Originally Posted by You
Has anyone had any luck in requesting a complementary cabin upgrade prior to sailing date?
Yes, but your travel agent must make the request at the time of booking. Celebrity's onboard booking agents actually do this as a matter of their normal booking routine since everybody whom they book is automatically a member.
The way it's normally done might not be quite what you would expect. In reality, the agent books you in the cabin to which you will be upgraded, then calls Celebrity to request an adjustment of the fare to that of the next lower category, so it's functionally a discount (reduction of the original fare) rather than an upgrade (change to a better cabin after the booking is in the system). I'm not sure why, but the adjustment apparently has to be done by a representative at Celebrity's offices regardless of how you book.
Note that the upgrade must be to the same type of cabin as the category of cabin for which you pay (that is, inside to inside, outside to outside, or balcony to balcony). You cannot use the upgrade to pay for a Category 9 (best inside) cabin and get a Category 8 (lowest outside) cabin.
That said, the upgrade is not always advantageous. I booked on one cruise where it turned out that the fare for a Category 9 cabin in which I booked was less than the fare for a Category 10 cabin (the next lower category) due to some promotion that was in effect at the time. The upgrade obvioiusly was not beneficial on that booking, though my travel agent could request it later if the fare for the discounted category were to drop below the fare in the bboking.