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Royal Princess’ large piazza-style atrium. Each cruise line has different rules for payment due dates and cancellation deadlines.

Courtesy of Princess Cruises

Royal Princess’ large piazza-style atrium. Each cruise line has different rules for payment due dates and cancellation deadlines.

Deadlines for cruise deposits, payments & refunds (cheat sheet)

Due dates for making initial & final payments — and cancellations

It can be confusing, especially to first-time cruisers, to know when you have to plunk down an initial deposit, make your final payment, and when you're eligible for a refund. Some of this information isn't all that easy to find!

 
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As a general rule, you put down a deposit at the time of booking, and then make final payment generally 60 to 90 days before the sailing date. If your plans change and you need to postpone or cancel, you can cancel and get a full refund if you cancel at least 90 days out (see below for slight variations — you'll notice Princess's refund policy is fairly strict ... sorry! we still love you, Princess!). Be aware that the cruise lines’ refund policies vary widely and change frequently.

Here's a Cheat Sheet of Cruise Deposit, Full Payment & Refund Deadlines for cruise passengers and travel agents (note: different rules apply to groups).

Summary of cruise line policies:

Carnival Cruise Line

Deposit amount & final payment deadlines for Carnival cruises

Length of cruise Deposit required Final payment due
2-3 nights $100 per person 60 days prior to sailing
4 nights $150 per person 60 days prior to sailing
5 nights $150 per person 60 days prior to sailing
6-9 nights $250 per person 75 days prior to sailing
10 or more nights $400 per person 90 days prior to sailing
Alaska, Europe, Panama Canal cruises $400 per person 90 days prior to sailing

* based on double occupancy; for solo travel, see here; non-refundable deposit at time of booking: Early Saver, Early Saver Last Call and Super Saver fares.
See Carnival's Deposit & Final Payment Requirements.


Refund deadlines for Carnival cruises

Length of cruise Days to departure Charges per person
2, 3, 4 & 5 day cruises Up to 61 days No charges, deposit is fully refunded*
  46-60 days Deposit is forfeited
  30-45 days Deposit or 50% of Total Fare (whichever greater)
  15-29 days Deposit or 75% of Total Fare (whichever greater)
  14 days or less 100% of Total Fare
6-9 day cruises** Up to 76 days No charges, deposit is fully refunded*
  56-75 days Deposit is forfeited
  30-55 days Deposit or 50% of Total Fare (whichever greater)
  15-29 days Deposit or 75% of Total Fare (whichever greater)
  14 days or less 100% of Total Fare
10 days & up cruises*** Up to 91 days No charges, deposit is fully refunded*
  56-90 days Deposit is forfeited
  30-55 days Deposit or 50% of Total Fare (whichever greater)
  15-29 days Deposit or 75% of Total Fare (whichever greater)
  14 days or less 100% of Total Fare (no refund)

* No refunds for Pack & Go, Early Saver and Super Saver fares.
** excluding Alaska, Europe, Transatlantic and Panama Canal cruises
*** including Alaska, Europe, Transatlantic and Panama Canal cruises of any length.
See Carnival's Cancellation Policy.


Royal Caribbean

Deposit amount & final payment deadlines for Royal Caribbean cruises

Length of cruise Deposit required Final payment due
3, 4 or 5 nights $200 per stateroom* 60 days prior to sailing**
7 to 9 nights $500 per stateroom* 75 days prior to sailing**
10 nights or longer $900 per stateroom* 75 days prior to sailing**

* Suite categories do require a double deposit since there are a limited number of suites.
**Christmas, New Year's and holiday sailings require a final payment 90 days in advance.
See Royal Caribbean's requirements for final payment and cruise planning timeline on the Royal Caribbean blog.


