One of the benefits of booking directly with the cruise line is you can call them and get immediate attention. When you book through an online site or with a TA all the cruise lines will refer you to whomever made the original booking to deal with any issue you might have. I booked the December 7th sailing on the Independence about eight months directly ago with RCI. I forget what the rate was exactly but it's the category that is the most important thing to know. I was originally booked into category D2. Any reduction in price that might involve a credit HAS to happen within the category you are booked. I have called RCI more than twenty five times over the past few months inquiring about the price for category D2. Some time ago the category dropped by $79 pp and they offered me a refund by check or an on board credit. We took the OBC for $158. A few days later I began moving cabins within my category as the one we had was all the way aft. It's like musical chairs. I knew where I wanted to get to, even knew the ideal cabin numbers I wanted. Again, because I booked directly with RCI I was able to speak with them by phone while they searched their computers for the room numbers I wanted. It took a few phone calls but I eventually got one of the rooms I wanted. Then to make it fun I began asking about any specials or promos they might be offering for seniors, vets etc. Last week on one of the days I called they had a senior promo rate for a Junior Suite (category JS
)for $899. I jumped on that using my credit plus about $40 more. I wasn't real happy about the cabin location I was given at the time for this junior suite as it was all the way forward where all of the up and down motion is. It was the only one they had available at the time so I took it knowing full well what I'd be doing in the following days. Can you guess??... Uh Huh calling RCI and checking the cabin numbers for the junior suites I did want. To date I am now more in the middle of deck 9 with my eye on one of the hump cabins. We'll see how that plays out.
Anyway, if you have the time and you booked directly it's a fun game and very easy to play. All of the people I've spoken with on the other end of RCI's 800 line have been more than accomodating.
My last comment is this. It's not always "You Get What You Pay For" in reality it's "You Get What You SHOP For!".