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Man who has cruised the most with Royal Caribbean reaches 10,000 points

In:
09 Aug 2022

One person has reached the top echelon of Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program that no one has ever gotten to before him.

Super Mario hits 10,000 points

Mario ‘Super Mario’ Salcedo just reached 10,000 points in Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society this past weekend.

By hitting 10,000 points, he is the the highest-level Pinnacle member who has sailed on over 900 Royal Caribbean cruises!

Super Mario was onboard Explorer of the Seas when it happened, and Royal Caribbean celebrated his incredible milestone.

Super Mario hits 10,000 points

To mark this special occasion, Mario celebrated onboard alongside crew, ship/shoreside leadership, including

  • Sean Treacy – SVP Hotel Operations
  • Linken D’Souza – Vice President Food & Beverage
  • Raimund Gschaider – Vice President Hotel Operations
  • Ken Rush - Director Entertainment Activity Programming  
  • Ed Eiswirth – Director of Beverage Operations
  • Toni Tomlijaovic – Captain
  • Julie Young – Hotel Director
  • Elvis Pinto – Cruise Director
  • Nancy Ramos – AVP Loyalty & Onboard Marketing
  • Courtney Brant – Director Loyalty Marketing
  • Abundance Boekenstein – Senior Manager Product Development
  • Sylvia Chougle – Lead Loyalty Systems
  • Michelle Illance – Senior AE Loyalty Marketing
  • Loyalty Ambassador: Justin Alducente
  • Guest Services Manager: Federico Rodriguez
  • Activities Manager: Moe Vatuloka

To reach this milestone, he cruises about 50 weeks a year and has been doing so for decades now.

Labadee aerial

His favorite itineraries are to the Caribbean, and his favorite stop is our private destination in Labadee, Haiti

 

How Mario became Super Mario

Explorer of the Seas docked

Mr. Salcedo became Royal Caribbean's top cruiser years ago, but he only got started in 2000.

His family moved from Cuba to Miami in the early 1960s to start a new life in pursuit of freedom and opportunity.

"We are eternally grateful to this country for having welcomed us with open arms," he said about moving to the United States.

For the past two decades, Mario has been a full-time resident on Royal Caribbean, having sailed at this point on over 900 sailings.

Read moreLife at sea - An interview with Royal Caribbean's top cruiser, Super Mario

In 1997, Mr. Salcedo opened a small business managing investments for clients in 1997. That same year he took his first cruise and fell in love with the experience and began sampling different lines, regions, and itineraries.

Since then, cruising has become a way of life.

Since his first Royal Caribbean cruise in 2000, Mario has sailed exclusively on Royal Caribbean International ships around the world -- that’s 22 years and counting!

His first ship was Voyager of the Seas, which caught his attention because of how massive the ship was and that got him hooked.

"The ship took my breath away. I had never seen such a grandiose ship. It was then that I became Loyal to Royal and accelerated my cruising pace rather dramatically."

"The internet cafes onboard enabled me to run my business online and cruise at the same time. So, I decided to make a transformative lifestyle change and live onboard full-time."

How long will we cruise? As long as he can.

"With so many friends and memories made out at sea over the years, I plan to continue cruising indefinitely so long as I’m in good health and having fun."

Mario's favorite cruise memory

Mr. Salcedo shared recently the answer to what is his most memorable cruise memory.

“Without a doubt, the ‘hurricane evacuation’ cruise onboard Enchantment of the Seas in September 2017.

Hurricane Irma was headed towards South Florida packing maximum winds of 150 mph. Evacuation orders were issued, but there were no flights, car rentals, or hotel rooms. Bottled water and essential items ran out quickly and even gasoline was scarce. Miami’s residents were essentially trapped.

A famous CEO came up with the brilliant idea to offer Enchantment of the Seas to the Miami-based shoreside employees and their immediate families as a means of quick, safe, and free evacuation.

I believe the ship carried nearly 3,000 employees and families as she sailed out of Miami and out of harm's way for a 4-day cruise to nowhere. I may have been the only real guest onboard.  

That sailing gave me the unique opportunity to meet, chat, and socialize with many shoreside employees. It was a new and truly unforgettable experience.

I love the onboard crew, but this unplanned encounter with the shoreside employee population was unlike anything I’d ever experienced.”

Crown and Anchor Society loyalty program info, tips & secrets

In:
01 Jul 2022

Royal Caribbean has a program of rewards for anyone that cruises multiple times with them that acts as their customer loyalty program.

The Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program is available to anyone, whether this is your first Royal Caribbean cruise or your 50th cruise.

Earning points for your cruise vacation enables you to move up in the loyalty program, giving you exclusive access to pre-cruise discounts as well as onboard benefits and events.

At first glance the Crown & Anchor Society may seem a bit overwhelming, so we wanted to give you a comprehensive overview of the program’s benefits and offers.

How do I earn Crown & Anchor Society points?

Earning Crown & Anchor Society points is fairly simple. Each night on a cruise earns you one point. Therefore, if your cruise is seven nights, you will earn seven Crown and Anchor points.

There are a few ways to earn points more quickly. If you are staying in a suite, you will earn double points per night, making a 7-night cruise worth 14 points. Likewise, you will also earn double points by cruising solo in a regular (non-studio) cabin. If you happen to be cruising solo and are staying in a suite, you will earn a whopping 21 Crown and Anchor points on a 7-night cruise.

Points are not rewarded until after you have completed a sailing. This means that if you technically reach the next tier of the Crown & Anchor Society on day two of a cruise, your upgraded status will not be recognized until your next cruise.

Joining the Crown & Anchor Society is free and we recommend creating an account prior to your first cruise. If you did not have a Crown & Anchor Society account before your cruise, you can create one and link past sailings from the previous 12 months.

Crown & Anchor Society Tier Overview

There are six tiers to the Crown & Anchor Society:

  • Gold - 3 points
  • Platinum - 30 points
  • Emerald - 55 points
  • Diamond - 80 points
  • Diamond Plus - 175 points
  • Pinnacle Club - 700 points

There is also the Pre-Gold level, which is where every guest will start on their first Royal Caribbean cruise. As most sailings are 3 nights or longer, the majority of guests will reach Gold status after their first cruise.

Gold

Ranging from 3-29 points, the Gold level is the first official tier of the Crown & Anchor Society. As a Gold member, you do not receive an extensive list of benefits, but you will receive the following:

  • Crown & Anchor Society Onboard Offers
  • SeaPass card recognition
  • Crown & Anchor Exclusive Rates
  • Priority notice on special offers, new ships and itineraries
  • Additional cruise points for purchasing suite accommodations and/or single pricing type
  • Exclusive email offers
  • Crown & Anchor Society Desk for membership inquiries
  • Crown & Anchor Society Exclusive member newsletter

Platinum

From 30-54 points you will be a Platinum member of the Crown & Anchor Society. If you have accumulated this many points, you are likely a seasoned cruiser compared to your Pre-Gold days. Platinum members receive all benefits listed above with the addition of:

  • Robes for use onboard
  • Signature Lapel Pin
  • Discounts on Balcony and Suite staterooms
  • Matching Celebrity Cruises Captain’s Club

Emerald

An Emerald member does not see a substantial increase in onboard and cruise planning benefits compared to at the Platinum level. Emerald members, from 55 to 79 points, receive all benefits listed above with the addition of:

  • Welcome Waters & Snack + Beverage Selection
  • Bigger discount on Balcony & Suite staterooms compared to a Platinum member

Diamond

Becoming a Diamond member is a right of passage for Royal Caribbean cruise fans. Whereas Gold, Platinum, and Emerald all see a few benefits, the Diamond level, from 80 to 174 points, is where you begin to receive benefits that will better impact your cruise vacation.

