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It Pays To Be A Repeat Cruiser

Recently, my family and I saved over $1,500 on a Princess Cruise from a simple coupon. The coupon was from Princess' Captain's Circle, a past guest program. Cruise line loyalty programs like Princess' not only lure passengers back to the seas, but offer significant savings. Some even offer free cruises.

Most lines give passengers membership as soon as they complete one cruise. Members then receive mailings or coupons that urge them to book another cruise at a special discount. Onboard, members receive extra perks such as cocktail parties, dinner with the Captain, gifts, upgrades, credits, or free shore excursions. The following is a selection of cruise loyalty programs benefits:

Carnival Cruise Lines: Past passengers receive a copy of Currents magazine three times a year for two years after their first cruise. Inserts notify members about special offers for repeaters.

Celebrity Cruises: Once passengers cruise with Celebrity, they can join the Captain's Club by calling 800-760-0654 and paying a one-time membership fee of $35 per couple. Members are entitled to a one-category upgrade (based on availability) on future sailings, special first-class boarding and departing privileges, preferred dining assignments, cocktail parties with the captain, an invitation to the annual Captain's Club Reunion Cruise, and newsletters with special offers.

Costa Cruise Lines : Repeat cruisers learn about discounts from monthly mailings and can attend cocktail parties just for past passengers.

Cruise West: Cruisers who sail twice with Cruise West become members of the Quyana Club. Cruise West designates several departures each year as Quyana Club sailings. Members who sign up for the sailings receive a five percent discount for themselves and traveling companions.

Crystal Cruises: With your first cruise, you are automatically enrolled in the Crystal Society. As a member, you are entitled to special savings and society-only events. These benefits increase the more you sail, and include stateroom upgrades, onboard spending credits, special events and gifts, and even free cruises. You'll also receive the quarterly magazine, Crystal Cruises' Passport, with the latest info on itineraries, destinations, special offers, and relevant news.

Cunard Line: Passengers become members of the Cunard World Club after their first cruise. On later sailings, they receive 10 to 20 percent off the brochure price and an additional five percent discount if they book onboard. Members will also receive mailings for special offers, a newsletter, onboard Club parties, e-mail access to the Club Desk, and 10 percent discounts on Seabourn sailings. Passengers can also earn customized awards based on the number of days sailed.

Disney Cruise Line: After your first Disney cruise, passengers are eligible for complimentary membership in Disney Cruise Lines' Castaway Club. Cruise Guests in the Castaway Club enjoy special amenities such as priority check-in and an exclusive cocktail party with the ship's Captain and officers. Other offers include shipboard credit of up to $200 on select sailings.

Holland America Line: Guests become members of the Mariner Society after their first cruise. Members are entitled to preferential pricing, upgrades, and bonus privileges on many cruises. Mariner Society members receive Mariner magazine which offers news and special offers on upcoming cruises, as well as insider information concerning new ships and product enhancements. Repeaters also earn certificates or medallions for reaching milestones. Onboard perks include preferential check-in, an invitation to a champagne reception and awards party, and a surprise pillow gift. Members may extend privileges to traveling companions.

Norwegian Cruise Line: Latitudes members can obtain upgrades, discounts on select sailings, early embarkation from some ports, onboard credits (on designated Latitudes Member cruises only), a cocktail reception, and bridge and galley tours on select cruises.

Orient Lines: On every repeat sailing, Polo Club members receive an onboard credit, a bottle of wine, and a cocktail party. Members are also informed of special discounts, which can be extended to up to four non-member companions.

Princess Cruises: After completing one Princess cruise, guests become Captain's Circle members. On each cruise, members are invited to a cocktail party. In addition, members receive Captain's Circle updates for exclusive deals.

Radisson Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC): Seven Seas Society members receive a five percent discount on the best RSSC rates, an invitation to an annual holiday party on a RSSC vessel, and access to exclusive itineraries and land excursions. In addition, members of the Seven Seas Society earn 10 Gold Points per cruise fare dollar on their Gold Points Rewards card, which can be used for more cruises, resorts, hotels, and other Gold Points Rewards partners.

Regal Cruises: Regal's past passengers receive the News Wave newsletter, which contains Regal Rewards coupons good for up to $100 off early-booking rates. Guests are also invited to an onboard cocktail party.

Royal Caribbean International: After an initial cruise, passengers are eligible for complimentary membership in Crown & Anchor Society. Members receive Crown & Anchor magazine, savings certificates, a five percent gift shop discount, and an invitation to a cocktail party on their next cruise. After completion of a fifth cruise, guests receive lapel pins, luggage tags, 10 percent off gift shop purchases, and robes to use onboard. After 10 cruises, passengers save 20 percent on gift shop purchases and are entitled to priority embarkation.

Royal Olympic Cruises: Members of the Royal Circle Club receive special offers by mail twice a year.

Seabourn Cruise Line: Past guests become members of the exclusive Seabourn Club. Privileges include 50 percent off select sailings, 10 to 20 percent off all Seabourn and Cunard cruises, an additional five percent savings when booking a future cruise onboard, a cocktail party, a newsletter, notices of special discounts, e-mail contact with the Club Desk, and a free 14-day cruise after 140 sailing days with Seabourn. Additional gifts are awarded after guests sail for 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 days.

Silversea Cruises: Past guests become members of the Venetian Society, entitling them to anywhere between five and 25 percent off selected sailings. Those who cruise 100 days or more receive a Tiffany gift and another five percent off any future cruise. Members save 10 percent after 250 sailing days. A seven-day cruise comes with the 350-day milestone, and a 14-day cruise is awarded after 500 days. Repeaters also get a $250 onboard credit per couple, a cocktail party, and laundry service.

Star Clippers: Past passengers receive Star Clippers' quarterly newsletter, Topgallant. Savings range from $500 per person for select voyages to half-price rates for the second person sharing a cabin.

Windstar Cruises: Passengers who sail with Windstar are automatically admitted into the Foremast Club. Members receive two-for-one discounts on select cruises, a newsletter subscription, and invitations to exclusive onboard events. Members also qualify for free stays in Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide based on days sailed with Windstar.

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