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Royal Caribbean extends Cruise with Confidence program by one month

In:
Category: 
10Mar2021

Cruisers have an extra month to take advantage of Royal Caribbean's flexible cancellation policy.

As a result of canceling most May 2021 cruises, Royal Caribbean announced it would also extend its Cruise with Confidence program by a month.

Cruises booked on or before May 31, 2021 for a sailing departing through April 30, 2022 are now eligible for Cruise with Confidence.

Prior to this change, Cruise with Confidence only applied to bookings made through April 30, 2021.

Under Cruise with Confidence, guests can cancel a cruise for any reason up to 48 hours before a sailing is scheduled to depart in exchange for a 100% future cruise credit.

It also covers the expanded Best Price Guarantee, which allows for anyone to get a lower price after booking a sailing.

All active bookings confirmed on or before May 31, 2021 for Royal Caribbean sailings through April 2022 (excluding Chartered sailings) are included in the Cruise with Confidence program.

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President, Sales, Trade Support and Service, Vicki Freed, informed travel agents of the extension during a webinar with travel agents, "Along with the suspension announcing, we have also extended our Cruise With Confidence program to allocate an additional month of reassurance for those considering a cruise vacation."

With each new round of suspensions, Royal Caribbean has followed up with an extension of the Cruise with Confidence program as a way to give consumers much more time to decide if they want to cancel or continue with a booking.

The Cruise with Confidence program was introduced at the beginning of the health crisis, and provides significantly relaxed rules concerning canceling a cruise if the situation changes for a guest.

Ordinarily, guests would incur a penalty for canceling a sailing beyond the final payment date, which is typically 90 days before a sailing commences. Cruise with Confidence provides a great deal more flexibility to change minds with no penalty.

How does Cruise with Confidence work?

Ever since Royal Caribbean shut down cruises in March 2020, it has offered guests increased flexibility in being able to change their minds due to the fluid nature of news and the global health crisis.

Essentially, Cruise with Confidence is the name of the program that allows guests to change or cancel a cruise up to 48 hours before their sail date with no penalty or change fees.

Guests can opt for a 100% Future Cruise Credit that is good for 12 months or more up until 48 hours before their sailing.

The program includes refundable and non-refundable cruise fares, and only excludes chartered sailings.

It is important to note that if you elect to cancel a cruise on your own with this program, and later Royal Caribbean cancels the sailing, you waive any right to receive any refund oft he cruise fare paid.

Royal Caribbean will still offer Lift & Shift if there are more cancelled cruises

In:
Category: 
27Jan2021

Royal Caribbean announced yesterday that it will not extend the Lift and Shift program beyond January, but it turns out the option will still remain under one scenario.

Lift and Shift allows guests to take the cruise they have booked and defer it by a year, while protecting the original price they paid.

While the option to take advantage of Lift and Shift anytime is going away, if there are more cruise cancellations, Lift and Shift will remain an option for guests.

Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President, Sales, Trade Support and Service, confirmed to travel agents that the popular choice will return for those that have cancelled cruises on any new cancellations in the future.

"I do want to be clear on one thing about Lift and Shift. If Royal Caribbean, cancels or suspends a sailing at any point, Lift and Shift will still be available for those people who have an active booking on the sailing."

"Those are the people that didn't elect to go with Cruise with confidence and cancel on us."

"If you have clients on a sailing and we cancel that sailing or suspend it, lifted ship will still apply."

Read moreRoyal Caribbean Lift and Shift information & frequently asked questions

Lift and Shift is still available to all bookings, if you take advantage of it before January 31, 2021. After this point, Lift & Shift will expire and is no longer available at any time.

With Lift and Shift, you can move a reservation by a year and protect the original cruise fare and promotion to a qualifying sailing departing on or before April 30, 2022 on the same itinerary type, sailing length, stateroom category, and within 4 weeks before or after the date of the original cruise.  Subsequent sailings do not apply.

You do not need to book the same ship or even class of ships when you lift and shift.

Select restricted rates are ineligible for Lift & Shift and Best Price Guarantee - including but not limited to Net rates, Casino rates, Travel Agent Friends & Family rates, Travel Agent Reduced rates, and complimentary staterooms.

Christmas, New Year’s, and Chinese New Year’s cruises are ineligible for Lift & Shift, unless you are  currently confirmed on one of these sailings and wish to take advantage of Lift & Shift to move to the same sailing next year (assuming all other qualifying criteria are met).

There can also be some issues with unique itineraries, where there is no equivalent sailing to move to in the next year, such as longer sailings to lesser-visited ports.

