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Guide to cruise line onboard booking bonus

NextCruise office on Oasis of the Seas

If you’re a loyal cruiser, you’ve probably planned a future cruise before one cruise even comes to an end. With so many itineraries and destinations to choose from, it’s nice to have another cruise already lined. Having a cruise to look forward to can help you avoid post-cruise depression (it’s a real thing, y’all!). 

Most ships have a dedicated area onboard to booking future cruises. A cruise line's future cruise program aims to offer lucrative deals to get you booked on a future reservation before even disembarking the ship.

The future cruise consultants are available to help you find the deals that are hard to beat. Guests who book another cruise onboard will find they receive reduced deposits, increased discounts, and even more flexibility with their booking. Most of the time, you can also combine these offers with any other current promotions happening.

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Additionally, those who prefer booking with a travel agent can still transfer bookings made onboard. Your travel agent will still get commission on the cruise and they can handle future questions, payments, communications, etc. 

If you’ve never taken advantage of a cruise line’s onboard booking options, it’s time to make a trip to see a future cruise consultant. Most don’t realize that you have nothing to lose when booking onboard, as you are given more flexibility than you probably know! As long as you are confident that you will be cruising in the next 1 to 4 years (depending on the cruise line), then it probably makes sense to take advantage of these programs.

Below is a breakdown of the different onboard booking bonuses you can receive for the major cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean

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For Royal Caribbean cruisers, the NextCruise area is where you’ll want to head to book a future cruise with a consultant onboard. The deposits are only $100 per person, which is a steep discount compared to some longer sailings that require a $900 deposit.

Royal Caribbean also allows your future cruise offerings to be combined with any other current promotional offers. This can amount to huge savings for your next reservation!

NextCruise bookings also qualify for onboard credit that will be applied to the future booking. This includes up to $200 in credits depending on the number of nights. Cruises that are 3-5 nights only receive $25 per stateroom while 15+ night sailings will receive $200 per stateroom.

There’s also plenty of flexibility with your booking! NextCruise guests will find they don’t even need to select a ship or sail date. Guests who choose ‘Book Later’ can make a deposit for a future cruise and take up to a whole year to decide on a specific sailing. This option does require an increased deposit of $200 compared to the standard $100. 

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Those looking to book a future sailing onboard a Norwegian cruise will want to take advantage of the cruise line’s CruiseNext program. Cruisers can snag up to $500 in instant onboard credit, which can also be used on a current sailing. 

Deposits on future sailings are $250 per stateroom but come with additional flexibility. For instance, you can use your cruise rewards on any future sailing as long as it’s within 4 years from the purchase date. The future cruise discounts can be combined with any other promotional deals as well.

Norwegian allows cruisers to purchase up to 8 CruiseNext stateroom deposits, which can all be used on future cruises. Certain promotional deals allow for 2 deposits to be used for one sailing, such as the DoubleUP Promotion.

Those who are ready to commit to a specific sailing date can qualify for a free cabin upgrade for the future sailing.

Carnival Cruise Line

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With its “Welcome Home” program, Carnival cruisers are able to book a future cruise onboard any current sailing. The program’s Adventure Experts will provide you all the necessary information for ships, itineraries and promotions.

The Welcome Home program allows for cruisers to book a future cruise with a 50% off deposit, along with a 2 category upgrade (excluding suites). Additionally, you will receive onboard credit up to $100 off per stateroom for suites and $50 for other staterooms. 

Carnival’s program also offers additional flexibility for those who've disembarked a recent sailing but didn’t have time to take advantage of booking a future cruise. You can still take advantage of the program within 4 weeks of your departure, which gives you more time to spend enjoying your cruise onboard.

However, Carnival’s program offers cannot be combined with other promotions. In addition, if you find a lower rate and want to price match, you will lose your onboard credit, stateroom upgrade and reduced deposit. 

Celebrity Cruises

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The cruise line’s Future Cruise program can be found onboard any of Celebrity's ships for those looking to lock in a future reservation. Cruisers who book onboard will enjoy a reduced deposit to just $100 per person. You can also book unlimited cruises for future sailings for yourself and 2 additional cruises for friends and family. 

Celebrity’s onboard offers can also be combined with one other promotional offers. The ‘Cruise Now’ option allows you to book a specific sailing and receive up to $500 in onboard credit to be used on the future cruise option. 

Similar to Royal Caribbean, the program allows for extra flexibility for booking a future reservation. Those who need more time to decide on a specific date and ship can utilize the ‘Cruise Later’ option up. This gives you up to 90 days to choose a specific sailing. These bookings expire after 1 year and the deposit is refunded if not used.

Disney Cruise Line

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For Disney cruise fans, those who choose to book a future sailing onboard a Disney cruise ship will receive a 10% discount. This applies to all passengers booked on the future cruise reservation. This discount can only be applied to certain stateroom categories, so there are a few restrictions to consider. The future cruise consultant will be able to answer your specific questions regarding the onboard promotional offerings. 

Sailings that are longer than 6 nights are eligible to receive a reduced deposit as well. Disney offers future reservations to receive 50% off the regular deposit amount. This includes the concierge stateroom category as well. 

Holland America

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Onboard Holland America, cruisers will find they can book a future cruise onboard at the Future Cruise Consultant desk. Deposits for future cruises made onboard are only $100 per person. These deposits are reduced from the typical deposit rate, which can be up to $750 per person.  

These bookings are eligible to receive onboard cruise credit, up to $500, depending on the length of the cruise. Bookings are also eligible to combine the offerings with any other promotional discounts currently happening. 

Similar to other cruise lines, future cruise credits can be used on any cruise that’s booked within 4 years. This flexibility is a great option for those who love to cruise but haven’t picked a specific itinerary and sail date. 

Princess Cruises

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Future Cruise Consultants are available on each Princess Ship for booking future sailings. Princess’ program allows cruisers to either book a specific cruise onboard or place a deposit for a future cruise. This deposit is good for a sailing booked within 4 years!

Deposits are reduced to just $100 per person and stateroom credit of up to $150 per person. The amount of onboard credit is determined based on the length of your cruise. Those sailing on 16+ days will receive either $150 onboard credit for those sailing in an Outside, Balcony, or Suite while shorter itineraries will get $25 per stateroom. 

The bookings made onboard Princess Cruises can also be combined with most promotional offers, which makes booking onboard a great decision for those who know they'll be cruising in the future!

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