RANT COMING, you have been warned.
I am humored by the general sense of self importance, power, knowledge and entitlement of the posters complaining the loudest.
For the record, I saw the rate and knew that if you see it, book it. I might not be there in a few seconds. You can always cancel later. I did. I knew and know it can be cancelled pursuant to the agreement I entered into voluntarily with RCCL. The same type of agreement we ALL enter into with ALL commercial cruise lines. I am waiting to see if we save a few dollars.
If we do, great, if not, so be it.
"This is where (sic) royal is in deep poop."
"Where the excrement really hit the rapidly spinning cooling device"
The legal department is in crisis control (paraphrasing an earlier opinion).
Those complaining about a decision that hasn't even been made yet, please do yourself a service and do a google search on this "PR nightmare." There are exactly two reports, one on Royal Caribbean Blog and one on Cruise Radio (whatever that is). Both of these reports make this whole affair seem pretty mundane, innocuous and irrelevant, pretty much, "move along, nothing to see here."
This despite that a poster "alerted" CBS News of this "developing story." Apparently CBS News, nor any other news or internet entity find this to be particularly newsworthy.
Not seeing "deep poop" or stuff hitting the fan in the real world.
As to the "legal department", since Royal is clearly and unambiguously within their right to NOT honor purchases made at this rate, I am sure the "legal department" is business as usual. Zero legal consequences for RCCL if they cancel every last one of the packages purchased at $18. You may disagree and you can opt to seek arbitration against them (another term of your contract), but I would put your chance of success below 0%.
My guess as to what is really happening;
PR department probably monitoring internet and social media to see how wide spread the "outrage" is and any press coverage of it (or more accurately, lack thereof) and reporting back to the money people.
Another real word fact on this issue, tomorrow is the 4th of July. Likely to see some bad news dumps today as "PR 101" mandates it is best to dump bad news before a Holiday when no one is paying attention. By next Monday, no one will care what a cruise line did last week.
Ultimately, I believe, it is the money people who will guide the final decision. It is the accountants deciding the relative costs of their various options so they can determine the best BUSINESS decision.
Read "BUSINESS decision" to mean dollars (present and future) lost or potentially lost. It may be honoring the purchases is the best option, and all the loud criers in here will feel that their voice was heard (it will not have been, despite what RCCL's PR department puts out in a statement). It may be cancelling them all and making a good will gesture is the best option (even if it really isn't much of a gesture - 30% off). It may be something different, but it will be a pure business decision.
RCCL is filling their ships and ordering more, their stock is up tremendously, their profits are outstanding. That is what a business is supposed to do, even if it sometimes seems like they are neglecting, hurting, offending, minimizing customers. Whatever the outcome of "Beverage PackageGATE," it will not have a significant effect on RCCL's business.
I have had plenty of disputes with RCCL over the experiences of me and my family. I do not post about it, I take it up directly with them and am satisfied with the outcomes. For now, we will continue to sail with them.
As a customer, I put on my big boy pants and make decisions that work for me and my family, understanding how the real world works, like it or not.
But, you do you.
I hope all of us that purchased it, get the package at $18.