You’re having a fantastic time on your cruise, enjoying the delicious cuisine, pampering service, and amazing ports of call. You say to yourself: “I can’t wait to do this again!” Well, before you disembark, you should consider booking your next cruise onboard by placing a future cruise deposit down to secure your next voyage.
Every cruise line wants its customers to come back onboard and therefore offers excellent incentives to book your next cruise onboard. Cruisers who know they will sail again can take advantage of these offers and earn perks they otherwise will not receive once they return home.
Here are some facts about future cruise deposits and why you should buy one on your next cruise ship vacation.
A future cruise deposit made onboard a ship is a much smaller amount than a regular cruise deposit. When booking your next cruise onboard, most cruise lines only require $100 per person down to secure your next cruise, compared to the regular deposit of $250-$400 per person that booking off-ship requires.
Future cruise deposits made onboard your current cruise can be applied to cruises of any length, so you get an even bigger benefit if you book a two-week or longer cruise, where the regular deposit could be $1,000 per person or more. In short, the reduced deposit gained by booking your next cruise onboard frees up extra funds that you can use elsewhere.
This perk is almost always included with a future cruise deposit, and who doesn’t like free spending money?
Amounts vary depending on the type of accommodation booked and the duration of the cruise. For example, an inside cabin on a 4-day cruise may earn $50 shipboard credit, but a balcony cabin on a 14-day cruise may net $300 and booking a suite will earn you even more.
This is a perk you otherwise would not receive if you waited to book your next cruise after you are home.
Future cruise deposits are combinable with whatever promotion is currently available through the cruise line. For example, if there is currently a sale -- like a Wave Season promotion -- that includes a complimentary beverage package, specialty dining, and prepaid gratuities, you can apply your reduced deposit to the sailing and still earn your shipboard credit on top of all the perks in the promotion.
By far the biggest reason people don’t buy future cruise deposits when they are on their current cruise is the uncertainty of when they will cruise again and where they want to go next. Cruise lines get that, and so they have alleviated all the guesswork to make things easy.
By visiting the onboard Future Cruise consultant, future cruise deposits can be purchased on an "open-ended" basis without having to select a specific ship and sailing at the time of booking. This way, you can lock in the reduced deposit and shipboard credit offer, and the certificate is valid for a given amount of time (usually 2-4 years) so you can apply it to a sailing when you are ready.
Realizing that people’s plans change, cruise lines have also increased the flexibility for guests to change their sailing date if the one they originally picked doesn’t work out, as long as it is done outside the cancellation period timeframe. Some cruise lines will even refund the value of the future cruise deposit if it is not used within the validity period.
Some cruise lines allow you to purchase multiple future cruise deposits to gift to your friends and family who want to travel with you on your next cruise. You can either pay for the certificates upfront, or you may be given a web link that your friends and family can click through to purchase them on their own. It is a great way to pass on savings and perks to others who were not traveling with you at the time.
Even before you leave for your cruise, the cruise line will most likely give you a heads-up about the future cruise deposit offer. And during your cruise, there will be a lecture by the Future Cruise Consultant onboard to share exciting destinations and various offers. The Future Cruise Consultant has an office with scheduled hours and can answer your questions, suggest itineraries, and set up your future cruise deposit.
Remember, once you are off the ship, the offer will no longer be available. With the reduced deposit, extra shipboard credit, and flexible change policy, it’s really a no-brainer to place a future cruise deposit, and look forward to your next exciting voyage!
Updated January 09, 2023