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The guide to Royal Caribbean status match

19 Dec 2023

If you have a top status with Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society, you might be eligible to status match with another cruise line.

Aquatheater on Allure of the Seas

Unlike the airline industry, cruise lines don't offer a lot of status matching, but there are situations where it does exist, and it offers cruisers a way to instantly attain perks and benefits with another cruise line despite having never sailed with them in the past.

Because Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are sister brands under the same corporate umbrella, there is some reciprocity between the two lines.  Plus, there are ways to get benefits with other companies too.

Here are eight things you need to know before applying for a Royal Caribbean status match.

1. You can only get status match with one brand within the company

Celebrity Cruise logo

Royal Caribbean offers a status match with only Celebrity Cruises, but not Silversea Cruises.

The same applies to Celebrity passengers who wish to travel on Royal Caribbean.

Silver Endeavour

Silversea's loyalty program, Venetian Society, is a simpler program that does not have tiers. Likewise, Azamara no longer offers a status match with Royal Caribbean because the company was sold off.

There are other companies that will status match with Royal Caribbean, but that is covered later in this article.

2. You need to have certain status first


Before you can get a matching status with Celebrity, you need to make sure you qualify.

Crown & Anchor Society members who reach the Platinum tier in Crown and Anchor Society are eligible to get status matching in the Captain's Club at Celebrity Cruises.

3. You can't status match to the top tier

Pool deck on Apex

Depending on your level in Crown and Anchor Society, that will determine which level you get with Celebrity Cruises.

Captain's Club Reciprocity

Platinum & Emerald members qualify to get Select Status in Captain's Club. That will get you benefits such as a 25% discount on internet packages, a 30% discount on photo packages, a 10% discount on spa treatments and priority status for the shore excursion waitlist.

Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club members will get Elite Status with Celebrity, which gets you unlimited free drinks from the Captain's Club menu each day between 5 and 7 p.m. at most bars and lounges on the ship. It also gets you 30% off Wi-Fi packages, 40% off a digital or print photo package, $200 off The Studio photo packages, and 15% discount on a drink package or a premium drink package upgrade.


On Celebrity's Solstice or Millennium Class ships, being an Elite status member will also get you free access to the steam rooms, saunas and heated loungers in the Persian Garden spa zone on a port day of your choice.

Even if you reach Pinnacle Club with Crown and Anchor Society, you cannot status match to Celebrity's upper most tiers.  The cap is Elite until you cruise enough to earn points on your own.

If you were a Diamond member with Crown and Anchor Society, in order to reach the next tier with Celebrity, you would need to earn at least 750 Captain’s Club points on your own. However, you would continue to receive Elite-level benefits through reciprocity until then. 

4. You're eligible to status match at any time

Concierge Club

In short, you are granted a status match that remains with you until you cruise enough to have points to move up to the next level.

Points are only earned on the cruise line being sailed.   You only earn points in each respective program when you sail with that cruise line.  Points can not be added or moved between programs.  

This means even though you get a status with Celebrity, your point total will still be zero.  So you'll need to cruise enough to move up to the next tier.

There is no time limit of when you can status match. 

5. Applying for a status match is easy

Celebrity recommends anyone in Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor program that is not enrolled in Celebrity’s Captain’s Club program should confirm enrollment before booking their cruise.

From experience, I can tell you it's not a problem to status match and then add it to an existing reservation.

In order to status match, you simply need to call Celebrity Cruises to request the status match. The agent on the phone will create a Captain's Club number and then do the matching for you.

6. You can status match with a casino

MGM resort

In addition to status matching with cruise lines, Royal Caribbean has an agreement with MGM Resorts.

For no extra cost, you can link your Crown & Anchor level and immediately take advantage of MGM benefits such as resort fee waivers, discounts on entertainment, and complimentary hotel upgrades.

The tier level you receive with MGM Rewards depends on your tier in the Crown & Anchor Society:

  • C&A Gold = Sapphire status with MGM Rewards
  • C&A Platinum = Pearl status with MGM Rewards
  • C&A Emerald, Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club = Gold status with MGM Rewards

To link your Crown & Anchor Society account with MGM Rewards, first make a free account on the MGM Resorts website. Next, contact an MGM Rewards representative through phone or email.

Let the representative know your Crown & Anchor Society number. They will contact Royal Caribbean to confirm your information and link you to the appropriate tier with MGM rewards.

7. MSC Cruises will status match your Royal Caribbean status

MSC Cruises is one of the few cruise lines that will status match your loyalty status with other rival lines, including Royal Caribbean.

There is no fee to do so but you need to complete the process at least 7-10 days before your first MSC cruise. The application for this is located on the MSC Cruises website and is easy to complete.

MSC will status match Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, Celebrity, Norwegian and Holland America Line. They'll even status match hotel loyalty programs, including Club Med, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood, Fairmont, Expedia, and RIU.

Depending on your status with Royal Caribbean, the benefits will vary. One of our writers was at Emerald Status and qualified for Gold status with MSC, which got her one free hour in the thermal spa, a welcome back cocktail reception, and a complimentary MSC Voyagers Club drawstring bag. 

One caveat to status matching with MSC Cruises is you may only apply for a status match one time.  So you cannot do it again later if you were to move up through Royal Caribbean's tiers.

