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WA Bubbles

Disappointed on HAL cabin guarantee upgrade

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On 5/16/2019 at 6:07 AM, Krazy Kruizers said:

When you book a guarantee cabin, you should not expect to be automatically upgraded or offered an upsell.

 

Sorry that you are disappointed.

 

I would never book a guaranteed cabin bu that is just me.

Me either, I book early because I like certain cabins in certain areas of the ship.  I may pay a little more, but I am never disappointed...sorry you were disappointed, I do hope you have a wonderful cruise.

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6 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I really don't understand the complaints.  We have done many guarantees and it is clear that you are paying for a cabin in a specific category.  There is never a promise of an upgrade or even an upsell.  Maybe it happens and maybe it doesn't.  HAL is under no obligation to give guarantees any kind of upgrade/upsell.  

 

One interesting thing we were told by a very high volume cruise agent.  She said that her experience (and that of others in her office) are that HAL tends to be more generous with upgrades when its for a new customer (1st time on HAL) then with 4 and 5 Star Mariners.    Not sure  if there is any truth to this...but it is fascinating if true and makes sense.  HAL knows that long time customers have some degree of loyalty so there is no reason to give them anything.  But an upgrade for a newbie may help build some loyalty with that customer.   

 

Hank

 

I do believe that's true. I've seen it on Cunard. Friends were platinum World Club and their daughter and SIL had taken only one or two cruises with Cunard when the daughter got a great promo offer to book another cruise. My friends did not. (Neither did I and I'm diamond level) My friend called and was told the offer was only for the people who got the email/postcard/whatever.  When the daughter called to ask if she could book a cabin for her parents in addition to her own cabin, she was told no. I think the younger couple had more cruising days ahead of them than their parents and were "worth" courting. The loyalty of us long-time cruisers was taken for granted.

 

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6 hours ago, Hlitner said:

One interesting thing we were told by a very high volume cruise agent.  She said that her experience (and that of others in her office) are that HAL tends to be more generous with upgrades when its for a new customer (1st time on HAL) then with 4 and 5 Star Mariners.    Not sure  if there is any truth to this...but it is fascinating if true and makes sense.  HAL knows that long time customers have some degree of loyalty so there is no reason to give them anything.  But an upgrade for a newbie may help build some loyalty with that customer.   

 

I believe that there is truth to this by your TA. On our last NA cruise our good friends and my wife and I both booked a SS, it was our friends first HAL cruise and our 6th. Our friends got a FREE upgrade to a Neptune Suite and we didn't even get an upsell offer and I was not very happy. We both booked with the same TA and paid the same amount but they were HAL first timers and I think that was the reason why they got upgraded and we didn't.

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12 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

I believe that there is truth to this by your TA. On our last NA cruise our good friends and my wife and I both booked a SS, it was our friends first HAL cruise and our 6th. Our friends got a FREE upgrade to a Neptune Suite and we didn't even get an upsell offer and I was not very happy. We both booked with the same TA and paid the same amount but they were HAL first timers and I think that was the reason why they got upgraded and we didn't.

WOW!

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Sorry but I think your sounding a little entitled. You booked a guarantee as I always do and with that you roll the dice ... only twice have I ever received a free upgrade,  from inside to window on the Rotterdam and inside to obstructed balcony on Koningsdam. 

 

To book something and expect more automatically seems like a recipe for disappointment to me ... 

 

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I'm with DaveOKC on cabins.  I too spend a lot of time finding the "perfect" cabin - passengers above, below, and across the corridor, as well as away from elevator lobbies and atriums.  Then I request no upgrades.  The cruise line's idea of an upgrade may be to a higher category and could be under the pool deck, across the corridor, or right above the disco bar.  I figure there's a reason that particular cabin is available for an upgrade offer.

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I haven't used a guarantee in years because I was always disappointed.  I think the cruise lines are now moving to a upsell and even bidding strategy.  I now buy what I want then after final payment day I contact the cruise line to get my name on the list for upsell offers.  I guess everyone is on that list but I just want to be sure.  I have gotten a few decent deals that way but more often than not I stay put.  

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38 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

I believe that there is truth to this by your TA. On our last NA cruise our good friends and my wife and I both booked a SS, it was our friends first HAL cruise and our 6th. Our friends got a FREE upgrade to a Neptune Suite and we didn't even get an upsell offer and I was not very happy. We both booked with the same TA and paid the same amount but they were HAL first timers and I think that was the reason why they got upgraded and we didn't.

