• TRAVEL NOTICE: Learn more about COVID-19
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More
You may also like
Dismiss
Mega-Chart: Compare Hurricane Sandy Cruise Line Compensation
Mega-Chart: Compare Hurricane Sandy Cruise Line Compensation
Future Cruise Credit Expiration Dates: Do I Need to Worry?
Promenade Deck on Ruby Princess

Future Cruise Credit Expiration Dates: Do I Need to Worry?

Future Cruise Credit Expiration Dates: Do I Need to Worry?
Promenade Deck on Ruby Princess
Melinda Crow
Contributor
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

Cruising these days means more flexibility is needed on everyone's part. Changes can happen on very short notice, from last-minute itinerary changes due to shifting port regulations, to your own COVID-19 test results on embarkation day. And while outright cancellations and sweeping itinerary changes have slowed from previous months, they remain a distinct possibility going forward.

Add to that the generous policies most cruise lines have of offering Future Cruise Credits, or FCCs, for passengers denied boarding on embarkation day due to COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result pierside, and the level of concern has begun to rise over just how long all those FCCs will be honored and how many times they can be used to re-book repeatedly-cancelled sailings during these uncertain times.

Cruise Critic members are reporting success throughout the rebooking process using FCCs, though some readers indicate that skipping the FCC process altogether by opting to rebook one of the recommended replacement cruises offered by the line is equally simple.

The news from the cruise lines has been encouraging. As additional changes happen and sailing and deployments are announced, FCC expiration dates have been rolled forward and all FCCs are issued with specific instructions regarding their terms and use. Some cruise lines are lenient regarding splitting these credits between multiple cruises and follow-up cancellations and re-bookings using FCCs, though cancellation fees may apply.

We dug into the details offered by the major lines regarding the use of Future Cruise Credits. Here is what we found.

Featured Videos

See all videos
Our Favorite Things Aboard Viking Venus

Our Favorite Things Aboard Viking Venus

Wonder of the Seas Construction Update: Sea Trials

Wonder of the Seas Construction Update: Sea Trials

Wonder of the Seas Completes Sea Trials

Wonder of the Seas Completes Sea Trials

Carnival Mardi Gras: Free Dining on the Lido Deck

Carnival Mardi Gras: Free Dining on the Lido Deck

Carnival Mardi Gras: RedFrog Tiki Bar & Summer Landing

Carnival Mardi Gras: RedFrog Tiki Bar & Summer Landing

Carnival Mardi Gras' Excel Suite and Loft 19

Carnival Mardi Gras' Excel Suite and Loft 19

Live From Carnival's Mardi Gras: The French Quarter

Live From Carnival's Mardi Gras: The French Quarter

BOLT: We Try Carnival Mardi Gras' Roller Coaster at Sea

BOLT: We Try Carnival Mardi Gras' Roller Coaster at Sea

NCL's Restart: What It's Like On The First Norwegian Cruise Ship Back in 16 Months

NCL's Restart: What It's Like On The First Norwegian Cruise Ship Back in 16 Months

Cruise Critic and JJ Cruise : Our Experience Onboard Celebrity Edge (June 2021)

Cruise Critic and JJ Cruise : Our Experience Onboard Celebrity Edge (June 2021)

Here's What It's Like Onboard the First Large Cruise Ship to Alaska in 21 Months

Here's What It's Like Onboard the First Large Cruise Ship to Alaska in 21 Months

Perfect Day at CocoCay: Here's How We Spent 2 DAYS at Royal Caribbean's Private Island

Perfect Day at CocoCay: Here's How We Spent 2 DAYS at Royal Caribbean's Private Island

Our Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Experience: March 2020 vs. July 2021

Our Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Experience: March 2020 vs. July 2021

Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog

Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog

Q&A with Celebrity Cruises' Captain Kate McCue (2021)

Q&A with Celebrity Cruises' Captain Kate McCue (2021)

Back on Celebrity Silhouette: Here's What It's Like On One Of Our Favorite Ships 15 Months Later

Back on Celebrity Silhouette: Here's What It's Like On One Of Our Favorite Ships 15 Months Later

Cruise Critic | EatSleepCruise: What's It Like Onboard Celebrity Edge?

