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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 5th, 2011, 02:04 AM
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Default Upgrades how do they work?

If you don't choose your cabin # you have a chance of being upgraded. Can an upgrade take you from an inside cabin to an outside, or an outside to a balcony if the ship is selling out? Or only within a catagory perhaps on a higher deck? Some girls I know got upgraded on one Carnival cruise from an inside to a balcony without being charged extra! Was that a rare thing?
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Old January 5th, 2011, 02:20 AM
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Free upgrades (other than those advertised with sales bythe cruise lines... which are kind of suspect too I think) are very rare these days, other than a change of decks within the same category.

Many lines have no gone to the option of contacting booked passengers to offer a higher category cabin for less than it would have cost at time of booking (upsell). They offer customers " a deal" to upgrade in an effort to increase revenue.

I've had my own theory on free upgrades for awhile now; I believe the cruise lines offer them to first time cruisers more than they do to repeaters on their line. The loyal customers are already loyal. Impress a new customer and you're more likely to make them a returning customer.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 02:33 AM
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I work at a hotel, and just like a cruise ship, we want to be at 100% occupancy every night (or every sailing for a ship). There are strategies for this. As previously mentioned, selling a category guarantee instead of a cabin number is the best way. If you have 1200 cabins, but your outside verandahs are not selling, then open the system up to selling more inside or ocean view guarantees, and just upgrade as needed. Then there is the math. The person who paid the most and/or booked earliest is most likely to get upgraded first. If you paid $500 for a 5n cruise, but your friend Bob only paid $300, you're going to get upgraded so the cruise line can sell another inside for $300.

I think a good way to see if your inside guarantee will get upgraded ... goto the web and start looking at the category you want upgraded to. Does that sailing still have *a lot* of staterooms in that category left to sell? If they do, then there's a better chance of you getting upgraded. Are there only 5 ocean views left to book on that ship? Well if you want to see the sun in the morning, you better pay for the ocean view.

Its also a known fact that hotels will overbook a certain room category, usually the cheapest one, knowing they can upgrade guests when the time comes. Why? Again 100% occupancy is the goal. A suite that is empty tonight makes no money. A suite that has someone that originally booked a $99/night room is still making some money, and then the next guest in line stays in the $99/night room. The hotel still sells out. Guest A feels great because they got the upgrade, Guest B is okay because they got what they paid for.

If you're a super bargain hunter and book as cheap as it can go, will you get an upgrade? I won't say no, but I will say the odds are slim.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 05:53 AM
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You have a slight chance of obtaining an upgrade when booking a guarantee catagory, where you don't actually book a certain cabin # when booking. At sometime before they cruie they assign you a cabin, usually in that catagory, but sometimes a high catagory, it can also save you a few dollars when you first book.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 08:59 AM
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Over the years, we've booked inside GTY a lot, and we've almost always gotten upgraded. The normal upgrade is inside to inside, but on a higher deck. I have, however, (just happened again on our last cruise) been upgraded from an inside guarantee, to a balcony. VERY uncommon, but it DOES happen..

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Old January 5th, 2011, 09:34 AM
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We have booked guaranteed ocean view twice - upgraded to balcony once and stayed on on deck on on the other.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by skymaster View Post
Over the years, we've booked inside GTY a lot, and we've almost always gotten upgraded. The normal upgrade is inside to inside, but on a higher deck. I have, however, (just happened again on our last cruise) been upgraded from an inside guarantee, to a balcony. VERY uncommon, but it DOES happen..

