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unsual question about cabin upgrades


rfkeith10
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We have cruised many times with NCL but this is the first time we have bid on a cabin/suite upgrade.  Does anyone know what criteria they use for selection---other than bid amount?  Do they ever take into consideration the number of NCL cruises a person has taken or your Latitudes level?  I would suspect that those factors are not considered in the selection process but thought I would ask...

 

 

Ray

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I don't think anyone really knows.  I've thought about it before but I think the process would start at the top and work it's way down filling the Haven first.  Once someone wins a bid, their room then becomes available for another upgrade.  I'd imagine first criteria would be bid amount and where you are trying to upgrade from.  Someone in a spa or suite bidding $1000 would win over someone bidding $1000 from Balcony or inside for the same room.   In the event of a "tie" I could see them using latitudes level as a tie breaker but I have no proof of that.

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From what Ive heard from NCL directly its a computer not a person who decides and no it does not matter how often you have cruised with them before. We have cruised numerous cruises with them and never got accepted with strong bids. Its luck! Now when I want Haven I book it right away. The waiting game can play havoc on your nerves. Book the category room you are very happy with. Good luck!

Edited by dam64
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17 minutes ago, dam64 said:

From what Ive heard from NCL directly its a computer not a person who decides and no it does not matter how often you have cruised with them before. We have cruised numerous cruises with them and never got accepted with strong bids. Its luck! Now when I want Haven I book it right away. The waiting game can play havoc on your nerves. Book the category room you are very happy with. Good luck!

Thanks for the reply.  I share a lot of the same thoughts as you.  Our cruise is in 60 days and I guess NCL does not post their decisions until shortly before sail date.  It's a long wait.  We are in Front facing penthouse suite and am hoping (and bidding) on a couple suites that are actually within the Haven complex.  Time will tell!

 

Ray

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This is not an unusual question. It is asked all the time and there is a HUGE thread about it. All we know is what we can see in the code that is submitted when a bid is submitted. Remember the Upgrade Advantage Program is handled by a third party called PlusGrade. In the bid submission form code, we can see that your current cabin, Latitudes number, amount originally paid for your room, bid amount, bid date & time, etc. are submitted. What none of us knows for sure is how or if any or all of that information is factored into your bid success chances. What we can safely assume is that NCL wants to make money. They are going to do what nets them the most money. Logically, that means accepting the CHAIN of bids (because remember, every accepted bid opens up a cabin for another accepted bid) that is going to net them the most money. It's possible that they have AI the looks at your latitude number and your previous onboard spending and factors that in in some way, but I honestly think that's unlikely, since they are using a third party and we don't know what stored data NCL may have passed on to that third party beyond the stuff that gets submitted with your bid.

 

I definitely disagree with the above poster who said it's "luck", like its a lottery or a raffle. That is definitely NOT the case.

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On my last cruise our bid was accepted about 50 days out.  However, when we got on board there were signs posted that they were completely sold out.  My guess is that the inside rooms sold out early & they immediately processed those requesting oceanview upgrades so they could offer the insides again.  Our bid was not much above the minimum.

 

On a different cruise, my father bid for a balcony room from an inside and received it the same week as the cruise.  I think that timing is more common.

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Another question.........we’re about  60:days from sailing.......of course final payment done..... could I just call and switch to a Haven cabin if I pay the difference between what I paid for the Mini Suite and the current Haven price???????

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1 hour ago, margoula said:

Another question.........we’re about  60:days from sailing.......of course final payment done..... could I just call and switch to a Haven cabin if I pay the difference between what I paid for the Mini Suite and the current Haven price???????

Maybe.  In my experience it depends on who answers the phone!  On my first NCL cruise, I had an inside sail-away and when the price dropped, I paid another $50 to upgrade to OV.  Price dropped again about 2 weeks before cruise date and when I called, they said they'd give me some OBC - I told them no, I wanted to pay to upgrade.  They consulted with their supervisor and I got my upgrade.  Funny thing is, I'd put in a bid that was higher than what I ended up paying for a very nice balcony - but they hadn't processed the bids yet apparently.

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2 hours ago, margoula said:

Another question.........we’re about  60:days from sailing.......of course final payment done..... could I just call and switch to a Haven cabin if I pay the difference between what I paid for the Mini Suite and the current Haven price???????

It’s worth a call. 

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15 hours ago, margoula said:

Another question.........we’re about  60:days from sailing.......of course final payment done..... could I just call and switch to a Haven cabin if I pay the difference between what I paid for the Mini Suite and the current Haven price???????

 

Yes it’s possible.  I did it last year - after final payment I upgraded from a balcony to a forward facing suite.  Lost the distinctive voyage perk from the original booking but gained the double latitudes points as the current promotion at the time of the upgrade.

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In past discussions there has been consensus that it is a revenue maximizing methodology more than anything.  When they look to fill available balconies from oceanview and inside bidders, they look at your bid+what you paid to see what you would be paying for that balcony cabin... and award the cabins based on the highest combined numbers. Perhaps there are some other factors that influence it, such as Latitudes members vs. non members/first timers, but that's a guess.

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1 hour ago, PelicanBill said:

In past discussions there has been consensus that it is a revenue maximizing methodology more than anything.  When they look to fill available balconies from oceanview and inside bidders, they look at your bid+what you paid to see what you would be paying for that balcony cabin... and award the cabins based on the highest combined numbers. Perhaps there are some other factors that influence it, such as Latitudes members vs. non members/first timers, but that's a guess.

 

There's a lot of debate about whether or not they actually factor in what you originally paid. From a business standpoint, what you already paid should NOT be a factor. They already have that money. Bidding is likely about how much MORE money they can make. If they *did* factor in what you originally paid, then CAS comped rooms would never win upgrades, but they win upgrades all the time. What you originally paid is part of the data that is sent when submitting a bid, so it may be used, but we haven't seen much evidence that it actually is and from a money-making standpoint, there really would be no benefit to factoring it in.

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23 minutes ago, JamieLogical said:

 

There's a lot of debate about whether or not they actually factor in what you originally paid. From a business standpoint, what you already paid should NOT be a factor. They already have that money. Bidding is likely about how much MORE money they can make. If they *did* factor in what you originally paid, then CAS comped rooms would never win upgrades, but they win upgrades all the time. What you originally paid is part of the data that is sent when submitting a bid, so it may be used, but we haven't seen much evidence that it actually is and from a money-making standpoint, there really would be no benefit to factoring it in.

 

I could see it being a tie breaker. Two people who had the same bid. Let's reward the one that already spent more money with us in the hopes of it making that person happy and more likely to return. But it's not in a vacuum. Besides the chain you mentioned earlier, it's also what they're freeing up - because at the bottom of the chain there's going to be an empty cabin, but they could stop at balcony if they thought that was more likely to be booked or go all the way down to inside if they happened to have oversold the GTY insides or stop at oceanview if they over sold that. 

 

Hard to say in which order of things they put in the algorithm beyond the obvious "most money" as the first priority. 

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