Royal Caribbean will now allow guests to transfer a future cruise credit to someone else.
Many people accrued future cruise credits from cancelled cruises during the pandemic, but the cruise line's policy was to keep the future cruise credits (FCC) non-transferable.
Future Cruise Credits are an option for guests who either choose to cancel their cruise up to 48 hours before the sail date via the Cruise with Confidence program, or have their cruise cancelled by Royal Caribbean. In either case, a voucher code is provided that can be redeemed for the value of the sailing.
During a webinar with travel agents on Wednesday, Royal Caribbean informed travel agents they can do a one-time transfer of an FCC to someone else.
Rita Stolze, Royal Caribbean Associate Vice President of Trade Support & Service, clarified that Royal Caribbean has changed the rule on giving someone else their FCC.
"I wanted to share that we actually are going to allow one time transfers of FCC. It currently does require a call into the call center, but we're actually working on an enhancement where it can be used through the real time redemption tool where we just don't have that enhancement completed yet, but very soon."
As of now, travel agents need to call in to make the one-time transfer request with Royal Caribbean, but a new automated tool is coming soon.
When the new tool is deployed, agents will be able to use an online form to request a transfer. Online forms have been a boon for Royal Caribbean because it speeds up requests while reducing the need for agents to call in and wait on hold.
This is a significant policy shift because it allows guests to gift their FCCs to someone else to use. When Royal Caribbean cancelled a cruise and issued a FCC, it would divide up the FCC among everyone in the cabin, which meant certain family members or friends may end up with a FCC they cannot or will not use.
With this new policy, it means that you can use someone else's credit for your own cruise fare or vice versa.
It's also worth noting that the expiration date for most cruise credits is rapidly approaching at the end of 2022.
This is one of many policy changes towards FCCs since the pandemic began in 2020.
Royal Caribbean's credit policy has evolved over time, such as allowing guests combine different FCCs together, allowing guests to start using a FCC towards a cruise fare deposit, and allowing leftover balances from a FCC not have to wait to apply it to a new reservation.
What are future cruise credits used for?
Royal Caribbean allows guests to use their future cruise credits to pay their cruise fare, including the deposit.
It cannot be used towards add-on purchases, like drink packages, shore excursions, port fees or taxes.