Refund deadlines for Royal Caribbean cruises

Length of cruise Days to departure Charges per person
5 nights or more* 90 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  57-89 days Deposit is forfeited
  29-56 days 50% of total cruise fare
  15-28 days 75% of total cruise fare
  14 days or less 100% of fare (no refund except taxes, fees)

*for cruises of 4 days or less, see here
See Royal Caribbean's refund & cancellation policy.


Norwegian Cruise Line

Deposit amount & final payment deadlines for Norwegian cruises

Length of cruise Deposit required Final payment due
2-6 nights $100 per person 75 days prior to sailing*
7-9 nights $250 per person 90 days prior to sailing*
10 nights or more $400 per person 90 days prior to sailing*

* Final payment is due 120 days before holiday sailings.


Refund deadlines for Norwegian cruises

Length of cruise Days to departure Charges per person
1-6 nights 75 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  57-74 days Deposit is forfeited
  30-56 days Deposit or 50% of Total Fare (whichever greater)
  16-29 days Deposit or 75% of Total Fare (whichever greater)
  15 days or less No refund
7 nights or more 90 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  76-89 days Deposit is forfeited
  61-75 days 50% of total cruise fare
  31-60 days 75% of total cruise fare
  30 days or less 100% of fare (no refund)

* Additional cancellation fees apply to air, land vacation and add-ons that are canceled. For more than 2 guests, or for guests staying in The Haven Suites, Suites, Garden Villas and guests on holiday sailings, see Norwegian's cancellation fee schedule.


Holland America Line

Deposit amount & final payment deadlines for Holland America cruises

Length of cruise Deposit required Final payment due
Any length $350 to $2,900 per person 75 days prior to sailing

Refund deadlines for Holland America cruises

Length of cruise Days to departure Charges per person
Applies to these voyages* 76 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  57-75 days Deposit is forfeited
  29-56 days 50% of gross fare
  16-28 days 75% of gross fare
  15 days or less 100% of fare (no refund)

* Sailings to Caribbean; Panama Canal; Mexico; Canada & New England; Pacific Coastal; Pacific Northwest; Alaska and Alaska Land+Sea Journeys; Europe (except Prinsendam Europe, 30+ day Transatlantic and segments of 30+ day Transatlantic) and 27-day or less Hawaii sailings.

Other sailings include All Holiday; Australia; New Zealand; South Pacific; Asia; Prinsendam Europe; South America and Antarctica sailings. And Grand World; Grand Voyages; any Segment of a Grand World or Grand Voyage; 29-50 day Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas; Incan Empires; Amazon Explorer; 30+ day Europe Transatlantic or any segment of a 30+ day Europe Transatlantic sailing; Africa Explorer and Far East Explorer. For these, see Holland America's Cancellation Policy.


Celebrity Cruises

Deposit amount & final payment deadlines for Celebrity Cruises

Length of cruise Deposit required Final payment due
1-4 nights $100 per person
(Sky Suites or lower)
75 days prior to sailing
1-4 nights $200 per person
(Celebrity Suites or higher)
75 days prior to sailing
5 nights or more $250 per person
(Sky Suites or lower)
90 days prior to sailing
5 nights or more $500 per person
(Celebrity Suites or higher)*
90 days prior to sailing

* Different deposit amounts required for Celebrity Xpedition.


Refund deadlines for Celebrity Cruises

Length of cruise Days to departure Charges per person
1-4 nights 75 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  57-74 days Deposit is forfeited
  29-56 days 50% of Total Fare*
  15-28 days 100% of fare (no refund except taxes & fees
  14 days or less 100% of fare (no refund except taxes, fees, port expenses)
5 nights or more 90 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  57-89 days Deposit is forfeited
  29-56 days 50% of Total Fare*
  15-28 days 75% of Total Fare*
  14 days or less 100% of fare (no refund except taxes, fees, port expenses)

*Or deposit amount, whichever is greater
See Celebrity Cruises' cancellation & refund policy.


