Cruise Lines Focus on Early Booking

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.

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