As a Diamond member, one of the biggest benefits you receive is access to the Diamond Lounge. Reaching 80 points means that you now have access to a completely new area onboard and all of the benefits that come with it, like complimentary food, coffee, and access to the Diamond concierge.

Diamond members receive all benefits listed above with the addition of:

  • Milestone recognition
  • Priority waitlist for Shore Excursions/Vitality Spa services
  • Diamond Club (on select ships)
  • Exclusive Nightly Diamond Event
  • Entertainment Tour
  • Priority waitlist seating request in the Main Dining Room
  • Bigger discount on Balcony & Suite staterooms compared to an Emerald member

Diamond Plus

The jump from Diamond to Diamond Plus in the Crown & Anchor Society is a big milestone. Whereas you can reach the Diamond level after “just” 80 points, reaching Diamond Plus requires more than double that at 175 points. And once you reach Diamond Plus you will likely stay in this tier for a long time, as Diamond Plus ranges from 175-699 Crown & Anchor points.

Diamond Plus members receive all benefits listed above with the addition of:

  • Personalized Gift/Amenity (per household)
  • Exclusive Top Tier Event
  • Early access at theater, ice show, and AquaTheater events
  • Cheers with an Officer for members with 340+ cruise points
  • Upgraded bathroom amenities for members with 340+ cruise points
  • Bonus Gift for members with 340+ cruise points (per household)
  • Bonus Gift for members with 525+ cruise points (per household)
  • Exclusive access to Diamond Plus & Pinnacle Club call center staff members
  • Single supplement cruise fare reduced to 150% from 200% for members that have 340 or more cruise points
  • Bigger discount on Balcony & Suite staterooms compared to a Diamond member

Pinnacle Club

The most coveted tier of the Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society is the Pinnacle Club. Making up only a very small percentage of C&A members, a whopping 700 points must be earned to reach the Pinnacle Club level.

Reaching Pinnacle is a huge milestone for Royal Caribbean fans. As Royal Caribbean Blog writer Marcy Miyar explained, though, you don’t necessarily have to spend 700 nights on a cruise ship to reach Pinnacle. Booking suites or cruising solo allows you to earn more than one point per night, thus making your pathway to pinnacle a little bit quicker.

Pinnacle Club members receive all benefits listed above with the addition of:

  • Flexible arrival
  • Personalized lapel pin for Pinnacle Club
  • Pinnacle Club SeaPass Card with exclusive privileges
  • Daily breakfast at a specialty restaurant
  • Exclusive nightly pinnacle club event
  • Milestone cruise certificate valued at the prevailing rate of a 7-night balcony stateroom for 700 and 1050 cruise points
  • Milestone cruise certificate valued at the prevailing rate of a Junior Suite stateroom for 1,400 and every 350 cruise points thereafter
  • Bigger discount on Balcony & Suite staterooms compared to a Diamond Plus member

Member Benefits for Youth & Companions

Family members in the same household of a Crown & Anchor Society member can be added into a relationship with the member and receive equal tier status. Points listed in the family member’s account will be according to the amount of cruises that individual has taken. However, they will still receive all benefits of the tier level they earned as someone in the household of a Crown & Anchor Society member.

For example, if you are a Diamond Plus member, your kids will automatically be Diamond Plus members as well after their first cruise, even if their own Crown & Anchor Society account only has a few points. The only exception to this rule is with the Pinnacle Club. Dependents are not able to receive Pinnacle Club status from their parents or guardians and must achieve that milestone themselves. Spouses and domestic partners are able to reach Pinnacle status through their partner.

Other benefits for youth members of the Crown & Anchor Society include onboard offers and a commemorative gift for Diamond level and above.

Recent Policy Changes

Since the restart of cruises in 2021, Royal Caribbean has added enhancements and temporary adjustments to the Crown & Anchor Society benefits. These benefits include:

  • Daily drink vouchers for Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Members for drinks with up to a $13 value that can be used at any bar, Diamond Lounge during Happy Hour, or private destination at any time
  • Flexible arrival for Pinnacle Club and Suite guests, allowing early check-in at the terminal
  • Pinnacle members are still able to dine in Coastal Kitchen, but reservations are required
  • Pinnacle members on Oasis and Quantum class ships receive a $25 dining voucher for a specialty restaurant of their choice
  • “Master Class-type experience” for an insider view into the ship’s entertainment
  • Early access at onboard entertainment for Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members
  • Pinnacle members cannot currently access the Suite and Concierge lounges, but can enjoy private nightly gatherings at other locations onboard
  • “Meal with an Officer” for Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members has been evolved to a physical-distanced “Cheers with an Officer”

What is the Diamond Lounge?

Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle guests can access the Diamond Lounge while onboard. The Diamond Lounge is open 24 hours a day and is an exclusive area only for Diamond members. Comfy seating and complimentary snacks and coffee are available throughout the day.

In addition, the Diamond Lounge has a concierge available that can help with booking things like dining, entertainment, shore excursions, and spa appointments while onboard. They are also available for general questions about the ship and any problems you may encounter.

The Diamond Lounge also has a happy hour each evening. Prior to the cruise industry shutdown, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages in the Diamond Lounge were complimentary during happy hour. This benefit has temporarily changed, though. Now Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club members are given a select number of drink vouchers per day to be used at happy hour or at bars around the ship. Diamond members receive 4 vouchers, Diamond Plus receive 5, and Pinnacle Club members receive 6 vouchers per day.

Most Royal Caribbean ships have a Diamond Lounge. If a ship does not have a Diamond Lounge, a Diamond-exclusive event will be held each night at a designated venue onboard.

