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Old June 9th, 2012, 10:08 AM
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Exclamation Check out the new Carnival VIFP Program

The Carnival VIFP "Very Important Fun Person" has just launched on their website.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 11:22 AM
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Having seen some of the reactions already to the new scheme, I am so pleased that I cruise for the cruise experience and not the perks that come with a loyalty scheme.

Tbh...I do wonder if those who are up in arms about the new scheme would react the same way if Carnival...and all the other lines...just removed loyalty schemes completely. Afterall, no cruise line (or any public sevice/transport company) are obliged to give us anything for using them...they could easily take everything away and leave people with nothing if they so wished.

So...the question really is...would you still cruise if there were no loyalty schemes in place with any of the lines, not just Carnival....?

Do you cruise for the cruise experience or do you cruise for the perks...

I cruise for the cruise experience, perks are a bonus, not a deal maker or breaker.....how about the rest of you?
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Old June 9th, 2012, 12:05 PM
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I would TOTALLY cruise again and again with or without a rewards program!! I love everything about cruising; the atmosphere, the food, the entertainment, it can go on and on. ;p
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Old June 9th, 2012, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BunkoBabe View Post
The Carnival VIFP "Very Important Fun Person" has just launched on their website.
Here is the new point system:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg VIFP POINTS.JPG (86.9 KB, 37 views)
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Old June 9th, 2012, 12:25 PM
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Old June 9th, 2012, 12:53 PM
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CostaSmurf... I couldn't agree with you more! Thank you for putting it so well. The cruise lines are under no obligation to reward repeat cruisers. Most definitely, the rewards are not incentive or deal breakers. They're nice, but OK, so is cruising!

Another good question... would you quit cruising if there were no loyalty programs?
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Old June 9th, 2012, 01:30 PM
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Having to wait until your 12th 7 day sailing for priority checkin seems high. What if you only did 3 day cruises, it would take until your 26th cruise just to skip in line.

Most "perks" I don't care for. On my last trip I got tons of coupons and offers and didn't use any. Totally looking forward to being on top level celebrity soon though. Free morning and night party everyday with free booze/snacks. Even though I'm not a big drinker this would mean there's no reason to spend any money on alcohol.

Free laundry and internet is also a cool perk many offer.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 01:40 PM
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I would tend to show my cruise loyalty to the cruise lines that shows me the most loyalty. If that changes then so will I.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Snoozeman View Post
I would tend to show my cruise loyalty to the cruise lines that shows me the most loyalty. If that changes then so will I.
So if all cruise lines stopped their loyalty schemes completely, would you stop cruising?

It sounds like you would, it comes across like you only cruise with a cruise line for what they give you in return, so if they stopped giving, you would stop cruising.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 03:27 PM
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The loyalty program perks are about seventh on my list when I choose a cruise line, ship or itinerary. I am top tier on Celebrity and that's because of the Royal Caribbean and Azamara cruises I have taken.

It's all a matter of priorities. I think that basing the program levels based on the number of days sailed is the most fair. Taking 10 3 day cruises does not equate to taking 10 seven day or longer cruises and really should not get the same award levels.

My priority is suite perks. Carnival has the worst suite perks of all the major lines and that can effect my decision to sail with them and to book a lower class cabin. I personally would love to see them revamp this program but again that is my priority and probably not too many other people's.

I looked over the changes and completed my VIFP registration and I think my excitement level was about the same as watching an old rerun of Alice.

I know that people who were on the "cusp" won't be happy and those who may be "demoted" will be downright mad but to me "It ain't no thing".

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Old June 9th, 2012, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerospace View Post
Having to wait until your 12th 7 day sailing for priority checkin seems high. What if you only did 3 day cruises, it would take until your 26th cruise just to skip in line.

Most "perks" I don't care for. On my last trip I got tons of coupons and offers and didn't use any. Totally looking forward to being on top level celebrity soon though. Free morning and night party everyday with free booze/snacks. Even though I'm not a big drinker this would mean there's no reason to spend any money on alcohol.

Free laundry and internet is also a cool perk many offer.
Good perks on Celebrity, but weighing the cost of Celebrity, is it really worth it?
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Old June 9th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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As I said above, I don't care about the loyalty scheme offered by a cruise line...so my last 5 cruises have been with Costa, they give you 100 points for each day of a cruise plus 40 points for every 52 euro spent on board (and that also includes any pre departure booked & paid for excursions, drink packages, spa services and it also includes whatever you "spend" on service charges too).

Currently there are 4 levels...aquamarine, coral, pearl and gold pearl.

I stand at 9980 points which gives me pearl level...by the time I complete my cruise next year I will be at gold pearl level (13001 points and over). The shortest cruise I have done with Costa was 15 days, the longest so far 33 days.

The cruise line are also changing their cabin grading next year, with added benefits in regard to points accumilation...

Classic cabins = insides, outsides & balconies on decks 1 thru 6
Premium cabins = insides, outsides & balconies on decks 7 thru 11 or 12 depending on ship.
Suites
Samsara Spa cabins = insides & balconies.

