10 Tips For Getting A Cabin Upgrade On Your Cruise

10 Tips For Getting A Cabin Upgrade On Your Cruise


In this video you’re going to learn how to
get an a cabin upgrade on your next cruise.
I’m Gary Bembridge of Tips For Travellers. I’m going to share with you 10 tips and 10
ways that you can get a cabin upgrade on your next cruise. The first thing is
you need to choose a slow time of the year. If you are on a cruise that’s
completely full, you’re never going to get an upgrade. So what you need to do is
to choose times of the year where there is the greatest chance
that the ship will not be full, so things like repositioning cruises, at the
beginning and the end of the Caribbean season, beginning and the end of the
Mediterranean season. And you should also therefore focus on ports that are very
busy so for example Miami and Fort Lauderdale where there’s lots of ships
sailing all the time off to the Caribbean where there’s lots of capacity.
If the ship is 100 percent full there’s going to be no chance of an
upgrade, so you need to focus on ships that are not likely to be full because
that’s going to increase your chance of getting an upgrade. The second thing to
do is to look out for upgrade promotions. Many cruise lines will offer
different promotions, particularly again on those slower cruises and slower times
of the year, where you pay for a certain cabin and you’ll get the next
cabin above. So you might buy an ocean view cabin and you’ll get a balcony
cabin. You might buy a balcony cabin and get a suite. The way to really know
what’s happening with those is either talk to your cruise agent or travel
agent and find out when those promotions are. Or look on the internet to know when they are and sign up for the different cruise lines email newsletters, because
you’ll find they will push out those various promotions there as well.
That is going to maximize and guarantee your chance of getting an upgrade while
still playing a lower price for a lower grade of cabin. The third thing to do,
and this is the one that works the best for me, is once you’ve booked your cruise
track the price. Keep checking and watching for the particular type of cabin
you’ve booked what the current pricing is. If the prices go down, the cruise line
is unlikely to tell you so all you do is get hold of the cruise line, or if
you book through a travel agent, get hold of your travel agent and point out that you
notice that a higher-grade is now selling at the same price you paid for
the lower grade – and ask to be upgraded to that new cabin. I’ve had some great
upgrades because I like to generally
book early and choose my cabin, and I then monitor the price and if the prices go down I’ve got hold of the cruise line and I have been upgraded to
a better cabin. Keep watching the price that you paid, particularly if you are one of
those people that booked early ( if you booked late you’re less likely to find
that happen). The fourth thing, which is very similar to that, is most cruise
lines will give you an opportunity of accepting an auto upgrade. So if you’ve
ticked that box when you’ve booked or you’ve told your travel agent then the
cruise line knows if space has become available, there is a chance that you’ll
be upgraded. These particularly happen if you’re in a grade that is very
popular and at the lower end, so for example you’ve got an inside cabin or you’ve
got an ocean view cabin or sometimes even you’ve got a balcony cabin, those are the
ones that tend to sell fast and so if the cruise line is finding that they can
manage to sell those easily but they have some suites or balconies or the category above you is free, there is a chance that if
you accept an auto upgrade that you’ll be one of the people they move to the
higher level because they can then sell your cabin again to somebody else. The
next thing to do is to consider booking a guaranteed cabin. Basically what a
guaranteed cabin, sometimes called a To Be Assigned cabin, if you choose a
particular grade like an inside, ocean view or balcony suite but you don’t choose a particular cabin. The great thing is if they start to
sell a lot of cabins at your particular grade, like people want to book a balcony cabin and want a very specific cabin, the great thing
about accepting a guaranteed cabin is if they sell out all of the cabins to
people who want to nominate a specific cabin then there is a chance that the
guaranteed cabin people will be moved up a level. It is very important
therefore that if you do that, you book early because they’re also likely
to look at who booked those guaranteed cabins early on and move those up first.
So if it is a guaranteed cabin, particularly if it’s a popular price level, y you have a chance of being upgraded. Of course
another way of getting an upgrade is to pay for an upgrade. You sometimes
find very close to the cruise if you talk to your travel agent and ask if
there any offers going for a relatively low price to upgrade especially if you’re
going to a higher grade cabin, they can often sell the cheaper cabins
much easier than they can sell suites or balcony cabins and
bigger cabins. Also when you check in for your cruise, ask them is there are
any upgrade offers available because there is a chance that you will be able
to pay a small amount (much less than you would normally pay) and get an upgrade.
The next thing to do is book through a travel agent. Let the travel agent know
that you’re interested in upgrades, whether it’s free upgrades or even if
there are offers going that you’ll consider looking at the price. Many
agents that have strong relationships with Cruise Lines and might hear about deals and offers or they’re looking to upgrade people because they want to
sell cheaper cabins. Also it’s important as some travel agents actually guarantee
to sell a certain amount of Suites, balconies, ocean view and inside cabins so they may also within the inventory that they’ve got have the ability to move
people up a grade because they know they can sell some of the cheaper
cabins rather than the more expensive cabins. Work with your travel agent and
let them know you’re open to upgrades and they may be able to do something for
you. My eighth tip is if you have a special
event like a 50th wedding anniversary, you’re on your honeymoon or even a
significant birthday then let it be known either through your travel agent, when
you’re checking in or even on board then let them know that you’re going for a very
specific event, because there is a chance that if the Cruise Line knows that they
will upgrade you. When I was on my honeymoon, we had booked the cruise as part of our honeymoon and our travel agent knew it and we got a fantastic upgrade. My ninth tip is once you’re on board wait to the second day of the cruise early on
the morning on the second day go and ask about upgrades, because at that point
even if the ship was supposed to be full, there is a chance that some people didn’t
board the ship for whatever reason ( no-shows) and there may be a
couple of cabins in a higher grade going. You may have to pay to upgrade but
at that point of time they may be more than willing to accept a relatively
small amount to upgrade people to the next level. Try to speak to someone
senior behind the desk or even to the hotel manager. Of course if there’s a
sign on the desk saying that the ship is 100 percent full then there’s probably
no point even trying. My 10th tips is to be loyal. If you sail on the same
cruise line regularly and build up loyalty status, you have a greater chance
of being upgraded. It is the same as on Airlines, so if you are a gold card or
platinum card holder you’re more like to be upgraded if upgrades are available. So
if they’re looking, for example, because the cabins at a certain grade have been
sold out and they’re looking to then upgrade people who’ve taken a guaranteed level, they might look at people who booked early but they’re also
likely to look at loyal cruisers. So there you are, that’s 10 tips on how you can get an
upgrade. If you have any other tips I’d love to hear them. I hope you found that
helpful and if you did I’d love it if you “liked” the video but very importantly
subscribe to Tips For Travellers and you’ll get much more travel inspiration, advice
and tips.

