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Discounts using NEXT Cruise onboard


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Hello, 

We have three future cruises booked but are wondering about the benefits of using the Next Cruise onboard the ship for future cruises after that.  Other than the lower deposit amount is there significant deals to be had or is it not really that crucial to book there??  Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!!  

 

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Ps our cruises are Enchantment April, 2020, Oasis Dec 2020, and Rhapsody March 2021.   

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No single answer is right every time.  Sometimes you might get extra OBC but it can't be combined with C&A balcony discounts or other promos.  Sometimes it can.  Sometimes there is lots of OBC but the fare is higher.  

You need to shop them and compare.  Any device can connect to the ship wifi and the website is free to visit, royalcaribbean.com.  You are best to price out a cruise just before visiting Next.  If you use a travel agent have them price any itinerary you are interested in. Go to Next armed with all that data. 

If you prefer refundable bookings Next often becomes unattractive for refundable bookings.  

On my last Next booking I ran the numbers and while I got $300 in OBC, once you put it all down to paper and compared a booking through a travel agency I was only $75 better using Next.  It's $75 so I booked it but I had to pay more for the cruise upfront and got some of that back once onboard.

There is danger in OBC - you have to make it onboard.  If you miss the cruise or something happens you may end up losing because you never made it onboard to get your money back.   $300 in OBC was more than I needed.  I spent it just to spend it.  I bought stuff I didn't need or want.  I got a hat I never wear and a t-shirt I'm rarely wear because it was all the logo shop had that I remotely liked.  I may have been $75 ahead on paper but in reality I would have been better off just booking it with my TA and not buying "free" clothing I'll likely donate to Goodwill soon.  

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Ok...so when I take my cruise in NOV on Harmony, I know that we are looking to book a cruise for April 2020. We wont know the exact dates as my gf doesn't pick 2020 vacation till December :(

 

So, it would be possible to book with Next cruise...get a lower deposit....get some OBC.....and then once she picks the actual dates for April in December, call Royal to move the cruise and not lose  anything?!

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19 minutes ago, monctonguy said:

Ok...so when I take my cruise in NOV on Harmony, I know that we are looking to book a cruise for April 2020. We wont know the exact dates as my gf doesn't pick 2020 vacation till December ?

 

So, it would be possible to book with Next cruise...get a lower deposit....get some OBC.....and then once she picks the actual dates for April in December, call Royal to move the cruise and not lose  anything?!

You should be able to put a deposit down on a future and then adjust it later once you nail down your dates.  However, keep in mind that you could lose the current offer that might be available (your OBC or % off).  We had already booked out 2020 cruise with a $200 OBC and 30% each guest (4 of us).  Recently, we upgraded our room to the AT2BRLB and lost all of that because that promo wasn't available anymore and had to go with the current promo.  

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yeah...so I guess the only risk is losing the OBC?...you have already put down the deposit at this point....and the OBC...cant you take it on the current cruise rather than the next one?

Pretty sure the last time(the only time) I booked a next cruise  onboard I was able to use the OBC on the current cruise......what happens in that case I wonder?

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26 minutes ago, monctonguy said:

So, it would be possible to book with Next cruise...get a lower deposit....get some OBC.....and then once she picks the actual dates for April in December, call Royal to move the cruise and not lose  anything?!

If you book non-refundable deposit (NRD) to get lower cruise fare and maximum Next OBC you will be assessed a $100 fee per person to change ship or sail date.  You do get 30 days to make changes without fees with a Next booking.  Assuming they are offering the reduced $100 deposit you effectively lose your deposit.  

If you book refundable at Next you may see virtually all Next OBC disappear (compared to NRD) and the base fare will increase by hundreds.

What you describe, making a Next booking and then adjusting dates or ship later to retain Next OBC is exactly what they are trying to avoid.  Consequently they have made changes like making refundable fares unattractive with little or no OBC and adding the NRD $100 fee which effectively negates the Next OBC.

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2 minutes ago, twangster said:

What you describe, making a Next booking and then adjusting dates or ship later to retain Next OBC is exactly what they are trying to avoid.  Consequently they have made changes like making refundable fares unattractive with little or no OBC and adding the NRD $100 fee which effectively negates the Next OBC.

