On-Board Credit: What Is It and How to Get It


As if to prompt you once again of the fact you’re no longer on dry land, cruise lines have adopted their own currency — on-board credit. Just like the tokens bought at a fairground, on-board credit lets you pay for goods and services aboard your cruise ship without the hassle of carrying your wallet everywhere with you. And because it’s fully virtual there’s none of the guilt associated with handing over cold hard cash, allowing you to spend more freely during your trip. 

Because cruise lines are keen to get more passengers spending with on-board credit, they’re known to offer incentives for those adopting the currency — including free cash bonuses when booking selected cruises. Free money might sound a little too good to be true, but cruise lines see it as a great way to garner more interest on different itineraries.

Sceptical? That’s fair enough. But free on-board credit is there for the taking, and it could serve to lessen the financial burden of your holiday, leaving you free to spend more on the things you really want — like a cabin upgrade, for instance.

So if you want to get your hands on some free cruise cash, here are just some of the ways you can bag yourself complimentary on-board credit.

Deals & Promotions

By far the easiest way to earn a few hundred dollars of free on-board credit is to look out for deals and promotions which offer free credit as an incentive for booking. Whether online or via email, these promotions tend to happen on a periodic basis when cruise lines are struggling to get bodies in beds, and offer great savings as well as on-board credit packages which are staggered by cabin class.

Though the amount of on-board credit you’ll get varies from line to line, the lowest amount you’re likely to receive per cabin is A$25, and the highest is A$1,000. Book a luxury cruise however, and you stand to receive a whole lot more.


Sign Up to a Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are growing in popularity across the cruise industry, and now most lines offer their own version of the passenger incentive scheme. As well as a host of extras including free cabin upgrades, complimentary on-board credit is becoming a mainstay across many cruise loyalty programs — giving you the opportunity to bag a wad of cash simply by booking with the same tour operator.

Cruise loyalty programs operate on a ‘the more you sail, the more perks you get’ basis. So if you book with the same company two or three times, you could receive up to A$1,000 to spend aboard, no strings attached.

Book Your Next Cruise On-Board

Cruise lines want to secure your continued custom, and will go to great lengths to get it. If you loved your cruise and can’t wait to do it again, it’s often worth booking your next getaway during your current sailing — as you’ll be heavily incentivised for doing so. Among other freebies, you could land yourself a nice chunk of free on-board credit to spend on your next cruise — especially if you’re prepared to barter and negotiate.

Come Straight to Cruise1st Australia

At Cruise1st Australia, we’re pally with all the major Australian cruise lines, including P&O Australia, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line. This close relationship means we can help passengers access a range of benefits they wouldn’t know about if they didn’t speak to us before booking, including on-board credit offers. Most cruise lines are happy to dole out A$100 in complimentary credit to guarantee a reservation, but sometimes they need a little nudge to hand over the cash. Here at Cruise1st we provide that nudge, helping you secure some holiday spends before you’ve even packed your suitcase.

If you have any questions about on-board credit, or any other aspect of cruise travel, the Cruise1st Australia team are here to help. To speak with a member of our team, call us on 1300 857 345 or visit our homepage to browse our very latest cruise deals.


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