8. Virgin Voyages will give benefits to top tier Royal Caribbean cruisers

Virgin Voyages in Miami

Diamond, Diamond Plus, Pinnacle Club members in Crown and Anchor Society are able to participate in Virgin Voyages' Experience Match offer.

These cruisers get immediate status in the Virgin Voyages program. As part of this, they are granted Sea-Rovers status, which includes the $100 Bar Tab Bonus through 2024.

Is a Royal Caribbean status match worth it?

Royal Caribbean's reciprocity with Celebrity Cruises makes it a smart choice for any cruiser looking to jump between the two lines and be able to enjoy extra perks.

While it would be better if Royal Caribbean and Celebrity had a joint loyalty program where cruises on either line earned you higher status (which is something the company is considering for the future), it's still great to have something to show for it.

Similarly, the free benefits you can receive with MGM, Virgin, or MSC Cruises means there's no reason not to status match with them either, although you'll want to hold off status matching with MSC until you're sure you wont move up higher anytime soon in Crown and Anchor Society.

The only caveat is you must take action before the cruise to get the status match done so it can be applied to your reservation. If you think about it once on the ship, it's too late.

Can you bring weed on a cruise?

13 Dec 2023

Whether it's legal where you live or you have a medical license for it, you might be wondering if you can bring marijuana on your next cruise?

Marijuana on a cruise?

You might be surprised to learn that you cannot bring marijuana on a cruise ship, and it's not because the company has an anti-drug view.

Cruise ships operate between many different countries, and the laws of those countries apply to cruise ships that visit them.

So before you pack pot for your cruise, let's review the rules that are in place so you can avoid any problems later.

Can I bring marijuana on a cruise ship?


Regardless of what the law is where you live, the cruise line's policy supersedes it.

You are not allowed to bring marijuana (even for medicinal purposes) on a cruise ship.  In fact, no illegal drugs or illegal substances are allowed onboard.

They're also not allowed to be used on its private islands, inside cruise terminals, at ports of call, or during shore excursions.

Ship docked in St. Thomas

This policy even applies if the port of call your ship leaves from has weed as a legal substance in that state.

The rule prohibiting marijuana in any kind is part of the cruise contract that you agree to when you booked the cruise.

Read moreThings that can get you kicked off a cruise ship in an instant

"I didn't see any cruise contract!"

Cruise contract check box

It was there when you booked, but it's your responsibility to actually read it. The contract is a check box you must select when booking a cruise on the website.  Likewise, a travel agent should convey the terms and conditions of going on a cruise when you book it.

Can I bring CBD on a cruise ship?

Pool on Wonder of the Seas

Royal Caribbean bans any form of marijuana, including its various forms.

The exact wording of the policy states, "marijuana, even in its medicinal form or for medicinal purposes, shall be prohibited."

Even if you possess a medical marijuana card, bringing cannabis or edibles, including those containing CBD, aboard a cruise ship is strictly prohibited.

Why does Royal Caribbean ban marijuana?

The rationale for banning pot is less about the company's views, and simply because of the local laws for the countries they visit.

Depending on which country your ship visits, those nations may have laws in place that address and severely punish drug possession. As a cruise ship passenger, you are a visitor in that country and subject to their laws.

What happens if I'm caught with marijuana on a cruise?


Royal Caribbean's security along with law enforcement do regular screening of baggage during the embarkation process, and throughout the cruise there are security officers that roam the ship. Looking for illegal drug use is one of their duties.

There are all sorts of possibilities if you were caught with marijuana during your cruise.

According to Royal Caribbean's guest conduct policy, it's no slap on the wrist, "Guests found in violation of such laws are subject to arrest and prosecution in the relevant jurisdiction (and perhaps United States or other authorities as well) and may be prevented from boarding or re-boarding the ship."

Anthem of the Seas in Spain

Based on past incidents, passengers that were caught with the drugs onboard have been arrested. There's plenty of examples of this, such as on Anthem of the Seas while in Bermuda.

A woman was found to have two bags of pot and was arrested by Bermudian authorities and then charged $4,000 in fines before she could fly home.

Carnival Cruise Line just banned a woman for life for bringing CBD gummies in her luggage.


The bottom line is the risk is greater than the benefits of trying to sneak it onboard the ship. Given the hefty penalties you could face if caught, it seems like it's simply not worth it.

My advice is not to bring any.  You might think the chances of you getting caught are low, but why put your entire vacation and family at risk for it?

Can I smoke weed while in port where it's legal?

Franklin Street

Let's assume your cruise is taking you to a place where marijuana is legal, is that okay?

Royal Caribbean stipulates on its shore excursions, it's still not allowed at all.

Of course, if you were to go off on your own and do a shore excursion through a third-party or simply walk around, the responsibility falls to you.

Serenade of the Seas in Amsterdam

First and foremost, you'll have to research what the local laws are for possession and/or smoking it in public. Be sure to look into if there's a venue that offers it, are you allowed to take it outside.

You might find a tour on your own that includes a cannabis visit. For example, there are shore excursions listed on Viator that offer a visit to a weed farm.

Regardless, don't plan to bring any back to the ship at the end of the day.

