Celebrity Cruises has reached out to booked guests with the opportunity to purchase a new, exclusive pass loaded with extra benefits, including Wi-Fi service upgrades, priority embarkation, an exclusive welcome lunch, and more. But is the new pass worth the price?
Celebrity Cruises has announced the new “Celebrity Pass” – a VIP pass guests can buy to upgrade their cruise experience with premium benefits. Booked guests and members of the cruise line’s Captain’s Club loyalty program have received notifications of the new option, alerting them to the perks it offers.
“On vacation, the little things can make a big difference. That’s why we’ve introduced the Celebrity Pass – your ticket to unrivaled convenience, exclusivity, and extraordinary experiences,” the overview of the program states. “The Celebrity Pass unlocks a new level of VIP treatment, including premium amenities and even more personalized service.”
Benefits offered with the Celebrity Pass include priority embarkation at the terminal to begin one’s cruise more quickly, an exclusive welcome lunch onboard, a premium Wi-Fi upgrade (limited to two devices per guest), and waiving the room service fee.
Also included is priority access for tender ports to leave the ship more quickly and enjoy more time ashore at ports of call at applicable destinations. Priority access is not needed, of course, when a ship is docked and guests can walk off via the gangway at will.
Finally, guests with the Celebrity Pass will also get reserved prime theater seating but only on “Evening Chic” nights.
“When you purchase the Celebrity Pass, no detail is overlooked to make sure that your journey becomes more than just a vacation,” the cruise line’s introductory information states.
At this time, it is not clear whether the Celebrity Pass is available fleet-wide or if it is only being offered on select ships or sailings as a trial period. Such limited introductions are not uncommon and give cruise lines and opportunity to tweak or modify a program before rolling it out to all ships.
The Celebrity Pass is priced at $32.99 (USD) per person, per day. Extra discounts are being offered to some members of the Captain’s Club, however, but those savings may vary depending on each traveler’s loyalty level and the specific cruise for which the pass may be purchased.
It is possible that the current pricing represents an introductory offer, or else the price may vary for premium sailings such as longer cruises, inaugural voyages, or holiday departure dates.
Whether or not the cost of the pass is worthwhile depends on how valuable the individual benefits may be for each traveler. Passengers who prefer to unplug and do not use Wi-Fi onboard, for example, will find no value in the Wi-Fi upgrade with the Celebrity Pass, and guests who do not use room service will not be bothered by a room service fee either way.
Similarly, the value of the Celebrity Pass may be less impressive to guests who have sailed frequently with the cruise line and already have high levels of loyalty points.
Guests who have already reached the Elite, Elite Plus, or Zenith levels of the Captain’s Club already have priority tender service, for example, and all levels of the loyalty program receive some internet discounts or upgrades.
Reaction to the Celebrity Pass is somewhat mixed, with some guests enthusiastic about the opportunity to enjoy various benefits, while others are less impressed with the offers depending on their own cruise travel preferences.
Other cruise lines have similar programs, such as “The Key” on Royal Caribbean International (a sister cruise line to Celebrity Cruises) and “Faster to the Fun” on Carnival Cruise Line. On those lines, reaction is likewise mixed as to the value of the benefits compared to the pricing of the premium add-on.
Time will tell whether or not the Celebrity Pass becomes a permanent fixture available for Celebrity Cruises.
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