Crown & Anchor Society Onboard Offers

When you board a cruise ship as a member of the Crown & Anchor Society, there will be a paper waiting for you in your stateroom listing your exclusive onboard offers. These offers increase by your Crown & Anchor Society tier and help you save money on your cruise vacation. Here are the current offers by membership level:

Gold

Wine & Dine

  • 50% off coupon for any glass of wine, beer, or soda (two coupons per sailing)
  • 25% off any Coffee Beverage (Starbucks not included)
  • Two 50% off coupons for Johnny Rockets Milkshakes
  • 10% off any wine, beer, or soda by the glass

Entertainment

  • Buy a Bingo Package, get one free Jackpot Card
  • 10% off any Internet Package
  • $2 Free Play

Shopping & Services

  • Buy one, get one 50% off - Photo
  • 10% off RCCL Logo Products (must spend $25)
  • 10% off any Spa Service (excluding Medi-Spa)

Platinum

Wine & Dine

  • 50% off coupon for any glass of wine, beer, or soda (two coupons per sailing)
  • 25% off any Coffee Beverage (Starbucks not included) (two coupons per sailing)
  • Two 50% off coupons for Johnny Rockets Milkshakes
  • 10% off any wine, beer, or soda by the glass
  • Receive one free non-alcoholic Specialty Coffee with the purchase of one Specialty Restaurant dinner

Entertainment

  • Buy a Bingo Package, get three free Jackpot Cards
  • 15% off any Internet Package
  • $4 Free Play

Shopping & Services

  • Buy one, get one 50% off - Photo
  • 10% off RCCL Logo Products (must spend $25)
  • 15% off any Spa Service (excluding Medi-Spa)
  • $5 off a $25 Dry Clean or Press
  • $5 off a $34.99 Wash & Fold Laundry Bag (5+ night sailings)

Emerald

Wine & Dine

  • 50% off coupon for any glass of wine, beer, or soda (two coupons flouper sailing)
  • 25% off any Coffee Beverage (Starbucks not included) (two coupons per sailing)
  • Two 50% off coupons for Johnny Rockets Milkshakes
  • 10% off any wine, beer, or soda by the glass
  • Receive one free non-alcoholic Specialty Coffee with the purchase of one Specialty Restaurant dinner

Entertainment

  • Buy a Bingo Package, get six free Jackpot Cards
  • 15% off any Internet Package
  • $6 Free Play

Shopping & Services

  • Buy one, get one 50% off - Photo
  • 10% off RCCL Logo Products (must spend $25)
  • 15% off any Spa Service (excluding Medi-Spa)
  • $5 off a $25 Dry Clean or Press
  • $5 off a $34.99 Wash & Fold Laundry Bag (5+ night sailings)

Diamond

Wine & Dine

  • Four free drinks daily up to $13 value (except Starbucks & Bionic Bar)
  • 50% off coupon for any glass of wine, beer, or soda (two coupons per sailing)
  • Two 50% off coupons for Johnny Rockets Milkshakes
  • 20% off any wine, beer, or soda by the glass
  • Receive one free non-alcoholic Specialty Coffee with the purchase of one Specialty Restaurant dinner

Entertainment

  • One free day of Surf Internet for 1 device or $25.99 off any Internet Package
  • Buy a Bingo Package, get six free Jackpot Cards
  • $6 Free Play

Shopping & Services

  • One free photo
  • 15% off RCCL Logo Products (must spend $25)
  • 20% off any Spa Service (excluding Medi-Spa)
  • 10% off a Photo Package or Photobook
  • $5 off a $25 Dry Clean or Press
  • $10 off a $34.99 Wash & Fold Laundry Bag (5+ night sailings)
  • Receive a discounted Stateroom Phone rate of $2 per minute

Diamond Plus

Wine & Dine

  • Five free drinks daily up to $13 value (except Starbucks & Bionic Bar)
  • 50% off coupon for any glass of wine, beer, or soda (two coupons per sailing)
  • 25% off any wine, beer, or soda by the glass
  • Two 50% off coupons for Johnny Rockets Milkshakes
  • 30% off Deluxe Beverage Package
  • Buy one Specialty Restaurant cover charge, get one free. For dinner on Day 1 or 2 only (except Chef’s Table & Hibachi/Teppanyaki)
  • Receive one free non-alcoholic Specialty Coffee with the purchase of one Specialty Restaurant dinner

Entertainment

  • Two free days of Surf Internet for 1 device or $51.98 off any Internet Package
  • Buy a Bingo Package, get six free Jackpot Cards
  • $6 Free Play

Shopping & Services

  • A free $34.99 Wash & Fold Laundry Bag (5+ night sailings)
  • One free photo
  • 15% off RCCL Logo Products (must spend $25)
  • Complimentary add-on Spa Service (excluding Medi-spa)
  • 20% off any Spa Service (excluding Medi-Spa)
  • 10% off a Photo Package or Photobook
  • $5 off a $25 Dry Clean or Press
  • $10 off a $34.99 Wash & Fold Laundry Bag (5+ night sailings)
  • Receive a discounted Stateroom Phone rate of $2 per minute

Pinnacle

Wine & Dine

  • Six free drinks daily up to $13 value (except Starbucks & Bionic Bar)
  • 50% off coupon for any glass of wine, beer, or soda (two coupons per sailing)
  • 25% off any wine, beer, or soda by the glass 
  • Two 50% off coupons for Johnny Rockets Milkshakes
  • 40% off Deluxe Beverage Package
  • Buy one Specialty Restaurant cover charge, get one free. For dinner on Day 1 or 2 only (except Chef’s Table & Hibachi/Teppanyaki)

Entertainment

  • One free Internet Package 1 device, Surf & Stream, full voyage
  • Buy a Bingo Package, get six free Jackpot Cards
  • $6 Free Play

Shopping & Services

  • A free $34.99 Wash & Fold Laundry Bag (5+ night sailings)
  • One free photo
  • 15% off RCCL Logo Products (must spend $25)
  • Complimentary add-on Spa Service (excluding Medi-spa)
  • 20% off any Spa Service (excluding Medi-Spa)
  • 10% off a Photo Package or Photobook
  • $5 off a $25 Dry Clean or Press
  • $5 off a $17.49 Express Press (Redeemable on Day 1 only)
  • $10 off a $34.99 Wash & Fold Laundry Bag (5+ night sailings)
  • Receive a discounted Stateroom Phone rate of $2 per minute

Crown and Anchor Society questions

Do Royal Caribbean points expire?

Water slides on Adventure of the Seas

No, points you earn in Crown and Anchor never expire and the status you earn is good indefinitely.

In fact, if you cruised with Royal Caribbean in the past and never created an account, you can still get credit for those sailings and the points you earned. You just need to call the Crown and Anchor Society phone number with your sail date and ship name to have it added to your account.

How many points do I need for a free cruise on Royal Caribbean?

Exterior view of Adventure of the Seas

The only loyalty tier that provides a free cruise would be when you reach Pinnacle Club status.

When you reach the top of Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program, a free sailing is one of the many perks.

What is the Crown and Anchor Society phone number?

Royal Caribbean logo

If you're in the United States, you can call Crown & Anchor Society at (800) 526-9723.

If you are outside the U.S. and Canada, call (541) 285-9723.

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9 AM-10 PM EST and Saturday through Sunday 9 AM-8 PM EST.

Can I use my Royal Caribbean points on Celebrity Cruises?

You can do a one-time status match with Celebrity and get an equivalent status with them.

You will still earn points with Celebrity separately from Royal Caribbean, but they will honor your equivalent status in the Captain's Club until you cruise enough with Celebrity to move up.