Will a cruise ship wait for me if I'm running late at a port stop? Here's what a captain has to say.

27 Sep 2023

Have you ever wondered what happens if you are late to get back to a ship?

Wonder of the Seas docked in St. Thomas

The beauty of cruising is being able to visit multiple cities and countries in just a few days. Since cruises usually visit more than one destination, sailings are on a tight schedule to ensure their timeline is adhered to. Essentially, this means all guests must be on the ship at a certain time before leaving for the next stop on their voyage.

If you’ve cruised before, you know how entertaining it is to watch pier runners sprint to the ship at the last minute before leaving port. There always seems to be at least one person who frantically tries to make it back to the ship on time. Videos of pier runners are all over social media, especially TikTok (just type in “pier runners” and you will find hundreds of videos). It’s fun to watch other people be pier runners, but you do not ever want to be in this situation!

Costa Maya, Mexico

To avoid this from happening, cruise ships always inform passengers when the all-aboard time is to be back onboard by. It's a really good idea to get back to the ship even earlier than the all-abord time, just to be extra safe.

If you or your travel party are running late in port, you might be wondering how long the cruise ship would wait for you to get back. 

Captains Corner on Voyager of the Seas

Captain Carl Graucob, who has worked for Royal Caribbean for 25 years, gave some insight into how long he would wait for passengers during a “Captain’s Corner” event on Voyager of the Seas. Here’s what you need to know.

It depends if you are on a Royal Caribbean excursion or not

Grandeur of the Seas logo

As Captain Graucob explained, if you are on an excursion with Royal Caribbean, the ship will wait for the entire group to come back before leaving.

This is one of the many benefits of booking an excursion with Royal Caribbean rather than booking a tour with an independent company. You also know that the excursion is reputable when you book it directly through the cruise line.

Read more: Is it better to book excursions through the cruise ship?

Captain Graucob said that he would wait for passengers to return from a Royal Caribbean excursion unless it is an “unreasonable amount of time.”

Voyager of the Seas in Costa Maya

In the case of an extremely lengthy delay, Captain Graucob stated that the ship might not always be able to wait for passengers. In this extenuating circumstance, Royal Caribbean would provide transportation to the next port of call or back to the departure port (if it is towards the end of your trip) for everyone on the excursion.

If you are not on a Royal Caribbean excursion and are late getting back to the ship, Captain Graucob said, “Normally, we do not wait.”

As such, you should always plan to be back by all-aboard time to prevent this from happening.

If the cruise ship knows you are missing, they will try to contact you

Wonder and Adventure in Cozumel

In the event that you do not board before the all-aboard time, the cruise ship will know you are missing. At this time, the ship will use the emergency contact information that you provided when checking in for your cruise. When providing an emergency contact, you must enter the information of someone who is not on the cruise with you.

Read more: Royal Caribbean check-in process

“If someone is missing, we call that emergency number,” Captain Graucob said. “Generally, this goes to someone at home.”

If you contact the ship using your own cell phone, or another phone you found in port, Captain Graucob said they will use this number to contact you. 

“If we get a hold of you and you say, ‘I am in the taxi. I am sorry, but there was traffic. I am 10 minutes away,’ then we will wait,” Captain Graucob said.

With this in mind, you should not rely on the cruise ship to wait an extra 10 minutes for you. Don’t push your luck!

If the cruise ship cannot get a hold of you, it will leave

Grandeur of the Seas in Cozumel

If the ship cannot contact you to understand your whereabouts, it will leave you behind. This is because they don't know how long it is going to be until you get back. 

“You’re stuck waiting 15 minutes and then it becomes half an hour. Before you know it, an hour goes by and nobody shows up. So we do not wait,” Captain Graucob said.

Therefore, if you find yourself running behind, it’s best to contact Royal Caribbean to let the cruise ship know your situation. 

What happens if the cruise ship leaves you behind?

If you come back to the pier and see your cruise ship departed without you, there will be a port agent on the pier that can help you. You will not be left high and dry, although you won’t be in an ideal situation. 

If you need to get in touch with the port agent, there is contact information in every Cruise Compass. This is typically found under the “24-hour services and venues” section. You can also find the port agent information in the cruise line’s app. It’s best to always have this number handy when traveling ashore in case of an emergency. 

Port agent contact information

The port agent will provide you with whatever you need, especially since you will most likely not have more than just your swimming suit and a bag with random odds and ends.

You will be expected to purchase an airline ticket or other form of transportation on your own dime, and this can be very expensive. If you do not have a passport or other proper verification with you, you will want to visit the nearest U.S. embassy for assistance. For this reason, some cruisers choose to bring their passport ashore so they are never left without it. 

On the back of every SeaPass card is an emergency phone number to call Royal Caribbean. Be sure to call this number to see how they can help as well, as it might be another option to get in touch with your cruise ship.

Are there any penalties or warnings given if passengers are late to the ship?

All aboard time in the app

“They're banned,” the captain joked. 

But in all seriousness, no. 

Captain Graucob explained again that cruise ships do not wait for late passengers, “unless we can get a hold of them and they tell us where they are. If it is reasonable, then we will wait. But no, there are no repercussions, other than if you miss the ship because then it is a big expense.”

