So they keep saying there will be a four payment plan, but some cruisers are saying "who cares? just pay up front and get it over with!"
Well, one area that us Aussies (and other non-Americans too) can benefit from with the 4-payments-plan, is fluctuations in the currency values.
Using the costs I had to book a cabin of 3 for this year as an example:
Pay in full discount for golds - 15%
TOTAL Cost = $US4242.30
Payment plan discount for golds - 10%
Total Cost = $US4417.20, so four payments of $US1104.30
Australian Exchange rate against the US = .687
So for me, to pay in full now = $6175 Australian
BUT if I paid using the four payment plan and say, the AUD goes up! It has been on a steady rise - it has risen 2 cents in the last month against the USD. What if that continued?
Payment 1 = $1104.30 / .687 = $AU1607
Payment 2 = $1104.3 / .707 = $AU1561
Payment 3 = $1104.3 / .727 = $AU1519
Payment 4 = $1104.3 / .747 = $AU1478
Total cost = $6165
Only $10 cheaper, but ... cheaper! And obviously I've also had the balance in my account earning interest over the course of those 3 months too.