
Who has the best cruise loyalty programme?
There is a lot of similarity in the type of perks that cruise lines offer their loyalty club members. Although, there is some variation in the structure of their rewards system and how and when you can earn these benefits.
Here’s a brief overview of the leading cruise lines’ loyalty programmes:
Carnival Cruise Line’s loyalty programme
Carnival Cruise Line’s VIFP (Very Important Fun Person) Club is a loyalty programme with five coloured tiers. Earn a VIFP point for every day you cruise, with member-only offers from the first sailing to perks such as access to priority services and reservations and cabin upgrades higher up the tiers.
Celebrity Cruises’ loyalty programme
Celebrity Cruises’ loyalty scheme has six tiers. Benefits range from a complimentary Welcome Event and premium onboard offers to spa benefits, discounts on speciality dining and premium drinks packages.
Two Club Points are earned per night when staying in a stateroom, increasing to 24 Club Points per night in an Iconic Suite (a significant increase compared to some other cruise lines).
Cunard’s loyalty programme
Cunard Cruise Line’s loyalty programme, known as Cunard World Club, has four levels, which you move through depending on the number of voyages or nights sailed. Benefits range from member-special offers and an invitation to a Cunard World Club cocktail party to complimentary onboard wine tasting and priority disembarkation.
MSC Cruises’ loyalty programme
The MSC Cruises’ loyalty club, or MSC Voyagers Club, has five membership levels. You progress through these by earning points from the number of cruise nights and package type, prepaying for onboard services and spending while onboard.
Privileges range from discounts on Wi-Fi and spa and fitness passes to MSC’s exclusive Diamond Party, dinner in a speciality restaurant and priority boarding.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s loyalty programme
Norwegian Cruise Line’s loyalty programme is the Latitudes Rewards Programme. You earn one point per cruise night and one additional point per night for staying in The Haven or a suite or when booking a Latitudes Reward Insider Offer.
There are seven tiers in the programme. Rewards start with discounts in duty-free shops and member-only offers and extend to free cabin upgrades and a complimentary 7-day cruise with their highest Ambassador tier.
Princess Cruises’ loyalty programme
There are four loyalty levels on Princess Cruises’ loyalty scheme, named the Captain’s Circle. Progress through the loyalty levels is earned by completing a certain number of cruises or cruise days. Booking in a full suite or paying the exclusive occupancy fare when travelling solo entitles you to double points.
Entry-level Gold members earn benefits such as access to member-only events and pricing offers. Meanwhile, top-level Elite members enjoy a complimentary mini-bar set-up, afternoon tea, and priority disembarkation.
P&O Cruises’ loyalty programme
Known as the Peninsular Club, P&O Cruises’ loyalty programme has six tiers. You are eligible for the club after 15 cruise nights and move up the P&O cruise loyalty tiers the more nights you cruise.
At entry-level, enjoy perks, such as onboard discounts. Get to the top Ligurian Tier, earning points within three years, and benefits extend to priority boarding, hospitality lounge and a complimentary half bottle of Champagne.// END - About the Author ?>