Cruise Line Loyalty Rewards Programs (Part 3)

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013

Royal Caribbean's loyalty program has decent benefits but it takes more cruises to attain them.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

The recent changes in the Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society instigated this article. In April 2009, Royal Caribbean announced rollbacks in its loyalty program spurring members to protest online in CruiseMates and other cruise consumer web sites. The line reïnstated some of these benefits, although with modifications.

Then in June, 2010, they upgraded their loyalty program again. In truth, this monstar has gooten so complicated it is almost as if they hope you will forget half of it.

Now, only Crown & Anchor Society members can reserve their next cruise onboard. The new and exclusive Onboard Booking Bonus gives you an onboard credit of up to $200 USD, and when you use it with your Crown & Anchor Society Savings Certificate for a discount off your next cruise vacation you can save more than ever before - when you reserve onboard.

The Royal Caribbean program includes the standard onboard cocktail parties, subscriptions to the cruise line magazine, and access to special discounts. The program comes in four levels and all of the benefits are transferred to the next level:

  1. Gold -- beginning with cruise number two
  2. Platinum -- beginning with cruise number six
  3. Diamond -- beginning with cruise number eleven
  4. Diamond Plus -- beginning with cruise number 25

Gold Level:

After your first cruise you are automatically admitted to the Crown and Anchor Society and you receive:

  • An invitation to the Crown and Anchor cocktail party
  • An onboard discount booklet called the "Ultimate Value Booklet"
  • A special booklet with discounts for kids.
  • A special savings certificate offered online with a new one offered every quarter
  • Advance notice of special cruise offers, new deployment and itineraries

Platinum Level:

At the next level, achieved after your fifth cruise, you add the following:

  • Priority check-in
  • A private lounge on disembarkation day
  • A special event onboard just for Platinum and higher levels.
  • Free use of bathrobes supplied in your cabin and a signature lapel pin.
  • Special cruise planning benefits to help you plan your next cruise. These include a special phone number and no charge for custom air arrangements (but not "choice air").
  • Discounts available for balcony cabins and suites

Diamond Level:

In addition to the above two levels' benefits, after your 10th cruise you receive:

  • Priority wait listing for sold out shore excursions
  • A special amenity delivered to your stateroom
  • Priority departure on disembarkation day
  • An exclusive Diamond event with free drinks
  • Access to a special lounge called the Diamond Lounge on Freedom and Oasis-class ships where there is a happy hour every night with free wine and champagne or 25% off other drinks. This lounge has snacks and a concierge to help to plan shore excursions and special dining reservations. On other ships, a designated lounge will be assigned nightly for complimentary champagne or wine. If you want to order a cocktail, you receive a 25% discount. Continental breakfast will be set up with the same concierge services as the Concierge Lounge used to offer.
  • Priority departure from ship
  • Exclusive Nightly Diamond and Diamond Plus Event4
  • Daily breakfast with specialty coffees
  • Milestone Recognition
  • Behind-the-scenes entertainment tour
  • Priority waitlist seating request in the main dining room
  • Complimentary space-available stateroom upgrades

Diamond Plus:

Upon your 25th cruise you receive:

  • Concierge Lounge access on all Royal Caribbean ships where there is a happy hour every night with free wine and champagne or 25% off other drinks. This lounge also has concierge services like restaurant reservations and shore excursion tockets. This amenity used to be awarded to the Diamond level, but that was modified earlier in 2009. After complaints, Diamond members were given access to this lounge on Freedom and Oasis-class ships and the special breakfast concierge service was established on other classes of ships.
  • A "personalized amenity" of your choice delivered to your stateroom. The list of items changes frequently so members can choose from new things from cruise to cruise. These amenities generally include logo items, champagne and wines or other items.
  • A behind the scenes tour of the ship
  • Preferred seating in the dining room, ice shows, AquaTheater and the deck pools.
  • Access to favorite Captain's or Cruise Directors' sailing schedule
  • Exclusive access to Diamond Plus call center staff members
  • Membership card, luggage tag and lapel pin
  • Single supplement cruise fare reduced to 150% for members that have 49 or more cruise credits
  • Complimentary 7-night cruise in a Balcony stateroom for 100 and 150 cruise credits
  • Complimentary 7-night cruise in a Junior Suite stateroom for 200, 250 and 300 cruise credits

The new Ultimate Value Booklet varies depending your level, Here are the benefits:

Gold The onboard Ultimate Value Booklet features many offers including spa, casino and shopping, and they've added some new one's like a discount on a beverage, an Internet discount and a photo offer.

Platinum In addition to offers on spa, casino and shopping, they've added some new one's like a discount on a beverage, an Internet discount and laundry/dry cleaning and photo offers.

Diamond In addition to offers on spa, casino and shopping, they've added some new one's like 30 minutes of free Internet plus 20% off online packages, savings on laundry/dry cleaning/pressing and a free photo.

Diamond Plus In addition to offers on spa, casino and shopping, they've added some new one's like 45 minutes of free Internet plus 20% off online packages, a free bag of laundry and a free photo.

Members with 49 or more cruise credits get yet another "Additional Amenity" and add yet another if you have 74 credits or more.


Daily Breakfast for Diamond/Diamond Plus they invite you to enjoy your first meal of the day in an Exclusive Breakfast Area, a special location in the Main Dining room, designated for Diamond and Diamond Plus members on ships without a Diamond Lounge. Everyday from approximately 8:00 am to 10:00 am, enjoy a full breakfast and complimentary specialty coffees as you share travel stories and make plans with other members. A member of our staff will also be available to provide assistance with onboard activities and other services.

The exact time and location will be communicated by the Loyalty Ambassador in the theylcome letter to be placed in your stateroom on the first day of your cruise.

they now offer either the Diamond Lounge or a Diamond Event on every ship in our fleet. On ships with a Concierge Lounge, it will be limited to Diamond Plus and Suite guests (excluding Junior Suites).

Exclusive Nightly Diamond VIP Event This exclusive event will take place from approximately 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm (might vary by ship and itinerary) in a bar or lounge on every ship. This event will be announced by your Loyalty Ambassador onboard in the theylcome letter to be placed in your stateroom on the first day of your cruise vacation. they will offer complimentary wine and champagne and a 'happy hour' discount of 25 percent off beer, liquor and fountain soda drinks. There is a limit of one drink per member to be served at one time.

They now offer either the Diamond Lounge or a Diamond Event on every ship in our fleet. On ships with a Concierge Lounge, it will be limited to Diamond Plus and Suite guests (excluding Junior Suites).

The Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor Society is a complex loyalty program, which makes it better than most, but still somewhat confusing. You can transfer status between sister cruise line Celebrity Cruises/Azamara and vice versa, whichever program has the higher ranking, but you cannot combine the points. The fact that some perks were recently changed makes it even more confusing, so this is one program where we recommend you check online for the latest updates. We have to say we think changing loyalty programs, unless you only make them for the better, is a very risky business. A loyalty program is an investment made by cruisers, and changing what you originally promised can make a lot of people upset.

Continue Article >> Premium cruise lines' reward programs: Celebrity and Azamara Cruises (Cont.) (Part 4)

Page 1: Introduction to Cruise Loyalty Programs Page 2: Mainstream Lines, Carnival, NCL Page 3: Royal Caribbean Page 4: Premium Lines: Celebrity and Azamara Page 5: Disney and Holland America Page 6: Oceania, Princess & Windstar Page 7: Luxury Lines: Crystal Page 8: Cunard Lines Page 9: Regent Seven Seas Cruises Page 10: Seabourn, Silversea and Rating all Reward Programs

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