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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Future Cruise Deposits—What’s Not to Like?

Worst part of a cruise? Hands down, Disembarkation Day. If you’ve cruised before, you know that feeling—the pit-in-your stomach recognition that your long-awaited vacation is over.

And the only antidote is to plan another one—fast. That’s what makes future cruise deposits so delicious. For the uninitiated, that’s where you put a deposit down on your next cruise while you’re still on one.

The way it works differs by cruise line. For Royal Caribbean, you actually book your next cruise onboard and put down a deposit. With Princess, you put down some money and then choose a cruise later.

There are a number of benefits to the future cruise deposits (FCD):

Low deposit – Deposits are often much lower than what you’d put down if you booked back on land.

Sometimes a great rate – Booking onboard (and early) can often get you a better rate for your next cruise.

Refundable deposit – Find out later that you can’t go after all? You’ll get your deposit back—all of it. (That is, of course, unless you’ve paid for the whole trip and you’re in the penalty period.) Note that the period of time this applies varies by cruise ship.

Onboard credit – FCD promotions often come with onboard credit, which you can use for specialty dining, excursions, drink packages, internet access, onboard shopping and more.

You can keep your TA in the loop – You can still work with your travel agent. When you put down the deposit, simply give the sales rep. your travel agent’s name. Your agent can continue to help you on the rest of the trip arrangements, and he/she can get commission from the cruise line. Just be sure to let your travel agent know that you’ve booked a cruise or put down a FCD.

You’ll get it in writing – Once you put down a FCD or booked a cruise onboard, you usually get a confirmation in writing—either in your stateroom before the end of the trip or via email.

To get a FCD, simply visit the ship’s onboard future cruise sales office. Note that it’s the busiest toward the end of the trip.

There’s no limit to how many FCDs you can have—one poster said he was sitting on six of them!

Which speaks volumes. With a low deposit—refundable, no less—what’s not to like? You can end your trip the same way it began—by looking forward to your upcoming cruise!

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