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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 18th, 2005, 11:23 PM
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Default Pierside Upgrades

What is the story with pierside upgrades. I have heard that sometimes you can upgrade to a higher category at a good price with a pierside upgrade. How do you do this? Do I ask about it when I check in? Any info you can give me will be appreciated. Thanks.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old July 19th, 2005, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: Pier side Upgrades

Yes it is possible. The pier side people do not have access to the data base of open cabins. Their job is to process the documents and how you will pay for on-board charges. They are hired by the cruise lines and do not work directly for that line.
The pier coordinator is the one to see. Once again that person may not have all the data until late in the day before sailing.

The best item is to see Guest Relations or the Concierge and have your name put on the wait list for a cabin you are interested in. More than likely you may not be contacted until the ship sails for an open paid upgrade cabin. This gives the relations or concierge time to hunt the open cabins for upgrades.

The prices are very much reduced on sailings depending on how many cabins are available for the category you want to upgrade. They will have the pricing in front of them and is non negotiable.

My wife and I have done this before. Once we were able to jump up from a regular balcony and a two step upgrade suite for $900.00 compared to $2300.00 offered 2 days prior to cruising. Nice savings of $1400.00. That will not always be the case, but you can save.
By the way, that was per cabin not per person on the $900.00.

On another cruise the difference was so close to the brochure rate we passed.

Never hurts to ask on availability and cost.

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Old July 19th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: Pierside Upgrades

On my last 2 cruises I was upgraded at the pier. I did not ask for this but when we arrived they told us our cabins were changed. On Celebration we went from a 4A to a 6A. We were delighted to get the oceanview cabin. Last Cruise on Carnival Spirit We booked 8A balcony and were upgraded to an 8F. At check in we were upgraded to an 8G. Once onboard we were called to the pursers office. There they explained that an error was made and the 8G with the extended balcony was an error and would we mind going to an 8F. the extended balcony was not important to us so we said no problem. Later that day a bottle of champagne was delivered with a note from the purser to thank us. We were happy we had enough balcony space to enjoy for the 2 of us and a nice bottle of champagne to enjoy. Best of both worlds.


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.“
---Mark Twain

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Old July 19th, 2005, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Pierside Upgrades

Thanks for the information. I'm definitely going to look into it!
3 Days til I cruise!
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Old July 19th, 2005, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: Pierside Upgrades

I've never heard of this before. Do you mean that once on board, if higher categories of cabins are available, you can request to have your room upgraded for a steeply discounted price? Will this also work if your cabin was a "guarantee" so you could actually be able to upgrade from an inside to a balcony?

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Old July 19th, 2005, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Pierside Upgrades

what do they base it on?...less than 24 hours to sailing cancellations ?(since they already have your non refundable money) or do they "hold cabins in their pockets" to resolve any last minute glitches ?

In the real "old days" , prior to inventory management (and great numbers of ships sailing less than full )and post 911 security (which requires full manifest turned over to the govenment 72 hours in advance)...I would suspect alot of the wheeling and dealing for last minute cabin upgrades occurred. today I would suspect there is much more of a business process to upgrading at the pier (i.e. if you paid tarif fare, # of prior cruises on that particular cruise line etc)..in the airline business, a frequent flyer can look at the screen behind the gate agent and see what their chances are of getting upgraded based upon a clear set of criteria-perhaps the cruise lines can adopt this technology
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Old July 19th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Pierside Upgrades

Upgrading is usually done prior to checking in on the pier and not onboard. RCI has this ability from what I have heard but I have not seen this done on a CCL ship. Many people go to the Purser and inqure and even though there is usually a sign that says ship full you can sometimes put your name in as a waitlist. Understand that this is not always a bargain. We have never bothered personally. We simply book the cabin we would be happy with and if they upgrade us for free, all the better.

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Old July 19th, 2005, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Pierside Upgrades

We had friends last year that asked when they checked in a the pier if they could get an up grade. They got an upgrade from a balcony to a suite for $500.00 pp! It was incredible! This was on Celebrity and the suite had 2 huge rooms, both with big screen TV's, a hot tub on the Balcony and their own bulter service!
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old July 19th, 2005, 06:20 PM
Bruce Chafkin
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Default Re: Pierside Upgrades

The way this really works is a bit of a long story. Just as with airplane seats, the land-based people in the main office have control of cabin inventory until the ship leaves port. These days, nearly every mass-market ship is fully booked at departure time. However, we also know that there is usually a 1% no-show rate on any sailing. On a big ship, that can amount to 10 or more cabins that were paid for, but the occupants do not show for whatever reasons.
After the ship sails, the Purser's Department takes a final cabin inventory to see what is really available. Then the shore offices are contacted to see if any cancellation notices were received. Then the Guest Relations Manager / Hotel Manager / Purser have a look at the itinerary to see what the chances are that some or all of the no-shows might still catch the ship to occupy the cabins they have paid for.
After this is all done, they determine if there are any cabins really available for sale. Of course if there is the slightest chance that a no-show guest might join later in the cruise (without violating the Passenger Services Act), they cannot sell that cabin.
At that point, anyone on a wait list for upgrades is contacted with the news.

This entire procedure can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete.
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Old July 20th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: Pierside Upgrades

thanks Bruce, that's what I thought
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