64 thoughts on “10 Tips For Getting A Cabin Upgrade On Your Cruise

  • January 25, 2018 at 9:32 pm
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    Thank you for the tips. I have never been on a cruise but I am gaining knowledge to become an expert on my first cruise someday ! Lol. Thanks again !

    Reply
  • January 26, 2018 at 12:17 am
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    Great advice thank you. Subscribed!

    Reply
  • January 26, 2018 at 1:25 am
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    धन्यवाद!!👍👍👍

    Reply
  • January 26, 2018 at 1:58 am
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    Many thanks indeed Gary,
    Just two areas in the Guarantee pricing withHAL. 1: Once you choose a Guarantee type ie.outside cabin, you will not be downgraded but either remain in that selected cabin or upgraded to a higher type. 2: I believe when you choose a guarantee cabin and it is assigned to you, you cannot change your mind if you do not like the cruises selection, so you obviously take your chance.
    Great videos mate.
    Regards

    Reply
  • January 26, 2018 at 5:26 am
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    We had excellent luck with Celebrity and a guaranteed cabin upgrade. I also recommend joining one of the cruise boards online and post when you will be sailing. We were invited to a cocktail reception cohosted by Celebrity and CruiseCritics.com. I really believe this had a lot to do with our upgrade.

    Reply
  • January 26, 2018 at 6:46 am
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    One important thing about booking a guarantee cabin – you can (and will) be placed anywhere on the ship – either in the category you book or higher. So if you have any kind of restriction or preference do NOT book a guarantee.

