Posted on: December 23, 2023, 01:22h.
Last updated on: December 23, 2023, 01:22h.
Royal Caribbean is extending the 2023 earning period for Blue Chip Club members on its Celebrity Cruises.
Royal Caribbean Group is the parent entity of Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. Both lines typically offer guests on-ship gaming with slot machines and live dealer table games.
Players have expressed frustration with Royal Caribbean maintaining two casino loyalty programs for the two cruise lines. Casinos aboard Royal Caribbean are branded Casino Royale and feature the Club Royale rewards program. Celebrity simply calls its gaming venues The Casino and offers a loyalty program called the Blue Chip Club.
It’s presumed that Royal Caribbean will soon adhere to their customer calls to merge the two casino programs.
We have some status match between the brands today, but there’s such a huge opportunity for us to do more and really take advantage of the connection and us being part of the same family,” Andrea Shay, associate vice president of Celebrity Cruise’s loyalty marketing, told the Royal Caribbean Blog in September.
In what’s likely due to more time needed to bring the loyalty schemes together, Royal Caribbean is extending the Blue Chip Club earning period for 2023 from Dec. 31 until July 31, 2024.
Casinos are gaining in importance for major cruise operators, as made evident by companies like Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corporation recently announcing major updates and expansions to their ship casinos. After briefly doing away with casinos, Crystal Cruises announced in September it was reversing that decision and bringing back slots and tables for 2024.
Royal Caribbean this year swapped out most of its jazz clubs to create smoke-free casino spaces. Princess Cruises, a Carnival subsidiary, will open its largest casino ever when its new vessel, the $1 billion Sun Princess, sets sail in February. The Sun Princess casino spans nearly 9,000 square feet and will offer 227 slots and 13 tables. Carnival also added progressive table games this year.
Royal Caribbean seemingly recognizes the importance of allowing its customers from Royal and Celebrity to use their player rewards programs interchangeably.
Under the current arrangement, Blue Chip Club members receive a tier point for every $1 wagered on slots and $2 on video poker. The program issues eight tier points for every $1 bet on table games.
Once a member reaches the Amethyst level at 25,000 points, they receive $100 in free play on each trip. The promo increases to $500 at the Sapphire level of 100,000 points, and to $1,000 at Sapphire Plus (500,000 points).
The program’s top tier is Ruby at one million points. Ruby members receive $2,500 or 15% of their previous sailing’s gaming activity, whichever is greater, per trip in free play.
Royal’s Club Royale issues a tier point for every $5 played on slots and $10 on video poker. Table games accrue points based on time played, game, and average bet. Points can be redeemed for free play.
Royal Caribbean’s Club Royale program resets players’ points every April 1. Celebrity’s Blue Chip has typically reset Jan. 1, but that won’t happen in 2024 until Aug. 1.
Across its fleet, Celebrity Cruises offers more than 2,000 slots and 150 table games. To gamble on most voyages, guests only need to be aged 18 and older.
Casinos open once the ships venture into international water, which in the US is roughly 12 miles from the mainland.