Classic cabin passengers earn 100 points per day.
Premium, Samsara & Suite passengers earn 200 points per day.

There are a few other frilly bits such as suite, samsara & premium get 10% off their next cruise, classic's get 5% off their next cruise. Other things like complimentary continental breakfast in the cabin for premium upwards, classics pay 5 euro...breakfast now includes hot items such as pancakes, eggs benedict etc.

Maybe later on once Carnival finishes the VIFP programme tweaking, Carnival will follow Costa in awarding points for expenditure on board too..who knows?

Bottom line is that NO cruise line is obliged to give anyone anything....and they could easily turn around and take everything away and end it completely.

I have also heard about the free laundry perk being trimmed back...well if a minority of passengers wilfully take advantage of that perk by sending everything to the laundry cos its free, then it is hardly a surprise if the company trims it back...use it sporadically and you'll keep it, take advantage of it and wave it bye-bye...as always its the minority making it harder for those in the majority. Cest la vie...
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Old June 9th, 2012, 05:07 PM
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Repeat customers are the bread and butter for all the major cruise lines. Thus the loyalty perks will never go away. Personally I think Carnival's new perks are pretty weak. They certainly don't reach the level of those provided by Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, or Norwegian.

I also agree with Mike about the suite perks. Carnival is terrible about it. We normally book suites and Carnival gives me no reason other than more room to book a suite with them.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 05:29 PM
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Default loyalty programs

I would love to see a loyalty program that recognizes cruises on all lines owned by the same company! I would be further along in one 'master program' that honoured, for example, my cruises with Hal, Costa, CCL. All owned by Carnival, (also Princess, Cunard).
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Old June 9th, 2012, 05:43 PM
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Royal Caribbean comes the closest to a unified rewards program. Although you can't combine cruises from RCI, Celebrity, and Azamara you at least get equivalent recognition on any of those lines based on the highest member level you have with one of the lines. Thus, I get Captains Club Elite status on Celebrity because I am a Diamond C&A member with Royal Caribbean.

I guess the logistics and realities of a truly unified loyalty program make it unlikely to happen.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Beers View Post
Royal Caribbean comes the closest to a unified rewards program. Although you can't combine cruises from RCI, Celebrity, and Azamara you at least get equivalent recognition on any of those lines based on the highest member level you have with one of the lines. Thus, I get Captains Club Elite status on Celebrity because I am a Diamond C&A member with Royal Caribbean.

I guess the logistics and realities of a truly unified loyalty program make it unlikely to happen.
I made Elite status because Royal Caribbean will give you equivalent status across their lines. I was second to the top on Royal Caribbean and then with the additional Celebrity and Azamara cruises it put me at Elite level. I'll have to check to see if Azamara cruise still add to your Captain's Club points or if they have eliminated that. If anyone knows please post it.

Take care,
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Old June 9th, 2012, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CostaSmurf View Post
So if all cruise lines stopped their loyalty schemes completely, would you stop cruising?

It sounds like you would, it comes across like you only cruise with a cruise line for what they give you in return, so if they stopped giving, you would stop cruising.
I'm Elite on Princess, Diamond of RCCL, and Milestone on Carnival.

I have a pretty good choice. I do consider other factors...the primary one is who is sailing from my home port.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 06:59 PM
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Good perks on Celebrity, but weighing the cost of Celebrity, is it really worth it?
I'd have to say celebrity is not significantly more expensive than the other lines. They have fewer sales but if you're price conscious, which I am, and wait for the sales you will find very competitive rates. If you book a year out and pay rack then yes it's probably more money.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 10:58 AM
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There is a Q&A between John Heald and some corporate VP on Facebook. It says they'll let people attain platinum level under the old rule of 10 cruises if they complete them by 12/31/13.

At least he was honest about some of the changes: Too much laundry was being done for free and overwhelming the hotel staff, too many people were eligible for the repeater party and it was becoming a logistics problem, too many people were using the guaranteed dining time perk, and he said don't be surprised when they tighten up some more in the future as more people climb the membership ladder.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 12:16 PM
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Basically, since we hit the 21 st century, all sorts of companies putting all variety of customer loyalty/rewards programs in place has become very common.

The cruise lines all pretty much jumped in; some offering different incentives than others... but then what "rewards" are of value to people is their personal view.

From what I can see from these program changes, they have basically increased the number of days/cruises necessary to qualify. I frankly don't see any additional rewards added for the continuing loyalty.

It seems now their explanation is that their program has proved too successful, so they have to react by cutting back the numbers of people qualifying for the "rewards"... and telling us, watch out, if that success continues, we'll have to cut back again.

Truly, not all that big a deal to me, but I think their problematic reaction has mostly been caused by them. The eventual changes were touted by John Heald for quite some time; promising how happy they were going to make everyone.

In the end, the changes were simply taking away "rewards" people had "earned" with their loyalty according to the earlier rules the cruise line had set.

The big mistake was promising great things, and the reality being quite the opposite. I am amazed how long it took for them to decide on their cutbacks to the rewards.

