It is sad if the cruise line canceled your cruise or you had an issue while on board.

The good news is that you do not lose your money or be compensated for a bad experience.

You have time to decide on how to use your Future Cruise Credit.

Warning! Do not think for too long! People tend to forget about their Future Cruise Certificates. Often, they discover them when they are expired.

What Is a Future Cruise Credit (FCC)?

A Future Cruise Credit known as FCC is a voucher that you can use for the next cruise. You may receive Future Cruise Credits:

  • Cruise line canceled the cruise and offered you Future Cruise Credits.
  • You experienced the issue, and the cruise line compensates you for the inconvenience.

In this article, Future Cruise Certificate and Future Cruise Credit are used interchangeably.

Because your Future Cruise Credit, aka money, is posted into a voucher. The name of this voucher is a Future Cruise Certificate (FCC also!)

Keep in mind that we give general information about Future Cruise Credits.

Discuss your situation with your cruise advisor.

If you don't have one or not happy with her service, you are welcome to contact us.

 

What Do You Need to Know About Future Cruise Credits?

  1. Voucher for future cruise travel.
  2. Form of compensation for canceled cruise or issue. Issued in the form of Future Cruise Certificate (FCC.)
  3. Brand-specific to the cruise line that offered the voucher. You cannot use it on another brand.
  4. Has monetary value that can be applied towards the next cruise.
  5. Do not have a cash value and cannot be refunded as cash.
  6. May be applied towards the cruise fare only.
  7. Has expiration date and guidelines.
  8. It is broken down by each guest on the reservation.
  9. Each cruise line has its stipulations on when and how to use it.
  10. Pay attention to the fine print. Contact your travel advisor or call directly to cruise lines and ask for clarification.

If you need help applying for your Future Cruise Credits, we can help! Also, we can help you to pick up your next and apply for your Future Cruise Credits.

Infographics: Future Cruise Credits

infographics future cruise credits by Nadia Jastrjembskaia from Aurora Cruises and Travel

How Do Future Cruise Credits work?

It works in the same way as cash without cash. – Remember, Future Cruise Credits don't have cash value and can't be refunded.

Your travel advisor will put a stateroom or suite on courtesy hold for you for a few days.

After that, you have to receive the original confirmation from the cruise line. – If your cruise advisor cannot produce the official Guest Copy for you – find another cruise advisor.

The point is to have original documents issued by the cruise line only.

Then, later, you may have a problem due to a discrepancy between the actual price for your cruise and the invoice from your travel advisor.

Here may be a trap that some people experienced during cruise cancellations and refunds.

Remember! You MUST pay your money directly to the cruise line.

Your travel advisor acts as a consultant on behalf of the cruise line.

Here is a trick some travel advisors to aware of.

To attract your business, a travel advisor beat the price of a cruise line. – We are not talking about legitimate group prices. We are talking about when:

  • Travel advisor gives you a discount and pays the difference using her credit card.
  • Travel advisor charges your credit card for less money and pays cruise line in full using her credit card.

All those situations create problems when you later try to rebook your cruise.

Finally, you have your original Guest Copy from a cruise line and agree with the price.

The next step will be to ask your travel advisor to apply for your Future Cruise Credit.

Check the balance for your cruise again and see if your credit is applied correctly.

If not, ask your travel advisor to contact a cruise line and fix a problem.

How to Calculate My Future Cruise Credits?

Typically, the Future Cruise Credit is issued for the same amount the person paid for the cruise fare.

In many cases, FCC is for the cruise fare only. Port taxes, prepaid gratuities, dining, and excursions are not included in your Future Cruise Credit.

Usually, they are refunded back to the original credit or debit card.

Let us look at the following scenario.
You booked a cruise for your family.

ItemGuest #1Guest #2Guest #3
Cruise fare$1,125$850$580
Taxes and fees$93$93$93
Prepaid gratuities$105$105$105
Prepaid specialty dining$43$43$43
Prepaid excursions$71$71$36
Total paid$1437$1162$857

The cruise line canceled your cruise.

You should expect to receive all your money back with the exemption of cruise fare.

ItemGuest #1Guest #2Guest #3
Taxes and fees$93$93$93
Prepaid gratuities$105$105$105
Prepaid specialty dining$43$43$43
Prepaid excursions$71$71$36
Cash refund$312$312$277

Attention! We cannot guarantee that all cruise lines return taxes, fees, and prepaid gratuities, ding, and excursions. However, the majority of cruise lines will do. 

