The major cruise lines are great at price discriminating - charging different prices to different consumers based on consumers' willingness-to-pay. (See my previous post here for evidence.) I went on a cruise over my spring break and on the first day, three couples were discussing the prices they paid:
Couple #1: Inside Room (which is least desirable). The total price after taxes and fees was $1550. This couple booked their trip just one week before the sail-away date.
Couple #2: Inside room. The total price after taxes and fees was $2300. This couple booked their trip four months ahead of time. However, this couple also got a free beverage package (all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks free throughout the cruise) and several meals at "specialty restaurants".
Couple #3: Balcony room, $2900, booked 4 months ahead of time. This couple also received the free beverage package and the free meal package.
Another interesting note - couple #2 called a few days before the cruise departed and upgraded to a balcony room for $300 more, making their price $2600 for the exact same package couple #3 received (for $2900).
Three couples and four different prices, all for the same trip. The cruise lines are good at extracting as much as they can from their customers.