Curious, would the Next booking be able to see dates farther out than what might be available on the main RCL site?  I'm waiting on the May/Jun '21 dates to be released and have our cruise coming up Jun of this year - wondering IF they would have access to those dates if they aren't 'public' yet ...

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1 minute ago, TheHobbys said:

Curious, would the Next booking be able to see dates farther out than what might be available on the main RCL site?  I'm waiting on the May/Jun '21 dates to be released and have our cruise coming up Jun of this year - wondering IF they would have access to those dates if they aren't 'public' yet ...

Only if you are on board the day that new cruises are made available on the public website.  Next can book them one day before they appear publicly.   The catch is they don’t announce it.  

If you know on that coming Tuesday they are opening 2021 Europe cruises then visiting Next on Monday would be prudent.  The trick is learning that Tuesday is the day they will be added. Most of us learn that they have added more future availability after it happens.   

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Ok...so the 30 day window is the key part to all of this...which should work out in my case as our cruise is Nov 17-24 and she will be picking her vacation around Dec 10th....so in that perfect scenario...we should be able to change dates or ship if need be....and not lose the deposit or the OBC?

 

I just want to make sure I have it straight and don't end up doing something I regret or cost me more in the end....since they changed it to 2 different deposit plans..its hard to keep all the options straight..

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4 minutes ago, monctonguy said:

Ok...so the 30 day window is the key part to all of this...which should work out in my case as our cruise is Nov 17-24 and she will be picking her vacation around Dec 10th....so in that perfect scenario...we should be able to change dates or ship if need be....and not lose the deposit or the OBC?

 

I just want to make sure I have it straight and don't end up doing something I regret or cost me more in the end....since they changed it to 2 different deposit plans..its hard to keep all the options straight..

in theory, if you can have vacation time done by the 10th AND have a contact with Next or your TA - then you should be within you 30 day window.  I would ask at Next to make sure that the current deal you sign up with (30% everyone or 50% second guest, etc) would still be in effect for those 30 days for when you lock in your date/ship/route

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5 minutes ago, monctonguy said:

Ok...so the 30 day window is the key part to all of this...which should work out in my case as our cruise is Nov 17-24 and she will be picking her vacation around Dec 10th....so in that perfect scenario...we should be able to change dates or ship if need be....and not lose the deposit or the OBC?

 

I just want to make sure I have it straight and don't end up doing something I regret or cost me more in the end....since they changed it to 2 different deposit plans..its hard to keep all the options straight..

Not losing the OBC is the part that is unpredictable.  In the distant past this was common place but also part of the behavior that they seek to discontinue.  

I have no direct experience with using the 30 day change rule.  My concern lies in knowing they seek to discourage booking changes and that retaining Next OBC while making changes is not an official policy you can find written anywhere.  

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2 hours ago, monctonguy said:

Ok...so the 30 day window is the key part to all of this...which should work out in my case as our cruise is Nov 17-24 and she will be picking her vacation around Dec 10th....so in that perfect scenario...we should be able to change dates or ship if need be....and not lose the deposit or the OBC?

 

I just want to make sure I have it straight and don't end up doing something I regret or cost me more in the end....since they changed it to 2 different deposit plans..its hard to keep all the options straight..

Last year, we booked a cruise and received $100 OBC (balcony) for booking through NextCruise plus $100 OBC from the promotion Royal was running at the time. Once we got home, we realized we could save money by moving the date to a different month.

We were told we could keep the extra OBC offered by NextCruise and deposit as long as we kept the same room type (i.e balcony in our case) and we made the change within 30 days of booking. We could have lost the $100 OBC from the promotion Royal was running when we booked but we were also able to keep this too since the promotion was still going on.

You are making the change in different months, so be prepared to lose or gain OBC depending on the promotion Royal is running at the time you book versus when you modify the booking.

For example, a different cruise we booked through NextCruise was recently repriced for the Kids Sale Free promotion. We had $100 OBC for booking a balcony through Next Cruise plus $175 OBC for the promotion Royal was running at the time.

