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New Costa Club - opinions ?


greg2014
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I have a question, how do you rate Costa's current loyalty program. Below are my current impressions.

 

Costa's loyalty program has looked decent over the years - both in terms of earning points and privileges. The first blemish was the introduction of the rule a few years before the pandemic that points are valid for 3 years (but not on a calendar basis - "cutting off" old points takes place on April 30 each year, then the status is recalculated without taking into account points from three years ago).

 

When the pandemic was about to end - around the middle of last year, Costa drastically changed the rules of the program.

First of all, the statuses and score thresholds for entering them have changed. Second, many perks (especially the really cool ones) have been abolished. And thirdly, points are currently accrued depending on the cabin you book.

 

The current statuses are:

Bronze 1-5000 pts.

Silver 5001-30000 pts.

Gold 30001-140000 pts.

Platinum 1400001 pts. and above

 

Points are awarded as follows:

for each night on the ship: 100 pts. (inner cabin), 200 pts. (window), 300 pts. (balcony), 500 pts. (apartment)

additionally, if you have purchased the AI package - 400 pts.

and for expenses on the ship - for each EUR 1 spent - 2 points.

 

In addition, there are some extras if you order a cruise with a flight or as part of some travel packages.

 

Now all that's left is math. To become Gold, you need to spend approximately 300 nights in an indoor cabin or 100 with a balcony over the course of 3 years. If someone spends a lot on a ship, maybe a little less 🙂 To be honest, impossible for me.

 

Platinum status now is for me sth like science-fiction: you'd have to spend more days in an inner cabin than there are in three years. But assuming it's apartment guest status, that works out to 280 nights/3 years (in suites only). That is, almost all year round. Of course, expenses can improve something here 🙂

 

What's interesting: platinum in terms of privileges is not very different from gold (the differences are ridiculous). Poor if we are talking about appreciating someone who spends so many nights on a ship.

 

And the biggest problem. Even wanting to sail all those nights with them, there is a problem: no new routes and fewer and fewer ships because they are constantly selling or scrapping the old ones. How many times can you do the same circle around the Mediterranean Sea or a cruise to the Norwegian fjords? A few times for sure, because the places are charming, but here it's not about a few.

 

Now let's move on to the privileges. Currently, in my opinion, it is better to simply buy them without looking at the status in the loyalty program. What the Costa program gives is absolutely inadequate to what you have to put in. From my conversations during the last two cruises, old guests skip participating in the program and talk directly about moving to other operators - the more that they usually did not sail only with Costa. A kind of moment of truth will come after April 30, when Costa will "cut off" all the points accumulated before the pandemic. Only those won after April 2020, when most of the time Costa practically did not sail at all or hardly at all, and only since last summer it began to take off - but so far part of its fleet is turned off. In my opinion, according to their current rules, they will not have any Platinum guests and almost no Golds because they simply weren't there when to do it during this period. And I guess that's what the last changes to the program were about 🙂 After all, the program is about costs.

 

From my point of view, if I combine this with the progressive decline in quality and visible savings, I have no particular motivation to make further bookings with Costa.

 

What do you think about it?

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I am currently silver with 7884 points. I believe i will loose a number of points in April. I did 2 cruises with Costa last year, 15 nights med cruise and 22 nights on Toscana to Dubai. In a couple of weeks i will be back on the Toscana from Dubai to Genoa. A week later i will be doing back to back on Firenze from Rio to Kiel. The chances of me accumulating 30000 points to reach gold are nil. 

As a silver member i do get 15% off the published cruise fare, as i travel solo this does help to keep the costs down. The other perks include a bottle of sparkling wine when boarding and a gift during the cruise, and a free pizza.  One other perks is a cabin upgrade, but the small print makes it impossible for me to get one. Although i did 2 cruises last year, i have booked 3 this year. For me to get an upgrade i would have to book the comfort plus rate which includes the beverage pack. As i hardly drink its not worth it for me to purchase a beverage pack, so no upgrade for me. 

