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Yesterday, Royal Caribbean announced additional measures to encourage customers to book a cruise.
Cruise With Confidence Extension
The company extended its Cruise with Confidence policy for sail dates into 2022. Under this policy, guests can cancel a cruise up to 48 hours in advance in exchange for a 100% future cruise credit. The future cruise credit must be used by the end of 2021 or 12 months from your cancellation date, whichever is further.
This policy now applies for all cruises booked by August 1, 2020 for sail dates through April 2022. Since the company only has itineraries released through April 2022, this applies to all current cruises listed on the website.
This is a huge benefit, as usually you have to cancel a cruise by 75-90 days out to recoup your money. Note that this program does not give you a refund for canceling; it gives a future cruise credit.
Lift and Shift
Under the new Lift and Shift promotion, guests can move their 2020 cruise to 2021 and keep the same price and promotion. The new 2021 date must be within 4 weeks of the 2020 date and be the same itinerary type, sailing length and stateroom category. The ship and ship class do not have to be the same. You can only Lift and Shift one time.
All pre-cruise purchases are removed and refunded from the prior sailing. Guests can re-add those purchases on their new sailing at the current rate.
I wish this promotion was available for early 2021 cruises. I’d like to move our current cruise to early 2022, but the prices are much higher for my same ship and itinerary.
Best Price Guarantee
Guests can now take advantage of a new Best Price Guarantee policy. If the cruise price drops within 48 hours of your sailing, you can get the new lower rate. This was always possible outside of the final payment date (75+ days plus), but inside of that guests previously had to cancel and rebook at the lower rate, which incurred fees and typically would negate any savings.
With this new policy, if you are inside the final payment date, the price correction will come in the form of a non-refundable onboard credit. In order to qualify for the Best Price Guarantee, you must book your cruise by August 1, 2020.
Royal Caribbean and the other cruise lines need cash, and they need it now. The company appears to be addressing most of the reasons why people are hesitant to book a cruise now.
However, people must still realize that if they could still lose money if they choose not to cruise again. A future cruise credit is not the same as cash.
Also, I think cruise lines should allow guests to cancel within 24 hours due to sickness. It’s common knowledge that people lie on their health cards if they are sick so that they don’t lose money and have to miss out on their vacation. If cruise lines had a more flexible cancellation policy regarding sickness, they would have a lot fewer issues onboard.
I’m curious how these new promotions will affect sales. Are you considering booking with Royal Caribbean based on these new promotions?
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.