Read more about the Crown & Anchor Society

Royal Caribbean hires new loyalty program ambassador

In:
27 May 2022

Royal Caribbean has a new face for its customer loyalty program.

In an update to members of the Crown and Anchor Society, Royal Caribbean announced it has hired a new Director of Loyalty.

Courtney Brant will serve as Royal Caribbean's "face of the Crown and Anchor Society", which has traditionally been a role that gives frequent cruisers a singular point of reference for communication.

In the email sent to Crown and Anchor Society members, Ms. Brant shared a brief message, "I’m absolutely thrilled to join not only Royal Caribbean, but the Crown & Anchor Society family too. I can’t wait to get to know our loyal members on a personal level and help create incredible vacation memories for you all."

Meet Courtney Brant

Prior to becoming the Director of Loyalty, Ms. Brant worked at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings for four years, where she served as a Senior Manager of Loyalty and Revenue Marketing prior to moving to Royal Caribbean.

At the onset of the pandemic, Royal Caribbean laid off the previous person to hold the position, Molly Paolini.  She had served in the role between July 2019 and April 2020.

What does the Director of Loyalty do?

You can expect Ms. Brant to act as a figurehead for Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

The Crown and Anchor Society has a lot of fervent fans that not only love to cruise, but their status in the program and the benefits it provides quite seriously.

In the past, one of the chief responsibilities was to keep Crown and Anchor members updated on everything Royal Caribbean, planning special events and more.

How do Royal Caribbean and MGM Resorts shared benefits work?

In:
13 Apr 2022

Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society benefits can improve your cruise experience, but points earned can also transfer to experiences on land. Royal Caribbean has a partnership with MGM Resorts, offering a tier match between the Crown & Anchor Society and MGM Rewards program.

For no extra cost, you can link your Crown & Anchor level and immediately take advantage of MGM benefits including resort fee waivers, discounts on entertainment, and complimentary hotel upgrades.

I recently headed to Las Vegas to take a closer look at how linking your Royal Caribbean account with MGM Rewards can enhance your MGM experience, whether in Las Vegas or beyond.

In this article:

Overview

MGM Rewards (formerly known as M Life Rewards) is a loyalty program with benefits and rewards available at select MGM properties in Las Vegas and around the United States.

MGM Rewards tier points are earned through the following:

  • Gaming: slots, video lottery terminals, video poker, and table games
  • Hotel accommodations, dining, and spa (4 tier credits per dollar spent)

There are no set tier points earned per dollar spent on gaming. Instead, MGM Rewards points are earned based on time spent playing, average bet, and game type.

There are five tiers within MGM Rewards:

  • Sapphire (Up to 19,999 Tier Credits)
  • Pearl (20,000 - 74,999 Tier Credits)
  • Gold (75,000 - 199,999 Tier Credits)
  • Platinum (200,000 Tier Credits)
  • Noir (by invitation only)

Tier match

Luckily, Crown & Anchor Society members do not have to spend any money at MGM properties to take advantage of MGM Rewards. Through a tier match offered between MGM Resorts and Royal Caribbean, Crown & Anchor Society members can immediately begin receiving discounts and rewards.

The tier level you receive with MGM Rewards depends on your tier in the Crown & Anchor Society:

  • C&A Gold = Sapphire status with MGM Rewards
  • C&A Platinum = Pearl status with MGM Rewards
  • C&A Emerald, Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club = Gold status with MGM Rewards

Linking your account

To link your Crown & Anchor Society account with MGM Rewards, first make a free account on the MGM Resorts website. Next, contact an MGM Rewards representative through phone or email:

Let the representative know your Crown & Anchor Society number. They will contact Royal Caribbean to confirm your information and link you to the appropriate tier with MGM rewards. In my experience this took only a few minutes. As I am a Diamond member in the Crown & Anchor Society, I immediately became a Gold Member with MGM Rewards.

Where can I use MGM Rewards benefits?

MGM Rewards can be used at the following destinations:

Las Vegas

  • Bellagio
  • ARIA Resort & Casino
  • Vdara Hotel & Spa at ARIA Las Vegas
  • MGM Grand
  • The Signature at MGM Grand
  • Mandalay Bay
  • Delano Las Vegas
  • Park MGM
  • The Mirage
  • New York-New York
  • Luxor
  • Excalibur

Regional Destinations

  • Beau Rivage
  • Gold Strike Tunica
  • Borgata
  • MGM Grand Detroit
  • MGM National Harbor
  • MGM Springfield

Hotel benefits

While both Sapphire and Pearl members of MGM Rewards receive a guaranteed lowest room rate when booking direct, the best hotel benefits come with Gold tier and above.

Most hotels on the strip all come with resort fees which must be paid in addition to the hotel fare each night. The majority of resort fees run around $35 - 40 per night plus a 14% tax added on the nightly hotel fare.

Perhaps the best benefit for MGM Gold members and above is having the nightly resort fee, along with taxes and fees, waived each night of your stay. As the resort fee and taxes can add $50+ to your hotel cost each day, this leads to instant savings no matter if you stay just one night or an entire week.

In addition to the resort fee waived, Gold MGM members and above can take advantage of a priority check-in line at the front desk and a complimentary enhanced room upgrade at check-in, based on availability. The complimentary room upgrade usually entails an upgrade to a room with a Strip view or higher floor, but if those rooms are unavailable, guests can be upgraded to a higher tier room such as a suite.

Park MGM

To test out the hotel benefits through MGM Rewards, I booked a room at the Park MGM. Getting the resort fee waived can only be done when booking directly through the MGM Rewards website, so I booked online and headed to the hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

I booked a standard room with two queen beds at the Park MGM for $105.05. The resort fee and tax, which I did not have to pay due to my MGM Rewards status, would have been an additional $44.22. When you book, the website still tells you the resort fee and taxes are due upon arrival. This is waived when checking in at the front desk.

Upon arrival at Park MGM, I initially entered the general check-in line as I did not realize I had another option. As I was waiting in line, though, I spotted the VIP line for Gold MGM members and above. The VIP line had no wait and I was able to get checked in right away.

It was around 1PM, and while check-in was not officially open until 3PM, a room was ready. I inquired, however, about the complimentary enhanced room upgrade for Gold MGM members. While a room upgrade was not available at 1PM, one would be ready at the normal check-in time.

I decided to wait two hours to see what kind of upgrades MGM Rewards members can receive. In the meantime, I checked out the pool areas at the Park MGM, which are complimentary for hotel guests. The Park MGM has three pools, two bars, and plenty of comfy seating available. It definitely seemed like a great space to spend hot, sunny days in Las Vegas.

I received an upgrade to a Stay Well Two Queen room, which enhances the guest safety experience with improved air purification, aromatherapy, dawn simulator lighting, an upgraded mattress, and a chlorine-reducing shower infuser. The room was quite spacious and I enjoyed having access to the Stay Well amenities throughout my stay.

