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question about upgrades (probably a dumb one, but what the heck!!)

Discussion in 'Princess Cruises' started by rellyrod, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. rellyrod

    rellyrod Guest

    My husband and I are crusing on the Golden on 1/3/04. This will be our second cruise and we booked a mini suite on the Dolphin deck. I've seen people talking about getting an upgrade. How exactly do upgrades work?!?!
    I appreciate any help!
    Rachel :)
  2. caribgoddess

    caribgoddess Guest

    Yeah.....count me in on this question. I've taken 6 Princess cruises with balcony bookings. Don't know how to go about getting an upgrade.
  3. rellyrod

    rellyrod Guest

    Post Edited (10-22-03 15:12)
  4. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    My friend's TA asks her Princess rep. for the upgrades for her clients. They are Captain's Circle members, but I don't think that makes much difference. Their TA has contacts and has gotten them some fantastic upgrades for free.

    Another way - go with a "guarantee" instead of an assigned cabin.

    Another way - pay for it like most people do!

    You could pay off your cruise very early. From what I've seen, this helps. Also, if you make a large payment just after booking, it might help.

    Or, just hope you're lucky. In other words, it's the luck of the draw most of the time.
  5. rellyrod

    rellyrod Guest

    We fully paid for our cruise when we booked it back in June!!! We are Captains Circle members too and I don't think that matters.........I've seen many people talking about "free" upgrades and just didn't know how they worked......

    Post Edited (10-22-03 16:00)
  6. phaelon56

    phaelon56 Guest

    I'm making an educated guess here and sure that this applies to some circumstances and not others..... it's based on a cruise we just returned from (Princess Grand).

    We booked only five weeks before departure and paid $529 each for guaranteed category (FF outside cabin obstructed view) but with no cabin assignment. I asked our TA (who is a cruise only specialist) about upgrades after seeing them mentioned here and she said to sit tight and see what happened. My GF was concerned about not having a cabin assignment when we got close to the sailing date but I wasn't concerned.

    Here's what happened:

    The cruise appeared to be close to totally booked but many of the rooms were being held for some sort of travel agent booking - it's the deal where TA's get to sail at a special price during a traditionally slow week (we sailed Oct 12 - Oct 19) and the focus for Princess is to get TA's exposed to a ship they have not previously sailed on.

    Apparently there were quite a few rooms released a few days before sailing. The fact that very few schools are on break at that time of year and the northern states aren't yet into the cold winter season may also be a factor in lower bookings.

    About five days before departure we were given a cabin assignment - E110 on the Emerald deck - an upgrade from our previous category. E110 is unobstgructed view near the bow where the upper portion of the outside promenade walk is - the outside area is closed to walkers at night and it is an unobstructed view.

    Two days before sailing we got the really good news: we were upgraded AGAIN! This time it was to C102 on Caribe deck. It's all the way towards the bow on the port side and has a partially covered/partially open balcony. We absolutely loved having a balcony and would find it difficult to sail without one in the future. It was a bit of a hike to the room to reach things but the extra exercise was welcomed by some of us {;-)

    MY GF made an interesting observation that may be relevant - we were celeberating an anniversary that week. When you set up your Express Check-In profile on the Princess web site (highly recommended for many reasons), there's a space to indicate whether you're celebratin an anniversary, just married or having a birthday that week. Nearly every balcony cabin in our wing (Port side forward) had ballons outside the room indicating that the occupants were celebrsating one of thes three occasions. It seems unlikley that everyone on the wing actually paid for baclony cabins - I'm guessing that some upgrades are given to folks who have a special occasion during the week of the cruise.

    It's worth noting that a week before sailing we woul still have been required to pay a $600 per person upgrade fee to get a guaranteed balcony cabin.
  7. Janie1111

    Janie1111 Guest

    We booked a mini suite about 6 months ago and are sailing Nov.8th on the golden. We did the guarantee rate. Until last week we hadn't got our cabin assignment then when we did last thursday it was to a full suite E733. Thats a 6 category upgrade. I asked my TA about it and she said maybe because we booked early or because it's our 25th anniversary during that week or maybe because she put in a good word with the Princess rep that was in her office. Anyway, we are thrilled. We're leaving two weeks from tomorrow for Ft. Lauderdale. Hope you get an upgrade too.
  8. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    Hi Janie - We had E733 on the Grand. The marble entry & bar are beautiful, as is the bathroom. It's really spacious and well-designed.

    A word of caution though - if you are prone to motion sickness, come prepared. There was a lot of movement and a ton of noise on the Grand when we were in this cabin. The Vista Showlounge wasn't that noisy, but the ship itself was. Hopefully, they've corrected these problems on the Golden.

