Were there many more tour dates offered from the get-go this year? I remember in the past seeing just a few options for a given month, and then seeing additional dates added over time (I'm assuming as the original dates filled up). I imagine it would be better for planning (hotel reservations, group reservations at popular sites) if the RS company had more dates scheduled earlier, but I wonder if this strategy backfired with a number of tours just not filling up.
I think last summer was a record year for number of people on RS tours. It seems as though they may have added more tours, accordingly. But they also raised prices quite a bit over last year's prices. Maybe doing both at once led to tours that aren't filling up.
It also seems like there are way more tours offered on sale than in the past. Is that your impression, too? If you sign up for a tour, and later that same tour is listed with a $400 discount, are you out of luck? It doesn't seem quite fair. I know it happens all the time with airline pricing and the like....but who likes that!