Book Your Royal Caribbean Cruise
Using the right credit card can give you so much value out of every purchase. So when you have a large purchase like a cruise, its smart to think twice about how youre going to pay for it.
While you may be thinking that using the Royal Caribbean card would be the best option , youd be wrong. While this card can help you earn some points to use as onboard credit or on cruise discounts, there are better options out there.
With the Royal Caribbean card, you can earn 10,000 bonus points after making a purchase within 90 days. Thats only worth $100 in onboard credit.
Compare that to a card that earns flexible points like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Not only does this card earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards Points which can be redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal or can be transferred to hotel and airline partners for even more value.
|UPs Bonus Valuation*:$1,200Must Reads: For more info on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, see our thoughts on its benefits and travel insurance coverage, which includes primary car rental insurance. Take a look at our full review to see why its one of our favorite cards.|
No matter what credit card you use, you can also get extra bonuses and perks like onboard credit or complimentary specialty dinners by booking your cruise through the right website.
Hot Tip: Be prepared! Take a look at our before you set sail.
Holland America Line Mariners Society
The Mariners Society has five tiers:
Star Mariner one cruise completed
2-Star Mariner 30 cruise day credits
3-Star Mariner 75 cruise day credits
4-Star Mariner 200 cruise day credits
5-Star Mariner 500 cruise day credits
The Mariners Society is for the wine lovers. Beginning with a Mariner Champagne Brunch for all, to complimentary wine tasting at discounts of up to 50 per cent on their wine packages for 3-Star Mariners and up.
The line also entices members to get fellow cruisers on board with discounts on cruise fares for 3rd/4th guests on select sailings. 4-Star Mariners and up even get to bring them on board for free.
The 5-Star Mariners are rewarded with opportunities to create memories on board with a complimentary Culinary Arts Centre cooking class and day pass to the Greenhouse Spa & Salon Thermal Suite.
Click here for full perks list.
Cruise Drink Packages Can Be Worth It
Most cruise lines now offer all-you-can-drink beverages packages. These unlimited drink packages can seem expensive on the surface, but all-you-care-to-drink alcohol packages can actually be fantastic value for those who tend to tip back a few while cruising. Cruise drink packages are a trend in the cruising industry that began a bit more than five years ago. Now Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, most Norwegian ships, and many Carnival ships offer some sort of alcohol drink package.
Each cruise drink package varies on exactly what alcohol included. But most of these cruise drink packages tend to be generous in their offerings, even including top shelf liquors. Some of the cruise drink packages further include specialty coffees, soft drinks, and other non-alcoholic drinks to help you recover the next day.
Cruise beverage packages range in price from about $50-$100, per day, depending on the cruise line and the specific package. For example, Carnival currently promotes its CHEERS drink package for $51.95 per day + 15% gratuities. So for a 7-day Carnival cruise, such a package would add up to a total of $418.20. Again, this seems very pricey, but well further show you how it might be worth it.
|Premium Beverage Package|
Is a cruise drink package worth it?
That depends on a variety of factors, such as
- how much you drink on vacation
- what you drink,
- how much time youll be on the ship , and
- the price of the beverage package on the cruise youre taking.
Read Also: What Cruise Lines Go Out Of Mobile Al
Holland America Line: Mariner Society
Holland America Line automatically enrolls you in their Mariner Society program, and you can earn points not only for each day spent sailing, but also on purchases made onboard.
Enrollment is automatic after your first cruise with Holland America, however, if youve sailed with any ship under the Carnival Corporate umbrella you are also automatically enrolled. Those who book a suite often earn additional points.
There are five tiers in The Mariner Society from Star Mariner to 5-star Mariner. Even at the lowest level, members receive special offers and the ability to save 50 percent off the fare paid by third and fourth guests in the same cabin.
As one moves up the five-tier ladder, perks include such things as discounts in the onboard shops , onboard receptions and complimentary cooking studio classes at the Five-Star level. Perks extend to the home, with those whove reached the highest two levels eligible for a free subscription to either Food & Wine or Travel & Leisure magazines.
