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Changes Announced for Captain's Club Member Benefits


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I'm Elite Plus with Celebrity (30 cruises) and other than the loss of the Sky Lounge,  I don't see much difference.  The future prices don't look that bad going into 2022, so the "All-Inclusive" perks seems like an excellent deal.  Perhaps Europe is a bit more, but other cruises are affordable.

If I were to leave Celebrity, it certainly would not be for Princess.  That's a huge down-grade!  HAL, Cunard, MSC Yacht Club, Oceania, Azamara, Crystal, and perhaps NCL and RCL with perks are better than Princess.

Face it folks, even with changes to our Captain's Club, Celebrity is still the best "bang for the buck" in cruising.  It seems like the "sky is falling" situation, but most of us will be back.  We've been down this road before. 😉

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2 minutes ago, happicruzer said:

Cafe el Bacio was removed as an E+ benefit. While we usually had the classic as an option, the times we didn’t, the Cafe benefit was well enjoyed.

While this won't be a big deal if you were forced to purchase the amenities, this is a big deal if you had a fare without amenities.  Free specialty coffees were the only reason I cared about getting to Elite Plus since I don't drink alcohol.

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I am Elite+ and this is not much of a big deal to me anyway.  Never going to achieve Zenith, especially now with 1-2 years of cruising taken away.  Some of the changes announced (like the Elite cocktail party) were already removed from Edge and replaced with the drinks at bars - which is my preference anyway.  And some of this is due to capacity and social distancing concerns in some of these venues.  Perhaps changes will be re-addressed after COVID restrictions go away in a couple of years.  But hey- at least we went from being depressed from not cruising to bashing loyalty benefit changes even though most are quite minor.  

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2 hours ago, jelayne said:

Old saying " Never look a gift horse in the mouth"


‘most members feel that they earned these benefits, as they were always part of the price of cruising, paid for each point and saved for higher levels.  The cumulative value of our past patronage has just been discarded.

 

it was not a gift - it was a reciprocal arrangement. Celebrity just pulled a bait and switch.  Should have sailed on Princess.....  

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4 hours ago, jwc1027 said:

'"I think new plan includes unlimited drinks during happy hour,

 

Now, you’ll be able to enjoy unlimited drinks from the Captain’s Club menu daily from 5pm to 7pm at bars and lounges throughout your ship"

Always could for several years.  Liked the lounge where you could be served in a relaxed atmosphere.

Would have been a benefit if the upgraded beverage package.  That would be something to most and cost Celebrity very little.

Time to look elsewhere when cruising resumes.

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2 hours ago, EvoUSA said:

 

It is interesting how priority embarkation disappeared (with priority tender service and shipboard departure lounge remaining as elite benefits) and wasn't phrased as a COVID-19 cutback, unlike removing Zenith access to the Retreat.

 

From the CC FAQ: 

As a Select and above member, will I still have priority embarkation benefits?

When we return to service, the embarkation process will be different.  To manage the flow of guests and follow new health and safety protocols, guests will request a set arrival time in advance.  More details of the embarkation process will be provided before you sail.

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1 hour ago, FeelingCruisy said:

We are elite plus and am confused about the internet privilege.  We normally just use the free internet that they provide.  We travel as a couple.   Can someone help explain what this means

 

Always Included Internet

With Always Included, every cruise booking will now include a Surf Wifi package per person, up to two devices per stateroom. We’ve adjusted the previous Captain’s Club internet discount of 10% – 35% to reflect these changes and provide exclusive value. Now, if you sail with Always Included, you can apply this discount to upgrade from the Surf to Stream package and for additional devices beyond the first two. The complimentary minutes for Elite and Elite Plus members will still be available to guests beyond the first two who do not have internet included.   If you do not sail with Always Included, you can apply the 10% – 35% discount to any internet package and the complimentary minutes for Elite and Elite Plus members will still apply.  Zenith members will continue to enjoy a complimentary Stream internet package for one device in both scenarios. And if you book pre-cruise, your discount is combinable with the additional 10% pre-cruise advantage.

 

What does it mean beyond the first 2?  Does that mean if you travel as a family example 3 person then, only the 3rd person gets this complimentary internet.  Also, the list of perks that says elite plus includes 250 mins per sailing is also missing from the elite plus list.   

