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What are Elite benefits REALLY worth (to me?)


the_dylaness
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Background: Reasonably experienced cruiser here- several cruise lines, with 5th and 6th (?) X cruises coming up.  Until now I have booked SS, Concierge, or Aqua.  Our January cruise is in SS but in February we'll try a veranda as we are a party of 5 and putting priority on value for this cruise.  Just booked for 2021 today--- in a veranda again given party of 5.  (When traveling with kids and family we are more likely to dine in the buffet than in a restaurant... Who needs Blu?)  We will be "elite" by this time and so I broke out the grid to see what was covered by elite status that maybe I wouldn't need to pay for.  To be clear, this isn't a complaint, just one person's interpretation of how the value of "elite" status looks to them.

Above and beyond Select, the Elite perks that intrigue me are:

 

-Priority tender service, where available (I hope everywhere)

-Private shipboard departure lounge (Maybe my room is more comfortable? Don't know.)

-Captain's Club cocktail hour (Intriguing but useless if you have a beverage package...)

-Captain's Club coffee lounge (see above?)

-20% (vs 15% for select) discount on wines above $40... (could be useful but if I already have a beverage package, seems limited utility)

-30% off internet + 90 minutes free (yes! This seems useful.  We did NOT choose the internet package for 2021 hoping this pans out for us.)

-Care nothing about photo

-Laundry pressing same as select (2 free items, I guess this is each... 4 items for 2 people for 12 days.  Better than nothing but same as Select.)

-One complimentary dry clean item (WOW! I have made it!) 

-Discounted bag of laundry (cruises 12 nights plus... thank goodness this one is but almost all of our cruises are 7 day thanks to work.)

-Complimentary bag of laundry (Seems useful!)

 

There are also some spa discounts and "match plays" for roulette etc (I don't know what that means so probably shouldn't use it...)

 

Again, please understand, NOT a complaint... just an honest assessment of what it seems like the value of my tens of thousands of dollars has got me in terms of "loyalty perks" with X.  Maybe I am missing something?

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The laundry perk and internet minutes are the most useful ones to us.  Keep in mind that when the loyalty program was started it was before so many people had a beverage package as a perk so the Captains Club Happy Hour(s) was really really nice.  Even now, if you book a transatlantic or repositioning cruise or a senior or resident price without any perks the CCHH is a great benefit.  

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The item I like is the day pass to Persian Gardens.  Since you're not in Aqua, you might enjoy that.

 

Also, having a private departure lounge is nice if you have a late time for disembarkation.  You need to be out of your room by 0800, so it's good to have a place to sit and have coffee that's not quite so noisy and crowded as some of the public areas.

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The free bag of wash and fold laundry per Elite member (30 items each bag) is the one we use the most.  The fill the bag laundry special offered on many sailings is $49.95 so a free bag each is a real plus.  
 

Internet is also great for us.  We purchase a surf package & then use DHs Elite + 240 for Skype, IG, etc.  

 

We are disembarking in 2 days from a B2B with 5 tender ports and the priority tender is great if you have a desire to get off within 2 hrs of arrival.  The longest we waited to board a tender was 20 minutes.  

 

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That laundry bag each is useful. Having an item pressed or dry cleaned is also of value.

 

We do enjoy once or twice a cruise visiting the Elite cocktail event. It is usually a very nice social gathering, not just about the drinks....

 

There are usually one or two Elite events like an afternoon tea, a helipad sail away and a behind the scenes theatre or kitchen tour.

 

The Club Host can be a useful ally if you are trying to set up a special event or if you have a health issue or a problem you feel isn’t being resolved.

 

The Elite breakfast on S class in Tuscan is a really nice light buffet in tranquil surroundings. Lovely views, enjoy a Bellini and relax.

 

If you count Elite perks as $$$ saved then with a drinks package they hold less value. For those guests who are not big drinkers or are traveling on a tight budget the Elite perks can ‘save’ them the cost of a package or bar bill. Elite gives you the option of pricing up the real value of a drinks package if you mainly only drink during those cocktail hours...On a port intensive cruise with long day trips this can really swing the value of a package.

 

We have booked our cruises to enjoy, not to get points. Those points and the perks coming with them haven’t cost us anything...If we choose to have a drinks package then that is our choice, I am really pleased that those Elite guests with no package are benefiting...

 

 

 

 

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Other than the odd bit of Laundry and the internet discounts when it didn't come with the cabin, We have barely used the benefits. We were Elite after 4 cruises. All before the points system changed when you got an extra point for AQ and an extra point after so many days.

 

We have been Elite plus for a good few years and have hardly used the benefits of that either. 

Edited by Gordoncruickshank
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We usually don't get the beverage package... we don't generally drink specialty coffees, softdrinks or bottled water and our alcohol needs are covered by the captains cocktail hour. Okay perhaps we order a few bottles of wine over the course of the week... but we still come out ahead... vs beverage package. For me the cocktail hours is the major benefit. This probably translates into a benefit of $35+/day per person. The 90 minutes of internet is the second major benefit. This provides just enough time to periodically check email. 

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2 hours ago, DYKWIA said:

Elite after just 4 or 5 cruises - indicates that it can be easy to get to this status, hence it isn't really Elite - you're one of many, and therefore the perksmay well be thin on the ground.

