RCI Revamps Loyalty Program

Guests rise among the tiers with cruise trip length and booking category By: Marilyn Green
Members of Royal Caribbean International’s loyalty clubs gain access to special lounges, services and events. // © 2011 Royal Caribbean International
Members of Royal Caribbean International’s loyalty clubs gain access to special lounges, services and events. // © 2011 Royal Caribbean International

The Details

Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society
www.royalcaribbean.com/crownandanchor

Royal Caribbean International
www.cruisingpower.com

Royal Caribbean International (RCI) has revamped its Crown & Anchor loyalty program with a number of changes that increase guests’ benefits and, in some cases, automatically raise them to a level higher on the scale. The reciprocal policy among RCI brands — Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises — also remains in effect.

“It’s important to understand that Crown & Anchor Society members will continue to enjoy all of their current program benefits and status, plus have the opportunity to advance to the next tier even faster than before,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of marketing. “For this one-time conversion, we have grandfathered everyone’s status in the program.”

Points are now awarded according to the length of the cruise with a point earned per day, and suite bookings receive double points. Cruise points are given for eligible cruises per paid stateroom category. These exclude specially reduced fares for employee/employee family rates, vendor rates, etc.

RCI has added two new tiers to the program, which brings the grand total to six tiers: Gold, Platinum, Emerald, Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle. The Gold level, starting at three points, provides benefits that include a quarterly online savings certificate, a booking bonus and a welcome-back party. The 30-point Platinum level brings a number of additions including priority check-in, a private departure lounge, a discount on balcony staterooms and suites and a ChoiceAir Plus fee waiver. The new Emerald tier, at 55 points, offers a welcome gift amenity with choice of beverage. The Diamond level, at 85 points, adds features that include the use of the Diamond Lounge on Freedom- and Oasis-class ships, priority departure dates and an exclusive nightly event. Diamond Plus, at 175 points, adds Concierge Lounge access.

Membership in the new Pinnacle Club requires 700 points, and its members receive a complimentary seven-night cruse in a balcony stateroom when they reach this level and another cruise when they reach 1,050 points. They will also receive another seven-night cruise at 1,400 points and, for every 350 points thereafter, they are given a complimentary stateroom in a junior suite along with their other benefits.

The reciprocal benefits of the loyalty programs will remain independent, and the number of sailings that a member accumulates on each brand will not be combined.

However, Platinum and above membership in Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society entitles guests to receive equivalent recognition in Celebrity Cruise’s Captain’s Club and Azamara Club Cruise’s Le Club Voyage. Those who are currently members of each loyalty program will automatically receive benefits based on the highest membership level. For instance, a Crown & Anchor Society Platinum or Emerald member who is a Captain’s Club Classic member is automatically entitled to the select level of benefits in the Captain’s Club and Explorer level in Le Club Voyage. Diamond or Diamond Plus members automatically receive equivalent recognition as a Captain’s Club Elite member or at the Discoverer level in Le Club Voyage.

Additionally, the Crown & Anchor Society website is being relaunched with a more personal approach. Members can choose custom settings for items such as automatic upgrades when a higher category stateroom becomes available, making upgrades automatic or indicating that they should be contacted first. Emerald-level and higher members with a booked sailing also can use the new member site to select new program benefits.

And a new promotion, ending April 30, gives members a $25 onboard credit per stateroom under the Bring a Friend program. The credit is for bringing friends who are taking their first Royal Caribbean cruise, and the credit can be redeemed for up to five staterooms. Guests who bring friends occupying three staterooms, for example, will receive a $75 in onboard credits. 

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