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Royal Caribbean International has announced a number of changes to its popular loyalty program, the Crown and Anchor Society, that went into effect on March 10th.
First, Crown and Anchor members at the Emerald and above level will no longer be required to pre-select their welcome aboard beverage for delivery to their staterooms. Instead, you’ll simply receive additional complimentary bottles of water.
New Crystal Blocks
Starting this spring, you’ll begin to see a new crystal block design with the rollout of full color blocks. These blocks are a nice keepsake for Royal Caribbean’s most frequent guests. These begin at 140 cruise points, and you receive a new one for every 70 points earned We received our latest block last summer aboard Independence of the Seas when we passed 350 cruise points.
The ship image and background in the new blocks will be full color as opposed to the more “crystalize” image in the current blocks. Speaking for myself, I think I have a slight preference for the old design. What say you?
And There’s Wine
Royal Caribbean is also adding a wine bottle discount in addition to its already generous complimentary beverage benefit for Diamond and above cruisers. In addition to 4 or more complimentary cocktails per day depending on your elite status level, you’ll now receive a discount of 20 percent off bottles over $100 and 40 percent off bottles under $100. I think this is a great enhancement!
Improved Amenities for Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Members
Finally, Royal Caribbean has announced an improved list of amenities for its most loyal cruisers, including new toiletry and tote bags in addition to others. You can view the complete list of amenities here. Make sure you contact Crown and Anchor at least 10 days before your cruise to make your choices if you wish to partake of any of the new amenities. You do not need to make a selection for every cruise. Your profile will reflect your choices, and if you wish to keep the same amenities, no need to call.
The Bottom Line
I think these changes are pretty good, especially if you’re a Frequent Floater, that is, a Diamond or above member of Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society. What do you think? – MJ
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I’m a member of both Royal Caribbean’s and Celebrity’s loyalty programs, but neither offers me reasons to cruise with them more often. I’d much rather RCI create an umbrella program, that includes those two lines, plus SilverSea and Hapag-Lloyd, and have a redeemable point structure that would incentivize aspirational cruising. That would make me sail with them more.
@Tom, I agree with you that it would be nice if the cruise industry took a page (but only one page) from the major hotel companies and create loyalty programs across all of their flags. I have sailed on Oceania and Regent and about to sail on NCL and all three have their own loyalty programs with no reciprocal benefits despite all being owned by NCL. It would probably get me to look up and down the ladder from Oceania more often if my status and points earning potential carried across all three, but instead we stay focused on Oceania because we do see value in being loyal with increasing OBC and eventually pre-paid gratuities and even a free cruise if we stick with Oceania. This would be an even bigger deal with Carnival and Royal as they have so many more lines under them than NCL.
@René, unrelated to this post but I think you should do a Shareholder Benefit article (or a series across the three majors). This is one of the only things that DOES carry across all the lines controlled by each company. Given how beaten-up cruise line stock prices are it’s a fairly low barrier to entry to get the 100 shares required to start benefitting from these programs. Admittedly there’s still significant risk with these companies given how much debt they’ve taken on to stay afloat the past few years. Caveat emptor.
@DLPTATL – Great idea thank you.