In summary first. First - an old coverage is completely gone unless you reserved your cruise May 17. With new bookings it functions like this: Should you put down a deposit prior to the last payment is due you can observe for cost drops and put down the last payment when you need at the lower cost. You are not required to pay the cost the cruise was whenever you made your deposit. But you should make the final payment prior to the penalty period begins or pay whatever the cost is on the day last payments are due. If you just happen to have made a complete payment and the penalty period hasn't yet begun and the costs fall you can request an updated stateroom selling for the amount you paid for your own stateroom and RCL will attempt to accomodate you.
In the absense of both of these conditions you are stuck using the 48 hour best cost warranty restriction. This deal ends 48 hours after you reserve your cruise by creating the reservation and leaving a deposit. When we'd rated Royal Caribbean's cost warranty plan as the best in the industry they change it! - When NCL issued a new best price warranty May 5th we wrote a guide to explain and rate the programs out of NCL, Royal Caribbean along with Carnival Cruise Lines. We'd rated Royal Caribbean's as all the best in all the industry, and we even said it seemed stable, but we, but we guess it was just too good, since they simply changed it - to become almost identical to the lowest rated plan.
The fresh Royal Caribbean Best Price Guarantee says cruises reserved after today, May seventeenth, only have 48 hours to find a better cost prior to the warranty expires - but you do get 110% of the price difference if you are lucky enough to find one. What do These Changes Indicate? The very fact that Royal Caribbean would choose to implement that coverage right now has a minimum of one major implication to me - that their cruise costs are likely headed lower.
Why would I make such a bold prediction?
There are four important signs: Cruise costs were headed higher - till all the stock market and all the Euro nose dived fourteen days ago. There's a softening economics in Europe, all the Euro now fetches $1.23, down from $1.38 just 8 weeks ago and $1.46 last summer. Royal Caribbean says over 50% of its revenue comes from foreign currency. That is an extremely important drop leaving the cruise line with a lot of wiggle room for cruise prices. The 3rd reason is the old coverage allowed cruisers to reserve as far out as possible for the best choice and not worry about lose a price drop.