Cruising with MJ – Elite Status with Royal Caribbean
Did I save the best for last? I think so, but that’s not really the rhyme in my reason. Royal Caribbean is the cruise line I’m most experienced with, I hold the highest elite status with, and frankly, I just like the way they do things. As I told the folks who attended The Cruising Crowd last fall in Chicago, I am an unapologetic Royal Caribbean fanboy. That’s not to say that I can’t find things I like better about other lines, believe me, I can. It’s just that for me, overall, Royal Caribbean provides the all around cruise vacation that best fits the most of my desires.
The crown and anchor are a symbol of Royal Caribbean, and the name of their loyalty program is The Crown and Anchor Society (CAS). Past guests are eligible to join after their first Royal Caribbean cruise, when you will be afforded Gold status. Gold is just the beginning as there are six, yes, six levels of elite status in the program. Those levels are Gold, Platinum, Emerald, Diamond, Diamond Plus (aka MJ level), and Pinnacle Club.
As you might imagine, each of those levels requires an ever increasing number of points. Program members earn one cruise point for each night of your cruise with opportunities to earn bonus points for Junior Suite and above accommodations.
Gold and Platinum levels offer a basic level of elite benefits. including onboard discounts, a welcome back party, and priority check in. Platinum members, in addition, receive robes for use on board, the much coveted lapel pin, and an onboard even in addition to the the welcome back even all returning cruisers receive.
At 55 cruise points, you will be elevated to Emerald status which offers a welcome back amenity in addition to the usual Platinum and Gold benefits. At the Diamond level (80 points) the amenities become more respectable with access to a Diamond Lounge on select ships or an exclusive nightly Diamond Event on ships that don’t have a specific lounge. The nightly Diamond event is a favorite of mine because it offers the chance to sit down with your fellow cruise enthusiasts over a complimentary drink and share stories. Mrs. MJ would tell you that this is the biggest difference between lounge access with an airline vs. lounge access with a cruise line. On airlines, you’re looking to get away from others while on a cruise, you look forward to visiting with like-minded cruisers. In addition, you’ll receive priority wait lists for shore excursions and spa visits, a daily breakfast including complimentary specialty coffees, and priority departure services.
At 175 points, members are afforded Diamond Plus status. Diamond Plus status offers onboard dining table choices, special onboard gifts, exclusive cruise reservations phone access, and even special luggage tags. Beyond these benefits, Diamond Plus members receive complimentary stateroom upgrades when available. Diamond Plus members are also afforded Concierge Lounge access on equipped ships.Notably, single members who have achieved 340 cruise points are afforded with a discount or a 150 percent single supplement for staterooms as opposed to the usual 200 percent supplement. You’ll also be dining with an officer of the ship at 340 points.
The next level of status is known as Pinnacle Club, and pinnacle it is. 700 cruise points are required for this truly elite status. In addition to all the benefits afforded Diamond Plus and below status members, you wil receive a complimentary cruise at 750 and 1050 points, and a complimentary cruise in a Junior Suite stateroom at 1,400 points and every 350 points thereafter.
Pinnacle Club offers additional benefits that I’m sure aren’t even published. You can review the specifics of each elite level here.
As a Diamond Plus member, I’ve received bridge tours, fruit baskets, any number of snacks in the stateroom, bottles of wine, etc. In fact, I have the option of selecting what kind of wine and snack I want delivered on day 1 on the Royal Caribbean website.
Further, there are numerous benefits afforded to Royal Caribbean elite members via reciprocity with sister lines Celebrity and Azamara. These are issues I will cover in my elite status reciprocity post. And I haven’t even gotten into M Life reciprocal benefits which have received much coverage on the blogs from an airline perspective, but none from the cruise line perspective.
In summary, I think Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society is an excellent loyalty program. I’ve only hit the highlights here. You can research more yourself on royalcaribbean.com, or feel free to contact me directly with questions. While the program is a bit heavy on elite status levels, I think the benefits offered are excellent. Not to mention you get to sail on Royal Caribbean’s beautiful ships!! Feel free to comment with issues you think I’ve failed to mention here!
-MJ, June 27, 2013