Other than extending the number of cruises necessary to get some of the rewards, the only thing they seemed to add was F in VIP.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
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Good perks on Celebrity, but weighing the cost of Celebrity, is it really worth it?
Celebrity has some very excellent pricing Am taking trans Atlantic on new ship with base cost of $899 for outside cabin. Fifteen night cruise and with the benefits of Elite to include free drinks daily to include special room for Bloody Marys in am. Would have to say that this is very competitive to ant other main line cruise line.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 12:53 PM
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Default Milestone Controvery

The biggest problem and complaints with the new VIFP program that I have seen is with Milestone cruisers. Carnival claims that Milestone was never intended to be a level only an extra reward program. It had actually been precieved as and in fact treated as a level for several years. They have been issuing Milestone cards for guests. They even encouraged guests to go ahead and get that 25th cruise done so that you be 'grandfathered' into the new program. Many did and now they (CCL) are not honoring that. That has made many very upset. Since John Heald even stated that the Milestone would be covered in the new program he is getting a lot of flack.

There is a Carnival Milestone online group of guests that is actually officially monitored by a Carnival beard. Very active there past few days and Carnival has been actively communicating. A fair compromise has been suggested that is now in the hands of a senior CCL beard. Of course they may or may not make adjustments. We all know that Royal Caribbean did. It will be interesting to see how it all comes out.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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A quote from the Carnival beard in the Heald interview:
"The original intent of the Milestone program was to recognize guests with a special Sail & Sign card on their milestone sailing only. However, we have learned that it had become customary for guests to be given a Milestone card on every sailing after reaching their 25th cruise."

So Carnival management didn't realize their check-in operation was routinely issuing Milestone cruise cards for each sailing after the 25th cruise? I'd have to throw the bs flag on that claim.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Beers View Post
A quote from the Carnival beard in the Heald interview:
"The original intent of the Milestone program was to recognize guests with a special Sail & Sign card on their milestone sailing only. However, we have learned that it had become customary for guests to be given a Milestone card on every sailing after reaching their 25th cruise."

So Carnival management didn't realize their check-in operation was routinely issuing Milestone cruise cards for each sailing after the 25th cruise? I'd have to throw the bs flag on that claim.
I know...every ship made the same mistake...really. And they recognized Milestone as a group at the past guest parties too. They have made a mess of it for the Milestone folks. I didn't book any extra cruises just to make it as I was already Milestone, but I do feel bad for those that did.

With so many new ships coming to Galveston this year I was cutting back on Carnival anyway. Especially since I'm Elite on Princess and the Crown Princess will soon be here!! Woo Hoo!

That being said I'd like to do that Carnival Glory NE/Canada sailing from Boston in July. I will if I can get cheap airfare.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 09:06 PM
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We think of the Reward's programs as perks. Though we do generally stick with Carnival (Gold) and Princess (Platinum), we do so because we like them, not because of the Reward's.

Frankly, I'd rather do my own laundry than send it to be done along with everyone else's in hotter water than I would use, JMHO.

The past guest parties have become so crowded and the drinks are so watered down that we don't go anymore. I'd rather pay for one drink in an hour's time than try to down 3 or 4 "freebies" !

The last few times we've cruised we've been able to board in under an hour, so we really don't need priority boarding. We've never had a problem with tendering, either.

The only thing I can think of that we'd use would be priority seating on formal night, if it was offered. We had to stand in line for about 20 minutes on our last cruise. Since I use a cane and don't stand very well, I would have liked to be seated ASAP.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 09:42 PM
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Dave I hope you are right about still having to Dec. 2013 to have the 10 cruises to make platinum. Kuki or snoozeman do you have any info on whether this is accurate.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 10:42 PM
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That is the case...12/31/2013 to make it good.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 11:16 PM
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I cruise for the cruise but the perks are nice, and as of my next cruise May '13 I'll be platinum (will be number 10, I'll be grandfathered in). I'm excited about it.

I understand the new program and it's ok, but I feel bad for those who are going to be knocked down a level because they aren't close enough to the next one~I don't think that is fair.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Beers View Post
There is a Q&A between John Heald and some corporate VP on Facebook. It says they'll let people attain platinum level under the old rule of 10 cruises if they complete them by 12/31/13.

At least he was honest about some of the changes: Too much laundry was being done for free and overwhelming the hotel staff, too many people were eligible for the repeater party and it was becoming a logistics problem, too many people were using the guaranteed dining time perk, and he said don't be surprised when they tighten up some more in the future as more people climb the membership ladder.
Dave, are you saying you need to have a total of 10 cruises by the end of next year to become Platinum? Can it be 3 day, 4 day or what ever or do the days count for this. Thanks
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Old June 11th, 2012, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulross View Post
Dave, are you saying you need to have a total of 10 cruises by the end of next year to become Platinum? Can it be 3 day, 4 day or what ever or do the days count for this. Thanks
Any cruise three days or longer. Time book some B2B's.

Take care,
Mike
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