You may be shocked to know that I encourage my clients to take advantage of CruiseNext, NextCruise, or whatever program is offered to book their next cruise while onboard their current cruise. I can do this with confidence knowing I’ve virtually guaranteed a great experience by matching their expectations with the cruise we selected so they’ll cruise again in the future. With that in mind, cruise lines offer big incentives to book your next cruise while you’re having a great time on the current one.
Whether it’s NextCruise on Royal Caribbean or CruiseNext on Norwegian (cruise lines are clever, aren’t they?) every cruise line has a future cruise program. If you’re having a great time and know you’ll be cruising with the same cruise line in the future, be clear on what is being offered to make sure the “sail by” dates fit into your schedule (and budget) and — if so — take advantage of the offer.
What, exactly, is a future cruise offer?
As the name implies, the cruise line gives you a discount, on board credit, or some other bonus or perk if, while you’re on a cruise, you put a deposit on another cruise that you will take at some point within a specified time. Not sure where and when you want to go? No problem. Your deposit can be applied when you decide.
Usually there’s some type of bonus if you choose a specific cruise right on the spot (or within a couple months) but as long as you know the date you need to decide, you can wait until the last second. For example, one of my clients purchased a NextCruise booking that required them to choose a cruise by a certain date (a year after their original cruise) and we booked that cruise on the 363rd day. If that’s not the eleventh hour, I don’t know what is.
One thing to keep in mind with these future cruise offers is they are almost always transferable. Meaning you can buy one (or multiple certificates) and either use them yourself or transfer them to someone else. That way you’re taking advantage of the best offer available and if you can’t go yourself you can transfer them to a friend or relative. I buy these future cruise certificates often when I’m onboard so I have them on hand to transfer to my clients, but you could transfer them to your kids, parents, siblings, or friends and let them benefit.
Booked your cruise with a travel agent? (Yay, you!) The future cruise offer will be attached to your agent who will be able to help you choose and manage your next cruise even though you booked it onboard direct with the cruise line. Alternately, if you’re unhappy with your TA you can ask the crew member to leave the travel agent section blank then book it yourself (boo!) or choose a different travel agent (maybe one who writes a blog, and provides amazing customer service.. Wherever could you find one of those? Oh. I know. You could call me! 844-483-6669). When you take advantage of a future cruise offer it belongs to you, and you can choose to use any TA you prefer regardless of what the “travel agent” section says.
I’ve seen lots of different offers including NextCruise (Royal Caribbean) up to $600 off, CruiseNext (Norwegian) offers up to $400 per certificate and allows you to use two on each reservation, and Virgin Voyages — always trying to upstage every other cruise line — has some very creative onboard only offers.
So, yes. I encourage all my clients to take advantage of the future cruise offers available onboard. You won’t find a better deal anywhere, they’re valid with sales and promotions, and they’re transferable which gives you lots of flexibility. The cruise lines are desperate to get you back on board — take full advantage of it!