It’s fair to say that 2020 has caused major upheaval to everybody’s holiday plans. However, light has appeared on the horizon in the form of Future Cruise Credits, or FCC for short. If a voyage you’ve booked has had to be cancelled as a result of COVID-19, cruise lines have FCC policies in place to ensure holiday-makers can continue to travel with confidence.
What is Future Cruise Credit?
It is essentially a voucher for future travel given to you in place of a refund, so that you can continue to enjoy the features of the cruise line you’ve booked with. Based on the fare you paid, the value can vary between 100% to 250% of your original booking. As it is always issued under the passenger name, it cannot be gifted or passed on.
Although FCC can only be used on voyages with the cruise line that issued it, customers can approach Southampton Cruise Centre to make new bookings, irrespective of whether they did or didn’t book with us!
Despite the disruption going on this year, our team have kept the phone lines open throughout the pandemic, and are here to help you navigate these troubled waters. We aim to take the stress out of planning your new journey, and make the entire process as smooth sailing as possible. After all, a holiday is all about giving yourself a chance to relax, and more time to enjoy doing what you love most.
When is FCC offered?
You receive Future Cruise Credits when a cruise is cancelled, or has had its itinerary significantly altered. It is also sometimes awarded as compensation for a complaint or bad experience. You do not need to apply for FCC as the credit will be automatically placed in your account once the cancellation has been processed.
Although there is no need to be in a rush to spend your FCC voucher, there will be an expiry date which will be different for each cruise line, and it’s advisable to take note of it so you don’t miss the deadline.
What does FCC cover?
It can be used to book new sailings or to enhance existing ones. FCC is not to be confused with Onboard Credit (or OBC) which can only be spent aboard the ship, such as towards the cost of spa treatments, dining/beverage options, onboard activities, internet charges, and shore excursions etc. Unlike FCC, OBC can also be gifted to other guests.
Along with any charges that constitute OBC, including prepaid gratuities, FCC also does not cover your initial deposit, port taxes and fees as these are generally handled separately.
How can FCC be maximised?
Future Cruise Credits can be redeemed in a number of ways, and not just on rebooking your cruise on another date. Quite often, you will find that the new cruise you’re looking to book is cheaper, leaving you with extra credit to spend. Here are a number of ways that you can stretch the value of your FCC:
- Upgrade your cabin
Savour a better cruise experience by upgrading to a better cabin category. Whether it’s for a greater view or more luxurious comfort, it will be well worth the credit! Perhaps you only booked an inside or seaview stateroom to begin with. Why not upgrade to a balcony? Of if you already had a balcony room, move your holiday up to the next level with improved amenities such as proximity to the spa, speciality dining options, or concierge services.
- Enhance your itinerary
Make the good times last even longer by extending your voyage or travelling further to more exotic locations. If your cruise was initially a sampler, perhaps turn the short break into a longer one with more overnights at your favourite destinations, or how about visiting a place that’s been on your bucket list for ages? Many travellers are put off by visiting far-flung countries due to the long tiring flights. However, by sailing from Southampton, your holiday can begin as soon as you step on deck. And no matter how many days you spend “on the go”, every moment of it will be unforgettable!
- Double the Fun
You can either increase your party by adding more guests or booking multiple voyages! Depending on which cruise line you booked with, some will allow you to pay for a second person in your suite or cabin. Alternatively, you might also be able to book a second stateroom for friends and family.
Are you ready to explore?
Eager to put the travails of 2020 behind us, many holiday-makers joined MSC as soon as they were able to return to cruising in August this year. Whilst the rest of the travel industry may still be experiencing setbacks, cruising has remained one of the safest holidays you can have, as demonstrated by MSC’s stringent health and safety protocols. These steps, combined with the highest standards of the latest sanitation equipment and technology, along with the ample space available for social distancing aboard ships, were highly effective in keeping guests and crew safe and comfortable.
If you can’t wait to escape to a future where a grand adventure is waiting for you on the docks, take a look at the cruises we have on offer. We have a huge variety in our collection, not just for 2022, but also for 2023! Don’t take too long to decide though…due to the high volume of holidays that have been put on hold, there has been unprecedented demand, so all the best fares will soon be snapped up!