The Kids Sale Free promotion did not include any OBC so we could only keep the $100 OBC you get for booking a balcony with NextCruise. We were okay loosing the other OBC from the prior promotion because we saved over $800 with the Kids Sale Free promotion.

Hope this helps.

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For historical reference pick a date you might book at Next and note the rates for the specific cabin types you are looking for.  Every couple of weeks run the prices again, refundable and NRD.  Keep a record of it all.

When you book at Next look back and compare to what it could have been if you booked a refundable cruise today, 7 months prior to Next.  

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As people have mentioned, the sale at time of booking will be changed if you rebook, but as long as it's within 30 days of Next Cruise booking, you can keep the reduced deposit and OBC that they offer you. When I was on a sailing that began Black Friday 2018, I booked a random sailing in April 2020 that I wouldn't mind going on knowing full well that Royal would release their May 2020 offerings within the 30 day window. When I got home, I told my TA( @michelle) that the Next Cruise booking was just a placeholder so she would be aware that I was going to come to her to change it as soon as the new dates were released. I was able to change my ship, sail date, and cabin type within the 30 day window without issue. There was an instance where I later asked her to reprice the sailing due to a random price drop I saw and the OBC dropped off, but she was able to call them up and straighten it out quickly. 

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11 hours ago, twangster said:

If you book non-refundable deposit (NRD) to get lower cruise fare and maximum Next OBC you will be assessed a $100 fee per person to change ship or sail date.  You do get 30 days to make changes without fees with a Next booking.  Assuming they are offering the reduced $100 deposit you effectively lose your deposit.  

If you book refundable at Next you may see virtually all Next OBC disappear (compared to NRD) and the base fare will increase by hundreds.

What you describe, making a Next booking and then adjusting dates or ship later to retain Next OBC is exactly what they are trying to avoid.  Consequently they have made changes like making refundable fares unattractive with little or no OBC and adding the NRD $100 fee which effectively negates the Next OBC.

Sounds like he’s looking for more of what DCL and NCL do we’re you basically just make a placeholder to come back for a cruise at a later date. Would definitely do it on our sailing next month, but with the strict program now it doesn’t seem worth it. 

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4 minutes ago, Andrew72681 said:

Sounds like he’s looking for more of what DCL and NCL do we’re you basically just make a placeholder to come back for a cruise at a later date. Would definitely do it on our sailing next month, but with the strict program now it doesn’t seem worth it. 

So what was happening is that people would book a cruise with zero intention of sailing it.  A place holder.  Fast forward to final payment due date and they would transfer it to another ship a year or more away.  Fast forward to final payment due date and they would transfer it to another ship a year or more away.  Finally 5 years later they would cruise.  

The other problem with hundreds of people cancelling right before final payment was due is that they suddenly had a surplus of inventory showing up 3 months before sailing.   That isn't a lot of time to sell out a ship so they had to drop prices to sell the ship.  

The intent of the extra OBC was not to encourage people to cruise five years later but encourage people to return soon.  It ended up hurting more than helping because it was being used in a manner that wasn't intended.  With people booking suites in this manner it hurt even more because expensive suites are even harder to sell with just 3 months to do it.

Next is a part of the Crown and Society team.  It is a loyalty program.  

They were leaving a lot of money on the table.  Royal is a business first and always.  They have shareholders to answer to.    

Solution:  Change the policy.  Encourage people to commit and only book with an intention of actually sailing.  

This create less booking volatility and that translates into higher revenue since they avoid the surplus inventory flooding the market closer to sailing.

At the same time it's grown more competitive.  So many ships.  They have to offer promos every few weeks now.  Back in the day there was maybe one or two a year.  Margins are thinner, less fat to throw away at things like loyalty OBC.  With the need to keep fares low in a competitive market  there isn't money to throw at loyalty rewards like Next OBC.

 

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35 minutes ago, twangster said:

So what was happening is that people would book a cruise with zero intention of sailing it.  A place holder.  Fast forward to final payment due date and they would transfer it to another ship a year or more away.  Fast forward to final payment due date and they would transfer it to another ship a year or more away.  Finally 5 years later they would cruise.  

