I just booked on the Carnival Victory Eastern Carib. from Miami on 12/14. I ended up booking it through skyauction.com, so I have a guarantee balcony cabin. Has anyone else had any experiences with guaranteed cabins? I'm not worried about it, I'm just wondered if anyone has had good or bad experiences with signing up for guaranteed, esp. on Carnival. I figure there aren't too many ways I could end up in an absolutely terrible balcony room, and I got a pretty good deal on the cruise. This is my first cruise and it's right after semester exams, so I'm sure I'll have a great time no matter what!
I think you did a smart thing, by booking a balcony cabin, thats usually what I do, so I know going in I'll have that balcony, it would just be the location thats in question, but have never received a bad cabin. There is also that possibility that you could get an upgrade, but don't count on it. I just always book a catagory I'd be happy with, so far no upgrades, but you just never know, good luck and enjoy the cruise.
A guarantee cabin is a good way to go if you want the best possibility for an upgrade. The drawback is you can get stuck in a cabin in that category which is unsatisfactory. For instance, we always book a guarantee and have been upgraded on about 50% of our cruises. One time we were upgraded to a higher deck but ended up 2 cabins from the front of the ship which made getting to the pool, buffet, deck bar, etc. a very long walk and the noise from weighing the anchor was bothersome, but not so much to be annoying.
Skyauction.com is basically bidding on cruises, flights, other vacations and stuff like that... with cruises you just have to check the port charges and taxes (listed at the bottom of the info) per person and you can also check prices to upgrade to either an oceanview or a balcony cabin. Some are for specific dates, some are for a range of dates and different dates may have surcharges, it just depends-- the Victory auction had a few dates and I had no problem getting the date I wanted-- I got an e-mail back right away confirming it.
It works similar to ebay where you can submit a bid and also have a maximum amount that it will automatically bid for you. I placed a bid somewhat on impulse because I've been researching cruises for about THREE MONTHS and going through port info and all that and I was just ready to do it. I bid about 2 hours before the end of the auction and won it.
I decided to upgrade to a balcony cabin and with port charges etc it came out to about $675/person for the cruise. Not the best price ever but certainly not the worst for a balcony cabin-- really it was more convenient for me because otherwise I would have spend the next 3 weeks hemming and hawwing and going to every online travel site comparing prices and such (as I've been doing the whole time anyway... and now prices seem to be going up)-- so it was a good impulse buy! We'll see how my guarantee balcony turns out but my mom and I won't really care what we end up with! I'm just a balcony fiend (in general, this is my first cruise) so I had to have one.
My family and I will be on our first cruise on the Carnival Victory - Eastern Carrib leaving Dec 28. If possible let us know how your cruise was when you get back! What did you do in San Juan, St Maarten and St Thomas? What were the best and worst things you experienced overall?