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To encourage loyalty and promote repeat business, many cruise lines are now offering free, past-passenger reward programs with free upgrades, special discounts, onboard cocktail parties, stateroom amenities, and shipboard credits as well as extra benefits depending on the number of previous cruises.

Celebrity Cruises, for example, has a program called “Captain’s Club” in which past passengers are offered discounts or cabin upgrades on futures cruises with a rising scale of other benefits depending on the number of previous cruises taken. The elite level, for those who have traveled on 11 or more cruises rewards the cruiser with priority tender service, private departure lounge with complimentary continental breakfast, special spa gift, and double sailing credit on cruises of 12 or more nights.

Holland America Line features “The Mariner Society” which entitles members to up to 5 discounts and upgrades each year, along with the captain-hosted cocktail party.

Members of Princess Cruises’ “Captain’s Circle” are also invited to a special captain-hosted cocktail party and those passengers who have completed 5 cruises or more are entitled to free onboard internet access, expedited embarkation, and a private lounge for disembarkation.

The “Crystal Society” program from Crystal Cruises rewards constantly repeating passengers with increasing incentives right up to a 14 day cruise in the Crystal Penthouse for those who have sailed on more than 100 Crystal cruises.

Some cruise lines offer reward program benefits that apply to other lines too. Cruise on any Carnival Corporation cruise line, for example, and passenger rewards for repeat cruises apply on any on every Carnival Corporation line. Even Seabourn Cruise Line offers the “Seabourn Club” program membership discounts on other Carnival Corporation lines such as Carnival, Holland America, Windstar, Costa and Cunard.

The “Latitudes” program from Norwegian Cruise Line also offers Polo Club past-passenger benefits when sailing on Orient Lines' Marco Polo or Crown Odyssey. Orient Line’s “Polo Club” offers membership in sister company NCL's “Latitudes” program.

The exclusive, luxury, boutique cruise lines also offer incentive programs, and the rewards are, as to be expected, on the luxurious side. Instead of club medallions, Silversea offers its “Venetian Society” members Tiffany sterling silver membership pins - some jeweled depending on the number of days spent with the cruise line.

Almost all rewards programs offer a free newsletter that keeps past passengers informed of special news deals and the discounts they could earn on their next cruise, and the one after that, and the one after ...

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