NextCruise

Royal Caribbean changes policy towards booking suites on future cruises

In:
Category: 
22Mar2017

Royal Caribbean is introducing a nonrefundable deposit and a change fee for all Grand Suites and above booked through the cruise line's onboard booking program, known as the NextCruise program.

WIth the change, suite guests who reserve their future cruise while onboard will now require a full, nonrefundable deposit. Assuming these guests commit to the original selection and do not adjust their ship or sail date in the future, there is no impact imposed by this new policy adjustment. Should guests opt to alter their cruise selection in the future, a change fee of $100 per guest will be incurred. All Suite cancellations are now subject to a nonrefundable fee in the amount of the deposit. 

Here is a breakdown of the changes:

  • For Guests whose NextCruise Booking is for a Grand Suite stateroom or higher, changes made during the first thirty (30) days after the NextCruise Booking was made shall not be subject to a Change Fee but will remain nonrefundable. After the expiration of that thirty day period, a Change Fee (currently $100 per person per change but subject to adjustment without notice) shall apply.
  • For Guests who chose the Instant Onboard Credit offer for their NextCruise Booking (regardless of the stateroom category booked), the deposit is nonrefundable for all staterooms. Downgrades to your NextCruise booking will result in an additional charge of between $50 to $500 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. Grand Suite Staterooms and above bookings require full deposit and are only eligible for Future Onboard Credit. For Guests who choose the Future Onboard Credit offer and later Downgrade their NEXTCRUISE BOOKING, the amount of that future onboard credit shall be reduced. 

The change is described as, "an effort to preserve our Suite inventory and to ensure that our committed Suite guests have abundant access to premium accommodations." The new change fee has been imposed to encourage solid business and to deter continual or late changes to the selected ship and sail date. During the first 30 days after creation, unlimited changes can be made without a change fee incurred. If a booking is cancelled within the 30 days, the deposit remains non-refundable.

If guests book a suite outside the NextCruise program, the deposit remains fully refundable until final payment. The benefit of booking onboard, however, is the advantage of the rich NextCruise Onboard Credit program, which will not apply if the reservation is not confirmed while onboard.

When asked if non-refundable deposits will become standard for Royal Caribbean, the cruise line's response via a statement was, "In recognition of the high demand onboard for our Suite inventory and the added value of the NextCruise onboard credit, non-refundable deposits are currently only applicable to onboard Suite bookings."

Any Suite bookings made prior to the policy change will not be affected by the change fees and non-refundable deposit policies.

Royal Caribbean Next Cruise program details, info and tips

In:
Category: 
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.  

Photos of new Next Cruise office on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas

In:
Category: 
18Dec2015

Royal Caribbean has completed refurbishing the NextCruise office onboard Oasis of the Seas and we have some new photos to show what it looks like now.

Royal Caribbean Blog reader Edwin Wallace is onboard Oasis of the Seas and was able to share these photos of the new space, following the removal of the construction walls earlier today.

Royal Caribbean's NextCruise office allows guests to book new Royal Caribbean cruises while onboard and enjoy a booking bonus.

Royal Caribbean updates NextCruise offer and will give onboard booking bonus on the same cruise

In:
Category: 
18Mar2015

Royal Caribbean has changed its onboard re-booking program, NextCruise, once again to offer the bonus on the cruise you are currently on instead of the future cruise.

Under the new terms of NextCruise, when you book a specific sailing while onboard a Royal Caribbean ship, the onboard credit amount you are entitled to will be added to your SeaPass account on the sailing you are on.  Under the old program, the bonus was applied to your onboard account when you took the upcoming cruise.

This change only affects cruises you book that have a specific sail date.  The open booking option will not change with this program.

The deposit will be nonrefundable and will be equal to the amount of onboard credit you get.

The amount of onboard credit you will receive is as follows:

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

Tip of the hat to Katina Bradley for alerting us to this news.

Royal Caribbean makes big changes to future cruise booking program

In:
Category: 
15Mar2014

Royal Caribbean's popular NextCruise program appears to have changed signifigantly in terms of the benefits, according to an updated document released by Royal Caribbean.

The NextCruise program allows guests onboard their cruises to book future Royal Caribbean cruises, either a specific cruise or an open booking.

Under the terms of the new program, the amount of onboard credit a guest receives has been adjusted depending on the length of their cruise and the category of stateroom they pick.

Here is a break down of how much onboard credit you wil receive when booking a specific future cruise onboard your cruise.

  • Cruises of 5-7 nights
    • ​Interior: $25
    • Oceanview: $50
    • Balcony: $100
    • Suite: $200
  • Cruise of 8-10 nights
    • ​Interior: $50
    • Oceanview: $100
    • Balcony: $150
    • Suite: $250
  • Cruise of 11-14 nights
    • ​Interior: $75
    • Oceanview: $150
    • Balcony: $200
    • Suite: $300
  • Cruise of 15 or more nights
    • ​Interior: $100
    • Oceanview: $200
    • Balcony: $250
    • Suite: $400

In addition, the NextCruise open booking program incentives have had their onboard credit amounts reduced, with the amount varying depending on the length of your cruise.