Adventure of the Seas in Roatan, Honduras

Luckily, this worst-case scenario isn’t made worse with repercussions from Royal Caribbean. You won’t be blacklisted for future cruises! But, it’s a costly mistake you probably won’t make again. 

What you can do to avoid being late for your cruise ship

Ship docked in Labadee side

Here are the simple things to do to ensure this scenario never affects you.

  1. Give yourself plenty of time to get back to the ship. If the all-aboard time is 5:30 p.m., plan to be back on the ship at 4:30 p.m. or earlier.

  2. Do not venture too far from the port. If there is traffic or an accident that closes the road, you may not make it back to the ship on time. Try to stay close to the port so you can make it back quickly.

  3. Make sure you are on ship time. Some cruises have multiple time zone changes throughout one voyage, so knowing what time the ship is on is extremely important. Sometimes the local time is different than the ship time.

  4. Always have port agent information, identification, and money. Before you get off your cruise ship, make sure you take a picture of the port agent's information. Also, never leave the ship without a form of identification. You should also have money, especially a credit card in case you need to purchase an expensive ticket home or an emergency passport.

What happens if you miss your cruise ship?

06 Sep 2022

Every cruiser’s worst nightmare is running to the pier as your cruise ship sails away, leaving you stranded in a foreign place!

Freedom of the Seas sailing away

Videos of “pier runners” (people frantically running to the ship) are popular online and can provide a great laugh, but the reality is that missing a cruise ship is not something you want to deal with on vacation!

Paying out-of-pocket to travel to the next port and being in a foreign country without any of your belongings is not on anyone’s vacation bucket-list. While you’ll have extra protections when on a shore excursion booked through Royal Caribbean, missing the cruise ship can still be a stressful experience for any passenger.

The good news is that missing the cruise ship is not as common as you might think, and with proper planning and responsibility, you’ll be able to ensure you arrive back to the ship with plenty of time to spare.

Here’s what happens when you miss your cruise ship and the steps you can take to avoid this mistake.

Will the cruise ship wait for you if you’re running late?

The general rule of thumb is that a Royal Caribbean cruise ship will not wait for you if you’re running late and miss all-aboard time when not on a Royal Caribbean shore excursion.

Cruise ships run on tight schedules, and even a 30 minute to an hour delay can cause problems later on, whether arriving late in the next port or rearranging onboard schedules.

If all-aboard time is 5:30PM and you arrive at 5:35PM, the gangway will likely still be open. When a captain is notified that passengers have not made it back onboard, he or she will try to keep the gangway up as long as possible to ensure they can make it back to the ship.

This wiggle room is not very much time, however, and if you’re 30 minutes late for the ship, you should expect the gangway to be up and the ship ready to sail away.

Exact protocols can change depending on specific ports and scheduling situations.

What if I’m on a shore excursion booked through Royal Caribbean?

If you’re running late but are on an excursion you booked through Royal Caribbean, you’ll receive added protections and the ship will wait for you and your tour group for as long as possible.

If the tour is running extremely late due to an unforeseen event and the ship absolutely cannot wait for the tour group to return before leaving port, Royal Caribbean will cover the cost of transferring all tour group members to the next port of call.

Related: Guide to picking the perfect Royal Caribbean shore excursion

What happens if I miss the cruise ship when NOT on a Royal Caribbean excursion?

Once the ship realizes you have not returned, they’ll often enter your stateroom to remove any essential items like passports and leave the items with the port agents on land. Keeping these items in an easy-to-find place (like the safe) can help crew members locate the items quickly in an emergency.

You’ll be able to retrieve the items Royal Caribbean left with the port agents when you eventually show up to port, even if the ship has already left. Once at the port, the port agents can assist you with figuring out the next steps and contacting Royal Caribbean.

Once you are able to contact the ship/Royal Caribbean, you can discuss your options with them and they can assist you with booking any necessary travel arrangements. These travel arrangements will not be covered by Royal Caribbean and can be costly, especially when traveling from island to island at the last minute.

If you do not have a passport or other proper identification with you, you’ll want to visit the nearest U.S. embassy to discuss next steps and receive replacement identification.

Passenger Vessel Services Act complications

Missing the cruise ship gets more complicated when you miss the ship in a U.S. port of call and want to meet up with the ship in another U.S. port of call.

This is because of the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA), which prohibits foreign-flagged cruise ships from transporting passengers from one U.S. port to another.

While there are a few exceptions to this rule (round-trip sailings from the U.S. that visit a foreign country and travel from one U.S. port to another U.S. port including a stop at a “distant foreign port” like Cartagena or Bermuda), cruise lines will violate the PVSA if you depart from Miami and miss the ship on a port day in Key West, for example. This is because the cruise line technically transported a passenger from one U.S. port to another. 

If you miss the ship in Charleston, South Carolina and the next port of call is Port Canaveral, Florida, you unfortunately will not be able to board the ship in Charleston without breaking the PVSA. Instead, you will have to meet the ship in the first foreign port of call, such as the Bahamas, but this can cause you to miss much more of the cruise than you’d like.

How to avoid missing the ship

Keep track of time

Setting an alarm on your phone for 1-2 hours before all-aboard time can be a fool-proof way to ensure you don’t lose track of time.