In order to take advantage of Lift & Shift, names and full deposit must be placed on the booking. If it is after the Final Payment due date, the booking must be paid in full.

When leveraging Lift & Shift to move a booking to a future sail date, taxes & fees will be adjusted to reflect the charges associated with the new sailing. Taxes & fees from the original sail date will not be protected.

Royal Caribbean extends Cruise with Confidence program, but will end Lift & Shift

In:
Category: 
26Jan2021

Royal Caribbean will give guests three additional months to take advantage of its flexible cancellation policy.

The Cruise with Confidence program has been extended through April 30, 2021 for sailings departing through April 30, 2022.

The popular program allows guests to cancel a cruise for any reason up to 48 hours before a sailing is scheduled to depart in exchange for a 100% future cruise credit.

Cruise with Confidence also includes the ability to take advantage of a lower price through the Best Price Guarantee.

All active bookings confirmed on or before April 30, 2021 for Royal Caribbean sailings through April 2022 (excluding Chartered sailings) are included in the Cruise with Confidence program.

Prior to this change, the program would have ended on January 31, 2021.

Lift & Shift is ending

This extension does not apply to Lift and Shift, and Royal Caribbean says its current plan is to discontinue the program as of February 1, 2021.

Lift and Shift allows guests to move their reservation by a year and protect the original cruise fare and promotion to a qualifying sailing departing on or before April 30, 2022 on the same itinerary type, sailing length, stateroom category, and within 4 weeks before or after the date of their original cruise. 

Guests are eligible to move their reservation under the Lift & Shift guidelines between now and January 31, 2021 to sailings departing through April 2022 only. After this point, Lift & Shift will expire and is no longer available.

Read moreTop 10 Royal Caribbean Lift and Shift questions

Extending the flexibility

In an email to travel agents, Royal Caribbean said the Cruise with Confidence program has been "very popular" for the benefits it provides.

The Cruise with Confidence program was introduced at the beginning of the health crisis, and provides significantly relaxed rules concerning canceling a cruise if the situation changes for a guest.

Ordinarily, guests would incur a penalty for canceling a sailing beyond the final payment date, which is typically 90 days before a sailing commences. Cruise with Confidence provides a great deal more flexibility to change minds with no penalty.

Today's change means Cruise with Confidence will be available for an additional three months, although it looks like Lift and Shift will come to an end.

Lift & Shift has been extremely popular for the price protection it offered, and was an option other cruise lines did not offer either.

How does Cruise with Confidence work?

Ever since Royal Caribbean shut down cruises in March, it has offered guests increased flexibility in being able to change their minds due to the fluid nature of news and the global health crisis.

Essentially, Cruise with Confidence is the name of the program that allows guests to change or cancel a cruise up to 48 hours before their sail date with no penalty or change fees.

Guests can opt for a 100% Future Cruise Credit that is good for 12 months or more.

The program includes refundable and non-refundable cruise fares, and only excludes chartered sailings.

It is important to note that if you elect to cancel a cruise on your own with this program, and later Royal Caribbean cancels the sailing, you waive any right to receive any refund oft he cruise fare paid.

Royal Caribbean will now let guests combine future cruise credits

In:
Category: 
25Jan2021

It is now going to be much easier for everyone to use their Royal Caribbean future cruise credits.

Royal Caribbean announced it will now allow guests to combine multiple future cruise credits (FCCs) on one reservation.

Future cruise credits are vouchers that guests typically get when a cruise is cancelled in lieu of a refund.

Prior to this change, Royal Caribbean only allowed guests to apply one future cruise credit per person on the reservation.  With so many cancelled cruises due to the global health crisis, many guests have FCCs stacking up, and unable to use them all.

The inability to combine future cruise credits is rooted in a policy that predates the cruise industry shutdown of 2020. In short, there was rarely a need to allow FCCs to be combinable since they were not commonly issued to guests.

In a statement to travel agents, Royal Caribbean said, "you are now able to submit multiple FCCs, should your clients have more than one in their name, as well as share the value of FCCs across multiple clients in the same booking. You have asked and we have listened!"

Under the new rules, multiple certificates can be applied to the same client if they were all issued in response to Cruising With Confidence or the Global Sailing Suspension. This also includes Non Refundable Deposit FCCs issued through Cruise with Confidence.

If you have multiple FCCs in your name that were created outside of these programs, they cannot be combined with each other at this time.

Moreover, you are allowed to share the value of FCCs across multiple guests in the same booking, including using a remaining balance from one guest to apply to another in the same booking.

