Royal Caribbean Next Cruise program details, info and tips

In:
11Aug2016

Royal Caribbean's Next Cruise program rewards guests that book another Royal Caribbean cruise while onboard their current cruise and that might generate some questions about how it all works.

If you want to take advantage of this offer when you go on your next Royal Caribbean cruise, then here is what you need to know about Next Cruise.

Why book onboard with Next Cruise

Photo by Bobby Southard

Essentially, booking another Royal Caribbean cruise onboard with Next Cruise gets you free onboard credit for doing so. The price and booking incentives will be the same onboard as on land, but the difference is the extra onboard credit that you will get by doing so.

The Next Cruise offer is perfect for anyone that knows they will certainly take another Royal Caribbean cruise in the future.  Exactly which cruise and when is not important, but considering the Next Cruise offer is "free money," anyone that wants to take another Royal Caribbean cruise in the future will stand to benefit from this offer.

Next Cruise incentives

By booking a cruise with the Next Cruise program, guests will receive onboard credit equivalent to the deposit amount required for the cruise length and stateroom category.

Onboard credit and deposit required per stateroom

  • 5-7 night cruises
    • Interior/Oceanview: $50
    • Balcony/Junior Suites: $100
    • Grand Suite & Above: $200
  • 8-10 night cruises
    • Interior/Oceanview: $100
    • Balcony/Junior Suites: $150
    • Grand Suite & Above: $300
  • 11-14 night cruises
    • Interior/Oceanview: $150
    • Balcony/Junior Suites: $200
    • Grand Suite & Above: $400
  • 15 nights or longer cruises
    • Interior/Oceanview: $200
    • Balcony/Junior Suites: $250
    • Grand Suite & Above: $500

Open Booking

If you prefer, there is an open booking Next Cruise option, where instead of booking a specific sailing, you will get a certificate that can be used on any upcoming cruise.

Open booking shipboard credit per stateroom:

  • 5-7 night cruises: $25
  • 8-10 night cruises: $50
  • 11-14 night cruises: $75
  • 15+ night cruises: $100

After booking a Next Cruise open booking, you will get via email a booking reservation number and that is the number you will need when you are ready to book a specific Royal Caribbean sailing.  Give your travel agent or Royal Caribbean your Next Cruise number and they will turn it into an active reservation that reflects the deposit amount you made plus booking incentives your certificate has.

Next Cruise also allows additional flexibility for guests with which reservation they make.   These include:

  • Option to change your reservation to suit your needs prior to final payment.  This means, you can change the sailing later to any other cruise and retain the Next Cruise benefits.
  • Combinable with Crown & Anchor exclusive savings
  • You can retain the services of your travel agent with any Next Cruise reservation
  • Book up to three staterooms for friends or family on any cruise with the same benefits

Can I still use my travel agent if I book onboard?

Guests can still use their travel agent when making a Next Cruise booking.  In fact, if you booked the cruise you are on with a travel agent, they will automatically get notification of the Next Cruise booking.

Disadvantages of Next Cruise

There is really just one consideration about Next Cruise to keep in mind and that is the deposit you make is non-refundable.  

Unlike other Royal Caribbean cruise reservations, the Next Cruise deposit is non-refundable, which means you either have to take that Royal Caribbean cruise eventually or lose that money.  The reason why we stated earlier to book Next Cruise is if you know with certainty that you will take another Royal Caribbean cruise, it is free money to take advantage of.  But if you have doubts about taking another Royal Caribbean cruise, keep in mind that Next Cruise program is non-refundable.

More Next Cruise rules

  • For Guests who choose the Instant Onboard Credit offer, downgrades to your Next Cruise booking will result in an additional charge of between $50 to $450 on your booking and in the loss of your special promotional offer. Downgrades include booking a shorter duration cruise or booking a lower class of staterooms.
  • Guests who choose the Future Onboard Credit offer and later Downgrade their Next Cruise booking, the amount of that future onboard credit shall be reduced.
  • Bookings made through the Next Cruise program are not combinable with certain rate plans, promotions or other offers.

Next Cruise Tips

  • The Next Cruise office tends to get busy, especially towards the end of the cruise. Make an appointment early in the cruise to get it done before the crowds hit.
  • You can make an appointment with the Next Cruise staff by adding your name and stateroom number to a book near the entrance to their area.
  • The Next Cruise office is open on disembarkation day and is often quite empty.
  • The best time to visit the Next Cruise office if you do not have a meeting is on port call days, when most guests are off the ship.

Conclusion

The bottom line is if you are certain that you will take another Royal Caribbean cruise at some point in the future, you are best off booking a Next Cruise offer because it is free money.  Seeing as the only drawback is the deposit is non-refundable, there is very little risk involved.

The onboard credit you receive can be taken on the cruise you are on or deferred to the cruise you just booked. We prefer to defer the onboard credit to that future cruise because we have already budgeted for the current cruise, but it is a subjective option.