Every cruise line has a loyalty program and Carnival is no different. Carnival Cruises has the “flattest” past guest recognition loyalty program of all the cruise lines, with two tiers:
- On your second cruise with Carnival, you are upgraded to the Gold Member status of the Past Guest Recognition program.
- On your 10th cruise, you are upgraded to the Platinum Member status of the Past Guest Recognition program.
That’s it! No strange schedules to remember, no points system to confuse you, no partners that let you earn points in strange ways – just look at the number of sailings and you know what tier you’re in. I wish more loyalty programs were as simple as Carnival’s Past Guest Recognition Program. So, what does the program get you?
Gold Member Benefits
With Gold Membership, you are signed up to their newsletter and you receive special cruise offers for only past guests. You will get a special Gold Sail & Sign card for use on the ship plus invitation to a special cocktail reception on cruises of 5 days or longer. The main appeal of Gold membership is in the special offers, you can get significant discounts over the traditional rates.
Platinum Member Benefits
With your 10th sailing comes Platinum Member benefits, which include all of the Gold Member benefits plus – personalized stationary, a special Carnival logo item, guaranteed dining times and steakhouse reservations, a complimentary $20 entry fee into a blackjack or slots tournament, priority reservations at the Spa, complimentary wash and fold laundry service, priority boarding, embarkation and debarkation, plus $5 in arcade tokens for guests under 18.
In addition to the two tiers of membership, there is also the Milestone program. On your 25th, 50th, and 75th sailings on a Fun Ship cruise, you will receive a shipboard credit of 25%, 50%, or 75% of your cruise fare. On your 100th, you earn a “complimentary Caribbean, Mexican Riviera or Alaskan voyage up to eight days in length.”
Book Short Cruises
If you’re trying to move your way up to Platinum membership, a common technique is to book shorter cruises back to back on the cheaper lines. If you have a week for vacation, consider two 3-day cruises and you can start racking up the sailings. You can go back to back very easily out of popular ports like Miami, Florida, and you will quickly get to your 10th cruising. Then, after you’ve accumulated enough to start getting the good perks, you can go on longer cruises where perks, like complimentary laundry service, are more valuable or on Carnival’s more prestigious lines. For example, Carnival Corporation plc. also owns Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America, and Princess Cruises, just to name a few.
As I said earlier, the program is very straightforward and easy to understand. Carnival has been known for those who are a little younger and one benefit of picking Carnival as the cruise line you’re loyal to is that they are owned by the same company as Cunard, Holland America, and Princess Cruises, which may be seen as more upscale and for an older crowd. While your status doesn’t transfer (they are still separate companies), it does give you discount on the other lines. According to World’s Leading Cruise Lines, which is run by Carnival Corporation, you get access to past guest savings as a VIP.
If you’ve had experience with the Past Guest Program at Carnival, please share your experiences!