By Theresa Boehl
If you’re shopping for cruise deals, you’ve probably seen both refundable and nonrefundable cruise rates listed. Before you book, it’s important to understand the difference between the two and choose one that works best for your budget, your plans, and your level of flexibility. Let’s explore the difference between these two types of cruise fares and discuss why it might be advantageous to choose one over the other.
It’s been an unpredictable year for cruising, due to the travel disruptions that began in March. But that doesn’t mean you have to shelve your plans for cruising completely. There are ways to take advantage of cruise deals that ensure you won’t be left in the lurch in the worst-case scenario. For example, when you book refundable cruises, you have the option to cancel before the final payment date and get your entire deposit returned to you.
This arrangement is perfect for cruisers who want to secure their spot but also want the flexibility of canceling penalty-free should unforeseen circumstances arise.
But be aware that there is a price for this convenience. Refundable cruises do tend to be significantly pricier than nonrefundable cruises. But for many travelers, the security of knowing they won’t lose money due to changed plans — especially during these unpredictable times — is worth the extra investment.
So why would anyone sign up for a nonrefundable cruise if refundable cruises exist? Simply put, it comes down to price. Nonrefundable cruise fares tend to be those eye-catching rock-bottom rates that make you want to grab your credit card and book on the spot. The concept of nonrefundable fares isn’t exclusive to cruising — you’ve probably noticed the same thing when you’re shopping for airfares and hotels.
With nonrefundable cruises, you can lock in those extremely attractive fares, but in the event you can’t sail as planned, you won’t have the option to simply get your money back. Each cruise line has a different cruise refund policy, but in many cases, you could lose your deposit or be issued a future cruise credit in lieu of a refund, and extra cancellation or service fees will probably apply as well. For that reason, this option is best if you love a good cruise deal AND you’re reasonably confident your plans won’t change.
If the price is so irresistible that you’re willing to take a gamble and are undeterred by the risk of losing money, nonrefundable fares can get you access to unbelievable cruise deals.
The Right Cruise Travel Agent Can Help You Choose the Best Option
It’s not always easy to navigate the world of cruising, especially when you’ve never dealt with things like cruise cancellations, cruise refunds, future cruise credits, or onboard credit before. Making the right choices can help ensure you have an amazing trip, but that’s a lot easier to accomplish if you have a professional on your side. That’s where a cruise travel agent comes in. He or she can assist you in choosing between a refundable and a nonrefundable cruise fare, as well as help explain your particular cruise refund policy to be sure you understand the next steps if you do decide to cancel.
Plus, with a major online travel agency like CruisesOnly, you can feel confident your travel agent will work hard to secure the special perks and extras you wouldn’t be able to get on your own. All in all, working with an agent is the best option for ensuring you book a cruise that gives you incredible value while prioritizing what’s most important to you, whether that’s flexibility or saving money.
To enlist the help of travel agent who can help you choose the best refundable or nonrefundable cruise (plus secure the best perks!), visit CruisesOnly, America’s Largest Cruise Agency.