Getting An Upgrade...what does it take?


Rick & Jenny

This will be our 6th Princess cruise. We're sailing March 12th on the Coral Princess. We've taken friends with us our last 2 cruises and have booked a total of 12 passenger cruises with them in the last 3 years. But we have never been upgraded. It doesn't look like we will be upgraded on our coming Princess cruise. What the heck does it take to get an upgrade from Princess? Is there a secret to getting an upgrade from them. We are so tempted to call them and tell them this will be our last Princess cruise if they don't upgrade us and the ship isn't sold out.
We have never even considered going on another cruise line to date because we've been so satisfied with our experiences on Princess ships to date. But this no upgrade thing is really starting to bug us. We hear of people getting upgraded all the time. Any thoughts, experiences, or sugggestions you care to share with us will be appreciated.

Rick & Jenny :couple


We have been on 2 Princess cruises and have been upgraded on our third, leaving for Hawaii in less than 1 week WOOHOO!!!.

We booked obsructed view outside cabin through Princess, in July '03, we got upgraded to un-obructed view a few decks higher for our Feb cruise.
Our first 2 cruises were booked through travel agents that did no more than Princess did! .. and we got no upgrade on either of them!!! They were likely promo rates.

To answer your question...I 'm guessing that earlier bookings, higher priced rooms, subject to availability, is what is all about.
Our Princess agent commented to me during the booking that 'booking this far in advance an upgrade would be likely' .
I did see the room we booked for $350.00 , complete price, each! cheaper on the cruise web sites after I booked with Princess. I'm sure we would have ended the original room.
Princess, I believe, gives priority to there own bookings over agents booking. Frankly I would have taken the cheaper room and no upgrade and put that money towards the next cruise.
Happy Cruising ----Ron


We have been on 13 Princess cruises and have been upgraded once. There is no formula for upgrades - It is the luck of the draw - I fyou are quittting Princess because you don't like the cabin you are in, book the cabin you want.

Cruise cutie

Definite agree with Luck on the Upgrade fairy..Been upgraded once on 4 cruises but it was 13 inside/outside levels..paid for inside bunkbeds on plaza in 1994 got upgraded to Caribe with Window!!..we book way ahead and as the ship is sold out closer they upgrade to high end suites so middle of road and cheapie rooms are available again and again..better to have someone in a room than let it be empty!!..We on purpose on next cruise back to back have same room..Only way we can be bumped is if they upgrade us to minisuite or suite with room both weeks as we do not want to move our belongings at the flip day 1/2 way through..You are certainly due to upgrade..I also called the 1 800-Princess phone number and let them know I was open to an upgrade and they take that into consideration too..lot's of people hand pick their room choice and DO NOT WANT A CHANGE, so it may be worth your time to call them and say I'd like an upgrade if one comes available!!!..Just an FYI..Good Luck...:)..Joanne


Also, you have to make sure your booking has been tagged "available for upgrade". You can ask for no upgrades. In some situations, if Princess really wants your cabin and you are on "no upgrade", they will offer you a very good deal. But, by tagging yourself this way, it means the automatic system can't do it's thing so I think it's more likely you will get an upgrade by noting in the system that your are available for one.

If somehow it's gotten in your profile that you don't want upgrades, it could be everytime you book a cruise, this carries over. Check to make sure that your booking is noted as available for upgrade.


Rick & Jenny

Thanks to all for taking the time to share your valuable insights. It is much appreciated. We've booked all of our previous cruises directly with Princess. Our March 12th cruise is the first time we used an online TA. We got what we felt was a very competitive fare from an outfit named Smart Cruisers. They did note that we wanted to be upgraded if possible. Going to give Princess a call this a.m.

Thanks again,

Rick & Jenny :couple


Luck is the best guess, I have been upgraded (within category type, inside to higher cat inside), but never a 'great' upgrade and I have been on 27 Princess cruises.

Rule: book the cabin you will be satisfied with, don't EXPECT an upgrade.


CruiseAholic: I must agree with you, too. We have been on 30 Princess Cruises and going on our 31st this week. Upgrades are very few and like you say, mainly within the same type cabin. Very rare do I see an inside for an outside. Normally, it is same type cabin, but on a different deck. Personally, I would rather be lower deck and have more stability.
CruiseAholic: A quick question regarding the Lobster Balcony Dinner. Was take offered on the Sun last month? If it was, do you know anything about the small fee? Can't seem to find out what it is. Have emailed Princess and still waiting on an answer.
Thanks for your replies in the past. I do appreciate your help. Happy Cruising!!


You can always do the lobster balcony dinner on your own though whatever ship you are on by ordering from the dinner menu for room service that night. Granted you don't get the cocktail party, pictures and service. But you can have a wonderful intimate dinner just the same. and for free.


