Royal Caribbean wants to eliminate last-minute cruise discounts

The Royal Caribbean blog reports that Royal Caribbean wants to get rid of last-minute discounts to incentivize early booking:

What do you think? Will this impact when/how you book a cruise?

Tags: Royal Caribbean Early Booking Last Minute Discounts

10 Answers

Since we plan our trips up to two years in advance, due to Having to work, this policy will have no impact whatsoever on our plans. Booking early has quite a few advantages for us. We live in Northern Alberta and air fare is always an issue. If we know, for example, That our next cruise leave New Orleans in April of next year, we started saving points on the travel CC we will be using. We have saved the airfare to get to the cruise and will use Airmiles for the trip back from Boston. Where this will impact are those who live in departure cities and have the means to hop on a cruise with less than a couple of weeks notice. I'm sure some of the frequent cruisers on this site will have a comment or two.

Being retired I like the last minute discounts. Sometimes I just look at the 90 day or less specials, pick a cruise and go on it. I have never booked more then 6 months in the future even when I was working in a profession.

I think the only time I would book a year out is for a world cruise, a few back to backs so I can have the same cabin on all the legs of the trip or to get a special cabin suite.

I know I'm probably going to get beat up on this but here goes. There is another side to this coin. We booked our cruise on the Enchantment this coming December about 8 months ago at $249pp which we thought was a good deal. I have the cruise alerts from cruiseline,com set up to email me the daily price of this cruise. For the last 2 weeks, the price for the same OV cabins have gone down 50% to $149pp. I contacted my agent who in turn contacted RCCL. Their response was since I was paid in full, there was nothing they could do. I personally called RCCL and got the same response. So, we felt 8 months ago that booking early afforded us a great price. Now, we see that wasn't true. At a price reduction of $200 per cabin, I feel RCCL could have at LEAST offered $50 OBC to compensate as opposed to the "too bad" attitude they have. Carnival back in 2010 when we sailed the "Dream" did it when they cut their price prior to the cruise. That's good customer relations. RCCL's approach, not so much!!

Hey Tim.

I agree with you 100%.

I would be great if all lines did something along the lines of rebates or credits.

They won't of course, for various reasons. Bottom line and profit margins are the mantra of all corporations, for the total amount of complaints or dissatisfied customers that speak out, but actually never do anything about their particular problem, there are thousands of customers who are rebooking, paying and sailing or doing what all consumers do at one point or another. They are spending money

Corporate Canada and America are much alike in this matter. As long as the graph shows most people happy with a mediocre level of service, then that's what they will provide.

@CruisinTim - glad to hear the price alerts on worked, but bummer the cruise line did not honor the new reduced price. I agree with your comments, an OBC would have been a nice gesture as a reward for booking early.

@JusMe - do you usually cruise out of the west coast? Or do you fly to the east coast for last minute cruises?

I have done both coast. For my last cruise I wanted 7 nights and a cabin by myself. I found it less expensive to do the 7 night Eastern Caribbean including air fair to Miami then to do the 7 night Mexico cruise out of Los Angeles where I would drive to the port.

I do tend to do a lot of the 3 or 4 night trips out of L.A. when the price drops and I'm free to go. I have gotten a outside cabin alone for $229.00 before. For great deals have you tried a re-positioning cruise ?

On the second cruise we took through Panama up to Vancouver, It turns out it was a Repo for the summer, and the next cruise we are on will be the start of NCL Boston to Bermuda trip. Looking forward to that.

But I wish the airlines from Canada would be a little gentler on their pricing.....

To me, Royal Caribbean is too expensive for what you are getting. Even with any discounts. I'll take Norwegian, or , if I want to spend more money, Princess or Celebrity.

@BAK, I found that out in 2013 when we sailed both the Jewel & the Brilliance. Prior to that, we had sailed with Celebrity, Norwegian, Princess & Carnival. Our first RCCL ship last year (the Jewel), we had expected to be "WOW'd. Didn't come close. The Brilliance was better but in line with Carnival. We had believed for years (since 1990 when we first started cruising) that RCCL was top shelf but we always opted for a less expensive cruise. We were disillusioned to find their NOT! We never sailed RCCL until last year for exactly what you stated, they are more expensive than comparable cruises with other lines. We have one more sailing with RCCL in 5 weeks and if I really don't see a difference, it will be our last!

The only thing " top shelf " at Royal Caribbean, are the top shelves. Big Smile


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