Royal Caribbean International has updated and added to the benefits for its Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program, with new options that many guests will enjoy.
Not all the changes will be welcome, however, and some guests may see the updates as a loss of favored benefits. The changes are largely set to take effect as of March 10, 2023.
New Color Commemorative Blocks
The most eye-catching update is the famed “crystal blocks” – commemorative souvenirs given to Diamond level guests who reach 140 cruise points, and again for every extra 70 points earned. The old design is gradually being retired (likely as supplies diminish), and guests will now receive a full-color block to mark their milestones.
“We’re excited to announce that our new crystal blocks are debuting this spring, and they’re ready to take your collection to the next level,” Royal Caribbean said on its Crown & Anchor Society Facebook page.
The older design is a monochrome look, with the ship, ship name, and Royal Caribbean branding engraved inside the solid, clear crystal block. The new, full-color design features a photo of the ship rather than an engraving, and the ship’s name and “Crown & Anchor Society” appear carved into the surface of the block.
Because supplies of the crystal blocks will vary on different ships, the release for the new color blocks is only specified as “this spring” rather than a specific date.
Read Also: Loyalty Programs – Should You Stay Loyal to One Cruise Line?
More Crown & Anchor Society Benefit Updates
In addition to the changes to the crystal blocks, other benefits across the upper levels of the loyalty tiers have also been tweaked.
For Emerald level members and above (at least 55 cruise points), the “welcome beverage” will no longer need to be pre-selected. Instead, these loyal guests will receive additional complimentary bottles of water, which will be placed in guests’ staterooms.
This can be a great choice for guests who prefer bottled water, but could also be considered a loss of a benefit for guests who preferred a different drink. Higher tier levels receive more bottles.
Welcome snacks have also been removed from the benefits, which could also be considered a negative change for many guests, especially families traveling with young cruisers who look forward to the treats.
Updates have also been made to the free amenities list for the most loyal of Royal Caribbean guests.
The free gifts – ranging from exclusive beverages to fruit plates, chocolate-covered strawberries, cheese trays, tote bags, toiletry bags, soda 6-packs, cupcakes, and more – are offered to Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club guests. The number of gifts a guest can choose depends not only on their loyalty level, but also on the length of the sailing.
The choice of gifts also varies. Guests with 175-339 points can select from 15 items, guests with 340-524 points have 35 options, and guests with more than 525 points can choose from 46 different gifts.
Guests must make their selection at least 10 days prior to setting sail. This will also help ensure availability, but substitutions are possible if supplies are not available.
Other Benefits Still Remain
Of course, many other benefits remain unchanged for Royal Caribbean’s loyal guests.
For example, all returning guests – even with just 3 cruise points from a single short sailing – receive two drink discount coupons, two milkshake discount coupons for ships that feature a Johnny Rockets venue, internet package discounts, photo discounts, and other savings.
As guests build further loyalty, benefits increase to include items such as higher discounts, exclusive onboard events, free laundry service, priority show access, dedicated lounges, and more.
Benefits are always subject to availability and may be changed at any time. Royal Caribbean has recently made a number of changes to its loyalty program, such as adjusting which guests have access to the most exclusive lounges and adjusting the timing for free drink redemption.
Whether or not the new changes will be well received remains to be seen, but the cruise line is always taking guest feedback into account as it adapts benefits to reward loyal guests.