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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 30th, 2003, 04:18 PM
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Default Free Upgrade Secrets?

So, a little back story....

Matt and I cruised on the Century on 6/21. At our table for dinner was a couple who had e-mailed Celebrity a few weeks before their cruise and requested a bump to a Suite (I have no idea what category they had originally booked). They heard nothing back from Celebrity but sure enough when they checked in they had a Suite.

For that trip that was supposed to be our Honeymoon (long story - we had to push it back are getting married 9/8 and saling for 10 days on the Galaxy 9/12 as our "real" Honeymoon, sort of). I am a Captains Club member and we were already booked in a Suite (Category 1). Upon check in we asked about a bump to a Sky Suite so we could have a little bit bigger balcony. Nope, none available. And for the upper two categories beyond Sky Suite we would have had to pay the difference. We decided to keep our Category 1.

The couple who got the bump to the Suite were celebrating 25 years of marriage if that means anything.

As I mentioned we are booked on the Galaxy 9/12. Being that we are now both Captain's Club and it is our second cruise with them in 3 months AND it really will be our Honeymoon....does anyone have tips or secrets on how I go about securing a bump (we are traveling with my 4 year old daughter and are booked in a Category 5).
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old July 30th, 2003, 04:43 PM
Babette
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

There are no free upgrade secrets.

It's all a matter of luck.

Pay full price...

Have a strong agent....

Book a category which sells out very quickly

That may... but only.... may improve your chances.

The best way to secure a suite.. is to pay for it. I do.
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Old July 30th, 2003, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

Babette - in a perfect world, yes we would pay for the suite. While we are affluent enough to take a couple of cruises a year, we do not quite have the resources to cruise in a suite a couple of times a year.

I would never have even considered asking for an upgrade from a reg cabin to a suite until our tablemates told us their story. I was not sure if this was a common occurrence and maybe there were tricks to getting it to work in your favor.
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Old July 31st, 2003, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

Can you completely trust what your tablemates said? There is very rarely such a thing like upgrades they are talking about. I have been upgraded twice...once from an inside to a higher cat inside (which was actually a worse location as it was above a lounge) and once from an inside to an outside (probably a result of a screw up on the cruise lines side...double charged our deposits!.....so the TA went to bat for us and got us SOMETHING for our troubles...otherwise I think we would still have been in an inside.) Take what people tell you with a grain of salt. Best advice is to PAY for an upgrade OR book a category guarantee and take your chances.

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Old July 31st, 2003, 09:59 AM
AR
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

Here's something to ponder:

If somebody on this board really DID know the secret to free upgrades, do you really think they'd post it? ;-)

Getting an upgrade is dumb luck most of the time and everyone who says "pay for the cabin you want" has it right. Saves a lot of stomach distress.

It's also true that there are blowhards on every cruise who, shall we say, embellish the truth about everthing from their upgrade status to their spectaular careers to their world travel history to their net worth (all of which they're more than eager to tell you about). Taking the bragging with a grain of salt is wise

AR
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Old July 31st, 2003, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

A GREAT TA CAN DO WONDERS:

When it comes to an upgrade a great TA can make recommendations to the cruise line. A great TA will have the clout and the contacts. It is unlikely that you will get an upgrade from a cabin category to a suite but you can get a suite upgrade from a suite category...but you will need a great TA.


The last resort is to buy your upgrade once you are onboard. Sometimes this is not as expensive as paying the difference between grades (note the word SOMETIMES).


ROSS (I am not a TA!!)
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Old July 31st, 2003, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

I think a lot of people who talk about these "fantastic" upgrades are bending the facts a little...just my opinion. When I see people saying they were upgraded from inside to balcony, I have some serious doubts. Maybe price went down and money saved was applied to an upgrade vice being refunded to the cruiser. ????

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Old July 31st, 2003, 04:50 PM
Nita
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

I really agree with Rick. We were at a table on the Sky last January with a couple who claimed they started out in a low level outside cabin or whatever and just kept getting upgraded and upgraded. They did pay a few bucks, but the final upgrade was a suite for only an extra $50 per. this is fine, but I happen to know the ship was completely sold out way before sailing. In fact we were on a wait list for a balc 3 months prior to sailing and didn't get it. We did get upgrade once after boarding; it was our 40th anniversary celebration and we simply had the same cabin only 2 decks higher. Taking a guarentee cabin sometimes will get you something much better. When I was still a TA I do remember a few situations where the passengers got something great, but don't believe everything you hear.

Nita
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Old July 31st, 2003, 08:58 PM
Babette
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

The only time in 28 cruises with Celebrity I have gotten something for free was when Celebrity accidentally deleted our chosen cabin number from our reservation. We were booked in a Cat 2 verandah cabin. Rick and Deb were on this Mercury cruise with me.

When my agent went to bat, Celebrity gave us a free upgrade to a Cat 1 suite.

Then once on board, we paid $1000 for our upgrade to the Penthouse Suite.

