Are you sure it's your cruise company & not your travel agent that's on the make? My agent requests 8 weeks prior & I usually 'forget' & wait for a reminder which makes it nearer 6 weeks by the time the cheque has cleared. Try a different agent.
I tend to agree with you on this one. I've always cruised with the same cruise line and their policy is the balance becomes payable in full at 63 days. I used to use a TA in Edinburgh and they usually asked for final balance at this time or sometimes a week or so later. However i started to use another TA (internet based for my last 2 cruises0 With the first booking it wa a late one just 6 weeks before departure so I was expecting to have to pay in full when I made the booking. On the next one I booked, I got a surprise as they sent a letter saying that the balnce was due some 3 and a half weeks before I'd calculated it to be. At first I thought the cruise company must have changed their policy but when I checked their most up to date brochure, the timescale was still the same. I phoned the TA to query this and was told that they needed to make sure that they got the payment from clients before then, so that were in a position to pay the minute they were asked. They also said that the 63 days before was the latest date not target date. Another reason they gave was that some customers are not able to pay for their cruises and by the time to make final payment and by making sure they ask for payment 3 months before, if this is the case, then their won't be any late cancellation fees that the TA may have to pay to the cruiseline but have difficulty recovering from the customer. So as in almost every walk of life, those of us who are respomsible and keep to the rules end up losing out because of the few who aren't.I told them that I couldnt pay at this point as I'd not yet arranged to give notice to my bank to make the withdrawal and I didn't want to have to pay extra by paying by credit card. Funnily enough they accepted me sending the money a few weeks later 9albeit a week or so earlier than the cruiseline required).
It is not only cruise companies that use this system hotels /holiday companies/ airlinest ect it is part of the terms & conditions of the contract if you do not agree with the contract then sign it .
Please amend answer to read if you do not agree with the contract dont sign it shop around.
No I can't show justification and legality of cruise companies wanting full payment three months before the event but you have little option but to pay it as I know of no cruise lines which have not adopted this policy. The length of leeway in time at which final payment is due has been increasing over the years from four weeks to the prevailing twelve weeks and the cruise lines find that it is highly rewarding for them and there is very little recourse. I would not suggest late payment either as they can cancel your cruise, particularly if the cruise is well booked and you would loose your deposit. So "rock and a hard place" come to mind. A very good point though and well made.... maybe someone can suggest a practical solution. regards .... Ida .
Confession Time: I've just rechecked 12 weeks is correct. On my last cruise on RCI in May of this year, payment was sent 12 weeks prior BUT my cheque was held by the travel agent & remained uncashed until 8 weeks prior to departure. So the question remains, is it the Cruise Companies or the TA that want your money.