You’ve Heard of Airline Miles, Meet Cruise Clubs!

Love cruising? Then you won’t want to miss out on cruise clubs, the exclusive member reward programs for the most luxurious cruise lines in the world. Just like with airline mileage reward programs, you’ll earn points (or credits) for your time on the cruise, with some programs offering bonus points for cabin class, onboard spending, and more.

Redeem your points for free nights on future cruises, plus enjoy a host of exclusive benefits depending on your cruise club ranking.

These are three of the most popular cruise clubs:

Holland America, Mariner Society

When you cruise with Holland America, you are automatically enrolled in Holland America’s Mariner Society Rewards Program. There are five levels: Star Mariner, Two-Star Mariner, Three-Star Mariner, Four-Star Mariner and Five-Star Mariner. Each level offers unique onboard privileges.

How to earn credits:
Earn cruise credits for every day that you cruise and every onboard purchase you make, including spa treatments and fine dining. You’ll one bonus credit for every $300 in eligible onboard purchases and double cruise day credits when you stay in a full-fare suite or penthouse.

Top benefits: 
Benefits include at-home rewards like free subscriptions to Food & Wine or Travel + Leisure as well as advanced information on new itineraries. Star, Two-Star and Three-Star Mariners receive a 50% discount on cruise fares for third and fourth guests on select sailings; Four-Star and Five-Star Mariners may bring a third and fourth guest for free on select sailings. Onboard benefits include discounts on wine packages, spa treatments, specialty restaurant surcharges and minibar purchases. Four and Five-Star Mariners receive complimentary wine tastings and priority tender, disembarkation, and check-in.

Celebrity Cruises, Captain’s Club

Before you even cruise with Celebrity Cruises, you can enroll in the Celebrity Cruises Captain’s Club and begin receiving the exclusive members-only newsletter. Once you’ve taken your first cruise, your membership level is calculated based on the number of club points you’ve earned. Captain’s Club levels include Classic, Select, Elite, Elite Plus, and Zenith.

How to earn credits:
Earn club points based on your stateroom category and the number of nights that you sail. The higher the stateroom category, the more points you’ll earn. For example, the basic stateroom category (inside/ocean view) earns two points per night while a celebrity, signature or royal suite will earn you 12 points per night and the reflection or penthouse suite will earn you 18 points.

Top benefits:
Membership benefits vary based on your tier. Classic tier members (2 to 149 points) will receive complimentary access to the Captain’s Club Celebration event and exclusive onboard offers. As you advance in the club, you’ll earn additional benefits, like discounted or complimentary Internet, laundry service specials, a complimentary cocktail hour, and discounts on beverages and specialty dining services. Once you reach Zenith status (3,000 or more points), you’ll also receive a complimentary 7-night Caribbean or Bermuda cruise– not a bad way to celebrate your exclusive cruising status!

Royal Caribbean, Crown & Anchor Society

There’s a good reason why Travel Weekly rated Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society as the “Best Loyalty Program Overall” for 2014. The program offers six tiers to reward the most loyal cruisers: Gold, Platinum, Emerald, Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club. Benefits include onboard discounts, access to exclusive events, and a dedicated Loyalty Call Center to solve any and all concerns. One of the best rewards? Priority access to stateroom upgrades!

How to earn credits:
Earn one cruise point for every night you sail with Royal Caribbean and earn double points when you book a suite.

Top benefits:
The Crown and Anchor Society offers three types of benefits: exclusive savings, onboard rewards and benefits on land. Exclusive savings include up to 25% off select sailings, discounts on balcony and suite staterooms, and reduced rate room upgrades. Depending on your membership level, onboard benefits range from robes for use onboard and a welcome gift to priority departure and priority seating. Pinnacle members receive milestone cruise certificates for a seven-night balcony stateroom.

Youth program benefits include special onboard offers loaded on the SeaPass card and commemorative gifts. Children enjoy the same member status as their parents after their first cruise. Depending on your status, benefits on land may include exclusive HERTZ Gold Plus Rewards points and exclusive M life perks with MGM Resorts International.

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