Yes, I have indeed booked a future cruise while aboard RCI ships, and it worked out quite well. I think the big advantage is that you will get a reduced deposit,,,depending on the length of the cruise, it will run from $100 to perhaps $300, rather than the usual. I booked a 7 day aboard Mariner, and the deposit, as I recall was only $200. I think you will have to select a cruise, as I don't think they'll just let you buy a "credit" for a future cruise. You will be dealing directly with the cruise line, but when you get home, you can transfer the booking to your favorite TA if you wish. That's exactly what I did, then you get the best of both worlds. ie; the reduced deposit, but the excellent service of your favorite TA. The price isn't any better when booking aboard, HOWEVER,,,keep an eye on the price of the cruise you've booked, and when it drops, (and it usually will) you can get your TA to get the lower price for you.
You know, I'm thinking that I got a small onboard credit for booking aboard as well, but I'm not positive.
I know this works well on RCI, but I'm not sure if you'll be able to book aboard a HAL ship or not. I know that Carnival doesn't offer onboard booking, (I wish they did, and in fact have written them more than once to request that they consider this) and HAL is part of the Carnival family. Please let us know how this works out for you.
While on my last RCL cruise on the Splendour of the Seas, I booked my next cruise on the Voyager. I did not get a break on the cost, but got a $100 onboard credit. The same cabin is now approx $450 per person more and than I booked it! I have transferred the reservation to my TA and she has given me an additional onboard credit! Plus I have had the cruise to look forward to!
Mariner of the Seas
Carnival Magic Bloggers Cruise 5
Mariner of the Seas
HAL Statendam Alaska Cruise Tour - 09/09/12; Disney Magic - 12/01/12; Allure of the Seas - 05/26/13
I did this while on Mariner of the Seas on 9/9/07 with RCCL.
They take a $200.00 deposit which they had indefinitely for a future cruise.
My husband and I, unfortunately, although ready to book a cruise, spoke to a "Loyalty" ambassador, who could have cared less. I truly believe that she was only interested in those who have money to burn. (I am a teacher in Florida, and thus, this was not our category.)
We walked away feeling that we had done the worst thing possible.
Once it is done, it is non-refundable and now we are stuck. I loved RCCL until we spoke to that rep. That incidence plus the absolute worst food possible for a cruise ship and my husband is completely turned off RCCL.
Once you book the next cruise, you will have to give them the balance of the deposit for that cruise, whatever it is...
So, if the deposit is $500.00, you will owe an additional $300.00.
I would so wait to do this!
Oh, well...does anyone know anything about Carnival 7 day southern caribbean and if it does Aruba? Also, how boring is HAL -some cruisers say that a more exciting thing than sailing HAL is watching the grass grow.
HAL has a great itineray and great cabins, but I am not into libraries.
HAL is not so boring. Yes, a lot of passengers will be older than, say, Carnival, but the margin of difference is not as great as it used to be. I actually prefer HAL because I am less bored. That said, I am not a party girl (well, not anymore) and I like the more educational activities that HAL seems to have. Few cruise lines have much variety of day time activities anymore, but that is how they continue to offer starting prices that are sometimes as cheap as they were 10 -20 years ago.
If you love to stay up late and party in the disco until wee hours of the morning, then skip HAL. Otherwise, go for it!