Royal Caribbean has been enjoying a lot of publicity for the christening of its latest megaship, Anthem of the Seas, which is bound for service out of New York Harbor next year, but buried in the breathless coverage was this little tidbit from its Chairman, Richard Fain: The cruise line is stopping last-minute discounts.
Why on earth would a cruise company that keeps pumping out brand new ships with space for 4,200 passengers apiece and then make moves to prevent empty cabins from being filled? Fain's answer is that it will protect the caché of the brand.
According to Travel Weekly, he said, “[The move] may cost us bookings in the short term and our guidance may reflect that, but we believe the long-term advantage for our brands is worth the small short-term cost."
Fain called last-minute discounts a "used-car salesman kind of mentality" and said lower-priced deals of as long as month ahead would be sharply curtailed, even if it meant his giant ships sail half-empty.
Previously, customers could enjoy last-minute discounts that brought the per-nice price of a cruise to $65 to $85 a day. Instead, they'll be looking to spend well over $100 a day for an itinerary, and that doesn't include alcoholic drinks, the best food, or many activities.