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We are new to sailing RCL but this will be our 4th cruise ever.  We've never been able to book another trip while still onboard but are in the position to do so now.  I'm wondering if it is worth the savings or if it's a hassle when you get back home?   Tips, things to watch for, etc would be appreciated.  Thanks. 

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If you're sailing soon (like within a week or so), go ahead and book onboard as you will get onboard credit (the price of the cruise is the same whether you book on board or otherwise).  You can transfer it to your travel agent within 30 days of booking it onboard, or, if you used one for the current cruise it will automatically be booked under your current travel agent.  If your cruise is farther out you risk a price increase which may just negate the on board credit you receive, so don't wait if your cruise isn't very soon.

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Know the price of what you want to purchase-I’ve been at next cruise where they tried to charge more than what I could purchase for on the Royal website,  when I pointed it out they adjusted the price  also know what the OBC offer is for the cabin/length of cruise…and make sure they apply it.  You would see this on the booking confirmation they print out for you. 
 

I typically walk in to next cruise knowing the exact cruise date, ship and cabin that I want, it saves a lot of time land I can quickly get back to having fun onboard.

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I’ll do it onboard when I know exactly what ship, date and cabin I want. The price is the same…but I’ll only have to pay a reduced deposit at the time. Plus I’ll get the OBC. As others have posted…the price may drop over time if the cruise date is further out, and I’ll make the calculation on the benefit of changing the price versus the loss of the OBC. Usually I have saved quite a bit repricing…even with the loss of OBC. So the only real benefit for me has been locking in the cruise and cabin along with the cheaper deposit at time of booking. I also don’t use a TA nor go through the casino, so I have full control over my booking. However, if I didn’t have the time to constantly monitor my bookings, I would definitely use a good TA.

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On 7/5/2022 at 10:47 AM, Essie said:

We are new to sailing RCL but this will be our 4th cruise ever.  We've never been able to book another trip while still onboard but are in the position to do so now.  I'm wondering if it is worth the savings or if it's a hassle when you get back home?   Tips, things to watch for, etc would be appreciated.  Thanks. 

On our last cruise (June), the onboard credit we would have been offered was only $25, so we didn't see a really value to booking anything with NextCruise-- we'd rather wait for a real fare sale knowing our TA usually gives us $25 a piece.

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We've booked onboard just once, even though we visit the desk on every cruise.  The only reason why we booked that one time was because we were able to get on Quantum's first official sail and it was only available at the Next Cruise desk.  I rarely find any advantage of booking at Next Cruise.  The deals initially seem enticing until you find that the best deals are only for the extended sails and the deals become smaller as the sail becomes shorter.  The only advantage I saw last week was the smaller deposit, but not enough to tempt me.  We'll just go through the normal booking process once we have an idea of what and when for the next one.

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The reduced deposit and OBC are better perks if you're booking a longer cruise. I booked my upcoming Anthem cruise at Next Cruise. It's a 12-nighter, so the usual deposit would have been $450 per person. And booking a balcony (cheaper than an ocean view thanks to my D discount) gave me $200 OBC.

So like others have said, you need to weigh up what works best for you.

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We generally book at least one future cruise while we are on a cruise.  Last cruise we booked a cruise for the Greek Isles and another cruise to be booked later.  The lower deposit cost and OBC are nice perks.  They transfer our future cruises to our TA and all is well in the cruise world.

Bill

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I would say it depends on the current book onboard offer.  If you already know the future cruise you want to take and your current cruise sets sail in the next week or two at most I would wait and see what offers they have onboard.

This past January on Anthem Royal had a great offer for those who booked onboard and they were running an unbelievable sale, which is when we booked our December 10th, 8 night Harmony cruise.  If you booked a Star or Sky suite they we're offering not only a reduced deposit but also up to $700 dollars in onboard credit per cabin. We booked our 8 night cruise onboard in a 2 bedroom Aqua Theater Suite it was the only Star suite left and the price including taxes and fees was $9300 dollars and my husband and I have the full $700 dollar the onboard credit.  Weeks later at home we book a second cruise on Harmony in December, a 6 night cruise leaving December 18th of this year creating a b2b they had no Star suite available so we booked a Crown Loft. There are three problems and one mistake we make the mistake was we knew we were doing a b2b but decided not to book the b2b onboard. As a result of that mistake the first problem we have is the total cost for Crown Loft for a 6 night cruise was $8600 dollars (that sale Royal was running was over).  Next problem we have no onboard credit for the 6 nighter because we booked on land.  Lastly once we add on the deluxe beverage package and if we decided to add on the ultimate dinning package our 6 night cruise will actually cost more in a Sky Class suite than what our 8 night cruise costs us in Star Class suite all because we didn't book the 6 nighter while we were onboard Anthem when we booked the 8 night cruise.  