Retail benefits

MGM Rewards members receive discounts at participating retail shops in Las Vegas. Sapphire members receive a 5% discount, Pearl and Gold members 10%, and Platinum and Noir members 15%.

“Participating retail” seemed vague, and the MGM Rewards desk did not have a list of participating retail stores available. I ended up finding an old PDF from the ARIA Resort & Casino which lists participating retail at MGM properties in Las Vegas.

The participating retailers list is quite extensive, covering both high-end retail like Tesorini and resort-themed souvenir stores such as I love NYNY. The list seemed to cover most retail stores at MGM properties.

Any discount is nice when in Las Vegas, and as I was planning to purchase a souvenir or two anyway, I decided to take advantage of my 10% discount. I walked into the Shoppe at Park MGM and saved a few dollars on souvenirs to take home.

One thing that caught my eye in the (outdated?) retail brochure was the fact that certain spas were listed in participating retail. I was curious whether this discount was just for spa retail or if it could be used for spa treatments, so I asked MGM Rewards staff members, to which I received varying responses.

Some staff members thought spa treatments were included in the discounts whereas others were not certain. I headed to The Spa & Salon at New York-New York to check for myself where it was confirmed that the discount was only for spa retail. While disappointed I would not be booking my discounted manicure, I purchased a few retail items from the spa anyway for 10% off.

Dining benefits

MGM Rewards properties, whether in Las Vegas or beyond, have a wide array of cuisines available, from quick-service buffets to fine dining. MGM Rewards members receive benefits for dining at MGM properties.

Dining benefits start at the Pearl tier with a dedicated line at the buffet for Pearl and above. Those with Gold status or above also receive priority reservations for fine dining and a dedicated line at participating restaurants outside the buffet.

I decided to try out a dining benefit by heading to the buffet at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino, located just across the street from the Park MGM.

Upon arrival, I immediately noticed the dedicated buffet line for MGM Rewards members. While I got to the buffet near closing and there was no line anyway, I can see how this would be a fantastic, time-saving benefit during peak hours.

I was able to be seated within a few minutes, and while I wouldn't say the buffet at Excalibur is the fanciest in the world, I enjoyed the crepe and omelet stations as well as the wide range of cuisines available.

Note: While the dining benefits on MGM's website also list a $100 dining credit for those reaching the Gold tier, this benefit is not available for members who reached Gold simply by linking their Crown & Anchor Society account.

Transportation benefits

MGM Rewards benefits also extend to transportation, providing discounts and benefits guaranteed to save members money when traveling to Las Vegas and beyond.

Visitors of any tier in MGM Rewards who need a car rental will save up to 30% off base rental rates with Avis. Those with Pearl status and above can enjoy complimentary self-parking at MGM Rewards destinations, and those with Gold Status and above can enjoy complimentary valet parking.

While I took a Lyft to my hotel in Las Vegas, I would have saved $15 per day in parking fees through my MGM Rewards status had I brought my car.

Entertainment benefits

MGM Rewards members receive discounts on entertainment and access to complimentary shows at MGM Rewards destinations. While benefits on hotel stays, transportation, and dining were relatively straightforward, MGM’s entertainment benefits are more complex as most are on a case-by-case basis.

These are the main entertainment benefits through MGM Rewards:

  • Exclusive MGM Rewards pre-sale access for select entertainment & sporting events
  • Discounts to select shows at MGM Rewards destinations
  • Complimentary tickets to select exclusive MGM Rewards concerts in Las Vegas

Initially I thought there would be a percentage discount on shows at MGM properties like Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group. Upon speaking to a representative, though, it appears discounts are offered on a case-by-case basis dependent on demand for each particular show. There was no list of shows offering discounts available, so I was unable to take advantage of this benefit.

One new benefit MGM Rewards is offering is complimentary tickets to select MGM Rewards concerts in Las Vegas. Through this benefit, MGM Rewards members will be notified of complimentary concerts exclusive for Pearl members and above. 

Gaming and access benefits

Earning a higher status with MGM Rewards by linking your Crown & Anchor Society account brings a variety of gaming and access benefits to be enjoyed at MGM Rewards destinations.

Dedicated reservation lines, non-expiring MGM Rewards points and slot dollars, VIP line access to select Las Vegas nightclubs, bonus on slot dollars earned, and invitations to member-only events and tournaments are just some of the gaming benefits MGM Rewards members can enjoy.

Overall thoughts

Linking your Crown & Anchor Society account to MGM Rewards is completely free and 100% worth doing before staying at an MGM property, whether in Las Vegas or at regional destinations. Saving money and time is guaranteed, whether through complimentary parking or VIP check-in lines.

I think the greatest value of MGM Rewards is, by far, having resort fee and taxes waived for those with Gold status and above. With a savings of around $50+ per night, this can save visitors hundreds of dollars on a stay in Las Vegas or other MGM properties.

In addition, I really enjoyed the complimentary room upgrade available. While I wasn’t upgraded to a significantly larger room or a suite, the upgrade from a standard room to a Stay Well room was well appreciated.

Although I wasn’t traveling to Las Vegas at the busiest time of year or on a weekend, I still enjoyed having access to priority lines at check in and the buffet. I never had to wait in line more than a few seconds, and I’m sure this is a benefit that would be extra helpful during peak times of the year.

I do not have any complaints on benefits offered, especially as I received these benefits simply by linking my Crown & Anchor Society membership to MGM. There was definitely a sense of uncertainty from staff members when I inquired about what benefits were included for MGM Rewards members, though.

Conflicting statements on entertainment discounts and retail options were a bit frustrating when figuring out how to use my MGM Rewards benefits. I encountered this even when asking questions at the MGM Rewards desks at several resorts, so I was surprised there wasn’t more concrete information on the loyalty program available. However, seeing as though the change from M Life Rewards to the MGM Rewards program is quite new, it’s understandable that there may be some confusion on all benefits.

Overall, I was able to save money and time through MGM Rewards and I would recommend any Crown & Anchor Society member to create and link their account to MGM prior to traveling to Las Vegas or beyond.

Royal Caribbean will bring back some Crown and Anchor loyalty program benefits

In:
25 Feb 2022

With Covid-19 cases dropping and health protocols relaxing on cruise ships, Royal Caribbean is going to bring back some benefits.

Royal Caribbean logo

When Royal Caribbean restarted cruises in mid-2021 following the Covid-19 shutdown, it paused certain benefits and amenities in its customer loyalty programs.

These changes were meant to be temporary, and now five of them are coming back for guests to enjoy.

In an update on the Crown and Anchor Society website, Royal Caribbean listed the benefits coming back.

Reinstated benefits beginning on sailings departing March 15, 2022 and onward:

  • Private Departure Lounge and Continental Breakfast (Gold and above)
  • Top Tier Event (Platinum and above)
  • Chef’s Choice Gift (Diamond and above)
  • Personalized Gift/Amenity (Diamond Plus and above)
  • Priority access to dedicated seating at theater, ice shows and AquaTheater events (Diamond Plus and above)

The reason these were suspended was to promote social distancing and the result of other Covid-19 related protocols.

