(2:45 p.m. EST) -- Azamara has expanded its Le Club Voyage loyalty program to five levels, switched from a credit system to a points-based program and scaled back some of the perks current members are used to having.
Originally a credits-per-voyage system, Le Club Voyage membership now is determined by points per day sailed, with cabin category bonus points. For instance, those in club interior and club oceanview cabins get two additional points per day, while those in club verandahs get three points. Passengers in club continent suites get eight extra points per day, and those in club owner and club world owner suites get 18 bonus points per day.
The original program's three levels -- Adventurer (up to 149 points) , Explorer (150 - 309 points) and Discoverer (310 - 749 points) -- remain in place, while Discoverer Plus (750 - 2,999 points) and Discoverer Platinum levels (3,000 points or more) were added.
Currently, the only new amenity added to Le Club Voyage is a 10 to 20 percent discount on spa treatments, depending on loyalty tier.
The majority of changes to the program as it stands now are in the form of cutbacks.
For instance, members at the Adventurer level will no longer be entitled to a Happy Hour two to three times per week, and the number of free Internet minutes has been reduced to 85 from 89. And, under the new program, Explorer-level passengers will get one free bag of laundry per week, per cabin, rather than per person. The specialty coffee and tea tasting has been eliminated, too.
Discoverer, Discoverer Plus and Discoverer Platinum passengers all receive the same rewards and have also seen some cutbacks. The free wine tasting, which was available on all sailings, will now only be offered on sailings of 10 nights or more, the Champagne brunch with senior officers has been eliminated, and free Internet has been reduced by two minutes to 235. Oddly, the cocktail party, which is offered to the lower tiers, will only be made available to the three upper tiers on voyages of 10 nights or more.
According to Azamara, benefits for the upper three tiers will remain identical to each other through the end of March. However, the line is working on changes to the program and plans to roll out new rewards and amenities in the second quarter of 2014.
--By Dori Saltzman, News Editor