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Old 06-18-2007, 06:36 PM
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There is much confusion over "Guarantee" (also called run of ship) bookings. They are typically the lowest cost option when available. They simply mean random assignment of your cabin at or above the category booked.

I have today alone had three different clients upgraded far beyond the category they booked some time back.

I get the question about free upgrades all the time. Then that conversation is followed most often by "I need a mid-ship cabin on a high deck and..." If you want increased chances of an upgrade, book a guarantee.

Any other folks out there with first hand experiences of being upgraded significantly from booking a Gty cabin?

Cheers, Neil
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TrvlPro:
There is much confusion over "Guarantee" (also called run of ship) bookings. They are typically the lowest cost option when available. They simply mean random assignment of your cabin at or above the category booked.

I have today alone had three different clients upgraded far beyond the category they booked some time back.

I get the question about free upgrades all the time. Then that conversation is followed most often by "I need a mid-ship cabin on a high deck and..." If you want increased chances of an upgrade, book a guarantee.

Any other folks out there with first hand experiences of being upgraded significantly from booking a Gty cabin?

Cheers, Neil
I cruise solo so on Carnival I have never been upgraded more than from a Cat 1A to a Cat 4A-D.

However, I emphasis this often, when offered an upgrade, it is very important to scout out the location of this supposed better cabin. Often times, when you are upgraded, you are given the least desireable cabin in a higher category. This may be important for a family with young children or people who plan to retire relatively early or sleep late. A balcony cabin is not a gift if it is right under the lido deck or under/over the galley or any of the dining rooms. Also, there are the ice machines, laundry rooms, disco, casino, showrooms, bars, childrens camps, etc. to take into account before a person says ok to an upgrade. Most cruiseships have "night owl" cabins. When they are not specifically requested by a customer, those are the ones that go into the upgrade pot. They are called night owl cabins for obvious reasons. If 11 p.m. is your bedtime, you do not want to be in a night owl cabin. If your children have to nap during the day, you do not want to be under the Lido deck or anywhere near the galley or dining rooms. Ditto for the cabin across from the laundry room.

For reasons I still don't understand, the most ameneable cabins are also the cheapest. Those are the ones on the bottom deck of the ship. Less rocking, less traffic, empty elevators, easy on and off at port, entire deck is cushioneod by another deck of nothing but cabins. I just don't get the desire to be higher up, closer to all the noise and action. On my last cruise, I passed up a chance for an upgrade to get $150 in OBC. I ended up with a Cat 1A on the bottom deck in the back of the ship. I was right around the corner from the aft elevators, there was almost no traffic on my hall (never did see most of my neighbors). The elevator took me right to the middle of the buffet. Getting on and off the ship at port was a breeze and b/c it was a Cat 1A and only had one bed on the floor, it looked more like a studio apt than a cabin because of all the empty floor space. To date it has been my most favorite cabin ever.

Personally, I won't take anything above the 2nd deck. I am a night owl but I tend to take naps during the day and don't want to hear all the goings on in the middle of a day at sea.
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:32 PM
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A balcony cabin is not a gift if it is right under the lido deck or under/over the galley or any of the dining rooms.
Hmmmm... I guess I'm crazy but give me the balcony over the dining room, under the disco and next to the kids center. I'll take it over a 1A rear of Rivierra Deck. But then, I'm a night owl. I'm still at work for the next hour and a half.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TrvlPro:
quote:
A balcony cabin is not a gift if it is right under the lido deck or under/over the galley or any of the dining rooms.
Hmmmm... I guess I'm crazy but give me the balcony over the dining room, under the disco and next to the kids center. I'll take it over a 1A rear of Rivierra Deck. But then, I'm a night owl. I'm still at work for the next hour and a half.

Cheers, Neil


But the key is that a Cat. 1A will not get a balcony. More than likely it is an oceanview that will get the balcony. And, even if they did, what good is a balcony if you have a cranky little one or if you get no sleep. You never read on these boards people complaining of ship noise who are located on the lower decks.

However, if the location is not a factor, then every upgrade is a bonus. However, if you are serving customers, you have to make sure they feel the same way before you ok the upgrade.

I don't want a balcony near the laundry room or under/over the galley. But then again, I like the inside cabins.
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Past Cruzes: RCCL Navigator, RCCL Majesty, CCL Destiny,
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:31 PM
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You never read on these boards people complaining of ship noise who are located on the lower decks.
So... you believe the engine noise and prop vibrations are not as big a factor on the lower decks as it is on the higher decks?

