Why I Am Not Going for Cabin Upgrade Offers on my Next Two Cruises.

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Unlike airlines that offer, for elites anyway, complimentary upgrades, cruise lines (well, a lot of them anyway) offer a chance to bid for an upgrade at substantially lower prices than simply buying say a suite from the start. Let me show you an example from a Norwegian cruise I was on earlier this year:

a screenshot of a cruise ship

a screenshot of a web page

This cruise I had a standard balcony room booked as I am not a fan of the Haven in the “Breakaway” class of ships as the Haven restaurant is small and I can get many of the same sun perks by booking the much cheaper Vibe Beach club (and that is what I did for this cruise). But back to today.

a cruise ship in the water

I have my first-ever Holland America cruise coming up this winter. It is a “free” cruise and I, at booking, paid to upgrade to a rear balcony vs. the free interior that was the offer. After that, I again paid even more money to upgrade to “The Retreat” and cannot wait to compare this to NCL’s Vibe (I think it will be way better). So, the idea of upgrading my cabin even further does not appeal to me on what was meant to be a greatly discounted nearly free-ish cruise. Sure I would like some of the perks of an upgraded category of cabin but in this case, I would rather save my cash for other adventures onboard and ashore.

a screenshot of a hotel room

I will also this winter be on my first ever MSC cruise that I booked and paid for in full with Chase Ultimate Rewards® points at 1.5 cents per point value (I love this). MSC does have Yacht Club that is similar to the NCL Haven and had that kind of offer been extended to me I would have, for the right price, seriously considered going for that. But the above offers vs. the balcony cabin I have booked does not move me to act. Plus, I already have MSC Diamond status from the status match offer from my Hilton Diamond and will have priority boarding and more so why pay more.

The point of this post is you should always carefully review and consider if the upgrades offered by the cruise line are worth the benefits at those costs (even if much lower than retail pricing). After all, as our author and fellow Frequent Floater, Michael recently discovered, you may just win a bid and then the deal is done! – René

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

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René de Lambert
René de Lamberthttp://www.FrequentFloaters.com
René de Lambert has been a travel blogger for over 10 years covering the travel industry - including cruising.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve never done this or been offered this. Do you book directly? I always use a TA. I book guarantee cabins and always get above what I book. I almost always book an inside and get an outside. Then I have my TA watch for up sells and try for a balcony. I can usually get one for $300 for 2 weeks. If I cant, I am happy where I am. I just spend less time in my cabin.

    • @Stephanie – If your TA does it right you should get notice via e-Mail that you can bid for an upgrade. With NCL you can simply log on to your account and pull up your reservation and you should see it as you get closer to sailing i.e. about 2 months out.

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