Cruise fee plans: All you’ll want to learn about paying for a cruise – The Points Guy

You’re occurring a cruise! You’ve hung out researching and narrowing down your vacation spot, ship and crusing dates, and now it is time to e-book. But what are you able to count on when it comes to cruise funds? What’s the easiest way to pay for a cruise? Will it’s a must to cough up the complete fare upfront, or can you place a cruise on layaway?

Here, I’ll reply these questions by discussing cruise fee schedules, totally different strategies of paying for a cruise and the professionals and cons of paying in full versus placing down a deposit and paying the remaining later.

Note: Payment strategies and schedules differ by cruise line and reserving outlet. Not all choices are provided by all traces or through all reserving strategies. Check along with your cruise line or reserving outlet for availability earlier than making a reservation.

For cruise information, evaluations and ideas, join TPG’s cruise publication.

How to pay for a cruise

Booking a cruise on-line with a bank card. SRDJANNS74/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTO

You pays to your voyage in a number of methods. Most passengers put the costs on a bank card, which is usually the quickest and most handy technique. Additionally, you should utilize reward playing cards (both cruise line-specific or these from main bank card issuers that are not tied to a selected retailer), future cruise credit out of your cruise line and even money when you e-book in individual by a journey agent.

Other choices embody fee by digital verify, PayPal or Apple Pay (relying on the way you e-book) or factors and miles on a third-party platform. You may also redeem free cruise certificates from cruise traces that award them for issues like on line casino play, reaching a excessive loyalty standing tier, profitable high-stakes bingo and even cruises gone improper.

You can select to pay in full on the time of reserving, which might earn you further perks or financial savings, or make an preliminary cruise deposit with subsequent funds till anyplace from two to 3 months earlier than your crusing date.

Specific financing and fee plan choices differ by cruise line. For instance, Carnival Cruise Line makes use of SimplePay to permit interest-free autopayments to be charged to you at common intervals. Princess Cruises’ and Holland America’s EZpay program provides an analogous interest-free setup. Royal Caribbean permits passengers to finance their cruises utilizing Affirm, nevertheless it does cost curiosity. Some traces additionally permit funds by the favored fee app Klarna, which has totally different fee choices, each with and with out curiosity. (Check along with your cruise line for particulars on its particular fee plans.)

Here are the professionals and cons of paying over two totally different time intervals.

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Paying suddenly

If you’ve the funds to pay for all the quantity of your crusing straight away, be happy. It means you will not have to recollect to make further funds. Plus, as an incentive, some cruise traces prolong further perks or reductions to entice vacationers to lock of their plans on the time of reserving.

For instance, wave season offers usually embody incentives to pay in full. At the time of publication, Emerald Cruises was discounting cruise fares by hundreds of {dollars} for anybody paying in full on the time of reserving. Scenic was permitting passengers to select from further financial savings, free airfare or free pre- or post-cruise land excursions for paying in full straight away. Silversea was slashing fares for pay-upfront voyages by 10%-20%.

The disadvantage, nonetheless, is that you simply half with some huge cash upfront when you determine to pay instantly. For many cruisers who e-book a yr or extra forward of time, that cash might be extra profitable sitting in a checking account that earns curiosity as a substitute of offering an interest-free mortgage to a cruise line.

Paying incrementally, with an preliminary minimal deposit

Travel agent and younger couple buying a cruise. DIMA_SIDELNIKOV/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTO

Alternatively, you may pay a deposit — a portion of the cruise fare for every individual in your reservation — to lock in your cabin. Then, within the months main as much as your crusing, you will make further funds, in response to your cruise line’s fee schedule, till you not owe something. If you do not repay the remaining steadiness by the ultimate fee date — normally two to 3 months earlier than embarkation day — the cruise line will cancel your reservation, and you will not be allowed to sail.

