Welcome to cruise chat.
I think your chances are very good on getting a good upgrade. What is an undesirable cabin? To some getting a cabin in the front of the ship might be undesirable. To me it wouldn't bother me at all. I always do guarantees.
I agree with Cruise Fanatic about the chances of getting an upgrade. Most upgrades are of the same cabin type though, just on a higher deck. If that is a priority then a guarantee is the way to go. I have done it several times when it didn't matter to me about the location, and have always been upgraded. It isn't guaranteed though.
If you are a Past Guest, you qualify for the Past Guest rates available on many sailings. They are often the same price, or less than the guarantees, and you can pick your cabin. Since I like mid-ship cabins for the convenience on the bigger ships, I have been choosing that option the last few years. They often have automatic upgrades included.
First, welcome to cruise-chat! Some people like to choose their location and will pay more for their cabin to have the location they want. I like guarantees fine, in fact on my next cruise I'm booked in a guarantee. I don't really care where they put me. I like the part about being guaranteed what I paid for with the posibility of something better without the add'l cost if I get lucky. If you do get under an activity deck or dining room, you're stuck with it. If you don't like that posibility and are willing to pay to be sure it doesn't happen, pay the difference and pick your spot.
We usually book guarantee inside cabins. You pay to be on the bottom (fourth) floor but usually get higher up. The only time we stayed on the fourth floor, we were given an oceanview cabin instead of the inside we booked. We have also been front, middle and back of ship and noticed no difference, except the last cruise near the front you could hear the anchor banging throughout the one night when it was rough.
except the last cruise near the front you could hear the anchor banging throughout the one night when it was rough.
Jill, I've been in cabins where anchor noise was an issue too. With my most memorable experience it wasn't during at sea time. We stopped at Grand Cayman and they dropped anchor when we arrived very early in the morning. My cabin must have been directly beside the anchor, when they droped it, it sounded like the ship had crashed! I sprang bolt upright in my bed from a dead sleep and it took me a minute or two to realize what that awful noise was. Took me the rest of the day to get over the jitters, scared me half to death. Thankfully that was the only tender port and the only time during that cruise that it happened. I've heard the anchors drop or be raised since but never as loud or alarming as that first time.
My cabin must have been directly beside the anchor, when they droped it, it sounded like the ship had crashed!
I can relate to this. I was in one of the porthole cabins in the main front once visiting Grand Cayman. It woke me up fast. My reaction was "what the heck was that?", or something along that line. I had asked for an early wake up call, since this is an early and short port visit. The call came shortly after. I politely said thank you, but something already woke me up. Without missing a beat, or hesitation, she replied "Aww, you must have heard anchor drop."
Anyway, it worked out great for me. I was on the first tender that day.