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Old April 22nd, 2007, 02:25 PM
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Default Age Old Question Regarding Upgrades

I apologize for asking the age old question about upgrades. My mother, my sister & her family, and my son and I will be cruising on the Sensation on 8/5/07. We all booked Oceanview Guaranteed rooms. At the time of the booking I asked our PVP about discounts for past guests or seniors. She said to go ahead and book at that time and check back later for discounts for past guests and/or seniors. I have checked twice and both times she said that the OV Guaranteed rate was not eligible for any further discount during those specials. I guess my question, plain and simple, is whether or not there is a chance for a lower rate or upgrade when booking an OV Guaranteed? I was going to pay off the balance of the cruise, but thought I would ask you first to see if there is any reason not to (ie - cheaper rate still possible in the future). When I do pay the balance, do they send the docs at that time? If so, they can still upgrade my room to a better level because it is still unassigned, right? Maybe I don't even understand the whole upgrade process!? I am looking for some wisdom from this list. You always have the answers!

Thanks for everything!

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Old April 22nd, 2007, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Age Old Question Regarding Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyMom
I apologize for asking the age old question about upgrades. My mother, my sister & her family, and my son and I will be cruising on the Sensation on 8/5/07. We all booked Oceanview Guaranteed rooms. At the time of the booking I asked our PVP about discounts for past guests or seniors. She said to go ahead and book at that time and check back later for discounts for past guests and/or seniors. I have checked twice and both times she said that the OV Guaranteed rate was not eligible for any further discount during those specials. I guess my question, plain and simple, is whether or not there is a chance for a lower rate or upgrade when booking an OV Guaranteed? I was going to pay off the balance of the cruise, but thought I would ask you first to see if there is any reason not to (ie - cheaper rate still possible in the future). When I do pay the balance, do they send the docs at that time? If so, they can still upgrade my room to a better level because it is still unassigned, right? Maybe I don't even understand the whole upgrade process!? I am looking for some wisdom from this list. You always have the answers!

Thanks for everything!

OzzyMom (Sara)
I will try to answer your questions. This response will be long b/c the Upgrade Fairy and her Escalator takes some explaining.

When you book a guaranteed cabin, you are telling the cruiseline that you will take any cabin in that category or one higher. More often than not, you will not know your cabin assignment until you get to the ship. The good news about that is this. . .

Once the final payment date has past, the only people likely to cancel the cruise are people with insurance or people who have absolutely no other choice. In other words, the cruiseline has their money, the refund period has past and therefore, if you cancel, either you get reimbursed through your insurance company or "oops, too bad, oh so sad for you" .

Side note, I believe that there may be some sort of deal between the cruiseline and the ins industry so that perhaps the cruiseline is able to mitigate the financial hit suffered by the ins by re-selling the cabin or another lower category cabin and paying the ins company some reduced price for this cancelled cabin. (I don't know, I am just throwing this idea out.)

Anyway, after the final payment period has past and sales have slowed for any particular cruise, the Upgrade Fairy turns on her escalor and does her thing. The cruiseline generally starts with past guests and platinum status cruisers when assigning vacant higher cat. cabins. Then the upgrades go to whomever else the cruiseline wants to give an upgrade. It works like an escalator, Cat. 8B will get Cat. 8C or 8D. Cat. 4A will get Cat. 4B-G. For the most part, the upgrades stay within the same level. This is for people who booked specific cabins. (This is why, on almost all cruises, the last categories to sell out are the lower categories. It is not that they have been booked less but because of the Upgrade Fairy's escalators, these are the cabins that are empty due to upgrades.)

At this same time, if you booked a Balcony or Oceanview Guaranteed, you may get assigned or they may quasi-assign you a cabin - however, it is usually not noted on any system that you or your TA can access.

Now, as the date of the cruise draws near, people start to cancel - these cabins have already been paid for. Plus, Travel groups/agents turn back unsold cabins at a loss (on the part of the travel group) back to the cruiseline. This is when the really great upgrades come in. Since the Upgrade Fairy has already used their escalator to upgrade passengers, rather than start the escalator up again and upgrade everyone all over again by sending a 10 to 11, 9 to 10, 8 to 10, the cruiseline will just pull those Guaranteed Cabins and reassign them to the "suddenly available" cabins. It would be too labor intensive to bump everyone up every time a high Cat becomes vacant so the cruiseline fills the newly available cabins with the Guarantees.