Captain’s Club Cruise Rewards Celebrity Cruises
Enrolling in Celebrity Cruises’ Captain’s Club will earn you exclusive offers, deals, and more. To start enjoying the benefits, you’ll need to create an account and link it to your existing Captain’s Club number or sign up as a new member.
Like other cruise loyalty programs, the more trips you take, the more points you will earn to advance to the next level. Members can save up to $1,000 on cruises to destinations like the Galapagos Islands, exclusive cruises, and discounts on-land at places like MGM Resorts and Hertz.
Don’t Miss: What To Do In Skagway Cruise Port
Holland America Line Mariner Society
Touted as the most generous rewards programme at sea, Holland America Lines Mariner Society accumulates Cruise Day credits for every day you cruise and every purchase you make on board, allowing you to partake in some superb rewards. With every meal you eat, glass you clink and spa session you treat yourself to, racking up the points in the process makes them even sweeter.
Ranging from Star Mariner to 2-Star Mariner, perks include:
- Invitation to Mariner Embarkation Lunch
- Complimentary Champagne Brunch
- Free Dining at Pinnacle Grill
How To Earn A Higher Status Faster
While many points- and miles-earning fanatics are always looking for the easiest way to earn a higher status, faster, with Royal Caribbeans Crown and Anchor Society, its not really possible.
The program is very cut and dry, simple and straightforward. You earn points and the more points you earn, the more perks you get. You dont have to redeem your points for anything and theres no fast-track to a higher membership tier.
The only way to get those coveted Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club membership benefits is by cruising often with Royal Caribbean, cruising on longer itineraries and opting to stay in a suite versus a regular stateroom.
Read Also: Best Time To Cruise Northern Europe
Princess Cruises Captain’s Circle
Though Princess Cruises is technically owned by Carnival, the loyalty programs are completely separate.
Princess Cruises introduced the Captain’s Circle loyalty program and it includes four different membership levels: Gold, Ruby, Platinum, and Elite. Depending on your status, the Captain’s Circle program offers big perks such as members-only events, a special concierge service to help you book excursions, complimentary internet package, and even free access to your stateroom minibar.
The Elite Level That Makes A Difference: Platinum
Some of the most useful perks of the Latitudes Rewards program priority embarkation, free dinners, complimentary internet and access to a Concierge to help with dining, entertainment and shore excursion reservations kick in at the Platinum level.
Cruisers need 80 points to earn this coveted status and you can easily earn them in just three sailings. Heres an example of how you could do it.
Don’t Miss: Hotels Near Mobile Alabama Cruise Terminal
Have Cheap Drinks On A Cruise But Dont Miss Out On The Fun
Part of the fun of drinking on a cruise is the social element, hanging out the numerous bars, lounges, and clubs on these awesome ships. The nightly parties can be a blast. Drunken karaoke sessions are hilarious.
Yet some of the aforementioned cruise tips for cheap drinks may confine passengers to drinking in their staterooms. Thats boring. Youre on a cruise go out and have fun!
So be sure to utilize those cruise happy hours, daily drink specials, tasting activities, and beverage package deals in order to truly make the most of your vacation, as you drink your way across the open seas!
Find Cheap Drinks In Port
If you have an extra hour or two to burn while in port, skip the sugary overpriced drinks at Señor Frogs and Fat Tuesdays. Instead, find a cozy local bar a little further away from the port to throw back a few. Not only will you have a more authentic travel experience with local flavor, but you also may find local prices!
Drink your Buds, Millers, Coors, Coronas, and Heinekens once youre back on the ship. Instead, take the opportunity on shore to explore a local beer or spirit. Weve found there to be some surprisingly tasty brews popping up all around the world. Many popular Caribbean and Central American cruise destinations even have local brewpubs near cruise ports.
Also, be aware that many places around the world dont have open container laws like in the US. This means you can go into a local convenience store, and get a cold beer to enjoy while relaxing on the beach, touring the city streets, or simply walking back to the ship while you sip.
