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Upgrades?


sp113
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Hello Cruisers! 

I am scheduled for an inexpensive cruise in Feb 2019 (inside cabin).

I have heard people talk about getting "upgrades".  Can someone tell me how this works?

Do they ever offer free upgrades to people who have a fair number of cruises under their belt?  (We have 5).  Someone suggested to call 60 days prior to sailing and see if they offer anything.   I did, and the only "upgrade" they could offer me was a better cabin at the going rate.  (That's not what I had in mind....)

If we upgrade and pay the regular cost, it's not really an upgrade, it's just buying another cabin at the more expensive rate.

I've heard of people getting onboard credits, restaurant credits, and cabin upgrades for a deal (or for free) just for asking.

Again, we have a record of 5 previous cruises, so they can see we are loyal repeat customers.   

How does this work?  (would really like a window/balcony instead of an inside cabin.  Does one call?   Should we wait until we board?

Thanks for your help!

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, sp113 said:

Hello Cruisers! 

I am scheduled for an inexpensive cruise in Feb 2019 (inside cabin).

I have heard people talk about getting "upgrades".  Can someone tell me how this works?

Do they ever offer free upgrades to people who have a fair number of cruises under their belt?  (We have 5).  Someone suggested to call 60 days prior to sailing and see if they offer anything.   I did, and the only "upgrade" they could offer me was a better cabin at the going rate.  (That's not what I had in mind....)

If we upgrade and pay the regular cost, it's not really an upgrade, it's just buying another cabin at the more expensive rate.

I've heard of people getting onboard credits, restaurant credits, and cabin upgrades for a deal (or for free) just for asking.

Again, we have a record of 5 previous cruises, so they can see we are loyal repeat customers.   

How does this work?  (would really like a window/balcony instead of an inside cabin.  Does one call?   Should we wait until we board?

Thanks for your help!

 

 

 

Upgrades for free or little cost are very Rare. To put it into perspective for you I have been on 45 Royal Caribbean cruises and I am Diamond Plus and not once been offered an upgrade. Also Royal Caribbean just implemented their new Royal Up program. Its a program where you get an email to bid on room upgrades. Really the only way I think you will get an upgrade is if you get an email to bid and win your bid or if you call and pay what the upgrade is. Sorry that's not the news you wanted to hear but Even Matt the man who runs this page has said he has never just got a free upgrade. 

 

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Free upgrades went bye bye in favor of the new “royal up” program as far as I know. This is a good thing because getting any kind of a free upgrade was like hitting the lottery (not gonna happen). Check your email and if you get the royal up offer place a bid on a stateroom that you are comfortable upgrading to. 

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Where are you hearing so much about them?  On this and a few other forums I have almost exclusively heard of complementary upgrades as a result of the original room being unavailable for one reason or another.  (An aside, to upgrade a room means to get a better room.  The cost, or lack of additional cost, is not a part of the definition.)  I have heard of many people getting better rooms at really good rates, but very very few who have gotten randomly selected to be upgraded at no cost.

Much like Disney World, it seems that things that used to be random bits of (as they are referred to there) "pixie dust" have become well known thanks to forums and social media.  As such people started asking, and in more than a few cases demanding, these formerly nice bonuses bestowed by kind customer service individuals.  So companies put a stop to it across the board.  Given that instead they can sell the rooms for a premium, they probably wondered why they were giving them away in the first place.

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Royal Up just started a couple weeks ago so there's not much information on how likely you are to win a bid.  At this point most bids are for cruises that haven't happened yet.  However, my personal opinion is that the winning bids will most likely be from people that bid way too high because they didn't check the actual price difference between their current cabin and the one they were bidding on.  If I'm right, Royal will be saying thank you all the way to the bank and everyone hoping for a deal will be disappointed.

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#1 - True upgrades are rare, as others have mentioned, but well publicized.  That is probably why you hear so much about them.  First I agree we have paid for a few upgrades on other lines and since we paid, even though we got a good deal it is not equivalent.  Also is it really a true upgrade if the cruise industry moves you from from one category stateroom to another.  Many times the room is actually the same just a different part of the ship.  So is it really an upgrade to get moved to the veranda stateroom midship on deck nine from the same veranda stateroom aft on deck six?  Some people say no and ask their TA to not approve an “upgrade” without checking, as there is a reason they picked the original stateroom.  

#2 - With the new program, it appears that is probably your only choice if you are hoping for an upgrade.

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3 hours ago, sp113 said:

Thanks for the response, but...

1.)  Why do I hear so much about them, if they never happen?

2.)  Is this "Royal Up" lottery bidding system anything I should pursue?

 

I also want to know where you have heard of these upgrades being so popular? I go on cruise forum sites all day long and most people say the same thing it is so HARD to get an upgrade. Also the Royal UP program gets emailed to you. Make sure Royal has your email address as that is the only way you can Bid. Basically about 120 days or less before your cruise Royal looks at all the inventory it has on your sailing and sends people Bid offers through Royal UP. It tells you what the Min you can bid and what a strong bid would be. Even if you bid a strong bid Royal is under no obligation to accept your bid. 

If you really want a window or balcony room the only way to make sure it happens is to buy one. Hoping for a free upgrade is just not going to happen. As I said 45 Royal cruises and I never even got one call to upgrade. Also The Royal UP program is not free and sometimes just calling Royal and paying the difference in the room is less than what they want for a bid. Sorry this is not the news you were hoping for but I do hope it all works out for you. 

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