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Royal Caribbean Rolls Out Non-Refundable Deposit Program

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If you’re the type of cruiser who knows where they want to go and books in advance, Royal Caribbean is about to roll out a new program that’s pretty much designed with you in mind. That said, their Non-Refundable Deposit Fares — which are expected to be introduced across the fleet on July 1st — definitely aren’t for everyone. To help you figure out if this program is a good fit for you, here’s a quick look at the basics.

What It Is

photo: Rennett Stowe on Flickr

Designed to reward those who book early while at the same time guaranteeing the cruise line advance bookings, the Non-Refundable Deposit Fares will show a lower price than the regular fare. If booked at least six months in advance, they’ll also offer cruisers an onboard credit incentive. For those booking a 1-5 night cruise, the credit will be $25 for an interior or ocean view stateroom, and $50 for a balcony or suite. On cruises lasting 7 nights or longer, the credit jumps to $50 for interior and ocean view rooms, and $100 for balconies or suites.

They will, however, come with several stipulations. While you can make changes to the reservation — including the date you wish to sail and on which ship — it will cost you $100 per guest to do so. (On the plus side, you can do this as often as you like… as long as you pony up the fee each time you make a change!) Perhaps more importantly, the offer is combinable with any other promos which happen to be running when you make your initial reservation.

One Major Change

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As of July 1, certain stateroom categories will only be available to book via the Non-Refundable Deposit. Interestingly, this will apply mostly to the highest end suites and the most affordable type of booking, a “guarantee,” at any level. In material distrubuted to travel agents, Royal Caribbean explained that this policy was being put in place “in an effort to preserve our valued suite inventory and to ensure availability for our committed guests.”

Although the program will not become effective fleet-wide until July, there are some cruises offering the Non-Refundable Deposit rate. These include select Alaska sailings aboard the Explorer of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas, select Caribbean cruises aboard the or the Allure of the Seas and more.

What If I Cancel?

If you decide to cancel a cruise booked under the Non-Refundable Deposit offers before the date on which final payment is due, you will receive a Future Cruise Certificate in the amount of the deposit, minus the $100 per guest change fee. Those certificates must be applied toward a new cruise within one year of the date they were issued, or else they will become invalid.

Is the Royal Caribbean Non-Refundable Deposit program an offer that would work for your style of cruising?

Photo: Royal Caribbean

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Carnival Cruise Line

Everything Carnival Horizon, Part 10: Before You Disembark

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Hard as it is to believe, our time together exploring Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ships is coming to an end. But before that can happen, we need to take one last spin around the Carnival Horizon… just to make sure you aren’t missing anything!

How Do You Spend That Final Day?

Nobody likes to think about disembarkation, yet that seems to be what the mind winds up focusing on during those final 24 hours of any cruise. You’re not even off the ship yet, but the mind begins wandering to the work that will be waiting on your desk or the unmowed lawn waiting to be tended. Our best advice: Given that you are on a Carnival ship, do as they advice and Choose Fun for as long as you possibly can.

Sure, you’ll have to pack your suitcase eventually… but the last day of your vacation is when you should slow down enough to soak it all in. Give yourself a little extra time to sit in a quiet spot, staring out at the sea and taking mental photographs. Have a long, leisurely brunch (during which you allow yourself to have a second, and maybe even a third, Bloody Mary. Head to Cherry on Top and get one more of those amazing ice cream sandwiches, which you know you’re going to have cravings for once you get back home.

Choose your cookie. Choose your ice cream. Choose your toppings. Eat. Could anything be simpler?

One thing we’d definitely recommend you do in advance: If you have a specialty restaurant you want to enjoy that final dinner-at-sea in, make a reservation. For many people, dining at the Steakhouse, for example, is a perfect capper to their cruise. Tomorrow, they’ll be back to making their own dinner and clearing their own tables, so why not have one final high-end meal?

Go ahead, live a little… it’s the last night of your cruise!

Another thing you definitely want to make sure to do on that final evening is head to the casino to cash in any winnings you might have! One of our favorite ways to make sure we go home with a little money? Cashing out whenever we have a decent win on a slot machine, putting a fresh $20 bill in the game… and sticking those tickets into the safe in our stateroom and not touching them until the week is over. When it’s time to head upstairs on the final night and pack our bags, we grab those tickets and cash them out.

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One way we fight the melancholy that can often set in on the final day is by booking another trip, which on the Carnival Horizon can be done by visiting the future cruise desk on deck 10. Then, having put it off as long as we possibly could, we finally head back to the room and pack. After spending a fair amount of time deciding what to bring and what to leave behind during the days building up to the cruise, the packing-to-disembark process is a lot quicker and easier. You know the drill: Throw everything into the suitcase, don’t even bother folding it, taking as little time as possible.

The saddest thing ever? Seeing all the suitcases lining the hallways, waiting to be collected on that final night.

If you need any information at all about the disembarkaton process, make sure to check the Fun Times or ask at Guest Services. But don’t leave this until the last morning… trust us, the staff will have their hands full trying to get everyone off the ship so that a whole new group of passengers can board and begin their vacations! In fact, if you have anything at all you need to deal with Guest Services about, try not to wait until that last evening, because the place can become a bit of a zoo!

And remember that there is no room service available on that final morning, so if you want to grab one last free meal, you’ll have to actually leave the room… or at least convince one of your traveling companions to do so! Again, consulting the Fun Times will tell you where you can go for that final meal, whether it’s a sit-down breakfast or just grabbing some coffee to get yourself going!

