When Should You Take Or Refuse A Cruise Upgrade? 8 Ways They Could Ruin Your Cruising Vacation

You’re about to discover how taking an
upgrade could completely ruin your cruise vacation. When and when you
should go for an upgrade? I’m Gary Bembridge and this is another of my Tips For Travellers. People seek out upgrades, I know that based on just how many people
have watched my video of tips on how to get an upgrade. I want to take a look at
the things to avoid, and the things to bear in mind, before you go for, chase
or accept an upgrade. The four most common ways to get an upgrade are:
first of all they’re complimentary and sort of a surprise and these are
largely driven by also what you do when you’re booked. In your booking you can
choose to either accept or reject an upgrade. Depending on the cruise line,
sometimes you can choose to accept upgrades within the same category. For
example, from one balcony cabin to a better balcony cabin, or to another
level. For example, a balcony to a suite or from an inside to an ocean view. The cruise line decides if they’re going to give that to you.
Secondly, on some cruise lines you can bid for a better room. It’s
very limited and there’s few cruise lines doing this. For example, at the time of
recording, Norwegian Cruise Line allowed do this. There’s not many that do.
The third one is when you are given the chance to upsell, when checking in you’re given an opportunity to pay to upgrade and sometimes before
you go the cruise you are contacted and given the chance to pay an amount to upgrade. The last one is where you or your travel agent has noticed that the line is
discounting better cabins and they’re cheaper than what you paid for your
original cabin. So, you change your booking to a higher grade of cabin or
level. However, there’s a big watch out with all of these
because normally if you accept an upgrade, or you’ve ticked to accept an
upgrade, and the cruise line gives you the upgrade, you usually have no say
whatsoever in the cabin they’ve given you. You don’t have a chance to go
back to your original cabin. So it is very important if you going to tick the box and
you’re going for an upgrade, bear in mind that you will have no say and that’s
going to be a key factor as I talk about how you could ruin your cruise.
Let’s take a look at when taking upgrade how you could ruin your cruise. The
first of these is to bear in mind that your idea of a great cabin and the
line’s idea of a great cabin can be totally different things. You may end
up getting the cabins that nobody else wants. You might get the strange shape or
the one that’s in a slightly odd location. Bear in mind that if you
have a very set idea about what a great cabin is, the cruise line
doesn’t necessarily have that same checklist. You might find they move
you to a cabin which in their view is a better cabin, however, that may not be
your idea and you go to a cabin that you’re not comfortable with.
The second way it can really ruin your cruise vacation is if you’re very
specific and very picky about the location you want. For example, you’re worried about noise so you don’t want to be under the disco,
restaurants or the theatre, or perhaps you want to be central so it’s easy and you’re close to all of the facilities around the ship.
Perhaps you want to be in a certain location because you’re travelling with
friends or family and you want to be in the same area of the ship. If you have
a very specific need about the location like in the front of the ship or the back
of the ship or importantly if you are worried about being seasick, and you like to
be lowdown and midships. If you’re very picky about where your cabin is on
the ship, I would strongly recommend don’t look at upgrades because
you could be moved from a great location that you love to an area that is
actually everything that you dislike. The third reason is if you’re very specific
and picky about your cabin itself. For example, you want a cabin that has no
inter-connecting door with the cabin next door, or you want one that does have
an inter-connecting door or you want a cabin that has a bath, or you want one
that’s only got a shower, you want one with two basins ,you want one that
doesn’t have an obstructed view or you want a cabin that can be
easily divided by a curtain because you know that you get up before your partner
or traveling companion. If you’re very picky and specific about what your cabin
has in the layout and the features, I’d recommend do not take an upgrade because
you could get moved to a cabin that doesn’t have them. I’m very fussy about
certain things in the cabin like ones with no interconnecting doors, I like having a
bath so I tend not to go for upgrades because I would be very unhappy if I
lost some of the things that I spent a lot of time choosing to have very
specifically in my cabin. If you have a need for an accessible cabin I would
also recommend not taking upgrades. If you need wheelchair access or you
need other accessible features within your cabin, don’t go for an upgrade as there
are a very limited amount of accessible cabins on cruise ships. If you’ve got
one because you need one, don’t go for an upgrade as it’s very possible that
you’ll be upgraded to cabin that doesn’t have the space or the facilities that
you need for accessibility. Another good reason for not taking upgrade is the
chance that you’ll lose your perks with your booking. This tends to apply more if you’ve taken a deal and you’re paying to upgrade. You might
have got a deal, for example, which has included some Wi-Fi, drinks package or
some onboard credit. Often cruise lines will let you pay to upgrade to a better
cabin, or a better grade, however they might then only give you the perks
associated with that new deal. For example, you’ve booked a cruise with a great package with drinks package, speciality dining, onboard credits in a balcony cabin, and you see a great deal come
