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Jetty John

"Your stateroom will be assigned". ??

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I have been watching some cruises for potential bookings.  Initially you are offered to pick you own room, or let the cruise assign your room.  It seem when the decks fill up, the only option is to let the cruise pick for you.  Do they over book?  How does that work?  This is on Princess by the way. We have only gone on one cruise, so still a rookie cruiser.

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Sometimes they do overbook, but you won't be denied boarding. On my one and only Princess cruise, I booked an oceanview cabin and a couple of weeks before sailing, they called and wanted to move me to an inside with a 50% refund. I enquired about upgrades and there were none available. I took the downgrade. I've never heard of anyone being left at the dock. Unlike airlines where they offer money as you're sitting in the boarding area or on the plane, cruiselines are very good at making sure all available cabins are occupied, but not overbooked a few days before sailing. 

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By taking this option, in exchange for saving some money, you risk being assigned staterooms that no experienced cruisers would book including next to the steward's closets, under the kitchen, etc.

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On our last Princess cruise at least 1 segment was reported as being overbooked. We would never book a cruise without selecting a cabin at time of booking. Not interested in higher decks, extreme ends, above/below lounges, galley, etc.

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1 hour ago, Elaine5715 said:

By taking this option, in exchange for saving some money, you risk being assigned staterooms that no experienced cruisers would book including next to the steward's closets, under the kitchen, etc.

 

Except you don't save any money.  Stateroom price is the same whether you pick or they do. Thanks for the replies.  It all helps educate me.

 

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They often overbook categories, as they rely on a certain percentage to cancel before  on near final payment. Sometimes this back fires on them and they have to 'move over offers' which costs them considerably although they have made up the cost on higher cabin selling prices.

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Some people think that you are more likely to get an upgrade  an upsell or a move over offer if you have a guarantee. 

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8 hours ago, Jetty John said:

 

Except you don't save any money.  Stateroom price is the same whether you pick or they do. Thanks for the replies.  It all helps educate me.

 

 

Not exactly correct: there is a chance you will save money.  When you let the line pick, you ordinarily get a guarantee of a certain class of cabin, OR HIGHER. You are supposedly assured of that class - and, if they give you a higher category, you will have saved.   I have no idea of what the odds are of getting such a “free” upgrade — but I have no interest in letting the line pick for me regardless:  so, if there are no specific cabins of the sort I want, I will pick another sailing.  Because we generally book well in advance - to save on air fare and make related travel plans, we virtually always fund desirable cabins available - we also see far fewer good last minute deals because the lines have gotten very good at inventory management, so there is little point in not planning in advance.

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8 hours ago, Jetty John said:

 

Except you don't save any money.  Stateroom price is the same whether you pick or they do. Thanks for the replies.  It all helps educate me.

 

There are times when both options are listed at the same price and that is often driven by residence, 55+, or military/police/fire service options that may apply to that itinerary.  That usually will change to a lower price over time or will be lower if none of the above options apply to that given itinerary. But typically, when the cruise line assigned option is available it is at a lower price.  If they are showing as the same then the is clearly no advantage to allowing the cruise line to assign the stateroom for you. 

 

Also the GTY, or cruise line assigned option, typically appears when there is extra inventory of a given category available on that itinerary relative to the booking rate at that time in the booking cycle.  They are not necessarily available on every itinerary or every stateroom category.  It is a marketing strategy to increase bookings of that particular category on that particular itinerary.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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FWIW, I have had good success in receiving cabins in upgraded categories, and have never received a downgrade or a request to downgrade or switch sailings.  Often, it's been a multiple-level upgrade.

 

Of course, YMMV and this is highly dependent on the policies of each individual cruiseline.

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18 hours ago, Jetty John said:

I have been watching some cruises for potential bookings.  Initially you are offered to pick you own room, or let the cruise assign your room.  It seem when the decks fill up, the only option is to let the cruise pick for you.  Do they over book?  How does that work?  This is on Princess by the way. We have only gone on one cruise, so still a rookie cruiser.

Just to clarify, on the Princess website when you are at the booking point of selecting your cabin you usually see two options in the "Statement Location" window:

 

"I'll choose room location" or "Choose room location for me"

 

the former is just the cruise line offering you the available cabin closest to mid-ship while the former is giving you the choice of all available cabins.

 

So I am curious regarding the latter part of your question, whether you are simply seeing the single "Choose room location for me" option and no "I'll choose room location" option because there is only a single specific cabin left or if you are instead seeing a Guaranteed Cabin option with no specific cabin number specified at the time of booking.

Edited by NantahalaCruiser

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Letting the cruise line pick is definitely different to a Guarantee although they may end up the same. Even if you pick a room location yourself you can still pick a guarantee cabin. And even if you let the cruise line pick, you may end up with the cabin category that you picked.

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We only choose a guaranteed cabin if we're doing a last minute booking on a short cruise of say, 8 days. For longer cruises we need to know exactly where we're going to be.

