I tend to agree with several of your thoughts.
I managed to book the half price fares at 0005 hours on the 1st of April - for 2 return to Darwin for early June. We have the benefit of our daughter living in Darwin so no problems with the accommodation, however it is usually a nightmare up there for the grey nomads if not already booked anywhere due to it being the dry season and the peak tourist time. Also the best time to be there however we do love the wet up there also.
If I had paid out $36,000 I would have made sure I got it back - most of my cruises where just deposits using