With little fanfare, Royal Caribbean rolled out new enhancements to their pre-cruise planning tool involving Onboard Credit redemption. Up until recently clients did not have the option to spend Onboard Credit funds before boarding their cruise. According to Royal Caribbean, new “system enhancements now grant your clients the ability to allocate their promotional and option code driven Onboard Credits towards desired purchases pre-cruise, giving your clients the ability to plan ahead and to better arrange their vacation activities/purchases in advance.”
Note that this only applies to promotional and option code driven Onboard Credits. It does not apply to pre-paid, purchased or GAP Onboard Credits. Clients sailing in a group will have the ability to redeem Onboard Credits related to promotions and option codes; but any GAP related Onboard Credit will not be available to spend prior to boarding the ship.
If clients purchase an item that costs more than the value of the Onboard Credit, they will need to provide a form of payment (i.e. credit or debit card) for the balance due at check-out for the purchase.
I can foresee issues with roommates using all of the Onboard Credit without consulting each other, and dragging their travel agent into a tit-for-tat fight over the use of Onboard Credit for pre-cruise purchases.
Susan Schaefer is the owner of Ships ‘N’ Trips Travel located in Tennessee, and specializes in leisure travel with a focus on group travel and charity fundraisers. Through their division Kick Butt Vacations, she focuses on travel for 18 to 23-year-olds. Susan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (888) 221-1209.