Like airlines and hotel chains, cruise lines invite repeat customers to join their reward programs. Points are scored for each cruise (or cruise night) a passenger books on the same line; as points accumulate, the value of the perks rises — from exclusive cocktail receptions and loyalty club lapel pins all the way up to free cruises. Joining an elite program is free. Nearly every operator has its own version, including the top premium and luxury lines, but how much sailing does it take to reap a sought-after reward?
In any frequent-cruiser program, the emphasis is firmly on frequent. Most reward programs kick in (often automatically) on a passenger’s second cruise, but in these early stages, the perks are rather slim. Members of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ loyalty program, Seven Seas Society, for example, qualify for a members-only cocktail reception after seven nights sailed. On Cunard Cruise Line, which originated a program rewarding its loyal passengers in the mid-19th century, two voyages or 20 nights sailed convert to two free hours on the Internet and a special cocktail party for its World Club members. Members of the Viking Explorer Society are feted at a members-only cocktail party on their second and all subsequent voyages on Viking River Cruises.
While no frequent-cruiser program offers points for dollars spent on your credit card, three lines allow for some reciprocity. Benefits accrued through Royal Caribbean International’s loyalty club, The Crown & Anchor Society, can be claimed aboard Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. All three lines have their own reward clubs, each with multiple tiers and some unique awards along the way (such as behind-the-scenes tours), and all top out with what frequent cruisers prize most: a free cruise. On Royal Caribbean, a free seven-night cruise is reached at the 700-point level (350 nights sailed in a suite, 700 in other classes), while on pricier Azamara Club Cruises and Celebrity Cruises, the threshold for a free cruise requires slightly fewer days at sea.
Oceania Cruises’ rewards program, Oceania Club, includes a free seven-day cruise after 20 cruises. Members of Silversea Cruises’ Venetian Society qualify for a free week’s cruise after 350 sailing days. Perhaps the quickest way to a free cruise for frequent sailors on any luxury cruise line is offered by Crystal Cruises, which awards members of its Crystal Society a complimentary seven-day cruise after as little as 13 extended voyages (of 16 days or more each).
So while it’s clearly a long stretch from free cocktails to free cruises, frequent-cruiser programs do pay off, albeit only with a sweet perk or two for all but the most frequent passengers.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.
The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”
The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.
Pride Month is in full swing and to celebrate the community, make a colorful cocktail everyone will enjoy. These colorful ingredients will get the party started during Pride or any time of the year. Start this recipe the night before to create the rainbow ice cubes.
Hotel San Luis Obispo partners with Harmony Cellars for the SLO in Harmony offer. The offer includes 15 percent off a two-night stay Sunday–Thursday, a complimentary wine tasting for two at Harmony Cellars, club member discounts at the winery for the day and the opportunity to explore the town of Harmony, California, population of 18 and located 30 miles from San Luis Obispo. Book online.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Enjoy additional perks at Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, with the Vitamin Sea, D & Me offer. Rates begin at $130 per night, including complimentary breakfast daily, a healthy starter at Arrecifes Restaurant, one poke bowl and one drink at El Palmar Restaurant. The use of one beachside pergola per stay is also included. The offer is valid on stays through Dec. 21, and use code S5706 to book.