Many countries officially do have open container laws, but they are completely unenforced in popular cruise ports. The easiest way to know whether drinking alcohol in public is tolerated is this: if the cashier of a convenience store has a bottle opener at the counter, then thats a clear indication its acceptable to drink on the streets while in port. You may even be offered a cup! The best part is that all of these local beers while in port will be at a fraction of the cost compared to the cruise ships pricey drinks.
Read Also: Cruises Departing From Norfolk
If My Royalup Offer Is Accepted Will I Earn Crown & Anchor Points At The Rate Associated With My Upgraded Stateroom Category
No. Accepted offers will earn Crown & Anchor points at the original stateroom category purchased, and not the category of the upgraded stateroom. The terms and conditions of your original cruise booking will remain in effect following the acceptance of an Offer, including Crown & Anchor Terms and Conditions. The best way to earn points quickly is to purchase the upgraded cabin category in your original booking.
For more details about RoyalUpâ , click here.
Norwegian Cruise Line Latitudes Loyalty Programme
The Latitudes Loyalty Program has six tiers:
Bronze 1+ points
Ambassador 700+ points
The highlights of the Latitudes Loyalty Programme include their discounts on shore excursions, spa treatments while the ship is in port. Platinum members onwards also get free Internet minutes and other fun perks like a behind-the-scenes ship tour.
Platinum members get 30 minutes, and the top tier Ambassadors get up to 100 free minutes.
Members can also look forward to gastronomic treats like dinner for two at Cagneys Or Le Bistro as well as Moderno or La Cucina.
And even dine with the Officers as they rise through the ranks to reach the Platinum Plus and Ambassador tiers.
The line also rewards their most loyal cruisers, the Ambassadors, with a complimentary 7-day cruise.
Click here for full perks list.
Recommended Reading: Best Time Of Year For Mediterranean Cruise
Exploit Cruise Ship Happy Hours
Many cruise lines offer a happy hour at certain bars, at certain times, with reduced priced drinks. Sometimes these happy hours are planned and stated in the daily newsletter. Other instances theyll be listed on the bar menus themselves.
Often such drink deals are only subtly advertised. So passengers must be observant and seek out these drink deals. Keep your eyes peeled for happy hour promotions on table-top signs at cruise bars. And do know that cruise happy hours vary by cruise line, ship, and even each sailing. Cruise happy hours change constantly.
Cruise happy hours even change from from bar to bar on the same ship. On some Celebrity cruise sailings, weve found $3 draft beers and $4 wine pours at most bars during their happy hour. But this Celebrity happy hour does not extend to every bar on the ship. Meanwhile, their martini bar can have an entirely different happy hour with select martinis at half price. Yet the martini bar doesnt honor the beer & wine happy hour. So be sure to check around all the bars and find a happy hour that is best for you!
Also, some cruises will have two happy hour periods: one before dinner and another into the late night. Princess happy hour had formally done this. Although in recent years happy hour has seemed to disappear from Princess ships.
Pro tip: Stock Up During the Best Drink Promos
Byob Bring Your Own Booze: The Sneaky Way
Cruise passengers have been known to sneak their own booze aboard cruises. We like to play by the rules and dont particularly recommend this. But wed be remiss not mention this as a strategy for cheap drinks on a cruise. There are often-tried cruise alcohol tricks like putting liquor in mouthwash containers and using green or blue food coloring in attempts to hide that its actually alcohol.
Such tricks are well-known by security and you likely wont be fooling anyone by pouring some blue colored vodka into a Listerine bottle. Plus, that vodka will probably end up with a faint minty taste thats unavoidable.
If you are going to smuggle some liquor aboard your next sailing, consider a cruise ship flask kit that is specifically made for the purpose of being undetected when going through security. These nonmetallic pouches are purposely designed to let no air bubbles when pouring liquor into the devices, making it undetectable.
Many of these cruise flask kits have a good track record of success. For example, this Concealable and Reusable Cruise Flask Kit is currently the most popular alcohol smuggling device on Amazon and receives overwhelmingly positive reviews, with about 90%+ of reviewers, indicating it got past security. Check the most recent reviews.
So what happens if you get caught sneaking alcohol onto a cruise ship?