Cruise Critic | EatSleepCruise: What's It Like Onboard Celebrity Edge?

Celebrity Millennium -- Video Tour & Ship Review (2021)

Celebrity Millennium -- Video Tour & Ship Review (2021)

‘Top Chef’ Winner Kristen Kish Joins Holland America Line’s Award-winning Culinary Council

‘Top Chef’ Winner Kristen Kish Joins Holland America Line’s Award-winning Culinary Council

Celebrity Apex -- Video Tour of The Magic Carpet

Celebrity Apex -- Video Tour of The Magic Carpet

Q&A: Cruisers and Crew Chat About The Joy of Cruising's Return

Q&A: Cruisers and Crew Chat About The Joy of Cruising's Return

Celebrity Apex -- Eden

Celebrity Apex -- Eden

Celebrity Apex -- The Retreat

Celebrity Apex -- The Retreat

Celebrity Apex -- Video Tour of the Infinite Veranda Cabin

Celebrity Apex -- Video Tour of the Infinite Veranda Cabin

Q&A with Celebrity Apex's Cruise Director

Q&A with Celebrity Apex's Cruise Director

Celebrity Apex -- Pools & Resort Deck

Celebrity Apex -- Pools & Resort Deck

Celebrity Apex -- Embarkation Process (2021)

Celebrity Apex -- Embarkation Process (2021)

Live From Adventure of the Seas: What's the Same, What's Different and What's Better?

Live From Adventure of the Seas: What's the Same, What's Different and What's Better?

Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)

Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)

Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises!

Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises!

LIVE Interview with Frank Del Rio, NCLH President and CEO, About Company's "Safe to Sail" Campaign

LIVE Interview with Frank Del Rio, NCLH President and CEO, About Company's "Safe to Sail" Campaign

Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021

Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021

Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021

Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021

Rudi Sodamin Makes A Special, Thanksgiving-themed "Food Faces" Video For Cruise Critic

Rudi Sodamin Makes A Special, Thanksgiving-themed "Food Faces" Video For Cruise Critic

Coin Ceremony For Celebrity Cruises' New Ship, Celebrity Beyond

Coin Ceremony For Celebrity Cruises' New Ship, Celebrity Beyond

Martini Bar Bartender Pours 15 Martinis at Once on Celebrity Cruises

Martini Bar Bartender Pours 15 Martinis at Once on Celebrity Cruises

Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements

Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements

How to Make a Towel Animals Swans, Dogs and Elephants

How to Make a Towel Animals Swans, Dogs and Elephants

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make a Towel Dog

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make a Towel Dog

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make Towel Swans

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make Towel Swans

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make a Towel Elephant

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make a Towel Elephant

Bolt - Top Deck Roller-Coaster at Sea on Carnival Mardi Gras

Bolt - Top Deck Roller-Coaster at Sea on Carnival Mardi Gras

Silver Cove At Norwegian Cruise Line's Great Stirrup Cay

Silver Cove At Norwegian Cruise Line's Great Stirrup Cay

Norwegian Encore - Hull Art Reveal - Artist Eduardo Arranz Bravo

Norwegian Encore - Hull Art Reveal - Artist Eduardo Arranz Bravo

Disney Cruise Line Announces Disney Wish

Disney Cruise Line Announces Disney Wish

Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

4 Cool Features on Holland America's Nieuw Statendam

4 Cool Features on Holland America's Nieuw Statendam

Cruise Critic Tours Celebrity Edge

Cruise Critic Tours Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Edge First Look: 3 Revolutionary Dining Experiences

Celebrity Edge First Look: 3 Revolutionary Dining Experiences

Celebrity Edge Sneak Peek: Why You Should Be Excited About Celebrity Cruises' Newest Ship

Celebrity Edge Sneak Peek: Why You Should Be Excited About Celebrity Cruises' Newest Ship