I am booked on the Costa Toscana 21 night cruise from Dubai to Genoa in March, i paid just over 800 sterling for a outside cabin travelling solo. I would find it impossible to find the same fare with other cruise lines and that is why i stick with Costa. The loyalty programme, although not great, meets my needs.

 

 

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I am also silver with 10264 points that I accumulated in 2022 alone (three 7-night cruises in a balcony cabin), it just so happened that the dates worked and prices were very good. With 19737 points to reach gold, it is highly unlikely that I will ever reach that level. There is no real incentive to even try and reach that echelon even if I wished to.

For us, the Costa Club is just a name and number and not worth even thinking about. When they brought in the 3-year rule we dropped from Pearl to Coral overnight which was a bit of a smack in the face at the time. It's just as well that we enjoy the product as their loyalty rewards count for very little.

Edited by Wansbrough
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So for me to achieve gold, I would need to take nine 7-night cruises in 3 years. That would be some going for a cruise line that is lacking the sort of itineraries they used to do.

Platinum..... well 😂😂😂😂😂

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In the past they had some itineraries which do not exist now - Asia, India/Sri Lanca, Maledives, Mauritius, Caribbean from Florida... 

Maybe I wanted to cruise with them more but need more new itineraries. At the moment have gold but keeping it for longer time is more and more difficult and has no sense.

On the other hand after last cruise in January can say that many privilliges do not exist anymore - even they are listed by Costa (f.e. priority embarkation or "behind the scene" visit). Unfortunately also credit for spending onboard has been cancelled (it was 75 EUR for gold members).  

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Just been looking at Carnival by Costa on the Venezia out of New York. The pricing per cabin is definitely Carnival rates, not Costa. There does not seem to be any option for Costa club members on here to get any perks? Does anybody know if you can use Costas loyalty programme on Carnival?

 

image.thumb.png.ff09b794c48ca6f5574c41f3c65de6a7.png

 

 

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2 hours ago, gerryuk said:

Just been looking at Carnival by Costa on the Venezia out of New York. The pricing per cabin is definitely Carnival rates, not Costa. There does not seem to be any option for Costa club members on here to get any perks? Does anybody know if you can use Costas loyalty programme on Carnival?

 

image.thumb.png.ff09b794c48ca6f5574c41f3c65de6a7.png

 

 

No Gerry.. It will be Carnival Venezia. Keeping the Costa funnel though. It will be Carnival loyalty perks.

I am booked on the TA Barcelona to New York on 29th May.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/6/2023 at 9:04 AM, gerryuk said:

Just been looking at Carnival by Costa on the Venezia out of New York. The pricing per cabin is definitely Carnival rates, not Costa. There does not seem to be any option for Costa club members on here to get any perks? Does anybody know if you can use Costas loyalty programme on Carnival?

 

image.thumb.png.ff09b794c48ca6f5574c41f3c65de6a7.png

 

 

Its going to be a full Carnival ship in terms of booking and loyalty. Costa funnel to be kept to remind everyone of Venezia's heritage.

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Cruised on the Firenze last year.  Great ship, too bad Carnival took it.  In terms of recent ships, that leaves the Toscana and the Smeralda. 

 

Regarding the loyalty program, reading through the perks, the thing that immediately stands out to me is that there seems to be little incentive to get a higher status: the most significant perk, a 10-20% price discount, is available immediately after joining. "Exclusive" products and services with a 50% discount are also for every loyalty program category.  As are birthday cakes and other minor perks.  What silver, gold and diamond members get that the others don't get is a free bathrobe, a second towel, a free pizza and other insignificant things that your cabin steward will happily provide in exchange of a tip.  The only things of significance for higher than bronze status I have seen in the program are a dedicated restaurant and priority em- and debarkation.  Not worth the thousands you'd have to spend on cruises IMHO.

Edited by Schlinger
Correcting the autocorrect...
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Basing on my last experience on Costa Toscana (Jan 2023): priority embarkation for gold/platinium does not exist at all. Staff in terminal does not know anything about it. All passengers waited in one line. I have also not seen any special line to suites guests.

