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Kennedy - Answered a Question by Smith (03 Nov 08 21:17)

Hi - this works for me in hotels and on cruises if I'm on my 3rd or 4th visit. I'm Irish (which has a certain novelty factor believe it or not), I travel alone and I tip well (not excessively but well). I also get talking to a range of the staff (not just the entertainment staff but bar staff, cabin steward(ess) etc and every so often I get introduced by these staff to one of the senior hotel staff. After I return home I e-mail the ship's agent at the home port and ask them to pass on my appreciation for a great cruise. When I am due to return I send another e-mail (again to be forwarded to named staff) saying that I will be back and give the dates and how much I am looking forward to returning. Then when I arrive on board and they have assured themselves that I am the same person they remember I regularly get an upgrade from an inside to an outside cabin. I also sometimes get other little bits and pieces like being placed at a dinner table with one of the senior officers (once at the Captain's table). I also never complain. It something goes wrong that can be fixed I ask for it to be fixed. If however the ship and cruise experience is not what I think it promised in the brochure I simply don't sail on that ship again. Luckily I have only ever had to have minor matters addressed while on board and only one cruise was a total disaster. Even when I have to have things put right which should have been right to start with I thank those responsible and (if appropriate) give a small tip. I never get drunk, never expect more than I have paid for, never treat the staff like servants, never let is show when I am on a ship for two weeks with the greatest cruise bores or really obnoxious people and never make unfavourable comparisons (when I am on a budget cruise) with the standards on higher class ships. It does work for me - or maybe I have just been lucky.

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Neil & Ida Down - Answered a Question by Smith (03 Nov 08 14:53)

One of life's little mysteries and I think that most of here would like to know the answer. My guess, in your case, is to ask your agent, Fred Olsen, the Loyalty Club and the ship when you arrive and tell them you are a big "repeater" etc. and be nice about it, not that I think you wouldn't be, but I have been told that pleasantness gets better results. .......Neil.

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crook - replied to Neil & Ida Down (04 Nov 08 18:11)

We booked an inside cabin on the QM2. we informed cunard that it was our wedding anniversary (not a special one,ithink it was our 36th. we were upgraded to a balcony cabin , had a card from the captain, a bottle of champagne and friut in the cabin . Itwas our first cruise with Cunard and we were made to feel special.

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Neil & Ida Down - replied to crook (05 Nov 08 14:23)

So pleased for you, there are times when something like an anniversary will pay dividends and you did the right thing....you told them, the upgrade fairy seldom acts without a tap with the toe. We were upgraded with Cunard virtually every time we sailed from Princess' Grills to Queen's Grill but we had sailed with them a lot of times and that is why I made the comment. So keep trying and you could well be revisited by the U F . Ida.

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smith - replied to Neil & Ida Down (09 Nov 08 11:53)

Nothing to do with this question, but find your names and surname quite fascinating!!!

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Wilba - Answered a Question by Smith (03 Nov 08 18:44)

I've cruised more than double your amount & like you I'm still waiting. One tip though, if there are cabins capable of 4 berth, then book it for 2. If they need to put a family in there they may well offer you a move you to accomodate them...Wilba.

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Harrold - Answered a Question by Smith (04 Nov 08 22:13)

We have done lots of cruises on lots of cruise lines. We have had one upgrade with P & O Lots of other people on the same cruise received upgrades - bigger ones than us - we had sailed with them quite extensively but the people who were first timers got the better upgrades - the company tout for futur business from first timers. - makes sense doesn't it? On many occassions people have told us they have had upgrades but how can you prove it? Whist on Princess once we asked the Future Cruise Sales girl how come some people get upgrades and we never do we were told that they explicitly do not give upgrades. Believe what you will - I, myself, think they are very few and far between and if you do happen to be lucky enough to get one then count your lucky stars. Jan Lincs.

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Kennedy - replied to Harrold (04 Nov 08 23:08)

The funny thing about cruising (because it is not at the bargain basement of holidays in terms of price) is that some people attempt to counteract the frequent cruiser comments by saying that they have paid much less than they in fact paid. I think it is connected to the snobbery there still is about cruising. Land based holidays have early booking discounts and last minute discounts but with cruising the price fluctuates all the time. The "experts" tell us not to pay the brochure price - that all prices can be negotiated. So if you went on a cruise at a high grade cabin and paid that full brochure price because you were a first time cruiser (or did not do the research) would you want to hear someone in an identical cabin talk about the fact they got it for 50% less? Of course you wouldn't. There are upgrades, there are bargains but please don't believe everyone who tells you they got their cruise for a pittance. They are probably the same people who claim to be employed in a much more exalted position than they are and also claim to have been on more cruises than they have - God knows I have met them over the last 30+ years of holidas which have included cruises. I have been given upgrades but I only cruise during the shoulder seasons when ships are less likely to be full and upgraded cabins available. However I still pay my single supplement so the price I pay in the end is expensive (most of the time). Aside from the various loyalty schemes I have found that my contacting the cruise ship directly works. I don't do this in order to get an upgrade - simply want people I know, like and respect to know that I am returning and look forward to seeing them. If this results in something extra then I am all for that.

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Grover - Answered a Question by Smith (05 Nov 08 05:43)

I don't know about Fred Olsen cruises but usually the best way to get a free upgrade is to book a "guaranteed" cabin (not a specific one). One of our first cruises was on the QE2 and when we booked we wanted an outside cabin and to eat in the restaurant where you could eat anytime between 7 and 9. We were advised that the only cabins available which would accommodate our requirements were "guaranteed". This meant that we would be certain of getting at least the grade we booked. As it happened, when our tickets came through, we had been upgraded 7 levels to Grill Class passengers. We had a dedicated check-in, a huge stateroom, champagne and strawberries on sailing. We also ate in the Britannia Grill. When we looked at the brochure, to have booked that stateroom would have cost us an extra £1000 each!

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Richardson - replied to Grover (05 Nov 08 08:39)

Your comments are interesting. I am about to go on the QE2 for the third (and final) time, having been on the World Cruise last year and Iceland/Norway this year. Friends I made on the World Cruise will be joining me but we never seem to be offered an upgrade. Never mind, maybe another time but certainly not on the QE2!

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