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Old May 28th, 2011, 07:56 PM
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Default Just curious about people recreiving upgrades...

Every once in awhile the subject of upgrades comes up and how to get them, etc...So far, I've never received one, I always book a cabin I know I will be happy with, even if its a guarantee catagory....

If anyone has gotten one, how did it happen, booking early, past passenger, what do you think helped in getting you an upgrade???
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Old May 28th, 2011, 08:03 PM
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In 2008 we booked an outside cabin .We booked 6 weeks prior to sailing and got an upgrade to a balcony .The TA we used said it was because she had a personal relationship with the cruise line reps .
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Old May 28th, 2011, 10:09 PM
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I've had a few of what I'd call "upgrades".

On our Mercury, Alaska, cruise we were upgraded from a Cat 2 balcony to a Cat 1 (now classified as a Sky Suite).

We were upgraded on Ocean Princess from a BA balcony to an AB mini-suite.

On NCL we were upgraded from BA balcony to an AF mini-suite.

I haven't booked too many guarantees in the last few years. If an aft balcony is available I'll grab that or we book so close to sailing we take the best cabin available.

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Old May 28th, 2011, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
In 2008 we booked an outside cabin .We booked 6 weeks prior to sailing and got an upgrade to a balcony .The TA we used said it was because she had a personal relationship with the cruise line reps .
Henry.. nice upgrade. BUT if a TA claims it was their doing they don't deal with truth well
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Old May 29th, 2011, 10:19 AM
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I realize that the cruise line and not the TA got us the upgrade but the implication was that because of her "relationship" with the line we were given the upgrade .Would it have happened with any TA ,possible I guess .
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Old May 29th, 2011, 12:54 PM
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We got upgraded several years ago on Carnival Legend; booked a lowest category guarantee and got an outside (non balcony, view partially blocked by a lifeboat) handicapped accessible room. It was the largest, nicest cabin we've had, very close to the dining room, and an 8 day cruise no less.

It was our 4th cruise with Carnival; I don't know why we got the upgrade but we loved it.

Andy
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Old May 29th, 2011, 01:01 PM
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Talking Upgrades

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 May 29th, 2011, 01:07 PM
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Question Upgrades

OK, seriously, despite the Upgrade Fairy theory ...

We normally book a guarantee in the lowest unobstructed outside, because we will be happy with that.

On almost every cruise we have taken recently, we have gotten upgraded to a balcony. Is that just a lucky sprinkling of fairy dust or are we doing it in a way to help us get upgraded?

We are Platinum on HAL, RCI and Princess. Does that help?

We book very early. Does that help?

We have been booking fairly exotic cruises lately, not just 7 day Caribbeans. Does that help?

Our Travel Agent (yes, that is my DW ...) is a Princess Commodore, an RCI Specialist, and whatever the equivalent training is on HAL. Does that help?

She keeps in close touch with her DSM (District Service Manager) as cruise time nears. Does that help?

I blog every trip at http://www.bully4.us/cruising.html with my honest comments, and let the cruise lines know I do. Does that help?

I let them know I am a member of CruiseMates and will be posting a report. Does that help?

Somehow we get the upgrades. I still think the fairy dust theory is the most plausible.

And, if we don't get the upgrade, we are happy in our outside cabin.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna View Post
Every once in awhile the subject of upgrades comes up and how to get them, etc...So far, I've never received one, I always book a cabin I know I will be happy with, even if its a guarantee catagory....

If anyone has gotten one, how did it happen, booking early, past passenger, what do you think helped in getting you an upgrade???
Since 2003, I've had 3 upgrades, all on Carnival. Once from Inside 1A to outside, another time from Inside 1A to the Spirit Class french door cabin, and a third time from the french door cabin to a balcony. These were unrequested, but certainly appreciated and welcome. In each of these cases I had selected my cabin in advance - not a guarantee cabin - all except the balcony were given at check-in. The balcony was assigned about 2 weeks prior to the cruise. I have been very fortunate and I have no inkling why these happened to me. I also travel solo so the better rooms were quite an unexpected treat. p.s. All booked direct with the cruise line, I do not use a travel agent.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 07:35 PM
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You have to work the upgrades. For instance, I booked an inside cabin for 1099 this year, I check the website daily (especially Friday afternoons), I check vacationstogo.com, and I subscribe to cruisefish. A month or so ago, before my final payment, I got a $200 discount due to repricing. Then, I upgraded it to the next level oceanview, again due to repricing. Now, I've upgraded it to lowest level balcony by giving them back the $100 each, again, due to repricing.
My other cabin is a balcony on port side, which I booked at 1999 so I could be guaranteed where I wanted. That cabin dropped to 1799 before final payment, so I was discounted the $400 difference. I still have 7.5 weeks for more repricing. I'm hoping to bump that one up to a superior suite, since earlier sailings are now around 1799 for superior suites. If not, no big deal, because I'm where I want to be right now.

If you DO get an upgrade fairy upgrade, chances are it's because of the pricing changing to what you have already paid for the lower level. Most lines will bump you up to what your dollar amount is worth as the prices decrease. Going from non balcony to balcony almost never happens without working it.

Remember, their goal is to fill the ship. If you book the lowest level early on, they are going to want to move you out of their so they can offer your inside room as a last minute deal. But, they do forget about you sometimes. Before I learned how to work it, my inside stayed an inside, but my balcony was upgraded.