Celebrity Edge Shipyard Hyperlapse Tour

Celebrity Edge Shipyard Hyperlapse Tour

Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video

Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video

Star Wars Day At Sea On Disney Cruise Line

Star Wars Day At Sea On Disney Cruise Line

Norwegian Bliss Virtual Tour - Why You Should Be Excited About Norwegian's Newest Ship

Norwegian Bliss Virtual Tour - Why You Should Be Excited About Norwegian's Newest Ship

How To Make Carnival Cruise Line's Famous Warm Chocolate Melting Cake - Video

How To Make Carnival Cruise Line's Famous Warm Chocolate Melting Cake - Video

What’s New On Celebrity Silhouette? - Video Tour

What’s New On Celebrity Silhouette? - Video Tour

Shaquille "Shaq" O'neal Named Chief Fun Officer Of Carnival Cruise Line

Shaquille "Shaq" O'neal Named Chief Fun Officer Of Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line's "Choose Fun" Commercial

Carnival Cruise Line's "Choose Fun" Commercial

Harmony Of The Seas Video Tour – Inside Look At One Of Royal Caribbean’s Most Popular Cruise Ships

Harmony Of The Seas Video Tour – Inside Look At One Of Royal Caribbean’s Most Popular Cruise Ships

Symphony Of The Seas Video Tour

Symphony Of The Seas Video Tour

Carnival Splendor Photo Tour

Carnival Splendor Photo Tour

Norwegian Breakaway Photo Tour

Norwegian Breakaway Photo Tour

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying

Carnival Conquest Photo Tour

Carnival Conquest Photo Tour

Sea Beyond: An Innovative Cruise Experience By Royal Caribbean

Sea Beyond: An Innovative Cruise Experience By Royal Caribbean

Carnival Pride Photo Tour

Carnival Pride Photo Tour

Carnival Dream Photo Tour

Carnival Dream Photo Tour

Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas

Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas

Carnival Sunshine Photo Tour

Carnival Sunshine Photo Tour

The Waterfront On Norwegian Cruise Line - Video

The Waterfront On Norwegian Cruise Line - Video

Carnival Breeze Photo Tour

Carnival Breeze Photo Tour

What’s Your Size? Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Vs. Majesty Of The Seas - Video

What’s Your Size? Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Vs. Majesty Of The Seas - Video

Norwegian Getaway Photo Tour

Norwegian Getaway Photo Tour

Best Spots For Adults On A Disney Cruise Ship

Best Spots For Adults On A Disney Cruise Ship

Inside Look: The Haven On Norwegian Cruise Line

Inside Look: The Haven On Norwegian Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas Photo Tour

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas Photo Tour

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Photo Tour of Carnival Liberty

Photo Tour of Carnival Liberty

5 Best Restaurants for Free Eats on Carnival Sunshine

5 Best Restaurants for Free Eats on Carnival Sunshine

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment Of The Seas Highlights

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment Of The Seas Highlights

Photo Tour of Celebrity Reflection

Photo Tour of Celebrity Reflection

Norwegian Escape's Ropes Course - Are You Brave Enough?

Norwegian Escape's Ropes Course - Are You Brave Enough?

