Each cruise line has their own rules when it comes to making final payments for your cruise vacation. Final payment dates also determine when the cancellation penalties kick in. These rules also influence the amount of time available for vacation payment plans and the time we have available for vacation layaway.
Cruise lines generally post their sailing schedules and rates about 1.5 years in advance. Guests make a small deposit to hold their cabin and confirm their reservations. Your Vacationkids Travel Agent can give you full payment details and help you understand all the fine print prior to making your deposit. Each cruise line has their own rules and payment deadlines for when your cruise must be paid in full. This final payment date also affects any cancellation penalties you will pay should you need to cancel your vacation.
Final payment deadline vary according to many different factors. For example a guest sailing on a luxury around the world cruise should expect to fully pay for their cruise sooner and have higher penalties than a family sailing in a typical cabin on a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas. High demand luxury suites and holiday travel times will also require different payment schedules. Last minute cruise bookings require immediate payment in full and guests will be under full cancellation penalty. The final payment date is usually the same day that cancellation penalties begin.
Normally if you need to cancel your cruise between the time you place your deposit and final payment, you'll generally get your deposit refunded. If you need to cancel AFTER making your final payment, the penalty that you pay will be determined by exactly when you cancel. Rules vary by each cruise line but the closer you are to departure the higher the penalty. Think of it this way, the more time you give the cruise line to re-sell your cabin the less penalty for you.
Here are our most popular cruise lines along with links to full details on each of their final payment deadlines and cancellation penalties....
Final Payment Dates for a 7 Night Cruise
Carnival 75 days
Disney Cruise Line 75 days
Royal Caribbean 75 days
MSC Cruises 75 days
Norwegian 90 days
Princess Cruises 75 days
Holland America 75 days
Celebrity Cruises 75 days
If you're thinking about a family cruise and trying to figure out when you're final payment will come due, use a date calculator. Enter the date for your cruise or planned vacation, subtract the number of days above and voila. Again, your Vacationkids travel agent can set up a payment plan to help make your cruise more affordable.
Travel Insurance can give you peace of mind and protect you from cancellation penalties. You may have the very best of intentions, booking your cruise far in advance to get the best rates but no body has a crystal ball. If your child gets the chicken pox the night before your cruise, you may find yourself out of pocket for the entire cost of your cruise!
The cost of travel insurance also influenced by may factors but usually costs less than 10% of the cost of your trip. It will reimburse you for any cancellation fees and much, much more. This is why we HIGHLY recommend travel insurance and will ask you to accept or decline insurance as you make your reservations with us. Your Vacationkids travel agent can assist you as far as the best types of coverage for your situation.
Depending on your travel insurance policy, you'll be reimbursed for your cruise payments but not for the cost of your travel insurance. This is sometimes confusing for some people. This of it this way...say you have a fender bender with your car. Your car insurance company will pay to have your car fixed. You won't be reimbursed for the cost of your car insurance. The same exact situation happens with travel insurance. Your policy will cover you for specific out of pocket expenses but you will not be reimbursed for the cost of your insurance.
At Vacationkids, we want our clients to be fully informed. This is why we write blog posts like this one. It's why our agents are ready to help you every step of the way and willing to answer each and every one of your questions...whether you are an expert or first time cruiser.