Like everybody says, Lady, there are no stupid questions.(stupid answers sometimes). For us booking way ahead works out well for several reasons. We book through Sears Travel here in Canada because we can pay over time with them. It is just charged on our Sears card. Also,while there is no proof,I believe you improve your chances of an upgrade. We were on Valor last month in a suite after booking a 6A guarantee in Mar/05. The cruise line still has to advertise their lowest rates (inside) through the course of the year and as these spots are booked ,earlier bookings are bumped up. Like I said ,no proof, just a theory.