    There is a double bed, a double sofa bed and a bed that pops down from the ceiling. The hallway outside your cabin will be very quiet, with hardly a soul coming down the hall. There's a 12" metal beam that goes from the balcony above yours down through your balcony. It sort-of separates the balcony, which is huge. There are 2 sliders that lead out to it. Hope you have a fantastic time and enjoy your suite! :thumb
  9. Rod

    Rod Guest

    One hears a lot of stories about the magic of upgrades, however they do happen. In my experience, the best way to get an upgrade is to get a "guarentee" on a specific type of cabin. In this case you are not assigned a particular cabin, but are "guarenteed" that you will not get a lower class than you paid for, but could be upgraded. The guarentee seems to work best with lower cost cabins (inside/outside obstructed), but can work with any cabin. What it amounts to is that by not "locking up" a cabin, the cruise line can sell the same cabin (usually the less expensive highly advertised ones) over and over again. Each time bumping the "guarentee" passenger up to more expensive cabins. In this way a passenger with a limited budget will never be turned away because all the "bargain" cabins are filled up. A note of caution here--Never "guarentee" a cabin you would not be happy to sail in. The upgrade may not work out and you might get what you paid for! Also, if you MUST have a cabin low in the center of the ship because of a queezy stomach for example, a guarentee isn't for you because an upgrade cabin may be anywhere on the ship.

    Another way to get an upgrade is to simply luck out and end up a ship that is no where near full (Doesn't happen too often these days). In this case, the cruise line will upgrade whenever possible to make as many people as possible happy. It is unlikely that one person would be upgraded six levels, as the cruise line would prefer to make six people happy (vice one) by upgrading each one notch with progressive bumps. Obviously upgrades are usually done in the last week or so before sailing and cabin numbers are assigned at that time. Hope this helps.
  10. rellyrod

    rellyrod Guest

    Thanks Rod! That does help! Unfortunelty we have already booked a mini suite balcony. We're happy with that, I just didn't know how upgrades work, but you all helped me understand! thanks again and have a great time on your cruises!!!
  11. Janie1111

    Janie1111 Guest

    Thanks for your reply. I can't wait to go. The room sounds great.
  12. rellyrod

    rellyrod Guest

    Janie-You're leaving in a few days!!!! How exciting! I know I can't wait. My husband keeps telling me to get off of the princess web-site! he he Have fun and let us know when you get back how much fun you had!!!
  13. CruiseAholic

    CruiseAholic Guest

    I've 25 Princess cruises under my belt and my upgrade for the upcoming Christmas cruise on the Island Princess is just about the first. We booked a minimum balcony guarantee have been upgraded to a BB. I'm hoping Santa visits and upgrades us to a suite!
  14. rellyrod

    rellyrod Guest

    CruiseAholic, congrats on the upgrade! (crossing my fingers for your upgrade to a suite!)

  15. Bonnie

    Bonnie Guest

    I have been upgraded twice. The first time I booked through a travel agent. Believe me she didn't go after it, Princess just did it. From the lowest cost balcony to a higher cost balcony. For this comming Panama Canal cruise we booked through Princess the lowest cost balcony and were upgraded within two days. It just happens.
  16. rellyrod

    rellyrod Guest

    Did you have a "guarantee" or did you book a specific cabin?
  17. Einstein

    Einstein Guest

    Here is a link <a href=http://www.cruisediva.com/upgrades.htm>Upgrade Fairy Myth</a> written by George Leppla of Countrytside Travel and posted at CruiseDiva's site. It speels out quite a bit in regards to teh upgrade theory.

  18. rellyrod

    rellyrod Guest

    Thanks Einstein! Great article!
  19. CaribbeanSun

    CaribbeanSun Guest

    Most people attribute upgrades to the TA - if truth be told, it is Princess and Princess only on 97% of the upgrades. I have received some wonderful upgrades, several to full suites from balconies and minisuites and when I asked my TA she indicated that whenever she asks Princess they indicate it is all done via the computer. She does a lot of business with Princess and she says it doesn't matter if she tries really hard to speak to the reps, it is pure luck with the computer with Princess. It may look like the travel agent but it really isn't the majority of the time.
  20. Janie1111

    Janie1111 Guest

    Caribbean sun,
    I agree with you about the up-grade. We got upgraded from a mini-suite to a full suite and when we asked our TA she said it could of been because we booked early or because it's our 25th anniversary or because she put in a good word with the Princess rep. In other words she really didn't know. It just happened. Lucky for us. I can't wait to see our room next saturday.

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