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Let Princess assign your cabin


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I booked a guaranteed obstructed  oceanview  OZ category on the Star for the July 7th sailing. I booked it the first week of May, so right around the final payment time. I was never contacted about our cabin assignment, it showed up in my cruise personalizer, the first week of June. We were assigned a partial obstructed view cabin midship OV. So a nice little upgrade😊

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20 minutes ago, Talisi said:

What has been anyone's experience when letting Princess assign your cabin at a later date during booking? Are you contacted? Do they offer upgrades? Any information is helpful.

We have had only one cruise where we were in a Princess assigned cabin. We booked late through a travel agent.  The cabin assignment came in about 2 weeks prior to the cruise and it was quite good.  I still prefer to book the specific cabin, but would not hesitate in doing a Princess assigned booking if no cabin of my choosing were available.

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I recently booked a guaranteed balcony cabin on the Royal for July NB Alaskan cruise. I booked through my Princess Vacation Planner (PVP) under a sale. She put me in for an upgrade.  With a casino rate, we paid $466 pp + fees,  Friday we got our cabin assignment, a deluxe balcony cabin! Nice upgrade.

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We booked guaranteed in the Balcony Forward Section (BF), and received Balcony Mid-forward (BC). A three-class(?) upgrade worth about $60/person. Assignment was about 5 weeks prior to sailing date. I found out by checking my cruise on princess's website. Never received an e-mail or anything.

 

I am told by others here that Princess can still change the assignment, so I won't consider it final until 3 days prior to sailing.

Edited by richmke
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Got a Guaranteed Cabin that didn’t go so well.  Princess assigned me to a cabin forward.  I must have been right below the Princess theater or directly where the anchor was.   Noise at night from the theater, and the anchor chain when docking and leaving port.  It was a cabin from hell.  Not worth it to me.

Take your chances, and good luck.  YMMV.

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3 hours ago, Talisi said:

What has been anyone's experience when letting Princess assign your cabin at a later date during booking? Are you contacted? Do they offer upgrades? Any information is helpful.

You are at their mercy and you have no control.

You are guaranteed the Cat you picked.

I always say if you are worried about your cabin assignment don't use the GTY option.

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We've done a guarantee cabin a few times. Usually we get the same as we booked (e.g. booked oceanview, and got an oceanview -- although sometimes it's one in a slightly higher category). One time we were upgraded from an obstructed Oceanview guarantee to a mid-ship Caribe Balcony -- though that was our honeymoon, so I'm not sure if that helped our odds! I wouldn't hesitate to book a guarantee again, but would definitely make sure I select the minimum category I'd be happy with since upgrades are not guaranteed. 

 

Also, there definitely was no notification when we received our room assignment. I just kept checking the cruise personalizer, and eventually saw it. Usually closer to the cruise. I have definitely heard of people not getting their assignment until embarkation though.

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I've booked a lot of guarantees on Princess ships. If you have a good travel agent, he or she will forward the cabin assignment to you. But I usually will spot it on the Cruise Personalizer beforehand.

 

On my upcoming back-to-back cruises on the Island to Alaska, I booked the lowest category inside cabin (Cat. IF) and got an upgrade to an unobstructed ocean view cabin (Cat. OB).

 

Our worst upgrade ever was from an obstructed view cabin to an unobstructed one on the Caribbean Princess. We ended up in the tiniest imaginable cabin at the front of the ship (P201). It was so tiny that there was just one nightstand. My side of the bed was pushed up against the wall. There was a porthole, but it was so recessed that it wasn't much use.

 

Our best upgrade was from an obstructed view guarantee to a cabin with a balcony.

 

If you're lucky, you'll receive your cabin assignment a couple of months before sailing, when there are still some available cabins in the category you received. On our Royal Princess cruise last fall, we received an assignment to one of the Cat. IB cabins that sleeps four. The upper berths in those inside cabins stick out from the wall. But since there were other Cat. IB cabin still available, we were able to request to be assigned to one of them that did not have the upper berths.

Edited by geoherb
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We have done many guarantees on Princess (and other lines) and never been unhappy. We always get at least the minimum category (under the guarantee) and often upgrades...although they are usually within the same type of cabin (balcony to balcony, mini to mini).  Most of our guarantees have saved us money and normally, DW and I could care less whether we are towards the bow, stern or amidships.  But there are exceptions.  Today we did a last minute booking on the Caribbean Princess and wanted a mini.  In the lowest category (fine with us) there were only 3 available cabins...2 far astern on E deck and 1 very far forward on D deck.  This particular ship is known for having some vibration (most likely due to cavitation) aft and we dislike vibration and shimmy motion.  So rather than book a guarantee (which might have gotten us a higher category mini) we snagged that cabin near the bow.  Truth is that DW and I really like cabins near the bow because there is a lot less noisy foot traffic in the corridor and we do not mind the motion in heavy seas.  But we do dislike the constant vibration that can happen toward astern when you get cavitation and engine vibration.