Plan to get back onboard at least one hour before the ship’s scheduled departure time, and it’s a good idea to leave even more buffer room if you’re further away from the ship while in port.

Make sure your phone is set to ship time

It’s common for cruise ship itineraries to sail through several time zones, with some itineraries switching time zones nearly every day! To make time zones easier to navigate onboard, Royal Caribbean uses what they refer to as “ship time”.

Ship time is the time used onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise, and it may or may not change when you enter/exit new time zones throughout the sailing. Any changes in ship time will be posted on the Cruise Compass.

Before you disembark the ship in port, double check that your phone’s time is set to the correct ship time. You don’t want to think it’s 5PM when it’s actually 6PM on the ship!

In addition, be sure to switch your phone’s time and date settings to manual time instead of automatic. This ensures your phone’s time won’t switch to the destination’s time zone automatically when you switch on your phone service.

Book excursions through Royal Caribbean

Perhaps the biggest benefit of booking shore excursions through Royal Caribbean is the added protection you’ll receive in case your tour runs late. Your cruise ship will wait for your tour group as long as possible, and even cover the cost of transportation to the next port if the ship cannot wait.

Related: Is it better to book excursions through the cruise ship?

Fly to your departure port the day before your cruise

One of our top tips here at Royal Caribbean Blog is to avoid flying to your departure port the same day your cruise begins. While saving on hotel costs and PTO can seem appealing, there are way too many risks involved when flying the same day as your cruise.

Weather delays, flight cancellations, and missed connections can cause you to miss your cruise altogether. Flying in a day ahead of time allots extra wiggle room to help ensure you’ll make it to the cruise port with plenty of time to spare.

Related: Why you shouldn't fly to your cruise the same day it begins

Don’t travel too far

Another way to avoid missing the ship is by limiting how far you travel from the port.

If you’re dreaming of visiting Chichén Itzá while the ship docks in Cozumel, as an example, it’s probably best to book a Royal Caribbean excursion. Visiting the Mayan Ruins requires a 45 minute ferry each way followed by nearly 2 hours by bus.

With so much travel time required, there’s a higher chance something could go wrong along the way (ferry delays, traffic, bus breaks down, etc.).

Avoid drinking too much

Indulging in cocktails, beer, and wine in your port of call may be a fun way to spend the day, but take precautions if you plan on drinking excessively.

Many passengers that find themselves running back to the ship–and even missing the ship altogether–may have spent the day having too much fun and losing track of time.

Have you ever missed the cruise ship (or witnessed the aforementioned 'pier runners' running to the ship)? Share you stories below!

Royal Caribbean will give leftover cruise credits as onboard credits instead

24 Aug 2022

Royal Caribbean is going to stop issuing leftover future cruise credits as cruise credits to be used to book another cruise.

Travel agents were informed on Wednesday that Royal Caribbean decided it would make more sense to let clients redeeming a future cruise credit that has a leftover amount to become an onboard credit instead.

Many cruisers still have future cruise credits from the global cruise industry shutdown of 2020 and 2021 that remain unused.

In a situation where a future cruise credit is applied to a booking, but the full value is not utilized, instead of a new future cruise credit being created for the remainder balance, it will be issued as onboard credit on the cruise that they're using the cruise credits in the first place.

Ship docked in Caribbean

The announcement only applies to future cruise credits that get applied first towards the deposit of a new cruise.

Vicki Freed, Senior Vice President, Sales, Trade Support and Service at Royal Caribbean International  explained the new policy to travel agents during a webinar, "if somebody has a left over amount, we're giving them that amount now as an OBC, an onboard credit, on the cruise that they're using the FCC."

"We're not going to reissue FCC's. It's strictly going to go back as an onboard credit for the existing cruise that they're using their FCC."

Simplifying cruise credits

Royal Caribbean has been steadily simplifying the future cruise credit process for guests to ensure they can easily use the money they are owed.

As of June 1, 2022, Royal Caribbean announced all unredeemed future cruise credits (FCC) offered under the Cruise with Confidence program will no longer expire.

Royal Caribbean wants changes like this and today's change to provide more flexibility for anyone with a FCC, instead of them acting as a kind of boondoggle.

How do I redeem my credit?

Royal Caribbean has made it quite easy to redeem a future cruise credit, whether you are booking directly or with a travel agent.

The easiest way is to let your travel agent redeem it by providing them with the Certificate Number and booking ID.

Read moreTop things you didn't know travel agents can do for your cruise vacation

If you book on your own, here's how to redeem a FCC for a new booking on Royal Caribbean's website:

  1. Find the sailing that you are interested in.
  2. Select your cabin type and location.
  3. Proceed to the payment page.
  4. Enter your payment and personal information.
  5. Enter your Future Cruise Credit number(s).
    • If you are booking multiple cabins, you can enter your Future Cruise Credit number(s) for each room.
  6. Click “submit.”
  7. You will receive an email letting you know if your credit was valid.

Here’s how to redeem online for existing bookings:

  1. Visit the Redemption page.
  2. Enter your booking information.
  3. Enter your Future Cruise Credit number(s).
  4. Click “submit.”
  5. You will receive an email letting you know if your credit was valid.