Incremental funds are a better option when you’re not sure whether or not you may or wish to sail however wish to lock in a sexy fare or snag a cabin on a brand new ship or uncommon itinerary when you determine. If you repay your cruise early, you will get your a reimbursement (apart from sure discounted fares and nonrefundable deposits) do you have to cancel earlier than the ultimate fee deadline. However, it may be a problem to undergo the refund course of and watch for the cruise line to return your funds.

Another apparent draw of this technique is that it prices much less upfront. You pays over time as a substitute of draining your financial savings or placing the complete quantity on a bank card after which incurring charges if you cannot repay your card in full.

Generally, there isn’t a curiosity or penalty for paying over time when you go the deposit route, so typically you will not be charged extra when you go for a fee plan. Plus, you may at all times pay the steadiness off early or in bigger quantities than are required by your cruise line.

One disadvantage is that you will have to recollect to make further funds on time to keep away from cancellation of your reservation. Plus, you may not be capable to reap the benefits of a cruise line’s most cost-effective fares when you’re not prepared to pay in full on the time of reserving.

Note that when you e-book a last-minute cruise after the ultimate fee date (sometimes, two or three months previous to crusing), you should pay in full; there isn’t a deposit possibility.

How a lot is a cruise deposit?

Paying for a cruise with a bank card on a cell phone. PRYKHODOV/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

The quantity of the deposit required varies by cruise line, however sometimes you may count on to shell out a pair hundred {dollars} per individual to order a cabin with most main cruise traces. It’s based mostly on a number of components, together with the size of the crusing, the general price of the voyage, the kind of lodging booked and whether or not or not the road is operating a promotion. Sometimes, as a reserving incentive, traces will waive deposits fully or closely low cost them.

At the time of publication, as a part of their wave season promotions, Carnival Cruise Line and Costa Cruises have been touting deposits as little as $50 per individual, whereas Princess Cruises was providing them for $100 per individual. Disney Cruise Line additionally slashed its required deposits by half — a giant deal for a line that not often provides reductions. Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line and UnCruise Adventures additionally have been providing deposit reductions.

The subsequent part outlines the particular deposit quantities for the most well-liked cruise traces.

Cruise fee schedules

Below are the fee schedules and deposit quantities for every of the “big eight” cruise traces.

Note: Deposits are per individual and refundable previous to the cruise line’s last fee deadline, until in any other case indicated. For cruises booked after the ultimate fee deadline has handed, fee is required in full on the time of reserving.


Carnival cruise fee schedule

For most sailings, Carnival requires a deposit of $100 per individual for two- to three-day sailings, $150 for four- and five-day sailings and $250 for six- to nine-day sailings. Longer cruises and voyages to Alaska, Europe and the Panama Canal, in addition to ocean crossings, require a deposit of $400 per individual.

Deposits for Carnival bookings are usually nonrefundable until cruisers particularly buy absolutely refundable fares.

Final fee is required both 76 or 91 days from the crusing date, relying on the vacation spot, cabin sort and size of cruise booked.

See Carnival’s web site for extra data.

Celebrity cruise fee schedule

For Sky Suite cabins and decrease, Celebrity costs $100 per individual for cruises as much as 5 nights, $250 for six to eight nights and $450 for voyages of 9 nights or longer. Those costs double, per individual, for Celebrity Suites and above.

For Galapagos sailings, deposits for non-suites on the time of reserving are $450 per individual; suites are $900 per individual.

Deposits for Celebrity bookings are usually nonrefundable at any time until cruisers particularly buy absolutely refundable fares.

For cruises of 4 nights or fewer, last fee have to be made not less than 75 days previous to crusing. For voyages of 5 or extra nights, last fee is due not less than 90 days upfront.

Galapagos sailings have to be settled additional upfront, with last fee due anyplace from 120 to 180 days upfront, relying on the ship.

More data will be discovered on Vacations To Go’s web site.

Disney cruise fee schedule

Disney Cruise Line’s high quality print states that deposits are decided on the time of reserving, so that they differ.

For non-suite and non-concierge voyages of 5 nights or fewer, the road requires last fee 90 days or extra previous to embarkation day; for sailings of six nights or longer, fee have to be made 120 days or extra upfront. For suites and concierge-level lodging, last fee is due 91 days or extra previous to crusing.