One more thing on the upgrade thing. I think you said, serving the customers you have to make sure they feel the same before ok'ing an upgrade. If you book a Gty cabin, you've agreed to an upgrade. If you choose a cabin assigned room, you will be in that cabin unless they ask your consent to move you, except in extremely rare circumstances. Even in those rare circumstances they will give you comparable or better cabin assignments.

I actually have had clients on Costa moved from a 1A Gty to the highest category of balcony on the ship.

Today Holland moved two of my bookings from the lowest category of baclony, Cat VH (the ones with the metal balcony railing) to Cat B suites with balcony. And since the two were cross referenced for dining they even made sure the cabins were side by side suites. This certainly doesn't happen everytime I book a Gty. The only point I was making was... if you like to throw dice, you have a higher percentage chance of significant upgrade with Gty booking. If those smokin' suites that are very expensive on some ships don't sell out someone will get moved up to them in most cases. Some cruiselines show deference to Diamond status past passengers. Some to when the booking was done. Some are even totally random and selected by the cruiselines inventory computer.

You do in fact have the posibility of getting the worst cabin and category on the ship if you start at a 1A Gty. If you're on a honeymoon and don't want the posibility of bunkbeds, that would be a very bad idea. In most cases booking an inside, oceanview, balcony or even a suite guarantee can have very good results and at a lower cost than those who are chosing the cabins they want.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:42 PM
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I'm with I B CRUZIN'. I love the Deck 2 cabins on Carnival Destiny class ships, so I'm sure I'd like them as well on the newer classes. Very nice, quiet ride (no engine or prop noises), nice view of the sea from the outside cabins (through large window), plenty of floor space, and first dibs on the forward (Atrium) elevators.

As a family of 3 who must travel during peak seasons, guarantees aren't an option for us, so I don't have any upgrade stories to share. I did, however, once pass up an upsell to a penthouse suite on SS Norway, as I much preferred to be in the original SS France cabin I had booked. The cost to upsell was far less than the price difference at the time we booked, but it wasn't worth the extra cost to me.
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:24 PM
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Thank you LisaP. I like the Riviera Deck. It is easy to go on and off the ship at port. Just skip up the stairs and you are on your deck. It is great when you just want to drop off purchases and head back out or if you forget something in your cabin.

It is all personal preference. I book Cat. 1A guaranteed but am more than happy with a Cat. 1A on the Riviera Deck. Since I am solo the chances of being put in a balcony anywhere on the ship is slim.

As far as the vibration and engine noise, the vibration is pretty much the same throughout the ship and the noise of the engines cutting off are only for a few short minutes just as the ship pulls into port. If I am awake (early riser here) I can hear it but it doesn't disturb me or wake me up.

I do book guarantees but when I am finally assigned a room, I look at the location. If it is suspect, then I would call the cruiseline and request that I be put in my original category. If you do it soon after assigned, it is easy to get rid of the upgrade if it is not desirable.

All upgrades are not improvements.
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:38 AM
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Neil,

some members of our German-language forum section got upgraded from inside cabins to balcony staterooms on a recent "Jewel of the Seas" short cruise out of Hamburg.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:37 AM
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We typcially book a gty cabin on carnival. We always seem to get a good cabin. On our Spirit cruise we went from inside to a "french door" ocean view (which is a balcony door but no balcony because you are behind life boats.) Not a great view, but we at least could look out and see the weather and some of the views.

I agree that if you want any chance at a balcony, the book the TBA as an oceanview. If the client wants a balcony, then have them book a TBA for a balcony level. Its more $$, but at least they are going to be in a balcony. They may get a great balcony room for less cost that way. I think it helps to be past cruisers on CCL. I think they give the better upgrades to repeat cruisers.
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:43 PM
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Hi,

I'll be upfront that I am a cruise agent with a major discount cruise company. I usually encourage my clients to take the guarantee because of the upgrade...unless they want a specific cabin or cateogory. The majority of the time they get good upgrades if they book in advance. I must tell you this...My daughter and I went on a Disney cruise two years ago...I booked the lowest possible inside cabin with a guarantee....and ended up with a Balcony room....and I did NOT take an agent rate. So yes a guarantee is worth it.
 
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