Comparing Loyalty Programs with Cruise Lines: Which One Reigns Supreme?


1/25/20244 min read

In the world of cruising, loyalty programs play a significant role in attracting and retaining customers. These programs offer a range of benefits and rewards to frequent cruisers, encouraging them to choose a particular cruise line for their future voyages. In this article, we will compare some of the most popular loyalty programs offered by cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean's Crown Anchor, Celebrity's Captain Club, Viking's Returning Guest Program, Carnival's VIFP, Princess's Captain Circle, Norwegian's Latitude Rewards, Azamara's Circle, and more. Let's dive in and explore which loyalty program stands out as the best. Staying loyal to a line will offer you some great benefits. Doesn’t mean you only have to travel with one line but it will make it more tempting.

Royal Caribbean's Crown Anchor

Royal Caribbean's Crown Anchor Society is one of the most well-known loyalty programs in the cruising industry. It offers six tiers of membership, ranging from Gold to Pinnacle Club, each with its own set of benefits and rewards. Some of the perks include priority check-in, exclusive onboard events, discounts on spa services, and access to a dedicated loyalty call center.

One of the standout features of Royal Caribbean's Crown Anchor Society is the ability to earn points not only through cruises but also through onboard purchases and activities. This versatility allows members to accumulate points at a faster rate, ultimately unlocking higher-tier benefits. You earn one point per night you stay in any room balcony and below. Or double points in Jr. suites and higher. Must book a suite and not be upgraded or win an upgrade bid to received this offer. Be on the look out for double point bonuses too, we booked a 5 night, double points in a Jr. suite and flew right passed Platinum and in Emerald.

Celebrity's Captain Club

Celebrity Cruises' Captain Club loyalty program offers a range of benefits to its members, divided into six tiers: Preview, Classic, Select, Elite, Elite Plus, and Zenith. The program rewards members with benefits such as priority embarkation and disembarkation, access to exclusive lounges, complimentary internet minutes, and laundry services.

One notable feature of Celebrity's Captain Club is its partnership with Royal Caribbean's Crown Anchor Society. This collaboration allows members to enjoy reciprocal benefits when sailing with either cruise line, expanding the range of rewards and experiences available to them.

Viking's Returning Guest Program

Viking Cruises' Returning Guest Program is tailored to reward loyal guests who choose to sail with Viking repeatedly. This program offers a straightforward structure with three levels: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Benefits include priority shore excursion reservations, priority access to specialty restaurants, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

What sets Viking's loyalty program apart is its focus on creating a personalized experience for its members. The program takes into account guests' preferences and interests, ensuring that they receive relevant offers and recommendations tailored to their individual tastes.

Carnival's VIFP

Carnival Cruise Line's Very Important Fun Person (VIFP) loyalty program aims to provide a fun and rewarding experience for its members. With five levels of membership - Blue, Red, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond - Carnival ensures that guests are recognized and rewarded at every stage of their loyalty journey.

Some of the perks offered by Carnival's VIFP program include priority check-in, complimentary cabin upgrades, and access to exclusive events. Carnival also offers a unique feature called "Faster to the Fun," which allows members to enjoy priority boarding and disembarkation, making their cruise experience even more convenient.

Princess's Captain Circle

Princess Cruises' Captain Circle loyalty program offers a tiered structure with four levels: Gold, Ruby, Platinum, and Elite. Members of this program can enjoy benefits such as priority embarkation and disembarkation, complimentary specialty dining, and access to the Captain's Circle Lounge.

One of the standout features of Princess's Captain Circle is the ability to earn cruise credits, which can be used towards future sailings. This feature provides an additional incentive for members to continue choosing Princess Cruises for their vacation needs.

Norwegian's Latitude Rewards

Norwegian Cruise Line's Latitude Rewards program is designed to reward loyal guests with a range of benefits and privileges. Divided into six tiers - Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus, and Ambassador - this program offers perks such as priority embarkation, onboard discounts, and complimentary shore excursion credits.

One unique aspect of Norwegian's Latitude Rewards program is its focus on flexibility. Members have the freedom to choose the benefits that matter most to them, allowing for a more personalized and tailored loyalty experience.

Azamara's Circle

Azamara's Circle loyalty program is specifically designed for guests who appreciate luxury and immersive travel experiences. Divided into three tiers - Discoverer, Explorer, and Discoverer Plus - this program offers benefits such as complimentary internet minutes, laundry services, and access to exclusive events.

What sets Azamara's Circle apart is its commitment to providing unique and immersive experiences to its members. The program offers exclusive land discoveries and special events, allowing guests to explore destinations in a more intimate and authentic way.


When it comes to determining the best loyalty program among cruise lines, it ultimately depends on individual preferences and priorities. Each loyalty program discussed in this article offers its own set of benefits and rewards, catering to different types of cruisers.

Royal Caribbean's Crown Anchor Society stands out for its versatile points-earning system and wide range of benefits, while Celebrity's Captain Club impresses with its partnership with Royal Caribbean and its extensive tiered structure. Viking's Returning Guest Program focuses on personalized experiences, while Carnival's VIFP program aims to provide a fun and rewarding journey for its members.

Princess's Captain Circle offers the unique feature of earning cruise credits, and Norwegian's Latitude Rewards program emphasizes flexibility. Lastly, Azamara's Circle caters to those seeking luxury and immersive travel experiences.

Ultimately, the best loyalty program is the one that aligns with your cruising preferences and provides the benefits that matter most to you. Consider your travel style, desired perks, and future cruise plans when choosing a loyalty program, and enjoy the rewards and privileges that come with your loyalty to a particular cruise line.

Our Favorite is a tie between Royal’s Crown and Anchor and Viking’s returning guest. We travel frequently with Royal and Celebrity, so being in the same tier with both lines is a huge selling point. As are kids are now young adult, we lean to Celebrity more than Royal and it was nice to not have to start at the bottom of the loyalty train.

Our least favorite is Carnival’s VIFP, as it seems as if they don’t really offer much.