In the case cities above, you will receive the following refund.

ItemGuest #1Guest #2Guest #3
Cruise fare$1,125$850$580
Future Cruise Credit$1,125$850$580

Please check your credit or debit card statements.  – Money is supposed to be posted there.

In the discussed sample, the client will receive three Future Cruise Credits.

So, the client will receive three Future Cruise Credits as above.

Each FCC will be issued separately on each guest.

With a few exceptions, cruise lines do not allow to transfer of funds in Future Cruise Credit from one guest to another.

 Therefore, Future Cruise Credit solely belongs to a named individual.

We understand that some people are frustrated with this situation because they paid for everybody. But, as a result, they cannot claim their money as their Future Cruise Credit.

How to Pay for the New Cruise?

Unfortunately, most cruise lines do not offer cruise fare protection programs anymore.

At the beginning of pandemia, the cruise lines offered cruise fare protection programs.

Under those programs, the cruise lines guaranteed that you would book another cruise for the same price as the original. 

Basically, you change only the sailing date and ship. – Similar to the Lift and Shift program offered by Royal Caribbean International. Not anymore!

So, if the new price is higher than the old one, you will apply for your Future Cruise Certificate and pay the difference.

Evidently, if a new price is lower than the original, how to handle the situation depends on the cruise line.

Some will issue a new Future Cruise Credit for the balance.

Others allow using the balance as onboard credit with some limitations. And the balance keeps for themselves.

Therefore, that is why so important to know the fine print.

Do not leave money on the table!

Instead, consult with a knowledgeable and experienced cruise advisor on using your Future Cruise Credit in the best way.

Sometimes you do not have a choice other than Future Cruise Credit.

Future Cruise Credits Frequently Asked Questions

Will my Future Cruise Certificate expire?

Yes, each certificate has an expiration date.

However, keep in mind that cruise lines have strong policies regarding Future Cruise Credit.

You can contact your cruise line and tell stories of why you did not redeem your certificate yet.

Usually, the rep will be supportive but cannot override the policy and re-instate your certificate.

Make sure you are aware of the expiration date. Look at your Future Cruise Certificate and find words: "Book by" and "Travel by."

What is the difference between "Travel by" and" Book by?"

"Travel by" and" Book by" are the most confusing.

Yes, it is a reason why people lost their Future Cruise Credits. Some people are under the impression that the date indicated by "Travel by" is the most important to make a booking decision.

Indeed, the most important date is "Book by!"

We recommend you put the "Book by" date into your calendar. Better if you give yourself a few weeks before making the booking decision and pick up the right cruise.

What is better: receive a full refund for a canceled cruise or a Future Cruise Credit?

There is no right or wrong answer.

Everything depends on your financial situation.

If you need money, take it.

If you OK with giving a loan to your cruise line in exchange for an additional discount, take a Future Cruise Certificate.

Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises offer 125% value to your paid total cruise fare.

This offer means a discount of 25% for your next cruise.

How to check if Future Cruise Certificate is legitimate?

First, you must receive an email from your travel advisor or cruise line. Check the following information:

  • Price for the Future Cruise Certificate.
  • Future Cruise Certificate number.
  • Expiration date.
  • Terms and conditions.

 Carefully read terms and conditions. Some Future Cruise Certificates may have block dates.

You can redeem your certificate during those dates. Usually, block dates are around public holidays, spring and summer breaks.

Recommendation! Recalculate the sum you paid for your canceled cruise. – Keep in mind that taxes, fees, gratuities, specialty dining, and excursions in most cases are not a part of your Future Cruise Credit.

Your Future Cruise Credit is based mainly on the cruise fare.

If the cruise line offered 125% of the cruise tariff value, recalculate the sum.

It may be a discrepancy between promised value and the value of your Future Cruise Certificate.

Can I use my Future Cruise Certificate for any sailing?

You can use your Future Cruise Credit for any sailing on a cruise line that issued the certificate.

So, if Royal Caribbean International issued Future Cruise Certificate to you, you cannot use it on Celebrity Cruises instead. You cannot do that. Even those cruise lines are sister brands.