Thanks for the info.
In the Princess Captain's Circle Magazine Spring 2004, page 8, they have: A Special Dining Experience on Your Own Balcony. 'With your praises in mind, we're excited to introduce yet another enhancement to the Princess dining experience-our succulent Lobster Balcony Dinner. Guests are invited to celebrate a romantic evening and enjoy an exclusive, private dining experience under the stars. For a small fee, we've prepared a very special evening for you.'
Notice-'For a small fee.'
In addition, on that page in the article Princess states: 'Here are just a few of the highlights included with your Lobster Balcony Dinner: Hosted cocktail party with other diners and the ship's Senior Officers. In-suite flower arrangement. Delicious four-course meal, featuring cooked-to-order lobster tail. French champagne. 8"x10" professional portrait taken from your balcony with the world as your backdrop.'
It does not say anything about a specific ship.
Aware of the possibility that you can order any meal off of the dinner menu and have room service. I was specifically talking and questioning this one.
What is the small fee? Has anyone experienced this Lobster Balcony Dinner that Princess is addressing in the magazine?
Happy Cruising!!


Luck of the draw seems to be a BIG part of it. While there is NO concrete evidence IMO I think booking Early and booking a guarantee cabin rather than a specifc cabin assignment also helps but thats just a guess. We seemed to have gotten upgrades about 50% of the time but most of our bookings are guarantee cabins and usually 9 - 12 months in advance. Some of the cabins have been a nice upgrade while the others have been NO better IMO than the type we were originally booked in. As long as we are on the ship we are HAPPY. :dance


Post Edited (02-15-04 21:29)


I credit our TA for getting our upgrade (inside JJ to outside balcony BC!). She continued to call Princess once she saw the prices had dropped after our final payment and we were rewarded with a great cabin! Her company also does a lot of business with Princess.


I've been on 30 cruises and only been upgraded once and it was a total surprise when we were checking in at the dock and were told we were upgraded from a balcony to a mini suite. It was with Princess, whom we've only sailed four times, compared to 15 or so with RCCL, but never received an upgrade with them. As far as the lobster dinner on your balcony is concerned; I have the latest Princess Captains' Circle Magazine in front of me now (just got it a couple of days ago in the mail) and they have a article about it, but it says it is another enhancement to the Princess dining experience (it's not just one ship over another). I wonder what the small fee is? That's all it says, for a small fee....hmmmmmm. Not liking lobster, I'm sure I'll never find out. I will be cruising Princess to Alaska this summer and the food might be wasted on me, since I don't eat fish at all. Hope they have all the regulars.....
Happy Cruising......Anita


This was posted on another board by someone who called Princess today.
' just called the "Captain's Circle" desk and talked to Danniel. She told me they have not set a definate price, but think it will be in the $50 to $75 range. Did she also tell me it would only be available in the Caribbean, or on the ship the Caribbean..... Darn. I should have listened better!!' Happy Cruising!!


I am on the phone right now with Princess regarding upgrades. This is my mom's tenth Princess cruise and my third. We have limited possibilities for upgrades because my mom now requires a handicapped cabin (which we have had for the past three years). But four years ago on a different cruise line sailing around Hawaii we were upgraded but were not restricted to a handicapped cabins. I think that the size of the ship has a lot to do with upgrading because the larger the ship the more possibilities.

The biggest problem I see about upgrading is that we folks who pay more for a cabin earlier on are loosing cabins to folks buying very late at greatly reduced prices. The cruise line wants to fill ALL the cabins because they primarily make their money on the extras:excursions, liquor, gift store, casino, etc. The real advantage in booking early is that you can get the cabin you want. Not all cabins are created equal although they are the same price and in the same category. SO WE ALL REALLY NEED TO COMPLAIN TO PRINCESS. They DO listen to complaints.The cruise industry is very competitive and Princess wants to keep her loyal passsengers.

Three years ago we took the original Pacific Princess to Bermuda just before it was retired. The cabins were booked to capacity. The handicapped cabin we had on that ship was very small but the intimacy of the small ship could not be beat. Heaadquarters put back the entertainment nightly shows for the last season because that is what the passengers wanted.

Last year on the Sun Princess in Alaska we had a gorgeous huge cabin. The ship was also packed to capacity but no outside window---a crime for the Inside Passage! And people had minisuites for not much more than what we paid.

We'll see regarding the Royal Princess Rome to London European Explorer in May. Smaller ship and no possible upgrade. A smaller ship (I think I am going to like it better than the larger ships that have smaller crew-passenger ratio and seem to have some problems servicing so many people.



Been on one Princess cruise, was upgraded from inside guarantee to balcony. On this next Princess cruise we also recieved an upgrade, but only form lowest cat. balcony( bf) to highest cat. ( ba) .Still time to for a further upgrade but I have a feeling it won't happen this time. I do believe that booking far ahead and origainal price paid have alot to do with upgrade.On this crusie we could have gotten a mini suite when the prices dropped but we took the cash back instead.



Whi is the TA you are referring to? Sounds as if she is a successful TA. We would love to give her a call for booking and advice.