Photo Tour of Regal Princess

Photo Tour of Regal Princess

Inside Look at Norwegian Sky In Cuba

Inside Look at Norwegian Sky In Cuba

Norwegian Escape Attractions - 7 Free Things You Have To Try - Video Tour

Norwegian Escape Attractions - 7 Free Things You Have To Try - Video Tour

Sneak Peek: "Beauty And The Beast" On Disney Dream -- Behind The Scenes Video

Sneak Peek: "Beauty And The Beast" On Disney Dream -- Behind The Scenes Video

Sneak Peek: Disney Fantasy Highlights For Kids - Video Tour

Sneak Peek: Disney Fantasy Highlights For Kids - Video Tour

4 Exclusive Spots On Norwegian Escape - Video Tour

4 Exclusive Spots On Norwegian Escape - Video Tour

Harvest Caye Cruise Port Video Tour

Harvest Caye Cruise Port Video Tour

Carnival Corporation Introduces the Ocean Medallion at CES

Carnival Corporation Introduces the Ocean Medallion at CES

Norwegian Escape Photo Tour

Norwegian Escape Photo Tour

Photo Tour of Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas

Photo Tour of Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas

SkyRide On Carnival Vista: Cruise Critic Tries It

SkyRide On Carnival Vista: Cruise Critic Tries It

4 Types Of Cruisers Who Would Love Holland America's Koningsdam

4 Types Of Cruisers Who Would Love Holland America's Koningsdam

Carnival Vista Top Deck Attractions

Carnival Vista Top Deck Attractions

Behind the Scenes at CSMART - Carnival's Arison Maritime Training Center

Behind the Scenes at CSMART - Carnival's Arison Maritime Training Center

What It Means To Be Loyal To Royal

What It Means To Be Loyal To Royal

7 Can’t-Miss Experiences on Allure Of The Seas

7 Can’t-Miss Experiences on Allure Of The Seas

Video Tour of Allure Of The Seas' Bars

Video Tour of Allure Of The Seas' Bars

Cruise Pier Runners In Cozumel -- Carnival Liberty

Cruise Pier Runners In Cozumel -- Carnival Liberty

Harmony Of The Seas Youth Place

Harmony Of The Seas Youth Place

Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone

Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone

Harmony Of The Seas Central Park On Royal Caribbean International

Harmony Of The Seas Central Park On Royal Caribbean International

Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk

Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk

Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place

Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place

Harmony Of The Seas Vitality Spa And Fitness Center

Harmony Of The Seas Vitality Spa And Fitness Center

Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas

Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Harmony Of The Seas Cabins - Video Tour - Cruise Critic

Harmony Of The Seas Cabins - Video Tour - Cruise Critic

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Greased Lightnin': Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit

Greased Lightnin': Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit

Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss

Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss

Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Anthem of the Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Anthem of the Seas

Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe

Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe

Cruise Critic Quick Chat With Carnival CEO Arnold Donald

Cruise Critic Quick Chat With Carnival CEO Arnold Donald

Gavin Macleod - Capt. Stubing On "The Love Boat" -- Cruise Critic Interview (2013)

Gavin Macleod - Capt. Stubing On "The Love Boat" -- Cruise Critic Interview (2013)

Norwegian Breakaway Video Tour (2013)

Norwegian Breakaway Video Tour (2013)

Celebrity Silhouette's Conveyance (2011)

Celebrity Silhouette's Conveyance (2011)

Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing

Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing

Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance

Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour -- Main Dining Room (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour -- Main Dining Room (2009)

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Legend TA Listings Page Image

Carnival offers guests deemed unfit for travel at the time of embarkation a 100 percent future cruise credit, and pro-rated amounts for those required to quarantine or disembark mid-cruise, provided they have adhered to the company's COVID-19 protocols while onboard.

FCCs are not transferable and are valid for 12 months, but only for one booking at a time. Any unused amount is forfeited. Cruise Critic members report having successfully rolled FCCs from one cancelled cruise to another (and often to another). The only hitch for some has been the question of whether their initial deposit was retained and can be re-applied to the new booking or whether they had to pay a new deposit before their FCCs could be applied (in many cases, FCC's may not be used for the initial deposit).

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Millennium

Celebrity offers 100 percent future cruise credits to anyone unable to travel due to a positive test for COVID-19 immediately prior to embarkation. Details on policies for use and expiration are included with the FCC. Rebooking can be made by phone prior to receipt of FCCs.

The current book-by date for all existing FCCs is April 30, 2022, with a sail-by date of September 30, 2022, or one year from original sailing date, whichever is later. FCCs may be used across multiple bookings and may be eligible for a one-time transfer to someone other than the original passenger. There currently are no limits on the number of times an FCC amount can be re-used in cases where re-booked cruises are also cancelled.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Dream

All Disney Cruise Line FCCs issued due to COVID-19 currently expire September 30, 2022. They may be used to pay for any new or existing booking and though they have no cash value, are refundable for the value of the original cancelled cruise if you are unable to use them before the expiration date. There are no current limits, other than applicable cancellation fees, on the number of times FCCs can be used for re-bookings.

