Resume Operations On June 12th
Royal Caribbean, initially cancelled sailings from US ports due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 13 and on March 14 followed up by suspending operations for the remainder of its sailings worldwide.
On March 24, it extended its global suspension until May 11. In conjunction with the CDC no-sail order, all sailings departing on and before June 11th, have been cancelled.
The company says it will now resume operations on June 12th for the majority of its 26-ship fleet. It notes that Canadian ports will remain closed until July 1.
The company has offered passengers affected by the cancellation 125% Future Cruise Credit to sail with Royal Caribbean by April 30, 2022. To use Future Cruise Credit, bookings need to be made by December 31, 2021.
For full details of Royal Caribbeans refund policies please visit the companys website.
Can You Pay Off The Balance On An Existing Cruise
Some cruise lines will let you use the credit to pay off an exciting booking but many will not. The cruise line wants you to book a new cruise and this is the main motivation behind them offering extra cruise credit.
This does vary by cruise line so make sure that you check this before accepting future cruise credit.
Royal Caribbean Future Cruise Credit
Future Cruise Credit, also known as FCC, is the credit being offered by cruise lines to guests whose cruises have been affected by coronavirus. Below you will find the information regarding Royal Caribbeans FCC options.
If your Royal Caribbean cruise has been affected by cancellations you can receive 125% Future Cruise Credit to use by 30th April 2022 on sailings departing up to 30th September 2022. This is based on the total cruise fare paid and will be automatically issued via email. Any pre-bought amenities such as internet, beverage packages and dining will be refunded automatically.
These offers apply only to the cruise element of bookings where Planetcruise.com are the tour operator of the holiday.
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How Will Royal Caribbean’s New Credit Policy Work
Royal Caribbean on April 27 held a webinar with travel agents, during which it said that a person holding a future cruise credit could now do a one-time transfer of it to someone else.
“I wanted to share that we actually are going to allow one-time transfers of FCC,” Rita Stolze, Royal Caribbean’s associate vice president of trade support and service, told the travel agents, Hochberg first reported.
“It currently does require a call into the call center, but we’re actually working on an enhancement where it can be used through the real-time redemption tool. … just don’t have that enhancement completed yet, but very soon.”
Royal Caribbean has automated the process of canceling cruises, which has made doing so much easier for customers. Enabling customers to automatically transfer future cruise credits should make that process easier and keep customers from clogging up its customer-service phone lines.
Royal Caribbean Chief Financial Officer Naftali Holtz, speaking on the cruise line’s fourth-quarter earnings call, noted that about half the future cruise credits outstanding have already been redeemed.
“We’re very pleased with that, and we’ve seen progress in the last quarter, both redemptions, as well as just new bookings,” he added.
When Do I Need To Use My Future Cruise Credit By Before It Expires
In short, it depends on the cruise line.
Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises changed their FCC policy so that their credits will never expire.
When you get your FCC email, look for an expiration date to understand when you must use it by. Keep in mind there could be a “redeem by” date as well as an expiration date.
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What If I Used A Future Cruise Credit To Pay For A Cruise That Has Now Been Cancelled Due To The Covid
If you opted in for Cruise with Confidence, you will have two Future Cruise Credits â the original Future Cruise Credit and your Cruise with Confidence Credit. Your original credit will be reinstated with the prior Future Cruise Credit amount, along with the original expiration date or May 31, 2022 â whichever date gives you the most time to use it. You will also receive a new Future Cruise Credit based on the remaining amount paid. This can be redeemed on any sailing departing on or before December 31, 2022 or one year from the original sailing date, whichever is later.
If your sailing was cancelled as part of our COVID-19 operations suspension, you will receive one Future Cruise Credit combining the two amounts: 100% of your original Future Cruise Credit amount and 125% of any additional cruise fare funds paid on the reservation. Your new Future Cruise Credit will have an expiration date of May 31, 2022, and it can be redeemed on any sailing departing on or before December 31, 2022 or one year from the original sailing date, whichever is later.
What Happens If You Dont Take Future Cruise Credit Or Refund
Most cruise lines are only offering the onboard credit for a limited time, some will automatically give you the credit when this time is up and some will automatically give you cash when this ends. Royal Caribbean will refund you in cash automatically.
I personally dont really like the idea of waiting and then getting a refund but you could do this if youre unsure. Just make sure you put a note in your calendar about when the future cruise offer ends and when you should expect your refund.
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Dont Overpay For Your Royal Caribbean Cruise
Heres how I get the lowest price when I book a cruise
Please dont book with any old company just because they have a cheap deal. I suggest that you find the best price and then take it to a trusted travel agent who will beat it as well as giving you the best service.
