Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is joining Marriott Bonvoy, meaning that members will be able to earn and redeem points, as well as take advantage of elite perks, when cruising.
What is Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection?
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is a new cruise line that should have two ships sailing in the not-too-distant future. The ships will be 624 feet long, and will have just 149 rooms, accommodating around 300 guests. This is much smaller than your typical mega-cruise ship, and also opens up some pretty cool smaller destinations for the cruise line.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection was initially supposed to start sailing in early 2020, but that has now been pushed back to May 2022, due to a combination of ship delays and the pandemic. There are a variety of itineraries, including to Europe, the Caribbean, and even around the United States and Canada.
Note that while Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has the Ritz-Carlton name, it has very little to do with Marriott — this seems to just be a licensing agreement, and the cruise line isn’t owned by Marriott.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection unveils Marriott Bonvoy perks
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and Marriott Bonvoy have announced a partnership, that launches as of today (November 9, 2021). With this, it’s possible to earn points and elite nights, redeem points, and receive elite perks, for Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection cruises.
I wasn’t sure there would be any sort of points earning or redemption opportunities, so I’m quite impressed by this. Let’s go over all the details.
Earn Marriott Bonvoy points with Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Marriott Bonvoy members can earn both points and elite nights for Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection cruises:
- Earn 5x Bonvoy points per dollar spent on cruise fare only
- Earn one elite night credit for every night spent onboard
- Cruise fare spending will apply count towards the spending requirement for Ambassador status
- Earn bonus points when using a Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit card at the same rate you would when staying at a Marriott property
As you can see, you earn points at half the rate you would at Marriott properties (you usually earn 10x Bonvoy points per dollar spent). So the points earning rates aren’t quite as good, and on top of that you don’t receive bonus points based on elite status.
Redeem Marriott Bonvoy points with Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Marriott Bonvoy members can redeem points for Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection cruises:
- Redeem 180,000 Bonvoy points to save $1,000 on a cruise fare
- You can redeem beyond that (with no limits) in increments of 90,000 Bonvoy points to save an additional $500
In other words, Marriott Bonvoy is valuing points at ~0.56 cents each towards the cost of a cruise when redeeming. That’s not great — it’s less than my valuation of 0.7 cents per point — but it’s also not terrible, especially with the upcoming devaluation.
Marriott Bonvoy elite perks with Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Marriott Bonvoy elite members can get some useful perks when taking Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection cruises. Specifically, members can expect the following elite perks:
- All Marriott Bonvoy elite members will receive an invitation to an onboard elite reception
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold members and above will receive the choice of an in-suite welcome gift, which varies by tier
- Marriott Bonvoy Platinum members and above will receive a complimentary first evening laundry pressing
- Marriott Bonvoy Titanium members and above will receive priority boarding and departure
- Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador members will receive early access to S.E.A. reservations, plus complimentary laundry throughout the cruise
Those are some pretty decent perks when you consider how much is already included with cruises, so typical hotel elite perks like breakfast wouldn’t be worth anything. In particular, Ambassador members getting complimentary laundry is pretty cool.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has now joined Marriott Bonvoy, allowing members to earn and redeem points, and take advantage of elite perks. Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s participation in Marriott Bonvoy is more impressive than I was expecting, both in terms of points earning opportunities, and in terms of elite benefits.
When it comes to earning hotel points for cruises, there’s also an awesome partnership between World of Hyatt and Lindblad Expeditions, allowing members to earn points and elite credits. I tend to think that’s even more lucrative, since you earn points at the same rate you would at a Hyatt.
Back when Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection was first announced, I had booked a cruise, but go figure that was canceled. That would’ve been my first cruise in nearly two decades. Maybe it’s time to consider a cruise once again?
What do you make of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection joining Marriott Bonvoy?