Royal Caribbean Future Cruise Credit: What you need to know

16 Jun 2022

There's a good chance you have a future cruise credit from a cancelled cruise and want to know how to use it.

Many cruisers have questions about how a Future Cruise Credit works, and I did some digging to find answers.

This voucher for a specific amount comes with its own set of rules and things to know, so here is a breakdown of what Royal Caribbean's Future Cruise Credit is all about.

Updated June 30, 2022

What is a Future Cruise Credit?

A Future Cruise Credit (FCC) is essentially a voucher for future travel.  It has a monetary amount associated with it, and it is provided in lieu of a refund.

What can I use the Future Cruise Credit towards in the future?

A FCC may be used towards the deposit and/or base cruise fare of any future cruise.

It cannot be used to pay:

  • Taxes
  • Port fees
  • Prepaid Gratuity
  • Shore Excursions

It can be used towards a new sailing you book, or any existing sailing you have previously booked.

As of June 6, 2020, a FCC can be used for a new cruise reservation deposit.

As it pertains to the Future Cruise Credits issued under the Cruise with Confidence program, the Cruise with Confidence FCC cannot be redeemed to repurchase the same sailing where the original booking canceled.

How is my Future Cruise Credit calculated?

The FCC compensation amount for impacted sailings is based on the total cruise fare paid at the guest-level and is exclusive of taxes, fees, and prepaid gratuities which are being refunded to the original form of payment.

What if the amount of my Future Cruise Credit exceeds the value of the next cruise I book?

If there is leftover value in the Future Cruise Credit, the remainder will be reissued in a new Future Cruise Credit.  The new FCC will have the same expiration date as the previous voucher.

How do I receive my Future Cruise Credit?

Once a FCC is issued, it is sent to each guest via email.

It can take a bit of time for a FCC to become available.  A few weeks is fairly typical, but it largely depends how busy Royal Caribbean is with processing them.

When will my Future Cruise Credit expire?

Effective June 1st, 2022, unredeemed Cruise with Confidence FCCs no longer expire

This means if you received a FCC under the Cruise with Confidence program, there is no longer a deadline to use them and they are good indefinitely.

Can I use my Future Cruise Credit with a travel agent?

Yes, any FCC issued is "owned" by the guest, and is never attached to any agency until it is applied to a booking.

How long does it take for the Future Cruise Credit to be issued/available?

Can I use my Future Cruise Credit to pay for someone else's booking?

Royal Caribbean will allow a one-time transfer of an FCC to someone else.

It currently does require a call into the call center if you booked directly. If you booked with a travel agent, then your travel agent can request the FCC transfer.

Once the FCC is transferred, then that person can use your FCC since it belongs to them going forward.

What if I used a Future Cruise Credit to pay for a now canceled cruise?

If a Future Cruise Credit was leveraged to pay for a reservation now impacted by the suspension of cruising, Royal Caribbean will make it easier by combining all funds into one voucher.

The value of the original FCC will now be added to the new FCC at 100% of its original value, plus 125% of any amount paid by the guest on the cancelled

In a unique scenario where you may have been impacted by multiple phases of suspended sailings where your original Sailing Suspension FCC was redeemed on a newly impacted reservation, a full refund is feasible. Assuming the terms of the original FCC are met, the refund amount will equate to the value of the cruise fare at 100% and will not include
the incremental 25% earned through the original selection of a Future Cruise Certificate.

Royal Caribbean removes future cruise credit expiration dates

01 Jun 2022

You won't have to worry every again about your unredeemed Royal Caribbean Cruise with Confidence future cruise credit expiring.

The change applies to future cruise credits a guest has received during the pandemic between 2020 and early 2022.

As of June 1, 2022, Royal Caribbean announced that all unredeemed future cruise credits (FCC) offered under the Cruise with Confidence program will no longer expire.

Future cruise credits were given to guests as a kind of voucher to represent the amount paid for a cruise. Guests either elected to receive them in lieu of a refund when Royal Caribbean cancelled a cruise, or took them when they decided to cancel a cruise reservation during the pandemic.

Rock wall on Allure of the Seas

Prior to today's announcement, each credit had an expiration date when it had to be redeemed by, which gave some guests concern that they would lose out on the value of their money paid because they are unable or unwilling to cruise before the end of this year.

Royal Caribbean hopes this change will provide more flexibility for anyone with a FCC, as most FCCs were set to expire at the end of 2022.

A cruise credit issued as part of the Global Sailing Suspension (when Royal Caribbean cancelled the cruise, instead of the guest), the portion of the FCC value that represents 100% of the cruise fare paid on the original reservation will no longer expire. 

The incremental 25% bonus value, however, will maintain the current expiration date noted on the Future Cruise Credit and will remain active until this point.

All other FCC types remain unchanged and will continue to enforce the expiration date noted on the Future Cruise Credit.

The change in policy not only applies to Royal Caribbean International, but also Celebrity Cruises.

How do I redeem my credit?

Royal Caribbean has made it quite easy to redeem a future cruise credit, whether you are booking directly or with a travel agent.

The easiest way is to let your travel agent redeem it by providing them with the Certificate Number and booking ID.

