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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

A Brief Guide to Premium Cruise Line Loyalty Programs

As airlines and hotel conglomerates continue to merge, a preoccupation on travelers’ minds is often loyalty perks and how their points will be honored by each individual brand. While there are no impending mergers on the horizon for cruise lines, they too offer enticing incentives for their loyalists. We took a look at the mainstream lines before, and today we’ll delve into the benefits afforded by premium cruise companies.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises has its Captain’s Club, featuring six tiers of status – Preview, Classic, Select, Elite, Elite Plus and Zenith. Joining the program even before setting sail at the Preview level will get you delivery of the club’s online newsletter and access to the exclusive club section of the website, and once you do take a cruise, the Loyalty Desk member service center is made available between sailings, club promotions apply to future cruise bookings made onboard and double points can be accrued by solo travelers. Plus, you can get a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards membership towards free rentals and with discounts, upgrades and other benefits therein.

Once you’ve taken your first sailing with Celebrity, you’ll receive points, at least two per cruise night or more per night on a scale depending on your level of accommodations onboard. At 2 to 149 points, you are considered Classic which adds to the base benefits the following perks: onboard Loyalty Host access, an exclusive celebration event, access to Reunion Cruise and President’s Cruise events, a one category upgrade up through the AquaClass, a free scoop of gelato and 10 percent discounts off any one internet package and photo package at the gallery.

At Select (150-299 points), you’re boosted up to a 25 percent discount off any one internet package and 15 percent off a photo package. Also, you get free pressing of two garments and one discounted bag of laundry service on voyages 12 nights or longer, as well as priority cruise embarkation, a free wine seminar, priority shore excursion waitlisting and a senior officer’s cocktail party. At Elite (300-749 points), the perks that are tacked on include club lounge and breakfast access, evening cocktail hours, elegant tea, a free 90 minute internet package, 20 percent discount off a photo package, complimentary access to Persian Garden on a port day, free dry-cleaning of one garment, one complimentary bag of laundry service, a priority onboard departure lounge and breakfast and priority tender service and waitlisting in the main dining room.

At the uppermost tiers, Elite Plus (750-2,999 points) members are upgraded with a 200-minute internet package; free tea, cappuccino, latte and espresso; a 10 percent discount off any beverage or wine package; 15 percent off any specialty restaurant and two bags of complimentary laundry service. And Zenith (3,000 plus points) members jump to a 1,600 minute internet package, unlimited complimentary laundry, a free beverage package, 25 percent off specialty dining, a free lunch at Bistro on Five when sailing consecutively, the chance to remain onboard longer on disembarkation day, priority theater seating, upgraded bath amenities, Michael’s Club lounge access and free luggage valet service from the ship to your final airport.

Also, when reaching the Zenith level, the club will make a charitable donation on behalf of the member, and the member will receive a free seven-night Caribbean or Bermuda cruise in a veranda stateroom. With every 3,000 points accrued thereafter, members get another complimentary Caribbean or Bermuda cruise in an AquaClass cabin. Plus, reciprocal benefits are granted across Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited’s other brands. Select level and higher members receive comparable perks in Royal Caribbean International’s Crown and Anchor Society and Azamara Club Cruises’ Le Club Voyage and vice versa with some restrictions.

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