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My next cruise: Use Next Cruise or no?


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I'm so excited for my first RCCL cruise in May as I make my way up the Eastern Seaboard and visit all my neighbors to the north that I'm already contemplating future cruises. I blame all of you! 😛

Anyway, my question is: should I lock in a spot now by paying the standard $250 deposit for the cruise I'm taking for sure with RCCL (Fall 2021), or do you think I'd be better served by booking it on board with the Next Cruise office and pay the reduced deposit? The balance, of course, wouldn't be due until mid-2021, so I'm not worried about that part; I'm just wondering if it's risky to wait 93 days or so (not that I'm counting down to Grandeur...) to try and secure a spot. There are only a couple of dates available. Is there much to be gained through Next Cruise besides a bit of OBC or a discount (both of which are nothing to sneeze at, of course)?

I'm also researching an Alaska cruise for 2021, but I haven't settled on an itinerary for that one, so I'm not 1000% sure I'm going to choose RCCL for that. But if I do, is it better to be safe than sorry, since things can book quickly in the span of a few weeks?

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Welcome to the wonderful world of Royal cruising, it can be addicting!!!

I am still relatively new to the forum so I'm sure you will get more qualified responses than mine.

We booked through NextCruise on our last cruise in December.   Nice getting the OBC and low deposit and we had 60 days to make changes to our itinerary.    I've also booked cruises outside of NextCruise because there were so many great deals being offered.   Didn't want the fare or our cabin choice being gone by the time we boarded our ship months later.  


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The safe thing to do is to make a refundable deposit now on a future cruise.  This is assuming you are not booking full suites which are non-refundable deposits only.

Refundable bookings can be converted to non-refundable or cancelled without fees.  Once on board you can price the same cruise.  If it's cheaper or you get more OBC then make a new booking with Next Cruise and cancel your fully refundable booking.

Prices tend go increase over time so you may find your refundable rate is better than what Next Cruise can offer in the future.

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