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Royal Caribbean Visa Credits - when best to use them

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Just a heads up / suggestion on when you should use your Royal Caribbean Visa Credits. Or more importantly... when to avoid using them. 

 

Use them on cruises outside of hurricane season. If your cruise gets cancelled or shortened due to a hurricane and RC offers future cruise credits, the cruise credits will be based on the amount you paid with your own funds (not including the value of the RC Visa Credits you cashed in to use).

 

Example:  you paid $1400 for a 7-night cruise for 2.  Excluding port fees/taxes, you paid $650 and cashed in $750 in RC Visa Cruise Credits.  The cruise is shortened to 3-nights due to a hurricane and you are offered 4 nights refund to your credit card. You are also offered 5 nights Future Cruise Credits. 

 

The 4 nights refund are calculated by dividing the entire $1400 cruise fare by 7 nights = $200 a night.  For the 4 nights you get back $800. It is on board credit that is fully refundable at the end of your cruise.  

 

The Future Cruise Credits are calculated by dividing the $650 you paid (excluding the $750 Visa Cruise Credits you cashed in). $650 / 7 nights = $92.85 per night. For the 5 nights Future Cruise Credits you get $464.25.   If you had not used Visa Credits, you would have received $1400 / 7 nights = $200 per night and for the 5 nights = $1,000 Future Cruise Credits.

 

In summary, you are better off using RC Visa Credits when there is a lower chance of a cruise being cancelled or shortened.  Pay with your own funds during these times to get the full benefit of any incentives offered if something happens to your sailing. 

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Royal processes the Visa points redemption as a one-time reduction in cost of the cruise.  So a similar thing happens if you want to upgrade to a more expensive stateroom after you have applied a Visa points redemption. You basically lose the Visa points discount.

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As a follow up, below is the rest of our story and some tips of how to document with RC conversations you have. 

 

We were fortunate when this happened to us after our shortened Harmony cruise earlier this month. Our cruise was shortened from 7-nights to 3-nights. We talked to different people at RC and got different answers (no big surprise). We were trying to decide which made sense... accepting the full refund if we cancelled or going on the cruise and getting the 4-night refund / 5-night FCC. 

 

The normal reservation phone phone number got us no where. In fact, the guy had to look into it and called back / left a voicemail. In his message he rambled on about how confusing this situation was and that no one could answer until we got onboard the ship and then guest services could answer how any FCC would be made.  This didn’t help as once onboard we would lose the ability to choose to cancel the cruise for a full refund. Not to mention how absurd it was to expect us to drive 11 hours and board the ship to get an answer. 

 

I forwarded that voicemail to the executive offices via an e:mail to the “mbayley” CEO address.  In the meantime I decided to see if anyone at the C&A desk could help. 

 

The C&A rep told us there was a special team that handled these unique payment / credit situations and that he spoke with them. We would get the 5-night credit based on the full cruise fare including the amount paid via the  $750 Visa Credits. I asked if he could put that in writing and answer was “No, we are not allowed to do that”. I then asked if he could add notes to our reservation file summarizing the conversation and what he told us. He did this and read them back to me. We then made the decision to drive 1/2 way to Florida and stay at a Gulf beach while waiting 2 days to finish the drive over to Port Canaveral. 

 

The next day someone from the Executive Offices called me back. He was looking into this. I let him know we had already escalated it to the C&A “special team” and we had the answer. He could check the reservation notes to see the details. He put me on hold. He came back and said he could not find any notes. And then he said the $750 would not be included when calculating the FCC.

 

This is where I lost it. I let him know what we had been told and then made the decision to drive 7 hours to Florida to be closer when the Harmony finally returned. I told him the name of the C&A rep and the exact time I spoke with him the prior day and that he had read back to me notes added to my reservation. The executive office rep said he would look into it further and get back to me. I said I didn’t want to hear from him unless it was to support what I had already been told. 

 

Later that day I received an e:mail that they looked into it and found what the C&A rep had told me. The information was not correct but they would honor what I was told. 

 

What I will do in the future in unique situations like this with RC:

 

- Always ask for notes to be added to document a call. Ask for the notes to be read back to you. 

 

- Start a conversation the same way RC does... this phone call is being recorded. And I will record on another phone our conversations. Will RC have an issue with this and not continue the conversation?  I don’t know. 

 

- Never use any sort of credits on a cruise during hurricane season. Save those for our cruises at other times of the year. 

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On 9/14/2019 at 9:51 PM, Host Clarea said:

Royal processes the Visa points redemption as a one-time reduction in cost of the cruise.  So a similar thing happens if you want to upgrade to a more expensive stateroom after you have applied a Visa points redemption. You basically lose the Visa points discount.

 

Hi, Where would I find the value of our Reward points. I tried checking on the web site with no success. I don't want to redeem them now but possibly for our December cruise on RC or our June cruise on Celebrity.

 

Thank you

Jane

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9 minutes ago, island couple said:

 

Hi, Where would I find the value of our Reward points. I tried checking on the web site with no success. I don't want to redeem them now but possibly for our December cruise on RC or our June cruise on Celebrity.

 

Thank you

Jane

 

Use this URL: https://www.managerewardsonline.com/RMSapp/Ctl/entry?pid=grprwd&mc=RCCL

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What is the US phone number to call to get points moved to account to use for OBC.

?  Sailing in 2 weeks to Canary Islands. 

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40 minutes ago, Cobbie48 said:

What is the US phone number to call to get points moved to account to use for OBC.

?  Sailing in 2 weeks to Canary Islands. 

 

888-305-4626

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We used points for OBC. When  we cancelled our hurricane cruise, we were able to transfer our OBC to our next cruise. 

I stayed on hold for a very....long....time

 but it happened!

We thought that credit was gone forever— but we will use it in Nov.  

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Thanks for sharing this valuable information. I am finding the restrictions with the points to be too off putting and low value. We are using a CiTi card now with cash back instead of using the RC credit card.

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