There are two type of upgrade on a cruise cabin:
You book an inside cabin, few days before your cruise you receive a nice message from the cruise line telling you your cabin now is an ocean view or a balcony! It doesn’t happen often but it happens if the boat is not sold out. Two thing to keep in mind about this kind of upgrade are:
- You can not choose the cabin you have been upgraded to so if you are very specific about a certain cabin, cabin location or closeness to your friend or family etc you have no choice.
- Sometimes the cabin you get “upgraded” is the same kind of cabin just in a different location or it could be worst than the original one (vey rare).
Payed upgrade (up sell):
Few days before your cruise you receive an email from the cruise line or your trave agent telling you that you can upgrade to a balcony or a mini suite for a specific price per person (usually the price is less than the cost of the new cabin) in this case you or your travel agent has to call the cruise line and accept the upgrade. In this case you can choose, even thought the choice can be limited, the ne cabin. Most importantly you can choose if you want to take the upgrade or not.
Upgrade on board:
This is the least likely to case scenario, you board the ship and go to the front desk to ask for an upgrade. I’ve heard rumours that it happens but I’ve never met anybody that was able to do it!
- When you book the cruiser tell your travel agent to check the “Only Upgrade to the Next Stateroom Type” box in your reservation. This way the cruise line knows that you are willing to take the upgrade only if it is a better type of cabin. If you are very specific about your cabin tell the agent to check the box that says “Not open to any upgrade”
- Be loyal to your cruise line, you will get more chances to be upgraded the higher you are in the loyalty program
- If you don’t mind the risk book a TBA (To be assigned) cabin. Most of the time the cruise line runs out of the type of cabin you were supped to get and you will be upgraded to an higher type.
- If you are doing a back to back cruise chances of getting an upgrade are much much slimmer because the same cabin most likely is no available for both cruises.
In our experience we booked an inside cabin 7 times, and we got a free upgrade twice and a paid one twice. We could say that the chances of getting upgraded was about 60%.