When your cruise is cancelled, you’re often faced with a choice: a Future Cruise Credit or a refund. But which is best for you?
Compensation for your cancelled holiday isn’t a one-size fit-all solution. But how you choose depends on what type of cruiser you are.
Many lines are offering generous Future Cruise Credits (FCC) which you can use to book another itinerary up to 2022, along with additional onboard credit. Lines like P&O Cruises are even offering 200 per cent of the cruise fare to guests booked on cancelled cruises.
But some passengers have found that they have to forgo the offer for a number of reasons however generous it sounds.
Here are the pros and cons:
Pros of taking the FCC
You get more compensation to spend on your next cruise
Lines usually offer a larger amount of compensation in FCC than if you opt for a refund. In general, many lines are offering 125 per cent, plus onboard spending. Some lines like P&O Cruises have even offered 200 per cent FCC to their guests. If you’re not tempted, there is always a 100 per cent refund.
You’re a regular cruiser
The FCC might be additionally attractive if you are a regular cruiser who is not worried that you’ll not be using the FCC up and having it forfeited. Most times regular cruisers are happy to be rebooked on a similar itinerary next year or they already have a replacement itinerary in mind.
Some cruisers know which line they like to sail with so taking the FCC is the most convenient way to book their next cruise. This could be cruisers who are loyal to one line or even first-time cruisers that know which line they want to try out first. They are happy to take the FCC and rebook at a later date, or as soon as possible.
You’d be helping the lines out
In this uncertain times, cash flow is key for the lines to ride out the rough patch. By taking the FCC, the lines would be able to hold your cruise fare until you’re ready to take your cruise. Many cruisers have chosen this option to support the lines that they love or even as a thank you for all the cruises they have sailed on so far.
Pros of taking the refund
The FCC might not cover the full cost of the rebooked cruise
You might have booked the cruise while it was a very good deal. It would be helpful to check if the FCC would cover the full cost of the rebooking sailing at a later date, if you wish to be rebooked on a similar itinerary. If the cruise you want is now out of your budget, you would have to either pick a different itinerary to use the FCC on, or opt for a refund instead.
The cruise might become more expensive
There are a number of ‘hidden costs’ of cruising that goes beyond your cruise fare. If you’re booked on a US cruise line, cruising with them might become more expensive given the weakening Australian dollar as on board expenses are paid in USD. You might want to make sure that cruising with them is still within your budget before taking up the FCC.
A similar itinerary might not be available
For some, cruising is all about the destination. Some cruisers have found that the line does not offer a similar itinerary on a later date and hence have had to take the refund instead of the FCC. The itinerary conscious might want to check available future sailings before taking up the FCC.
The next sailing might not be at the right time
The price is right, it visits all the right ports, but it does not sail on the right dates. Some sailings are too far away for cruisers who are ready to jump on the next ship out. And others are just sailing out on the dates that you can’t get away.
The money could be earning interest in the bank
Some cruisers would rather have the money in their pocket and book when they’re ready, especially when no one is quite certain how long the restrictions on travel would last. No hard feelings, the money could be earning interest in the bank instead.
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