It didn't make a lot of sense to me either, but I think they are substituting discounts on upgrades to Elite and up who are sailing on Always Included.
I'm in the not terribly upset camp, we often sail in a suite, so the Elite benefits didn't mean much to us. We tried one cruise just before the lockdown in an inside cabin as brand new Elites with a Classic beverage package (included in our booking), we only made one Elite Happy Hour, which was fun, nice snackies, but only made that because we went early to get a seat for the acrobatic show. We made it less than 24 hours with the Classic beverage before we had both upgraded - mostly because we had trouble working the Elite Happy Hour into our routine.

 

Prices are going to go up for awhile, just because they are bleeding money, then when we are back to more normal cruising, I think we will start to see some discounting. I think they tried to retain benefits for loyalty, and importantly, recognized that some benefits are irrelevant if you have an Always Included, so gave flexibility to retain some discounts with an elevated fare.

We have debated trying Viking or Oceania before Covid, even though we had worked very hard to get to Elite rapidly (made Elite since 2018), but I have issues with those - predominantly the included shore excursions. You're paying a lot for those shore excursions, I've been to France and Italy and shared space with Viking shore excursions (Giverny, I'm thinking about you), no thank you! If you know you aren't interested in the shore excursions, its hard to determine if the other aspects of the ship make it worth the up charge. And even with Celeb's changes, there will still be upcharge for theose after COvid.

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Cross posting for folks who don’t see what has changed.....

 

Summary of changes:

 

Downgrades:

  • Removed Priority embarkation
  • Removed Access to the Retreat for Zenith
  • Removed Senior Officers Party
  • Removed the Backstage Tour
  • Removed Elegant Tea
  • Removed the nightly cocktail party - remaining benefit worthless under Always Included
  • Negated value of the daily coffee lounge
  • Negated value of the specialty coffee in specialty restaurant
  • Negated value of the free specialty coffee package for elite plus
  • Negated value of the free internet minutes and discounts
  • Removed free fitness class for Elite Plus

Upgrades:

  • Improved the spa discount - now multi use
  • Increased discounts on photo packages
  • Increased the discount on premium wines
  • Added "Sneak Peek of Wonder" (only on the Apex)
  • Added the "Create and Pour" event (only on Edge class)
  • Added discounted $35 dry clean and press package
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3 hours ago, schuddle said:

Summary of changes:

 

Downgrades:

  • Removed Priority embarkation
  • Removed Access to the Retreat for Zenith
  • Removed Senior Officers Party
  • Removed the Backstage Tour
  • Removed Elegant Tea
  • Removed the nightly cocktail party - remaining benefit worthless under Always Included
  • Negated value of the daily coffee lounge
  • Negated value of the specialty coffee in specialty restaurant
  • Negated value of the free specialty coffee package for elite plus
  • Negated value of the free internet minutes and discounts
  • Removed free fitness class for Elite Plus

Upgrades:

  • Improved the spa discount - now multi use
  • Increased discounts on photo packages
  • Increased the discount on premium wines
  • Added "Sneak Peek of Wonder" (only on the Apex)
  • Added the "Create and Pour" event (only on Edge class)
  • Added discounted $35 dry clean and press package

Basically, there is no longer any benefit to being "Elite".

Unless you spend a lot of money at the spa and on photo packages, and you hate parties.

I  noticed the same loss of benefits,  and think  new ones are way too focused on drinking!.   Basically,  there is no priority for anything because all  that now goes to suite guests.

 

They must think all their longtime cruisers have gone into senility and won't notice the loss of past benefits or they  no longer  care..

 

Hope their new best friends enjoy the ride but they will never be loyal..no reason for it.

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1 hour ago, davekathy said:

That really sucks that Celebrity has decided to stop the evening event in the Sky Lounge for the top three tier levels. We have always enjoyed going to the Sky Lounge to have a couple of drinks and an appetizer before diner. Going to the other lounges during CC HH (5 - 7) to have a drink or two has always been an option in the past, so nothing new there. Now it will be the only option! 👎👎

One, there's no way to social distance the venues (Sky Lounge or Club on Edge) without significantly impacting the numbers allowed. Secondly, we have been on a couple of cruises, not as Elites, where they simply couldn't have the evening event because there were so many Elite and up on board, it wouldn't work, so even pre-Covid, the evening event wasn't a done deal. Finally, as someone else pointed out, there is wording in there that makes it sound like this may be temporary because of Covid, so those who want to stay with Celeb and see this continue should provide feedback for the future, cause I would rather cruise than worry about the snacks!

