Yes, in order to get price reductions (after your final payment)...you must book Early Saver.
However, if the price reduction is large enough (and cabins are available) even without Early Saver...you can ask for a free upgrade AFTER the final payment.
Carnival did away with OBC AFTER the final payment when they implemented the option of Early Saver.
Cruising is like airline tickets...the rates can change daily.....
Btw, I believe this has been in place for a year??? So...not a "new" policy....
Yes, they changed the policy right after they implemented Early Saver. You said this perfectly. They are supposed to offer "upgrades" now when available instead of the OBC's when inside of penalty. Prior to this change, they indeed gave OBC's for price drops if you asked.
Julie, I'm sorry to hear of them being rude to you. It would have been better if they would have taken a moment and explained the policy change. I am glad to hear they did eventually come through for you with an OBC.