Cruise lines have loyalty programs which should come as no surprise. There is always a competition for passengers and hooking people into a single line increases profits. It also increases specifically cruises on a particular line if there is choice between several if someone is close to the number of points to jump a level in privilege. People like perks, like being treated as special. I don’t really think it applies to the high end ships, except as a status symbol but for everyone else, the lure of free internet time, free drinks, free specialty meals or free laundry does have an appeal.
NCL in my opinion had a very sane and limited program up to this year. There was a cap on the levels that was achievable in a reasonable number of years (80 points/nights at sea). It got your a free bottle of ship wine, a free meal with wine for two, a bag of laundry free and some internet free. Overall not a bad deal and fairly consistent across the fleet. Then they changed it. Some how the naming convention and levels where the points cut seem to be eerily similar to Royal – right down to a [level] with the next one being [level]Plus. Go figure. The perks have definitely increased and I now received invites for a meal with an officer and a behind the scenes tour (seem familiar?).
So there I was, getting back on the Sun in Puerto Vallarta and facing a 1900 meal with an officer. Unlike Royal, there doesn’t seem to be an official Captain’s table and you get the same menu as the rest of the diners. Not a problem as the food continues consistently good. It has the advantage of not increasing costs and providing a full range of choices thus avoiding all the special requests. The downside is that you don’t get the souvenirs (like anyone who has cruised a lot needs them). Besides the Hotel Director who was hosting there was a Canadian couple from Winnipeg, an English couple from north of Manchester, an American pair now retired to Florida and me making eight total.
It was a nice evening.
Today Jill and I spent a fair amount of time first in one of the lounges then later in my cabin doing cross stitch following which we went to supper. And so went Day 6 about the “Beautiful NCL Sun.”
Seems to be the same announcements out of the Cruise Director on every ship from every line. I generally ignore them, but that is a rant for another time.