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Commented  on the other thread,.same topic. Ridiculous ...

Bad move to introduce  such a big  downgrade in perks  at a critical time for cruising if it re starts,.   They will never re build a loyalty base!

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8 minutes ago, schuddle said:

Cross posting for folks who don’t see what has changed.....

 

 

Summary of changes:

 

Downgrades:

  • Removed Priority embarkation
  • Removed Access to the Retreat for Zenith
  • Removed Senior Officers Party
  • Removed the Backstage Tour
  • Removed Elegant Tea
  • Removed the nightly cocktail party - remaining benefit worthless under Always Included
  • Negated value of the daily coffee lounge
  • Negated value of the specialty coffee in specialty restaurant
  • Negated value of the free specialty coffee package for elite plus
  • Negated value of the free internet minutes and discounts
  • Removed free fitness class for Elite Plus

Upgrades:

  • Improved the spa discount - now multi use
  • Increased discounts on photo packages
  • Increased the discount on premium wines
  • Added "Sneak Peek of Wonder" (only on the Apex)
  • Added the "Create and Pour" event (only on Edge class)
  • Added discounted $35 dry clean and press package

 

Thank you for posting this.  Wow.  I guess they are not interested in keeping their current customers.  Those Gen Z people must be a much better demographic.

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6 minutes ago, schuddle said:

Cross posting for folks who don’t see what has changed.....

 

 

Summary of changes:

 

Downgrades:

  • Removed Priority embarkation
  • Removed Access to the Retreat for Zenith
  • Removed Senior Officers Party
  • Removed the Backstage Tour
  • Removed Elegant Tea

These may all be Covid related (social distancing issues) and as such, could change when things open up. I don't know for sure, but think about what most of those events entail and how would you social distance, even if you required people to sign up way before sail date.

The proof will be in if they retain events that you have to pay for - under Covid rules even the Chef's Dinner, which they charge a fortune for, would not be allowed.

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1 hour ago, happicruzer said:

Cafe el Bacio was removed as an E+ benefit. While we usually had the classic as an option, the times we didn’t, the Cafe benefit was well enjoyed.

 

Free beverages at el Bacio is still a benefit, it's just doesn't have value if you book via the AI program. It would still be of value if you are able to book a no frills cruise 90 days prior to sailing.

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11 minutes ago, schuddle said:

Cross posting for folks who don’t see what has changed.....

 

 

Summary of changes:

 

Downgrades:

  • Removed Priority embarkation
  • Removed Access to the Retreat for Zenith
  • Removed Senior Officers Party
  • Removed the Backstage Tour
  • Removed Elegant Tea
  • Removed the nightly cocktail party - remaining benefit worthless under Always Included
  • Negated value of the daily coffee lounge
  • Negated value of the specialty coffee in specialty restaurant
  • Negated value of the free specialty coffee package for elite plus
  • Negated value of the free internet minutes and discounts
  • Removed free fitness class for Elite Plus

Upgrades:

  • Improved the spa discount - now multi use
  • Increased discounts on photo packages
  • Increased the discount on premium wines
  • Added "Sneak Peek of Wonder" (only on the Apex)
  • Added the "Create and Pour" event (only on Edge class)
  • Added discounted $35 dry clean and press package

Actually, this is incorrect.  If you read the full benefits on the two page document that links from the webpage, the cappucinos and lattes and fitness class etc. are still listed as benefits at the Elite Plus Tier.

Here is the link to that document which lists everything on Page 2.

https://secure.viewer.zmags.com/publication/cc0ce13c#/cc0ce13c/2

Edited by Xcelsior
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6 minutes ago, hcat said:

To all those participating in the Points Rewards Program...do you think it's still worth playing?

Wasn't worth much before...worth way less now.  And I was worried that it would create far too many new Elite members and crowd the cocktail hour lounge.  Now, of course, even that is completely irrelevant.