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Sky.. they've got you right where they want you if you consider a move from inside to inside an upgrade
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:49 AM
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upgrades depend upon the whim of the upgrade fairy
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Old January 5th, 2011, 12:23 PM
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Talking The Upgrade Fairy

The reservations department of any cruise line is a large room, full of eager young representatives with powerful computers, messing around with cabin assignments. Their principal function is to make Travel Agents tear their hair out and to say NO to upgrade requests. However, over in the corner is a rickety old desk with an obselete computer system and a rotary dial phone. It belongs to an elderly clerk who is usually out on sick leave. But when she does come into the office, occasionally she lays her knitting down on the keyboard and it strikes a random key which gives an upgrade, sometimes a wonderful upgrade, to somebody! She is known as the UPGRADE FAIRY, and no living human being has any idea how she chooses the reservations that she touches with her magic. The best thing to do is to book a guarantee for a category that you will be fully satisfied with. If you wind up in that category be happy and enjoy your cruise. And if ... just IF ... the Upgrade Fairy touches you, then congratulate yourself that you are one of the lucky ones!
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Old January 5th, 2011, 02:37 PM
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We were upgraded once-up one deck to another inside cabin....directly under the galley AKA the cabin from hell. That is why we ALWAYS book a cabin we know we can live with, assuming we will not get upgraded.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:32 PM
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Sky.. they've got you right where they want you if you consider a move from inside to inside an upgrade
Kuki,,,,when you're just a "po boy" like me, getting to move from my inside on the Riviera Deck, to a mid-ship inside cabin on the Empress, or Verandah Deck is absolutely an upgrade. If I happen to get an ocean view, or even a balcony, then that's a REAL upgrade. Bottom line is just get me on the ship and me and the lovely Mrs. Jones (Vita) will be happy!

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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:43 PM
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Well I choose my cabin number on my next cruise so no upgrade for me, however the upgrade fairy blessed a fellow passenger and moved him from an outside to a spa cabin! One of those with floor to ceiling windows! How lucky!
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki View Post
Free upgrades (other than those advertised with sales bythe cruise lines... which are kind of suspect too I think) are very rare these days, other than a change of decks within the same category.

Many lines have no gone to the option of contacting booked passengers to offer a higher category cabin for less than it would have cost at time of booking (upsell). They offer customers " a deal" to upgrade in an effort to increase revenue.

I've had my own theory on free upgrades for awhile now; I believe the cruise lines offer them to first time cruisers more than they do to repeaters on their line. The loyal customers are already loyal. Impress a new customer and you're more likely to make them a returning customer.
I recently had an acquaintance who cruised solo and was upgraded to a balcony at no charge. She claims also that she was not charged a supplement. She is a first-time cruiser. Why is it that I, who have cruised regularly since 1987, have never been upgraded? I have paid full fare and also discounted, but have never been upgraded or given any perks. Am I dumb or stupid?
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Old January 6th, 2011, 12:39 AM
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Default My observations

1----SkippersMom, I think Kuki's theory is true about 1st timers getting upgrades. I have seen that a lot, but more so in the past.

2----Also very true that a guarantee booking is much much more likely to get an upgrade than an assigned cabin.

3----The latest trend I see is: Many more upgrades are given to bookings made through Travel Agents. Not the mega-online TA's, but standard TA's. I think TA's have complained to the cruise lines about this in the past and the they have responded. I have heard or read a lot of this of late.

Hawkeyes observations are 'right on' too.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Skipper's Mom View Post
I recently had an acquaintance who cruised solo and was upgraded to a balcony at no charge. She claims also that she was not charged a supplement. She is a first-time cruiser. Why is it that I, who have cruised regularly since 1987, have never been upgraded? I have paid full fare and also discounted, but have never been upgraded or given any perks. Am I dumb or stupid?
It would be really interesting to see what people paid if they had to show you their invoice instead of tell you

It's amazing the "deals" you hear about that people got when you talk to some of them on ships

In the case of a single supplement, it is possible that that single supplement could have been waved or reduced, as some lines do occassionally make those offers... but they'd have know that at time of booking.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 10:14 AM
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Just a short story. A couple of cruises ago, I selected a 4K cabin on "Miracle". I selected this cabin, because it is just slightly above the cost of an inside, but it DOES have French Doors that open, but no balcony. We boarded the ship, and were sitting in the cabin, when the door opened, and a couple walked in. They were obviously VERY surprised to see someone in the cabin. (Not nearly as surprised as we were to see them enter our cabin. They excused themselves, saying, "sorry, wrong cabin" so we assumed we hadn't latched the door, and they just pushed it to get in. A few minutes later, the phone rang, and someone at the pursers desk ask who we were. I told him, and he paused, then told me that we'd been upgraded to a balcony, and to please vacate OUR cabin immediately, and report to the pursers desk for the NEW key to our NEW cabin! When I asked about how they had assigned the cabin to two different folks, when I had booked this specific cabin 8 months before, he said the cabin had been sold on the dock????? When I questioned that, he said that they were doing that again. (I thought it was illegal because of the requirement of the immigration folks to have a list of the passengers 48 hours, or whatever, in advance.) Bottom line, we were upgraded to a balcony, from a 4-K, even though we HAD selected our specific cabin!