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2 hours ago, NantahalaCruiser said:

Just to clarify, on the Princess website when you are at the booking point of selecting your cabin you usually see two options in the "Statement Location" window:

 

"I'll choose room location" or "Choose room location for me"

 

the former is just the cruise line offering you the available cabin closest to mid-ship while the former is giving you the choice of all available cabins.

 

So I am curious regarding the latter part of your question, whether you are simply seeing the single "Choose room location for me" option and no "I'll choose room location" option because there is only a single specific cabin left or if you are instead seeing a Guaranteed Cabin option with no specific cabin number specified at the time of booking.

 

For instance I watch a deck level, certain section, say midship, of cabins slowly fill up over a week of watching.  All this time having the option of picking my room.  Pretty soon only one cabin left.  Then the next day, the pick your own room option disappears, as does the deck layout diagram, and only have the "...your stateroom will be assigned.." as the only option.  I am assuming there a no cabins left to pick, but the line is still offering a room in that deck/section. 

 

I know confusing...  Thanks for the input.

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We saved money by choosing an inside guarantee for Oasis of the Seas. We were not upgraded, but we ended up in a really excellent location, deck 10 forward just a couple of steps from the elevator.  I realize there is risk but we almost couldn't have chosen a better room.

 

It was very easy for my then-tween to find her way to this room, it was very quiet, very easy to get up to the Solarium or down to Central Park or the Promenade.  It would have cost several hundred more to choose our cabin on that particular sailing.  As the OP notes, the savings does not always apply, so you would want to choose in that case of course.  They have various formulas to fill up whatever cabins are not moving on any particular date.  I have seen cruises where it lets you choose your room and there is literally only the one room left to "choose."

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8 hours ago, Jetty John said:

 

For instance I watch a deck level, certain section, say midship, of cabins slowly fill up over a week of watching.  All this time having the option of picking my room.  Pretty soon only one cabin left.  Then the next day, the pick your own room option disappears, as does the deck layout diagram, and only have the "...your stateroom will be assigned.." as the only option.  I am assuming there a no cabins left to pick, but the line is still offering a room in that deck/section. 

 

I know confusing...  Thanks for the input.

Yes, and when that happened to us we got the cabin that had been the last one to show for direct selection. Although it was next to a steward's closet it was a great location. One thing good about Princess is that you often get the opportunity to select a minimum category within a cabin type. In our case I booked a IA (Inside best category) guarantee and got exactly what I'd booked. I didn't want to book a lower category guarantee as that could have ended up with us being somewhere we weren't happy with. 

 

Usually we prefer to book a specific cabin but in that case we were waiting on some other things to firm up before we knew if we were free to do that cruise.

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We have friends who always book this way and are nearly always happy .We prefer booking a designated cabin.

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If your cabin is merely a place to shower and sleep, then it really doesn't matter where on the ship it is.

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All lines set aside a percentage of cabins to TAs and other booking sites, which are all returned to inventory after final payment date.

 

NCL offers booked guests the opportunity to bid on an upgrade, and they upsell/upgrade to fill the more expensive cabins, and work their way down.  It's not an auction, but 'sealed' bids.  You have no way of knowing how good your offer is compared to others, or how many upgrades will be available.  New cabin assignments aren't shared until just a few days before sailing.

 

Other lines use a team of upsell agents who work the phone system, which, IMHO, wastes a lot of man-hours making offers to people who don't want to move in the first place, and to some who have to 'check with spouse'.

 

So, if you reserve a 'to be assigned' cabin, you'll be assigned amid the ranked top-to-bottom upsell offers.

 

Bottom line, when the cruise line can squeeze a few more bucks out of you, and you're HAPPY to pay it... they'd rather have a block of inside cabins go empty - and reassign that steward to another project.

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5 hours ago, Sue Do-Over said:

So, if you reserve a 'to be assigned' cabin, you'll be assigned amid the ranked top-to-bottom upsell offers.

 

 

Concur it is probably true for many cruise lines, but not all. Viking Ocean have already assigned cabins for pax booking " to be assigned cabins" for a cruise departing January 2020, with final payment not due until July 2019.

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Final payment is 6 months prior, that seems very early, especially as their prices are higher than most mass market lines that have 3 month final payment deadlines.

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15 hours ago, Sue Do-Over said:

All lines set aside a percentage of cabins to TAs and other booking sites, which are all returned to inventory after final payment date.

 

Not exactly true.  For Royal Carib, the TA request blocks of rooms, based on what they think they can sell.

 

Any rooms not sold must be returned to inventory 120 days prior to sailing.  Final payment is 90 days prior.

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On 1/14/2019 at 1:36 AM, MicCanberra said:

Final payment is 6 months prior, that seems very early, especially as their prices are higher than most mass market lines that have 3 month final payment deadlines.

And it's my understanding that Viking has now moved to 12 months prior!

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