You have to check EVERY day. Some deals are for 3 days only, and the price goes up. I called my cruise consultant at 4:45 on a Friday when I found out about a price reduction. He emailed me back at 5:01, said he got it in the system, and had no time to call me. I'm glad I left him a very detailed message. The sale was over by Monday.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 09:22 PM
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T-eagle,
You sure do your homework and keep on top of the pricing, if not, you would of still been at square one. I did hold off my latest booking and booked during a 3 day sale and got $100 shipboard credit and half the deposit. Every little bit helps and pays off. Thanks for sharing your booking info.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 12:12 PM
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Exclamation Checking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tlingit Eagle View Post

You have to check EVERY day...
Or have a good Travel Agent who does that FOR you ...



But we still got most of our upgrades by just waiting for that old fairy to strike.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 03:37 PM
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What is the best way to book to have a better chance at an upgrade . . TA company web site or another cruise sales site?
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Old May 31st, 2011, 03:56 PM
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It really doesn't matter. Your chances of an upgrade increase when you book "entry" level cabins. These are the lower class inside, OV and balcony cabins. As the cruise fills up the cruise line will upgrade these cabins to make inventory they can offer at a low price. I.E. the $499 inside cabin.

The cruise lines use an automated inventory management systems to decide what cabins will be upgraded. If a TA tells you that their clients always, or almost always, receive upgrades because they have a "special" relationship with the cruise line then they are being very misleading and in many instances are just blowing smoke.

In the last couple of years the cruise lines are using the "Upsell" instead of the upgrade. The upsell is when they call you and tell you that they can sell you a better cabin for an extra charge. Often these are pretty good deals and many people take advantage of it. The cruise lines are now receiving revenue for the cabin rather than giving it away for nothing other than the original fare you paid.

Just remember that about the only way you are going to have a "reasonable" chance at an upgrade is to book a "guarantee". When a specific cabin is booked the chances of it being upgraded are very, very, very low. It happens and when it does you will see it posted but it isn't often.

Take care,
Mike
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Old May 31st, 2011, 04:16 PM
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We've only had minor upgrades but it's my own fault. 90% of the time I pick my cabin and mark it No Upgrade. HAL for Alaska we booked an inside guarantee as it was last minute dirt cheap. They called and offered a paid upgrade of $159 or $199 pp to a Balcony, we took that. Panama last week we booked a BG or BH Guarantee and got a BD. We've booked a BC Guarantee on the Ocean Princess next year so it'll be interesting to see what we get. I think a long time ago we were upgraded from a Balcony to a Mini on Princess.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 07:29 PM
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That is also my hope when booking a guarantee catagory...I always book a balcony hoping for a mini suite, may-be someday? I do hear that it does happen, just not to me.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 08:29 AM
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Our first cruise (Carnival) we booked guaranteed ocean views and got balconies. I think we may have gotten bumped up so they could sell more less expensive cabins. We met a couple on that cruise that had booked an inside cabin and got a balcony. Our next cruise we did the same thing again and were not upgraded.

Our Princess cruise we booked a guaranteed balcony (at least cat BF) and received a cat BB balcony. The DW fell in love with the aft balcony.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 11:22 AM
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I think it also depends on the luck of the draw on the date you select. An awful lot of groups book cruises. I didn't get an upgrade at all on a Princess cruise I took years ago, and probably because there was this huge group of Veterans onboard. I also noticed in my monitoring that there's a cruise a few weeks before mine where the prices have gone up, and many levels aren't available. I'll bet this is due to a huge group booking.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
Or have a good Travel Agent who does that FOR you ...



But we still got most of our upgrades by just waiting for that old fairy to strike.
I'm super happy with my HAL cruise consultant. I love the Vista ships. Less than 2000 passengers. So, I'm not so inclined to go to another line.

I think you might get better considerations if you work directly with the cruise line that with a TA. Its just logical.

It's my theory that if you work with a TA, the cruise line that gives you the perks and deals aren't looking at you individually. They can't cater to keeping YOUR business. They can cater to your TA, so they get more recommendations from them to the TAs clients. But really, the TA just does the booking. Their clients are going to chose what they want.

The cruise consultants, on the other hand, have all of your info, know what you like, know what you aren't interested in, and keep an eye out for the perfect fit for YOU, not hundreds of unknown clients. I feel like I know my cruise consultant, and everytime I call him, I say Hi, this is Mrs. B. He remembers everything we have talked about previously. I don't have to take 10 minutes to remind him what I've booked, when I'm leaving, what I'm looking for, what I asked him about on a previous call... He's awesome and my "new BFF"

In my opinion, the TA wants you to buy, the cruise consultant wants you back next year. The TA handles ALL travel needs and options, the cruise consultant only wants to get you on one of a few ships. The odds of personal care are much more likely.

No offense to any TAs on here. I still need you guys for everything else!
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Old June 5th, 2011, 02:57 PM
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On our first cruise with MSC we definitely were visited by the upgrade fairy. We had booked an inside guarantee, when we were checking in the lady said some Italian name to us, I of course said no and stated our name, she said she had put in our cabin number so she better put in our booking number, all she said then was we would certainly like our cabin. When we were escorted to the cabin we had been upgraded to a balcony. The Lirica does not have many balconies and we were very surprised. I figured we got the upgrade because we had booked early, the ship was not full and we had booked with one of the few TA's that had a good relationship with MSC as MSC had not been cruising the Caribbean very much.

We had always booked guarantee's and at times I guess we had been upgraded to a better inside but that was a first for us and never since.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:37 AM
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So If I booked an Owners Suite on Freedom of the Seas, then my chances of upgrade are minimal. There is only one cabin larger. I now understand what everyone here is talking about. Book low, and hope to go higher.
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