My husband and I are ready to book our 25th anniversary cruise on Voyager of the Seas, 7/22/03 sailing. Our TA has recommended going the "guaranteed" cabin route and hoping for an upgrade (we are paying for a DA cat.) I'm leery of doing this, since I've read messages from other cruisers that have been disappointed with what they got. As this is such an important occasion for us, I am concerned about letting the cruise line pick our cabin (afraid that we'll get a "leftover" less desirable one). I also don't like having to wait for months on end before we know what cabin we'll get. However, it would also be nice to be upgraded to a bigger, more expensive cabin. Any input to help us decide would be appreciated. Thanks.
The basic rule it to never book a room, guarantee or otherwise, that is a category less than you would be happy with. In general, the rooms in the center of the ship book up with non-guarantee sales, because that area experiences the least movement (think of a seesaw, the middle doesn't move). I've been very lucky with going "guarantee" and getting bumped up, however each time it has been to one end of the ship or the other.
The second part of this advice is "don't count on being upgraded". The upgrade is a perk, not a given. You may wind up on the same category/level, moved to one end of the ship or the other. From your write-up, it sounds like you are leary of this and would only do it with the expectation of getting moved upward. If this is true, then you probably should book the room you want versus going guarantee. Going guarantee and "expecting a bump" is more times than not what causes folks to dislike their results.
I always book with a guarantee (if it is the same price), because in general the room doesn't matter much to me. I've been fortunate to get upgrades, but I never count on it. Counting on a bump and then not getting it is a terrible way to start a cruise. It could "taint" your week at sea. I guess I can't emphasize enough that you shouldn't count on the bump.
BTW: You won't find out which cabin until probably less than 4 weeks from sailing. This would be another reason to not go guarantee if that is disconcerting to you.
Please book a room and not a guarantee. We have only booked a guarantee once, and were very unhappy to get a room in the category we booked (no upgrade) and be as far forward in the ship as you could go. From the sound of your post, you would be far happier to select your room than wait for a possible upgrade. You can always try to upgrade at the pier on the day of sailing. The prices are far lower at that time for an upgrade than any other time. We upgraded from a D9 to an Owners Suite for $200 and that was per cabin, not per person. Same room would have cost us over $4000 apiece, and we only paid $925 per person. Please book a room and don't count on an upgrade. You'll be much happier.
I agree with browezilla. If you think about it, those who are most concerned about the location of their room are most likely to book particular cabins (usually those which are on higher decks and midship). That leaves only the less desirable rooms and locations for the line to assign to you. Since you indicate a clear desire to get a room in what you consider a prime location, and you also dislike the long period of uncertainty that you will experience before the line notifies you of your stateroom (it is possible that they won't assign you a particular cabin until just before sailing day), and since upgrades are not "guaranteed" when you book a "guarantee", I think you would be happiest choosing and paying for a stateroom of your own choice. When you arrive at the pier, check with the Pier Coordinator to see what, if any, upgrades are available. You will have to pay for it, if you elect to take one, but at least you will know where you are moving to and from where you are moving, and you can decide if it is worth it. Travel agents who tell customers that they are almost certain to be upgraded are being less than honest with them.
Select the cabin catagory you are pleased with. Then guarantee that catagory. If you are upgraded, fine. If not you have the catagory cabin you want. Those that expect catagory upgrades seldom get more than the same cabin on a higher deck.
Have to also agree with the rest of the posters, if you are going to book a guarantee, book the catagory you will be happy with, if an upgrade does happen, great, if not, no major disappointments. Here is an article that explains the guarantee booking process, good luck to you and happy cruising:
Re: Re: Re: Guaranteed cabin vs. selecting your own?
We booked a guaranteed Cat D balcony on Rhapsody a couple of weeks ago for the 8/25 sailing, and when I went to fill out my embarkation form online a few days later, I was surprised to see that our stateroom had already been assigned, and it was a Cat C stateroom. Our cruise docs are in but according to the TA, the stateroom number isn't on them. Does that mean we could still be reassigned a D stateroom? Our TA is going to call RCI, but am wondering why our online Embarkation Form would show a stateroom number a few days after booking while our cruise docs, which just came in, don't. Does anyone know if this is unusual?
Jean <-------- who wouldn't have known to ask this question without the conveniences now offered online.
Just did the guarantee thing myself on the Exlporer of the Seas. Paid for DB and received a D7. Looks the same in the brochure, but what a difference. It was worth the "GTY" for me. But I would definitely book the category you want (as I did) and see if you can get an upgrade from there.
Re: Re: Re: Guaranteed cabin vs. selecting your own?
My 7th cruise is coming up Sept. 8 on Vision. Only once did I get a good outside from an inside GYT. This time we booked Cat I GTY & got that, but an ok cabin. The ship is going out full, so they didn't have to upgrade people. I agree with booking a category you'll be happy with.