The reason behind that is simple. Each cruise line has a separate accounting system.

Is Future Cruise Certificate combinable with current offers?

In most situations, the answer is yes.

Practically all Future Cruise Credits for canceled cruises due to COVID-19 are combinable with current promotions and prevailing rates.

Can I book a cruise through an online company using Future Cruise Certificate?

Theoretically, yes, you can do that.

Practically, it is a bad idea.

First of all, some online cruise agencies do not offer this service.

A rep must be trained to take care of FCC.

Online cruise agencies' compensation structure is around minimum wage.

That is why there is a constant turnover of people.

Additionally, those agencies are trying to avoid expensive training at any cost. – People will leave the company anyway in a few months.

Second, try to avoid any companies who cannot produce the original Guest Copy from the cruise line.

Online agencies will deny your request to receive the originals at any cost.

This fact may be the evidence that they discount the cruise line's price.

Most cruise lines have strict regulations that prohibit discounting. – Here, we do not talk about group price, which is legitimate.

So, to apply for your Future Cruise Credit, you have two ways:

First, book directly with a cruise line.

Second, use service by a certified and knowledgeable travel advisor who works directly with a cruise line and can give you a Guest Copy.

How much is a Future Cruise Certificate worth?

The value of your Future Cruise Certificate, aka credit, depends on the reason why you received it.

If you received your Future Cruise Certificate due to cruise cancellation, the value would differ based on terms and conditions by a cruise line.

It may be equal to the original price you paid for the cruise.

It may be more significant than you paid.

For example, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises offer 125% for the original value.

Suppose you received your Future cruise Certificate due to an issue while onboard.

The total value depends on the situation. It may be a discount for the next cruise:

Percentage. – Usually, between 5 and 15 percent of the original value of your cruise. The rate depends on the accident and how badly it was, and how it affected your cruise experience.

Actual sum. – It may be from $25 up to a few thousand depending on the interruption or inconvenience you suffered.

How do I get my Future Cruise Certificate?

You will receive your Future Cruise Certificate, aka credit, via email from the cruise line in most cases.

However, in rare cases, a cruise line may issue the paper certificate and mail it to you. – A few years ago, all Future Cruise Certificates were mailed to gusts by cruise lines.

Nowadays, all certificates are issued in electronic format.

What can I do if I do not receive my Future Cruise Certificate?

Chasing certificates for their clients is the primary job for travel advisors during the pandemic.

 Travel advisors spent hours on hold to reach the Resolution Department at cruise lines to solve the client's problem.

Nadia Jastrjembskaia from Aurora Cruises and Travel spent five hours and 32 minutes to find why there were discrepancies in certificates and the original value of the cruise.

That is why online cruise agencies try to avoid working with certificates.

So, if you book directly, call a cruise line, and ask for clarification.

Be prepared to be on hold for a while and be transferred from one department to another.

If you booked with a travel advisor, call her, and ask for help.

How do I redeem my Future Cruise Credit?

Call your travel advisor you book with and ask to make a new booking with your FCC.

Keep in mind that a significant portion of travel advisors left the business. – Not everyone agrees to work for free for more than a year.

 If your travel advisor does not respond, feel comfortable contacting Nadia Jastrjembskaia from Aurora Cruises and Travel.

She is one of the top cruise advisors worldwide and has an excellent reputation among the cruise line executive community.

In case of booking directly with a cruise line, you may book directly again.

However, keep in mind that you will be responsible for chasing your money and credits.

Better to contact Nadia in this situation.

She will help you to make the best booking decision.

Are Future Cruise Credits transferable?

In most cases, the answer is no. Future Cruise Credits are not transferrable.

They do not have cash values.

That is why think twice when you pay for somebody's cruise.

If you pay for your friend and the sailing is canceled, your friend will receive a Future Cruise Certificate even you paid with your credit card.

Future Cruise credit belongs to the person on the reservation. It does not matter if somebody paid for the cruise.

In some situations, cruise lines can transfer the Future Cruise Credit to another person.

But this option requires connections in cruise lines and knowledge of internal procedures in each cruise line.

Nadia Jastrjembskaia from Aurora Cruises and Travel has the experience to transfer the Future Cruise Credits in some cruise lines.

From our experience, the only cruise line that allows FCC transfer to another person is Viking Cruises.

