HAL offers paid upgrades first. We booked an inside guarantee on our HAL Alaska cruise and were asked about a month before sailing if we wanted to pay $199 for an upgrade to a balcony..Hmmm yes please! If there were people that wouldn't pay, then they'd upgrade anyone for free I would assume. Total luck of the draw how upgrades are handed out. Your reservation would also have to indicate that you would be willing to be upgraded.