Sadly, it is here that we, too, must part ways. Here’s hoping that you’ve enjoyed our special, in-depth look at the Carnival Horizon. Keep checking back for more information on not only this ship but the upcoming Carnival Panorama, which we’re already excited to explore!

 

 

 

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Cruise News

Property Brothers to Set Sail on Royal Caribbean Ship

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Royal Caribbean and the Property Brothers themselves, Drew and Jonathan Scott, are excited to announce a special upcoming cruise aboard Mariner of the Seas. 

Fans can join the twins this December 3 to 7 on a four-night voyage aboard the ship, which will have just completed a $90 million renovation this year. Sailing With the Scotts will include presentations with the brothers, as well as panel discussions and workshops. Attendees will also get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the latest season of Brother vs. Brother, as well as a personal session of 20 Questions with Drew and Jonathan. The twins will also host shore excursions, meet & greets, photo sessions, and dance lessons, as well as their Scott Living Showroom at Sea, featuring a sneak peek of new pieces from the brothers’ own home goods collection.

photo: Sailing with the Scotts

The brothers will be donating $25 to the charity WE (formerly known as Free The Children) for each stateroom sold for this special sailing. Every $25 will provide one person with access to clean water for life in a developing community.

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Cuisine aboard the ship includes sushi, hibachi, freshly made pasta at Jamie’s Italian, and bar bites and arcade games at Playmaker Sports Bar & Arcade. The vessel will also feature the new Bamboo Room tiki lounge.

During the day, travelers can enjoy rock climbing, ice skating, surfing on the FlowRider, and the new Sky Pad – a virtual reality, bungee jumping adventure, as well as an escape room and glow-in-the-dark laser tag.

For more information on this special cruise, visit sailingwiththescotts.com.

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Disney Cruise Line Details Fall 2019 Schedule

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In fall 2019, Disney Cruise Line will be returning to favorite destinations on a variety of itineraries, including cruises to Bermuda, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.

New York

Disney Magic will return to New York City in September for departures to a number of destinations.

Three special 5-night cruises feature two days in Bermuda, allowing extra time for guests to enjoy the island’s pink sand beaches, water activities, shopping, and culture. During two 7-night cruises to the Bahamas, guests will enjoy a stop at Disney’s private island Castaway Cay as well as a day in Port Canaveral, where every guest will receive a one-day Disney World Park Hopper ticket and round-trip transportation to the theme parks in Orlando.

One 5-night cruise to Canada will transport travelers from New York to Saint John, New Brunswick with a stop in Bar Harbor, Maine. Saint John is home to the famous Reversing Falls and the world’s highest tides, where the Saint John River meets the Bay of Fundy.

California

In September, Disney Wonder will spend some time in San Diego for voyages to Baja and the Mexican Riviera. Baja cruises highlight the region’s famous beaches and water activities with calls in Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. Two 7-night Mexican Riviera cruises will feature stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Cabo San Lucas.

Those sailing on select San Diego-based cruises can enrich their vacation with a pre-cruise package from Adventures by Disney. During the three-night itinerary, guests embark on a behind-the-magic visit to The Walt Disney Studios and Disney Archives, a private tour of Walt Disney Imagineering, and a visit to the place where it all began – Disneyland Resort.

Texas

Beginning late November, Disney Wonder will homeport in Galveston for a special series of cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas that are 4, 6, and 7 nights. Caribbean cruises stop in Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Falmouth. Bahamian cruises stop in Castaway Cay and Key West. Two of the Bahamas sailings also stop in Nassau, and another includes a second day in Castaway Cay.

Florida

In fall 2019, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy continue sailing their extremely popular itineraries to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Port Canaveral. Meanwhile, Disney Magic will return to Miami in November with a variety of itineraries.

Disney Magic‘s lineup includes 3, 4, and 5-night cruises to the Bahamas and 5 and 6-night cruises to the western Caribbean. Most also include a stop in Castaway Cay. Bahamas cruises also stop in Nassau and Key West, and western Caribbean cruises call in Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

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photo: Matt Stroshane/Disney Cruise Line

Disney Dream will be operating 3 and 4-night cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay.

Disney Fantasy will sail 7-night Caribbean voyages, and every departure includes a stop at Castaway Cay. Eastern Caribbean itineraries visit Tortola and St. Thomas, and western Caribbean cruises call on Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Falmouth.

The vessel will also sail a selection of special cruises; in October, an 8-night voyage will head south for visits to St. Kitts, Antigua, and San Juan. A 6-night western Caribbean cruise will include calls in Costa Maya and Cozumel. Both are capped off with a day at Castaway Cay. In December, two unique 7-night cruises include one cruise to San Juan, Tortola, and Castaway Cay, and another features two days in Castaway Cay after visits to Cozumel and Grand Cayman.

DVC Charter Cruises

Disney Vacation Club has now announced the dates for two special members-only charter cruises. The first is a 5-night Pacific Coast sailing aboard Disney Wonder on May 15, and the second is a 7-night cruise to Bermuda aboard Disney Magic on October 5. Bookings for both open to DVC members on June 23, 2018.

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Hi, this may be of interest to you: Royal Caribbean Rolls Out Non-Refundable Deposit Program. This is the link: https://cruiseradio.net/royal-caribbean-changing-cancellation-policy/