The one where Princess Cruises added a tier to their loyalty program…

captains-club-logo-smallA new level dubbed ‘Medallion’ has been added to Princess Cruises’ ‘Captain’s Circle’ loyalty program this week.

Designed to enable passengers to reach a higher tier quicker, ‘Captain’s Circle’ members will be able to reach this new status when sailing on a fourth of fifth cruise or between 31 and 50 cruise days, with the new level sitting neatly in between the current ‘Gold’ and ‘Platinum’ levels of Princess’ loyalty program.

“We know Gold members are often anxious to reach the next tier, so this new level will add some benefits before they become Platinum members,” Princess Cruises executive vice president Jan Swartz said.

Those eligible for ‘Medallion’ status will receive ‘Gold’ level benefits plus additional perks including: a ten percent discount on the price of a Reflections DVD; exclusive shoreside access to the ‘Captain’s Circle’ helpdesk phone line; and a special ‘Medallion’ member pin.

This amendment to yet another loyalty program got me thinking about what it actually means to be a member of these special societies reserved for regular, loyal cruisers.

Does a pin make me feel special? Or an invitation to an exclusive cocktail party? Well yes, maybe it does a little, but will invitations like that dictate which cruise line I will sail with. Not particularly.

I may be in the minority though. I spoke with a wonderful family from Georgia last year aboard Carnival Liberty, they had never sailed with another cruise line and never had any intention of doing so. I tried to explain that perhaps trying something else out after 50+ cruises with Carnival might be fun but they just wouldn’t have a bar of it.

Their mentality was along the lines of the old adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and good on them! They were sold and it wasn’t because of the amount of pins or gold trophies they had collected over the years either – it was a combination of the quality service, itineraries, homeport options and product. They just LOVED Carnival!

So over to you cruisers…are you a member of a loyalty program…or several? Do these added benefits encourage you to sail with a particular line? If so, what are the things that you are after as a loyalty club member?

Is it the express disembarkation? The platter of fruit in your room? Or is it just the fact that you are being acknowledged in general for standing by a line when there is so much competition out there?

We’d love to hear your comments either by posting them below or on our Facebook page.




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