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zdgp December 28th, 2009 12:41 PM

Mariner program changes
What do you think of the changes in the mariner awards? IMO it is long overdue. Now we get some worthwhile benefits, instead of a medallion and free wine with a lunch. (The changes came at the right time for us. We are 3 stars, on the verge of becoming 4 stars.)

DeeDee December 28th, 2009 03:15 PM

We just got off the Eurodam and they are still giving out medals. DD got her Bronze, I got my Gold and about 6 people got their Silver. These were given to a small group of people in the Queen's Lounge and then we proceeded to the dining room where all the other Mariners were already seated. We had a very nice lunch & wine.

Being a 4*, I thought I would be getting a discount in the shops on some items, but apparently it's only on certain HAL Logo items - the sales staff never did figure out what these items were - they are completely confused about the whole "discount" thing. :rolleyes:

zdgp December 28th, 2009 05:47 PM

The two things of greatest value to us are the discounted wine package, and the waiver of air deviation fees.

sail7seas December 30th, 2009 06:30 PM

We just left Westerdam and wore our Gold Medallions to the Mariners Lunch. We were the only people aboard with gold.

The Captain and Hotel Manager presented us with our Four Star Pins and it seems a little silly. Our 500+ days needed to earn Gold was now not as good as a pin that only required 200 days. I understand it and have gotten used to that idea but at first it was confusing.

I think the program is fine in most respects except I believe they should have made the maximum days higher than 200. Once one reaches that, doesn't matter to keep counting days as that maxes it out.

I hope they continue awarding the Medallions long enough for us to reach Platinum. We would be disappointed to get so close and have them stop awarding them just before we are eligible.

Paul Motter December 30th, 2009 07:16 PM

Cruise Line Loyalty Programs - Compare cruise line reward programs and repeat passenger benefits

Here is an article we did comparing loyalty programs. When I wrote this about a year ago I have to say I think HAL's was the worst. They really needed to re-vamp it, especially since Princess is their closest competitor and they have a very good program.

I was VERY happy to see the HAL upgrades. Here they are:

Holland America Line

Holland America's Mariner Society Rewards Program has just been updated and will be in service as of Oct. 18, 2009. It provides past guests with new benefits including onboard discounts while sailing and special rates on select cruises and reduced or free third and fourth rates when booking future cruises.

These Mariner's Society benefits are tiered and vary based on a guest's cruise history.

The new Mariner Society Rewards Program offers a four-level progressive membership. All guests who sail with Holland America Line are automatically entered into the Mariner Society. Level of membership is based on past cruises recorded as cruise days. Guests automatically collect additional "cruise days" or cruise day credits based on their onboard spending or through the purchase of one of the premium line's suite options.

Star Mariner - level 1
Guests who complete their initial cruise with Holland America Line are automatically enrolled in the Mariner Society's first level, and will earn cruise days towards higher levels as they continue to cruise with Holland America. Star Mariner status: special offers on select sailings, 50 percent discount for third and fourth guests on select sailings, hosted sailings with Holland America Line Ambassadors, a Welcome Back Embarkation Brunch on future cruises, a subscription to the Mariner Magazine and a Mariner Champagne Brunch on future cruises.

Two-Star Mariner
After 30 cruise day credits earned, Two-Star guests receive all the amenities of a Star Mariner plus 15 percent off merchandise purchased from and 10 percent off logo apparel items onboard in the gift shops. Two-Star Mariners also will receive a complimentary ship photo and be sent an exclusive annual cruise planner and special recognition pin.

Three-Star Mariner
With 75 cruise days earned, Three-Star guests are automatically given all Two-Star amenities plus discounts including 10 percent off on select spa treatments; a 25 percent discount on all wine packages, mini-bar purchases, Explorations Café drinks and alternative restaurant surcharges; special advanced notice of new itineraries; and a waiver of air deviation fees.

Four-Star Mariner
At the top of the tiers, with 200 cruise days earned, Four-Star guests enjoy the benefits of all previous levels and free fare for third and fourth guests on select sailings; complimentary wine tasting and laundry/pressing; a 50 percent discount on all wine packages, mini-bar purchases, Explorations Café drinks and alternative restaurant surcharges; a 15 percent discount on logo apparel items onboard in the gift shops; priority tender service and check-in; priority shore excursion pre-booking; and a free subscription to Food and Wine magazine or Travel and Leisure magazine.

billbelt December 31st, 2009 03:24 PM

HAL Changes
Paul---thanks for publishing the changes in HAL's awards/recognition program. Even though we have cruised HAL for a long time and are just short of the 200 cruise day level, we never received anything about the changes from HAL. This after two long cruises in 2008 & 2009.

DeeDee December 31st, 2009 04:24 PM

Check out HAL's website. The changes have been there for a few months since it's inception.

billbelt December 31st, 2009 07:23 PM

Mariner Changes
OK---thanks for the note

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