"" Writer's Wanderings: Scoring Onboard Credit

Friday, November 10, 2017

Scoring Onboard Credit

Almost every time you book a cruise it comes with some kind of onboard credit. Depending upon who you book it with and when you book it will make a lot of difference in the credit you find in your account when you board your ship.

A travel agent will often give you credit as a thank you for booking with them. Sometimes we've found that it is credit for booking at a specialty dining venue rather than just outright dollars to your account. More and more though we've found that agents are giving dollars credited to your account for spending on the ship.

When you book while you are on a cruise you will also get onboard credit from the cruise line. It's one of the incentives for booking your next cruise before you finish the current one. (Bob's incentive is that I won't get off the ship until the next one is booked--or so he says). Usually the cruise line will only ask for a minimum down payment and if you change your mind about the cruise you chose, the down payment can be applied to another cruise you choose later.

There was one time where we truly scored big with onboard credit. We were cruising with a line we hadn't used before and were given credit for being newbees. When we registered with Cruise Critic on the roll call list for the cruise someone contacted us and said that if we would say they recommended the line to us they could get credit and we would as well. Cha-ching. And then our travel agent graced us with a little more credit. We ended up having so much left at the end of the cruise that we went on a shopping spree in the gift shop--something we almost never do.

Be aware that sometimes the credit will be applied to your overall bill so depending upon the conditions of your cruise booking, you may just let that credit be applied to the gratuities you accrue. Be sure to check your bill a time or two while you cruise just to be sure you don't leave that credit onboard. You can't save it. So if nothing else, if it looks like you haven't used all your credit, indulge in the spa, eat a special dinner, or go shopping! There's always a sale day at the end of the cruise.

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