Call it the end of an era for RoyalCaribbean other Celebrity Cruises fans who also like to sail on Azamara.
A popular loyalty perk long offered by the three cruise brands — the ability for a member in one of the lines’ loyalty programs to get reciprocal benefits in both of the other brands’ loyalty programs — is coming to an end, effective Wednesday.
The change comes two years after the parent company of Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, known as Royal Caribbean Group, sold Azamara to private equity firm Sycamore Partnersresulting in it becoming a stand-alone cruise company.
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As of Wednesday, members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program and Celebrity’s Captain’s Club Loyalty program will continue to receive reciprocal benefits. However, they won’t receive reciprocal benefits when sailing with Azamara.
Members of Azamara’s Azamara Circle loyalty program, in turn, won’t be able to get reciprocal benefits when sailing with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity.
Additionally, Azamara and Celebrity loyalty program members won’t earn points cumulatively in both programs, something that has been the case since the founding of Azamara in 2007.
Related: The ultimate guide to Azamara cabins and suites
In short, beginning Wednesday, the Azamara Circle program will be completely independent for the first time in its history.
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Two key things to note about the transition:
- Members of Celebrity’s Captain’s Circle program will keep points earned from past sailings with Azamara.
- Members of the Azamara Circle program will keep points earned from past sailings with Celebrity only if they have completed at least one Azamara sailing by Wednesday. In other words, Azamara Circle members who have racked up points in the program over the years solely by sailing on Celebrity ships will lose those points (and their current status on the line) as of Wednesday.
The ability for cruisers with high levels of status with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity to get reciprocal benefits when sailing with Azamara, and for cruisers with high levels of status with Azamara to get reciprocal benefits when sailing with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, was a valuable perk for fans of all three brands.
Related: The ultimate guide to Azamara
Under terms of the reciprocity, Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society members who reached the Diamond level (80-174 points) in that program, for instance, would be recognized on Azamara ships as if they had Discoverer level (300-749 points) in the Azamara Circle program.
Members of Azamara’s loyalty program will no longer receive a status match when sailing on Royal Caribbean ships. ROYAL CARIBBEAN
That would get them a 50% discount on a Wi-Fi package, a 20% savings on spa treatments, a 15% discount on a drinks package and a free bag of laundry service once per cruise — perks that could result in hundreds of dollars in savings on board Azamara ships.
They also would receive access to priority boarding in some ports and invitations to onboard events for loyalty program elite members.
Celebrity Captain’s Club members who hit the Elite level (300-749 points) of that program would be recognized at the same Discoverer level in the Azamara Circle program. Captain’s Club members at the higher Elite Plus (740-2,999 points) and Zenith (3,000-plus) levels of that program would receive the benefits of the highest Discoverer Plus (740-2,999 points) and Discoverer Platinum (3,000-plus points) levels of the Azamara program.
Related: 5 things we love about Azamara’s newest ship
Azamara’s highest Discoverer Platinum level brings such perks as completely free Wi-Fi and 25% discounts on spa treatments and drinks packages.
In addition to Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, Royal Caribbean Group currently owns a full or partial interest in three other cruise brands: Silversea Cruises, TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. However, the parent company only offers reciprocal loyalty benefits between its Royal Caribbean and Celebrity brands.
The Silversea brand has a relatively simple loyalty program without separate program tiers.
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