Last updated: 12:57 PM ET, Fri October 07 2016

A Brief Guide to Upscale Cruise Line Loyalty Programs

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Azamara Club Cruises | Jason Leppert | April 13, 2016

A Brief Guide to Upscale Cruise Line Loyalty Programs

After looking at mainstream and premium cruise line loyalty programs, it’s time to ramp up to the upscale, upmarket or premium plus (as I like to call it) category of companies. Gathered below are breakdowns of the frequent cruising and referral benefits offered by lines a notch above premium brands and just shy of luxury levels.

Azamara Club Cruises

Azamara Club Cruises rewards loyal guests with points and five levels of status in its Le Club Voyage program. Points are earned according to the cabin or suite category one sails in, with at least two points accrued per night onboard and double points bestowed upon solo travelers. Additionally, the line is now offering a new benefit wherein members get a $300 future cruise credit for every new referral that books and sails.

Overseeing all of the line’s loyalty is a singular ambassador, Nicole Lukacs, putting a friendly face to the program, and common to all tiers is quarterly 10 percent savings for select cruises, $398 per cabin category upgrades, an invite to special club cruises, ambassador and onboard hostess access, membership desk, onboard club party, exclusive news and offers, and bonus savings with Hertz.

Specifically, Adventurer (up to 149 points after first cruise) members receive onboard future cruise savings of 3 percent plus 50 percent reduced deposits and $200 in shipboard credits for reserved sailings. Also, they get 30 free internet minutes and a 10 percent discount off spa treatments. Bumping up to the Explorer (150 to 299 points) level raises the future cruise savings to 4 percent, and members are entitled to two free nights on a cruise booked within a year of reaching said status. Plus, 60 free internet minutes are assigned, as is one complimentary bag of laundry service and an increased 15 percent spa discount. 

Then at the Discoverer (300 to 749 points) level, the future cruise savings goes up again to 5 percent, and four free nights are earned. This tier also provides 90 free internet minutes and an increased 20 percent spa discount. Beyond the earlier laundry benefit, members additionally get priority check-in at select ports, an exclusive onboard gathering for Discoverer members and above and a jewelry shop savings of 5 percent when $1,000 or more is spent or 10 percent when $2,000 or more is spent.

Discoverer Plus (750 to 2,999 points) raises the future cruise savings to 7 percent and comes with six complimentary nights (plus three free at 1,500 points and three more free at 2,250 points), 120 free internet minutes and an increased 25 percent spa discount. Lastly, Discoverer Platinum (3,000 plus points) ups the future cruise savings to 10 percent and includes 10 complimentary nights (plus three free at each 750 points thereafter) and 150 free internet minutes.

Also within the Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited family of brands, reciprocal benefits are enjoyed by Azamara guests on Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International with all levels matching Celebrity equivalents and Explorer lining up with Platinum and Emerald and Discoverer lining up with Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle at Royal Caribbean.

Oceania Cruises

The Oceania Club for Oceania Cruises loyalty comes with seven levels of membership status assigned by cruise credit, one to fifteen accrued per sailing depending on the voyage length. With 2 to 4 credits, Blue guests get membership pins, an OLife magazine subscription, members-only offers, early notice of new itineraries, a private cocktail reception and 10 percent discount off logo merchandise. With benefits snowballing from there, Bronze (5 to 9 credits) guests additionally get a $200 onboard credit and a 20 percent discount off an internet package.

At 10 to 14 credits, Silver members receive an extra $200 in onboard credits ($400 total), free prepaid gratuities and a 10 percent discount off the Unlimited Passport shore excursion collection and any beverage package. Gold (15 to 19 credits) members tack on a $100 more in onboard credits ($500 total), two free spa treatments and two free Air Deviation fee waivers.

The Platinum (20 to 39 credits) tier comes with a free cruise and additional $100 in onboard credits ($600 total) and an extra 10 percent discount off an internet package (30 percent total). The Diamond (40-59 credits) tier also come with a free cruise plus another $400 in onboard credits ($1,000 total), 10 percent more savings off the Unlimited Passport shore excursion collection (20 percent total) and 20 percent more savings off an internet package (50 percent total).

Also, new is the President’s Circle level at 60 plus credits, where guests also get a free cruise,  General Manager's VIP List and unlimited free internet time, a complimentary Select beverage package, free laundry and an extra 5 percent discount off the Unlimited Passport Collection shore excursion package (25 percent total).

Viking Ocean Cruises

Whether by ocean or by river, Viking Cruises guests are automatically enrolled in the Viking Explorer Society program upon taking their first cruise. That means perks are reciprocal between Viking Ocean Cruises and Viking River Cruises. Loyalty benefits are simple: special news and offers, a complimentary cocktail reception and travel credits in amounts dependent on how long it has been since your last cruise. Guests who book a new cruise within one year of sailing will get $200, and those who reserve a new cruise within two years will get $100.

The most robust benefits are saved for Viking’s referral program wherein the referring and referred parties receive travel credits. The referrer gets $100 per referred person ($200 per couple) if used within a year of issue, and referred travelers enjoy a $100 per person savings themselves off their first cruise.

Plus, the $100 per referral perk applies up to 12 people, and once a thirteenth person is referred within a calendar year, a free river cruise is granted up to $3,300 in value. Then the program resets with the ability to be rewarded all aver again.


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