 

Special restaurant at the moment means dedicated part (sector) of normal restaurant. Menu is also the same like in MDR.

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Well, that's disappointing, isn't it?  I only saw on Costa's website that they have a restaurant for suite guests; I didn't realize it is just a dedicated section of the MDR.  I'd feel cheated if I had booked a suite and found the setup to be this.

As for the lack of priority em- and debarkation, that's one of the things I'd book a suite for, especially if there are tender ports involved or lots of people on board.  But then again, I try to avoid that type of cruise, especially during school holidays.  Which makes that 3 week cruise from Europe to Dubai in November I'm looking at look better by the minute.

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Just got cut from Platinum to Gold, probably going to lose that soon.

Priority boarding was one reason they had to start cutting points. In Savona, there would be hundreds for priority, it was less hassle to pick up a priority card, then go for coffee and board with the hoi polloi. If the restaurant wasn't busy I might end up with in effect anytime dining, but otherwise not much of value. Never used things like robe or pillows,

I'm far, far more concerned over cutbacks to entertainment.

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On 3/17/2023 at 7:05 PM, greg2014 said:

@Schlinger - to be more precise: there was no dedicated restaurant for gold/platinium guests. I am not sure but think that suite guests on Costa Toscana had dedicated restaurant.

 

As for Costa Toscana, they do have a section of the L'Argentario restaurant reserved for gold & platinum. The menu is the same as in the "ordinary" mdr, but I would say that the atmosphere is nicer and quieter. You will for instance get a table for 2 automatically if you want, and the tables are set with enough space between them to be private if you don´t want to socialize with other guests.

 

There is a completely separate restaurant (Bellavista on Toscana) for suites, and it is also in theory for gold & platinum, but "subject to availability". This restaurant has a separate kitchen and menu from the mdr. You have to make the request to dine there at the time of booking if you want to get in on the loyalty club basis.

 

We have now done 2 b2b:s on the 7 day Dubai-circuit, and are currently on the repositioning Suez-cruise back to the Med. We have asked the maitre d´:s if we would have any chance to get into Bellavista as we have gold status, but it seems impossible as there is in reality rarely any availability. Acc. to the maitre d':s you need to be platinum to have any chance of getting a table.

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Thanks a lot, Greg!  That doesn't seem to be very different.  I merely noticed scallops on the Elite menu... And lots of upcharge stuff on both menus.  Dom Pérignon is a bit steep at 250 (under 200 on Carnival a year ago).  And the "tomahawk" is fassona piemontese 😕

Overall, the benefits from member status or suite bookings seem to be on the light side, especially if the priority boarding remains theoretical.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes, I received this news, too! Unclear as ever…..do you think it means all the zillions of points coming off on 30/04/2023 won’t be deducted?
 

I am clinging onto Gold status for the moment so even if these points are not taken again this year, next year when zillions surely will no doubt disappear….well, that will be the end of my brief flirtation with the heady echelons of Perla Diamanté and now Gold status (and looking ahead probably Silver, too) forever given the strange new Club points system.

 

There seem to be very little in the way of perks or privileges worth bothering about in any case now as everything worth having appears to have been watered down or whittled away. 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, SpeedySal said:

Yes, I received this news, too! Unclear as ever…..do you think it means all the zillions of points coming off on 30/04/2023 won’t be deducted?
 

I am clinging onto Gold status for the moment so even if these points are not taken again this year, next year when zillions surely will no doubt disappear….well, that will be the end of my brief flirtation with the heady echelons of Perla Diamanté and now Gold status (and looking ahead probably Silver, too) forever given the strange new Club points system.

 

There seem to be very little in the way of perks or privileges worth bothering about in any case now as everything worth having appears to have been watered down or whittled away. 

 

 

 

 

Don't think you will loose any points this year, next year is another matter.

I am silver and just got off Toscana, got a free bottle of wine and a free pizza but no gift.  

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