How can you determine the number of passengers booked for a cruise? I was thinking that I might have a better opportunity to receive an upgrade if there are not as many passengers booked on the cruise I am taking? Is that assumption correct?
Also, since I booked directly through Princess, I called to inquire about a possible upgrade for the June 7th cruise from Barcelona to Venice. I was told that I could upgrade from my category BD stateroom to a lower mini-suite by paying an additional $1,200 per person. Obviously, that was not the answer I was seeking...laughing.
Go to www.orbitz.com and choose your cruise as though you were going to book it through them. There is a cabin selection option and as you choose by category, you will see the exact cabins still available.
Those sites will not show ALL the cabins available... just a number of the best located ones (generally, for some reason, 9). You won't see the total # unsold... or, for that matter, those being held by t/a's for group contracts, cabins withdrawn from inventory due to booking, but no deposit, etc. In short, there is no real way to tell. No site will tell you the total available cabin inventory.
My husband and I are also on the June 7th cruise aboard the Golden. Everyday I look at uniglobe.com to see how many levels are waitlisted. We're in a BC cabin and we are also hoping for an upgrade. Try the Princess site, to see if they upgraded you.
You are going to have a better chance of being upgraded since you have a higher category cabin to start. I looked on the Princess site, but I am still listed with a BD guarantee and no specific cabin number yet.
The cabins that usually sell out first are the most expensive (suites and minisuites) and the least expensive (inside). As a result, the odds of upgrades to minisuites are pretty slim even on cruises that are far from sold out. Also, such upgrades would go first to passengers booked in the highest category of balcony cabin (usually category BA on Princess ships). If you are not in category BA, your chances of an upgrade to a minisuite are essentially zero.
The odds of upgrade from a standard outside to a balcony are much higher, as are the chances of an upgrade from an inside cabin to an outside cabin. On two cruises, I received upgrades from a standard inside cabin to a balcony -- about sixteen or seventeen categories -- so it does happen occasionally, but don't count on it.
The odds of an upgrade do seem to be higher during the off seasons. For the most part, "off season" seems to be the times of year when school is in session throughout most of the country. Typically, this means:
>> January and early February,
>> September through the middle of November, and
>> the first half of December.
The exact dates will vary depending upon the schedule of school breaks that coincide with various holidays. There might also be a couple weeks in March and early April when there are very few school breaks.