Holland America Line

Nieuw Amsterdam in Icy Strait Point, Alaska on August 11, 2021 (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

FCCs are being issued to passengers who are denied passage on embarkation day due to positive test, symptoms, and/or exposure to COVID-19. Specific policies and expiration dates will apply to those FCCs.

Holland America FCCs are set to expire on December 31, 2021, but that's a book-by date, not a sail-by date. Cruises selected for use with the FCCs should sail by December 31, 2022. They may be split among multiple cruises and are accessible in the guest's online account. There currently are no limits on FCCs used for bookings that are later cancelled, other than the final expiration date.

MSC Cruises

MSC Seaside (Photo: MSC Cruises)

MSC Cruises FCCs issued have a book-by date of December 31, 2021, and a sail-by date of April 30, 2022. Refunds are available in lieu of FCCs by calling 866-420-3584, but only after you have received the applicable FCCs. FCCs are not transferrable to other passengers.

In many cases when cancellations are necessary, MSC is offering replacement dates rather than FCCs. Guests can accept the replacement dates or choose from other options before deciding on accepting either a refund of the original fare paid or FCC.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Dawn (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Norwegian issues either a full refund or future cruise credit for passengers denied boarding at embarkation due to a positive COVID-19 test at the pier, provided they have a valid pre-arrival negative test (PCR or antigen) taken within 72 hours of embarkation. The line will also aid with travel and quarantine costs in those circumstances. Passengers who have not taken a COVID-19 test pre-cruise will not be this assistance: "Guests who are denied boarding due to a violation of protocols, for example not testing in advance, will not receive a refund," says the Norwegian Cruise Line website.

FCCs issued through July 2021 must be booked by December 31, 2021, for cruises sailing before December 31, 2022. FCCs issued after August 1, 2021, must be redeemed within one year from date of issue. FCCs used on bookings that are subsequently cancelled retain their original expiration dates. A one-time request for transferring FCCs can be made by emailing fcctransfer@ncl.com. All FCCs can be managed from the guest's online account.

Princess Cruises

Sky Princess (Image: Princess Cruises)

Under the line's COVID-19 Protection Plan, Princess passengers denied embarkation at the pier are offered a 100 percent future cruise credit and a pro-rated credit if they test positive onboard and are required to quarantine, either onboard or in port. Assistance with quarantine and travel arrangements are also covered with the plan, which is offered on all sailings through April 30, 2022, booked by December 31, 2021.

All FCC's must be booked and sailing by December 31, 2022. When Princess cancels a cruise, options are provided for moving to similar itineraries, often as far into the future as 2024. These options are not affected by FCC expiration dates.

FCCs are managed online in the guest's account and can be split across multiple cruises.

Royal Caribbean

Spectrum of the Seas TA Listings Page Image

Royal Caribbean offers a 100 percent future cruise credits to anyone unable to sail due to a positive test for COVID-19 immediately prior to embarkation. Details on policies for use and expiration are included with the FCC. Rebooking can be made by phone prior to receipt of FCCs.

The current book-by date for all existing FCCs is April 30, 2022, with a sail-by date of September 30, 2022, or one year from original sailing date, whichever is later. FCCs may be used across multiple bookings and may be eligible for a one-time transfer to someone other than the original passenger. There currently are no limits on the number of times an FCC amount can be re-used in cases where re-booked cruises are also cancelled.

Viking Cruises

Viking Star

Future Cruise Vouchers offered by Viking can be used within 24 months of date of issue on any Viking cruise, river, ocean, or expedition. They are transferable. Once the voucher has been issued and redeemed it cannot be re-issued and any unused credit is lost, making it impossible to split across multiple cruises. Guests deemed to be at risk of having COVID-19 at embarkation are offered the opportunity to re-book their cruise for a later date.

Updated September 14, 2021

How was this article?

Featured News

1
Carnival Cruise Line Scraps Terminal-Based COVID-19 Testing Plans
5
Regent Seven Seas Becomes Latest Cruise Line to Resume Sailing
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.