Published on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

No more last minute cruise deals on Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean has ended the policy of offering 'disruptive' last minute discounted cruise deals.

CEO Richard Fain says the practice is both confusing and damaging to brand integrity.

Deep discounts were offered a month or less ahead of a sailing in order to fill remaining space but irked loyal guests who booked early at full price and was confusing for travel agents, Fain said.

"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."

"This 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. Over time, we believe this will lead to happier guests, happier agents, and better branding," he said.

Fain said the company is committed to upholding the new policy.

 "We think getting our customers out of this used-car salesman kind of mentality will be good overall for the brand, good for their experience, and therefore lead to longer yields in the long run."

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