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Old February 25th, 2011, 12:28 PM
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Default Free Upgrades?

I have talked to a number of people that said they got upgraded from an oceanview to a verandah for free. Does anyone know how to go about that? Thanks!
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Old February 25th, 2011, 12:39 PM
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HAL offers paid upgrades first. We booked an inside guarantee on our HAL Alaska cruise and were asked about a month before sailing if we wanted to pay $199 for an upgrade to a balcony..Hmmm yes please! If there were people that wouldn't pay, then they'd upgrade anyone for free I would assume. Total luck of the draw how upgrades are handed out. Your reservation would also have to indicate that you would be willing to be upgraded.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 12:45 PM
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It's rather rare, probably. It happened to us once, on Carnival, and that was a long time ago. We took an upsell this past August, on the Veendam, and it worked out very well. Oceanview to laina, loved it.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskagal View Post
I have talked to a number of people that said they got upgraded from an oceanview to a verandah for free. Does anyone know how to go about that? Thanks!
It's offered by HAL and you can't ask for it - it's the luck of the draw & the mysteries of the "Upgrade Fairy". Often if you book a Guarantee you will be upgraded; sometimes if you book a specific cabin they will offer you a "paid" upgrade through your travel agent.

Last year we were offered, through our TA, a paid upgrade from a Deluxe Suite to the Penthouse for almost the price we had paid for our Deluxe....that would have been double the price we paid. We said "no thank you, unless it's FREE".

Just sit back and wait and see if HAL comes through with something.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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Default We got a FREE HAL upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskagal View Post
I have talked to a number of people that said they got upgraded from an oceanview to a verandah for free. Does anyone know how to go about that? Thanks!

In 2008 approximately 6 weeks prior to sailing we booked an Oceanview cabin . A few days prior to sailing our TA advised that HAL was upgrading us to a balcony .

In 2010 we booked an outside room 13 months prior to cruising .Again our TA advisded we were offered a FREE upgrade to a balcony but this time we refused because we were told we would have a great cabin location with our outside one.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 02:24 PM
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I am pretty sure they run such sales periodically - free upgrades. The problem is you have to read the fine print. Many upgrades are just from the same cabin but on a higher deck.

I think I just saw an NCL sale that said "free upgrade, oceanview to balcony" - but this is the Holland America thread.

otherwise they mostly sell them, because they can. When they have exhausted that they give them away, but usually at the last minute.

I think that some people who get an upgrade early one only do because they would have dropped the price to the point where what you paid would have gotten you a balcony cabin anyway.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 02:28 PM
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Not too sure about that, Paul. We were upgraded, at no charge,from a balcony on a Carnival ship to a suite. The price differential was huge.
Only happened once but it was fun.
The upsell was a phenomenal one, as well.
We're cruising very soon but I don't expect the same to happen here. I'll let you know.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 04:06 PM
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I had actually called HAL when they were running their upgrade from ocean view to veranda sale and they said that our travel agent would have to look into it for us as it was booked through them, but it was on a "case by case" basis. I had actually called the travel agent first and asked about it and I was told to ask HAL. Kind of a runaround. Thought I would ask for advice from the pros. I love a free perk!
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Old February 25th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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We're booked on the Ryndam, guaranteed Verandah cabin, leaving March 6th. No cabin assignment yet, but we have been offered 2 opportunities to upgrade to a suite. The first for $499/pp and the second for $399/pp. Haven't taken the bait yet. We'll see.....
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:44 PM
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Have had the best luck on Holland by always choosing "guarantee" to start with and you will never get anything less than what you paid for Also am convinced that repeat passengers certainly are rewarded for their business and our most recent cruise in Jan on Eurodam gave us a 14 category upgrade from obstructed oceanview to deluxe aft veranda on the top deck. We do have 108 days on this line and am sure this was helpful in this upgrade for no charge.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 06:10 PM
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The reservations department of any cruise line is a large room, full of eager young representatives with powerful computers, messing around with cabin assignments. Their principal function is to make Travel Agents tear their hair out and to say NO to upgrade requests. However, over in the corner is a rickety old desk with an obselete computer system and a rotary dial phone. It belongs to an elderly clerk who is usually out on sick leave. But when she does come into the office, occasionally she lays her knitting down on the keyboard and it strikes a random key which gives an upgrade, sometimes a wonderful upgrade, to somebody. She is known as the UPGRADE FAIRY, and no living human being has any idea how she chooses the reservations that she touches with her magic. The best thing to do is to book a guarantee for a category that you will be fully satisfied with. If you wind up in that category be happy and enjoy your cruise. And if ... just IF ... the Upgrade Fairy touches you, then congratulate yourself that you are one of the lucky ones.

Actually, on our last cruise to Alaska on Volendam, we and our travelling companions both got free upgrades from guaranteed standard outsides to adjoining balcony cabins. Fairy Dust!!
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Old February 26th, 2011, 11:07 PM
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The cruise industry will carry just over 13 Million passengers in 2011.

Several thousand of those passengers will receive free upgrades for any number of reasons.
The odds of receiving one of these upgrades are probably as good as winning a substantial prize in one of the American state lotteries.
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Old February 27th, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
The cruise industry will carry just over 13 Million passengers in 2011.

Several thousand of those passengers will receive free upgrades for any number of reasons.
The odds of receiving one of these upgrades are probably as good as winning a substantial prize in one of the American state lotteries.
Well, just like the lottery, there are small prizes and large prizes.

We normally book a standard outside guarantee, many months in advance of sailing. I would say in 20 recent cruises we have gotten some sort of an upgrade in more than half of our bookings. Most often, it has simply been from the minimum outside cabin to a standard outside on a higher deck or nearer midships (usually more expensive catgegories.) On three occasions, however, we have actually gotten that coveted upgrade from outside to verandah. (We remember it well, because this is the ONLY way that we bother to sail in verandah cabins. We won't pay the usually large extra amount.)

Why did we get upgraded? We have no clue. See "Upgrade Fairy" above. We book early, have platinum or elite status, and are often on itineraries that are not the most popular which book up so rapidly. Perhaps all of these have some influence on our upgrades. Or maybe it is just Fairy Dust.
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