 

So, here is my advice based on more than 40 years of extensive cruising.  Book a guarantee if it saves you money and you are not choosy about location.  If there is a cabin available in a location that you really like, and the cost is about the same, then book that cabin.  Do not play games hoping for upgrades because real upgrades (we are talking things like a balcony to a suite) are now very rare.   We are in the world of "upsells" where most cruise lines will try to get additional money for true upgrades.  

 

I should add that over a lot of time with many cruise lines, a majority of our guarantees have put us in cabins located in the front quarter of a ship.  Cabins towards the bow are the least popular (because folks worry about motion) so that is often what is left for guarantees.  Personally, we love cabins near the bow so guarantees work for us.  If you do a guarantee and find out you hate the cabin assignment, immediately call the cruise line or your cruise/travel agent and ask if you there are other options.

 

Hank

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Booking a guarantee can be a crap shoot.  As OP said, if you don't care about the location, then go for it.  However, keep in mind, you can possibility be assigned a cabin that no one wants so it can be in a bad location like under the disco, the lido deck, across the hall from where they stage room service, the ice machine dumping every 20 minutes, way forward, aft so you have to hike a mile to an elevator/stairs.  However, most of the time, it does work out better than what your budget has indicated you can afford.  Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  

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The only time we booked a GTY was when there was no other option. We ended up with a cabin on Aloha deck. We were not happy campers, heavy 5am traffic, staff, carts, etc, very noisy cabin.  Never again! 

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I've only got one Princess cruise under my belt and it was a short, northbound Pacific Coastal on the Coral. It was not very well subscribed and I paid a few hundred dollars pp for the least-expensive inside GTY, several months before final payment.  My initial cabin was assigned very quickly but I ended up with two or three re-assignments prior to sailing.  The last one was a partially obstructed balcony - score!! 

 

We are hoping against hope for something similar to happen on our upcoming British Isles cruise on the Regal. The prices were breath-taking so I presume that means the demand is high and free upgrades are out of the question but one can dream...

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Have booked many guarantees and most turned out well.  Coming up at the end of the month booked IF guarantee on Royal.  Was assigned IB mid ship.   I did receive an email from Princess of an upgrade, had been checking daily for assignment 

 

i booked online with Princess about 30 days before sailing.  

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6 hours ago, ronandannette said:

We are hoping against hope for something similar to happen on our upcoming British Isles cruise on the Regal. The prices were breath-taking so I presume that means the demand is high and free upgrades are out of the question but one can dream...

 

On our British Isles cruise, Princess oversold balcony cabins. They were making move-down offers, giving people their cruise fares back in exchange for switching to an inside cabin. We met a couple who enjoyed their free cruise. We were perfectly happy in our inside cabin on that cruise. The cool weather and long days in port meant that we would not have enjoyed much time on a balcony if we had one.

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As long as you don't really care where the location is you might be OK but I'm convinced that they hold back on some cabins for the last assignments which they know have had problems in the past. 

Although the odds are against it if you're unlucky to get one of those, you'll never choose that option again.

ie. consistent noise problems, air conditioning problems, location, etc.

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17 hours ago, Kingofcool1947 said:

Got a Guaranteed Cabin that didn’t go so well.  Princess assigned me to a cabin forward.  I must have been right below the Princess theater or directly where the anchor was.   Noise at night from the theater, and the anchor chain when docking and leaving port.  It was a cabin from hell.  Not worth it to me.

Take your chances, and good luck.  YMMV.

 

 

My preference is to book early and select my own cabin with passengers above, below, and across the corridor. Mark it "no upgrades."  Then watch for price drops.

 

The cruise line idea of an upgrade may put you above a nightclub or right below another noisy venue.

 

We haven't been disappointed yet, but cruise friends who take their chances have been.

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15 hours ago, JoRoy218 said:

The only time we booked a GTY was when there was no other option. We ended up with a cabin on Aloha deck. We were not happy campers, heavy 5am traffic, staff, carts, etc, very noisy cabin.  Never again! 

 

Don't feel too bad.  We fell for this 3 times and were sorry every time.  I do love Princess, so not trying to bash them, but they've always stuck us in a horrible location ... you know, those cabins that nobody else in the know will willingly book.  

Funny thing is, we've ended up very lucky when booking a guarantee on another cruiseline but we always choose to pick our own cabin very carefully after researching the deck plans and cabin annoyances on this site.  

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8 hours ago, MissP22 said:

As long as you don't really care where the location is you might be OK but I'm convinced that they hold back on some cabins for the last assignments which they know have had problems in the past. 

Although the odds are against it if you're unlucky to get one of those, you'll never choose that option again.

ie. consistent noise problems, air conditioning problems, location, etc.

 

Unless you're one of those who can make the most of the situation. I've taken a shot at booking six cruises with guarantee cabins after our bad experience in P201, and I haven't been disappointed again like we were that time. Just know before booking that there may be a cabin that Princess considers an upgrade that really isn't.

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