From discounts on shore excursions to spa treatments, showing loyalty to Princess Cruises just got more rewarding
Showing loyalty to Princess Cruises just got more rewarding.
The California-based line on Thursday announced several new perks for top-tier Platinum and Elite members of its Captain's Circle loyalty program, including:
- a 10% discount on shore excursions
- a 10% discount on spa treatments
- a 10% discount on photo gallery offerings
- exclusive, early access to Dine My Way dining reservations
In addition, Princess will now give Platinum and Elite members a 50% discount on the unlimited, premium Wi-Fi with MedallionNet internet packages that are available on its ships.
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This latter perk will replace the limited number of free minutes of internet that Platinum and Elite members of the Captain's Club have gotten on Princess ships until now.
Platinum and Elite members have been receiving 150 to 500 minutes of free internet per cruise, depending on cruise length.
Among the world’s biggest cruise lines, Princess traditionally has had one of the more modest loyalty programs, with just four tiers (Gold, Ruby, Platinum and Elite) and relatively limited rewards even at the highest tiers.
Until now, one of the most valuable perks that Princess offered to its most loyal passengers was complimentary laundry service (at the top Elite level).
The new discounts for top-tier members on shore excursions, spa treatments and photo gallery offerings are a first for the line.
The new exclusive access to Dine My Way reservations will allow Platinum and Elite members of the Captain's Circle program to book restaurant reservations in advance of sailings even before they've made final payment for a cruise. That's something Princess cruisers haven't been able to do until now.
The new perks for Platinum and Elite members of the Captain's Circle program are in addition to such longstanding Platinum and Elite perks as priority check-in at embarkation and access to a disembarkation lounge on the last day of a cruise.
Related: The ultimate guide to Princess Cruises
Elite members only have also gotten and will continue to get priority access to ship-to-shore shuttles, priority disembarkation, a complimentary minibar setup in their cabins, complimentary shoe shines while onboard ships and several other benefits.
How to get the new perks
Members of the Captain's Circle program can rise through its tiers to the Platinum and Elite level two different ways -- either by hitting milestones for "cruise credits" or for "cruise days."
In most cases, members earn 1 “cruise credit” for each cruise they take and 1 “cruise day” for every night spent on a ship. So on a typical seven-night cruise, you would earn 7 cruise days in addition to 1 cruise credit.
But Princess also doubles your cruise credit earnings if you sail in a full suite (mini-suites, Club Class suites and upgrades to suites are excluded) or sail solo.
Members need six cruise credits or 51 cruise days to reach the Platinum level. They hit Elite level after 16 cruise credits or 151 cruise days.
Note that, as is often the case with cruise line loyalty programs, Princess customers do not have to requalify for status each year. Captain’s Circle members keep their points at the end of each year and continue to accrue points indefinitely. That means that someone who hits Elite status will remain at that top tier level forever (or until Princess makes a change to the program).
Such “forever status” is one of the great allures of cruise line frequent cruiser programs. Most airline frequent flyer programs, by contrast, require loyalty members to requalify for status each year.
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