How the Heck Do You Get Upgrades???

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Poll: How the Heck Do You Get Upgrades??
Poll Results
How the Heck Do You Get Upgrades??

Book a Guarantee Cabin -- in the hopes of an automatic upgrade
60
37.50%

Just Ask!
20
12.50%

Cruise the Same Line Often -- loyalty perks
26
16.25%

Cruise Different Lines Often -- lines will court new passengers and offer upgrades
5
3.13%

I'm Feeling Lucky -- no rhyme or reason to it
55
34.38%

Get Cruise Line Branded Credit Cards -- offer perks like upgrades and onboard credit
5
3.13%

Book During Off Peak Times -- more likely to get an upgrade when ships are not full
25
15.63%

Take a Luxury Cruise -- all of those cabins are "upgrades" anyway
14
8.75%

Multiple Choice Poll.

Voters: 160.  You may not vote on this poll.

#21
1,855 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by Cruisin' Chick
A couple of times we were upgraded. On my first cruise, we ended up with an upgrade that should have been considered a downgrade -- under a dining room and we heard vacuuming every night around midnight.

The last few cruises we have booked a specific cabin and marked it "no upgrade."
Exactly the point I was making in my previous post.
#22
1,855 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by sail7seas
Not always.

Sometimes they upgrade or upsell, to free up less costly cabins that are easier to sell than the higher priced ones. There are cases where people get a great 'freebie' but, of course, that is not the rule nor should anyone come to expect it.
Once on HAL we received the ultimate upgrade.

HAL sold our cabin twice.

After wife did some fine negotiating HAL gave us a FREE 10 day cruise in place of a 7 day cruise. HAL refunded us in full, rebooked our air and gave us OBC too boot. The other individual(s) HAL sold our room to had to cruise on that specific date and the wife knowing HAL was in a bind called HAL's bluff and won.
#23
8,969 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
We have received one upgrade in over thirty cruises. We were given a surprise upgrade from a balcony to a junior suite and, wow, I really loved that junior suite! It was a smart move on Royal's part to do that for us because we have tried to book junior suites ever since when the price is not prohibitive.

I don't know what guidelines Royal follows for their upgrades, but I do know that they claim their highest levels of Crown and Anchor passengers--Pinnacle and Diamond Plus-- get top priority. Because there are generally lots of Diamond Plus on board, perhaps the total number of cruises is taken into account. A D+ with 600 cruise points would take priority over one with say 300 cruise points. A Pinnacle guest would trump either of those.
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#24
4 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Steamboatin
Once on HAL we received the ultimate upgrade.

HAL sold our cabin twice.

After wife did some fine negotiating HAL gave us a FREE 10 day cruise in place of a 7 day cruise. HAL refunded us in full, rebooked our air and gave us OBC too boot. The other individual(s) HAL sold our room to had to cruise on that specific date and the wife knowing HAL was in a bind called HAL's bluff and won.

Now that's what I call an upgrade...unfortunately, I think this is rare occurrence. But wow, what a deal!
#25
Rockaway, NJ
2,346 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by Steamboatin
Once on HAL we received the ultimate upgrade.

HAL sold our cabin twice.

After wife did some fine negotiating HAL gave us a FREE 10 day cruise in place of a 7 day cruise. HAL refunded us in full, rebooked our air and gave us OBC too boot. The other individual(s) HAL sold our room to had to cruise on that specific date and the wife knowing HAL was in a bind called HAL's bluff and won.
This does not answer the OP's question. It is an extremely rare occurance that has nothing to do with a guarantee cabin. It just increases people's expectations that they will get something for nothing.
#26
Virginia
2 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
I recently got offered an upgrade from an ocean suite to a grand suite -- for $350. The cost would normally have been $800 more. I took it even though the suites are quite similar (same deck, doors apart). I just wanted to see what the grand suite is like!
#27
The Big Easy
18,475 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
I chose 2 options....cruise lines perks and booking a GTY. Cruise line perks because I know of at least one line that lists upgrades as a loyalty perk (RCI). However, when those upgrades come available, usually about 2 weeks before the cruise, they start with the top cruisers. And on RCI the top cruisers have a lot more crusies than me (and you see how many I have ).

