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I seem to recall hearing that on average half of a sailing is made of completely new people, so there is little need to offer special perks.  Most perks are designed to keep people loyal to a single line.  So you get Crown and Anchor with RCCL, VIFP Club with Carnival, Castaway Club with Disney, Latitudes with Norwegian, etc.  Call it a reverse of the phone and cable packages where the new people get enticed with deep discounts but long-time clients get nothing.

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While there are no official perks you can count on a first-time cruiser, sometimes the crew or your travel agent will do something unofficial to make the trip a little bit nicer if they know it's for a special event.

  • On one of his podcasts, @Matt recounted how he and his wife were unofficially "bumped up" to the priority boarding line by an attendant when she saw them wearing T-shirts saying they were on their honeymoon (full disclosure -- after hearing this, my wife bought us "20th anniversary" T-shirts for our upcoming first-ever cruise in March, as that along with our older girl graduating high school was the impetus for the booking; we can dream, right? :4_joy:)
  • TAs will sometimes, if they know the booking is for a graduation or anniversary or such, order a set of themed room decorations without telling you; these will be set up by the time you go to your room after it becomes available
  • Your dining room staff will sometimes make a special event out of dinner if it's someone's birthday or anniversary
  • You can also, much of the time, count on your dining staff to remember preferences you make known on night one of your trip; several here love Indian curry, and ask to have some as part of each appetizer course at dinner; others have told of waiters who quickly learn their preferred with-dinner or after-dinner drink and make sure it's ready and waiting for them each night when they come in to dinner

They're nothing major, but they are definitely nice little touches that can make the cruise more memorable and enjoyable. Don't expect them, don't go looking for them, but definitely do take a moment to appreciate them if they happen.

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