If you have future cruise credits (or “FCCs”), you’re not alone – many have been issued since March 2020, when cruise lines began rescheduling cruises due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, what’s a future cruise credit? It’s like a credit you receive from a retail store when you have to return something you purchased there. In place of a cash refund, FCCs let you apply the cost of a cruise you can’t take to a future cruise on the same line.
Today, fewer cruises are being rescheduled due to the pandemic, but some lines are still issuing FCCs to passengers who are unable to board a ship when pre-boarding tests come back positive for COVID.
If you have FCCs, carefully check their expiration dates; once they expire, they’re gone forever. And, many COVID-related FCCs will begin to expire on Dec. 31, 2021. Note that you don’t have to sail by the expiration date of your FCCs; you just have to use them to book a future cruise.
Here are more helpful things to know about FCCs:
FCCs are usually issued within a few weeks after a cruise cancellation or a denied boarding due to a positive COVID test result. The cruise line will email information about the credits to the address you provided when you booked the cruise. If you’re a member of the cruise line’s loyalty program, the credits should also show up in your loyalty account.
The ways you can use your FCCs varies by cruise line. Some let you apply credits to the balance due on a future cruise that you already booked; others let you use credits only for a newly-booked cruise. Some lines let you divide FCCs up in order to apply them to more than one future cruise. Note that most cruise lines do not let you transfer your FCCs to another person.
If you use FCCs to book a new cruise and find that you have some credits left over, you might be able to use them to pay for extras like beverage packages, shore excursions, gratuities for the crew or even flights to and from the port. If by some bit of bad luck a cruise you pay for with FCCs is cancelled, you’ll probably be able to use the credits again.
Be sure to ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, for assistance to make sure you receive the best value for your future cruise credits.
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