Throughout the shutdown, Royal Caribbean has slowly adjusted its Future Cruise Credit policies to match the changing landscape.  In June, it allowed guests to start using a FCC towards a cruise fare deposit, and in October the cruise line started allowing leftover balances from a FCC not have to wait to apply it to a new reservation.

Royal Caribbean had begun allowing guests to combine FCCs when a cruise was cancelled, but only when a new FCC was issued.

Future Cruise Credits are an option for guests who either choose to cancel their cruise up to 48 hours before the sail date via the Cruise with Confidence program, or have their cruise cancelled by Royal Caribbean. In either case, a voucher code is provided that can be redeemed for the value of the sailing.

When Royal Caribbean cancels the sailing, the Future Cruise Credit is worth 125% the value of the cruise fare that the guest paid.

What can I use a future cruise credit for?

Future cruise credits have become widely available due to the current voluntary cruise shutdown that Royal Caribbean is engaged in, which means while cruises are being cancelled due to the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean is offering guests future cruise credits.

Royal Caribbean allows guests to use their future cruise credits to pay their cruise fare, including the deposit.

It cannot be used towards add-on purchases, like drink packages, shore excursions, port fees or taxes.

More information

Royal Caribbean extends Future Cruise Credits expiration date until September 2022

In:
Category: 
13Jan2021

You will have more time to use your future cruise credits from all of those cancelled cruises.

Royal Caribbean announced it has extended the expiration date of its future cruise credits (FCCs) until September 2022.

The FCCs are valid to book by by April 30, 2022 and sail by September 30th, 2022.

Prior to this change, you had until April 2022 to use your Future Cruise Credits. This provides an extra 4 months of sailings to apply a FCC, including the ability to apply them towards summer 2022 cruises.

This change applies to:

  • Global sailing suspension FCCs
  • Cruise with Confidence FCCs
  • Non-refundable deposit credits issued after March 13, 2020
  • Pre-Cruise Planner Onboard Credits

Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President, Sales, Trade Support and Service, told travel agents the change was made based on feedback travel advisors have shared with the cruise line.

Future Cruise Credits are issued at the time of cancellation to be used within a certain timeframe, but with more and more cruises being cancelled, there is concern guests might run out of time to redeem them.

What can future cruise credits be used for?

Future cruise credits are vouchers that guests typically get when a cruise is cancelled in lieu of a refund, which are similar to gift certificate.

Future cruise credits have become widely available due to the current voluntary cruise shutdown that Royal Caribbean is engaged in, which means while cruises are being cancelled due to the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean is offering guests future cruise credits.

Royal Caribbean allows guests to use their future cruise credits to pay their cruise fare, including the deposit.

It cannot be used towards add-on purchases, like drink packages, shore excursions, port fees or taxes.

More information

Royal Caribbean extends all Future Cruise Credits through April 30, 2022

In:
Category: 
17Dec2020

Royal Caribbean announced on Wednesday it has simplified when guests can use their future cruise credits (FCCs) by extending the expiration date to April 30th, 2022, regardless of when the sailing suspension occurred..

This change means guests have until April 30th, 2022 to apply your certificate to a Royal Caribbean International cruise that sets sail on or before the same date. 

The change is automatic, and there is nothing extra guests have to do to have their FCC extended.

Prior to this announcement, most FCCs were set to expire on December 31, 2020.

Royal Caribbean informed travel agents that the continued cruise shutdown has lasted much longer than anticipated, and as a result, this extension made sense.

"We never imagined the pause in cruising to last as long as it has. At the onset of the pandemic, rebooking deadlines and opt-in dates provided ample time for future vacation planning and cruise credit redemption — however, as time has progressed, the window of opportunity has narrowed."

Last month, Royal Caribbean had extended Future Cruise Credits that were going to expire by the end of 2020.  Today's announcement moves everyone ahead again to the end of April 2022.

Emails have been sent to guests who had future cruise credits to inform them of this change.

What can I use a future cruise credit for?

Future cruise credits are vouchers that guests typically get when a cruise is cancelled in lieu of a refund. You can think of them as a kind of gift certificate.

Future cruise credits have become widely available due to the current voluntary cruise shutdown that Royal Caribbean is engaged in, which means while cruises are being cancelled due to the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean is offering guests future cruise credits.

Royal Caribbean allows guests to use their future cruise credits to pay their cruise fare, including the deposit.

It cannot be used towards add-on purchases, like drink packages, shore excursions, port fees or taxes.

Royal Caribbean extends ability to cancel cruise for a credit until January 31, 2021

In:
19Nov2020

Royal Caribbean announced it will give guests more time to be able to change their mind about canceling a cruise at the last minute.

