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.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Nice, France, with us.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
As a native of the Philadelphia region, I’m quite familiar with the drive in and out of the City of Brotherly Love. Even as the city’s skyline continually transforms, my favorite views of Philadelphia have always been along Boathouse Row, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art rising in the background, before looping around the museum to the flag-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Home to many of Philadelphia’s incredible and world-renowned museums, the Fairmount neighborhood is fittingly aesthetically pleasing and practically synonymous with fine art.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
Set to open in 2026, Rosewood San Francisco will be the last skyscraper developed in the downtown region for the foreseeable future. The projected 800-foot-tall property will host a hotel, residences, office and rental spaces. The brand’s third property in California will join Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.