Back in July 2021, Nancy Ramos, Royal Caribbean International's Director of Onboard Branding, Communications & Loyalty, said the company hoped to bring back benefits as soon as they could, "as soon as we can lift this restriction and this capacity limit, we will and it will be like it was pre pandemic."

Suspended benefits

Friday Photos | Royal Caribbean Blog

Not all Crown and Anchor benefits will return quite yet.

Three benefits remain suspended or modified:

  • Meal with an Officer — This experience, for our Diamond Plus (340 points and above) and Pinnacle Club members, has evolved to a Cheers with an Officer. This event will still take place in the Main Dining Room.
  • Entertainment Tour — This tour has been reimagined, allowing our valued Diamond and above members to learn more about the amazing Royal Caribbean productions and entertainment team.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Galley Tour — This benefit for our Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members has been temporarily suspended to ensure the health of our guests and crew.

Other benefits remaining

With some benefits coming back, other enhanced benefits are still here to stay.

According to the Crown and Anchor Society website, benefits added or improved in 2021 will remain in place:

  • Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members beverage vouchers for drinks up to $13
  • Flexible Arrival for Pinnacle Club and Suite guests
  • Pinnacle Club members can eat meals in Coastal Kitchen. However, reservations are required and can only be made with the Maître d’ once onboard.
    • Pinnacle Club members sailing on Oasis and Quantum Class ships will also receive a $25 dining voucher per member, per sailing to enjoy at any Specialty Restaurant of their choice.
  • Reimagined Events & Access
  • Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members priority access to dedicated seating in venues up to 45 minutes prior to showtime.

In regard to the Pinnacle Club Lounge, Royal Caribbean says it is "working through the Suite and Concierge Lounge access for Pinnacle Club members," and will "share more details in the days to come."

In the meantime, Pinnacle Club Lounge access will remain.

Royal Caribbean brings back double points promotion for Australians

In:
16 Feb 2022

Australia hasn't seen a cruise ship in over two years, and Royal Caribbean is looking to ease their pain with extra loyalty points.

Royal Caribbean extends double point offer through December 2022 | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean informed Australian residents that they would be able to take advantage of the Double Points promotion due to their government's halt of cruising.

In an email to Crown and Anchor Society guests, Royal Caribbean said any bookings made by Australian members through 31st March 2022 for sailings departing prior to 30th April 2023 will qualify for double points.

Australians don't need to do anything special to qualify for the promotion, as it will automatically apply the benefit.

Australia | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean said part of the reason it brought back the promotion was because many Australians were unable to go on cruises they had booked in the past, "Over the last year, we’ve received many comments and feedback on our Double Points promotion which you were unable to participate in due to the halt on domestic and international cruising for Australians."

"We also know Australians simply can’t wait to get back to enjoying the world class experiences onboard our ships."

Here is the breakdown of the points you will receive under the Double Points offer:

 Standard Cruise PointsDouble Cruise PointsTotal Number of Cruise Points Awarded
Cruise1 point per night1 additional point per night2 points per night
Single Cruiser2 point per night2 additional point per night4 points per night
Suite2 point per night2 additional point per night4 points per night
Single Cruiser & Suite3 point per night3 additional point per night6 points per night

The Double Points promo was initially offered to everyone during the height of the pandemic in 2020-2021 as a means to spur new bookings and compel customers from cancelling cruises well into the future.

The program cut off new bookings that qualified for double points on September 30, 2021, but ever since guests have been clamoring for its return.

The reason why cruise fans loved the aura of double points is because it allowed them to move up the loyalty program tier significantly faster.

By earning more points, you can reach the higher tiers of Crown and Anchor Society faster, and there are some really lucrative benefits for reaching the Diamond and Diamond Plus tiers.

Complimentary alcoholic drinks, balcony discounts, complimentary photos, and reserved seating at shows are just some of the great freebies guests who reach the top tiers of Crown and Anchor Society can expect.

Moreover, this type of offer has rarely been seen.  Previous extra point offers were much more restrictive and have not been made available for a while.

In November 2021, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley said the Double Points offer would return someday, but only "strategically".

"You'll see more of that coming, but it's not going to be a blanket open book."

My top 5 favorite Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club perks

In:
02 Oct 2021

While cruising is a wonderful vacation all on its own, who wouldn’t like some extra perks to enjoy? 

As you cruise more frequently, you’ll earn discounts and gifts along the way through the loyalty program.  Today I’m going to focus on the top tiers of the Crown and Anchor Society and which ones I love the most.

These are just a few of the many perks offered to Crown and Anchor members. While they have changed over the years, it’s still a great program!

Diamond (80 points to 174 points)

Suite and Balcony Discounts

Photo tour of Category 6B Spacious Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony on Independence of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

I like to have a balcony to enjoy watching the sunrise, so saving money on a balcony is always nice. 

Once you become Diamond, you can get those rooms for less, thanks to a balcony discount. 

For example, on a seven day sailing, Diamond members receive $225 off of their cruise fare.  The discount applies one per cabin, not per person but every little bit helps!

One free photo

Video: Is a Royal Caribbean photo package worth it? | Royal Caribbean Blog

I have gotten some amazing photos over the years from the ships photographers, but paying $20 or more for those 8x10’s gets pretty pricey. 

We use this discount on every one of our cruises. Since it’s per person, my husband and I can both get a free photo.

One free day of Voom internet

Voom | Royal Caribbean Blog

Many people like to unplug on their cruises, but we need to stay connected so having a free day of internet is convenient. 

Diamond members get one free day of internet access, which doubles when you reach Diamond Plus.

If one day just won’t be enough, you could instead get a discount off of a package that is equal to the cost of one day of internet.  That way you can keep in touch with home and upload those cruise pictures to social media!

Crystal blocks

Once you reach 140 points, you will receive a beautiful crystal block that is etched with the name and outline of your ship.  You will then receive one every 70 points thereafter. 

I have mine in a display case that has current and former ships represented. 

Access to the Diamond Lounge

Royal Caribbean changes complimentary drinks offering on Adventure of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

This was, and still is, one of my favorites perks. 

I am always looking for a quiet place onboard during the day and that can be found in the lounge.  They offer continental breakfast in the morning as well as specialty coffee throughout the day.  There is a light lunch option with small sandwiches, fruit and desserts. 

The evening happy hour features appetizers and bar service. Royal Caribbean changed the drink benefit, where you get four free drinks per person per day that can be used at any bar at any time.

Diamond Plus (175-699)

You receive all the same discounts as you did when you were Diamond, except now your balcony/suite discount is $250, the internet is for 2 days, and you get five drinks per day added to your SeaPass card. 

Buy one get one free specialty restaurants

99 days of Harmony: Chops Grille | Royal Caribbean Blog

A BOGO offer for specialty restaurant means you can dine at any specialty restaurant and pay the cover charge for one person, but get the second person's cover charge for free.

