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From discounts on shore excursions to spa treatments, showing loyalty to Princess Cruises just got more rewarding

July 01, 2021
4 min read
Star Princess
From discounts on shore excursions to spa treatments, showing loyalty to Princess Cruises just got more rewarding
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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.

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A Princess Cruises ship. (Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

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.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image by The Princess Cruises ship Star Princess. (Photo courtesy of Star Princess)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023