You Might Get A Bonus Or At Least Avoid Penalties
During the pandemic shutdown, most travelers who opted for a Future Cruise Credit rather than a refund did so because the cruise line offered an incentive for choosing the FCC. From a bonus 125 percent value or hundreds of dollars in Onboard Credit, the cruise lines made FCCs a very appealing option, and if theres one thing cruisers love, its a good deal.
Some passengers who voluntarily chose to cancel their cruise under the various Cruise with Confidence policies offered by most of the major cruise lines also received a FCC. While these travelers didnt get any extra value tacked onto their FCC, they also didnt lose money. Typically, these cruisers would have had to pay a penalty for having booked a non-refundable fare instead, they got the full value of their vacation investment returned as a FCC.
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What Can I Use A Future Cruise Credit For
Future cruise credits have become widely available due to the current voluntary cruise shutdown that Royal Caribbean is engaged in, which means while cruises are being cancelled due to the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean is offering guests future cruise credits.
Royal Caribbean allows guests to use their future cruise credits to pay their cruise fare, including the deposit.
It cannot be used towards add-on purchases, like drink packages, shore excursions, port fees or taxes.
What Can I Use The Future Cruise Credit Towards In The Future
A FCC may be used towards the deposit and/or base cruise fare of any future cruise.
It cannot be used to pay:
- Prepaid Gratuity
- Shore Excursions
It can be used towards a new sailing you book, or any existing sailing you have previously booked.
As of June 6, 2020, a FCC can be used for a new cruise reservation deposit.
As it pertains to the Future Cruise Credits issued under the Cruise with Confidence program, the Cruise with Confidence FCC cannot be redeemed to repurchase the same sailing where the original booking canceled.
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Does The Future Cruise Credit Need To Be Used All At Once
Every cruise line is a little different. Some cruise lines require you to pay for a deposit and use your FCC towards the balance. Some cruise lines require you to use all of your FCC at once or forfeit the overage so, if you dont use it, you lose it. Others will apply whatever amount you want to a booking and issue a new FCC for the balance. For example, Carnival allows you to use your FCC on one booking only, while Royal Caribbean will allow you to use your FCC on multiple bookings by issuing you a new FCC voucher with the balance of the unused amount after your first booking is made.
What Happens If I Booked My Cruise As A Package
If you booked your cruise as a package with hotel and flight included it can be more complicated but the cruise line should know how much the cruise fare portion was.
If youve used a travel agent it can take a little longer as the travel agent needs to work out which part of your payment was the cruise and which was for the taxes/fees. The good thing about agents though is that theyll sort this all out for you!
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You Cant Get A Refund
While there are some exceptions, Future Cruise Credits typically arent refundable once youve opted for one. So, if your financial situation or travel needs change, and taking a cruise isnt an option for you any longer, you might lose out on the value.
Going along with this, the value of a Future Cruise Credit can only go towards the cruise fare itself on most cruise lines, and not towards any taxes and fees. Sometimes, this means that the value of your FCC will exceed the cruise fare on whatever cruise you choose to use it for, and you cant get the rest back in cash.
When this happens, consider upgrading your cabin so you dont leave any credits on the table. Otherwise, a few things could happen again, depending on the cruise line. You could lose your remaining FCC value, or some lines will allow the rest of the FCC to go towards onboard credit. Other lines might allow you to keep the remaining FCC value for another cruise, but keep in mind that youll still need to use it before the FCC expiration date.
Once again, check with your cruise line to see how they handle leftover FCC value if youre looking at a cruise that costs less than your original voyage.
Future Cruise Credit Is Usually Per Person
The majority of cruise lines are assigning the onboard credit per person rather than per booking but a few cruise lines such as Costa cruises are giving all of the future cruise credit to the lead passenger. This does give the lead guest more flexibility but gives the other guests fewer options as in theory, the lead guest could take somebody else on their next cruise!
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Royal Caribbean Future Cruise Credits And Cruise With Confidence Policy
The cruise industry has been going through a lot of changes with the suspension of cruises initially only being for 30 days, and now lasting several months. The policy with cancellations regarding refunds and future cruise credit with Royal Caribbean depends on when your sailing was cancelled.
Once Royal Caribbean resumes cruise operations on June 12th, there will be a 4 point process which is currently being worked on. They are collaborating with government health authorities, the Cruise Lines International Association , and a team of medical experts to develop a future boarding screening program and updated health protocols.
Here are the answer to some frequently asked questions regarding Royal Caribbean future cruise credits.
How much of a future cruise credit am I getting?
To account for the inconvenience the cancelled cruises have caused, travelers are eligible for a 125% Future Cruise Credit . The 125% Onboard Cruise Credit offer window varies depending on when your sailing was suspended. Taxes and fees, as well as any pre-purchased amenities or onboard packages will be automatically refunded to the original form of payment within 45 days from the cancellation date.
