Royal Caribbean announced today a change to its non-refundable deposit program, where beginning November 1, 2018, guests that book non-refundable deposit fares will no longer receive onboard credit for staterooms booked. Instead, the cruise line promises lower pricing on the cruise fare.
The decision to remove the onboard credit for non-refundable bookings has to do with onboard credit not being a factor in the booking process for many guests, "Over the past year, we regularly monitored booking analytics and conducted research which identified that the onboard credit was not influencing the consumer's buying decision. Based on these findings, the decision was made to sunset the onboard credit and to ensure that the non-refundable deposit program continues to offer the lowest pricing. This change will take effect for all new bookings made on-or-after November 1st, 2018."
Unless a change occurs to an existing reservation that forces a reprice to the booking, no impact will be seen to existing reservations. The amendments that lead to a reprice include, but are not limited to, amending the ship, sailing, or category of an existing reservation, as well as converting to a different fare or promotional offer. Should a reprice occur on-or after November 1st, 2018, the onboard credit will no longer apply.
Non-Refundable Deposit reservations made prior to November 1st, 2018 qualify to earn an onboard credit of up to $100 per stateroom. Those who book non-refundable deposit fares on-or-after November 1st, 2018 will no longer qualify to earn an onboard credit of up to $100 per stateroom.