Last week I shared my airline and hotel loyalty statuses and thought it would be good to see where I am with cruise lines. I have sailed on six different lines for 231 days at sea so keeping up is hard even for me. 🙂
In examining where I am with each cruise line, I’ve listed them in alphabetical order.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival is the cruise brand I’ve sailed most frequently with 10 cruises under my belt giving me Platinum status. The best thing about being platinum are the perks:
- Priority boarding (right behind the diamonds which is currently the only level above mine)
- Separate guest services line
- Free laundry
Even though I earned this level, this is no longer a favorite cruise line for me and it has nothing to do with my hurricane impacted cruise. It’s about the food and entertainment which have been cut back too much (especially the food quality). That being said, I will sail them for the right price, itinerary or fellow guests.
We’ve been on just three Celebrity Cruises sailings and although I enjoyed them, I think it’s not the perfect match. They charge way too much for specialty dining, internet and just about everything else.
Because of our lack of loyalty, we have Select Captain’s Club status. This doesn’t really give us much but that’s understandable. Having said that, this is another line I would sail for the right price and itinerary.
Holland America Line
Holland America Line is our favorite and I was happy to sail on them twice in the past year. They go by stars instead of precious metals or jewels in their tiers. This gives me a two star but only 13 credits away from three.
What I like about the Holland America loyalty program, Mariner Society, is that you get credit not only for nights sailed but also spending. So if I buy too many cocktails, it might give me an extra credit. 😉
There really aren’t any good perks for one or two star mariners, but at 3 star it gets interesting with discounts on specialty restaurants and some other on-board purchases. We plan to take some of the longer, unique Holland America itineraries once I retire so those points should build fast then.
Norwegian Cruise Line
The Norwegian Epic cruise a couple of years ago put me at Silver level which is only the second tier but gives me discounts on shore excursions (10%), photos (20%), spa treatments (15% in port) and the gift shop logo purchases (15%). All loyalty members get a bottle of sparkling wine and free minutes with purchase of internet packages.
I may go up after the Epic cruise coming up; I can’t remember if I get double points for booking so far in advance or not. The next level brings a discount on laundry plus a free bottle of water in addition to other perks. 🙂
With just one Princess sailing under my belt, I’m at the lowest Captain’s Circle tier which is gold. There really aren’t any benefits to speak of at this level or the next.
Princess has some interesting itineraries and I’m not saying never but I’m not a fan of the cabin layouts.
Royal Caribbean International
I have four past cruises on Royal Caribbean but three were 10 days or longer resulting in Platinum status. At this point the benefits are not that great but we do use the on-board discounts for specialty coffees and drinks.
I’m moving up to Emerald after my next Royal Caribbean cruise but the good benefits start at Diamond where you get free alcoholic beverages every evening. Only 24 points to go after my next cruise!
It’s clear the status isn’t a consideration when we’re booking cruise vacations. Instead, I’m focusing on itinerary, prices and schedules. Is loyalty status important to you when booking cruises?
Christie Hawkes says
Hello Kay Lynn. My husband and I used to cruise quite a bit–on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. We loved both. In more recent years, we’ve found a B&B on the beach in Mazatlan that we love and made good friends with the owners. Given that I have limited vacation days, we’ve been spending most of them in Mazatlan. However, once I retire, I will have more flexibility to travel, and we definitely want to cruise again. Getting back to your question about loyalty status, we don’t choose a destination or a cruise line because of loyalty programs, but we do like the comfort that comes from familiarity and tend to choose the same carrier over and over (if we were pleased, of course). Happy travels to you!
Hi Christie! My husband would prefer to vacation like you, but he knows how much I enjoy cruising. Living close to Mexico we’ve traveled there quite a bit but recently have chosen to vacation on the Caribbean side instead of the colder, rougher pacific.