Future Cruise Credit: 12 vital things to know

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In these unprecedented times, many cruisers have had cruises cancelled and have been offered Future Cruise Credit (FCC) to entice them to rebook their cruise for a future date.

This guide to Future Cruise Credit will tell you everything you need to know about cruise credit so that you can decide whether it’s for you or not, and what to expect when it comes to rebooking your cruise.

What is Future Cruise Credit (FCC)?

Future Cruise Credit (FCC) is a voucher which can be used to book another cruise with the same cruise line. This means that your money stays with the cruise line, and can be used to book another cruise within a specified time period.

Future Cruise Credit (FCC) is not to be confused with On Board Credit (OBC). On Board Credit is money which can be used to pay for things on-board the ship such as drinks, spa services and souvenirs. OBC is often given as part of a promotion or booking incentive.

In what circumstances do cruise lines give Future Cruise Credit?

Cruise lines offer Future Cruise Credit when cruises have been cancelled or have had their itinerary significantly changed.

If a cruise has been cancelled you may get a credit note that is equal to or greater than what you paid originally.

When cruises have been cancelled and the cruise line is partly at fault (such as a mechanical fault with a ship), then you may receive a full refund back to your original payment method and also an additional amount of FCC as a gesture of goodwill.

How much Future Cruise Credit do cruise lines give?

The amount of Future Cruise Credit varies depending on the cruise line. Currently, cruise lines are giving between 100% and 200% of the booking value as credit. (100% would mean that you get the full amount as a voucher, 200% would meand that you get a voucher worth double what you paid).

Most cruise lines are offering 125% FCC for cancelled cruises in 2020.

See all Future Cruise Credit Policies:

How is Future Cruise Credit calculated?

The calculation method used to work out the Future Cruise Credit varies by cruise line and also depends on the country you live in.

Some cruise lines convert everything you’ve paid into FCC. Others may refund taxes, fees, upgrades and other purchases back into your bank account and only apply the base cruise fare as Future Cruise Credit.

To know exactly how FCC is calculated in your individual case, you should ask your cruise line or travel agent.

Do I have to accept Future Cruise Credit?

You’re under no obligation to accept Future Cruise Credit. When your cruise is cancelled you have the option to receive a full refund back to your original payment method or to choose to rebook your cruise using FCC.

If you can’t decide, there’s no rush. You can keep the FCC until you decide that you’re ready to rebook or apply for a refund.

Should you take Future Cruise Credit or get a refund?

If your cruise is cancelled, it’s entirely your decision whether to take Future Cruise Credit or to ask for a full refund. There are pros and cons to each option.

Some reasons you might want to take Future Cruise Credit:

  • You can get a great deal with 125% or more FCC
  • Taking FCC helps to support the cruise lines
  • If you booked using a gift card or other credit you can’t get a refund

Some reasons you might want to take a refund:

  • The terms of the FCC don’t suit your future plans
  • You want or need the cash for other things
  • You’re not sure that you want to cruise again

You can read comments from real cruisers about why they chose to accept either Future Cruise Credit or a refund here.

How to apply for FCC

You don’t need to do anything to apply for Future Cruise Credit. Your cruise line will have a record of your booking and if it’s cancelled they will automatically place the credit on your account. It can take a couple of weeks for this to happen, so look out for emails from your cruise line.

If you wish to have a refund instead of Future Cruise Credit, you will need to apply for this either with the cruise line, if you booked directly with them, or with your travel agent. Refunds can take much longer than FCC to process and people can expect to wait several months for these at the moment due to the large volumes.

What can Future Cruise Credit be used for?

Future Cruise Credit can always be used to book a new cruise. Policies about what else Future Cruise Credit can be used for vary depending on the cruise line.

Many, but not all, cruise lines are also allowing passengers to apply their FCC to existing bookings where a balance is outstanding. In this case, you may be able to spread your FCC across two or more future bookings if there is a remaining balance after its initial use. Some cruise lines may also allow you to use FCC to upgrade your cabin on an existing cruise, or for extras such as excursions.

Some cruise lines allow you to transfer FCC between passengers or to gift it to other people, whereas other cruise lines fix it to each passenger name and do not allow it to be transferred.

You won’t be able to use your FCC on a different brand. For example, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises are both part of the Carnival Corporation, but you can’t use your FCC interchangeably between Princess and P&O Cruises.

How to book a cruise using Future Cruise Credit

To book your cruise with Future Cruise Credit, just call the cruise line or your preferred travel agent.

FCC is linked to your account with the cruise line, not your travel agent. This means that you could switch your booking to a different travel agent and use your FCC. Some travel agents are offering extra discounts for people who are booking with FCC to encourage this.

What if your new cruise is a different price?

If your new cruise is more expensive, you will have to pay the difference. In this case, if you’d rather not pay any more, try to look for alternative ships or itineraries with the same cruise line which may be cheaper.

If your new cruise is cheaper, you can retain the excess credit for another cruise. Alternatively, you could upgrade to a better cabin with the excess credit.

My cruise hasn’t been cancelled, can I get Future Cruise Credit?

Cruise lines are currently cancelling cruises a couple of months in advance. If you have a cruise booked further ahead than this, and know that you won’t want to travel, you may be wondering if you should cancel your cruise and receive Future Cruise Credit.

Whilst it is possible to cancel most 2020 cruises and receive a Future Cruise, you should ideally wait until the cruise line cancels the sailing before you do anything. This is because, if they cancel, you’ll get a better deal.