 

Agree, we reached it after just four sailings too. The name is over hyped. 

The laundry is useful if you're travelling for longer periods and the internet discount is appreciated but as we'll have a beverage package it isn't all that valuable really. 

The elegant tea isn't bad and the helipad sail ins and sail away's are always pleasant though. 

I can see Elite + being of value to those who sail without a BP though. 

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We're right there with you the_dylaness, but at Elite Plus.  Not one of the perks are of any benefit to us as we always book RS.   With that being said, we don't sail with Celebrity to gain loyalty points, but for the amazing Xperience each and every time that we're onboard.  
Patty

Edited by Zigster
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Elite and Elite + status are nice to have and I thank Celebrity for having the program but they are not worth booking a higher category or cruise just to obtain. I know it is a loyalty program but I have never booked a cruise become of the loyalty program or because I am loyal to Celebrity. I am not loyal to Celebrity.  I do prefer Celebrity. I would have booked them anyway. I even did a cruise on a cruise line I had zero status on this summer over a Celebrity cruise the same week to try something new. They also had a better itinerary. (Oceania). Also being Elite + there is a chasm to Zenith. No way I will ever get to that level. 

Edited by Charles4515
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Well, I really liked the personally engraved drinking glasses...and the caviar and Dom Perignon service at 6:00 every evening.  🍾🥃🥂

 

The personal secretary to type up my cruise musing was only so-so...she could only type 70 words per minute, and my creative genius needs a much quicker response.  🤔

 

I found the tuck-in service from the Captain a little creepy, though.  For me, perhaps because it was Captain Kate...still in her costume. Send one of the tall Greeks next time, and I might change my mind.  😁

 

The golf cart for getting from one end of the ship to the other was nice.  But I was never really able to get going very fast in the Ski-doo in the spa pool. Sad.🙄

 

The free convertible upon arrival home was a nice touch...but why so chintzy?  A Mercedes?  Like having to travel steerage.  I gave it to the upstairs maid.😎

 

As I'm quadruple Zenith, I think the program needs work.😉

 

 

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1 hour ago, Blazerboy said:

The free convertible upon arrival home was a nice touch...but why so chintzy?  A Mercedes? 

 

You only were given the convertible?  Wow, you must have really angered the Zenith gods.  We had the Bentley for ourselves, and a Tesla for our dozens of suitcases.  The service has really been slipping . . .

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Agree with most of the perspectives here (we are Elite Plus).

Especially like laundry (we like to do 11+ day cruises) and the Internet (to check weather and get boarding passes).

 

About the Elite cocktail hour: for us it is a lot more than getting free drinks.

For us it is about the socialization: we have made some good friends and look forward to meeting new ones.

It is a cool place to "get away from it all", have a chat and relax.

(Hopefully the Sky Lounge will not become TOO balkanized in the future.)

The canapes coming around are nice, since we do a late dinner.

YMMV.

 

ETA, when you are E+, sometimes "things happen" that are not in the list: invites to the Helipad and other unadvertised events, for example.

Edited by mdcelebrity
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2 hours ago, Blazerboy said:

Well, I really liked the personally engraved drinking glasses...and the caviar and Dom Perignon service at 6:00 every evening.  🍾🥃🥂

 

The personal secretary to type up my cruise musing was only so-so...she could only type 70 words per minute, and my creative genius needs a much quicker response.  🤔

 

I found the tuck-in service from the Captain a little creepy, though.  For me, perhaps because it was Captain Kate...still in her costume. Send one of the tall Greeks next time, and I might change my mind.  😁

 

The golf cart for getting from one end of the ship to the other was nice.  But I was never really able to get going very fast in the Ski-doo in the spa pool. Sad.🙄

 

The free convertible upon arrival home was a nice touch...but why so chintzy?  A Mercedes?  Like having to travel steerage.  I gave it to the upstairs maid.😎

 

As I'm quadruple Zenith, I think the program needs work.😉

 

 

OMG!!!! LOL!  Best post in a very long time!

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2 hours ago, Charles4515 said:

I even did a cruise on a cruise line I had zero status on this summer over a Celebrity cruise the same week to try something new. They also had a better itinerary. (Oceania). Also being Elite + there is a chasm to Zenith. No way I will ever get to that level. 

 

 

Agree, same for us: sailed another line without any status.

 

I have been more amazed to read posts in the past saying that they would love to try itineraries on another line but don’t because of not having any status 😯. Can’t think why one would restrict themselves from seeing other parts of the world just because of not getting free laundry or minutes of free internet.

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2 hours ago, villauk said:

 

 

Agree, same for us: sailed another line without any status.

 

I have been more amazed to read posts in the past saying that they would love to try itineraries on another line but don’t because of not having any status 😯. Can’t think why one would restrict themselves from seeing other parts of the world just because of not getting free laundry or minutes of free internet.

 

Maybe there's a lot of kudos in the term "Elite".

 

Note to other cruiselines - in your loyalty programme have a level called exclusive vVIP - by Chairman's invitation only.  Then send a standard invite from the chairman when someone has done 6 cruises.  Winner Winner Ocean View Dinner!

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