Staterooms – What Are Upgrades
If you do more than a few cruises, chances are you will be offered an upgrade. Generally upgrades fall into a few categories:
- Upgrades at discounted rates
- A promotional offer
- Complimentary upgrade
- Last minute upgrade offer at time of sailing
Usually the first reaction when offered an upgrade is elation over your luck, but don’t jump at that offer right away. There are a few things to consider so be sure and ask some questions.
If you’re being offered a stateroom upgrade ask if the usual category perks are still included with the upgrade. They can include complimentary spa use, a special restaurant, preferred seating at shows, preferred boarding to tenders. Often the upgraded does not include those perks and you need to consider if the change in stateroom location is worth a little extra room?
Additionally, often the cabin upgrade is in a less desirable location. Could it be noisy being near to an area that operates late into the night? Is it still on one of your preferred decks? Be sure and check a ship map to see if it is next to a void where there could be machinery or elevator noise?
There is also an upgrade offer called “run of the ship”. What that means is you will be guaranteed a specific stateroom upgrade but you’ll learn about the location when you board the ship. That means the stateroom could be on a lower deck, a high deck, all the way forward or include an obstructed view. While you can save money in booking by accepting “run of the ship” staterooms, that is a decision you consider in relationship to your budget and if the savings is worth the possible inconvience. In the case of the upgrade there usually isn’t a reduction in fare.
If you’re looking for an upgrade there is really no way to understand how to go about getting one. Your chances do improve as your cruising status improves with a favorite cruise line and that is a function of the number of cruises you’ve taken. Also remember the cruise ship knows a lot about the desirability of specific staterooms onboard and they always expect to get some advantage out of the offer. Sometimes it’s increasing your loyalty to the cruise line and that’s the real win-win!
If you’re picky about cabin location, understand you usually cannot choose the location of your upgrade stateroom or suite and if you’re excited about the upgrade for the increased perks, you need to know that most cruise lines don’t offer those perks with free or discounted upgrades from standard class cabins. Make sure what that offer includes.
Just like all transactions, in upgrading the caution “buyer be ware” is good advice.