"We have adapted policies designed specifically to deal with the last minute discounts that are so disruptive to the system, " said Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited.
The discounts, which are usually offered anywhere from a week to a month ahead of a sailing, are designed to fill ships that aren't yet full. But they upset customers who booked early and can't qualify for the new deals, confuse travel agents and undermine the company's brand image, Fain said.
"As a result in March we adopted a new policy that we would not do any last minute discounts on bookings in North America. Depending on the type of cruise, that last minute may be 10, 20 or 30 days out, but from that point on we will hold our price at the prior level."
Overall, Cruise Critic readers are pleased with Fain's announcement.
"I like this, " Cruise Critic member marci22 wrote on the Royal Caribbean forum. "You won't feel like an idiot for paying more for a similar cabin that gets discounted after final [payment date], and the ship won't be as crowded."