Likewise on my April Mercury sailing... first I booked a Cat 9, single $716. Then there was a Happy Hour sale.. and for $27 more I could have a Cat 2 balcony cabin. When I had originally booked, it would have cost me over $1400 for that same Cat 2 balcony cabin.

Then once onboard, I purchased an upgrade to the Penthouse Suite. The concierge gave me a 30% discount on my upgrade because of my status with the line.

So...I ultimately paid $1443 for single occupancy of one of the Penthouses!!

True stories.........
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Old August 1st, 2003, 08:55 AM
Josie
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

its like the people who brag about how much they won in the casino. They never tell you how much they paid to win that $$ do they?
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Old August 1st, 2003, 10:33 AM
MaryK
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

I've only been upgraded once - - after 9/11. We sailed in October on the Zenith repositioning and were upgraded from a category 4 to a suite. They were giving cruises away back then.
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Old August 1st, 2003, 11:01 AM
linda g
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

If you are not picky about where you end up on the ship; a guarantee is the way to go!
Last September we paid for an upgrade for an inside cabin and ended up with a seven category upgrade to an outside cabin on Celebrity's Galaxy. We don't stay in our cabin much so it is not a big deal where we end up on the ship. If location matters to you, you should pick your cabin. You usually get what you pay for!
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Old August 3rd, 2003, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

When we went on the Mercury for our honeymoon in June of last year we booked a GTY CAT 1 Suite. When I did the Online Pre-Boarding Info Check in it showed we had a Cat 1. When we got to the pier we found out we were upgraded to a Sky Suite. The cabin was the same size but the verandah was bigger.
This past June we booked a GTY Cat 11 suite on the Carnival Legend and we were not upgraded.


Walter



Post Edited (08-20-03 22:57)
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Old August 6th, 2003, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

True story -- no embellishing. Only once did I get a free upgrade from Celebrity - all other upgrades were done onboard on the day of sailing and we paid for them. On our Century sailing in January, we were booked in a Sky Suite. I noticed approximately one month prior to sailing that several Royal Suites and both Penthouse Suites were available. I went to work with the Captain's Club desk (I did this myself - not through my TA). I was shooting for an upgrade to a Royal Suite, never expecting anything to happen because I know that Celebrity is VERY stingy with free upgrades. Long story short.....I received a phone call at home on a Friday evening 1 week prior to the cruise from the very nice woman I had been working with at the Captain's Club. She began her conversation with "I'm sorry, but I was unable to upgrade you to a Royal Suite"....then she followed with... " but I was able to upgrade you to a Penthouse Suite". Bear in mind that my January sailing was our 41st Celebrity cruise and I think the fact that we've cruised with Celebrity so many times was definitely the only reason for the upgrade. I looked at this as a once in a lifetime experience. I've sailed with Celebrity since then and have not requested a free upgrade.
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Old August 8th, 2003, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

We received a "free" upgrade rom Celebrity on our 6/1/03 Alsaka Mercury sailing. We had an inside cabin in , for us, a great location, slightly aft which is generally where the dine room, buffet and our preferred deck/pool area is located. We were upgraded a couple decks up and moved to the forward section of the ship. Not only that, they could not get our luggage to our cabin inspite of our having notified old and new cabin stewards of the change. Hubby is disabbled and has walking difficulties. I had to transverse the ship and move 4 pieces of luggage myself. This was 2 trips. Even Carnival does better. our upgrade there found our baggage following us. I guess their porters can and do read a manifest.
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Old August 9th, 2003, 01:31 PM
linda g
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Default Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

We had paid for the cheapest cabin; category 12, and were assigned a cabin that was towards the bow of the ship. My husband Rob suggested that I call Cruise.com, with whom we had booked the cruise, to request a different cabin. The agent that took the call, Brittany, noticed that we are both over 55 when we gave her our reservation number. Brittany, called Celebrity and we were automatically given a two category upgrade, at no extra charge, due to our age. Kudos to Brittany; there are some travel agents that really still care and want to keep you as a lifelong customer!
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Old August 11th, 2003, 01:42 AM
Carole Dunham
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Default Re: Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

I've been cruising since 1959 and I've received two upgrades, never to a suite. Once was on Princess a line I'd sailed from it's very beginnings. The second was on Carnival, the first and only time I've ever sailed with them. For me the trick is to book a cabin I'm happy with and then relax and enjoy the cruise. Never cared about suites one way or another. I've only ever sailed in one once on RCI and the cabin service was atrocious right from the beginning so I'll take my outside and verandah cabins and be happy in them.

carole
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Old August 17th, 2003, 06:22 PM
dascher
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Default Re: Re: Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

We booked an outside guarantee on Celebrity Horizon to Philly on 8/31, when we checked on our assigned cabin the other day, it's a CAT 4, the highest non-suite category on Horizon. It SEEMS like a good deal. So, good things happen sometimes. (I guess we'll see how good when we get to the boat.)
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Old August 17th, 2003, 06:23 PM
dascher
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Upgrade Secrets?

Opps, that's FROM philly to Bermuda. To Philly would be quite a cruise.
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