You may have heard the term “best-price guarantee” in the cruise industry. The idea is that if an advertised price is lowered, guests can get a refund for the price difference. But is it really too good to be true?
Royal Caribbean recently made an announcement about its new best-price guarantee.
It’s available to anyone booked on a Royal Caribbean cruise up to 72 hours prior to departure.
If you find a lower advertised price, you get that balance in the form of an onboard credit or cash refund if you haven’t yet paid in full.
Carnival has a similar program if you book its Early Save fare in advance with a non-refundable deposit.
But here’s the deal. The cruise industry has been hit hard by the struggling economy, so ships are filling up a lot more slowly than they used to.
So if more people book early, the cruise lines may not have to lower their prices closer to the departure date—which means you just lost the gamble on that refund.
Bottom line, don’t plan on booking a cruise early based on the hope that the price will drop later.
Your best bet is to set your personal price cap and pay when the cruise reaches that fare or below.
If the price then drops, consider it a bonus, but not a guarantee.
Learn more with our Cruise Travel category.
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