As an Amazon Affiliate, we may earn a commission on eligible purchases made through our referrals. Frequent Floaters has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. FrequentFloaters and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
- Introduction and overview of my Alaska adventure
- Delta Award Flight – eking out value from SkyPennies to Alaska
- Booking my Norwegian NCL Alaska Cruise and Stacking Fail With Chase UR Points
- The Hilton Anchorage Alaska Hotel Across From The Alaska Railroad Station
- The Alaska Railroad GoldStar ride from Anchorage to Seward
- How to use your Norwegian Diamond free cabin upgrade award
- The Norwegian Jewel Suite 9002 Forward Large Balcony Review 2023
- Panning for gold in Alaska – I get the “gold rush”
- Deadliest Catch adventure on the Aleutian Ballad
- Final Thoughts on our First Cruise to Alaska and What I Would do Differently
Having reached lifetime Diamond this past winter with NCL both my wife and I have the ability to upgrade for free to a better cabin category. We chose to use this on our Alaska cruise this past May and to go from a balcony to a club balcony suite. Here is the breakdown, at the time, of the price difference and the value of this perk for this cruise:
Saving $1,300 is impressive and we were excited about having a bit of a larger cabin and getting value out of reaching Diamond. But there were a few issues that I will cover in a bit. First just what is this perk and what upgrades are possible. NCL tells us:
“One-Time Free Cabin Upgrade – Diamond
Diamond members will be offered a one-time complimentary cabin upgrade once they have reached the Diamond tier. The cabin upgrade is valid for one category increase from the category that the guest booked. The Latitudes member must first make their booking, then call to redeem their complimentary cabin upgrade. The cabin upgrade is not eligible for Suites or Haven. The highest cabin category that a member may be upgraded to is Club Balcony. Eligible members will have one (1) year to take the complimentary cabin upgrade after graduating to the Diamond tier.
The complimentary cabin upgrade may only be redeemed once for each member. There are no destination restrictions but holiday sailings are excluded. All upgrades are subject to availability. This benefit is not combinable with other cabin upgrade promotions or offers. Taxes and fees are not included. Complimentary cabin upgrades are non-transferable.” – NCL.com
There is a lot of information to process including the sad fact that you can not use this for a Suite or Haven upgrade reducing the value of the perk and Club Balcony is as high as you can go (from a normal balcony booked cabin). Also, unlike certs like cruise next, you only have one year to use the upgrade so you better be ready to sail again soon on NCL once you cross this or even twice if there are two of you both reaching Diamond at the same time!
Next, how does one use this one time perk. Again NCL tells us:
“I am now a Diamond member, how do I claim my one-time complimentary cabin upgrade?
When you are ready to redeem your complimentary cabin upgrade, call the dedicated service desk (866-625-6086) and provide your reservation ID to receive your free cabin upgrade. You must have an existing reservation or you must make a reservation before redeeming your upgrade for that reservation.” – NCL.com
Rather than call, what I would do is this – e-mail the latitudes team as once you call they are the ones who you will be dealing with. Their e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you have the upgrade done the latitudes folks tend to not be so nice with other requests like can I move to this cabin or that cabin. Instead call NCL or whoever you booked with to try to move to another cabin in the same category as you now find yourself in. Now back to my Alaska upgrade and how it went.
I had booked a port side balcony because for a south bound Alaska cruise I wanted the best land views. When I applied the Diamond upgrade the only cabins available were starboard side sad to say (I should have checked first). But I kept checking to see if something opened up and then got the offer to upgrade to a forward suite for just $700 for the two of us and took it. Thus I ended up burning one of my two Diamond upgrades and did not benefit really from it. Now my cheap upgrade offer may have been based on the fact that I was already just one category below a suite but I can not confirm that.
This leaves me with one more Diamond upgrade cert to burn before spring of 2024 and I already have 3 other cruises booked on non-NCL ships so it is unlikely, with all I have going already this fall, that I will be able to use this one time lifetime perk for my wife’s status. Yes, a bummer and poor planning on my part and I wish I had studied up that I only had 1 year to use the perk after crossing Diamond! – René
Frequent Floaters has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. FrequentFloaters and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.