Are Royal Caribbean Future Cruise Credits transferable?

According to Royal Caribbean's Terms and Conditions, the answer is no.

However, at the same time, we have successful cases of transferring the Future Cruise Credits.

It is because of our connections inside the company and situations our clients were in. 

 Are Future Cruise Credits refundable?

The answer is no.

But in some situations, the cruise line may grant you an exception.

It depends on why you have your Future Cruise Credit.

Suppose you have your FCC because of issues while inboard. You received your FCC as compensation for the interruption.

However, those certificates are not refundable and not transferable. You cannot convert them into cash or give them to somebody as a gift.

We didn’t have success with exceptions for those certificates.

If the cruise line canceled your cruise and you accepted your certificate, but later your health dramatically changed, and you can/t take a cruise. In situations like this, the cruise line may make an exception for you.

Are Celebrity Future Cruise Credits transferable?

Generally, no.

But due to connections inside the Celebrity Cruises, we can do some when special requirements for transfer are met.

  Can Future Cruise Credits be used for excursions?

It depends on the cruise line.

In most cases, Future Cruise Credits supposed to be used for the cruise fare only.

Some cruise lines even do not allow to pay taxes and fees by Future Cruise Credit.

At the same time, Disney Cruise Line doesn't allow to split FCC between two bookings.

Leftover from the booking they convert to onboard credit. This onboard credit may be used for excursions.

So, when my Future Cruise Certificate arrive?

How fast cruise lines proceed thousands of requests depends on the cruise line.

Most cruise lines are understaffed at this time due to a lack of a positive cash flow.

The average waiting time for Future Cruise Certificate is around 6-8 weeks after cancellation is announced from our experience at Aurora Cruises and Travel.

At the same time, we had situations when FCCs proceeded in two weeks.

How my Future Cruise Certificate arrive?

Again, this depends on the cruise line. Here three main ways:

Your Future Cruise Credit is attached to your cruise line rewards (loyalty) profile.

Your Future Cruise Credit is attached to your canceled booking. – That is why it is critical to keep all confirmations from the cruise line (not from the booking agency!) in the file.

Your Future Cruise Certificate is not attached to anything. – It stands alone.

It has its number, and you can add it to a new booking.

You will receive your number through an email from your travel advisor and the cruise line in the last situation.

Will my Future Cruise Certificate send to my travel advisor or me?

 It depends on the cruise line.

Some communicate with you through your advisor.

So, all emails you will receive through your travel advisor.

Other cruise lines send emails with your Future Cruise Certificate to you and your travel advisor.

Do I need Future Cruise Certificate to rebook my cruise?

Not necessary. Here you may use two scenarios.

Scenario #1

Your travel advisor makes a new booking.

She can put your new reservation on hold to see if FCC will come shortly.

If not, you can apply for the deposit first.  

When your Future Cruise Certificate arrives, she will apply it to your new booking.

After this, she will request a refund for your initial deposit.

Scenario #2

Your travel advisor creates a new booking for you and asks the cruise line to do a favor and proceed with your FCC faster.

From our experience, some cruise lines do that.

If not, you should pay the deposit and wait when your FCC arrives.

After your travel advisor applies for the Future Cruise Credit, you may keep your initial deposit in the booking. It works well when your FCC does not cover the whole booking.

How soon do I need to use my Future Cruise Certificate?

It depends on the cruise line.

Most of the cruise lines require you to book and travel by December 31, 2022. - Please check your expiration date to book!

The date is subject to change at any time.

So, we can't guarantee that it applies to your Future Cruise Certificate.

How soon do I need to use my Future Cruise Certificate?

It depends on the cruise line.

Most of the cruise lines require you to book and travel by December 31, 2022. - Please check your expiration date to book!

The date is subject to change at any time.

So, we can't guarantee that it applies to your Future Cruise Certificate.

Do I need to apply my FCC towards a new booking? Can I use it for the old one?

Each cruise line has its regulations regarding this matter.

 Some require to create a new booking and apply your Future Cruise Credit towards it.

Other ones ask to change the ship and sailing date on the canceled reservation.

Third, they allow using your FCC for any booking under your name.

My new cruise costs less compared to the canceled one. Can I use FCC leftover and redeem it for another cruise?

