Today, Celebrity announced enhancements to their Captains Club. The new enhancements offer a few significant improvements to the program, mostly in the way of laundry service, internet packages, and an exclusive lounge. The Captains Club is Celebrity’s passenger loyalty program with three levels: Classic with 1-4 Celebrity Cruises, Select with 5-9 cruises, and Elite with 10+ cruises.
In today’s announcement and on the Celebrity Captains Club web pages, Celebrity provided the details of the new program. I’d like to comment on the features that I feel l will offer the most benefits to passengers.
Celebrity ships do not have self service laundry, thus packing light has always been a bit difficult on for a longer Celebrity cruise. I have always felt that paying for laundry was and expense with which I’d rather not be burdened. Towards the end of a long cruise they have sometimes offered a full bag of laundry for $20, but it was usually offered too late to make a significant impact on the need for clean clothes, and not reliable enough to provide for lighter packing . The new benefit offers Select members a single full bag at the $20 rate at anytime on a voyage of 12 days or more. Elite members will get one free bag of laundry and one discounted bag during a voyage of 12 days or more. Being able to rely and budget for this service should make quite a few passengers happy who are looking to pack lighter and save money.
The next enhancement that I feel will be of particular benefit to loyal passengers is discounted or free internet use. Select members will receive a 25% discount on any internet time package. Even better, Elite members will receive 90 minutes of free internet access. Frequent cruisers often like to keep in touch with friends and family back home through blogs or e-mail, so many of the Select and Elite Members will enjoy this benefit.
Perhaps the most enticing benefit offered to their loyal customers is the exclusive lounge for Elite members. This lounge will offer a coffee house style breakfast and an evening social hour. According to the press release the ships will utilize their former Cigar Bars, Micheal’s Clubs for this Elite lounge. This may be a good fit for these clubs as they have generally been underused except on cruises where the piano players have drawn a loyal crowd. The press release specifically mentions complementary wine tasting, however rumour hint that the evening social hour may offer complimentary cocktails from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Some internet chatter has express concern about certain sailing which tend to attract many Elite Captains Club members. The concern is that number of Elite members on some of the sailings might overwhelm service and capacity levels for this type of benefit.
Captains Club Celebration Event:
Today’s announcement also seems to indicate that Celebrity is some how revamping their Captains Club Social event, but provides no details as to what this new event will entail. In the past the event has been a cocktail party with live music and complementary drinks. We have attended and enjoyed this event on every cruise except our last one, where the number of repeat passengers seemed to exceed and overwhelm service levels and traffic flow capacity. We skipped the whole event anticipating large crowds, and those who did attend reported a 30 minute wait to get through the receiving line and slow service once inside the event. Perhaps with more and more loyal customers Celebrity is realizing that they must make these events more efficient in order to satisfy these customers.
For our next cruise with Celebrity we will once again enjoy Select Captains Club status. I’m looking forward to the discounted laundry and internet service. Also this cruise will qualify us for the next status level with Celebrity, so for our next cruise we will be able to take full advantage of the program Elite benefits.