We’ve taken a look at the Carnival Cruises Past Guest Recognition Program and the NCL Latitudes Program in our look at Cruise loyalty programs. Today we check out Princess Cruises’s program, called the Captain’s Circle, to see where it stacks up. While a loyalty program won’t be the deciding factor in what cruise you take, it’s always nice to understand how it works.
Princess Cruises is an independent company wholly owned by Carnival Corporation, which owns Carnival, Cunard, Holland America, Aida Cruises, and many other lines. For those old enough to recall, Princess Cruises was the line that owned the Island Princess and Pacific Princess, featured on the hit TV show Love Boat.
There are three levels to the Princess Cruises Captain’s Circle Loyalty Program. Whereas many other cruise lines award membership based on the number of cruises sailed, Princess also includes cruise days as a metric for membership.
- Gold Member: After your first sailing, you are officially a Gold Member.
- Platinum Member: After 5 cruises or 50 cruise days, you are upgraded to Platinum Membership.
- Elite Member: After 15 cruises or 150 cruise days, you reach the highest tier in the Captain’s Circle program – Elite Member.
The perks associated with each level of membership aren’t much different than other cruise lines.
You receive savings of $50-$300 per person on cruise fares, which can be combined with other offers. You are invited to exclusive, Members only onboard events, collectible destination stamps, a passport to store those stamps, as well as a subscription to Princess Captain’s Circle Quarterly Magazine. You will also receive a Member Benefits card that will indicate your membership.
Platinum Members receive all Gold Member perks as well as preferred check-in, access to the Platinum Members Lounge as you await disembarkation, complimentary Internet packages ($75 credit for cruises of 7 days or less, $100 for 8-20 days, and $200 for 21+ days), plus a cruise atlas and vacation protection upgrade if you purchase vacation protection.
At this highest level, you receive all the other benefits plus priority tender embarkation, priority disembarkation, complimentary laundry and dry cleaning, plus a shoe polishing service. If you’re familiar with other loyalty programs, this is where many of them stop, in terms of perks. Elite Members will also receive a complimentary Mini Bar Set Up, that you specify, and you will only be charged for the extra drinks you consume (so no charge for the original setup). You will also have complimentary afternoon tea as well as deluxe canapés. Finally, you get 10% discounts at the Boutiques and complimentary wine tastings.
Princess is known for their upscale cruising experience and their Captain’s Circle loyalty program is certainly upscale in the amenities it offers its highest level of membership.