Introduction — Status Matters – A New Cruising with MJ Series

Cruising with MJ – Elite Status with Carnival

Cruising with MJ – Elite Status with Disney

Cruising with MJ – Elite Status with NCL

Cruising with MJ – Elite Status with Princess

Cruising with MJ – Elite Status with Holland America

Cruising with MJ – Elite Status with Celebrity

Cruising with MJ – Elite Status with Royal Caribbean

Cruising with MJ – Elite Status Reciprocity with Affiliate Brands

Cruising with MJ – Elite Status Summary

I’ve never sailed on Princess, but I still love them. Why? They’re the Love Boat for crying out loud! 😀 Yes, I was a big fan of The Love Boat in my formative years, but I had no idea I would get bitten by the cruising bug nearly 20 years after the series went off the air. The line that brought us Captain Stubing calls its loyalty program Captain’s Circle.

Captain’s Circle offers four levels of elite membership with Gold status coming after your very first cruise with Princess. Princess awards higher levels of status based on a two tiered system of either your number of cruises or the number of cruise days.

Gold members receive a limited level of benefits including discounts on future cruises, an invitation to an onboard event, and newsletters. Medallion members receive all Gold benefits plus a vacation protection (basically travel insurance sold by the cruise line) upgrade and exclusive phone line access. The benefits are noticeably better once you attain Platinum status. Platinum members receive all the benefits of the other status levels in addition to other useful amenities including preferred check-in and embarkation as well as a members only disembarkation lounge. Notably, Platinum members receive one of the more generous internet credit benefits I’ve seen. Internet credits range from 150 to 500 minutes depending upon the length of your cruise.

Courtesy of Princess Cruises

The highest tier of Captain’s Circle status is Elite membership. Elite membership includes benefits one would expect for the most elite of Princess cruisers. Priority tender service, priority disembarkation, and even complimentary shoe shines are among the benefits. Additionally, complimentary laundry service is offered which speaking from experience, is a big deal for someone that prefers to pack light. There is also an upgraded package of stateroom amenities for Elite members including a complimentary mini-bar setup, canapés, and afternoon tea.

In summary, Princess offers one of the more compelling elite programs that I have reviewed. I especially like the generous allotment of internet minutes for higher tier members, and complimentary laundry service for top tier Elite members. You can review all the details about Captain’s Circle here.

-MJ, May 31, 2013

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