How to get a cruise ship cabin upgrade

It would be a godsend if there was a simple one-step way you could effortlessly have your cruise ship cabin upgraded for free or at a low cost, but sadly there isn’t. There are, however, a few things you can do to greatly improve your chances of having your cabin bumped to a better location and a better class.

Take a look below at our 5 tips that will help your chances of getting an awesome cabin upgrade!

Choose a Guarantee Cabin

If you get a guaranteed cabin it simply means you’re absolutely assured to have a cabin in the class you booked for. You won’t be given an exact cabin number until just before departure, but it’s closer than booking a flexible cabin.

Now, once you’re ready to board you might be given a chance at an upgrade if the cruise line has filled your cabin class and forgot to leave a space for you. This means you’ll be bumped up to a better cabin – typically for free.

Be Loyal to One Cruise Line

This is similar to grocery store and airline points. If you’re a loyal customer and always stick with the same line then you’ll be looked after. This means that if your cabin suddenly becomes unavailable or there is an upgrade opportunity, you’ll be chosen over passengers who rarely cruise with the line.

Reduced-rate upgrades are even a possibility if you’re a long-time sea-goer frequently with a single cruise line, so keep that in mind too. Be a loyal customer and you’re more likely to be treated as such.

Book Through a Promotion

This is a good tip for those who are looking for a great deal. There’s a good chance that the promotion price is already really low, so you’re effectively getting a better class cabin for the price of a standard one – basically a free upgrade.

If you want to be sure you’re getting a great deal and a true promotion, then head over to an agency and book through them. They’ll know when the promotions are happening and hold your booking until a promotion comes up.

Cruise During the Off Season

During off periods ships are far less likely to sell out. That means during slow times there are usually plenty of cabins left over and cruise lines might even slash prices to try to fill up the remaining cabins. If you notice this price cut, then it’s a good time to ask for a discounted upgrade.

At the end of the day the cruise line simply wants to fill cabins and get the largest return possible, so if a discount is what gets you to say yes to a better cabin, there’s often a good chance they’ll do it.

Simply Ask

Although you’re not guaranteed anything, it’s still a good idea to simply ask for an upgrade. You really don’t have anything to lose just by asking. You’ll find that the upgrade decisions are made by cruise directors and other senior officials, so be sure to ask a few weeks in advance and see if they’ll reduce the upgrade price for you.

Important to Remember

It’s important to remember that if you do get upgraded, you won’t be able to go back to your original cabin – or at least it’s very difficult. So, make sure you look at where the new cabin is before agreeing to accept it as an upgrade. It could be a while away from the areas of the ship you wanted to hang out in and you might find it less attractive than your original lower-category cabin.