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I know, I'm dreaming, hoping for a better answer than what is reality, but thought I would ask the experts.

Does RCCL hold back any suites and then release them before sailing? I'm not asking for a free upgrade here, I'm willing to pay the difference, when I call C&A, I'm told there are no suites available. I booked the cruise I'm getting ready to go on really late (Liberty OTS, Galveston, May 28th), I normally book 9-12 months in advance, but this time frame opened up and thought I would take a quick cruise, when I booked my Junior Suite, I was told there were no suites available, I was already in the 75 day last payment due window, so I figured everybody had either already paid or cancelled. 

Like I said, just hoping, but knowing what reality is...

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As far as I know, the answer to your question is no. 

There can be other ways suites are "held", such as in groups.  If a group is created, they can hold certain staterooms until RC asks for them back or they sell. 

Since you are past final payment date, odds are they are sold and there's a lower likelihood of cancellations since there would be a penalty associated with cancelling at that point.  You never know, because I believe @Christie was stuck in a similar situation and then yesterday one appeared.  

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There seems to be a conspiracy theory swirling about these days that Royal MAY engage in a little of what we call "inventory management" where some inventory may or may not (no one can confirm or deny) withhold certain room categories at various times throughout the booking timeline.  I'm being intentionally vague here b/c that is the kind of language you get from management if you ever engage them on this subject.

However....I will speculate that this late in the "booking timeline" if they are saying there are no suites available, I would tend to believe them.  Royal (and no other cruise line) is not in the business of intentionally letting their rooms go vacant - especially their high end and very popular suites.  If you had asked this same question about a suite very early in the booking continuum I might be inclined to think that they were exercising some inventory management and that there could be something being held back  - but not at this point.  First of all, they would be getting top dollar for anything this late in the process.  They like that.  And, as I said, they would be looking to close out inventory and call it a day.

Since it is well past final payment date I wouldn't hold my breath that anything would pop up at this point BUT it certainly doesn't hurt to check frequently to see if someone cancels.  Unfortunately, the days of getting a good price for a last minute cancellation/booking are long gone.  These days, last minute means BIG money - especially for suites when the entire category is sold out.

One last point.  A single exception to my theory might be a minimum occupancy suite such as a family suite or even the Royal Suite.  They will usually hold those rooms in hopes of getting some minimum number of occupants to maximize their price....but again, by this time they have usually released any such unsold rooms just to get them booked.  If you called Royal directly and they say there's nothing there, there's probably nothing there.  Keep checking though !

You're talking to a suite bloodhound here...so I know exactly how hard it is to find a suite when there's none to be had.

:15_yum:

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14 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

There seems to be a conspiracy theory swirling about these days that Royal MAY engage in a little of what we call "inventory management" where some inventory may or may not (no one can confirm or deny) withhold certain room categories at various times throughout the booking timeline.  I'm being intentionally vague here b/c that is the kind of language you get from management if you ever engage them on this subject.

However....I will speculate that this late in the "booking timeline" if they are saying there are no suites available, I would tend to believe them.  Royal (and no other cruise line) is not in the business of intentionally letting their rooms go vacant - especially their high end and very popular suites.  If you had asked this same question about a suite very early in the booking continuum I might be inclined to think that they were exercising some inventory management and that there could be something being held back  - but not at this point.  First of all, they would be getting top dollar for anything this late in the process.  They like that.  And, as I said, they would be looking to close out inventory and call it a day.

Since it is well past final payment date I wouldn't hold my breath that anything would pop up at this point BUT it certainly doesn't hurt to check frequently to see if someone cancels.  Unfortunately, the days of getting a good price for a last minute cancellation/booking are long gone.  These days, last minute means BIG money - especially for suites when the entire category is sold out.

One last point.  A single exception to my theory might be a minimum occupancy suite such as a family suite or even the Royal Suite.  They will usually hold those rooms in hopes of getting some minimum number of occupants to maximize their price....but again, by this time they have usually released any such unsold rooms just to get them booked.  If you called Royal directly and they say there's nothing there, there's probably nothing there.  Keep checking though !

You're talking to a suite bloodhound here...so I know exactly how hard it is to find a suite when there's none to be had.

:15_yum:

WAAAYTOOO, you always post such interesting and helpful information! :) 

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Thanks WAAAYTOOO, I have been asking since day one, when I took the junior, all the suites are full or they would be trying to fill them.

Like I said in my original posting, I was hoping, knowing that there wasn't any hope, I'll keep calling and asking up to the date I cruise.

I agree with KLA, your post are always very informative and helpful. Thanks for the feedback.

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We may just have beginner's luck, but we always seem to get the type of room we want in the end.  It's all about diligence and being able to pounce when it becomes available. 

I used to be very good at being able to check Royal's site for a room during the course of a red light, but another RCB Insider recently told me about a website that will do all of the footwork for you.  It's called cruisefish.net (Matt, not sure if there's a no outside links policy here, but feel free to delete if you need to).  You pay a couple bucks for a batch of credits.  Each credit is valid for 1 cruise, as many alerts as you want.  And then you set up the alert.  For instance, we wanted a 2 bedroom suite after final payment date.  So I set up an alert for all the different suites with two bedrooms for when it came "back."  Then one morning, I got an email that it was "back."  Got my TA on it.  We had 2 connecting balcony rooms, and she was able to condense us down into one room, no penalty even though it was after final payment date (something about giving them substantially more money kinda helped).

I've always been surprised at how fast the suites go on these ships- ESPECIALLY star class.  But sometimes when it comes time to pony up the $15k (or more), people decide never mind.  And you never know what may happen in people's lives.  Health, babies, etc.  

Hope you get the room you want!  

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Also... about a year ago when they updated the RC site, I found that most of the suite inventory shows up on the site.  When we first started sailing RC, there were suites that didn't show up on the site.  Sometimes you can't book the suite on the site (had the problem with this recently), but if it shows up on the site, it's available.  

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