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Is booking next cruise onboard really a deal?


Lora
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It can be.  They have changed the rules for Next Cruise in the past few years and I haven't used that system in a while.  But I think it goes something like this:

 

If you know what cruise you want to book, you can book it onboard; whatever amount you pay as a down payment (I'm sure there's a limit here...$50, $100 ??") you will receive as OBC for the cruise you are currently on.  Then, if, for some reason, you cancel the cruise you booked through Next Cruise, you would lose that deposit amount (equivalent to the amount of OBC that you received previously).

 

So if you decide to book while onboard and then down the road you find that the cruise has gone down in price, you can always get a price adjustment (so long as the final payment date has not yet passed).  The only way you can really lose is to cancel completely...in which case it is basically a "wash" - OBC for deposit.

 

It's not nearly the program that it used to be....that's for sure....but if you know you are going, then why not get the OBC for the cruise you're on ?

 

There are other rules for booking an "open" date, where you just put down some money and don't have a specific sail date yet.  I have no idea how that works anymore.

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Really the deal is that you get to place a teeny tiny deposit instead of a normal size deposit.

 

I have a 7 nt in a balcony cruise booked for 3 people for either $100 or $200 in total deposit (I think $100 but could be wrong). Normally that would be $750 .... so much less money in play.

 

I did get a $100 OBC on the cruise I was on in return for the $100 deposit but the real benefit is the reduced deposit, the OBC's used to be more substantial.

 

The price for the cruise itself is no different than you would get on the website back home so no benefit from that standpoint to booking onboard.

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You can go to Google and put in Royal Caribbean Next Cruise and click on Royal Caribbean OnBoard Sales. It is dated 9/2015 I think and it tells you exactly what you will received when you book through NextCruise with a specific date. I always bring two or three cruises I am interested in and book one of them on board. I usually will book at least an 8 to 10 day cruise because that earns me $100 OBC on the cruise I am on. The deposit is usually $50 or $100.

 

 

The NextCruise open booking program incentives are 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

Open booking doesn't get you as much OBC!

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It is a deal in a couple of ways, first as has been said a low deposit. But more important a credit to your on board cruise account for the same amount as the required deposit.  So lets say you owed Royal $2000 in that account and you book three cruises with a $500 dollar deposit each. They would charge your credit card $1500 dollars, but your on board account due would be only $500 dollars. So really the deposits are free to you. If you purchase no cruises your credit card would still be charged your $2000 dollar account balance.

 

Bottom line if you have spent money on the cruise the deposits cost you nothing in addition to that money. The only real negative is if you cancel the cruise no refund of deposit. This program allows passengers to have several future cruises booked with no money out of pocket until final payment date.

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These days, NextCruise is essentially just an onboard booking bonus.  Free money for booking a cruise while onboard.

 

The downside is it is non-refundable, so you are committing to take a cruise because that deposit is non-refundable (though it is transferable).

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I rarely do it as the OBC usually isn't enticing enough to me. However, the reduced deposit can be useful for some especially if you're booking way out and don't want to commit that much money upfront.

I always book NextCruise because it is essentially free money.  I know I will take another RC cruise, so there is very little risk for something you cannot otherwise get.

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What I like about booking onboard is that I can reprice the cruise if a better rate comes out, and keep the next cruise OBC bonus.  The last cruise I booked onboard, Royal had a 100 OBC so I got 250 (150 bonus).  Then a 200 OBC came out along with a military rate.  I repriced for less than my original rate and got the 200 OBC for a total of 350 OBC.  It doesn't always work out though cause I'm watching a cruise right now and it's up 140 for two.  If it stays the same price, I only get an equivalent of 10 bucks (150 bonus).  Sailing my next cruise on June 9th so hope price retreats by then. If not, will wait for the next cruise unless a steal rate comes out.  Takes a lot of work staying on top of this stuff.  Have 7 booked right now.

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I always book NextCruise because it is essentially free money. I know I will take another RC cruise, so there is very little risk for something you cannot otherwise get.

I understand and did this for our Baltics cruise as we received $225 OBC. However, for $50 or $100, in not interested in locking in my reservation.

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I buy the NextCruise on whatever line I am sailing. As Matt said it is free money, you don't have to lock in, you can change your booking many time, which I did with my RCCL Bahamas cruises, it has been changed 4 times, different dates and price drops. I like that my TA can take it over after I book and the little extra money helps while in the casino.

 

Candie

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I like that my TA can take it over after I book and the little extra money helps while in the casino.

 

Do you have to transfer it to your TA within 60 days of booking, like you have to when you book direct on the RC website? 

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You are correct, you have 60 days to transfer it. One of the things I don't like is when I transfer it, if I change my mind one, two or three times, it really causes problems for my TA. I understand it is her job, but most of the time, when you book on ship you really don't know if that is the cruise you really want to take. Something bright and shiny and new might come online and then you change. As I said my Bahamas cruise has been changed a total of four times. My TA didn't take that one over because I had an AARP $100 gift certificate that I will never do again. It took me six weeks to get it credited to that booking.

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