Whether you booked your cruise before the coronavirus pandemic hit or took a chance on a cruise for later in the year, you’re probably waiting with bated breath to see whether your sailing will go off without a hitch or end up nixed.
As we all know, it can be challenging to plan getaways these days, with so many unknowns and a situation that changes day by day. Still, many of the world’s most beautiful cruise destinations beckon and most of us could really use a vacation right about now.
In these confusing times, some cruisers are left facing a conundrum: Should I cancel my cruise now or wait and see what happens?
Below, we’ll explore some of the issues you need to consider, whether you’re holding on to hope for an adventure at sea or thinking cancellation is in the cards.
There Are Advantages to Letting the Cruise Line Cancel a Cruise
Even if it seems unlikely you’ll get to embark on your cruise, it might be best to let your cruise line make the first move toward cancellation. That’s because most cruise lines try to let you down easy by offering either a 100% refund or a Future Cruise Credit that’s worth even more than you originally paid — potentially up to 125% of the original fare, plus bonuses in the form of onboard credit, which can total hundreds of dollars in some cases.
If you decide to cancel on your own, you’ll be subject to a cruise cancellation policy that might entail losing some of the money you already paid. If you plan to cruise again at some point in the future, it’s a no-brainer to sit back and try to get that Future Cruise Credit in the event your cruise is canceled.
You Can Use an FCC to Get an Upgraded Experience
So you decide to wait and let your cruise line cancel your sailing — smart move. You’re issued a Future Cruise Credit, and then what? Do you book a new cruise that would depart soon? Plan one for further out? Try to replicate the cruise you would have taken, or opt for a new itinerary?
A travel agent specializing in cruises can help you get answers to these questions and more. Best of all, the right agent will work hard to find extra perks you wouldn’t have been able to get yourself. This professional can stretch your FCC’s worth even further by looking for ways to boost your onboard credit amount, help you find reduced rates, or secure nice room upgrades. So while it’s always a bummer to have your vacation bubble burst, at least you’ll be living it up the second time around.
Don’t Let a Possible Cancellation Deter Your Dreams for a Getaway
Since so much feels up in the air right now, you might be thinking it’s best to forget about cruising altogether. But here’s some food for thought: In some ways, there’s never been a better time to plan your seaborne getaway. The touch-and-go situation has caused most cruise lines to drastically adjust their cruise cancellation policies and add unprecedented flexibility, making it fairly risk-free to get a cruise on the books.
Though it varies from cruise line to cruise line, some are letting passengers cancel up to just a few days before departure and get fully refunded in the form of a Future Cruise Credit. That makes it easy to secure your spot in advance and then make a final decision on whether you want to travel closer to the departure date.
Before you book anything, be sure you totally understand your cruise cancellation policy, and keep an eye on it, because it’s an ever-changing situation. This is yet another thing a travel agent can help you navigate.
To talk to a travel agent about cancellation, refunds, and Future Cruise Credits, visit CruisesOnly, America’s Largest Cruise Agency.