Royal Caribbean has extended its Cruise with Confidence cancellation policy to now include sailings through January 31, 2021.

The popular program allows guests to cancel a cruise for any reason up to 48 hours before a sailing is scheduled to depart in exchange for a future cruise credit. Today's announcement means an additional two months of flexibility for guests.

It was scheduled to end on November 30, 2020 prior to the extension.

In addition, the Lift and Shift option will be extended to January 31, 2021.  Lift and Shift allows guests to defer their cruise by a year.

The Cruise with Confidence program was introduced at the beginning of the health crisis, and provides significantly relaxed rules concerning canceling a cruise if the situation changes for a guest.

Ordinarily, guests would incur a penalty for canceling a sailing beyond the final payment date, which is typically 90 days before a sailing commences. Cruise with Confidence provides a great deal more flexibility to change minds with no penalty.

Instead, Cruise with Confidence gives passengers booked on-or-before January 31, 2021 the option to cancel Royal Caribbean sailings scheduled to depart through April 2022.

All active bookings confirmed on-or-before January 31, 2021 for Royal Caribbean sailings through April 2022 (excluding Chartered sailings) are included in the Cruise with Confidence program.

Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO Richard Fain thinks this extension makes a lot of sense for guests, "We want our guests to feel they can safely keep their existing cruise bookings or schedule new sailings, because this policy gives them more freedom and flexibility."

How does Cruise with Confidence work?

Ever since Royal Caribbean shut down cruises in March, it has offered guests increased flexibility in being able to change their minds due to the fluid nature of news and the global health crisis.

Essentially, Cruise with Confidence is the name of the program that allows guests to change or cancel a cruise up to 48 hours before their sail date with no penalty or change fees.

Guests can opt for a 100% Future Cruise Credit that is good for 12 months or more, or defer their cruise by a year.

Today's change means Cruise with Confidence is applicable to guests booked on-or-before January 31, 2021 on sailings departing through April 2022. This encompasses essentially all Royal Caribbean sailings available to book currently.

The program includes refundable and non-refundable cruise fares, and only excludes chartered sailings.

It is important to note that if you elect to cancel a cruise on your own with this program, and later Royal Caribbean cancels the sailing, you waive any right to receive any refund oft he cruise fare paid.

Royal Caribbean will extend future cruise credits that were going to expire at end of 2020

In:
Category: 
14Nov2020

Royal Caribbean is informing guests who have unused Future Cruise Credit (FCC) that were set to expire at the end of 2020 they will get an extra year to apply them to a new booking.

Royal Caribbean decided to extend future cruise credits that were issued before the global cruise shutdown began and were set to expire on December 31, 2020.

UPDATE: The extensions apply to all Future Cruise Credits that were going to expire between March 14, 2020 - December 30, 2021.

Instead, these credits will now be extended until December 31, 2021.

This change does not affect future cruise credits from the voluntary cruise suspension, as those future cruise credits are not scheduled to expire until December 31, 2021 already.

Emails have been sent to guests who had future cruise credits to inform them of this change.

"We know options have been more limited than normal and you may not have had the opportunity to use your Future Cruise Credit (FCC). Not to worry though! We want to make sure your credits don't go unused, so we've decided to extend your Future Cruise Credit until December 31st, 2021."

The FCC will automatically be updated no later than Monday, November 16, 2020 to reflect the new expiration date.

How do you get a future cruise credit?

Future Cruise Credits are given to guests and represent a certain value that can be applied to a new cruise reservation.

It most most often given as an alternative to a refund, although many times refunds may not be available.

Future cruise credits have become widely available due to the current voluntary cruise shutdown that Royal Caribbean is engaged in, which means while cruises are being cancelled due to the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean is offering guests future cruise credits.

In fact, the Cruise with Confidence program offers flexible terms for cancelling your cruise up to 48 hours before your sail date.  If you elect to cancel a cruise under Cruise with Confidence, you are eligible to receive a future cruise credit worth 100% of the money you paid.

Royal Caribbean makes using future cruise credits easier with rule change

In:
Category: 
30Oct2020

Royal Caribbean has changed a rule about how guests can use their future cruise credits (FCC) to make it much easier if you have leftover credit.

If a guest uses their FCC for a sailing and has a leftover balance, they do not have to wait for the first sailing to complete before applying the remainder.

Prior to the change made this week by Royal Caribbean, guests had to wait until the first sailing was over before they could use any remainder credits from that voucher.

With this new change, Royal Caribbean allows guests to redeem a FCC on two active bookings.