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  • January 26, 2018 at 11:18 am
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    Ironically , we are awaiting our Guarantee outside cabin number for the Maasdam which sails on Thursday from Auckland to San Diego. Normally we receive notification a month out but probably will not get the stateroom number until we fly out of Melbourne or the day of boarding.
    Regards
    Noel – Bellairvideo

    Reply
  • January 27, 2018 at 12:51 am
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    We've never been upgraded…..we always book upper end cabins…not suites…but balcony etc. Thanks for posting…

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  • January 27, 2018 at 7:36 am
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    Hi Gary, FYI we just received our cabin from Guarantee to FF 718 A deck
    So we gained a full view full window from obstructed view in a quiet area with only cabins above us.
    Feel free to use this info
    Regards & looking forward to your next review and our next cruise on the Zuiderdam Uk, Ireland & Baltic 24 nights in May

    Reply
  • January 28, 2018 at 6:22 pm
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    As a novice cruiser, would you recommend seeking a specialist cruise agent?

    Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 6:15 am
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    Hello! We are sailing in an accessible balcony cabin (just need a room large enough for my scooter due to mobility issues) this fall on Oasis. Do you think these ideas would still work to possibly get us an upgrade to a suite? We enjoy your videos. Thank you.

    Reply
  • January 30, 2018 at 11:43 pm
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    My experience has been to choose a cruise line and be loyal to it. You have the greatest chance of upgrades having sailed say 10 prior cruises with the same line as does someone with less cruises under thier belt. Repeat business is worth a lot to them.

    There are other aspects to loyalty as well. One is that often you see the same crew and they remember who you are and you can often get other perks. Especially if you book the same ship over again. Most don't do this because they have already been to those ports and want to go to other places.
    However; if your more interested in the ship and relaxing than the ports or if you've been everywhere you want to go, then repeating the same cruise on the same ship can have it's rewards. Join thier loyalty club and stay current with your contact info helps to. Lastly be a good tipper the crew remembers good tippers. They will be working for that tip again.

    This tip is risky for some but it worked for me. Early on in my cruising experience I booked the worst cabin available And got up graded. The risk? If you don't get an upgrade your stuck in the worst cabin on the ship. I said its risky and not for every situation but it worked. It works because they don't want passengers to have a horror story to tell. They prefer everyone have a great cruise experience to talk about. So they don't even like booking the worst cabins if they can avoid it. Great video, thanks.

    Reply
  • February 1, 2018 at 1:29 am
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    Great tips Gary – thanks – I’m booking Mid / later September on a med cruise & will ask the agent some of your tips for an upgrade ….. fingers crossed 😁

    Reply
  • February 2, 2018 at 3:09 pm
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    Hi, love your videos! I'm going on a cruise in 2 montsh with my family and we booked an inside cabin 30 days ago. I'm Croatian and I don't really understeand what does an upgrade mean so can you please explain? and is there any chance for us to get a free upgrade or…? thanks!

    Reply
  • February 3, 2018 at 6:35 am
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    Hi, thanks for giving great info!!!
    I hope this doesn't come off weird but there's a small lump/bump on the side of your neck, you might wanna go get that checked out by a dr.

    Reply
  • February 4, 2018 at 4:00 am
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    You speak to fast, but I like what you say.

    Reply
  • February 5, 2018 at 8:16 pm
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    Interesting tips, Gary. Thank you very much. It’s a pity I couldn’t watch it till the end, as something happened to the internet. Everything got buffered… I wonder whether someone constantly jams my internet, or it is the internet in general here… Though, most of the times it works OK…

    Reply
  • February 9, 2018 at 2:01 pm
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    I have an extra tip…

    Don't worry about the cabin, and just have fun!

    I personally don't take cruises for the cabin… All I do is sleep, shower, and take a dump in there anyway 💩

    Reply
  • February 10, 2018 at 7:43 pm
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    Which cruise line is best for single travellers

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  • February 11, 2018 at 6:23 am
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    I will only book a balcony, mid ship.

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  • February 11, 2018 at 5:44 pm
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    Thanks. You just convinced me to never go on a cruise. My wife complains at the slightest noise even when we stay at quiet, luxury hotels. So going on a cruise is not for her.

    Reply
  • February 13, 2018 at 10:46 pm
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    Thank you so much just watched every single one of your videos and they helped my family and I, many thank yous

    Reply
  • February 14, 2018 at 10:03 am
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    Got another tip that's more "luck" than anything: first time cruisers with a cruise line who are in a lower category cabin. On my very first cruise – which was with P&O — my partner and I paid for an inside cabin fairly far in advance. Just a few days before we were set to sail, P&O rang us and said they were upgrading us from the inside to a balcony cabin at no charge!!

