Royal Caribbean Cruises has bad news for cruisers who wait to the last minute in hopes of snagging a bargain on unsold cabins: the line has announced a new policy of no price cuts within 30 days of sailing.
Previously, the line was willing to cut prices as little as 10 days before sailing rather than sail with empty berths. And up to a year ago, bargains could be had even less than 10 days out.
Royal Caribbean has indicated two reasons for the change (which won't apply to 3 or 4-day cruises). One is that heavy discounting at the last minute creates anger among passengers who had booked long ago at higher prices; the other is that the line feels that the last-minute discounting undermines the brand's image.
Discussions posted with an article at CruiseCritic.com (click HERE) wonder what the effect on cruise lines' finances is. Royal Caribbean says it has a bad effect on the bottom line, long run; cruisers posting in the discussion point out that at least for some lines, the profit is not in the cabin sales but in gambling and other revenue-producers at sea.