Cruise Line Loyalty: The Carnival VIFP Club

Image courtesy of Carnival Corporation

Carnival, the biggest cruise company, likes to use the tagline “fun ships” and their loyalty program plays along. Known as the VIFP Club, you aren’t just a very important person, but a Very Important Fun Person. Unlike the majority of cruise line loyalty programs, you can join Carnival’s VIFP Club even if you haven’t cruised with them before.

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Image Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

Elite Status Levels

If you are new to Carnival, you will join the VIFP Club at the Blue level which includes members-only offers and a newsletter. The VIFP Club includes five levels of status with varying point requirements to obtain. After Blue there is Red, which you obtain on your second sailing and will remain at through 24 points. Note that one cruise day = one point. Now you’ll begin to feel more at home with the program level names as you elevate to Gold status at 25 points, Platinum at 75 points, and Diamond at 200+ points.

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The Benefits

The benefits of Red and Blue are basic with members-only offers, a routine newsletter, and at the red level, a complimentary bottle of water in your stateroom. However, the perks begin to improve once you achieve higher status levels. Gold members receive an “appreciation drink” on the last evening of 5-night or longer cruises. However, at the Platinum level, the perks begin to improve noticeably with things like priority boarding, priority tendering, and some complimentary laundry services. You’ll also receive an invitation to the Platinum and Diamond cocktail party on 5-night or longer sailings. In other words, free drinks and apps for an hour or so.

If you attain 200 cruise days with Carnival, you will achieve Diamond status, where the perks really begin to pick up. You receive all the benefits of Platinum plus additional things including unlimited complimentary wash and fold laundry, guaranteed dining reservations in the main dining room and specialty restaurants, a complimentary dinner for two at a specialty restaurant, and a dedicated phone line for sales and service. There is a long list of other benefits that you can review.

Summary

The benefits of Carnival’s VIFP Club are basic at the lower status levels but improve markedly as you climb the elite status ladder. At the Platinum and Diamond status level, Carnival offers respectable perks like priority boarding, disembarkation, and reservations for specialty dining. Money in your pocket benefits like the unlimited complimentary wash & fold laundry and complimentary specialty dining for Diamond members are especially attractive. Notably missing from the list of benefits is a complimentary internet allowance, a big deal for me and a real weakness in the program. Further, Carnival does not have an equivalent status recognition program meaning if you decide to venture out with other Carnival Corporation cruise brands, you’ll be starting at the bottom of the elite status ladder. That said, the world’s biggest cruise company has a lot to offer with its famous Fun Ships. Join the Carnival VIFP Club before your next Carnival cruise and start your climb up the loyalty program elite status ladder.

Comments

  1. Jim says

    One of the best perks is the on-board credit that you get from being a Carnival Cruise Line stock shareholder. I’m sure you will go into more detail on this in the future.

    • Marshall Jackson says

      Good point Jim. I really like Carnival’s OBC option for shareholders….much better than RCI in my opinion. Sounds like a good idea for a future article.

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