    Very likely a promotional tactic to get us to try it and lean towards booking balconies in the future, but it worked. I only book balconies now. Still, if it's your first time with a cruise line at all and the ship isn't full or there's been a cancellation, it might be worth a gamble.

    Reply
  • February 16, 2018 at 3:21 am
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    Great tips indeed!

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  • February 16, 2018 at 7:24 pm
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    The tips you offered were great.  This will be our 3rd cruise and so we will be pushing for an upgrade.

    Reply
  • February 22, 2018 at 6:24 pm
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    I always book the second deck in the back of the ship, never had a problem, easy to get to dining room and buffet. Worst cabins are middle of ship on second floor under the Galley. Pots and pans falling on floor, dishes breaking, noise all night after dinner is finished.

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  • February 26, 2018 at 2:20 am
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    I've done 47 cruise days with Princess, and have only ever gotten inside cabins. First time, I booked a guaranteed cabin, and was given one down on level 8, and the VERY LAST cabin before the stern. Since then I've booked online and selected a specific cabin, and will do this from now on. I suspect by doing this, we'll NEVER get an upgrade, but we always go for inside cabins, and spend our time out on the decks and public areas. After all, I just watched your video on which cabins to avoid, and have complied with all those criteria. A big tip I can offer is get a cabin near the lift shafts. That means you can get to major public areas, such as the buffet restaurants or great areas in the Atriums, by just a short walk, and pressing a button. When we were in that very rear cabin on the first time, just walking to the lifts took a while. You ALWAYS use the lifts or adjacent stairwells. At our age and with my arthritis, coming back from an active shore excursion, being near the lifts always works out well.

    And the BIG tip for those booking interior cabins. You will almost always be able to tune your TV into the Bridge Camera channel. We simply leave it on all night. As the sun rises, the TV will brighten up, and you get an impression of having a window. Be careful in interior cabins if you duck down for a nap. With the door closed, the cabin is completely dark, and you can sleep much longer than you intended as you have no idea what time it is!

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  • March 5, 2018 at 4:26 am
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    do you have any videos on how to get the best price on a cruise for a balcony room Royal Caribbean

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  • March 5, 2018 at 4:26 am
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    please let me know thanks

    Reply
  • March 5, 2018 at 7:49 pm
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    thanks again by the way are you on Twitter if so I will follow you

    Reply
  • March 9, 2018 at 8:50 am
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    Hold up cowboy, it may be true to book at the beginning or the end but the risk of a storm is not worth a cabin upgrade. Your info is good but tell the entire story if you really want to be helpful.

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  • March 10, 2018 at 10:49 am
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    Thank you so much for the tip on tracking the price! It definitely worked for me, and resulted in an upgrade to a better category of balcony cabin with P&O today!

    The Story: I'd booked on an Early Saver fare over 6 months ago, and paid for it in full 3 months ago. But checking my cruise today, P&O's full fare, Select Price, for my grade of cabin was now less than the 'discounted' Early Saver fare I paid so long ago!

    I called and asked if they could do anything, and they moved me to the highest grade of balcony cabin they had – midship – free of charge. They even let me choose my cabin number right then and there – which I couldn't do before when first booking the Early Saver fare.

    Reply
  • March 12, 2018 at 1:09 am
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    My sister booked her 1st cruise through a travel agent that did a lot of her frequent business travel and they surprised her by upgrading to the owner's cabin. Her stories about that cruise were epic!

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  • March 19, 2018 at 2:40 am
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    You don't say where to check on the prices of the room you booked to see if they went down.

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  • March 26, 2018 at 8:22 pm
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    Great video! Thanks for the tip about monitoring the price of your cabin as you approach the cruise date, then using any reduction vs. what you paid as leverage to ask for an upgrade. I'm kicking myself for not thinking about it as I use this strategy for car rentals and hotels all the time.

    Reply
  • April 3, 2018 at 9:34 pm
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    Vvv

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  • April 7, 2018 at 3:37 am
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    Good God Man, BLINK! Your videos are very informative but I have yet to see you blink an eye in any of them! People get caught up in others idiosyncrasies and lose track of the conversation! 😉

    Reply
  • April 9, 2018 at 1:50 am
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    I love his info, found him very helpful and informed, needs to blink Clarice.