The biggest consequence is embarrassment and potential confiscation of your booze.
You May Like: What Cruise Lines Go Out Of Mobile Al
Beer Drinkers Should Buy Buckets Of Beer To Save
Are you heading to the pool and want to kick back a few beers? Buy a bucket of five beers, which most cruises usually offer for the cost of four. Its a win-win by saving the server a few trips to deliver your beer while saving you a few bucks.
Beer buckets may not be the best drink deal out on the high seas, but it still saves the $6-$7 cost of a bottle of beer. Even if youre not planning to drink all of those beers in one sitting, it can be worth buying the bucket and bring whatever is left back to your cabin to put on ice or in the mini fridge.
Crown & Anchor Society Royal Caribbean
Guests aboard Royal Caribbean will be automatically enrolled in the company’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program after their first cruise is complete. Sailors will earn one point for each night they sail with Royal Caribbean and twice the number of points when booking a suite.
There are six membership levels starting with Gold and ending with Royal Caribbean’s prestigious Pinnacle Club. While each tier offers different perks, enrollees can expect invites to exclusive events, onboard discounts, special rates, and more.
Don’t Miss: How Much Should I Budget For An Alaskan Cruise
Azamara Club Cruises Le Club Voyage
Azamara Club Cruises differ slightly to most major cruise lines due to their dedication to smaller, more intimate ships. However, they still operate a five-tiered loyalty scheme wherein passengers can earn points based upon the number of days they spend at sea and their stateroom category the longer your stay and the more lavish your stateroom, the more points youll earn.
Ranging from Adventurer to Discoverer Platinum, their perks include:
- Shore Excursion Advance Booking
- Le Club Voyage Party Invites
- Spa Discounts of up to 25%
- Free Nights at Sea
- Discounted Deals
- Complimentary Nights
Complimentary nights can be redeemed on cruises which are seven nights or longer. These are available when joining the scheme or progressing to a new level, and must be booked within 12 months of joining the scheme or a new level.
Royal Caribbean Crown And Anchor Society: What You Need To Know
What you need to know about the Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor Society Loyalty program, including the benefits and different tiers.
If youre a frequent traveler, then youre likely already familiar with travel brands loyalty programs the often-free-to-join programs that allow you to earn points and/or miles as you spend with the brand and/or on a credit card.
However, these loyalty programs are most often associated with airlines and hotel chains. But did you know that you can earn points when you cruise, too?
If youre a frequent Royal Caribbean cruiser, you need to be a member of the lines loyalty program, the Crown and Anchor Society. You could be missing out on amazing benefits!
Heres everything you need to know about Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor, including how the loyalty program works, what benefits you can reap, added perks and the different points-earning and membership tiers.
Recommended Reading: Cruises Out Of Mobile Al 2021
Norwegian Cruise Line Latitudes Rewards
As with Carnival and Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line gives you a reward point for each night booked on a Norwegian cruise ship.
An extra point is earned per night when booking a suite, and you can get an extra point per night on top of that by booking one of their Latitudes Rewards inside offers. These special offers are sent out monthly and usually provide other perks like $100 onboard credit.
There are 6 tiers of status in Latitudes Rewards which are Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus, and Ambassador.
Rewards points are applied to your account after you return from your cruise. Points will be applied within 48 hours after you have completed a sailing.
Bronze status is obtained after sailing at least one night on Norwegian. Perks include:
- Priority check-in at the pier
- Bottle of sparkling wine
- 10% discount in duty-free shops
- Discount on buying internet minutes
- Free artwork for attending art auction
- Insider offers on select sailings
- Latitudes rewards magazine
Silver is reached from 30-54 points earned on Norwegian. Perks include everything from Bronze in addition to:
- 15% discount in duty-free shops
- Exclusive cocktail party
- 10% discount on shore excursions
- 20% discount on photos
- 15% discount on spa treatments
Gold level is reached from 55-79 points earned on a Norwegian ship. Perks include everything from Silver in addition to:
- 20% discount on spa treatments
- 1 bottle of water
- 50% off 1 bag of laundry service
- Priority tender tickets
- Priority disembarkation