Celebrity Cruises, the industry’s only cruise line to charge a fee to join its past passenger program, has backed away from the policy. Interestingly, the company is positioning the switch to no-fee status as "an enhancement."
To repay those who had joined the club and paid the $35 fee – an announcement says that number amounts to about 11 percent – Celebrity is providing a $50 onboard credit certificate, which must be used by December 31, 2004.
Past Celebrity passengers who declined to pay the fee do have to make a proactive effort to be considered a Captain’s Club member – they will not be automatically enrolled. Interested Celebrity veterans – with at least one past cruise to their credits – should call the Captain's Club line at 1-800-760-0654 or visit celebrity.com/captainsclub.
The program otherwise stays the same. Captain’s Club has three tiers. Highlight of “classic” status (one-to-five) is priority embarkation and disembarkation. Those in the “select” category (six-to-ten) also get complimentary custom air choices when they purchase Celebrity’s air/sea package. And folks in the “elite” strata (eleven-plus) receive, in addition to all perks available to other past passengers, priority tender service when the ship is at anchor.