Which cruise lines offer the best loyalty programs?  Are they worth it?  Should I only cruise with one cruise line or try all of them?
These are common questions people have when looking at cruise line loyalty programs.
We have listed the benefits for 8 different cruise line loyalty programs and what it takes to reach each level.   See which perks interest you the most and how realistic it is to reach the status required to enjoy them.
Cruise lines want you to keep sailing with them.  They offer rewards and incentives for staying loyal to their brand of ships.  And the more you cruise on one line the better the benefits get down the line.
Each cruise line has its own name for their loyalty program, and in this article we are going to compare and contrast these status tiers and what it takes to reach them.
Note: always go directly to the cruise line’s website to get more specific and up-to-date information on a rewards program.

What kind of perks can you get with cruise line loyalty programs?

Just for signing up, many cruise lines will provide you with exclusive deals and discounts.  And as you progress you can find benefits as cabin upgrades, free specialty dining, gifts, and access to exclusive lounges and events onboard.
Holland America provides free cruise fares for the 3rd and 4th cruise passenger after earning 200 cruise credits.
At Platinum level, Norwegian Cruise Line rewards cruisers with complimentary specialty dining offerings at Cagney’s Steakhouse and La Cucina.
Some of the biggest sought-after perks are priority boarding, tendering, and disembarkation.   Cutting down on lines and wait times can be a nice privilege.  MSC even has a late check-out for disembarkation so you can enjoy the ship longer.
Carnival does have the FTTF (Faster To The Fun) program for expedited boarding and Royal Caribbean now offers priority boarding and disembarkation with a program called The Key.    These services cost extra but it’s a way of getting some of the rewards of a loyalty program without earning status.
The free services and amenities of a cruise line rewards program can be a nice touch as well.  Free laundry service, shoe-polishing (Princess), photos, and internet access are some of the special rewards you can earn by staying loyal to some cruise lines.
RELATED: 7 Ways to Bypass Lines on a Cruise
Cruising solo?  Some cruise lines (e.g. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity) will give you double points for staying in a double-occupancy cabin if you travel by yourself.
Below we will list 8 cruise lines and what perks are offered for each tier of their loyalty programs.

Carnival Cruise Line – VIFP Program

carnival loyalty program
9 cruise lines fall under the umbrella of Carnival Corporation, and the parent company operates over 100 cruise ships around the world.  Carnival Cruise Line is one of the most recognized lines in the world.  Its loyalty program is called VIFP Club, since the line sees every cruiser as a Very Important Fun Person, especially if they keep coming back for more cruises.
You can sign up for the VIFP Club before your cruise even begins and start enjoying member-only fares and specials.
Carnival has a 5-tier loyalty program.  The points for each status are based on the number of days sailed and not on how many cruises have been taken.
Every first-time cruiser with Carnival has Blue status and becomes Red after the 2nd sailing.  Red will include a free bottle of water in your stateroom.   Gold status is reached after 25 days at sea with Carnival and will include a free appreciation drink on a 5-night sailing or longer.
But it’s not until you’ve sailed with Carnival for at least 75 days that the real perks start making a difference.  This is where Platinum status is reached, and these perks are included:

  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Exclusive VIFP party with free drinks and appetizers
  • Free beverage at Seaday Brunch
  • “Chocolate Delight” plate delivered to stateroom (on 5+ night sailings)
  • Collectible pin with specific ship and sailing year
  • Priority spa reservations
  • Priority tender boarding (ship to shore only)
  • Buy one tournament entry at the casino, get one free (Blackjack or slots only; for passengers 21 years or older)
  • Complimentary arcade credits (a $5 value; for passengers 18 and under)
  • Carnival logo gift on every sailing
  • Dedicated onboard Guest Services phone number
  • Priority line at the Guest Services desk
  • Priority debarkation
  • Priority selection of main dining room seating (early, late or YourTime flexible dining) and priority specialty restaurant reservations
  • Complimentary wash-and-fold laundry services (two bags on three- to six-night cruises; three bags on seven- to 12-night cruises; five bags on 12-night cruises or longer)

After you’ve sailed on a Carnival cruise ship for more than 200 nights you will have reached the top tier of Diamond.   The perks will include everything you received with Platinum with the additional perks listed below:

  • Guaranteed main dining room and specialty restaurant reservations, in lieu of Platinum’s priority reservations
  • Unlimited complimentary wash-and-fold laundry services
  • Invitation from the Captain to a special event (such as dinner, a bridge tour or a cocktail party) on each sailing
  • One-time free cabin upgrade, or free third- and fourth-passenger fares
  • One-time donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, upon reaching Diamond level
  • One-time complimentary meal for two at a specialty restaurant of choice
  • Complimentary VIFP Club luggage tag set
  • Dedicated toll-free number for sales and services
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The post 8 Cruise Line Loyalty Programs Compared: Perks & Requirements appeared first on Cruise Fever.

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