Did you know there are at least 6 cruise lines that will pay you in onboard credit just for referring a friend or family member? From $25 to $250, these referral bonuses can add up and give you reason to splurge a little more on your next vacation at sea.
In this article we will examine what cruise lines have this referral program and what it takes to pocket that extra cruise money.
Having some onboard credit at your disposal once you get on a cruise ship is a great feeling. And since you can’t take it home with you, you might as well get that spa treatment, dine at a specialty restaurant, or grab some souvenirs from the gift shop, all thanks to a referral bonus.
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All of these programs require that the person you are referring has never sailed with that cruise line before in order to be eligible. So keep that mind before you start blasting cruise groups on Facebook.
1. Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises has a referral program that rewards you with $25 in onboard spending money for every new friend you refer to the cruise line. And your friend will also get $25 in OBC (OnBoard Credit), so there’s extra incentive on their end as well.
To participate, your friend must be new to Princess and cannot already have an active booking with the line. Once your referral completes their final payment, the onboard credit will appear in your account. There are a few restrictions to keep in mind, like the fact that the program is only available to residents of the United States and Canada, and your friend needs to have a valid Princess Cruises account on Princess.com.
You can refer as many friends as you’d like, but you can only earn $25 in onboard spending money from each referral one time. Also, you’ll have up to two years to use the onboard credit, and there’s a maximum of two referrals per booking.
To refer your friends, scroll to the bottom of the Princess.com homepage and look for the “Cruise Deals” section in the footer. Under that, you’ll find the “Refer-a-Friend” link. Click it, enter your name and email address, and you’ll receive a share link to use.
So if you’re looking for some extra spending money on your next Princess cruise, spread the word to some friends who are on the fence about cruising.
2. Holland America Line
Holland America Line’s Mariner Society loyalty program offers a Refer a Friend program to reward members who refer new guests to the cruise line. When a new guest, who has not previously sailed with Holland America Line, books a trip, they will receive a $50 onboard credit per person. The person who referred them will receive a $50 Future Cruise Credit to use towards their next Holland America Line voyage as well.
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To be eligible for the Refer a Friend program, past guests must have a Mariner ID. However, every person who sails with Holland America Line is automatically enrolled in the Mariner Society loyalty program.
The onboard credit can be used towards a range of amenities, such as specialty dining, spa services, shore excursions, and gift shop purchases. The Future Cruise Credit can be applied to any of Holland America Line’s cruises around the world, and the line offers quite a few exotic destinations with its voyages.
Luxury cruise line Seabourn has a referral program to thank its Seabourn Club members for recommending their services to friends and family. Seabourn Club members who refer first-time guests receive a $250 per-suite credit, which can be used on the same voyage or one in the future.
To take advantage of this program, Seabourn Club members simply register the referred guests on Seabourn’s website and submit a Referral Rewards redemption form to receive the onboard credit. The first-time guests also receive the same $250 per-suite credit, making the offer even more enticing to new cruisers with the line.
The great thing about this program is that there is no limit to how many times a Seabourn Club member can refer new guests. Plus, members can combine up to two rewards on any one voyage, allowing them to earn up to $500 in OBC.
Read: 5 Best All-Inclusive Cruise Lines
When you travel with Viking for the first time, you will automatically become a member of the Viking Explorer Society program. As a member, you will enjoy the following benefits:
- A $200 travel credit per passenger when you book a Viking voyage within one year of your last Viking trip. If you book within two years, you will receive a $100 credit. It’s worth noting that the credit can only be used to pay for a trip with Viking.
- Invitation to a private cocktail party for Viking Explorer Society members when sailing on Viking ships.
- Early access to new Viking Cruises itineraries and new ships, as well as exclusive limited-time offers.
It’s important to note that the credits mentioned above may not be combined with other promotions offered by the line.
In addition to these benefits, Viking also has a referral program that can earn you additional travel credits. Once you become a Viking customer, you can refer an unlimited number of other people to Viking using your customer number. If the person you refer books a trip with Viking within a year, both of you will receive a $100 travel credit.
If you manage to refer 13 people to Viking who take their first Viking cruise within one calendar year, you will receive a much more lucrative perk: a free cruise worth up to $3,300. However, if the person you refer shares a cabin with you on their first cruise, you will only receive the referral credit if you are already a member of the Viking Explorer Society.
Note that if the person you refer to Viking shares a cabin with you on her or his first cruise, you only will get the referral credit if you are already a Viking Explorer Society member.
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5. Regent Seven Seas
If you’re thinking of cruising with Regent Seven Seas Cruises, you’ll like this perk. Once you complete your first voyage with them, you automatically become a member of their Seven Seas Society, which is a family of past guests. It’s an exclusive club, and there’s no membership fee, which is a plus.
There are different tiers of membership based on the number of nights sailed, starting with the Bronze level for new members, Silver at 21 nights sailed, Gold at 75 nights, Platinum at 200 nights, and the very top tiers, Diamond and Commodore, reserved for those who have sailed for over 1,000 and 2,000 nights respectively. As you move up the membership tiers, you’ll enjoy more special benefits on board, like invitations to exclusive onboard parties, complimentary laundry service, phone time, and more.
And here’s the best part: even if you’ve only sailed once with Regent, you can become a Regent Ambassador by referring friends and family to the company. If your friends decide to take a Regent cruise, you’ll both receive some nice perks, including a $250 Future Cruise Credit added to both of your profiles when the new guest books their first Regent cruise. No need to sail together; you can travel separately and still enjoy the rewards.
So, if you know someone who’s already a member of the Seven Seas Society, ask them to be your Regent Ambassador and help you get started on your luxury cruise experience. And if you’re already a member, start talking to your friends and let the rewards roll in!
6. Windstar Cruises
This is another luxury cruise line, and like Regent Seven Seas, it might be a little out of your price range, but this one also has a referral program.
Once you’re a member of the Yacht Club with Windstar you can refer a friend and receive $100 of onboard credit. That is $100 for each friend you refer if it is their first cruise with the cruise line.
Each referral will also receive $100 of Shipboard Credit that they can use on their first cruise with Windstar. The credit is placed on their accounts after final payment has been made.
Holland America and Princess are probably more in the price range for most of us, and while $25 and $50 may not seem like much per referral, it can really add up if you talk about your favorite cruise line a lot and want to reap some rewards for being a cruise line ambassador.
It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and let’s be honest, if you’re trying to get a friend on a cruise ship, you’re only doing them a favor, even OBC aside.