If you cancel the cruise, your options may be a refund (with loss of deposit) or 100% Future Cruise Credit. However, if you wait until the cruise line cancels, you may get a full refund (with no loss of deposit) or enhanced Future Cruise Credit (typically 125%).

Many people find themselves with this decision to make when the time comes to pay the final balance on their cruise. Should you pay a final balance on a cruise that you know you won’t take? If you an afford to do so then yes, as it protects your deposit and it may also get you more FCC when your cruise is eventually cancelled.

How long is Future Cruise Credit valid for?

The expiry date on cruise credit notes varies. There will often be a date when you have to use it on a booking by as well as a date you have to cruise by. Make a note of both of these. Whilst you don’t need to be in a rush to spend your FCC voucher, you definitely won’t want to let it expire.

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17 thoughts on “Future Cruise Credit: 12 vital things to know”

  1. Costa Cruises sent us a cruise credit in dollars and informed us that I must use the original agent to book it. This UK agent went bankrupt and costa are refusing to honour this credit note unless I use the original agent?????
    The UK Costa division wiped there hands and referred it to the usa division that have ignored my queery.
    What can I do

  2. Hi Jenni

    Our cruise was cancelled by P&O about two days after we agreed with our Agent (Cruise.co.uk) to accept a 25% refund & 75% FCC. They called us with these two options as we were within 16-40 days of sailing.

    (1) leave all plans in place As the ship (Ventura) would still be sailing as far as they knew at the time (sail date was 28/3/20). We would also receive an OBC as the ship would not be stopping in all the ports due to Covid-19, including the main one of the trip (Amsterdam) or

    (2) opt for 25% refund and leave the balance of 75% as a FCC

    We opted for option 2 at the time but we would now like to get a full refund instead (We still haven’t received the 25% deposit anyway!) Is this possible as we are worried the Agent will charge us 75% cancellation fee as we in effect chose to cancel before P&O officially cancelled the cruise as far as we know.

    It’s almost impossible to get a straight answer from anyone so hoping you can help!

    Thank you.
    Loraine.

    • Hi Loraine. Thanks for getting in touch. I was actually booked on that cruise myself as well, such a shame it’s been cancelled. As you accepted the second optional the time, you might struggle to switch it now, unfortunately. Your travel agent will be the best person to clarify this for you. Sorry that I can’t be of more help. Jenni

  3. Hi Jenni

    We had a cruise booked in April 2020 which was subsequently cancelled due to COVID. As a group it was moved to April 2020
    But now that has also been cancelled. I do not wish to rebook a 3rd time but they are refusing to refund because of a room split of refund and FCC. Can P & O do this ?

    • Sorry typo moved to April 2021

    • Hi Krista. Unfortunately, I have heard of people running into problems with using FCC and then subsequently requesting a refund. I suggest that you discuss this with P&O Cruises or your travel agent if you have one. Perhaps also look at some of the Facebook groups to see if other cruisers have been successful in getting a refund in your situation. Jenni

  4. hi, we had a cruise booked with princess cruises for march 2020, which was cancelled . We opted to rebook and received FCC for our loyalty.
    We have just been told that our “rebooked” cruise has ALSO been cancelled.
    If we decide to go for a refund this time, do we still keep the previous FCC from the last cancelled cruise?? Thank you Jackie

    • Hi Jackie, yes you would be given FCC again. Some cruise lines are allowing people to then request a refund, but I have heard of people who are finding it difficult to get a cash refund once they have already rebooked with FCC. It seems to depend on the cruise line and the rules may change so you should ask Princess Cruises or your travel agent to be sure. Jenni

  5. Hi,

    I accepted a FCC with princess back in june, there has been no cruises released recently that are suitable for me and my wife. Can i apply for a cash refund?

    Thanks in Advance

    Barry

    • Hi Barry. In your situation, I believe that you should be able to apply for a cash refund of the original amount that you paid. Princess Cruises or your travel agent will be able to confirm that for you. Jenni

  6. Hi,I booked and paid for a cruise with my wife and daughter for July this year.P&O cancelled the cruise and we opted to take ther offer of 125% FCC which was fine the problem I have know is that P&O have split the FCC between the 3 off us.The problem is that as I paid for the cruise for all of us now my daughter has a FCC in her name and will not be able to use it before it would expire how can I get that money back from P&O can my daughter gift it to my account with P&O yours Truly Hugh

    • Hi Hugh. Yes, I believe that P&O Cruises FCC can be transferred to another person. Alternatively, you could ask for a refund. Jenni

  7. We’ve booked a cruise using FCC for May 2021,I have copd and as my condition has worsened I’d like to know if we can cancel.

    • Hi Joyce. I’m very sorry to hear about your condition. Have you asked the question to your cruise line or travel agent? They’ll be able to give you a definite answer as it very much depends on the cruise line’s individual policy. I do hope that they will be sympathetic to your circumstances. Jenni

  8. hi in ref on FCC cruise cancelled p/o cruise full paid well in advance
    £1,299( inc single supplement) my calculation not match
    p/o,s math,s not my strong point p/o says + 125% can you give me some idea wot the value I may get, I re booked
    on Iona for Feb as my FCC credit not calculated had to pay extra deposit many thanks bill

    • Hi Bill. As you paid in full I would expect you to get 125% of £1299 which would be £1623.75 of FCC. If that doesn’t match, you’ll need to query it with P&O Cruises (or your travel agent if you have one). Jenni

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