I touched on this back in February 2011 after P&O announced changes to their Portunus Club from April 2012. P&O, as well as Fred Olsen and MSC, use points per night. P&O give you 10 (and used to include 5 from sister lines such a Princess but with the new Peninsular Club, that’s stopped) and the structure goes:
Baltic (2501 plus 80-200 nights spent onboard in the three years preceeding the start of their next cruise)
Ligurian (2501 plus 201 or more nights spent onboard in the three years preceeding the start of their next cruise)
Meanwhile Fred Olsen’s Oceans Club is as follows:
The MSC Club gives you:
In January 2011, Royal Caribbean announced they were changing theirs Crown & Anchor Society from credits to points so now it is:
Platinum (30 or become that if you are Select in Celebrity’s Captain’s Club)
Diamond Plus (175)
And from 2012, NCL are also changing Latitudes to points per night.
Extra points earned for booking a Suite or Haven, nine months or longer in advance or a Latitudes Insider offer.
Cunard and Princess confuse you by having points and credits, meaning you go up depending on which you reach first. Cunard’s World Club is:
Silver (1 voyage)
Gold (2 voyages or 20 days)
Platinum (7 voyages or 70 days)
Diamond (15 voyages or 150 days)
While Princess’s Captain’s Circle is:
Gold (1 cruise)
Platinum (6-15 cruises, including with P&O, or 51-150 days)
Elite (16+ cruises, including P&O, or 151+ days)
Confusing! Cunard and Princess need to do one only. With so many short cruises (especially 2, 3 and 5 nights on Cunard), there is no way many will reach the number of days before going to the next tier. Is that fair on those who pay to go on longer cruises, maybe once a year? I think not. It’s the same with all cruise lines and why I’m delighted Royal Caribbean and NCL have seen the light. I have 4 credits with NCL yet only sailed 12 nights (2, 2, 1, 7). Why should I rise through the tiers faster than people who do a week plus? These benefits should be earned. I will finally reach the second level of P&O’s Portunus/Peninsular Club this year and it will have only taken almost 5 years. Why? Too many short cruises so it’s fair people like me should be made to wait.
One final point. Last year P&O allowed ALL Portunus members to pre-register for the 2012/3 cruises, much to the annoyance of many Gold who believe it’s their right to be the ONLY ones, thus leaving everyone else with what’s left as in the past. Clearly they’ve forgotten what the ‘Them & Us’ policy feels like. I hope this year P&O do the same. Let the higher tier have their preferential cabin choice but at the end of the day, there should be no pre-booking discrimination for tiers. Other cruise lines don’t care what level you are so why should P&O when lower tiers’ money is as good as theirs?