Cruise Promotions and On-board Credit

Cruise promotions and on-board credit, are incentives that make one cruise, to a specific location, more attractive than another. They are what adds value to a cruise package. In some cases, they make a value packed cruise more cost effective than buying a bare bones cruise selling at a lesser price.

Picture of cruise promotions and On-board credit for NCL cruises

Cruise Promotions

The Norwegian advertisement featured above is all about NCL promotions for the new year. It offers six free incentives that will enhance enjoyment and savings when choosing an NCL cruise.  These promotions apply only to first and second passengers in a stateroom. This promotion, like all promotions on most cruise lines, can be seasonal or have certain limitations. Promotions do not apply to X cabins as they are no frills cabins.

Unlimited Open Bar

Enjoying drinks over a several day cruise can add quite a bit to the final bill for your cruise. Having wine with dinner, enjoying umbrella drinks poolside, and evening cocktails adds up. Guests 1 and 2 in a stateroom  can enjoy spirits and cocktails, wines, draft beer, juice and soda at no cost when they have an open bar promotion. However, there is a gratuity charge for an open bar, which is charged to your account in advance of the cruise, usually at booking.

All cruise ships have complimentary dining for passengers. The also have specialty restaurants that charge a modest supplement. Being able to enjoy a steakhouse, a seafood restaurant, Asian cuisine, a French Bistro and other specialty venues, at no extra cost, adds to the enjoyment of the cruise.

Shore Excursions

Shore Excursions are expensive. As such, many cruisers opt not to take an excursion in every port they visit. Free shore excursions for 2 people can be a savings of several hundred dollars or more on a seven day cruise.


Keeping in touch with family back home, or keeping up with your business isn’t cheap while you are at sea. Many of the ships bill Internet use in minutes. Given the frequent slowness of Internet access at sea, passengers find they are using minutes far faster than they anticipated. WiFi use can add substantially to your final cruise bill. Free WIFI is a significant money saver for those who need or want to be connected via the Internet.

Friends and Family Sail Free

On selected cruises. passengers 3 and 4 sail free when sharing a stateroom with passengers 1 and 2. This is an excellent savings for parents with small children. It is also a cost effective way for 4 family members or a group of friends to travel together. However, adults need to consider that they will be sharing a stateroom designed for 2 adults and having one bathroom, and limited closet space.  Additional sleep areas will be either sofa beds or bunk bed accommodations. However, tight quarters maybe a small price to pay for this significant savings.

Free Air Fare

NCL Cruisers 1 and 2 get free air fare or reduced round trip airfare on some cruises with Free Air Available.

On-Board Credit

On-board credit can also be part of a cruise promotion. It is the gift of free cash that is added to your on-board account, which  you can use to purchase goods and services during your cruise. It can be used for:

Spa Services

The Casino

Shopping in Ship Boutiques


Professional Photos


Specialty Dining

Laundry Services

Paying Gratuities

Cruise Promotions and On-board Credit

Sometimes, cruise lines will offer a value package that includes free services as well as on-board credit. Credits can and do come from the cruise line, as well as your travel agent. If you book a cruise in advance, while on a cruise, the cruise company will often include a generous on-board credit for that next cruise. Cruise lines value returning passengers. Most recognize and reward passenger loyalty by giving on-board credit to those who continue to sail on their ships.

If you are planning a cruise promotions, including on-board credit, will increase your enjoyment while cruising and give you a significant savings. If I can be of help in planning and booking your next cruise, please call me at 800-388-8781.

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