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

The changes appear to favor cruises of longer length as well as those in balcony or suite accomodations.

The changes appear to be in place now and effective going forward.  The new policy does not affect NextCruise bookings or open bookings previously made.

Next Cruise Certificates: Everything you wanted to know

In:
Category: 
04Jan2014

One of my favorite things Royal Caribbean offers to its guests is the NextCruise Certificate option for booking your next Royal Caribbean cruise onboard your cruise.  What exactly is a NextCruise Certificate and what does it get you? Let's answer all your questions!

What is a NextCruise Certificate

A NextCruise certificate is either an open booking or a specific booking for a future Royal Caribbean cruise that can only be purchased onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Guests onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise can go to the Loyalty Ambassador office and schedule an appointment to book either a specific upcoming sailing or purchase an open booking certificate.

The advantage of a NextCruise is you receive certain benefits, such as a lower deposit minimum and onboard credit.

How much is a NextCruise Certificate?

For guests that purchase a specific sailing, guests simply pay a deposit for either NextCruise option and can receive an onboard booking bonus of up to $500 per stateroom. 

Royal Caribbean gives guests the option of using that onboard credit on their current sailing or they can defer it to the sailing they booked.

For guests that opt for the open booking certificate, you pay a reduced deposit of $100 per person (Suite staterooms require a full deposit) and receive an onboard booking bonus of up to $200 per stateroom to spend on their next sailing with Royal Caribbean.

The deposit amount per person is non-refundable.  The NextCruise open booking Certificate does not expire.

What is the booking incentive I get with a NextCruise Certificate?

The amount of onboard credit you get from Royal Caribbean with a NextCruise Certificate depends on the length of cruise you select.  Here's the breakdown for open bookings .

  • 3-5 Nights $25
  • 6-9 Nights $100
  • 10-14 Nights $150
  • 15 + Nights $200

For a specific NextCruise sailing, here are the breakdown for the onboard booking bonus

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

How do I use my NextCruise open booking Certificate?

After booking a NextCruise open booking, you will get via email a booking reservation number.  

When you are ready to book your next Royal Caribbean cruise, give your travel agent or Royal Caribbean your NextCruise number and they will turn it into an active reservation that reflects the deposit amount you made plus booking incentives your certificate has.

The deposit you made when purchasing the NextCruise Certificate of $100 is all you need to put down and no more money is required until final payment (suite deposits do require full deposit amount).

Can I use NextCruise with a travel agent?

NextCruise bookings allows passengers to still work with their travel agents automatically.

If you buy your NextCruise Certificate, you can opt to have a travel agent attached to it at that time or leave it open and let a travel agent use the certificate when you are ready to book.  

Can I combine my NextCruise Certificate with other discounts/deals?

Crown & Anchor Society members can combine the onboard booking bonus that they earned through a NextCruise Certificate with their Crown & Anchor Society Savings Certificate or the Platinum-tier and above Balcony and Suite discount.

Other deals Royal Caribbean offers may or may not be combinable and you will need to read the terms and conditions of those deals specifically.

So what's the downside/catch of booking a NextCruise Certificate?

The deposit you make is non-refundable so if you end up never taking another Royal Caribbean cruise, you're out that deposit amount.

Technically speaking, a NextCruise Certificate is a reservation in Royal Caribbean's eyes, so if there's a deal that comes out that is for only new reservations you may not be able to combine it with a NextCruise Certificate.

Royal Caribbean improves NextCruise program to allow more bookings and makes it combinable

In:
21Jun2013

Royal Caribbean’s NextCruise future booking program has gotten some new enhancements to make it a better value for passengers.  

Now passengers can book up to three Open Bookings with NextCruise, which are fully transferrable, and can be used as gifts for friends and family. Furthermore, Crown & Anchor Society members can combine the onboard booking bonus that they earned through Open Booking with their Crown & Anchor Society Savings Certificate or the Platinum-tier and above Balcony and Suite discount.

NextCruise is an exclusive benefit for Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members that allows guests a reduced deposit of $100 per person ($200 per person for suite-category staterooms) and an onboard booking bonus of up to $200 per stateroom to spend on their next sailing with Royal Caribbean. Guests can choose to make a reservation on board for a specific Royal Caribbean sailing and enjoy their onboard booking bonus during their future cruise.

NextCruise bookings allows passengers to still work with their travel agents automatically. Royal Caribbean’s onboard Loyalty & Cruise Sales Teams are available to assist guests in determining their best future cruise booking option.