If you had a cruise booked in 2020/21, you are probably holding a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) voucher. This cruise currency is the equivalent of legal tender – and there are hundreds of millions of dollars in FCCs out there.
More than half of Cruise Passenger readers are holding FCCs, an equivalent of $312 million worth of cruise journeys. In some cases, they are worth more than the original price of the cruise.
To cruise operators, it’s a massive problem. With bankers pressing for a start so they lines can pay back their loans, FCCs are a liability they must pay off before they can start earning money again.
And those who offered 125% of the value of cancelled cruises, that’s 25% more they are going to have to give up before they can start paying down their borrowings.
One important thing to watch: FCCs have various expiry dates, many at the end or 2021. Without a cruise start, many find it hard to decide what to book.
We’ve gone line-by-line to uncover the critical dates for making the most of your FCC.
For all guests holding a future holiday credit that are yet to rebook, and for all new bookings made from 22 June 2020, credit is valid until the end of 2023 for travel on any APT Travel Group tour or cruise – APT, Travelmarvel, Botanica or Travelglo.
For those affected from Carnival pausing operations for all Australian sailings departing 15 March 2020 through to and including 28 June 2021, as well all Carnival Spirit sailings through to and including 12 September 2021, Carnival Cruise is presenting Enhanced Value Option.
For affected cruises 6 nights or more, 100% future cruise credit is on offer plus an AUD$900 onboard credit per stateroom on your next cruised if booked by 30 September 2021 for sailing by 30 April 2023.
For affected cruises 5 nights or less, 100% future cruise credit is on offer plus an AUD$900 onboard credit per stateroom on your next cruised if booked by 30 September 2021 for sailing by 30 April 2023.
Celebrity Cruises are offering either 100% refund or 125% FCC on affected voyages. Deadlines for requests for refunds vary depending on the voyage and departure date, so check on their website to make sure you don’t miss them. FCC bookings must be made by April 30, 2022 on sailing departing on or before September 30, 2022.
All guests with voyages cancelled that were booked up to and including 11 October 2021 (Queen Elizabeth), 12 November 2021 (Queen Mary 2) or August 2021 (Queen Victoria) will automatically receive a 125% FCC. FCCs can be used any time until 31 December 2021 and can be redeemed against any new booking on a Cunard holiday on sale in that period.
Since 26 June 2020, Dream Cruise Lines have extended their Cruise As You Wish policy for sailing from Singapore prior to or on 9 April 2021. Guests can cancel their cruise bookings up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive a 100% FCC redeemable for sailing from Singapore on or before 30 September 2021.
Norwegian Cruise Line have a FCC value between 125% and 150% depending on the intended departure date and the sailing. Your FCC can be used towards the base cruise fare of a future cruise booked within its expiration date. From 29th July 2020, cruise departure date 13-17 March 2020 guests will receive 150% refund of fare paid in form of FCC which can be applied to any cruise through to 31 December 2022, or a 100% refund of the fare paid. Cruise departure date 18 March – 29 July 2020 guests will receive a 125% refund of the fare paid in the form of a FCC which can be applied to any cruise through to 31 December 2022, or a 100% refund of the fare paid.
Oceania is running a Travellers Assurance Programme, where once paid in full, guests can cancel for any reason up to 15 days prior to departure and receive a FCC equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid, valid for all reservations made between 1st August 2020 and 31st march 2021, for scheduled voyages departing on or before 31st October 2021. FCC is valid for redemption for one year from date of issue for travel departing no later than 31st December 2022.
If you have received a FCC with P&O it will expire on 31 December 2021. Exceptions to this rule are the Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter voyages. V121, V122, V123, V124, V125, V126, V127, V128, I113, I114, I115, I116, I117, I118, I119 and I120. FCC for these voyages have an expiry date of 31 March 2022 and you do not need to have cruised by this date, only have made the booking.
To encourage future bookings, Ponant is offering its ‘SERENITY’ policy to soften booking conditions to promote peace of mind for its future guests. (The conditions are non applicable to bookings made before 25 November 2020). For more information go to: https://au.ponant.com/book-with-confidence.
FCC is valid for any cruise to be booked within 24 months of cancelled cruise date.
Princess has a rather complicated FCC policy depending on which cruise you were booked on and when it was due to sail. A full list of the cruises and their FCC terms and conditions is available below, and on balance it appears all FCC must be booked on cruises departing by May 1, 2022. Double check your cruise as there are also multiple deadlines for when online forms need to be submitted for certain policies.
Regent has issued two forms of FCC – 100% FCC when Regent suspended voyages and when clients cancelled under Regent Reassurance and the bonus 25/50% FCC and Voyager China 2020 FCC. FCCs must be booked within one year of issue on reservations for sailings outlined at the time of issue.
Scenic has a comprehensive Future Travel Credit scheme with various re-booking deadlines depending on the cruise and time you booked:
•1 May to 30 June 2020 departures, re-book and travel up to 31 December 2022
• 1 July to 31 October 2020 departures, re-book and travel up to 30 June 2023
• 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021 departures, re-book and travel up to 31 December 2023
• 1 to 31 May 2021 departures, re-book and travel up to 30 June 2024
•2021 Scenic Eclipse Arctic season and the East Coast USA Adventure (701U) scheduled to depart on 27 September 2021, re-book and travel up to 30 June 2024