The other problem with hundreds of people cancelling right before final payment was due is that they suddenly had a surplus of inventory showing up 3 months before sailing.   That isn't a lot of time to sell out a ship so they had to drop prices to sell the ship.  

The intent of the extra OBC was not to encourage people to cruise five years later but encourage people to return soon.  It ended up hurting more than helping because it was being used in a manner that wasn't intended.  With people booking suites in this manner it hurt even more because expensive suites are even harder to sell with just 3 months to do it.

Next is a part of the Crown and Society team.  It is a loyalty program.  

They were leaving a lot of money on the table.  Royal is a business first and always.  They have shareholders to answer to.    

Solution:  Change the policy.  Encourage people to commit and only book with an intention of actually sailing.  

This create less booking volatility and that translates into higher revenue since they avoid the surplus inventory flooding the market closer to sailing.

At the same time it's grown more competitive.  So many ships.  They have to offer promos every few weeks now.  Back in the day there was maybe one or two a year.  Margins are thinner, less fat to throw away at things like loyalty OBC.  With the need to keep fares low in a competitive market  there isn't money to throw at loyalty rewards like Next OBC.

 

Anytime someone wants to let me hold onto 500-1000 dollars of their money for up to four years which was when an NCL CruiseNext voucher had to be used by can send the check my way. It wasn’t tied to a particular sailing so there wasn’t the excess inventory, just income being recognized earlier rather than later. Running a company now customer lock in is something I and the board of directors would love, without having to use up a cruise next voucher NCL wouldn’t have gotten my business this year, so without it they’d have none of my families revenue. 

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38 minutes ago, twangster said:

So what was happening is that people would book a cruise with zero intention of sailing it.  A place holder.  Fast forward to final payment due date and they would transfer it to another ship a year or more away.  Fast forward to final payment due date and they would transfer it to another ship a year or more away.  Finally 5 years later they would cruise.  

The other problem with hundreds of people cancelling right before final payment was due is that they suddenly had a surplus of inventory showing up 3 months before sailing.   That isn't a lot of time to sell out a ship so they had to drop prices to sell the ship.  

The intent of the extra OBC was not to encourage people to cruise five years later but encourage people to return soon.  It ended up hurting more than helping because it was being used in a manner that wasn't intended.  With people booking suites in this manner it hurt even more because expensive suites are even harder to sell with just 3 months to do it.

Next is a part of the Crown and Society team.  It is a loyalty program.  

They were leaving a lot of money on the table.  Royal is a business first and always.  They have shareholders to answer to.    

Solution:  Change the policy.  Encourage people to commit and only book with an intention of actually sailing.  

This create less booking volatility and that translates into higher revenue since they avoid the surplus inventory flooding the market closer to sailing.

At the same time it's grown more competitive.  So many ships.  They have to offer promos every few weeks now.  Back in the day there was maybe one or two a year.  Margins are thinner, less fat to throw away at things like loyalty OBC.  With the need to keep fares low in a competitive market  there isn't money to throw at loyalty rewards like Next OBC.

 

I’d equate it much more in NCL to getting OBC for an “NCL gift card” for future use as it didn’t have to be tied to a date. 

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This may have been answered, but I'm a little confused.  I'm planning on booking an Oasis 3 day (April, 2020) when onboard Navigator in 2 1/2 weeks.  After booking if a better price comes along, repricing it will cause me to loose the OBC?  I assume the OBC through Next Cruise isn't very much for a 3 day?

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39 minutes ago, yzfmik said:

This may have been answered, but I'm a little confused.  I'm planning on booking an Oasis 3 day (April, 2020) when onboard Navigator in 2 1/2 weeks.  After booking if a better price comes along, repricing it will cause me to loose the OBC?  I assume the OBC through Next Cruise isn't very much for a 3 day?

My understanding if you're re-pricing you keep the OBC. It "follows" you

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40 minutes ago, yzfmik said:

This may have been answered, but I'm a little confused.  I'm planning on booking an Oasis 3 day (April, 2020) when onboard Navigator in 2 1/2 weeks.  After booking if a better price comes along, repricing it will cause me to loose the OBC?  I assume the OBC through Next Cruise isn't very much for a 3 day?