It cannot be used for Izumi Hibachi or Chef’s Table. 

Since each Diamond Plus person gets one, I can use a BOGO for the first night and my husband can use it the second night.  It’s a great deal!

Backstage tours

Suites | Royal Caribbean Blog

This is a pre-pandemic perk that I hope comes back soon. 

On cruises at least seven nights, you will receive a card in your cabin on embarkation day that lists complimentary tours you could take. 

Some common options were behind the scenes of the ice show, the main theater and the bridge.  You could choose one or all of them, you just need to drop the card off at the Loyalty Ambassador’s desk and take the tours usually the last sea day of your sailing.

While Diamond members also had access to the theater tours, the bridge was exclusive to Diamond Plus and Pinnacle.

Lunch with an officer

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 4 - Sea Day | Royal Caribbean Blog

Lunch with an officer is available once you reach 340 points for sailings seven days and longer. 

Lunch is offered in the main dining room on a different floor than the regular sea day lunch, with a special menu that includes wine.

Pre-pandemic an officer would sit at your table, and it was nice to get to know their jobs and ask questions about cruising in general.

It is now being offered as a “toast with an officer.”  You still get lunch but now the officers come around the tables and chat for a minute or two and do a champagne toast.  It usually takes place on the last sea day. 

Extra amenities

At 340 and 525 points, you receive extra bonus gifts.  There is a list to choose from that includes towels and tote bags, but we choose the wine. 

On a seven day sailing we received three bottles, which we bring to the restaurants for dinner.

The Top Tier Event

Cruising 101: Crown and Anchor parties | Royal Caribbean Blog

When I started cruising, this would have been known as the repeaters party.  Now though, only Diamond Plus and Pinnacle are invited to the event. 

I’ve always liked them because they recognize the top cruisers and tell you a little bit about the new ships being built. 

Pinnacle Club (700 points and beyond)

Your balcony discount increases to $275, there are 6 free drinks added to your SeaPass card and you now get free internet!

The Pinnacle Kit

Top 8 things repeat cruisers seem to say all the time" - Royal Caribbean Discussion - Royal Caribbean Blog

Once you reach Pinnacle Club status, Royal Caribbean shops you a kit after your 700 point sailing.

It includes your stratum (a tall “crystal block” that has your name, the ship and date of your Pinnacle cruise engraved on it), luggage tags, passport cover and your lapel pins. 

Free cruise certificate

Radiance Class | Royal Caribbean Blog

At 700 and 1050 points, you get a certificate for a free 7 night Caribbean cruise in a balcony stateroom. 

At 1400 points and every 350 thereafter you qualify for a complimentary Junior Suite!

Daily breakfast

Is food included on a Royal Caribbean cruise? | Royal Caribbean Blog

Chops is usually the location of your Pinnacle breakfast.  Its hours vary but will match the main dining room.

The Pinnacle Club

Pre-pandemic, Pinnacle members had access to the suite lounges.  To promote social distancing, there is now a separate lounge for Pinnacle members.

Just like the Diamond Lounge, there are appetizers and bar service during happy hour.

Access to Coastal Kitchen

Since the restart, this benefit depends on the ship.  Some allow access for all meals while others only allow you to make dinner reservations. 

Pathway to Pinnacle: How I reached the top of Royal Caribbean’s Loyalty Program

In:
24 Sep 2021

You’ve heard of frequent flyer miles, but did you know that cruise lines also have loyalty programs?

Royal Caribbean’s customer loyalty program is called the Crown and Anchor Society. You earn points based on how many nights your cruise is, as well as your cabin type or if you are going solo.

There are six tiers in the program:

  • Gold: 3 points
  • Platinum: 30 points
  • Emerald: 55 points
  • Diamond: 80 points
  • Diamond Plus: 175 points
  • Pinnacle Club: 700 points

As you progress through the tiers, you earn rewards such as discounts on internet, onboard merchandise, beverage packages and certain fares, just to name a few.

It may seem like getting to 700 cruise points is impossible, but it can be done. There are many different ways to achieve it, and I wanted to share how we did it.

Starting out

My husband and I took our first Royal Caribbean cruise on the Freedom of the seas in 2006 for our honeymoon. After that, we cruised once a year, always in October for our anniversary.

In 2010, we started doing weekend cruises on Monarch of the Seas. One morning, we went to the next cruise desk to book our annual anniversary sailing. The crew member there told us we really should be striving to become Diamond. He then told us how to earn extra points to help us ascend the tiers faster. His advice was to start booking junior suites. By doing that, we would earn two points per night. So for many years, that’s what we did.

By February 2011, we were Diamond. Then it became a goal to get to Diamond Plus. We continued to book junior suites exclusively and reached Diamond Plus in October 2015.

At this point, we were content (at least I was). Diamond Plus is a great tier to be at. It’s a large tier (175-699 points) and as you progress through it, you get more benefits.

At 340 points you receive what is called a “single supplement discount”, which is great for solo cruisers. Typically, if you cruise by yourself, you are paying double occupancy (unless you find the rare single cabins which are only available on select ships).

With the single supplement discount, instead of paying 200% fare, you’re only charged 150%. Sailing solo also earns you an extra cruise point per night.

This became important to us as now achieving Pinnacle status before turning 50 years old became my husbands goal.

Full speed ahead

New Royal Caribbean cruise terminal in Port Canaveral delayed | Royal Caribbean Blog

In 2016, we started what I call “points chasing;” booking like crazy to get to Pinnacle as fast as we could. We are lucky that we live in Central Florida, because we have access to four cruise ports ranging in drive time from 45 minutes to 4 hours. We also have no children, so we weren’t tied to school schedules. We were able to cruise any time of the year.

Our game plan was to fit in as many weekend sailings as possible to maximize our points. We ended up doing nine cruises that year.

To keep all of these cruises straight, we made up an Excel spreadsheet with not only our budget for each cruise, but also how many points we would accumulate per sailing. We literally titled it our “Pathway to Pinnacle” spreadsheet.

In 2017, we crossed the 340 point mark and I started doing solo cruises. Not only did I sail alone, I was also in a junior suite. That earned me three points per night! Since we’re married, my husband was able to share my points, even without having to sail. That year ended with 14 more cruises sailed, three of which I did as a solo traveler.

In 2018, we were assigned a new Royal Caribbean vacation planner who told us what a lot of her clients were doing to make it to Pinnacle faster. On the cruises where my husband and I were together, she suggested I book the junior suite we always sail in by myself and have my husband book an interior room. That way we’d always be getting the maximum points on every sailing.

I thought that would be way out of our price range, but in reality it only ended up being a couple hundred dollars more because of the single supplement discount. We dubbed that our “triple points scam.” We were now earning three points per night on every sailing.

That moved us up fast. From January 2018 until the end of 2019, we earned 246 points. By this point, we reached 661 points.

