As virus cases continue to trend in the right direction, many things in cruising are getting back to normal.
In recent days nearly every cruise line has eased mask restrictions on ships, more ships are returning to “green” status in the CDC’s tracking, and even some activities that were canceled during the height of the pandemic are making a comeback.
Case in point: A recent change we noticed with Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor program is bringing back several popular perks of the loyalty program that were put on pause due to the health crisis.
In a recent change on Royal Caribbean’s website, the cruise line says on sailings departing March 15, 2022 and later, there are seven newly reinstated benefits:
Although most of your Crown & Anchor Society benefits remained the same, we are happy to share more benefits will be back 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)
– Access to Concierge Lounge (Diamond Plus and above)
– Access to Suite Lounge (Pinnacle Club)
Note that this change includes reinstating access to lounges across the fleet. The cruise line made the following note in the update regarding this change:
“We’re happy to share that we are reinstating Pinnacle Club members’ access to the Suite Lounge and Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members’ access to the Concierge Lounge across our fleet effective sailings on or after March 15.
“We know how much you enjoy gathering with your friends in this private setting and appreciate your patience and understanding during our temporary suspension of this benefit. And to deliver a great guest experience to all, should the number of Suite Guests and Pinnacle Club Members surpass our Suite Lounge capacity, we will continue to provide a temporary Pinnacle Club Lounge.”
These benefits mainly cater toward the cruise line’s higher-level loyalty members, including Diamond (80 points), Diamond Plus (175 points), and Pinnacle Club (700 points) classes.
Even with these reinstated benefits, however, not everything is quite back to what it was before the health crisis.
For instance, instead of Priority Check-in, the cruise line is still using Flexible Arrival (where higher-tier guests can arrive an hour before or after their 30-minute arrival window to board).
As well, the previous “Meal with an Officer” is still now “Cheers with an Officer,” and behind-the-scenes tours of the galley and the ship’s bridge continue to be paused for the time being.
But combined with recent comments from Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty that cases on the company’s ships were dropping sharply and recent moves to no longer require masking, it’s more evidence that cruising is getting back to normal.
You can learn more about Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society in our guide here. This program offers perks and benefits to passengers who sail the cruise line, including everything from discounts on board to free cruises.