Royal Caribbean alerted travel agents to this change this week:

"Enhancements have been made to the existing FCC process where any balance remaining on an FCC no longer has to await the return of the existing cruise vacation before applying the balance to a future/new reservation. That means the same FCC can now be redeemed on 2 active bookings! Once a portion of the FCC is applied to a reservation, the remaining balance FCC will be generated and, in turn, sent to your client for use as they wish. Please note that any FCC with a pending balance from the past few months will now be run through this process, with an anticipated completion date for all by end-of-October."

The old policy for only allowing an FCC to be used on one sailing at a time was a policy that originated well-before the current global cruise shutdown.

In fact, future cruise credits were fairly rare for guests to have before this year, but so many guests now have at least one FCC to use due to all the cancelled cruises in 2020.

Royal Caribbean has slowly changed some of the FCC rules because of all the cancelled cruises, including being able to use a FCC towards a deposit and even allowing guests to combine FCCs.

Future Cruise Credits are an option for guests who either choose to cancel their cruise up to 48 hours before the sail date via the Cruise with Confidence program, or have their cruise cancelled by Royal Caribbean. In either case, a voucher code is provided that can be redeemed for the value of the sailing.

When Royal Caribbean cancels the sailing, the Future Cruise Credit is worth 125% the value of the cruise fare that the guest paid.

Have more questions about a FCC? These stories will help:

Here are your options if you want to cancel or defer your booked cruise

In:
Category: 
27Oct2020

There is a lot of uncertainty in the cruise industry, as well as regular life, and some people may want to push off that cruise vacation a bit longer until things settle down.

Luckily, Royal Caribbean is offering the most flexible cancellation terms during these tumultuous times, which means you have a few options to consider.

Many of us probably thought earlier this summer that cruises might have been back already by now, so here is what you need to know about changing your mind about your cruise.

If you want to cancel your cruise

Some people might prefer to cancel their plans and see how things pan out later, and there are a few cruise cancellation options you should know about.

If you have not reached your final payment date yet (75 days for 1-4 night cruises; 90 days 5-night or longer cruises), you can cancel and get a refund subject to the kind of deposit you selected when you booked.  A refundable cruise fare will get you all your deposit money back, whereas a non-refundable cruise fare will hit you with a $100 per person fee.

If you are past final payment, you can elect to take a 100% future cruise credit for the value of your cruise, and be able to use that cruise credit for another sailing later.  You will essentially receive a voucher code to be redeemed later for another cruise that you book.

Be mindful of the fact if you cancel the reservation before Royal Caribbean cancels the cruise, you will not be eligible for whatever offer(s) come from the cruise line.

As an example, when Royal Caribbean cancels a sailing, a full refund is usually offered to everyone (regardless of the deposit type you picked), along with a 125% future cruise credit option.

Regardless of which situation you are in, how you booked your cruise will determine who you need to contact.

  • If you booked your cruise directly with Royal Caribbean, you must call them to do so. 
  • If you booked with a travel agent, your travel agent will need to cancel the cruise on your behalf.

If you want to defer your cruise

A lot of guests simply want to push back their plans another year, and the Lift & Shift program does that very easily.

If you are ready to delay your existing reservation to a cruise the following year, Royal Caribbean will protect the cruise fare and promotions you paid for the original reservation, provided the sailing next year meets these criteria:

  • New sailing needs to be dated within 4 weeks (before or after) of the original sail date
  • Same itinerary
  • Same length
  • Same stateroom category

Lift and Shift is currently available to be used on or before January 31, 2021.

If you want to wait it out longer

The good news is if you are unsure what you want to do, and want to see where things go, you have the flexibility to do so.

As long as you cancel at least 48 hours before the sail date, you can receive a 100% Future Cruise Credit that is valid through December 31, 2021 or 12 months from your original canceled sail date (whichever is longer).

This is part of the flexible terms known as the Cruise with Confidence program, and it means you do not have to decide right now what you want to do about your upcoming cruise.

This kind of flexibility means you do not have to make a decision now, and take advantage of the best information available closer to your sail date.

Should you cancel your cruise?

It seems a lot of people are struggling with what is the best option for them right now, and that is not something I, or anyone else, can really answer.

The state of cruising, as well as the global health crisis is changing every day, and there are a variety of factors, risks and considerations that will vary from family to family.

There are still lots of people booked on cruises, but certainly there have been a lot of people who have opted to cancel their planned cruises and wait things out.

Given the nature of the Cruising with Confidence policy, my only advice is you have nothing to lose by waiting and seeing how things progress and make a decision closer to your sail date.

More helpful information

If you have more questions about canceling your cruise (or if Royal Caribbean cancels it for you), here are some helpful resources:

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