We've booked the Royal for 07, I agree, I almost died when I saw the prices. They want for an inside what we paid for an FV last year on Millennium.
Cruise prices are generally trending upward (some stock analysts would say "recovering"...) due to growing demand and an interruption in shipbuilding due to perceived lessening of deamnd after the "9/11" attack.
I personally meet this with very mixed emotions. As a stockholder of a cruise company, I'm thrilled with the stronger yields. As a frequent cruiser, though, I'm less than thrilled at the prospect of paying higher fares. I'll be taking advantage of more favorable pricing on the shoulder seasons for as long as this situaiton persists.
Princess does not seem to have much new capacity on order, but Princess's competitors do. Royal Caribbean International has three ships of the Freedom of the Seas class (158,000 tons, 3600 passengers) under constructon for delivery in 2006, 2007, and 2008 followed by the first "Project Genesis" ship, of a new class not yet named (220,000 tons, 5400 passengers) on order for delivery in 2009, while Celbrity Cruises has two somewhat smaller ships of the new Solstice class (117,000 tons, 2850 passengers) on order for delivery in 2008 and 2009. That's a total of
21,900 lower berths -- more capacity than seven ships of the [/i]Caribbean Princess[/i] class (117,000 tons, 3100 passengers). It will be interesting to see how rapidly demand continues to grow an the impact of the new capacity on fares.