The GTY seems to be a pretty standard way of increasing your odds on most cruise lines.
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#28
San Mateo, California
5,260 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
We never check that we want an upgrade. Be careful - not all upgrades are a good deal.

We have had 3 upgrades out of 45+ cruises, all to suites, two arranged by our TA at the time.

One happened with when our TA promised an OBC, which we did not get, but got an upgrade instead to a full suite on HAL. Was wonderful on a 10 day cruise.

The second was another upgrade to a Sky suite on Celebrity, our TA got for us.

Then we got an upgrade to a larger balcony on Princess once which was nice on a Baltic cruise some years ago. It was the first cruise of the season, the ship was not full, so we were upgraded.

Once again, be careful though, upgrades under the pool are not good.
#29
Simcoe, ON
5 Posts
Joined May 2012
We booked 2 inside cabins about a year in advance on the Caribbean Princess that sailed out of San Juan back in December 2012. My wife and one son (age 23) we placed in one while my other son (age24) and I we in the other. About 48hrs before sailing I received an email saying my rooms were changed... to a full family suite! I went from the cheapest to the most expensive! We're still trying to figure out why, but all we can think of is that this was our (my wife and I) 6th Princess sailing, we booked a lot of shore excursions so they saw we weren't cheap. We also tend to treat our ship staff well at tip time. I'm thinking that they saw a better chance of filling the cheap rooms last minute than that big suite.
#30
Blackpool, England
2,305 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Book a cruise when nobody else wants to go. A good example is say the week before Christmas or maybe the week after New Year when everybody is partied out
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#31
Texas
86 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by CruiserBruce
The system of upgrades is a closely guarded secret. No one has ever mentioned really knowing how it is done. Rumors have it related to demand for cabins- low demand in a higher level cabin will generate upgrades. But how they decide you get it, and I don't is closely held.

15 cruises, never a hint of an upgrade.
Have you been on the Ruby Princess?
#34
FL
341 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Hi,

We received two nice upgrades over the years. When we were traveling with our young children we were upgraded to a suite simply because, we were told, that we were a family of four. How nice of HAL!

The second time was more recent. It was on a river cruise and someone wanted to be near their friends and so wanted our cabin. They asked us if we minded being changed - we hadn't even checked in on the ship yet and of course we agreed. Aside from those two occasions we haven't been upgraded much to any degree except for promotions at the time of booking. We have booked Guaranteed Catagories and have received small upgrades maybe closer to mid-ship. However, the uncertainty of what we might get probably wasn't worth it. Gloria
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#35
Southern California
2,292 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Been cruising sine 1982 on the Sitmar Fairsea and have never been offered a free upgrade. Have had at least one upsell opportunity each time but I don't do up sells. I book the cabin I want, in the location I want. I do not think there is any formula to the free upgrades and that it is dumb luck that you get an offer.

http://luv2cruise.blogspot.com
#36
Melbourne, Australia
112 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
We have been upgraded once, from a ocean view to a mini-suite (no balcony category on the ship). It was our honeymoon, which they knew, so I don't know if that played a part, and it was our second cruise through Princess/P&O Australia.

It was great, but pretty random.
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#37
Shanghai, PRC / Sete, France
3,854 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
You - along with most cruisers - missed the most obvious and easiest way to get an upgrade.

BUY ONE.

This method works nearly every time.
#39
Orlando FL
137 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by BruceMuzz
You - along with most cruisers - missed the most obvious and easiest way to get an upgrade.

BUY ONE.

This method works nearly every time.
I think you might be UNDERSTATING this method just a bit.
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#40
Ryde, Sydney
427 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Been on one cruise and we got an upgrade, from inside cabin to OV. Now we have OV but I'm hoping we can get a balcony or better. It's our honeymoon and we have stated this on the booking, so hoping we can improve our chances.
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