June 6, 2002
Celebrity Cruises has revamped its past passenger program to bring it more in line with the three-tiered benefits offered by sister cruise line Royal Caribbean. The program combines the traditional past passenger rewards typically offered on most lines (newsletters and captain’s cocktail party invites) with progressive perks based on number of trips sailed on the line. What’s interesting, though, is the program’s attempt to reflect a more contemporary cruising environment by offering benefits that make Celebrity’s ever-bigger ships feel smaller for loyal customers. For instance, perks for entry level members (called “Classic) include the ability to make pre-sailing reservations at the chi-chi boutique eateries on the Millennium-class ships. That’s particularly useful for passengers not wanting to chance a “we’re fully committed” situation --particularly for a special occasion -- once on board. Under the new program, the next most-traveled Celebrity passengers’ perks include priority embarkation and disembarkation. There’s a third category as well -- this for the most frequent of the line’s frequent cruisers -- though additional benefits are more vague. Travelers who are already enrolled in the Captain's Club (or who sign up before September 1) and who qualify for the “classic” tier (1 - 5 cruises on the line) will be automatically transferred to that same category under the new program but Celebrity is throwing in priority embarkation and preferential disembarkation for veteran members. Celebrity is still the only line to charge for membership in its program; that fee remains $35 per couple.