Every cruise line has some sort of loyalty programme. Cruises are addictive and once you’ve caught the bug, it will be the holiday of choice! Companies would be silly not to entice passengers back to their specific cruise line, so then add little perks and money off here and there to keep regulars sweet.
As you move up the loyalty tiers, perks increase, with the two top tiers of P&Os Peninsular club being awarded on a cruise by cruise basis.
1. In Caribbean tier and higher you will be invited to delicious luncheon. You’ll receive preliminary invites to your cabin and can request to sit near specific friends or family. Formal invites follow for your luncheon. This will be on a sea day at midday. Depending on the ship you are on depends on the number of attendees. I’ve attended Luncheons aboard Oriana with a full restaurant! Then Britannia with only a few tables full. On your invite you’ll be given a table number, then at the table you’ll have a place name. You’ll always be sat with people you share a cabin with. (If the person you are sharing your cabin with is in a Lower loyalty tier they will be invited to the Luncheon with you, so if you’re for example Baltic and Caribbean tier, you’ll be invited to both Luncheons as the others guest) The menu is a special occasion menu which currently includes a delicious starter, my recommendation being the salmon fish cakes, a beautiful pineapple sorbet, a delicious main course my recommendations being the beef or the sea Bass, and a lovely dessert, my absolute favourite being the rhubarb custard tart. Coffee and Champagne truffles conclude the meal.
2. During the luncheon you are served champagne, and your choice of Red, White or Rose wine, along with the usual cool water. Your glass will not empty. Equally the Peninsular club cocktail parties also allow for a generous helping of soft and alcoholic drinks. Smile sweetly at your closest waiter and your glass will never empty. One of the first benefits of the peninsular club is a free glass of fizz during a sailaway party. These tokens will be left in your cabin, so don’t forget to use them at any bar around sailaway time. Another perk is a free half bottle of Champagne popped into your fridge on your first Formal night on board. If you require some ice to chill it just ask room service or your Butler.
3. One of the best parts of the Luncheons or the cocktail party is the ability to spend some time with some of the Officers. Our most recent company at a Luncheon was one of the third Officers. He was fascinating. He has worked between both Cunard and P&O and was a joy to speak to, having a lovely table of cheerful interested people allowed for a fascinating conversation about the back of the house workings of both the Bridge and the wider ship. Caribbean Luncheons tend to eat with junior officers and the Baltic and Ligurian tier eat with senior officers.
4. Chats with passengers during these Luncheons and parties are one of my favourite parts of the cruise! I think because it’s a given that everyone is well cruised there is none of the one up man ship you seem to encounter with the older cruise clientele. I love questioning table guests about their most favourite itineraries and cruise lines, immensely adding to my cruise bucket list each time. I was hardly badly done to, cruising 9 weeks of 2019, the fascinating lady sat next to be had cruised around the world, and specifically to Alaska (for 4 weeks) to Japan and specifically to South America in 2019. She is my retirement inspiration!
5. Finally these parties and Luncheons are the perfect spot to learn Secret News and rumours about the company! We’ve just learnt about a secret rumour of the next ship to be sold…. but I shan’t be spreading that rumour as I really hope it’s not true!