The new Onboard Cruise Credit is based on the amount you paid, excluding any previously applied Onboard Cruise Credit, and will be based on a per person value.
- NEW! Lift & Shift option
What Happens If You Take Future Cruise Credit Then Cancel
Once youve taken future cruise credit and booked a new cruise you cant then cancel and get your money back. Youre locked in at this point. If the cruise line later cancels your cruise youll be able to move it but not get a cash refund.
For this reason, its very important that you are happy with your cruise line choice. Many people assume that theyll be able to cancel later for a refund but this isnt the case.
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How Much Is My Future Cruise Credit Worth And How Long Do I Have To Use It
Every Future Cruise Credit is different in value and expiration date, so we highly recommend that you contact your local Vacation Consultant to help you navigate the fine print. We will help you explore the best options to fully maximize the value of your Future Cruise Credit and make your vacation memorable!
Each cruise line will have its own restrictions on the value that is included in the Future Cruise Credit you have been issued. Some exclusions may include:
- Port fees and taxes
- Onboard cash credits
- Initial deposits
Each cruise line will have its own limits on when you can redeem your Future Cruise Credit, which may be subject to expiry and blackout date limitations for new bookings.
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Tips On How To Navigate A Cancellation
1. Watch for email updates from the cruise line with which you are booked.
2. Review your options carefully and consider external factors before making a decision. A future cruise credit above the amount you paid may be enticing, but if you have the option to get a refund, that may make more sense for flexibility.
3. Wait to see if the cruise line is going to cancel your cruise or extend their sailing suspension before making any moves. Royal Caribbean’s cancellation policy through Sept. 1 allows guests to cancel for a future cruise credit up to 48 hours before setting sail. If you cancel early and then the cruise line later cancels that sailing, it may negate the option for a full refund. Cruise lines have varying policies check on your cruise line’s website, and read the fine print to learn more.
4. If you have worked with a travel advisor on booking your cruise, reach out if you have questions, or reach out to the cruise line directly.
5. When you are cancelling, check in on refunds to any other prepaid expenses such as beverage packages or excursions.
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Most Vouchers Have A Time Limit
The majority of vouchers have to be used before the end of December 2021. This is the case for Royal Caribbean and most of the big cruise lines. Disney is allowing 15 months for the voucher to be used and some are only allowing 12 months.
Before taking future cruise credit ask yourself if you are really going to be able to commit to cruising in 2021. At the moment were unsure what the future of cruising will look like and certain safety measures may make it more difficult for you to cruise. A number of cruise lines are requiring doctors notes for guests 70+ and we can expect to see more of this in the future.
What Is A Future Cruise Credit
A future cruise credit is a voucher good for a future cruise. Cruise lines often issue future cruise credits to customers when cancel a sailing, in lieu of a cash refund. In the past few years, lines have issued millions of future cruise credits to customers on sailings canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But they also issue future cruise credits when they cancel sailings for other reasons, such as delays with a new ship’s inaugural sailing. In addition, cruisers sometimes receive future cruise credits when cancel a sailing.
Future cruise credits typically have a specific dollar value assigned to them, usually based on the amount the passenger paid for the canceled cruise. Often the dollar value is 100% of the amount the passenger paid. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, some lines have offered passengers future cruise credits with a dollar amount of 125%, 150% or even 200% of the amount the passenger paid for a canceled cruise.
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Update May : Why Are Royal Caribbean Refunds So Slow Ceo Says We Simply Werent Prepared To Handle That Kind Of Volume
Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain said in a webinar with travel agents that the company simply hadnt been prepared for the enormous volume of demand for refunds, which, he said had simply exploded as a result of the no-sail order issued by the CDC.
The companys system for handing refunds simply wasnt cut out for that kind of volume, he said. A very nice system that worked for a volume of X doesnt work per volume of 50 times X or whatever the number is, but we simply werent prepared for it. And by the way, this requires more training than other things, Fain said,
Fain added that credit card companies were also having trouble processing that kind of volume, saying that they werent equipped to handle this as quickly as we thought.
When something like this happens, he continued, it builds on itself. And so, this same issue also reverberates into affecting our call centers. So, we start to get more calls. People are on hold longer and it becomes a vicious circle.
What were working to do is convert the vicious circle into a virtuous circle. Weve added technical capabilities to hopefully speed up more of the processes. Weve added a lot of people to the process. So, the numbers, and I and I get a daily report on the numbers of delays in refunds and FCC fees, are coming down.
Were not to a point yet where I no longer need to get that daily report. And I look forward to that day. But where were making progress towards it.