Most cruise lines allow passengers to book again as they sail. An onboard cruise consultant is on duty to help pick specific sailings and/or make an undecided open booking, allowing us to choose a ship and sailing date later.
Advantages of booking onboard include:
1. Bonus Value - Onboard Credit available only by booking while sailing is part of the deal and commonly combinable with other promotions. Not all are. Case in point: Royal Caribbean’s policy of “one deal per booking”, does not apply to onboard credit gained by booking onboard.
2. Reduced Deposit – Regardless of the ship, sailing date or stateroom category, onboard booking also brings a reduced deposit. Our thought: booking far in advance, there’s no reason to tie up any more of your travel funds than necessary.
3. Meaningful Stateroom Location – If you like the class of ship currently being sailed, would like to book it again, but might prefer a different stateroom category or location you can go look. The difference between physically walking to the location and choosing from a deck plan is substantial.
4. A Good Deal Your Travel Agent Can Verify - Your travel agent will receive a copy of that onboard booking before you return home. While the onboard cruise consultant might not be familiar with or understand the importance of your personal preferences, your travel agent is.
5. Refundable - For the most part, onboard bookings for specific ships and sailing dates can be changed without penalty. Open bookings bring a long period of time in which to decide too. Still, if for some reason the best move is to cancel and never sail again, that onboard booking is usually refundable.
Bonus Advantage: Cure For Post-Cruise Depression- If we bought into the onboard programming offered by most cruise lines, odds are we came back refreshed with a bit different view of the world if not life itself. The downside of that happiness occurs when post-cruise depression sets in. The best cure for this travel malady, commonly experienced just after a fabulous sailing: booking another cruise. You’ll still be sad the current amazing sailing is over but will have the ability to press on with life, knowing another adventure awaits.
Chris Owen shares frank, inside information about cruise vacations on ChrisCruises.com