Royal Caribbean Plans Late Christmas Gift for Some Passengers

The cruise line had an epic comeback from the pandemic and it plans to reward loyal customers.

Loyalty drives the cruise business. Every cruise line has a program that both rewards loyal members and provides ways for them to connect. They include special perks like captain’s receptions, loyalty lounges, special sailings, welcome gifts, and onboard discounts.

Every cruise line does it a little differently, but the goal is to lock in customers so they sail on the same cruise line each time. The perks can range from small (a pin denoting your status or a bottle of water in your room) to really meaningful like Royal Caribbean offering Diamond and above Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members four free drinks per day that can be used at any time on the ship or at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

That’s a very valuable benefit that grew out of the pandemic. Before covid, Royal Caribbean offered a happy hour in its Diamond Lounge where Diamond (and higher) members could drink free for a couple of hours. That caused people to crowd in the lounge, which wasn’t great when an easily-communicable virus was a major concern.

That led to the popular change where Diamond-level guests get four drinks per day, Diamond+ gets five, and Pinnacle gets six each day. With alcoholic drinks costing over $10 (usually $14 each) that’s a very valuable benefit that makes it harder for loyal Royal Caribbean customers to even consider another cruise line.

Now, Royal Caribbean has shared plans to add new perks for high-level Crown & Anchor members as part of celebrating the program’s 25th anniversary in 2023.

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Royal Caribbean Has Big Plans for 2023     

Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor Society Director Courtney Brant recently said that commemorations and festivities are planned to celebrate the loyalty program’s 25th anniversary. It will be a full year of celebrating the anniversary, the Royal Caribbean Blog reported.

In an email to Crown and Anchor Society members, Brant “specifically mentions that the celebrations will kick off on an exciting note by unveiling new, fresh, and redesigned program gifts, along with onboard amenities, to recognize members’ loyalty to Royal Caribbean,” the blog, which is not affiliated with its namesake cruise line, shared.

Brant did not offer any specifics. The changes could include special gifts that acknowledge the anniversary and perhaps sailings that celebrate the event.

“The festivities will also kick off with Royal Caribbean’s first-ever Coffee Talk, which is described as a virtual webinar that will be hosted quarterly by the loyalty team. Brant shares that these virtual webinars will also feature special guest appearances from company leaders throughout next year,” the website added.

MSC, Virgin Want Royal Caribbean’s Most-Loyal Members

Royal Caribbean incentivizes its best customers to remain loyal. It also offers Crown and Anchor members a status match on its higher-end Celebrity line. The perks aren’t exactly the same, but they’re similar, which gives the company’s best customers more options.

MSC and Virgin Voyages, two companies that want to take customers from Royal Caribbean, also offer a status match. The MSC version of that, which requires filling out an online form, does not offer equal perks to comparable Crown and Anchor levels, but it does come with some bonuses.

Matched members traveling on MSC get invited to a special reception for the cruise line’s most loyal guests and they get special lines in certain situations.

Virgin Voyages offers what it calls its Match and Sea More Program for rewards program members with another cruise line.

“We’re going to match select benefits and give you (much) more the minute you book a voyage,” the cruise line shared on its website. 

People who qualify get “Sea-Rover” status on the upstart cruise line.

Those benefits include Deep Blue Extras, “a collection of unrivaled luxuries that elevate you to VIP treatment including (but not limited to) perks like an exclusive cocktail event, access to dedicated Sailor Services support onboard, and starting on January 1, 2023, a $100 Bar Tab bonus on us,” the cruise line shared.


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