Princess Cruises

Deposit amount & final payment deadlines for Princess cruises

Length of cruise Deposit required Final payment due
Any length 20% of Total Fare* 75-90 days prior to sailing

* Children ages 1-12 generally have a deposit due that's 50% of the adult price.


Refund deadlines for Princess cruises

Length of cruise Days to departure Charges per person
Up to 29 nights 75 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  57-74 days Deposit is forfeited
  29-56 days 50% of Total Charges
  15-28 days 75% of Total Charges
  14 days or less 100% of fare (no refund)
30 nights or more 120 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  90-119 days Deposit is forfeited
  64-89 days 50% of Total Charges
  43-63 days 75% of Total Charges
  42 days or less 100% of Total Charges (no refund)

* For sailings of 30 nights or more, see the Princess site. Charged items include: Cruise, Cruisetour, Cruise Plus Package, pre-purchased gift(s)/special services.
See Princess's refund policy.


MSC Cruises

Deposit amount & final payment deadlines for MSC Cruises

Length of cruise Deposit required Final payment due
14 nights or less $200 per adult* 60 days prior to sailing
15 nights or more $300 per adult** 60 days prior to sailing

* $200 per adult or $400 per stateroom minimum
**$300 per adult or $600 per stateroom minimum
Children 17 and under sailing as the 3rd/4th guest in a stateroom do not require an additional deposit. See MSC Cruises' Terms & Conditions.


Refund deadlines for MSC Cruises

Length of cruise Days to departure Charges per person
14 nights or less 90 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  61-89 days Deposit is forfeited
  46-60 days 50% of fare
  16-45 days 75% of fare
  15 days or less 100% of fare (no refund)
15 nights or more 110 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  61-109 days Deposit is forfeited
  46-60 days 50% of fare
  31-45 days 75% of fare
  30 days or less 100% of fare (no refund)

See MSC Cruises' refund policy.


Disney Cruise Line

Deposit amount & final payment deadlines for Disney Cruise Line

Length of cruise Deposit required Final payment due
1-5 nights 20% of fare 75 days prior to sailing
6-9 nights  20% of fare 90 days prior to sailing
10 nights or more 20% of fare 120 days prior to sailing

See Disney Cruise Lines' Booking Terms & Conditions.


Refund deadlines for Disney Cruise Line

Length of cruise Days to departure Charges per person
1-5 nights* 75 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  45-74 days Deposit is forfeited
  30-44 days 50% of vacation price
  15-29 days 75% of vacation price
  14 days or less 100% of vacation price (no refund)
6-9 nights** 90 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  56-89 days Deposit is forfeited
  30-55 days 50% of vacation price
  15-29 days 75% of vacation price
  14 days or less 100% of vacation price (no refund)
10 nights or more*** 120 days or more No charges, deposit is fully refunded
  56-119 days Deposit is forfeited
  30-55 days 50% of vacation price
  15-29 days 75% of vacation price
  14 days or less 100% of vacation price (no refund)

* Applies to guests in Non-Suites/Non-Concierge Staterooms on 1 to 5 Night Cruises where embark or debark is a U.S. port (Non Holiday Sailings). For guests in Suites or embarking on holiday or non-US sailings, see Disney's refund policy

** Applies to guests in Non-Suites/Non-Concierge Staterooms on 6 to 9 Night Cruises where embark or debark is a U.S. Port (Non Holiday Sailings). For guests in Suites or embarking on holiday or non-US sailings, see Disney's refund policy

*** Applies to guests in Non-Suites/Non-Concierge Staterooms on Cruises 10 Nights or More and on Cruises Less than 10 Nights where Embark and Debark is non-U.S. Port. For guests in Suites or embarking on cruises with non-U.S. ports, see Disney's refund policy

In our series Smart Money on a Cruise

JD Lasica
I'm co-founder, Editor and chief cat herder at Cruiseable. Follow your cruise bliss to any land where it may lead. Let's connect! I'm @jdlasica on Twitter.

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