Read moreTop things you didn't know travel agents can do for your cruise vacation

If you book on your own, here's how to redeem a FCC for a new booking on Royal Caribbean's website:

  1. Find the sailing that you are interested in.
  2. Select your cabin type and location.
  3. Proceed to the payment page.
  4. Enter your payment and personal information.
  5. Enter your Future Cruise Credit number(s).
    • If you are booking multiple cabins, you can enter your Future Cruise Credit number(s) for each room.
  6. Click “submit.”
  7. You will receive an email letting you know if your credit was valid.
    • Any remaining balance of your Future Cruise Credit (FCC) will be reissued to you as a new FCC after you complete your cruise.

Here’s how to redeem online for existing bookings:

  1. Visit the Redemption page.
  2. Enter your booking information.
  3. Enter your Future Cruise Credit number(s).
  4. Click “submit.”
  5. You will receive an email letting you know if your credit was valid.
    • Any remaining balance of your Future Cruise Credit (FCC) will be reissued to you as a new FCC after you complete your cruise.

Royal Caribbean will keep full deposit if you cancel your non-refundable cruise fare going forward

31 May 2022

Royal Caribbean's rules for cancelling a cruise are about to change.

Allure of the Seas aerial rear

There are two types of deposits a guest can make when booking a cruise: refundable and non-refundable.

Travel agents were alerted of the new policy change regarding non-refundable deposits.  There is no change for guests that book refundable deposits.

Beginning with reservations made on or after June 1, 2022, if a guest were to cancel their non-refundable fare, the full deposit amount will be withheld by the cruise line. Any additional payments made will be refunded.

If a guest elects to change their original ship and/or sail date, then a change fee of $100 per person will apply.

The Future Cruise Credit component is being discontinued and will no longer apply when canceling under this policy outside of the final payment period.

Instead, the deposit amount will be withheld in-full.

Deposit policy change on June 1

Guests booked prior to June 1, 2022 are protected under the prior policy terms. Guests who booked a non-refundable fare prior June 1, 2022 can elect to request a Future Cruise Credit in the amount of the deposit paid per guest, less the $100 fee. 

Impact for suites

Crown Loft Suite

This policy change is especially important to note if you book a suite.

Royal Caribbean made suites non-refundable only a few years ago because of the high demand for them, especially when new sailings were announced. Prior to the non-refundable fares, suites would be booked up early by cruise fans and later decide if they would sail or not. To deter the practice of dumping suites closer to sailing, Royal Caribbean changed suite fares to non-refundable.

With this change, booking a suite well in advance comes with additional risk if you choose to cancel later, especially considering the deposit amount of suites tends to be higher than non-suite rooms.

Typically, the deposit amount for suites is double regular room fares.

Refundable vs non-refundable cruise fares

Just like non-refundable fares found with airfare, rental cars, and hotels, these rates come at a reduced rate as an incentive to lock in plans.

In short, guests get a lower price and the cruise line gets more protection against a last-minute cancellation.

Refundable cruise fares cost more, but allow more flexibility when cancelling a cruise.

The exact price difference between a refundable and non-refundable fare can vary depending on the sailing.

Read moreRoyal Caribbean refundable versus non-refundable cruise fares

Best Price Guarantee change

In addition to the cruise fare changes, Royal Caribbean also tweaked the Best Price Guarantee program.

Effective immediately, the Best Price Guarantee onboard credit option value will be 100% of the price difference (previously 110%). 

This change refers to the original Best Price Guarantee program and not the Cruise With Confidence program.

Read moreDo cruise prices drop?

Here is where you can smoke on a Royal Caribbean cruise

27 May 2022

Royal Caribbean allows cigarette, cigar, e-cigarette, and pipe smoking on its cruise ships, but smoking is restricted to designated areas onboard for the comfort and safety of all guests. Knowing where you’re allowed to smoke (and where smoking is prohibited) will help you be better prepared for your upcoming cruise.

Royal Caribbean’s smoking policies are fleetwide, so you can expect to find the same smoking areas on most ships. Guests who violate this smoking policy may be subject to further action pursuant to the "Consequences Section" of this Guest Conduct Policy.

Whether you’re looking for a place to smoke or trying to select a stateroom further from smoking areas, here’s what you need to know about smoking on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Promenade deck

All Royal Caribbean ships have an outdoor Promenade deck where guests can enjoy an outdoor walk away from the hustle and bustle found elsewhere onboard. This space is located on deck 4 or 5 and wraps around the ship, offering fantastic views of the ocean.

Smoking is permitted in a designated area on one side of the Promenade deck only. Whether this smoking area is on the port or starboard side of the ship depends on the ship you’re sailing on. Even ships in the same class may differ in smoking location, so it’s recommended to take a look at past Cruise Compasses to check where smoking is allowed on the Promenade deck.

On most ships, the Promenade deck smoking section will be small, with just a few chairs and ashtrays. On Quantum Class ships (excluding Odyssey of the Seas), there is a larger, covered smoking area outdoors with comfy seating. 

Oasis Class ships do not have a traditional Promenade Deck, as this area was designated to be a jogging track. While there are still places to sit and relax on the jogging track, this area is designated as non-smoking on all Oasis Class ships.

Pool deck

You can smoke in a designated area on one side of the pool deck on Royal Caribbean ships. The smoking side of the ship differs by ship, so it’s best to check a recent Cruise Compass for the ship you’ll be sailing on to see which side allows smoking.

