Published: May 29, 2024

Carnival Cruise, Royal Caribbean add land-based casino partners

Each cruise line has added a new partner that will bring new benefits for loyal passengers.

Both Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line offer two separate loyalty programs. Each has one that rewards people for the number of nights they spend on board and another that dishes out benefits to casino players.

The loyalty programs designed to reward people for how often they sail over a lifetime. When you earn status in Royal Caribbean's  RCL) Crown & Anchor Society and Carnival's VIFP Club, you keep it forever.

Casino status, however, is earned each year. Players get points based on the games they play and the dollar amounts they risk. When you earn status, you keep it for the rest of that casino year and the entire next casino year.

Those benefits can be incredibly valuable. With Royal Caribbean, if you earn 2,500 points in a casino year (April 1 through March 31) you get free drinks in the casino on any sailing and a free seven-night sailing on nearly any sailing during a 12-month period. 

Both cruise lines, however, have offered benefits to members only while they are at sea. Royal Caribbean does have a status-matching program with MGM Resorts International,  ( MGM but that's a fairly limited deal.

Now, both cruise lines have made major partnerships with land-based casinos that should result in a meaningful increase in benefits to loyal gamblers on both cruise lines.

Carnival's deal with Bally's will bring the land-based casino company's players cruise deals.

Carnival partners with Bally's

Carnival's partnership with Bally's Corp.   (BALYfocuses on getting customers of the land-based casino company onto Carnival's 27 ships. Bally's Rewards members will be offered a number of benefits from the cruise line.

"In addition to special events, Bally Rewards’ Legend, SuperStar and Star tier guests are now eligible for complimentary and discounted Carnival   (CCLcruises," the cruise line said in a news release. 

"The new partnership between Carnival and Bally’s also extends the reach of both brands. Known as America’s Cruise Line, Carnival sails from 14 U.S. homeports – more than any other cruise line – and Bally’s operates 15 popular properties nationwide." 

There will be some reciprocal benefits for Carnival's loyalty program members, but those have not yet been spelled out.

"This collaboration brings together two industry leaders, combining the excitement of Bally's gaming experience with the unparalleled entertainment and hospitality of Carnival Cruise Line," Bally's Chief Marketing Officer Mike Donovan said. "Together, we will create unforgettable experiences for our guests, both on land and at sea.”

Royal Caribbean partners with Hard Rock

Royal Caribbean has partnered with Hard Rock International to offer benefits to members of both company's casino loyalty programs.

"The millions of combined members of the brands’ casino rewards programs will enjoy reciprocal benefits through Unity by Hard Rock, Royal Caribbean’s Club Royale and Celebrity Cruises’ Blue Chip Club anytime they play, stay, dine or shop at participating Hard Rock locations, or sail on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity ships," the cruise line said on itscas website.

While the details remain a little vague, the two companies did lay out some of what they will offer each other's loyalty program members:

  • Unity by Hard Rock loyalty members will receive discounts on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity vacations and can qualify for invite-only cruise giveaways. Top-tier loyalty members will also receive an annual complimentary cruise on select ships and itineraries.
  • Club Royale and Blue Chip Club members can make their Hard Rock visits even more memorable with exclusive discounts and perks at participating Hard Rock locations, including annual complimentary trips at select Hard Rock hotels and casinos worldwide for premium tier Club Royale and Blue Chip members.

Hard Rock International has resorts and casinos near many of the ports from which Royal Caribbean sails. That creates some natural synergy between the two companies.

“Whether extending their cruise vacation at one of our port-adjacent properties, visiting one of the participating Hard Rock Hotel and Cafe locations worldwide or enjoying the cruise lines’ ships sailing around the world, travelers will have new ways to enjoy the best of what Hard Rock, Seminole Casinos and Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have to offer,” Hard Rock's CMO, Jeff Hook, said.

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