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What Are Cruise E-Gift Cards, And Should You Buy Them?

Ming Tappin

Last updated
Jul 11, 2023

Read time
3 min read

Gift cards have always saved the day when you need to buy a present for the person who has everything, or on the flip side, if you haven’t a clue about what to get. And e-gift cards let you send them digitally to anywhere you wish.

So it’s good to know that cruise lines are also offering e-gift cards, making them the perfect gift for your cruise-loving friends and family.

What are Cruise E-Gift Cards?

Cruise e-gift cards are electronic versions of prepaid gift cards you would normally purchase at a store – except they are sold by a cruise line to be used on one of their sailings. You select the amount you want to send, and the recipient receives an email showing the details. You also have the option to set the delivery date so that it arrives on their actual birthday, anniversary, or whatever occasion the gift is for.

Cruise e-gift cards can be purchased for any amount, although there are minimum and maximum purchase amounts set by each individual cruise line.

How Do Cruise E-Gift Cards Work?

Cruise e-gift cards are sent to the recipient via email. The e-gift card can be used towards the payment of the cruise reservation (deposit and final payment), as well as any additional pre-booked purchases such as shore excursions, spa treatments, etc. To use the e-gift card, simply provide the gift card ID/number to the cruise line or the travel advisor looking after your reservation. The e-gift card can also be applied towards your onboard account by presenting the gift card information to the ship’s Guest Services department once onboard your cruise.

How Do You Purchase a Cruise E-Gift Card?

E-Gift Cards are available on the participating cruise lines’ websites, usually listed in the Gift Order section. If it isn’t immediately clear, you can always type “Gift Cards” into the Search box located on the webpage.

The ordering process is easy to follow, but you must have your recipient’s valid email address to send the e-gift card. Enter the information required and use your credit card for payment. The e-gift card will be delivered to the recipient immediately or on the date you specify.

Which Cruise Lines Offer Cruise E-Gift Cards?

Exterior Carnival Mardi Gras (Photo by Chris Gray Faust)
Exterior Carnival Mardi Gras (Photo by Chris Gray Faust)

These participating lines were accurate, as of July 2023.

Cruise e-gift cards are available on Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, and Princess Cruises. E-gift cards for Celebrity Cruises & Royal Caribbean are available through a third-party retailer

Should You Purchase Cruise E-Gift Cards?

Naturally, when you purchase a cruise e-gift card as a present, you are contributing to the recipient’s travel fund, which will be greatly appreciated. Being able to send it electronically also means your gift can get delivered anywhere in the world without shipping charges. Cruise e-gift cards also never expire, so your recipient will have lots of time to decide on a sailing.

However, cruise e-gift cards aren’t refundable once purchased and are only redeemable against the cruise line from which they were purchased. So it’s important to make sure the “personality” of the cruise line you are buying the e-gift card is a good match for your recipient. It isn’t a problem if you know your recipient’s favorite cruise line, but if you’re buying one for someone who hasn’t cruised before (or cruised often), you should research which cruise line is a good fit for them before you buy.    

E-gift cards are also not redeemable for cash, and since they are sold in U.S. dollars, if the recipient wishes to use the e-gift card towards their cruise fare, the reservation must also be in U.S. dollars. Canadian customers who book their cruise in Canadian dollars should be mindful of this rule. In this case, the e-gift card can be used towards the payment of their onboard account once they are onboard their cruise.

Publish date January 08, 2020
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