    Reply
  • May 5, 2018 at 10:08 pm
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    I have said it before and I will say it again Gary runs the best tips for cruises channel! Good tips in a concise manner.

    Reply
  • May 16, 2018 at 11:17 am
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    Ships usually leave 40 cabins empty

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  • May 16, 2018 at 4:26 pm
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    I don't disagree with anything you have said. I do, however, have 2 observations to add. If you book an aft inside cabin or an inside guarantee the "upgrade" could be to a mid-ship inside cabin. Still inside. My advise is to book the least cabin category you would be happy with and then open yourself to possibility of an upgrade. Also, I have had situations where Mom and Dad pay for their cabin, their kids cabin and their grand-kids cabin but only the kids get the upgrade, even though Mom and Dad paid for it. Just be aware that sometimes the cruise line can not upgrade all cabins and it is at their discretion who gets the upgrade. Sometimes the cruise line will work with you on switching it around, sometimes they wont. I did just have customers on the Crown Jewel book an inside guarantee and 3 days before sailing Princess moved them to a balcony. Upgrades can happen and be great.

    Reply
  • May 20, 2018 at 5:06 am
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    Coming from a family who has owned a Travel Agency for 34 years, I must say you got it right. Thank you for making this video! There are many many things that a Travel Agent can still do for you that a website cannot. *Plus people think if they book online that they are saving the commission that would have been paid to the Travel Agency/Agent, and that is not true. The Cruise line, Tour Company (Europe tours, air & hotel packages, or air, hotel, and tour bus packages) and trips of those sorts, are all Charging the same price, if not more in some cases and keeping the part that is considered Agent Comimssion. So a professional is always a plus, if you don't believe me, try it sometime! They even hook you up with tours, excursions, and shows before your trip, all trips not just Cruises!

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  • May 21, 2018 at 3:10 pm
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    We cruise only on Princess now and have gotten upgrades close to cruise departure date twice – On our last cruise – Panama Canal last month, we were upgraded to Club Class. We had already booked a mini-suite, the upgrade was a mini-suite but with some add-on benefits. We especially enjoyed the separate dining area – and the fact that we could go to that dining room at any time during meals. No waiting in line to go to meals, just straight into that area of the dining room when the main dining room was open. So, not the same as "anytime dining" but that flexibility. and a view of the ocean at every meal. I'm not sure how new this particular "Club Class" is, but it was worth the small price we paid to upgrade when it was offered to us. We have tried a few other cruise lines but we always come back to Princess… Now we are at a decent level of loyalty rewards, so not likely to switch up.

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  • May 22, 2018 at 6:34 pm
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    love your to the point vids without a bunch of chatter. many thanks

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  • June 13, 2018 at 1:45 pm
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    If you care about motion sickness and noise levels you might want to book mid ship. I remember booking guaranteed cabins before and was placed in the back or front of the ship and heard engine noise in the back and the front of the ship I heard the anchor drop every port we docked at early hours of the morning and you do feel more motion in the back and front of the ship.

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  • June 16, 2018 at 5:55 am
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    I did give a thumbs up as most of this is good, solid cabin selection advice with one exception. We absolutely DISAGREE on "booking early". We've taken 11 cruises across NCL, Royal & Carnival to popular destinations in the summer season and in almost every case, we have had to wait until anywhere from 2 to 3 months prior to the departure due to work for school. THE VERY BEST time to book is just prior to the "final payment" date.

    The reason for this is that ALL cruise lines run discounts to get those last few rooms booked so you often can get the lowest prices. Also, we have booked a GTY in a couple of cases most recently having booked a Junior Suite and we were upgraded for FREE to a Grand Suite which saved us somewhere between $2,000 & $3,000 on this particular cabin for this particular sailing. I will post a few videos of the trip once we return from this cruise.

    Previously on NCLs Pride of America in 2015 we were also able to pick up their equivalent of a grand Suite (nearly EXACT same size but larger balcony) for a similar savings as we basically picked up the very last Suite available prior to the "final payment" deadline.

    We were bumped up from two Oceanview rooms to two balcony rooms on our 2012 Alaskan cruise simply by watching the price drops and acting again… just before final payment was due as we had booked that particular cruise about 5 months in advance for just the 2 connecting OV rooms and the balcony upgrade for no additional $'s was THE BEST as we were able to watch whales following the ship's wake and take in the calving glaciers in Glacier Bay.
    Ciao!