The lesson we learned is if you know what ship you want to sail on and a general timeframe for when you want to sail if the pricing onboard is within your budget book it and transfer it to your TA later.  Don't wait to see if you will get a better price later because that strategy didn't work out for us.

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We have booked it once. If you use Costco Travel, you can transfer the booking to them and get the Costco benefits (% back and cash card to use at Costco). Like everyone else, know ahead of time the going rates and where you want to go, because if you do not have the internet package, it's hard to do independent research while cruising. 

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A few months ago,  I booked the Greenland cruise.  In order to get the best deal, you have to go non refundable,  but with the reduced deposit,  it's not a big deal.

The normal deposit for 2 weeks is $450 per person. Way more than I would risk in a non refundable situation. 

On board,  it was $100 per person. Between the obc and lower fare for non refundable,  I figure it saved over $1000 on that cruise. 

So, the benefits vary by cruise,  but can be a very good deal. 

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We have, in the past, booked at the Next Cruise Desk then transferred the booking, within 30 days, to a TA.  Combined with the reduced deposit, which in the grand scheme of things isn't really a savings, the OBC, $300.00 at the Next Cruise Desk and the OBC, $1,800.00 the TA gave us, we had over $2,000.00 in OBC.  So, it was well worth the Next Cruise Desk utilization.  Here's a couple of things you need to know about that kind of strategy.  1.  You have to know what the "big box" (Cruises.com, CruisesOnly.com, et al) TAs are offering before you go the the Next Cruise Desk.  2.  You have to be willing to work with a "big box" TA.  That's not always a great experience and I find that they either have an integrity issue or just not well trained and give answers to questions they really don't know anything about (which to me is also an integrity issue).   You really need to be an educated consumer.  I must say, being an educated consumer is a must when dealing with any TA and Royal.  

Having said all that, I find it hard to get to sit down and talk to a representative at the Next Cruise Desk.  On the few ships that I really wanted to talk to them, they were always busy, people waiting for a long time to be seen and the hours are not convenient.  YMMV.  I'm thinking the sooner you board the ship and go to the Next Cruise Desk, the better, before the newbies fall in love with cruising, the less busy the desk will be.  But, I haven't put that to practice yet. 

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That brings up an excellent point.  As @Moby Dicksuggests, waiting until the last day or 2 to get to Next Cruise is a mistake.  Also, not being prepared (not knowing what you want) is also a mistake.  Since most of our bookings are through the casino, we use NC very rarely, but when we do, we go early and know exactly what we want to book.

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50 minutes ago, Moby Dick said:

We have, in the past, booked at the Next Cruise Desk then transferred the booking, within 30 days, to a TA.

@Moby Dick  Agree here.  Book with NC and as part of the booking, have them assign it to your TA right then.  I seem get the most OBC and best deal that way...

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On Anthem in February, March, April they had an incentive to book with the first 3 days of the cruise…be entered in a raffle to win a basket of some items along with some OBC, the prize morphed on each of my sailings, one time it was a Captain signed ship replica and OBC.  When I sailed on spadix in early May I asked if they had that incentive, they’d never heard of it and asked for details.  Subsequently, on my sailing in June they had a $300 OBC raffle incentive you would be entered into if you booked in the first 3 days. 

I agree stay away from the last day of the cruise, especially now with the casino offers being handed out that day and lots of people trying to get them booked while onboard. 

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9 minutes ago, Pattycruise said:

Subsequently, on my sailing in June they had a $300 OBC raffle incentive you would be entered into if you booked in the first 3 days.

Interesting. I've seen this one a couple of times before, but it was pre-covid. There was no early booking incentive on either of my two post-pandemic cruises.

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I sailed Symphony on June 18th and they offered a raffle if booked in the first three days and because the sailing was on Fathers day they also gave me a gift bag with some trinkets (a shopping bag, pen, and some holder or something).  I never win the raffle but that was a nice little token the Next Cruise gave me. 