You can learn extra within the line’s phrases and situations.

Holland America cruise fee schedule

Holland America’s deposit quantities differ extensively, requiring passengers to pay anyplace from $350 to $2,900 per individual, relying on the crusing.

For Alaska, Bermuda, Caribbean, Canada/New England, Europe, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal and lengthy Hawaii voyages, last fee have to be made no fewer than 75 days previous to crusing. For all different cruises — together with vacation voyages, voyages longer than 30 days and segments of voyages longer than 30 days — full fee have to be obtained not less than 90 days earlier than embarkation.

Find extra specifics on Vacations To Go’s web site.

Travel agent giving cruise tickets to some planning a trip. DRAGANA991/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTO

MSC cruise fee schedule

Deposits for MSC Cruises are $99 per grownup for voyages of 4 nights or fewer, $199 for 5 to 14 nights, $300 for 15 nights or longer and an quantity equal to fifteen% of the general worth for world cruises. Additional deposits should not required for youngsters crusing because the third and fourth passengers in a cabin.

For cruises of 4 nights or fewer, bookings have to be paid in full not less than 75 days earlier than the crusing date. Those of 5 to 14 nights have to be paid off 90 days or extra forward of time, and payments for any voyages 15 days or longer have to be settled not less than 110 days previous to departure. For world cruises, it is 120 days.

You can learn extra on MSC’s web site.

Norwegian cruise fee schedule

Deposits for Norwegian Cruise Line bookings differ significantly, starting from $100 to $5,000 per individual, based mostly on cabin or suite sort booked and the size of the crusing.

Norwegian’s deposits are absolutely refundable, however all voyages, no matter size or cabin sort, have to be paid in full not less than 120 days upfront. That’s sooner than what different cruise traces require for primary cabin varieties and standard-length sailings.

To be taught extra, see the chart on NCL’s web site.

Princess cruise fee schedule

When you e-book a Princess cruise, you will owe a deposit of $100 per individual ($200 for suites) for sailings of 5 days or fewer, $200 ($500 for suites) for voyages of six to 9 days or $400 ($800 for suites) for cruises of 10 days or longer. For world cruises, you will must pony up 30% of the general price of the crusing.

For voyages of 5 days or fewer, you will must pay in full not less than 75 days earlier than your trip. Cruises of six to 24 days require full fee 90 days or extra forward of time, and for world cruises, your invoice is due 120 days or extra earlier than you set sail.

Check out the breakdown on Princess’ web site.

Royal Caribbean cruise fee schedule

Deposit quantities differ by crusing and the variety of individuals in every cabin for Royal Caribbean bookings. Generally, passengers can count on to entrance $200 per stateroom (relatively than per individual) for sailings of 5 nights or fewer, $500 per cabin for six- to nine-night voyages and $900 per room for cruises of 10 nights or longer.

Deposits for Royal Caribbean bookings are usually nonrefundable at any time until cruisers particularly buy absolutely refundable fares.

For sailings of 4 nights or fewer, the ultimate fee is due 75 days or extra previous to the embarkation date. For five-night voyages and longer, the cruise line should obtain all cash no fewer than 120 days from crusing. The deadline for world cruises is not less than 180 days previous to departure.

Read extra on Royal Caribbean’s web site within the line’s FAQ part.

Bottom line


Travelers have many choices relating to paying for a cruise. You pays in full on the time of reserving or select cruise fee plans that permit you to make a deposit for every individual in your social gathering after which repay the steadiness over time.

Additionally, fee strategies could embody bank cards, third-party fee methods, reward playing cards, cruise certificates and money.

Ultimately, the easiest way to make cruise funds is whichever one works finest for you and your particular circumstances. What issues most is that you simply pay the cruise line in full by its designated last fee date, so your reservation is confirmed and you’ll set sail on departure day.

Have extra cruise questions? TPG has solutions: