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Having recently become a “free agent” when it comes to airlines, I have questioned whether loyalty is still rewarded with cruise lines or not so much. I have just recently achieved next to top status with NCL’s Latitudes Loyalty program and I do see some of the old standards of valuing those of us who have achieved the higher levels of status.
If you are just getting started with cruising there are advantages of sticking with one cruise line to pile up your loyalty rewards in one place. Than again, if the cruise line you started with wasn’t up to your expectations it can be good to try another to see if you prefer the unique aspects of how their cruises are organized. We will have a post soon to show how to take advantage of additional night credit deals, which is a great way to zoom up the loyalty status levels without having to live on ships to do it.
Another advantage of sticking with one cruise line is the familiarity you develop with how things are done on the ships, what to expect as far as food and accommodations, and you might even get to know some of the crew and see them again and again on the same ship or other ships in the fleet. It goes without saying that achieving the various levels of status comes with benefits like free specialty restaurant coupons, a free bag of laundry, priority embarkation/disembarkation and access to the concierge who can often do lots of special things for you.
I have shared how I have matched status with various cruise lines to book “free” cruises and will be eager to share my experiences and impressions with different cruise lines with those sailings. I have enjoyed being loyal to NCL since I began cruising over a decade ago for a lot of the same reasons I selected NCL for my first cruise. I like the way the ships are organized, the atmosphere on the ships and feeling like I’m back in familiar territory once I am onboard. While there is still a different feel on bigger ships than on smaller ships, overall there is a consistent NCL vibe that I enjoy. I look forward to seeing if I enjoy the other cruise lines I have booked as much! – René
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