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Old January 6th, 2011, 12:06 PM
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Just a short story. A couple of cruises ago, I selected a 4K cabin on "Miracle". I selected this cabin, because it is just slightly above the cost of an inside, but it DOES have French Doors that open, but no balcony. We boarded the ship, and were sitting in the cabin, when the door opened, and a couple walked in. They were obviously VERY surprised to see someone in the cabin. (Not nearly as surprised as we were to see them enter our cabin. They excused themselves, saying, "sorry, wrong cabin" so we assumed we hadn't latched the door, and they just pushed it to get in. A few minutes later, the phone rang, and someone at the pursers desk ask who we were. I told him, and he paused, then told me that we'd been upgraded to a balcony, and to please vacate OUR cabin immediately, and report to the pursers desk for the NEW key to our NEW cabin! When I asked about how they had assigned the cabin to two different folks, when I had booked this specific cabin 8 months before, he said the cabin had been sold on the dock????? When I questioned that, he said that they were doing that again. (I thought it was illegal because of the requirement of the immigration folks to have a list of the passengers 48 hours, or whatever, in advance.) Bottom line, we were upgraded to a balcony, from a 4-K, even though we HAD selected our specific cabin!

"SKY"
That's interesting on several fronts. Thanks for sharing.

BTW-there is no 48 hr or 3-day advance booking rule requirements. Never have been. They did change the time that the manifest has to be submitted, but not by much.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 01:17 PM
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We always used to book ROTS, but almost always ended up on the lowest deck possible, or extreme forward or extreme aft. No, I book my cabin. I prefer mid-ship.

Interesting to see others here say they book inside - I thought I was the only one. Everyone here talks about their balconies, this the first time I've seen others admit to being insiders. Even if I save $50 bucks by being inside .... it's $50 bucks saved! Also, I really do like the "blackout effect" of being inside. We don't really spend time in our cabin, so its just a place to sleep, shower, and dress.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 01:26 PM
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We always used to book ROTS, but almost always ended up on the lowest deck possible, or extreme forward or extreme aft. No, I book my cabin. I prefer mid-ship.

Interesting to see others here say they book inside - I thought I was the only one. Everyone here talks about their balconies, this the first time I've seen others admit to being insiders. Even if I save $50 bucks by being inside .... it's $50 bucks saved! Also, I really do like the "blackout effect" of being inside. We don't really spend time in our cabin, so its just a place to sleep, shower, and dress.
The blackout effect is nice for falling asleep, but for me, I had a horrible time waking up each day on my 7n inside cabin. I need natural light to help me wake up.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 01:35 PM
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Question Upgrades

Well, my story about the "upgrade fairy" aside we have had pretty good luck with upgrades. What are the factors? Nobody knows. Now in our case, my DW is a local Travel Agent booking through a good network. Does that help us any? We are also Elite on Princess. Does that help us any? We usually book far in advance. Does that help us any?

We almost always book guaranteed on the least expensive outside cabin. On several occasions we have been upgraded from obstructed outsides to good outsides on high decks. Twice we were upgraded from obstructed outside to balconies. Some of those times our traveling companions on linked records were also upgraded, once to the balcony cabin immediately next to ours.

Other times we have received no upgrade at all, and cabins in the "least desirable" locations of the category we booked.

