I have a booking that is a "guarenteed room". I have been told that if an upgrade is available we will recieve it. Its always been my experience that you only get what you ask for...so...who should I ask? Call princess or my travel agent now or wait till check in?
Just let your travel agent you would be interested in an upgrade, if one becomes available, but yes, chances are you will get the catagory that they did guarantee you. Here is an article that explains the guarantee booking process:
The term "guarantee" means only one thing.... the cruise line guarantees that you will get nothing less than you paid for. In exchange for the flexibility you have given them, they will consider you for an upgrade if a higher rated cabin is available shortly before your sailing date... generally within two weeks or so of it.
It is a good bargain, actually, as long as you have no special needs, cabin wise... such as being near an elevator. The devil's bargain you have entered into basically strips you of any choice as to what that upgraded cabin assignment is. As long as you understand that, you'll be just fine. Remember that the cruise line will look only at the cabin category. It is not unusual to find that a higher rated cabin may be on a lower deck, or in a deck location that you may not think is better.
We generally tell our clients that the longer it takes to get the assignment, the better it is. If you start bothering them months ahead, they'll give you anything that's available at the time... just to get rid of you. You're really best waiting, again, until at least two weeks or so prior to the sailing date. Don't even think about calling on your own. Again, they'll give you whatever pops up on there screen. Let you t/a do it... for a bunch of reasons. Remember, too... the only sure way of getting what you want is to pay for it, up front. If you want to get something without paying for it, it is a gamble... which is exactly what the guarantee is. You cannot have it both ways.
We've booked a cat. K (inside) guarantee for the Golden Princess in October. While it certainly would be nice to end up with an outside cabin or even a balcony, I'm not holding my breath waiting for it to happen. I'm prepared to enjoy the ship and use the cabin just to sleep, shower, change clothes, etc.
My understanding is that even if there are "better" cabins available, the cruise lines are more likely first to offer an upgrade to someone in an outside cabin to a balcony, to someone in a balcony cabin to a mini suite.