OK, now that I have your attention. If you’ve been reading for a while you may have picked up on the fact that I like to cruise. In fact, I am absolutely convinced of a couple of things:
- I could spend many months on a ship without skipping a beat; and
- If my father had taken me to the seaport when I was six years old instead of the airport, my life would probably have turned out differently (not better, just differently)
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about a nautical mileage run. My preferred cruise line, Royal Caribbean, has a loyalty program called The Crown & Anchor Society. While you don’t earn “miles” for cruising in the same way you might earn miles for flying, you do earn points (1 for each night at sea, 2 points per night when you book a suite) for cruising. Your points qualify you for varying levels of elite status, with each new elite tier offering you more in the way of perks. Think of these points as being more like elite qualifying miles than anything else. You can’t spend these points for travel, but the more points you have, the higher your elite status. In the case of Royal Caribbean, there are 6 (yes, 6!) levels of status, Gold, Platinum, Emerald, Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle. You can read about the varying levels of benefits here. Pinnacle status was added most recently, and suffice it to say, you need to have spent a LOT of nights at sea to earn this, though I expect Mrs MJonTravel and I will eventually get there, but that’s a post retirement goal.
Better yet, you can share your elite status with your spouse, so Mrs MJonTravel and I share status, most recently Diamond Level. We have a big 14-night (actually two 7-night back to back cruises) aboard Royal Caribbean’s gynormous Allure of the Seas later this fall, and have been so close to Royal’s very desirable Diamond Plus elite level. We both thought that having Diamond Plus status when we board Allure would be much better than earning it during the cruise, especially for Concierge access. The mileage runner in me couldn’t help myself. We both had a few spare vacation days, and the Labor Day holiday week seemed like a the ideal time to do something novel. Something like a “nautical mileage run.” A quick cruise would give us the extra points we needed to make it to Diamond Plus, so that’s what we did. We booked a neat little cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas, had a great time, earned some points, got some much needed rest, and guess what, we’re Diamond Plus! So call me crazy, but we took a nautical mileage run. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for status?