Cruise Line Loyalty: Holland America’s Mariner Society

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When one thinks of Holland America, refined tastes, stately service, and fine dining and the Holland America Mariner Society rewards in a refined way. (Feature image credit: Holland America)

holland america, cruise line loyalty programs, holland america mariner society
Image courtesy of Holland America

Elite Status

While I tend to prefer fewer rather than more status levels, multiple levels are a trend in cruising and as a Mariner Society member there are five levels. As is the case with most lines, you can join the program after your first cruise when you receive Star Mariner status, and begin climbing the status ladder. Status is awarded based on cruise day credits (one day of cruising = one credit) with opportunities to earn bonus credits for suite category staterooms.

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The Benefits

Every status level, including Star Mariner, receives an invitation to an exclusive “Welcome Back” reception. The remaining benefits are pretty standard, “collectible gifts” meaning swag, and special offers on future cruises. Once you collect 30 cruise day credits, you are elevated to 2-Star Mariner and receive a few additional benefits including discounts, a ship photo, and the holy grail of cruising, the lapel pin.

After you collect 75 cruise day credits, you are elevated to 3-Star Mariner, and the benefits become a bit more respectable. Discounts of 25 percent on wine packages, specialty restaurant charges, and even mini-bar charges are included. Select spa discounts are also offered. You also receive advance notice of new itineraries and a waiver of air deviation fees (the fee they charge if you book cruise line air and “deviate” from the standard offer like..let’s say you want to fly into port a few days early rather than day of).

At 200 cruise day credits, you will arrive at 4-Star Mariner status which includes pretty decent benefits that contribute to a more enjoyable cruise. You will receive priority check-in, priority disembarkation, priority tender service, and complimentary laundry and pressing. You also receive the same discounts I mentioned for 3-Star Mariners, but at 50 percent as opposed to 25 percent. A complimentary wine tasting is also included. 4-Star Mariners also receive a complimentary 1-year subscription to Travel & Leisure or Food & Wine magazines.

If you are fortunate enough to earn 500 cruise day credits, you hit the top tier of the Mariner Society, 5-Star Mariner, and receive a respectable list of benefits in addition to the other status levels. You will receive two complimentary dinners in the Pinnacle Grill, a specialty restaurant, a complimentary subscription to Travel & Leisure or Food & Wine magazines, and early notification of shore excursions available for pre booking. Notably, only 5-Star Mariners receive a discounted internet package. Here’s a look at just a few of the top tier benefits for 5-Star Mariners courtesy of Holland America.

  • 50% discount on a 100-minute Internet package (one time only per cruise)
  • Two complimentary dinners in the Pinnacle Grill (free surcharge only)
  • Complimentary Culinary Arts Center cooking class (1 per cruise)
  • Complimentary laundry and pressing services
  • Priority disembarkation
  • Priority tender
  • Priority check-in
  • A 50% discount on specialty restaurant surcharges, wine packages, beverages in the Explorations Café* and all mini-bar purchases
  • A complimentary wine tasting session
  • A collectible gift presented to you on board
  • A 15% discount on Holland America Line logo clothing sold in onboard shops (may exclude already discounted merchandise)
  • A 15% discount on merchandise from www.shophollandamerica.com
  • Discounts on select spa treatments from the Greenhouse Spa & Salon

Summary

Holland America Line has a reputation for outstanding service and great dining. The line offers a respectable loyalty program with benefits that make your cruising experience better and honor your loyalty to the line. The weak internet benefits are a downside of the program with only 5-Star Mariner status members receiving any kind of discounted internet access. You can review all the details of the Mariner Society at hollandamerica.com.

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Comments

  1. John says

    I have been on all the moderate priced cruiselines going out of the US and Holland is my least favorite by a mile. They have more motorized scooters than on any ship I have been on. They started out their big show with “Old Man River”. It got worse from there. I am 60 and felt like I was on cruise with my great great grand parents. Celebrity and RCL are just light years ahead of Holland.

    • Marshall Jackson says

      Thanks for commenting, John. The average age of passenger comment is something I’ve heard before about Holland America. I do have friends in their 50s who think quite highly of them though. I’m more of an RCL/X guy too.

  2. dan says

    I have traveled on Royal, Norweigan, Celebrity, and Holland America. Of all the cruise lines, Holland America has been the best with service, atmosphere, suite (Neptune suites surpass anything I have ever experienced) and food. Yes, there may be older people than what you find on other cruises. However, I began traveling with HA when I was in my mid 40’s and now in my 50’s. I find many people who are the age of my spouse and me everytime we cruise on HA. The artwork alone is worth being on the ship. You get the sense of cruising on a ship of eloquence. I highly recommend HA to anyone. I also suggest you book a Neptune suite. You will never want to sail with anyone again. It’s well worth the extra money paid for this level – plus your suite is almost 600 sq feet.

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