 

Just now, Matt said:

My understanding if you're re-pricing you keep the OBC. It "follows" you

+1 on that.  I just booked with Next Cruise in March.  Since then, I have transferred to an agent, moved cabins, repriced and I still have my OBC with me.

I specifically asked Next Cruise about repricing and the OBC and they said it goes with you.  I think you will lose it if you move ships/sail date though.

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The UK website has a PDF that outlines Next terms and conditions.  While that doesn't mean the same applies in the US it's the only documented Next terms and conditions I could find and some of it applies since a UK resident could be on a US sailing and visit the Next desk.

https://www.royalcaribbean.co.uk/assets/pdf/discover-cruise-holidays/next-cruise/NextCruise-UK-ROI-Terms-Conditions-Website-LA.pdf

UK RESIDENT GUESTS - NEW ONBOARD T&Cs AS OF 1 November 2018

ALL ONBOARD BOOKINGS ARE SUBJECT TO THE ROYAL CARIBBEAN U.K. BOOKING TERMS INCLUDING THE NON REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT POLICY, CHANGE, AMENDMENT AND CANCELLATION FEES SAVE INSOFAR AS THEY ARE VARIED AS BELOW. ALL ONBOARD BOOKINGS BENEFITTING FROM U.S. PROMOTION BENEFITS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE FEES AS SET OUT BELOW.

1. NEXTCRUISE DOLLARS OFF AND OBC PROMOTION: (1) Guests who make an onboard booking with U.S. promotion benefits are eligible for our NextCruise dollars off promotion or Future Onboard Credit (up to $600 per stateroom depending on length of voyage and type of stateroom or suite). Guests who make an onboard booking with U.K. promotion benefits are eligible for a Future Onboard Credit (up to $600 per stateroom depending on length of voyage and type of stateroom.).

2. CHANGING A U.S. PROMOTION BOOKING: Within 30 days of making a booking onboard, a change to the ship or sail date will not incur any change fee. Changes to ship and sail date made after that 30-day period has expired shall be subject to a change fee equivalent to $100 USD per person to be applied at the prevailing conversion rate in GBP. For any other type of change, different change and amendment fees may be applicable in accordance with the terms of the UK booking conditions. Please note that for all changes, where other services have been subsequently added to your onboard booking in addition to your cruise e.g. flights or land based hotels, any changes to those aspects of your booking may result in cancellation and rebook charges. Any deposit payment made at the time of booking shall always remain non – refundable where any change is made. See the booking conditions at www.royalcaribbean.co.uk for full details.

3. Be advised that for any other change type, they shall be subject to change amendment fees as set out in the U.K. booking conditions available at www.royalcaribbean.co.uk. Deposits paid onboard shall always remain non - refundable where any such change is made.

4. CHANGING A U.K. PROMOTION BOOKING: In the event of a change to the booking, different change and amendment fees may be applicable in accordance with the terms of the UK booking. However for changes to ship and sale date up to 57 days prior to the sailing date, change fees will be waived. For any other type of change, different change and amendment fees may be applicable in accordance with the terms of the UK booking conditions. Please note that for all changes, where other services have been added to your onboard booking in addition to your cruise e.g. flights or land based hotels, any changes to those aspects of your booking may result in cancellation and rebook charges. Any deposit payment made at the time of booking shall always remain non–refundable where any change is made. See the booking conditions at www.royalcaribbean.co.uk for full details.

5. FOR ALL NEXTCRUISE BOOKINGS: If you decide to change your booking onshore, the onboard benefits obtained onboard will still apply as per the original booking made onboard, but changes to the price of the booking will be charged at the U.K. prevailing rate as of the date of the change.

6. CANCELLATION: See www.royalcaribbean.co.uk for applicable cancellation terms.
7. FOR ALL GUESTS, a NextCruise Booking may be combined with certain group booking but may result

in possible loss of your promotional offer and/or Onboard Credit offer.

8. FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit your Cruise Sales Team onboard for full Terms and Conditions, visit www.royalcaribbean.co.uk or speak to your travel agent.

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