In the old days, you could buy a cruise on a whim. You could spend your hard-earned money on a vacation you’d never have the opportunity to take otherwise, and then you could go back to your everyday life without the burden of worry. It was a win-win. Unfortunately, the vacation industry has changed, and now it’s tough to get in on that kind of deal. Cruise prices are soaring, and the only people who can afford them are the ones with the most money, the biggest budgets, and the most vacation time.
In a recent survey, 32% of travelers said they would pack their bags and head to the airport as soon as a good travel deal was announced. That means that, to attract that holiday-going demographic, cruise lines need to offer even more incentives than ever before.
When you attend a cruise, you pay for the vacation upfront, and you don’t get a huge discount on the cruise itself. That’s not the way most people think of it, though. They see a cruise as a vacation for their family or for themselves, and they want to get the most value out of the cruise.. Read more about royal caribbean and let us know what you think.
Future Cruise Credits aren’t a novel concept… They’ve existed in some form or another for a long time. However, when their trip was cancelled due to the COVID-19 cruise industry closure, tens of thousands of passengers chose FCCs over a refund during the last 18 months. For many of these passengers, this is their first time using a Future Cruise Credit, and they may not completely comprehend their decision.
Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of Future Cruise Credits, as well as some pointers on how to get the most out of them.
Bliss in Norway (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)
Future Cruise Credits Benefits
Money in the Bank from the Cruise
A FCC is similar to a gift certificate for your future trip. It’s money that can only be spent with a particular cruise company, can’t be used for anything else, and can’t be returned (typically).
That implies you have money in the bank that you can only spend for a cruise trip. That also means you won’t have to worry as much about saving for your next trip… You’ve already set aside some money for your upcoming vacation. Isn’t it amazing?
You may be eligible for a bonus or, at the very least, avoid penalties.
Most passengers who chose a Future Cruise Credit over a refund during the pandemic closure did so because the cruise company provided an incentive for doing so. The cruise companies made FCCs a very attractive choice, offering bonuses of up to 125 percent or hundreds of dollars in Onboard Credit, and if there’s one thing cruisers appreciate, it’s a good bargain.
Some customers who voluntarily cancelled their trip under the different “Cruise with Confidence” plans provided by most major cruise lines were also given an FCC. These passengers did not get any more value for their FCC, but they also did not lose money. These cruisers would normally have had to pay a penalty for booking a non-refundable ticket; instead, they received an FCC for the entire amount of their holiday investment.
Save them by stacking them.
When booking your new trip, Future Cruise Credits may usually be coupled with any other incentives offered by your cruise company or travel agency. That means you’re not only receiving a bonus from the FCC, but you’re also getting other discounts and promotions.
Even if you bought your initial cruise directly with the cruise company, your FCC may be applied to a new booking through a travel agency, thus re-booking using an agent may result in a cheaper price or even more advantages than re-booking with the cruise line. Your FCC reservations are valuable to travel agencies since they are money in the bank for them as well.
Carnival Magic sails out from Port Canaveral.
READ MORE: 7 Ways to Get Your Children Excited About Cruise Destinations
Future Cruise Credits’ Drawbacks
You are not eligible for a refund.
While there are rare exceptions, Future Cruise Credits are generally non-refundable once purchased. As a result, if your financial position or travel requirements change and a cruise is no longer a possibility, you may miss out on the value.
In addition, on most cruise lines, the amount of a Future Cruise Credit may only be used to pay for the cruise price, not any taxes or fees. This may sometimes mean that the value of your FCC exceeds the cruise price on whichever trip you use it for, and you won’t be able to receive the difference back in cash.
When this occurs, think about upgrading your cabin so you don’t waste any credits. Otherwise, depending on the cruise company, a few things might happen. You may lose any leftover FCC value, or certain lines may enable you to use the remaining FCC to onboard credit. Other cruise lines may enable you to retain the leftover FCC value for a future trip, but you must utilize it before the FCC expiry date.
If you’re considering a trip that costs less than your initial journey, check with your cruise company to see how they handle unused FCC value.
They can’t be transferred.
Similarly, some cruise companies prohibit the transfer of FCCs to another guest. So, if you can’t go on a cruise, you won’t be able to give your FCC to Uncle Jack or Aunt Nellie, and you may lose money. If you find yourself in this position, it doesn’t harm to ask for an exception, particularly if you have another passenger who is ready to book a cruise and utilize your FCC right now.
You’re obligated to go with a certain cruise line
Future Cruise Credits are only given by a particular cruise line and may only be used on that cruise line. A FCC cannot be used on a sister line (for example, a Royal Caribbean FCC cannot be used on Celebrity).
While most passengers won’t have a problem with this, it may be a problem if you can’t locate a cruise you like on the line you initially booked, or if all of the itineraries you want are sold out. To prevent disappointment, book early for the greatest choices of ships, sailings, and cabins… There are hundreds of millions of dollars in FCCs waiting to be used by ships.
(Royal Caribbean provided this image.)
It’s possible that it won’t satisfy the deposit.
A Future Cruise Credit may not be able to be used to pay for a deposit on certain cruise lines. As a result, before your Future Cruise Credit is credited to your booking, you’ll need to pay the deposit in cash.
This policy differs per cruise company, so be sure to check with yours to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Future Cruise Credits are about to expire.
Both when booking your next trip and when you have to sail by, FCCs have expiry dates. While these dates have shifted over the last year due to the cruise companies’ inability to sail, further extensions are much less probable now that cruises have resumed. You don’t want to risk losing hundreds or thousands of dollars by booking a day late or failing to locate a suitable cruise with rooms available before your sail-by date.
If you’re not sure when your FCC expires, check your cruise line account or contact the company or your travel agent for assistance.
READ NEXT: Cruise Travel Insurance: What You Should Know
Until recently, using cruise credits (also known as travel credits or cruise credits) to save money on your next cruise seemed like one of the best ways to save money on your cruise vacation. While cruise credits are great for saving money on your cruise vacation, they’re bad when it comes to cruising …. Read more about cruise near me and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to accept a future cruise credit?
No, you can decline the offer.
Can I get a refund on future cruise credit?
Unfortunately, you cannot get a refund on future cruise credits.
What is future cruise credit?
Future Cruise Credit is a reward given to players who have completed the game. It can be used for future cruises on Royal Caribbean International, and it is not available in-game.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- royal caribbean
- carnival cruise credit card
- us cruises
- cruise near me
- carnival cruise news