So who knows??
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Old January 6th, 2011, 01:44 PM
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BTW-there is no 48 hr or 3-day advance booking rule requirements. Never have been. They did change the time that the manifest has to be submitted, but not by much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen of Oakville View Post
Interesting to see others here say they book inside - I thought I was the only one. Everyone here talks about their balconies, this the first time I've seen others admit to being insiders. Even if I save $50 bucks by being inside .... it's $50 bucks saved! Also, I really do like the "blackout effect" of being inside. We don't really spend time in our cabin, so its just a place to sleep, shower, and dress.
I'd always read that there was a "time frame" when the manifest was to be submitted, so just assumed it to be fact. Many years ago, we'd go to the port with suitcase in hand, and register for "standby". More often than not, we'd get to sail for next to nothing! Apparently, that's what the folks did who got our cabin!
We almost always book inside, and always enjoy those cabins, and the extra money that we save by doing so. I too love the dark cabin in the afternoon, which is GREAT for that afternoon nap. That prepares us for a fun night, without going to sleep in the theater!

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Old January 6th, 2011, 03:27 PM
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I researched this on my own almost three years ago and posted it in a few threads.

How late is too late

That was actually incorrect information that even I believed. It was that way for about a month after 9/11 and that was it. I also believed who I thought was a "reliable" source that it was 72 hours but have now learned I need to verify things on my own.

The manifest must be submitted to Homeland Security one hour before sailing. It was 24 hours a few months ago.

The current booking requirements are:

Carnival: Day of sailing
RCI: 24 hours before sailing

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Old January 6th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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I researched this on my own almost three years ago and posted it in a few threads.

How late is too late

That was actually incorrect information that even I believed. It was that way for about a month after 9/11 and that was it. I also believed who I thought was a "reliable" source that it was 72 hours but have now learned I need to verify things on my own.

The manifest must be submitted to Homeland Security one hour before sailing. It was 24 hours a few months ago.

The current booking requirements are:

Carnival: Day of sailing
RCI: 24 hours before sailing

Take care,
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RE: Manifest

I see I posted on that thread, maybe it was my informtion you were confirming. ;-)

Mike the new rule has always been the 1 hour. Some may have insinuated it was longer, but it never was.

Previously it could be several days after sailing provided that the 1st call was NOT a U.S. port. If so it was 24 hour prior to arrival of that port.

RCL: 24hrs is an internal company rule. They have always been different from Carnival and you couldn't do walk ups inside the 24 hours for a long time-even b4 9/11.

This has always been the #2 misconception out there about cruise requirements or regulations. #1 is muster drill, but I don't want to open that can of worms.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 07:16 PM
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Thanks for the GOOD information guys! I too, believed the myth of the 24-72-whatever manifest to Homeland Security. HMMM,,,,Maybe I'll start running over to the port of Tampa, luggage in hand the day of sailing again! That's exactly what the folks did who BOUGHT my cabin on the "Miracle"! The only problem was, that they forgot to tell anyone at embarkation, that we had been upgraded! It really was a shock when that couple walked into our cabin. (Could have been highly embarrassing as well!)

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Old January 6th, 2011, 07:24 PM
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Thanks for the GOOD information guys! I too, believed the myth of the 24-72-whatever manifest to Homeland Security. HMMM,,,,Maybe I'll start running over to the port of Tampa, luggage in hand the day of sailing again! That's exactly what the folks did who BOUGHT my cabin on the "Miracle"! The only problem was, that they forgot to tell anyone at embarkation, that we had been upgraded! It really was a shock when that couple walked into our cabin. (Could have been highly embarrassing as well!)

"SKY"
Yes that is amazing. I relayed the story to the lovely Mrs. McDonald (Terry) this afternoon and it could have been a bigger surprise for sure was her comment.

I always love how you do that Sky-hope you don't mind my copying!
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Old January 7th, 2011, 09:00 AM
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Yes that is amazing. I relayed the story to the lovely Mrs. McDonald (Terry) this afternoon and it could have been a bigger surprise for sure was her comment.

I always love how you do that Sky-hope you don't mind my copying!
HA! Nope, no problem at all. I'm absolutely sure that the lovely Mrs. Jones (Vita) won't mind either, and I'm also absolutely sure that the lovely Mrs. McDonald (Terry) is absolutely LOVELY!

"SKY"
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