Many cruise operators are discovering that by rewarding customers who book early, rather than late, they can fill their ships earlier and diminish the talk about "overcapacity" that the last-minute price breaks have generated .

...Dolphin Cruises has been securing bookings past June by offering 20% discounts to passengers who book and deposit 90 days prior to departure in the value season, and 10% off in the peak season.

...Royal Cruise Lines lets passengers reserve 1985/86 prime season space aboard any of its cruises, with a $5 deposit, due by April 15, and a balance payable by June 1. The program also includes free shore excursions, $50 per stateroom shipboard credit, and air/sea fares at 1985 rates.