I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel, dba Cruise Holidays.
Monday, May 26, 2014
Cruise Line Loyalty Programs, Part 2: Luxury and Specialty Cruise Lines
Most cruise lines offer some form of customer loyalty program – do the luxury and specialty lines offer truly luxurious benefits to their members?
Like the resort-style cruise lines, most luxury line loyalty clubs offer rewards like special “welcome back” gifts, discounts for onboard services and onboard cocktail receptions. One difference is that more luxury lines go beyond discounted fares to offer complimentary cruises to their most loyal customers.
Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Society offers savings on every voyage, up to and including free voyages. Members also earn shipboard credits, discounts on onboard services, and a preview of itinerary and fare announcements before they are released to the general public.
Members of the Oceania Club get advance notice of new Oceania Cruises itineraries. They can also receive shipboard credits ranging from $200 to $1,000, pre-paid gratuities, complimentary spa treatments, and – at the very top levels of membership – complimentary cruises.
Paul Gaugin Cruises, which specializes in the South Pacific, has a different type of program for frequent guests. The Ambassador Referral Program was created to “entice our past guests and our loyal fans to share their experience with friends, family and colleagues.” The reward goes both ways: the returning guest and the new guest each receive a $200 shipboard credit.
Members of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Society can earn lots of rewards and benefits, such as complimentary pressing of formal garments, priority reservations for shore excursions and specialty restaurants, and free customization of air travel arrangements.
The Venetian Society gives Silversea Cruises’ loyalists savings of 5% and more on selected voyages. Members who accumulate enough days on board can earn complimentary seven- and 14-day voyages. Silversea also offers the unique benefit of allowing member’s family and friends to visit the ship.
Seabourn Cruises’ Seabourn Club provides discounts on future cruises booked while on board, discounts on shore excursions, savings on premium wines and spirits, and complimentary massages in the shipboard spa. This club also offers some innovative benefits, such as discounts on luggage shipping services.
Note that you do have to show quite a bit of loyalty before earning top rewards for any cruise line. Loyalty clubs deliver the greatest benefit when cruising is your main mode of vacation travel, and when you consistently choose one cruise line over others.
Ask Anita, your travel professional, to help you keep track of your cruise line loyalty program status so that you can take full advantage of the benefits available to you.
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