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Friday, November 17, 2017

Ah, Shipboard Credit!

That wad of money burning a hole in our cargo shorts’ pocket! How do you get some? And what do you do with it once you get it? Oh, the possibilities!

Let’s start with:

How can you get some
Watch the cruise line promotions. These come via email if you sign up on their websites. Don’t feel like filling up your inbox? Stop by their site from time to time—the sales are often blazoned across their homepage (Princess) or can be found under a menu category such as Deals (Royal Caribbean).

Be a member of the military. Princess will thank you by giving you credit for current or past service. You’ll need to send proof of eligibility, such as a military verification certificate. (Retired military requirement is a minimum of 20 years of service.)

Become an owner. Royal Caribbean (RCI) will give you credit for being a shareholder (you need at least 100 shares). Note there’s a form you need to send along with proof of ownership (proxy card or broker statement).

Ask your travel agent. They’re often willing to give you onboard credit, but you usually have to ask. My line goes like this: “Is there any shipboard credit available with this cruise?”

Booking onboard. If you book a cruise while you’re already on one, its’ more than likely shipboard credit will be thrown in as an extra inducement for your commitment.

Get credit two ways. Sign up for a RCI Visa® credit card and they throw in onboard credit of $100.

Refer a friend. Royal Caribbean will give Crown & Anchor loyalty club members $25 onboard credit for each stateroom your friends book on your cruise. They have to be first-time cruisers to qualify. Register for the credit by logging into Crown & Anchor on RCI’s website and selecting Bring a Friend.

How much is it?
The amounts usually vary by the length of your trip; generally $25-75 per person during promotions for a seven-day cruise.

The fun part
How are you going to spend it? Practically any way you choose! Consider:

Getting slathered and soothed in the ship’s spa…

Dining à la deux with a specialty meal…



Keeping up with the scores with Internet service…



Having someone else do your laundry (boring!)…

Getting Labadoozied at RCI’s Haitian Labadee…

Enjoying your java with something a bit stronger…



Posing in your finest and having it framed… 



Getting the DVD that’s way better than what you did with your smartphone…

Learning to shake not stir or steer the ship…

Parasailing over the sea or scuba diving underneath it…



Drinking when the sun comes up and when it goes down…


Ordering a celebration package to do up your stateroom in style…

Buying some trinkets in the ship store for the folks you left behind…




Or bringing some home just for you!

The best part

You have to use it—or you lose it!