With millions of passengers sailing the cruise line each year, Carnival’s VIFP Club lists as one of the most popular loyalty programs in the industry. No matter your status, the program offers perks to being a member. And with it being free to join, why wouldn’t you take advantage?
Still, you might have questions regarding the program, how it works, and the benefits for members. Here’s everything to know about the VIFP program.
The basics are simple. For each day you sail, you earn points within the program. Sail more and you’ll earn more points, putting you in a higher status level. From there, each status level comes with more benefits for your cruise.
For more details about the program and answers to common questions, we have you covered below…
In This Article...
What Is the VIFP Club?
The VIFP Club is the loyalty program for Carnival Cruise Line. (VIFP stands for Very Important Fun Person.) As a member of the program, passengers earn points for each day that they cruise with Carnival. The more a person cruises, the more points they earn, which leads to a higher status level in the VIFP Club.
With higher status, a passenger earns perks and rewards, including everything from special fares to freebies on the ship to expedited boarding and much more.
Why Should I Join the VIFP Club?
When it comes to Carnival’s loyalty program, there is really no reason not to join. Membership is completely free and can only benefit you by providing rewards. It’s also simple to sign up. Since you are going to be cruising anyway (which is exactly how you earn points toward higher status), not being a part of the VIFP Club doesn’t make much sense.
How Do I Sign Up for the VIFP Club?
You can sign-up to register as a VIFP member on Carnival’s website, whether you’ve taken cruises in the past or never sailed before. It is free to join and takes just seconds to sign up. As well, you can get an account when you book your first cruise. Having trouble signing up? You can also call Carnival at 1-888-227-6482 to register.
How Do I Earn Points?
Earning points is simple. For each night that you cruise, you earn one point. So a seven-night cruise earns you seven points. Take a three-night trip? That’s three points. Over time the points you earn add together to increase your status in the program.
In addition, you may see other opportunities to earn points, possibly without taking a cruise. According to the VIFP Club’s terms and conditions, Carnival may “offer opportunities to earn extra VIFP Points through participation in different promotions, contests or sweepstakes.”
The most common and reliable way to earn by far, however, is to sail on the cruise line.
Do I Earn Points for Booked Cruises?
No, points are earned for sailed nights only. So if you sailed a seven-day cruise last summer and have a five-day cruise booked for next year, then you will only have seven points as a member, not 12.
Do I Earn More Points for Spending More on a Room?
While you might think you’d earn higher status for spending more money on your cruise, that’s not the case. Whether you a sailing in an interior cabin or a top-of-the-line suite, they both earn you one point per day for your VIFP status.
That’s not to say that Carnival couldn’t do something like award double points to suite guests as an incentive to book a higher-grade cabin. For now at least, even if you book the cheapest room on the ship or the best cabin available, you’ll earn points just like everybody else aboard.
Do VIFP Club Points Expire or Does the Status Level Drop?
At least right now, VIFP Club points don’t expire. So if you earn 25 points within the program but then don’t sail for a few years, you’ll still have the same point level and status as before. This is different than loyalty programs like with airlines where the points you earn often “drop off” after a length of time. If you’ve earned Gold status, then you don’t have to worry about being dropped back to Red status just because you don’t sail for a while.
So even if you are only an occasional cruiser or only sail Carnival sometimes, there’s still a reason to be a member and rack up those rewards.
What Status Levels Are There in the Carnival VIFP Club?
Within the club, there are five different status levels for passengers to earn. Each is known by a color, which is shown as the background of your Sail & Sign card. (Around the ship, you might see people showing off their status with their card in a lanyard!)
- Blue (First Sailing): This status is earned on a person’s first cruise. It’s where everyone starts.
- Red (Second Sailing-24 Points): Earned from a second Carnival sailing through 24 points.
- Gold (25-74 Points): Gold membership is awarded to those with 25-74 points in the VIFP Club.
- Platinum (75-199 Points): The second-highest status, Platinum is awarded for 75-199 points.
- Diamond (200+ Points): Have more than 200 nights sailed? That earns Carnival’s highest status of Diamond level.
What Are the VIFP Club Benefits?
As you would expect, different membership levels provide different benefits. The higher your status, the more benefits you earn.
The good news is that no matter your status there are benefits to enjoy. You don’t have to be a Diamond member to get a freebie.
Perks and rewards range from a free bottle of water in your room to priority check-in/boarding, Carnival souvenir gifts, collectible pins, priority debarkation, and priority reservations.
Do I Get Special Fares for Being a Member?
Yes. As a VIFP member, you will often see pricing that is different from the headline prices advertised to the general public.
One thing to watch, however, is that we have personally seen rates actually be higher with the VIFP number entered than when searching without. While we are far from Diamond members, it was strange to see the higher rates. That’s why we would suggest searching with and without the club number entered, just to be sure you’re getting the best rate.
What If I Reach a New Status During a Cruise?
Say you have 20 nights sailed, giving you Red status in the VIFP Club, but you are embarking on a seven-night cruise. At the end of the cruise, you’ll have 27 points, enough to be granted Gold status.
In this case, Carnival grants passengers the higher status at the start of the cruise. So while you board with 20 points, you’ll still be given the Gold status at the start of the trip, giving you extra benefits.
According to Carnival’s website:
“Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event a Member books a Cruise in which such Member will attain the necessary VIFP Points to reach a new Level during or by the end of such Cruise (a “Crossover Cruise”), CCL may, in its sole discretion, offer such Member the Benefits offered to Members of the higher Level during the Crossover Cruise.”
What If I Have a Past Cruise Without Points?
Typically points are automatically applied to your account within 14 points of the end of the trip. Passengers normally don’t have to do anything.
There might be times where points don’t apply automatically or there might be cruises you took in the past that haven’t been added. In that case, you can login into your Carnival account. From there, click on “My Cruises” and scroll down to “Claim a Past Cruise”. Enter your information about your missing cruise, and it will be reviewed to add the trip to your VIFP profile.
Is Carnival’s VIFP Club Worth Joining?
The VIFP loyalty program doesn’t offer a ton of benefits until reaching Platinum status, which is reached only after 75 nights of sailing. Even so, there are some benefits to joining at lower levels. For instance, even Red status members receive a complimentary bottle of water in the cabin that would otherwise be a charge.
That said, given it’s free to join, there’s no real reason not to sign up. At the very least you can get a few freebies, while passengers that sail Carnival regularly can see some even bigger perks.
So in our opinion, it’s definitely worth joining Carnival’s VIFP Club. We don’t see a downside.