 

While I often get upsell offers, sometimes I do not, even though I know that others in my same category got them.  Its frustrating, but typical of HAL.

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21 hours ago, VMax1700 said:

 

I don't believe that this is quite accurate.  I think you purchased a 'Gurarantee Oceanview' room, which is slightly different.  I have never seen a HAL offer of 'room with guarantee'.

 

 

I guess I don’t see the difference between an ocean view guarantee and a guaranteed ocean view. I do know that the category I’ve booked is a full ocean view and they are only supposed to move me upward in categories, if at all.  Honestly I would be happy if they left me in the category I booked.  I’m not a newbie...have sailed many, many days, have done guarantees before and am pretty sure I know what’s going on.  Would rather choose my cabin but not an option at this point of the game. 

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I think its somewhat common for cruise lines to entice newer cruisers with upgrades rather loyal past cruisers.  Can you imagine if the airlines did that too?!

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2 hours ago, Lovely other said:

Sorry but I think your sounding a little entitled. You booked a guarantee as I always do and with that you roll the dice ... only twice have I ever received a free upgrade,  from inside to window on the Rotterdam and inside to obstructed balcony on Koningsdam. 

 

To book something and expect more automatically seems like a recipe for disappointment to me ... 

 

 

You're right about the disappointment. I think cruise lines were more generous with upgrading guarantees in the past. Plus people hear about great upgrades here on CC, on facebook, from friends, and they think it happens a lot. Not many people post "I booked a guarantee and got what I booked," even though that's more common. And possibly some TAs sell guarantees and dangle that carrot of a "possible upgrade." People hear "upgrade" and don't hear "possible."

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@WA Bubbles, last year you booked a guarantee obstructed view (HH) cabin on the Zaandam for a July Alaska cruise, then came on Cruise Critic to complain about the location. Here we are a year later and again you aren't happy with your cabin assignment after booking another guarantee. What I find particularly ironic is that you are well are of the limitations when booking a guarantee, as reflected by the final sentence of your 2018 post: "But like I said, it is the chances you take with a guaranteed room."

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We are not particular about cabins, in most cases.  I do gty a lot.  Back in 2010 I booked a B2B on Westerdam in the Caribbean fairly close to sailing.  Sailing solo then, I did an inside gty.  I was given K1116, one of the large insides on Main deck.  It was sooo much better than E1115 I had had for 32 days the previous year on Oosterdam.   So then next year, booking for the Med. in 2012, I chose that cabin on NA for 24 nights.  First inside cabin for my sister.  

    We didn't see everything we wanted in Venice, so I told my sister we could go back, and started looking.  I chose Celebrity Silhouette for 2013, decided I wanted a balcony, and booked a partially obstructed one.  But a week or so after booking, Celebrity ran a special, gty balcony for the price of an inside.  I called my TA and jumped on it.  Saving $1200 was worth it to risk getting the fully obstructed balcony.  In fact, we got an unobstructed balcony.  

 

On MSC, I was getting ready to book on MSC Seaside.  It was suggested that if you booked an OV gty that you stood a good chance of being upgraded to a balcony.  I checked the deck plans, and discovered they had a total of 80 OV cabins, equally divided between the Bella and Fantastica experiences, and 1300 balcony cabins.  So I gambled and booked a Fantastica OV gty.  And was assigned a Fantastica balcony midship on deck 14.  Great cabin!  Would do it again.  But I would have been just as happy with the OV.  That's the secret.  

 

As far as u[grading newbies, MSC has been known to move people out of the cabin they selected to a cabin of equal category but less desirability, in order to give a new guest their 'better' cabin.  (The desired cabin is a group of boxy cabins in the Yacht Club area)  And the original guests are not notified, the find out by checking their bookings...EM

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On 5/16/2019 at 4:13 AM, terrydtx said:

Sounds like you got exactly what you booked, an Oceanview guarantee cabin, that was the only guarantee.

 

Exactly... 

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12 hours ago, Hlitner said:

She said that her experience (and that of others in her office) are that HAL tends to be more generous with upgrades when its for a new customer (1st time on HAL) then with 4 and 5 Star Mariners.

For my DBiL/DSiL's very first cruise we booked them and us into HH guarantees. They were first assigned a D and then just 3 days before sailing were reassigned to a VE. We also got a two-step assignment, first to C then to VA.  I still wonder if we got out great final assignment because of them being first-timers, or they got theirs because we were 3-star at the time. I tend to think its the former. 

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We have never booked a guarantee. All you get is in your price you paid and for us we like picking our rooms knowing where we are!