The designated smoking area will have comfy seating, tables, and ashtrays. Note that while smoking is permitted on one side of the pool deck, it will only be allowed in the designated smoking area on that side, not the entire half of the pool deck.

Smoking is not allowed in other spaces on the pool deck, including near food venues, the upper pool deck jogging track, and the sports deck.


Casino smoking policies vary depending on your cruise departure port. For most departure ports, including those from the United States and Canada, smoking is permitted in the casino while the casino is in operation. Guests will find both a smoking area and non-smoking area at the casino.

On ships departing from the United Kingdom and Australia, no smoking is permitted in the casino. Passengers on cruises departing from China and Hong Kong are free to smoke in any part of the casino.

Cigar and pipe tobacco is not permitted in the casino, as it is only allowed in outside areas (with the exception of the Connoisseur Club).

Connoisseur Club

Select Royal Caribbean ships have the Connoisseur Club, an indoor cigar lounge where guests can purchase and smoke cigars as well as order drinks and chat with other passengers.

The Connoisseur Club is being phased out on Royal Caribbean ships, but it can still be found on Liberty of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas. The club will likely be removed when the two ships are amplified. The space will become either the Diamond Club or Library/Card Room.


Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are only permitted within the designated smoking areas.

Non-smoking areas

Balcony and stateroom

Royal Caribbean does not permit smoking on stateroom balconies or in the cabin itself. While a balcony may be your own private outdoor space, smoking can cause discomfort to guests in staterooms around you. Any passenger caught smoking in their stateroom or on their balcony will be subject to a $250 USD cleaning fee.


The adults-only Solarium on Royal Caribbean ships is non-smoking. While it can be a relaxing place to spend the day away from younger passengers, passengers must stay in the designated area on the pool deck when smoking.

Central Park & Boardwalk neighborhoods

While Oasis Class ships offer many public outdoor spaces onboard, smoking is only allowed in the casino and on one side of the pool deck. The Central Park and Boardwalk neighborhoods are non-smoking.

Other public spaces

Entertainment venues, the Royal Promenade, bars, lounges, and restaurants are all non-smoking. Restaurants with outdoor seating, including the outdoor seating in the Windjammer, are also non-smoking.

One other important distinction is that passengers must be at least 21 years old to smoke on sailings departing from the United States and 18 years old on sailings departing from other countries.

Royal Caribbean updates: Land tour testing change, The Cove & more

13 May 2022

Welcome to a new week of Royal Caribbean news, which has a few tidbits and updates you should know about.

There's a lot happening in the world of cruising, and this week's update aims at catching you up on a few changes that we've seen over the past few days.

If you notice something different, be sure to email any news tips over to [email protected].

Change for Covid testing on Alaska land tours

Cruisetour Alaska train

Royal Caribbean has changed the Covid-19 testing policy for guests that have booked a cruisetour add-on to their Alaska cruise.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader melmar02 shared an update that testing is no longer required prior to the land tour, although testing remains for the cruise portion.

"Cruisetours: Testing is no longer required prior to the land tour, but cruisetour guests must still meet the pre-cruise testing requirements."

"It's recommended guests bring an eMed Test Kit to take at the end of the land tour. Guests who don't bring their own test kit will have a test made available through a local medical service provider at their own expense. "

The cruise tours are optional tours that take guests into the interior of Alaska before or after their cruise.


Remember that Royal Caribbean trademarked the term "secret cove" that sounds like it could be a new area for Perfect Day at CocoCay

A few days later they made another registration for "The Cove", which is also described as " intended to cover the categories of recreational services, namely island resort services."

There's been no word from Royal Caribbean what any of these trademarks may be utilized for, but it's something to keep an eye on.

New Zealand will reopen borders to cruise ships this summer

Auckland, New Zealand

Good news for anyone cruising down under: you'll be able to visit New Zealand again.

Our friends at Cruise.Blog shared an update that New Zealand will reopen its maritime borders on July 31, 2022.

While Australia had re-opened its borders to cruise ships, New Zealand was still holding out.

CLIA statement

CLIA Australasia issued a statement in support of the change,"Today’s announcement is a huge breakthrough for the many New Zealanders who depend on cruise tourism, including travel agents, tour operators, food and produce providers, port workers and many other industry suppliers."

"The suspension of international cruising over the past two years has had a huge impact on the New Zealand travel industry and we now have an opportunity to work on a revival."

Royal Caribbean ship opens new Sitka cruise terminal

Photo by Caitlin Blaisdell for Royal Caribbean Group.

The arrival of Ovation of the Seas to Sitka on May 7 not only signaled the start of the Alaska cruise season, but also the opening of  newly constructed Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal.

The new terminal is a 40,000-square-foot timber-framed facility featuring local retail shops and restaurants, an outdoor covered terrace and a departure point for land- and water-based shore excursions.

The 1,300-foot dock is designed to accommodate two 1,000-foot neo-Panamax-class cruise ships, with a total capacity of 8,000 guests.

The terminal has six retail stores and two restaurants, all locally owned. A shuttle for cruise guests between the terminal and downtown Sitka is designed to load up to four 60-passenger motor coaches at a time.

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