I am scheduled on the 9/15 sailing of the Explorer. We booked a guarantee room in hopes to get an upgrade. I have been reading some about tipping and have a question. As I understand it if you have a guarantee room you don't get a cabin assignment until you check in at the ship. If this is so has anyone ever tried to tip whomever it is that will be giving you the room? I'm not sure if that would even be a proper thing to do, but figured I would ask anyway. I was just curious. If you might have any experience in this I would like to hear about it.
I booked a "Q" guarantee on the Voyager, and I was assigned an "M" cabin. My cabin was noted on the cruise documents Iwhich received two weeks before the cruise. On the Explorer I booked a run-of-ship category, and was assigned an Atrium cabin. Again, this assignment was noted on the cruise documents. I have heard that sometimes with a run-of-ship category, your room might not be assigned until you check in. But in both of my cases, RCL assigned my cabin at the time of issuing the cruise documents. Hope this helps. I don't think that a bribe at the port will help you.
If you aren't assigned a room until you arrive at the pier, a "tip" might influence someone at the check in counter to give you the best available room but you might be faced with a limited number of rooms available, none of which is much, if any, better, than the category you guaranteed. Booking a guarantee primarily in hopes of getting an upgrade is a risky business and not one I recommend. If you absolutely want a specific room category, book it and don't book something less in hopes of getting an "upgrade".
As someone who has worked at the pier for RCI I can honestly say probably not! This ship usually sails full as do most of RCI ships do. You can try. The cabin guarantee is fairly new but they can't guarantee the best cabin. You really spend hardly any time in the cabin (or so I hope not), to me it's not worth the added expense of booking anything more than an ocean view. it's all in your preference though. The person who handles the upgrades would be the "Pier Coordinator" they will place a sign on the counter letting passengers know if upgrades are available. The purser's desk will not do this for you at all so do not waste your time in line. The ship sails with a few empty cabins for "just in case something happens" situations. Basically enjoy what you got!