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11 minutes ago, Xcelsior said:

Actually, this is incorrect.  If you read the full benefits on the two page document that links from the webpage, the cappucinos and lattes and fitness class etc. are still listed as benefits at the Elite Plus Tier.

Here is the link to that document which lists everything on Page 2.

https://secure.viewer.zmags.com/publication/cc0ce13c#/cc0ce13c/2

Is this the updated document or the one that was effective yesterday before the "enhancements"?  Thanks for posting the link.

 

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2 hours ago, FeelingCruisy said:

We are elite plus and am confused about the internet privilege.  We normally just use the free internet that they provide.  We travel as a couple.   Can someone help explain what this means

 

Always Included Internet

With Always Included, every cruise booking will now include a Surf Wifi package per person, up to two devices per stateroom. We’ve adjusted the previous Captain’s Club internet discount of 10% – 35% to reflect these changes and provide exclusive value. Now, if you sail with Always Included, you can apply this discount to upgrade from the Surf to Stream package and for additional devices beyond the first two. The complimentary minutes for Elite and Elite Plus members will still be available to guests beyond the first two who do not have internet included.   If you do not sail with Always Included, you can apply the 10% – 35% discount to any internet package and the complimentary minutes for Elite and Elite Plus members will still apply.  Zenith members will continue to enjoy a complimentary Stream internet package for one device in both scenarios. And if you book pre-cruise, your discount is combinable with the additional 10% pre-cruise advantage.

 

What does it mean beyond the first 2?  Does that mean if you travel as a family example 3 person then, only the 3rd person gets this complimentary internet.  Also, the list of perks that says elite plus includes 250 mins per sailing is also missing from the elite plus list.   

 

Apparently there are 2 levels of internet access. The Surf-wifi is for typical day to day access to check emails, surf the internet, etc. The Stream package is for people who want to upload and play movies or games that require lots of speed. The Surf is the standard package and passengers can pay extra for the upgraded Stream package.  Celebrity is saying you will now be allowed to apply your Captain's Club internet discount to an upgrade to the Stream package. I'm not sure how long this 2 tiered internet system has been in place. We've had internet included as a perk on our past couple cruises and haven't had difficulty accessing the internet or using wifi to play app games while sailing, so I'm thinking the Surf level is probably fine for most people. 

 

The wifi included as a perk has in the past been for 2 devices, meaning there are 2 accounts so 2 people can be on the internet at the same time. You can use an account on multiple devices, but just not at the same time. If you were logged in on your iPad and then log in on your phone, your iPad is automatically logged out. According to today's announcement, if have a 3rd person in your cabin you can apply your 35% discount to a 3rd account.  

 

You are correct about the internet minutes, its confusing. The updated summary of benefits on the website doesn't show any # of free minutes, just that there is a discounted rate. The document sent to TA's that is linked in an above post does show that the free minutes continue to exist.

 

Edited by kathynorth
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Has anyone ever been a member of a Loyalty program that has not reduced benefits?    The airline programs are always increasing the mileage needed for upgrades or free flights.   I also remember when there were no loyalty programs so I guess we will return to those times.   At least you will still get the benefits that come with certain room classes, Aqua and Suite.

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They can do exactly 2 things with a loyalty program:  (a) offer you some cost savings, or (b) make you feel special by giving you some exclusive experiences and VIP treatment.

They used to have VIP treatment on the list of benefits.  (exclusive nightly cocktail party with attentive service, meet the officers party, backstage tour, elegant tea party, access to the retreat).   Not anymore.  All of the special experiences have been cut.

They used to offer some cost savings.  That has been greatly diminished.  There is still value in getting a free bag of laundry (maybe $50 or so per cruise if you use it).  And there are a few very minor perks remaining, like a free scoop of ice cream, or a small discount off the overpriced spa treatments and photo packages.  But for the most part, the value here was in the free internet (over $100 value) and the free specialty coffee ($15/day if you had paid for it which I would have) and the multiple opportunities to get a free drink without paying for a drink package (gone - you now pay for drinks).

Honestly, I don't have any reason to pursue loyalty with this line anymore.  And since I don't want to pay for a drinks package, I'll just go to princess where I get a few free glasses of such and such, maybe a mini-bar setup in my cabin, and the same free laundry - but prices are 50% lower.

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