January 15, 2002
Royal Caribbean is finally making public what’s been an “inside secret” to members of its Crown & Anchor Society -- which rewards passengers who cruise often on the line. Traditionally, cruise line past passenger programs offer incentives to lure travelers back into the fold, perks that typically range from special discounts to cabin upgrades. Crown & Anchor takes it a step further. The program, now divided into three levels (a’la the airlines) -- gold, platinum and diamond -- also offers “rewards” that appeal beyond a minuscule percentage discount. Among them? Depending on the level (gold being entry and diamond considered “ultimate”) society members get priority check-in, special rates on high-ticket (and high-demand) cabins with balconies as well as some suites. They can be eligible for priority wait listing for sold-out or booked-up services, ranging from the spa to shore excursions to choice of dining options. Radiance- and Voyager-class ships also offer concierge service. Regardless of level -- much of the really good stuff requires platinum- or diamond-level Royal Caribbean cruise accrual -- all members of the past passenger organization get what’s called the “Ultimate Value Booklet” and it’s kind-of cool: delivered to the passenger’s stateroom, it’s a coupon book with everything from a discount on spa services to extra casino chips to free drinks.