Booking Your Next Cruise While on a Cruise- Is it Always a Wise Decision?
Cruise lines typically have a Future Cruise desk onboard to help passengers book their next great adventure. Generally, they offer some sort of financial incentive to get you to put down a deposit and it can be a great way to save some money and get exactly the stateroom you want for a future cruise. We always recommend that when you cruise, take a minute to visit the Future Cruise desk and find out exactly what they are offering. We typically visit the desk early in the cruise- to give us time to think it over, look at our calendar, reread the fine print of their offer and decide if booking our next cruise while onboard makes sense for us.
Many of our clients choose to book their next cruise while on board because they save a substantial amount of money, get additional perks and get to reserve the exact stateroom they want. We’ve had clients save thousands on Viking, Regents Seven Seas, Queen Mary 2, Princess and Celebrity-just to name a few.
But is it always a good deal to book your next cruise while onboard? Our strategy as travel advisors is this: we want to maximize your vacation investment- your time and your money.
So, when considering booking your next cruise while onboard, be wise and read through the fine print carefully:
1. Exactly what are they offering you to book today and is it a real value to you?
2. Do you have to decide the date and itinerary right now or do you have time to decide?
3. What if the price for the cruise you choose goes down? Will you get the better price?
4. What happens to your deposit if your plans change and you need to cancel?
5. Were you already planning to book another cruise on this line in the next 1-2 years?
For example, we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary in 2025 and plan to take our crew on a Disney cruise spring of 2025. Therefore, during our cruise on the Disney Wish this March, we plan to visit the Future Cruise desk and -if they are still offering the discount, reserve your cabins now, etc. package- we will put down deposits on 5 cabins near one another because that will save us about $4000 for our celebration cruise! It’s a good decision for our family because we have already planned to go on another Disney cruise, it is a good savings, we know where we want to go, and the deposit is refundable so, if something happens and we need to cancel or change our plans, we can.
Now, here is an example of when it isn’t a good decision to book onboard. While it was a great decision to book our 2022 New Year’s cruise when we were onboard last February (RCCL offered 30% off, some discounts on beverage package and other goodies, low and refundable deposits and the opportunity to secure adjoining staterooms), we had a much different experience when we tried to do the same thing (book our 2023 cruise) while onboard this time. The banner said “Save up to $600 by booking your next cruise now.” Wow! I’m listening!
But here was the fine print-
1. $600 savings was for booking their most expensive suite - remember to watch for phrases like “up to”
2. The savings for a balcony cabin was only $50
3. The deposit was $200 (good) BUT you had to choose your date and itinerary within 60 days or it became non-refundable. (bad)
4. The cruises were full price
We chose to pass on that deal.
Here is our advice: take a minute early in your next cruise to visit the Future Cruise desk and find out what they are offering. Read the fine print. Think it over for a day or two. Then, if it works for you, put down a deposit on your next great adventure. Remember: Our passion is to help you invest your vacation time and your money wisely, getting the very best out of every adventure! Until your next great adventure…