I give up – I’m literally buried at work. This happens a select few times a year, and each time I try to deny it. In reality, there is no way I can maintain a normal posting schedule for a week to 10 days when this happens. I will be able to blog a bit, but not as much as I like. In the meantime, here’s a little Best of MJ on Travel content best on pageviews. This post originally appeared on April 2, 2013.

The Cruise Privileges Program is a benefit of the American Express Platinum card. The program offers a list of benefits for Cardmembers on select cruise lines sailing on itineraries of 5 nights or longer including:

  • Up to $300 dollars in on board credit per stateroom or a 2-category upgrade
  • An amenity that varies by cruise line

On Celebrity, we received a choice of wines (went with the Cakebread Chardonnay) and complimentary dining for two in a specialty restaurant of our choice. You can review the possible amenities from each of the participating cruise lines by clicking here and choosing the cruise line from the first “toggle down” menu.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to book your cruise with an American Express travel agent to enjoy the benefits of the program. Your travel agent can simply contact American Express to obtain a tracking number and then have the benefits applied to your cruise. Now, another point I’ve seen debated is that many believe that you must use your Platinum Card to pay for the cruise. However, I’ve been told by some that as long as you carry the Platinum Card, you can use any other American Express card in your name to pay. I have heard mixed results on the success of trying this, but I intend to press the issue on my next eligible booking. I think it’s worth trying, and would love to hear about any experiences that readers have had with this question.

The Cruise Privileges Program is one of my favorite benefits of being a Platinum Card holder. Coupled with the other benefits, most notably airport lounge access with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and US Airways, the annual fee of $450 dollars per year is more than justified for many travelers. If you have any questions about my experiences with the Cruise Privileges Program, feel free to comment to this post.

MJ, October 23, 2013