CAPTITALISM ~~!!~~ It is the ole' supply and demand formula. RCI by and large is sailing full on many cruises. BUT there are last minute bargains..... For example a $ 1,500.00 P/P cruise on RCI was offered for $ 399.99 two weeks prior to sailing. RCI is just lucky to selling more of their cabins at somewhat reasonable prices instead of having to "give-a-way prices". A lot has to do with the number of cabins each line has to offer, and another reason it the "perceived value" of the respective cruises.
Another example is the Conquest out of Gulfport is $ 399.00 P/P thru May, then the price jumps to over a $ 1,000.00++ P/P the first of June 2004.I was quoted these prices yesterday from a cruise T/A.
I have notice even the very upper level cruise lines like Crystal have deeply discounted some of their cruises, and HAL has advertised cruises for the $ 399.00 price per person for 7 days...... tis just a "sign-of-the-times" before school is out and the prices rises!!
Just a little input; I do think it may vary as to WHEN you book your cruise. First cruise West Carib 2001 I paid top dollar for a inside cabin on Carnival's Inspiration booking 6 weeks before the cruise. 2002 I found cruise @ddicts and started researching and booked a balcony Cat D on RCCL Grandeur 10 months prior to sailing with almost identical itinerary and came out over 200 per person cheaper than Carnival. Had enough left to book a cabin for our in laws. I can be benefical to book your cruise early. Good luck! Nan
It seems to me that RCI ALWAYS starts off really high on their prices about a year out to 6 months before the cruise. As the cruise approaches, the prices drop. This isn't always true, but for summer Caribbean cruises, it's been our experience.
I agree with all those above that said they'd be willing to pay a little more to sail with RCI over Carnival even if they are doing the same itinerary.