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18 minutes ago, FionaMG said:

Interesting. I've seen this one a couple of times before, but it was pre-covid. There was no early booking incentive on either of my two post-pandemic cruises.

I’ve only done a yearly until this past year…..never really took advantage of next cruise.  On Anthem it’s hard to miss, so the basket caught my eye.  I had booked cruises in September while on Oasis, no basket.  Oasis went so far as to make a flyer with the incentive on my June sailing, Anthem might have, but having walked by that basket every day multiple days, I didn’t pay attention to the paperwork. 

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Since the casino doesn't give the offers until the last couple of days on a cruise, I wonder if they allow you to either book on the app and get the NextCrusie bonuses or book within a certain timeframe after leaving the ship?

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1 hour ago, Ampurp85 said:

Since the casino doesn't give the offers until the last couple of days on a cruise, I wonder if they allow you to either book on the app and get the NextCrusie bonuses or book within a certain timeframe after leaving the ship?

You can put down the $200 deposit to receive a booking reservation number and then have 7 days after disembarkation to contact the casino # and book your reservation to get the bonus award portion of the offer.    (See pic) Otherwise you face losing the bonus award.

personally, I was glad I booked using next cruise while onboard, there was only one date that worked for me based on available sailings for my offer.  Had there been nothing that worked for me I would been stuck with the $200 deposit and forced to use it or lose it.    Thankfully someone had a hold of the available cruises offers for my next sailing the next month and I chose to save my casino $ as none of the cruises on the level I would have maybe achieved (low 1600) were anything I could do (they were identical offerings to the previous month) and I was not interested in the $400 off at that time.

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5 hours ago, Moby Dick said:

Having said all that, I find it hard to get to sit down and talk to a representative at the Next Cruise Desk.  On the few ships that I really wanted to talk to them, they were always busy, people waiting for a long time to be seen and the hours are not convenient.  YMMV.  I'm thinking the sooner you board the ship and go to the Next Cruise Desk, the better, before the newbies fall in love with cruising, the less busy the desk will be.  But, I haven't put that to practice yet. 

You are correct it is hard to sit down and talk to a representative at NextCruise Desk if you are a walk-in.  What I do is make an appointment there is always an appointment book and representatives will always go with those who have an appointment first.  If there are no-shows then they will go with walk-ins but the wait for walk-in tends to be long especially during the middle of the cruise. 

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15 minutes ago, JasonOasis said:

You are correct it is hard to sit down and talk to a representative at NextCruise Desk if you are a walk-in.  What I do is make an appointment there is always an appointment book and representatives will always go with those who have an appointment first.  If there are no-shows then they will go with walk-ins but the wait for walk-in tends to be long especially during the middle of the cruise. 

I know about the appointment availability.  On one cruise, I think my first Royal cruise, I walked by the Next Cruise Desk, I actually had no idea what a "Next Cruise Desk" was until then, and noticed a few people sitting around looking a little frustrated.  This is a cruise before I actually got on a cruise where I wanted to go to the Next Cruise Desk.  Anyway, I asked, because I though I was missing something, what they were waiting for and one lady said that they had an appointment time for over a half hour earlier and It didn't look like anyone sitting at the desks was going to be leaving soon.  So, I made up my mind, right then and there, that I wouldn't be bothered with making an appointment because one thing that really really frustrates me is having an appointment and the establishment can't/won't honor it and I don't need that frustration.  So, on the cruise that I was interested in talking to the Next Cruise desk, I constantly looked in as I was on my way to somewhere else.  I just happened to be going by late in the cruise (don't remember if it was in the AM or evening) and noticed that there was one open desk, I walked in and a guy came out from behind something and asked if he could help.  He did and it was a good experience.  Not only did I get a $300 OBC.  Also, I opened a BOA/Royal C.C. account and got 10,000 reward points just for opening the account, each, my wife and I, that's equal to $200.00 of additional OBC or can be used to help pay for the cruise.  Then, well, I won't rehash what I've already stated earlier about the Big Box TA.

Nope, I won't make an appointment at the Next Cruise Desk.  I'll take my chances doing a walk-by.  Far less frustration, for me, and I go out of my way to avoid frustration.  Elevators, I go up to get down, left turns in my car, I'll go right to go left.............. YMMV

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Best deal I ever got was booking onboard via nextcruise. I need to book a Feb 2024 cruise for a family members birthday and am waiting until I'm onboard next month in hopes that it is a better deal, 'I've found it is the same price but you get more OBC, hundreds more. But like has been mentioned, know the website price before boarding.

