The Royal Caribbean cruise line’s latest move will delight its biggest fans.
When you take a cruise, the cruise line — whether Royal Caribbean International (RCL) – Get Royal Caribbean Group Report, Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) – Get Carnival Corporation Report, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) – Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report, or another — wants to lock you in as a repeat customer. And to keep you coming back, every major cruise line has a loyalty program.
Royal Caribbean, for example, has its Crown & Anchor Society, where passengers get one point for every night they sail (two if they sail solo or in a suite).
Even sailing once gives you a bit of status (although no meaningful perks). But when you reach Diamond Level (80 points) you get access to a special onboard lounge, four free drinks each day, and a number of other benefits.
Diamond members (and the higher-level Diamond Plus and Pinnacle categories) also get special events onboard, precruise discounts, and other truly meaningful perks. That’s done not because Royal Caribbean wants to be nice. Those benefits are offered so customers will stick to the brand and not be tempted to try a cruise at Carnival, Norwegian, or one of the smaller brands.
Loyalty programs reward loyalty but they also create it because many people don’t want to try another cruise line where they don’t have status.
Royal Caribbean also keeps customers loyal by giving them incentives to book their next cruises during their current cruises. Each ship has a “Next Cruise” office, in which you can lock down your next trip at a better price with some incentives, like onboard credit.
If you wanted those deals, you needed to book at Next Cruise before the end of your current sailing. Now, the cruise line has decided to allow passengers a little more leeway in claiming those benefits.
Royal Caribbean Has a New Promotion
Royal Caribbean has extended its Next Cruise offer to passengers even after they leave the ship, reported Matt Hochberg of Royal Caribbean Blog.
From the mailing the company sent out, the new Welcome Home promotion appears to extend the advantages of booking online to recent-past passengers who book from home during the promotional period.
The Welcome Home promo is valid on new non-refundable bookings between July 1 and August 31, 2022 within 30 days of a previous sailing.
Welcome Home offers up to $600 USD to spend at sea onboard credit (OBC) per stateroom on sailings departing between July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2024.
Promo Code “SAILAGAIN” must be entered at the time of booking to receive the OBC.
The amount of onboard credit varies greatly, based on the type of room someone books and the length of the cruise.
Why Is Royal Caribbean Offering This Deal?
Royal Caribbean has straddled the line between using lower prices to get more passengers onboard and not devaluing its cruises.
A promotion like this extends existing benefits to passengers for a longer period and should lead to more bookings without the company creating a feeling that its cruises aren’t worth paying full price.
The cruise line also has to factor in that ticket-price and onboard-credit deals are generally worth it for the company because people have been spending more money once they get onboard and before their cruises.
“Strong demand for cruise experiences continue to translate into robust onboard revenue performance for us across all categories from casino, beverage and shore excursions to Internet, retail and spa,” Chief Executive Jason Liberty said during the chain’s first-quarter-earnings call.
He added: “As a result, we continue to see increased penetration of precruise purchases, which is leading to significantly higher total spend per guest.”
Basically, if you get people to buy tickets, they spend more on all the potential extras the cruise line offers and that makes up the difference from any discounts the company has offered.