Royal Caribbean is making a change to their non-refundable deposits the cruise line announced this morning. As of November 1, 2018, all new bookings under non-refundable deposits will no longer receive onboard credit for their cruise.
Royal Caribbean said that the reason for this change was that the onboard credit was not influencing consumer’s buying decisions. In order for the cruise line to continue to offer the lowest pricing, they decided to remove onboard credit on non-refundable deposits for bookings made on or after November 1, 2018.
If you already have a Royal Caribbean cruise booked under the non-refundable deposit program, you will not be impacted by this change unless you make a change to an existing reservation. The amendments that lead to a reprice include, but aren’t limited to, amending the ship, sailing, or category of an existing reservation, as well as converting to a different fare or promotional offer. Should a reprice occur on-or after November 1st, 2018, the onboard credit will no longer apply.
Royal Caribbean first starting offer non-refundable deposits last summer. The new cruise fares offered up to $100 in onboard credit depending on the length of the cruise and type of cruise cabin. Non-refundable fares are available on all Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
Non-refundable deposits will continue to offer lower cruise fares during promotions from the cruise line.
Non-refundable deposits are required when booking an upper suite. Royal Caribbean said that in effort to preserve their valued Suite inventory and to ensure availability for their committed guests, a non-refundable deposit will become the only option for those guests interested in reserving an upper Suite. This also holds true for guarantee categories, including W/WS, X/XB, XN, Y/YO, and Z/ZI, where lower lead fares are typically the best deal.
Non-refundable deposits also come with a change fee. Royal Caribbean stated that in order to deter continual or late ship/sail date adjustments, a change fee of $100 per guest will be imposed to all reservations booked under a nonrefundable deposit fare that opts to change either the ship and/or sail date originally selected.