Yes, most companies allow you to use your Future Cruise Credit for more than one booking. Your travel advisor can apply the remaining balance to your second reservation.

Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises allow redeeming Future Cruise Certificate on different sailings.

Warning!

Out of 38 cruise lines on the USA market, some do not allow this approach.

They require you to use your Future Cruise Credit only once.

So, you have a balance on FCC if there is a discrepancy in price between a canceled booking and a new one, and you have a balance on FCC. – Forget about it! It belongs to the cruise line now.

That is why it is crucial to work with a knowledgeable and experienced travel advisor that you trust.

She will advise you which cruise line is more client-friendly.  

Can I apply FCC towards taxes and port fees?

There is now one answer to this question. It all depends on cruise lines.

Some cruise lines allow you to use your FCC on cruise fare, taxes, and fees.

Others allow using your Future Cruise Credit on the cruise fare only.

 

Can I use FCC to pay for shore excursions and prepaid drink packages?

Again, this depends on the cruise line. Most cruise lines keep payments for cruise fare, taxes and fees, shore excursions, and drink packages separately.

Unfortunately, this means that you cannot use your FCC, which came from cruise fare on a canceled cruise on other items except cruise fare.

Other cruise lines are more flexible and allow you to use your Future Cruise Certificate for any items that enhance your cruise experience.

Can I use Future Cruise Credits to pay for flights?

Most of the cruise lines have partnerships with airlines.

So, you can book your whole vacation with a cruise line.

However, since those programs are separated, you cannot use your FCC or portion of it to pay for a flight on your next cruise vacation.

Can I receive cash back after FCC is applied and I have the balance of the credit?

We do not know any cruise line that refunds back cash on unused parts of Future Cruise Credit.

Future Cruise Certificates do not have cash values.

What happened if I do not use my Future Cruise Credit?

Future Cruise Credits do not have cash values.

That is why FCC cannot be converted into cash. So you either use it or forget about it.

It must use your Future Cruise Certificate before the expiration date.

Please pay attention to 'Book by' and 'Travel by.' They are not the same.

What happened if I do not use my Future Cruise Credit?

Future Cruise Credits do not have cash values.

That is why FCC cannot be converted into cash. So you either use it or forget about it.

It must use your Future Cruise Certificate before the expiration date.

Please pay attention to 'Book by' and 'Travel by.' They are not the same.

What if I do not want a Future Cruise Credit?

If the cruise line offers two options: Future Cruise Credit can cash refund, you have an option.

If cruise lines offer only FCC, you do not have an option.

Keep in mind that the situation may change.

For example, you book with Royal Caribbean International cruise with a non-refundable deposit.

However, before the final payment, you made a decision not to pay in full.

In this case, Royal Caribbean issued Future Cruise Certificate.

After a few months, Royal Caribbean canceled your cruise and may be offered a full refund.

You opt for it and receive your money back. 

How to sell Future Cruise Credits?

In most situations, you cannot sell your Future Cruise Credits because they do not have cash value and are not transferrable.

From our experience, only Viking Cruises have an option to transfer to another person.

So, you may offer your FCC to a friend or family member.

What can I use Future Cruise Credit for?

In most cases, you can use your FCC for cruise fare.

However, some cruise lines allow to use it for taxes and fees also.

In addition, a few cruise lines will enable you to use your FCC for excursions, specialty dining, gratuities, and beverage packages.

If I did book my original cruise with direct or with another agency, can I use my Future Cruise Certificate here?

In most cases, the answer will be 'yes.'

Unfortunately, we have some cruise lines that don't allow the use of FCC with another agency.

In this case, they use the original booking number. This number belongs to a particular agency.

We will be happy to help with Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity, Cruises, and Azamara. 

Please inform us about your desire, and we will be happy to assist you.

 

How can I redeem my Future Cruise Credits with Aurora Cruises and Travel?

Please feel free to fill out the form, and we will contact you.

We will explain the procedure to you and share all details.

If I did book my original cruise with direct or with another agency, can I use my Future Cruise Certificate here?

In most cases, the answer will be 'yes.'

Unfortunately, we have some cruise lines that don't allow the use of FCC with another agency.

In this case, they use the original booking number. This number belongs to a particular agency.

We will be happy to help with Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity, Cruises, and Azamara. 

Please inform us about your desire, and we will be happy to assist you.