Before 2020 you may have had a future cruise credit (FCC) because you had an issue onboard like a leaky toilet or a missed port due to weather, but I can't think, in the life of my career in travel, has anyone had so many travel credits with not only cruises but airlines, trains and hotels to name a few. And, frankly, not every credit is as clear cut as the next so let's take a look at some of the most popular credits that have come up due to covid.
A few key things to remember:
- Your FCC will be applied to the cruise fare with fewer taxes and fees. Other items may be applicable and vary by cruise line
- The FCC can generally not be used towards the deposit of the new cruise but this does depend on the cruise line & the type of credit
- The FCC cannot be used as an onboard spending credit, some cruise lines however offered an FCC & onboard spending money (OBC) which I will detail below
- If the cruise fare for the new booking exceeds the FCC’s value, you will be responsible for the difference. If the new cruise fare is lower than the FCC’s value, the remaining balance may be issued in a variety of ways depending on the cruise line’s policy. For example, Carnival Cruise Line only allows you to redeem your credit towards one voyage and if not all credit is used any unused portion will be forfeited so maybe think about upgrading your cabin to get the most value out of your holiday and credit
- If you later change your mind about choosing an FCC most cruise lines will allow you to request a refund (if that option was available when you opted for FCC). Keep in mind, some cruise lines only offer a credit even if they cancel the sailing.
Remember, the below is subject to change based on updated cruise line policies, but we've put together a general summary for you below.
If Princess has cancelled the sailing due to Covid they offer an FCC of 100% of what’s been paid to them plus a bonus 25%. Currently, most of these credits need to be used on a sailing departing before 31 December 2022. Generally, the base credit from the cruise fare can be used towards the Princess deposit however the 25% bonus cannot, depending on the length of cruise & type of package, an ecruising deposit would still be required
P&O has come up with a few different variants on what they offer depending on the circumstance. If they could find a similar sailing to what was booked, they offered a “Transfer” whereby you were moved to a new future sailing similar to what you had booked and they will honour the original price plus include some OBC. Alternatively, if the new sailing didn’t work, they offered a 100% FCC as well as some bonus OBC. Depending on the length of the cancelled sailing determined the onboard spending amount. The credit can be applied to multiple bookings however the OBC can only be applied to one booking and is not redeemable for cash. From the pause in February it was advised any unused Future Cruise Credit and Onboard Spending Money will expire on 31 March 2022.
Carnival has offered an FCC as well as an OBC depending on the length of cruise. For a cruise 5 or less days you receive 100% FCC as well as $450 OBC per cabin. Cruising 6+ days you receive 100% FCC as well as $900 onboard spending money per cabin - the FCC however is generated based on what the cancellation fees would have been at the time the sailing was cancelled. The FCC & OBC may only be used toward one booking & cannot be used for taxes, fees & port expenses, onboard charges or gratuities and any unused portion of the FCC/OBC will be forfeited. Currently Carnival requires you to book a new cruise by 30 September 2021 to sail by 30 April 2023
Ponant offers an FCC of 100% of what’s been paid + a bonus 20% and is valid on all new bookings for the 24 months from the date of departure of your original cancelled cruise.
Royal Caribbean Group:
The Royal Caribbean Group has made a few changes to their FCC’s since the rollout of these at the start of the pandemic but they are now more flexible than ever. The FCC can be applied to multiple bookings and you are able to share the value of FCCs across multiple clients in the same booking. Generally, they are offering 100% FCC + a bonus 25% to use by 30 April 2022 & sail by 30 September 2022.
Silversea offers up to 110% FCC for cruises cancelled by Silversea, it’s even transferable to family and friends and can be used partially and be applied on more than one new booking. The FCC is valid for 2 years from the issuing date. Any booking made using the FCC must be made prior to the expiry date and the voyage must commence no later than one year after the expiry date.
NCL offered a 100% FCC + a bonus 25%. the FCC can be applied anytime within one year of the issue date and toward any Norwegian Cruise Line voyage departing through to 31 December, 2022.
The Terms & Conditions of the FCC’s issued because of cruise cancellations are ever changing & with each pause comes new conditions so make sure you check those future cruise credits and redeem them before they expire!
Extensive new health measures have allowed a tightly controlled resumption of cruise ship operations in several locations around the world already, including Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and parts of Europe. More than 400,000 guests have successfully sailed on more than 400 cruises worldwide since late 2021 & hopefully us Aussies will be among those numbers very soon.
For any questions abour your Future cruise credit or to even just check your expiry, please contact Cory on 1300 369 848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org