Royal Caribbean Stopping Last-Minute Booking Discounts
PHOTO: Anthem of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's second Quantum-class ship. (Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)
One of the best life hacks for getting a great deal on a cruise is waiting until the last possible moments to book your journey in order to get discounts, but Royal Caribbean has nipped this in the bud by doing away with last-second deals.
According to a conference call with Royal Caribbean officials, the deals the company once offered for vacant rooms in the weeks before a cruise was expected to depart are no longer part of the protocol.
The discounts were reportedly angering passengers who were forced to pay full price ahead of time and also confused travel agents who were getting mixed messages about the deals. There were also questions about how the last-second sales to fill the ships could begin undermining the company's brand image.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited Chairman and CEO, Richard Fain, stated that the discounts were “disruptive to the system” and the company decided to change its policies in order to forgo giving any further discounts to passengers purchasing tickets in the last few weeks before setting sail.
Fain expanded on the company’s stance on the deals, “As a result, in March we adopted a new policy that we would not do any last minute discounts on bookings in North America. Depending on the type of cruise, that last minute may be 10, 20 or 30 days out, but from that point on we will hold our price at the prior level.”
While this is good news for the travelers who have to book their trips way ahead of time and are being punished by paying more than others for the same room, this is obviously a blow to those who count on one of the most well-known travel hacks for cheaper fares.
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