The last RCL cruise I was on, you didn't have to book the precise cruise you wanted. Instead, you could pay a nonrefundable $100 for a future cruise promise, basically you are paying $100/reservation saying that you will add the itinerary/ship/date to your $100 reservation at a future date. When you do this, they give you a $100/reservation ship board credit ($$$s may be different based on length of cruise). When you finally book (add the actual cruise), you have to pay the difference in the $100 deposit you gave and the required deposit for the cruise.
Just one more point to make. If you do book the Next Cruise (which doesn't make you pick a particular sailing at that time) you only have to put down the deposit for 1 person which is $100. If you put two names on the booking you will have to give them $200. Also make sure that they give you the Friends and Family Certificates that go along with the Next Cruise certificate. You are eligible to get 2 of these. What that means is: if someone you know books the same cruise as you within 30 days of your booking your cruise they are also eligible for the same onboard credit that you get for your Next Cruise. I used mine to book a second cabin for my kids and they also got the $100 OBC. Sometimes RCCL doesn't just give them out , you have to ask.
Friends and Family Certificates
-- Good tip. I didn't know they did that. We did something similar for our kids, but the way we did it is I took out a reservation and my wife did as well ($200 total), and then we use my wife's reservation for the kids....but I like the certificate idea better. Thanks for sharing that.
You are very welcome. Glad I could help. I learned the hard way when they didn't give them to me onboard the first time. After that I made sure to ask for them. I think it is not something they do automatically, but it works out great if you travel in more than one cabin because you don't have to deposit more than one. My last one I used on a 12 day so I was able to get an additional $200 OBC for the second stateroom with the F&F Certificate.
Keep in mind with the new RCI policy of "only one bite of the apple" you cannot combine booking on board, next cruise letters, Platinum/Diamond balcony discounts, stockholder's OBC, etc. for multiple OBC. You can only have one. To me, it doesn't make much sense now to book while on board or buy a next cruise letter when I can get the same OBC amount by holding stock. If they discontinue that perk which is likely, then I will fall back on the balcony discount or a WOW sale.
Yes, you can still book onboard for a future cruise. You can do a general future booking where you put your deposit down and you dont need to pick the exact booking. You have 10 years to use this booking and you may also get up to $200 of on board credit per cabin when booking on board.