Because you do not know your cabin until right up until you get to the ship, it is possible (rare) for an inside cabin to get to the ship and be assigned a balcony. A balcony guarantee can be surprised with a suite.

As far as paying, once you have paid for the trip, if the price goes down, you will get onboard credit. You will not get a refund of the money you paid out. However, between auto-tip, drinks, excursions, souvenirs, photos, etc., onboard credit is as good as a refund because it is put on your Sail & Sign account which is what you spend on the ship.

As far as not paying while waiting to see if the price goes down, the cruiseline does not want to make 500 refunds so therefore, it is not likely that a cruise fare will go down until after the final payment date has past. It is far easier for the cruiseline to issue OBC (on board credit) than to mail out refund checks or to credit individual credit cards.

With an Oceanview Guaranteed, you may get a cabin in a more desirable part of the ship or you may (just maybe) get bumped up to a balcony. No guarantees. However, all upgrades are not improvements. (I posted a long comment on that subject on another thread. Let me know if you are interested and I will find it for you or you can do a search using my name.)

Docs go out approximately 35 days before the cruise or 40 days after final payment is due.

Please let me know if this is clear to you. I posted this same info on another thread on this board and if this is too confusing, I will go find it and copy it here.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 03:47 PM
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We also bought an Ocean View guarantee and when we got our docs they have us in cabin E154 which is on the Empress deck. I looked on Carnivals website and the Empress deck was more than what we paid for so apparently we already got an upgrade? I'm not sure if thats where we'll be once we get on the ship though....maybe they'll give us a balcony! Im almost positive there is no chance of that since we are sailing on the Holiday.
hope that helps!!!!!!!!!
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 09:11 PM
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I'm curious too if, from what everyone has seen/experienced, if upgrades happen only with those who have booked some type of guaranteed cabin.

On my last (and first!) cruise we booked an inside guarantee and were thrilled with what we considered to be an upgrade- a cabin on the Upper Deck with the 2 portholes.

For this cruise, I booked with a friend and we wanted an oceanview. The agent gave us a specific cabin number already- so is the chance of an upgrade out (of course we don't have documents yet either). We are both past cruisers too... can I still be hopeful?
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 10:38 PM
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Under no circumstance are you to pay off early. As soon as you have the money, put it in an account to gain interest. You will be cruising during hurricane season. If they storms start coming, people start cancelling. That is when the great upgrades come.

Remember, Carnival will never put you in harms way, during a bad storm.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoopsielv
I'm curious too if, from what everyone has seen/experienced, if upgrades happen only with those who have booked some type of guaranteed cabin.

On my last (and first!) cruise we booked an inside guarantee and were thrilled with what we considered to be an upgrade- a cabin on the Upper Deck with the 2 portholes.

For this cruise, I booked with a friend and we wanted an oceanview. The agent gave us a specific cabin number already- so is the chance of an upgrade out (of course we don't have documents yet either). We are both past cruisers too... can I still be hopeful?
Upgrades are a crap shoot. Anything is possible but nothing is a sure thing. Upgrades are relative.

Also there are "Night Owl" cabins on the ship. Those are cabins under/over the casino, dance club, theater, piano bar, buffet and dining rooms. They may be in a great location on a great deck but may or may not have a noise issue depending upon the ship. If you are a night owl, it probably won't matter but if you tend to turn in early, these cabins may be a concern.

Which is why the Riveria and Main decks are the most quiet. They are nestled under decks with nothing but cabins and being so low on the ship, the movement is less noticably. I can never understand the logic of making those the cheapie cabins while selling cabins surrounded by activity as premiums.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 12:23 AM
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I got a inside cabin guarantee (travelocity).We have our tickets,its for main deck...at which point do we find out if we *possibly* get an upgrade....or dont get my hopes up? lol
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keldug
I got a inside cabin guarantee (travelocity).We have our tickets,its for main deck...at which point do we find out if we *possibly* get an upgrade....or dont get my hopes up? lol
Go back on Travelocity, go through the motions of booking a cabin until you can look at deck plans. Find your cabin on the Main deck plan and see if you were upgraded to a cat 4 or better. I had a 1A Guarantee and my assigned cabin is currently a 4B on the Main Deck.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauriloo

Go back on Travelocity, go through the motions of booking a cabin until you can look at deck plans. Find your cabin on the Main deck plan and see if you were upgraded to a cat 4 or better. I had a 1A Guarantee and my assigned cabin is currently a 4B on the Main Deck.
Well.I know they start out at the lowest when you get the guarantee,we got 4B as well so far,main deck.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 11:03 AM
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There ya go! We both got an upgrade That's probably as good as it's going to get because it's highly unlikely to get an ocean view from a 1A. Right now, my cruise is having a special that upgrades people (4A to 4C, 6A/6B to 6C, etc.) so they are trying to fill the other spots with people who paid more than I did.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauriloo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keldug
I got a inside cabin guarantee (travelocity).We have our tickets,its for main deck...at which point do we find out if we *possibly* get an upgrade....or dont get my hopes up? lol
Go back on Travelocity, go through the motions of booking a cabin until you can look at deck plans. Find your cabin on the Main deck plan and see if you were upgraded to a cat 4 or better. I had a 1A Guarantee and my assigned cabin is currently a 4B on the Main Deck.
I don't have an assigned cabin yet for my 1A guarantee. Does that mean I can look forward to being surprised with an upgrade to balcony when I get to the ship?

How far out do you think they start to assign the 1A? I have not been assigned yet and I have like 33 more days.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauriloo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keldug
I got a inside cabin guarantee (travelocity).We have our tickets,its for main deck...at which point do we find out if we *possibly* get an upgrade....or dont get my hopes up? lol
Go back on Travelocity, go through the motions of booking a cabin until you can look at deck plans. Find your cabin on the Main deck plan and see if you were upgraded to a cat 4 or better. I had a 1A Guarantee and my assigned cabin is currently a 4B on the Main Deck.
I don't have an assigned cabin yet for my 1A guarantee. Does that mean I can look forward to being surprised with an upgrade to balcony when I get to the ship?

How far out do you think they start to assign the 1A? I have not been assigned yet and I have like 33 more days.
Ha! You're funny. You don't have your docs yet or they still say unassigned? I got my docs just over a month out and it had my cabin on it.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 01:00 PM
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I got my docs this weekend. I didn't look on the doc but when I go into my reservations on the Carnival website, it is still showing Cat 1A. TBD.

I have to check my docs when I get home this evening.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 05:02 PM
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I paid extra to choose the cabin I wanted, wanted to be more towards the back of the boat on a lower level, booked during a sale and paid for a 6A and got a 6B. Can my cabin still be changed by Carnival even though I paid to have that specific cabin??
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 05:12 PM
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Not if you picked your cabin, unless something came up, and then they would have to ask you.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Hi...
i was lucky to get a visit from the upgrade fairy...i booked a 4A and got upgraded to a 6A on the glory may 5th......cant wait....12 more days...yippeeeee
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 05:33 PM
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thanks luanne, thats the answer I was hoping for!!
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 09:15 PM
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Thanks for sharing all of your wisdom. Am I reading it correctly that some of you say that you can go back to the Carnival website and see what level your room is now? I have an OV Guaranteed. Where do I go to see what category it is?

Thanks, again!

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Old April 23rd, 2007, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyMom
Thanks for sharing all of your wisdom. Am I reading it correctly that some of you say that you can go back to the Carnival website and see what level your room is now? I have an OV Guaranteed. Where do I go to see what category it is?

Thanks, again!

OzzyMom (Sara)
I don't think they assign cabins for guarantees until about a month before sailing, around the time you get your docs. You need to go to the Carnival site and register with your booking number to track your cruise details. For now, it will probably just say "OV Guaranteed". I don't know if you'll have the appropriate booking number if you didn't book through Carnival.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 06:18 AM
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If you book a specific cabin it will not be changed. I do this a lot with the 1A cabins that have windows or portholes. You get the low price of a 1A with an outside view. I would not want to get upgraded to a Cat. 4 cabin in this case. I also book specific cabins when I get a balcony because I like to be in certain areas of the ship.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 10:07 PM
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We booked in inside guarantee (IS) for our April 28 Holiday. At 55 days out the Carnival web site had us in a 6D Oceanview Empress deck..picture window. Docs came with luggage tags and room assignment showing the same thing. My Carnival PVP called today to see if we had any last minute questions and I asked about this great upgrade. She said the assignement was correct and would not change. Hope she's right. OUr first guarantee seems to be a winner. (Location is toward the front away from the known Holiday aft vibration problems)
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Old April 25th, 2007, 10:58 AM
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A lot of people have their guaranteed cabins assigned beforehand. This happened to me on NCL PofAm -- great cabin, inside but excellent location.