along where you can get a suite for the same price. However, that might only have
a small amount of onboard credit and if you change your booking to upgrade you lose all of those benefits and so the upgrade could not be at all appealing because you’ve lost a lot of great perks
and benefits. If you’re paying to upgrade, check if the
original perks associated with that booking are going to stay and move with
you or if you’re going to lose them. For example, I booked a cruise recently where
I had some speciality dining, drinks package, some free Wi-Fi and gratuities were paid but if I chose an upgrade, where I could pay an upgrade,
I was going to lose all of those and just get a small amount of onboard
credit. It really wasn’t worth it. Linked to that, and very important, is if
you want to upgrade because you want to get extra perks, check that with the
upgrade all the perks of going to high-grade comes with it. You might
find with some grades, for example, you get things like priority boarding
and disembarkation, priority tendering, canapes in the evening, complimentary
minibar, some free dining in the speciality restaurants. However, people
who get free upgrades might not get those perks associated with that. So, very importantly
if you’re upgrading and chasing perks, rather than just a space and the bigger
cabin, check that you’re going to get those perks or
it could really put a dampener on your cruise, because you’re not going to get
what you expected. This next one is probably a little bit frivolous, but if
you’re actually concerned by moving from an inside to a balcony, or from balcony
to a suite, you’re going to find it very difficult to go back, you might want to
hold back on taking that upgrade. You might find that your whole future
cruising cost and experience is slightly ruined because now you’ve experienced
the balcony and you don’t want to go back to an ocean view or inside. So, bear in
mind that upgrades could slightly spoil you and I’ve seen on many forums people have
said the problem with going with a suite is they find it very difficult to go
back as it’s very hard to convince their partner to go
back to an inside or an ocean view. All upgrades aren’t necessarily great
value and this particularly applies if you’re paying for an upgrade. So, perhaps
when you’re checking in or just before the cruise, you’re offered a chance to
pay a little bit to upgrade do the math and check that it really is worth it.
Don’t assume because you’re being offered an upgrade, that it’s great value.
Do the math and check that actually first of all that’s not what you would
have paid anyway, and you’re not really getting any saving because you
could have booked that higher grade anyway. If you’re offered an upgrade and you’re
paying, do the maths to make sure that you suddenly don’t find yourself in a
situation realizing actually it’s not a real upgrade and I’m just paying what you
would have paid anyway for the cabin. Another really important aspect, which some
cruise lines do, is they have different grades within a category and you
might be in a balcony and they offer you and give you an upgrade from
what they consider a less good balcony to a higher grade one. But may find yourself at the front of the ship or the back of the ship and they’ve
moved you from mid ships. Very importantly, that may not be a big enough
upgrade. Ask yourself if you get moved to to a different balcony or
ocean view that you are already paying for, is it really worth the hassle. Particularly if you’ve chosen a cabin
that you like. An upgrade is only an upgrade if it’s much better, so one of
the things to really think about is are upgrades within a specific category really a big enough upgrade that’s going to make your cruise much better. There are times when taking an upgrade I think could really dampen and ruin your
cruise. There are of course times where upgrades are fantastic. For example,
you’re moving to a bigger cabin and up a category and it’s not costing you
anything, and you’re going to get to experience something much bigger and much
better because you are always on a cruise going to use extra space,
and it gives you chance to entertain or have people over or just spill out and
enjoy yourself. But do bear in mind that if you are going the upgrade route, there
are ways that it could really dampen your cruise. If you are really fussy about where
your cabin is located, because you’re worried about noise or access to
facilities or there’s things in your cabin that you really really like that
are very specific, an upgrade could wipe those out, Generally when I cruise, I
don’t go for the upgrade option because I like to spend a lot of time thinking
about where I like my cabin to be and things that I like in my cabin,
and I’m much happier knowing that I’ve got a cabin that I really like and I am
prepared to forgo the upgrade option. Of course there are times when I have gone
for upgrades and had an amazing time .so I’ve been upgraded for example into the
magnificent penthouse suite with a dining room and all sorts, and that was
just absolutely magical and fantastic. There are times when it works, however,
generally speaking think about what’s really important to
you on a cruise and if they got wiped out and you get a cabin
that doesn’t have all those, how are you going to feel about it? Make sure it doesn’t
dampen or get in the way of having a great cruise. I hope you found that
helpful and interesting and it’s given you something to think about. if you liked
this video, I’d love it if you watch many more of my Tips For Travellers videos.
They’re designed to help you make the most of your very precious travel time
and money on land, on sea and on rivers

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