Carnival overhauls loyalty program

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Carnival Cruise Lines revamped and rebranded its loyalty program into a five-tier structure called the Very Important Fun Person Club, or VIFP.

The new categories are based on the number of cruise days sailed, rather than the previous number of cruises.

The Blue level is for first-time cruisers that enables those who have never sailed with the line to join the club and receive access to members-only specials, promotions and other offers.

The Red level, for those whose total number of days sailed reaches 24, provides a free alcoholic/specialty beverage at breakfast or lunch or at the Punchliner Comedy Brunch Presented by George Lopez, an e-newsletter, and members-only cruise offers.

The Gold level (25 to 74 cruise days sailed) offers members a Gold member pin, a cocktail party with free drinks and appetizers, as well as all of the benefits of Red level membership.

The Platinum level (75 to 199 cruise days sailed) provides priority embarkation, debarkation, tender service and dining times (including main dining room and specialty restaurants), a ship- and year-specific pin for each voyage, a dedicated phone number and concierge desk onboard, free wash-and-fold laundry service, a buy-one get-one casino tournament entry, free arcade play ($5) for guests under 18 and the benefits of the Red and Gold level memberships.

The Diamond level (200-plus cruise days sailed), offers members guaranteed dining times and specialty restaurant reservations, acknowledgement from the captain at the cocktail party with free drinks, unlimited wash-and-fold laundry service, free dinner for two in a specialty restaurant, free luggage tag and passport holder, a one-time upgrade or free fare for a third or fourth guest, a $100-per-member contribution to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the benefits of Red, Gold and Platinum level membership.

Additionally, the line rolled out a program called Milestone Cruise Rewards. VIFP Club members sailing on their 25th, 50th and 75th cruise will receive a shipboard credit equal to 25%, 50% or 75% of their cruise fare, respectively, for that voyage.

Members sailing on their 100th cruise earn a Caribbean, Mexican Riviera or Alaska voyage of up to eight days in length.

VIFP Club members also have access to a web portal where they can review and modify their cruise history, chart their progress to the next VIFP Club level, watch a video overview of the program and view members-only specials and promotions.

All Carnival guests are automatically enlled in the new VIFP Club and can use their existing past-guest number to activate their profile by visiting www.carnival.com/activate. 

The new loyalty programs take effect with departures on and after June 25, except for the new Carnival Breeze; the effective date for that ship is July 9.

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