However, I have a Cat 1A booked on the Liberty a short 31 days away and I still don't have an assignment. I hope this means that when I get to the ship, I will be given that "suddenly available" penthouse suite. :o

Yup, the more I think about it, I am sure they are waiting to see if something spectacular becomes available b/4 assigning a cabin to little ole me!!
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Old April 25th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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Well I hope so IBCRUSIN! Here is my upgrade story.....group of 50, booked 4A inside guarantee cabins on the Conquest. Doc's arrived, TA says we are assigned 4E cabins....Same cabin, different floor. She says it's a wonderful upgrade! The best her agency has ever received!? I'm saying WHAT UPGRADE! Personally, I think an upgrade is an inside to an outside. I think my guarantee room just makes it easier for them to assign cabins....and sell other cabins at a higher rate closer to the sail date.

I could be wrong about all of this. But if I were in the cruise business to make money, I would give you what you paid for and no more.....until a few days before sailing. Then, if I had any cabins left, I would start searching for my return customers and give them that upgrade.

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Old April 25th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstill
Well I hope so IBCRUSIN! Here is my upgrade story.....group of 50, booked 4A inside guarantee cabins on the Conquest. Doc's arrived, TA says we are assigned 4E cabins....Same cabin, different floor. She says it's a wonderful upgrade! The best her agency has ever received!? I'm saying WHAT UPGRADE! Personally, I think an upgrade is an inside to an outside. I think my guarantee room just makes it easier for them to assign cabins....and sell other cabins at a higher rate closer to the sail date.

I could be wrong about all of this. But if I were in the cruise business to make money, I would give you what you paid for and no more.....until a few days before sailing. Then, if I had any cabins left, I would start searching for my return customers and give them that upgrade.

Melody
Maybe that is why I have not been assigned yet. I am a return, return, return customer. They may be waiting to see if they can impress me.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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I think you are right Cruzin! Let us know how it turns out! If it works, then I think the credit goes to me!

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Old April 25th, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstill
I think you are right Cruzin! Let us know how it turns out! If it works, then I think the credit goes to me!

Melody
O.K. I will report back after the cruz
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Old April 27th, 2007, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luanne Russo
Under no circumstance are you to pay off early. As soon as you have the money, put it in an account to gain interest. You will be cruising during hurricane season. If they storms start coming, people start cancelling. That is when the great upgrades come.
Luanne: Are you saying that if we pay off early, we will not be eligible for the upgrades? I am still confused??

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Old April 27th, 2007, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyMom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luanne Russo
Under no circumstance are you to pay off early. As soon as you have the money, put it in an account to gain interest. You will be cruising during hurricane season. If they storms start coming, people start cancelling. That is when the great upgrades come.
Luanne: Are you saying that if we pay off early, we will not be eligible for the upgrades? I am still confused??

Sara (OzzyMom)
Sara, did you pick a specific cabin already? If so, chances of an upgrade are not as good, in fact it is not likely that they will move you unless they need your cabin for someone else. Now if I remember, (didn't go back and check), you have a guaranteed cabin. What you have to do is make sure you are o.k. in any cabin in that Category b/c you cannot depend on getting an upgrade. The Upgrade Fairy is fickled and there is no way to know whether you will get an upgrade and, if you do, whether or not it is a significant change in your location, cabin type. An upgrade could be a cabin a few doors down or one flight up. Getting a guaranteed cabin is just leaving you up to the possibility of getting an upgrade.

As far as payment, when you pay have nothing to do with whether you get an upgrade. Guaranteed cabins are assigned long after final payment is due. So, if you want, pay now just to get it out of the way. The only difference is that if the price of the cabin goes down, you won't get a refund. You will get On Board Credit. (I think I said this early in this thread).
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