One of the great parts of Royal Caribbean International‘s promotional pricing policy is the release of month-long offers that extend to a wide variety of sailings. As opposed to cruise lines with a great deal on select sailings, the Royal Caribbean plan casts a wide net and is often applicable to existing bookings. The Royal Caribbean July offer is no exception, offering substantial savings as well. On the surface though, the July version looks to be a bit watered down compared to that of June. But a new Non-Refundable Deposit program might bring additional value along the lines of Carnival Cruise Line’s Early Saver Fare. Now the plot thickens as Royal Caribbean enters a new world of promotional pricing. Let’s take a look.
The entire month of July, Royal Caribbean’s regular brand promotion will continue the popular BOGO promotion. That’s the good news. What appears to be bad news: a less potent discount. Here is the entire offering, good for all sailings departing on or after August 1, 2017*
- BOGO50- Buy One Guest, Get Second Guest 50% Off (down from 60% off in June)
- Kids Sail For Less- 25% off 3rd and/or 4th guests in the same stateroom (down from 30% off in June)
- Holiday Sailings- Save up to $100 on holiday sailings
We’ll get more into the details of this shortly. First, a new program starting in July that looks to be the Royal Caribbean version of Carnival Cruise Liine’s Early Saver Fare, at first glance anyway.
Non-Refundable Deposit Progam
- Book at the Best Rate which will always be lower than the regular brand promotion
- Book more than six months in advance, get up to $100 onboard credit
- Changes to ship/sailing date incur a $100 fee per person, per change
- Non-refundable is the only option when booking guarantees (unassigned staterooms) and suites
- Cancellation before final payment brings a Future Cruise Credit in the amount of the deposit, minus the $100 per person change fee and must be used within one year.
- Combinable with most fares other than weekly sales events
- No switching: once booked as a Non-Refundable fare, any other pricing option is not possible
The aim of this program is a Royal Caribbean pricing and promotional landscape that is more consistent. The big wild card their regular brand promotion (or that of any other cruise line actually) is the unknown wild card: What is the base price? Back to the Royal Caribbean July offering for a moment: 50% off might actually work out to better savings than the June offer of 60% off…depending on what happens to the base fare. Do the math
50% off a $1000 cruise fare = $500 discount
60% off a $1000 cruise fare = $600 discount
Comparing apples to apples, the June offer is better than the July offer. Maybe. If the base price goes down, it might be exactly the same $ offer to consumers. So why do it?
BOGO is a very difficult promotion to get away from once offered. Easing us out of it and/or offering something new that appears to be more attractive is the only way it can happen. Still, there’s that wild card of the base pricing. That’s still the trick to understanding if what we see is a bona fide value or something else. Back to that thought of the Royal Caribbean Non-Refundable Deposit Program being something along the lines of Carnival Cruise Line’s Early Saver Fare. Not so much: both are unique programs. Your travel agent can help sort this out for you once the promotion goes live.
The Fine Print- accurate at the time of publicatiion
Price is per person, in USD, cruise only, applies to select sailings, based on double-occupancy, and reflects any promotional savings. Non-refundable deposit booking (“NRDB”) cancelled prior to final payment due date will receive a future cruise credit in the amount of the deposit minus a $100 per person service fee (“FCC”). FCC is non-transferable and expires after 12-months from issue date. $100 per person service fee applies to changes to NRDB ship or sail date. Deposits made toward Guarantees and Grand Suites and higher categories are non-refundable and are subject to NRD Booking Terms.
Cruise must be booked between July 1, 2017 through July 31, 2017 the “Offer Period”. Offer applies to sailings departing on or after August 1, 2017. Offer excludes China departures. Offer includes 50% off cruise fare of second guest who must be booked in the same stateroom as a first guest who books at full fare (“BOGO”). Offer also includes 25% cruise fare savings for 3rd guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualifying guests. Additionally, Deck the Holidays Deals offer provides additional savings for guests who book a holiday sailing departing from 12/19/17 through 12/31/17 and 12/18/18 through 12/31/18. Offer includes an instant savings determined by category booked and sailing length: $25 off per stateroom for interior and oceanview on sailings 5 nights or less, $50 off per stateroom for balconies and suites on sailings 5 nights and less, $50 off per stateroom for interior and oceanview on sailings
6 nights and longer, $75 off per stateroom for balconies on sailings 6 nights or longer, and $100 off per stateroom for suites on sailings 6 nights or longer. Non-Refundable Deposit reservations that are booked six months or more prior to the cruise departure date are eligible to receive a per stateroom onboard credit (“OBC”) in the following amount: for sailings 5-nights and less, $25 OBC for interior and oceanview, and $50 OBC for balcony and suite; and for sailings of 6-nights and longer, $50 OBC for interior and oceanview, $100 OBC for balcony and suite. OBC is in USD, has no cash value, is non-transferable, not redeemable for cash, and will expire if not used by 10:00 PM on the last evening of the cruise. All other charges, including, but not limited to, taxes, fees and port expenses, are additional and apply to all guests. BOGO does not apply to third and higher occupancy guests.
BOGO Offer is combinable with NRDB OBC, promotional OBCs and instant savings, NextCruise offers, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Deck the Holidays is combinable with eachother, NextCruise offers, NRDB OBC, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military) but is not combinable with Shareholder benefits and Crown and Anchor discounts. All offers are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, Net Rates. After the Offer Period, the Offer will be removed from the booking if the guest cancels and reinstates the booking or rebooks into a new booking on the same ship and sail date, applies a fare change, or changes the ship or sail date of the booking; certain other changes to the booking may also result in removal of the Offer. Offer applies to new, individual and named group bookings confirmed at prevailing rates. Individual reservations may be transferred into an existing group, assuming required criteria are met, though full deposit will be required at time of transfer. Failure to apply the required full deposit amount may result in the cancellation of the booking. Single occupancy guests paying 200% cruise fare are eligible for full amount of Offer; single occupancy guests paying less than 200% cruise fare are eligible for a prorated amount of the Offer. Offer available to residents of United States and Canada. Prices and Offer are subject to availability and change without notice, capacity controlled, and may be withdrawn at any time. Refer to www.royalcaribbean.com for complete terms and conditions. Royal Caribbean International reserves the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions and to change or update fares, fees and surcharges at any time without prior notice. ©2017 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships registry: Bahamas.