Denise😊

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We often buy guarantees.  On many cruise lines.  Usually inside the final payment window. 

 

When we do, we always make the assumption that we will get the worst possible cabin in the class in which we bought the guaranty.  We never assume that we will be upgraded.  So far, we have always been very pleased and got either exactly what we purchased or a nice upgrade.  Either way, there was no reason to complain.

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I will ditto iancal above.

We've never booked anything but the lowest inside guarantee there is (with one exception - we booked an OV guarantee for a TA with NCL simply because it was the same price as the inside).

We've never been disappointed at all.  We've been upgraded to an OV once and other times, we've gotten an upgrade within the same category (inside). 

Honestly, we don't care. We've been offered upsells and never taken one.  It just wasn't cheap enough to entice us.

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9 minutes ago, cowmilker said:

I will ditto iancal above.

We've never booked anything but the lowest inside guarantee there is (with one exception - we booked an OV guarantee for a TA with NCL simply because it was the same price as the inside).

We've never been disappointed at all.  We've been upgraded to an OV once and other times, we've gotten an upgrade within the same category (inside). 

Honestly, we don't care. We've been offered upsells and never taken one.  It just wasn't cheap enough to entice us.

 

From what I've been reading over the past year or maybe more, the upsell offers aren't the bargains they used to be. 

 

I don't do guarantees because I'm way too type A and Need to Know. The waiting makes me crazy. But if you're going to do a guarantee, you and iancal are going about it the right way. Know what you're booking and make sure it's a cabin grade you can live with.

 

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The days of getting upgrades without up-sells are part of a bygone era when occupancy rates are not as good as they are now.  Occupancy rates have been extremely high.  All of the travel industry has brought some pretty impressive technology to managing their fleets - that is why most flights are now full.  Here is an informative read

 

Cruise Industry Occupancy Rates

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We only book balcony gtys.  Often, on some cruise lines at certain times the gty is for a certain class of above of balcony cabin.  This reduces risk for us.  We do not expect an upgrade.  The cruise line views us a customer.  I have no doubt that they would rather dangle a great offer in front of a prospective customer than a current, locked in customer.  The one exception to this appears to be Neptune Suites on HAL where there appears to be a good chance of unsold product.

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1 minute ago, iancal said:

 The one exception to this appears to be Neptune Suites on HAL where there appears to be a good chance of unsold product.

I guess I am looking at different cruises.  I tend to take very long voyages and the Neptunes sell out immediately as do all of the upper tier cabins/suites.

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We have had folks ask us, why do you book a guarantee?  And our answer is usually something smart like, "why not?"  Like a majority of cruisers, we used to spend a lot of time looking at deck plans and carefully choosing our cabin.  But over the years we found that even the best chosen cabins had their issues be it noisy neighbors, a large bolt rolling around in our ceiling, faulty a/c, etc.  We also could care less whether we are amidships or towards the bow (we are not big fans of the stern third of any ship).  But we finally realized that our best cabins were simply a matter of luck.  So now, we often do guarantees (especially if it saves us money) and have seldom have a complaint about location.  DW and I actually prefer cabins forward of the forward elevators (the part of the ship with the least foot traffic in the corridor) and this location is not popular with a lot of cruisers.  It turns out that many of our guarantees put us into these forward cabin...often with an upgrade.

 

Hank

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, iancal said:

We only book balcony gtys.  Often, on some cruise lines at certain times the gty is for a certain class of above of balcony cabin.  This reduces risk for us.  We do not expect an upgrade.  The cruise line views us a customer.  I have no doubt that they would rather dangle a great offer in front of a prospective customer than a current, locked in customer.  The one exception to this appears to be Neptune Suites on HAL where there appears to be a good chance of unsold product.

 

35 minutes ago, Mary229 said:

I guess I am looking at different cruises.  I tend to take very long voyages and the Neptunes sell out immediately as do all of the upper tier cabins/suites.

 

These two posts appear to be in conflict with each other, but they really are not IMO.  The upsells to Neptunes REALLY depend on the HAL ship.  The Vista class ships IMO were built with too many Neptunes for their size.  The smaller R and S class ships have half as many Neptunes.  The new Pinnacle class ships really cut back on the number of Signature and Neptune cabins (vs the Vista class ones), as HAL learned their lesson (I think).

 

When we are on an R or S class ship, we find that the Neptunes are pretty well sold out and thus hard (but not impossible) to get an upsell.  When we are on a Vista class ship, we have gotten upsell offers 80-90% of the time.   

Edited by DaveOKC

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