    Reply
  • June 17, 2018 at 3:22 pm
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    i have never been on cruise, but i had great desire to make journey on cruise in this regard your videos or quite helpful and informative for me. please also share how to confirm cabin on cruise what is procedure for it. i am from pakistan south asia. and afcourse how much it will cost once if i get apportunity to full fill my dream

    Reply
  • July 9, 2018 at 4:37 pm
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    I

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  • July 19, 2018 at 3:24 am
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    When you say to book early, are you talking 6 months, 1 year, or more?

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  • August 5, 2018 at 10:53 am
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    So am I right that once I've paid my cruise deposit, I'm locked into paying the price on my booking and the cruise company will not drop my price if it falls before final payment is made? But I can try calling them to get a cabin upgrade if my original booking price now gets me a better cabin?

    Reply
  • August 11, 2018 at 4:28 am
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    Gary, I have watched all your videos I could find and you were kind enough to get back to me the last time I wrote. Here is a question for you. I am booked on Royal Caribbean for April of next year. I have a members card with them and also Celebrity, but I booked through AAA to hook up with a group, which means that your transportation to the port and back are included with the booking. I do this because I am alone and it gets me to the port without hiring a limo service and my bags are out of my hands when I step on that bus. I have been booking balcony cabins on my last 5 cruises, but this time it is a 12 night cruise and being alone, I pay so much more than when two people go, I had to settle for a smaller cabin with a view. Do you have any idea if upgrades are possible when you book with a group? I still have plenty of time to find this out, I suppose, but wondered if you knew? Thanks for taking the time to read this. Joyce

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  • September 5, 2018 at 3:35 pm
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    How early is "early" for booking a cruise? I want to go to Alaska next September; when should I book?

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  • January 4, 2019 at 3:21 am
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    Good info and boo to those grumpy down thumbs.

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  • February 5, 2019 at 7:31 pm
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    Hey Gary, have you ever heard of the code speak phrase that travel agents use when booking a place for themselves: “Do you have any super saver rates?” I had a travel agent friend give me that tip a long time ago and I’ve gotten some good deals on room rates over the years.

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  • March 4, 2019 at 10:45 pm
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    Gary, I like your tips and suggestions! Well done!

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  • March 11, 2019 at 1:18 pm
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    Hi there! I really love your vids. I hope that you see my comment. My husband & I had a horrible time on our last cruise RCL Explorer of Seas. We had sworn off of ever cruising again. I want to try one more cruise, but do I try to convince my husband to try one more? I got a brochure for Oceania Insignia cruise. I was thinking of possibly booking a cruise from NY to Bermuda, 7 days. I absolutely adore Bermuda. It's my favorite little island ever. But on RCL, we felt like sardines & the service kinda sucked. Too many kids, etc. Would a luxury or ultra luxury cruise be a very different experience? We loved our first cruise on Celebrity to Bermuda in 2004. We were on the Zenith.

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  • March 31, 2019 at 1:05 am
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    Tip number 3 worked perfectly! Great channel

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  • June 4, 2019 at 3:07 pm
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    Thank you sooo much for your tip, I was just upgraded from an inside cabin to ocean view cabin and was also able to now get 2 of their free offers all by just keeping track of the price. Better than Yaaaay

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  • June 21, 2019 at 1:03 pm
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    Is it better to book through a travel agent than online with the cruise company?
    Also if you go through a travel agent do they charge

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  • July 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm
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    Normally I go down the you tube rabbit hole watching nonsense. Not this time, throughly enjoying watching your cruise videos and picking up lots of tips. Extremely helpful.

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  • August 29, 2019 at 2:24 am
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    Thank you!

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  • September 14, 2019 at 2:55 am
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    Thank you so much,for the info !

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  • October 3, 2019 at 10:34 am
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    Thank you Gary ! We booked an inside for 3K along with request for auto upgrade for 14 night cruise . I bid 1K for balcony upgrade months prior to embarkation.A month before sailing, I called several times trying to upgrade but Summit Ship was “ Full Capacity !” One week prior to embarkation,we received “ Move Up “ email. So balcony cost 4K , originally it was 6K. Also I booked via an employee – Cruise Line Planner.”

    Reply

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