Mostly when we have been given an upgrade it was the cruise company who decides and if them it is free otherwise you would have to pay, but this is not an option that I have come across so far. We booked a Conciegre stateroom with Celebrity in February 2007 and whilst the initial confirmations arrived as booked two days later another mail and we had been upgraded to a suite with a butler. The number of times you have cruised with a company is a high consideration. Most have a club you can join and the more you cruise the more points are added to your membership status and this does influence the decision. On one ocassion we arrived to check-in at the ship to find we had been upgraded. So if you do cruise regularly make sure you join up, its a bit like a loyalty card with some of the supermarkets but with better benefits.
Sometimes you just get lucky and you get one because they have some.you can have a problem with your cabin or god forbid you can offer to pay for an upgrade,but in the end if they are full then no upgrade.If you book a guaranteed grade and they sell out you get moved up to the net grade?let us know how you get on.
Upgrading can have its downside if you've booked a specific cabin for its location in the ship as well as its grade. Ships often have numerous grades of cabins, with little difference between adjacent grades. If I got to the ship and found I'd been 'upgraded' to a slightly better cabin in a less favourable location, I'm afraid I wouldn't be very grateful!
Haveing just been on ventura our cruise co rang us to see if we would like to upgrade from a inside cabin to cabin with balcony .we agreed and had no regrets.
regards mr r cawthorne.