Three Carnival Cruises Lose Loyalty Benefit Availability

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Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests at the highest levels of the past passenger loyalty program, alerting them that some of their benefits are unavailable for specific sailings in April 2024.

The impacted cruises are all longer Carnival Journeys voyages, which often have such benefits curtailed due to the logistics of having higher-than-typical numbers of high-level loyalty passengers aboard.

Some Loyalty Benefits Removed From Highly Desirable Sailings

Three Carnival cruises aboard two different vessels will not be able to provide all the anticipated benefits for Diamond and Platinum guests, due to high numbers of those guests joining the select voyages.

The impacted sailings are the April 6 departure of Carnival Miracle, a 15-night Hawaii cruise roundtrip from Long Beach, California. The April 7 departures for Carnival Pride and Carnival Spirit are likewise affected.

Carnival Pride is sailing a 14-night repositioning cruise from Tampa to Baltimore (now to Norfolk as a temporary homeport), while Carnival Spirit is on a 16-night repositioning from Tampa to Seattle ahead of the Alaska season.

Longer sailings, especially repositioning cruises, are often popular with frequent cruisers. Because of this popularity, it can become logistically impossible for any cruise line to successfully offer elite benefits to a large number of cruisers on the same sailing.

“Due to the high number of Diamond and Platinum guests joining us on this voyage, we will not be able to provide priority embarkation or debarkation (including at any ports of call),” the notification emails read.

One additional Diamond-level benefit is also rescinded for these three sailings. Diamond is the highest current level in Carnival Cruise Line’s VIFP loyalty program, requiring 200+ points to reach that status.

Carnival Spirit Cruise Ship
Carnival Spirit Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

“Related to Diamond guests, due to capacity limitations, we cannot guarantee main dining room seating requests for dinner,” the emails explained.

It should be noted that Platinum guests still receive “priority reservations” at the main dining rooms and specialty restaurants, but these have never been a guaranteed benefit, only a priority consideration.

Read Also: Loyalty Programs – Should You Stay Loyal to One Cruise Line?

“This operational change is consistent with other Carnival Journeys cruises where we have a very large number of Diamond and Platinum guests,” the emails explain. “We apologize for any disappointment and thank you for your understanding.”

While many Carnival Journeys cruises have similar limitations based on ship capacity and the overall numbers of high level loyalty guests, any restrictions are based on evaluations of the logistics for an individual sailing. If one of these longer, more immersive itineraries had fewer high level VIFP guests, the benefits would remain intact.

No Other Benefits Changed

At this time, no other benefits have been restricted for any of these three cruises. Blue (first sailing), Red (second sailing to 24 cruise points), and Gold (25-74 points) passengers have no changes to their benefits, and all other upper tier benefits remain intact.

Carnival Miracle Cruise Ship
Carnival Miracle Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: achinthamb / Shutterstock)

For example, benefits such as free bottles of water – especially notable as Carnival Cruise Line recently increased the price of bottled water – Carnival logo gifts, free wash and fold laundry services, collectible pins, and other loyalty amenities will still be available.

Changes to Loyalty Program Coming Soon

Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has hinted several times in recent months that a significant overhaul to the loyalty program may be in the works.

Details of such a change have not yet been released, nor is there any firm date for when changes to the program may take effect. It is possible that Carnival Cruise Line may add new levels with different requirements of points earned, or the benefits available to each level may be adjusted.

Cruise lines do regularly adjust their loyalty programs, including available perks, based on guest feedback, program growth, and operational needs.

What loyalty benefits do you enjoy the most, and which ones wouldn’t you mind changing? Share your thoughts on the Cruise Hive boards!

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