Road block

Stuck at sea: One year since Covid-19 shutdown cruise ships | Royal Caribbean Blog

In 2020 we did two weekend sailings in January and February for a total of 697 points. We now just had to wait until our April cruise on Harmony of the Seas to turn Pinnacle. And then, two weeks after our last sailing, the pandemic struck and the entire cruise industry was shut down for the next 15 months!

We were literally going crazy. Just three points away!

We booked and rebooked every month. Our disappointment grew with each subsequent cancellation until finally in June 2021, we were able to book the first sailing in North America. We flew to Nassau to board Adventure of the Seas and finally earn that coveted 700th cruise point.

In all, it took us thirteen and a half years to get to Pinnacle, not counting the year and a half the cruise industry was shut down.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, we did make it before my husband turned 50, with one month to spare!

Royal Caribbean announces it will add new lounge for its top tier cruisers

In:
24 Aug 2021

For the people that cruise Royal Caribbean the most, there will be a new dedicated lounge just for them.

Royal Caribbean announced on Tuesday it will add new lounge exclusively for its Pinnacle Club cruise members.

In order to be at the Pinnacle Club, you must accrue 700 points, making it the very top level of Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

The new Pinnacle Club Lounge is a result of Pinnacle Club members having access to the Suite & Concierge Lounges temporarily revoked due to Covid-19 protocols. These venues will operate with capacity limits and will only be available to guests staying in Suites.

While Pinnacle Members were still able to go to the Diamond Lounges on ships, the change did not sit well with some Pinnacle Club members.

Just like the Diamond and Suite Lounges, Pinnacle Club members will be able to enjoy light hors d'oeuvres and full bar service in a dedicated venue each night.

The new Pinnacle Club Lounges will operate through November 1, 2021. Further updates on its future will be communicated as the situation evolves.

In addition to the new lounges, Royal Caribbean is offering Pinnacle Club members a Flexible Arrival option to check in at the terminal no earlier than one hour before the 30-minute arrival window you select ahead of your sailing, or one hour after.

Pinnacle Club members sailing on Oasis and Quantum Class ships will receive a $25 dining voucher per member, per sailing to enjoy at any Specialty Restaurant of their choice.

Royal Caribbean made a number of other changes to its customer loyalty programming following the restart of operations, which in many cases was necessitated by the need for social distancing onboard.

This includes Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members receiving beverage vouchers for drinks up to $13

Each day of the cruise, Diamond members receive four vouchers, Diamond Plus members receive five vouchers, and Pinnacle Club members receive six vouchers. These can be used at any bar, at any time, in the Diamond Lounge during Happy Hour or in our private destinations.

How Royal Caribbean's free drink vouchers for Diamond and higher members works

In:
03 Aug 2021

Did you know Royal Caribbean gives away free drinks to its top tier Crown and Anchor Society members?

If you are Diamond, Diamond Plus, or Pinnacle, you can get a set amount of complimentary beverages every day of your cruise, which includes alcoholic beverages.

This is a fantastic perk, and Royal Caribbean recently revamped their offering by giving guests more options with their daily drinks.

So how does it work, and what can you get exactly if you are eligible for Diamond drinks benefits? Here is what you need to know about Royal Caribbean's beverage vouchers.

Who qualifies for free drink vouchers?

Royal Caribbean provides complimentary drinks each day to its Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle guests.

Guests who are at a lower tier of Crown and Anchor Society (Gold, Platinum, or Emerald) do not qualify for the drink vouchers.

In 2021, Royal Caribbean updated the policy to move away from a few select drinks guests can use each evening, to all-day vouchers.

Royal Caribbean has revamped its offerings to allow at least 4 beverage vouchers for Diamond and higher guests in Crown and Anchor, which are good all day and at any bar (except Starbucks).

  • Diamond: 4 beverage vouchers valid all day at any bar (except Starbucks)
  • Diamond Plus: 5 beverage vouchers valid all day at any bar (except Starbucks)
  • Pinnacle: 6 beverage vouchers valid all day at any bar (except Starbucks)

This includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, and includes any beverage up to $13 per drink ($14 on ships from the UK).

How do the drink vouchers work?

Drink vouchers are loaded automatically every day on a guest's SeaPass account. There are no paper coupons or physical vouchers to present.

Simply go to any bar, restaurant or lounge, and when ordering a drink, inform the waiter or bartender that you wish to use your Diamond drink benefit.

When you get the drink, you should receive a receipt for $0.00. 

It is up to you to remember to ask to use your drink vouchers, as well as to keep track of how many vouchers you have left.

Each Diamond or higher member gets the daily drink voucher allotment, and you can use your vouchers to pay for your drink.  Think of them like a coupon that you are applying when you order.

One other change Royal Caribbean made by upgrading the vouchers to all day options with no drink menu limit is there is no longer unlimited drinks in the Diamond Lounge in the evening.  Drinks consumed in the Diamond Lounge count against your voucher count for the day.

Royal Caribbean says the drink vouchers work at their private destinations of Perfect Day at CocoCay and Labadee.

How do you get Diamond status with Royal Caribbean?

To get to Diamond status in Crown and Anchor Society, you have to accrue 80 points.

Just like a frequent flier program, you get points for every night of your cruise.

You will get 1 point for every night of your cruise, and 2 points if you stay in a Junior Suite or higher. If you stay by yourself in a suite, you can earn 3 points per night.

Your Crown and Anchor points never expire, so even if you took a cruise many years ago, it still counts.

Once you reach Diamond, you can never lose your status.

Do kids get drink vouchers too?

Yes, minors get the same amount of complimentary drinks as adults.

Unlike adults, their vouchers cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.

Can the drink vouchers be used for specialty coffees?

Yes, you can purchase a latte, cappuccino, or any other extra charge coffee with your Diamond drink benefit.

Just like an unlimited drink package, the exception is the vouchers cannot be redeemed at a Starbucks kiosk location.

Do you get drink vouchers for the first and last day of the cruise?

Yes, Royal Caribbean loads the vouchers up based on every night of the cruise.

When you board the ship, you will have your first allotment of vouchers ready to go.

Each night at midnight, new drink vouchers are replenished. That means you will have more complimentary drinks on the last morning of the cruise.

Should you get a drink package if you have drink vouchers?

The new question many loyal cruisers are trying to determine is if it is worth it to get a Royal Caribbean drink package if they are a Diamond member or higher.

Ultimately, the decision will depend on the person, but the fact the complimentary drink vouchers offer the same menu of choices as the drink package makes a compelling alternative.

Even if you use all your drink vouchers every day, and pay out of pocket for an addition 3-4 cocktails every day, the overall cost should be less than the total cost of a drink package.

One benefit the drink package has for someone who might exceed the daily drink voucher limit is you can pre-purchase the drink package before the cruise to avoid running up your bill onboard the ship. For some cruisers, not having a big bill at the end of the sailing matters to them.

Your itinerary will also factor in the decision of which option to get. A port intensive itinerary where you will be off the ship often on tours, may make investing in a drink package not a great financial idea.

Read more2021 Royal Caribbean Drink Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

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