My family and I are about ready to book our cruise in April on the Conquest out of Galveston going to the western carribbean. We want to book a balcony room and probably the lowest level (upper), but the BL no-assigned room is cheaper, but not sure where we would end up. I have read on this site that there are some areas on the boat to avoid.
So, my question: Is it better to have an assigned room (lowest level) and you might be upgraded? Or is it better to take a chance at what room you could get and take the unassigned room (at a cheaper rate)? Consider this: How early I am booking; If we booked an assigned room it would be at the lowest level; my wife and I have sailed before on Carnival (once back in 1994, honeymoon). What do you think?
Well when given the opportunity I always booked a guarantee (unassigned). The key here is to make sure you book a guarantee in the very minimum category you'll be happy with.
On our Triumph cruise in September they had a great deal at the time on Balcony guarantee category 8A. That way I knew I'd get a balcony for sure but not have to pay the higher price of an assigned cabin.
We ended up with a slight upgrade to an 8B So we're not in the least bit disappointed. But it is a bit of a gamble I guess.
Take a look at the deck plans and see what you think will suit your needs.
Getting a good price for a trip is important, but it is important to have a good time as well. When we went on the Conquest in 2004 we did a Balcony Guarantee and ended up with 6278 and it was the loudest cabin I have ever had.
Starting at 6am you could hear the dinging of the elevators, people congregating and talking while waiting for the elevators, etc. In addition, noise from the lobby in the form of people and musicians could be heard until early hours of the morning.
With the Conquest Class ship design I would always ask for the guarantee price of an 8B cabin just to see how much of a difference it is. In fact, 8B/Empress Deck is where I prefer my cabins on the Conquest Class just because you have cabins above and below you. Now, they could always give you cabin #8264 which may have a similar problem to my 6278.
The main problem with 8A/Upper Cabins is you have the casino, boulevard, clubs, and bars below you. These cabins constantly get complaints about noise/vibration.
To cut it short if noise or vibration in your cabin is going to bother you pay the extra for the piece of mind and good rest. The cheapest way to do so is get the 8B Cabin.
Best of luck and happy sailing!
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So, my question: Is it better to have an assigned room (lowest level) and you might be upgraded?
If you book an assigned cabin, you'll almost NEVER be upgraded. It's the persons who book the guarentee cabins that get the upgrades regularly.
I would always ask for the guarantee price of an 8B cabin
I've never heard of bein able to specify a deck with a guarantee booking. Only ones I've ever seen were Cat 4, Cat 6, Cat 8 etc guarentee with no letter (deck) designation afterwards. You book the category (number designation) and it's normally the deck (letter designation) were you recieve the upgrade within that category. I did once get upgraded from a Cat 4 guarantee all the way up to a Cat 6 E. But, that's the exception not the norm. I also was beheind a guy at the pursers desk who was madder than hell cuz he booked a specific Cat 4 cabin and got upgraded to a Cat 6.
I think as long as I was able to afford it, I would pick out my own room.
Well here's an example of the savings you can get cruising guarantee rates. I personally don't care much where the cabin is, I spend my time on deck anyway. While I enjoy the higher cat rooms, IMO they're not worth the extra bucks. On our Glory western trip, we were upgraded from Cat 4 guarentee to Cat 6E (fabulous cabin #1102 spa deck). Here's the price differential for same cruise this year.
Cat 4 IS Guarantee $569 pp (we paid)
Cat 6 E OV spa deck $949 pp (we received)
***edited to remove commercial link*"*"*
Like I said, upgrades outside the category you book are not the norm. More typically you'd book an IS guarantee and get upgraded a couple of decks. Still, you pay lower than the Riviera deck price (4A-$619) and rx something a couple decks higher (4C-$689) and pay $569. Nothin wrong with that deal! For individuals that sleep lite or are affected by the motion of the ship, picking a cabin might be a better idea. Personally, just get me onboard, I ain't hard to please.
Thank you for all of your replies. The lowest I will book is 8A the upper deck, balcony level. I appreciate the advice of NCstate, that the upper level is just above the bars and casino. That could be a little loud. The piece of mind with some sleep is something to really consider. Booking the 8B is a little more expensive, but not that much more.
If you book the unassigned but guaranteed (BL), the lowest I could get is that 8A level. By booking 8 months in advance how likely would I get upgraded? We would need a stateroom for 4 people.
By booking 8 months in advance how likely would I get upgraded?
There's NO GUARANTEE with a GUARANTEE rate. Did I say that right? Whether you're upgraded depends on the ship, how full it is, and specifically which categories filled up. By allowing yourself to be assigned at Carnival's convenience, they're willing to put you in a better cabin which suits their needs. Our last cruise, I booked a Cat 8 guarantee and received a Cat 8C cabin. Not bad considering I paid less than a Cat 8A. But again, the only guarantee is that you'll receive a stateroom in the category you booked OR BETTER and pay less than a cabin in that category on the lowest deck. It used to be you didn't find out which cabin you rx until you arrived at port. Now, they normally tell you in your docs.
I do see that you said the lowest you will book is the 8A guarantee, but you might consider a 6E. My reasons....you said you are a past guest, so you could get a free upgrade by booking a lower level OV category.
Those 6Es are the same size as the balcony sf added to the inside portion of the balcony cabins. Carnival is getting stricter about only allowing families to book them.
6Es are either 245 or 265 s.f. or something, quite a bit larger than a regular OV and have floor to ceiling windows. I know some who prefer them to a balcony because of the view. They are also on spa deck, a primo location.
Wow, I'm shocked at the number of you who have had problems with noise, especially at the balcony level. I'm about to embark on my 30th cruise. In general, we have always booked a guarantee over the last 10 years or so and have never had a noise issue on a high deck. We have experienced noise on some of the lower decks (mostly restaurant noise above us), but never on deck 8 or higher. The casino is on deck 5 on almost all Carnival ships so not sure how the noise would affect a cabin on the 8th deck. In my opinion, a guarantee is the best way to go - only because we've never had a bad cabin assignment. Maybe it's because we've sailed so much?
Chris M, I agree with you, for the most part noise is not an issue. However, the Upper deck on the Conquest Class has noise issues. The Conquest ships could of been laid out better from a noise stand point. On deck 7+ noise is not an issue unless you are right at the set of Lobby elevators.