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12 hours ago, Vacation Justin said:

I didn't feel like getting a sales pitch, so we just signed up for NextCruise on the app while onboard. Worked great!

I've never received a sales pitch at NextCruise.   It's not like a time share on land.  No prizes or reason to visit except to book another cruise with potentially some extra OBC.   

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16 hours ago, Vacation Justin said:

I didn't feel like getting a sales pitch, so we just signed up for NextCruise on the app while onboard. Worked great!

@Vacation JustinNo sales pitches!  We usually go into it with a booking in mind.  You must sign up for an appointment and/or seek them out if they are free.  For us, the extras are worth it. Sometimes they are so busy during our cruise so we have to adjust our schedule to theirs.  But we do it.

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On 7/5/2022 at 1:23 PM, SpeedNoodles said:

(the price of the cruise is the same whether you book on board or otherwise)

I did that on my last cruise for a cruise in March 2023.  I got an OBC of $150. and a reduced deposit.  Not a lot but I'll take it.   The problem is that the cruise price dropped so I called RCI and repriced the cruise.  They took the OBC back so I ended up with not real benefit for booking on board or for that matter for booking a year early.   I will not waste my time doing the next cruise desk again.   

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14 minutes ago, PaulRC said:

I did that on my last cruise for a cruise in March 2023.  I got an OBC of $150. and a reduced deposit.  Not a lot but I'll take it.   The problem is that the cruise price dropped so I called RCI and repriced the cruise.  They took the OBC back so I ended up with not real benefit for booking on board or for that matter for booking a year early.   I will not waste my time doing the next cruise desk again.   

That can happen with any cruise you book that has OBC and you reprice.  It has absolutely nothing to do with Next Cruise.

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58 minutes ago, PaulRC said:

I did that on my last cruise for a cruise in March 2023.  I got an OBC of $150. and a reduced deposit.  Not a lot but I'll take it.   The problem is that the cruise price dropped so I called RCI and repriced the cruise.  They took the OBC back so I ended up with not real benefit for booking on board or for that matter for booking a year early.   I will not waste my time doing the next cruise desk again.   

Odd, I’ve repriced a number of cruises with OBC from next cruise and did not lose the next cruise OBC.  I have lost other OBC that was a promo at the time of the booking like CAS $25 or $50.

Ive also repriced a next cruise booking and kept the next cruise OBC AND picked up other promo OBC.

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10 hours ago, PaulRC said:

I did that on my last cruise for a cruise in March 2023.  I got an OBC of $150. and a reduced deposit.  Not a lot but I'll take it.   The problem is that the cruise price dropped so I called RCI and repriced the cruise.  They took the OBC back so I ended up with not real benefit for booking on board or for that matter for booking a year early.   I will not waste my time doing the next cruise desk again.   

This happens from time to time.  When a phone agent tells me the NextCruise OBC will be lost during a reprice i thank them and call back.  Another agent always does it without losing NextCruise OBC.  Promotional OBC can be lost during a reprice but NextCruise OBC should survive.  

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42 minutes ago, twangster said:

This happens from time to time.  When a phone agent tells me the NextCruise OBC will be lost during a reprice i thank them and call back.  Another agent always does it without losing NextCruise OBC.  Promotional OBC can be lost during a reprice but NextCruise OBC should survive.  

What do you think is it worth calling them up and complaining?  Do you think it would help?

 

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11 hours ago, PaulRC said:

I did that on my last cruise for a cruise in March 2023.  I got an OBC of $150. and a reduced deposit.  Not a lot but I'll take it.   The problem is that the cruise price dropped so I called RCI and repriced the cruise.  They took the OBC back so I ended up with not real benefit for booking on board or for that matter for booking a year early.   I will not waste my time doing the next cruise desk again.   

Also, if you transfer your NextCruise booking directly to your TA (usually right during the NC booking), then that sort of locks in your NC OBC and your reduced deposit.  Seems to always work for me...

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Ok this thread has me thinking (never a good thing!).  I’ve advised my brother (remember him?  Missed the Harmony cruise?) to contact his TA about the FCC kicker that seems to be, well, kicking around.  Suggested a 7 day WC on Harmony in May as a possibility.  I will also then need to book my family on that cruise.  Our next cruise is in late October.  Should I wait to book on board? Or is that too far away?

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