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Carnival bloggers cruise: Changes coming to line’s loyalty program

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On February - 8 - 2009

It’s a sea day and I am at the Bistro café on Fantasy’s Promenade Deck sipping a café mocha and chatting with Ray from Texas. Ray is a rancher and loves to cruise; in fact, this cruise is his 49th with Carnival and he’s staying aboard for the next sailing – which will make it 50 voyages onboard the “Fun Ships”. He cruises so much that his barber is in Cozumel!  He’s an avid reader of John Heald’s blog, and he has his own blog about cruises. He started the blog because he had so many notes and information about his cruises. It’s a must read if you cruise the “Texaribbean” – visit Snoozeman’s Cruise Blog.

One thing I learned today – never, ever miss a John Heald Blogger Cruise event. You would think writing a blog entry would be good excuse for missing last night’s cocktail party. But, noooooo. I am now officially the butt of many ‘late’ jokes from John. I’ve been warned the mocking will continue for the duration of the cruise. I’ll get him back, though, so watch out.

John had a Q & A session in the lounge this morning that turned out to be very informative. Carnival recently brought in a marketing expert from Starwood Hotels that was in charge of their award-winning loyalty program. Now Carnival is making changes to their loyalty program. Past passengers that have cruised 2-9 times are “Gold” cruisers and receive pins and an onboard cocktail party. Passengers that have cruised 10-plus voyages are called “Platinum” and receive perks like VIP Lounge check-in, VIP line at the Purser’s Desk, logo gifts, free laundry service, personalized stationary, evening canapés delivered to stateroom, guaranteed dining times, priority tender boarding, free entry to the blackjack tournament and priority embarkation and disembarkation. There will be a level above Platinum that has yet to be named. “Maybe we’ll have a black card like American Express,” he said. Changes like new gifts and dinner with the captain will be added. There are hundreds of platinum cruisers onboard and they were very excited by the changes.

Heald also told the audience that Carnival may return to Europe for the 2010 season and that the decision would be made prior to the end of the cruise on Thursday. Stay tuned for more news from John Heald’s Bloggers Cruise.

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One Response to “Carnival bloggers cruise: Changes coming to line’s loyalty program”

  1. Rob says:

    Starwood Hotels absolutely operates one of the best loyalty programs out there. The only complaint was that some deep-discounted rooms were exempt from getting award points. I hope Carnival won’t have the same policy.


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