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This cruise line is offering travelers major discounts to rebook canceled trips

April 14, 2020
4 min read
This cruise line is offering travelers major discounts to rebook canceled trips
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Norwegian Cruise Line is pulling out all the stops to get people to rebook canceled cruises.

The Miami-based line this week is offering passengers on sailings canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak an extra 20% off fares if they agree to apply the money they paid for the canceled trips to a future sailing. That's on top of a 25% bonus credit the line already was offering to passengers on canceled sailings.

The only catch: Passengers must book the new sailings by April 27, just 13 days from today.

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Norwegian announced a global pause to its operations on March 13 and has canceled all departures through May 14.

Like many lines that have canceled sailings due to the coronavirus outbreak, Norwegian has been offering passengers on its canceled trips a choice of a full refund (actual cash back) or a "future cruise credit" in the amount of 125% of the fare paid.

Related: Why you should choose a refund, not a credit, for a canceled cruise

Norwegian has offered a few passengers who were on sailings canceled in mid-March an even bigger future cruise credit of 150%.

The new offer adds a 20% discount on top of those credits.

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In announcing the extra discount, Norwegian also said passengers on canceled sailings who want to request a refund instead of taking the future cruise credit must do so by April 27.

Customers must opt-in for a refund by filling out a form on Norwegian's website. Otherwise, they will automatically be assigned a future cruise credit.

Norwegian said it could take up to 90 days to receive a refund.

To get the additional 20% off, customers must choose a future cruise departing from Oct. 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2022. The discount will be automatically applied when they make a reservation, whether by phone or online.

The April 27 cut-off date appears designed to push customers on canceled sailings who are choosing a future cruise credit to rebook soon at current rates rather than wait to see if better deals emerge in the coming months.

As of now, Norwegian isn't offering unusually low fares for future sailings. Seven-night voyages to the Western Caribbean out of Miami in March 2021, for instance, start at $741 per person, based on double occupancy, for a windowless "inside cabin." Balcony cabins start at $1,182.

Seven-night sailings to the Western Caribbean in March 2021 on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Encore start at $741 per person.

Such prices aren't unusually low for that time of year.

A spokesperson for Norwegian didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the line's 20% discount program.

One caveat for Norwegian customers who choose a future cruise credit instead of a refund: The line is assigning the credits to each individual passenger on a reservation based on the breakdown of the fares and other charges that each individual passenger originally incurred. That means if you booked a trip with your spouse and two kids, each of you will get a separate credit that must be used individually. The credit won't just arrive as one big lump sum.

Norwegian's future cruise credits can be used to book more than one future cruise.

Additional resources for cruisers during the coronavirus outbreak:

Featured image by Norwegian Cruise Line's 3,998-passenger Norwegian Encore. (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more