The way the load up the ship is normally cheapest up so from time to time we have been upgraded when we arrived to check-in, on one ocassion we reveived our tickets on the Monday and on the Thursday we got another set which was an upgrade to a suite !! I think the number of times you have cruised with a line will help play its part. I have on one ocassion despite all the signs at the cruise desk saying the ship is full got a couple who thought they had booked a balcony and they hadn't but on the first day at sea I went with them we had a chat some money parted hands and not a lot, but they got there balcony. On the way back one time from Zebrugger to Rosyth I upgraded from an inside cabin to a suite for the price of £80 each, but it was superb accommodation with a TV; champagne; fruit and other bits and pieces, but worth it .
The only way most of us know is to open your wallet!! That's not sarcasm, just simple fact unfortunately. On a more serious note, one often quoted method is to book a cabin that has the option of being used as a 4 berth, of which there aren't too many on most ships. If a family of 4 require a cabin at a later stage you 'might' get bumped to a better grade. Otherwise a larger size prayer mat might be a good alternative....Good Luck. Wilba .
Wilba, I love your comments, I have only quite recently discovered this site and really appreciated your supportive comment to me when I posted my first ever review about Oriana and received some really quite spiteful comments about what I had intended to be a positive review of our cruise. You appear to be a prolific writer with a wealth of useful information to other cruisers. We're going to the Caribbean in March and will be on Ventura for the second time. Having never done the Caribbean, do you have any tips? We have just received our tours booklet and see there is a helicopter tour of the Pitons in St Lucia. Sounds absolutely wonderful, although not cheap (gulp). However, the thought occured to me that it's a lot of money if on the day it's either pouring with rain or misty. Would you, or anyone else have any guidance as to the probability of good weather?
Most of the caribbean islands are very easy to 'tour' DIY & if you type the name of any of your ports of call into the blue search box you will get a wealth of information on every destination. Most taxi's are van come truck style & the 'taxi despatchers' will be offering all the ships tours at signifcantly lower cost & will stop & wait if you want a few hours on a beach before returning to the ship. St Lucia is one island I have yet to do, so can't help with the Pitons & there is only one comment on this site, & that was by catamaran. Sounds wonderful whichever type of transport you take. (google pitons helicopter). I wouldn't worry about the weather in March & my only other comment would be, a balcony cabin is a well worth it bonus in this part of the world....Regards Wilba.
One other method is to book a guarantee cabin. Gaurantee means you dont know cabin number/location until near sail date but you are gauranteed a certain grade of cabin. You can quite often be lucky in being then allocated a higher grade than that booked within the same category. HOWEVER - it can work both ways and you could be stuck with a cabin say with an obstructed view or in a bad position or slightly noisy etc.
I agree with Wilba; you pay for it! At any rate , thats the only method that has ever worked for us!! Cynthia.
You could try ringing the head office a few weeks before your cruise and let them know you'll be writing a comprehenive review of the cruise for www.CRUISE.co.uk!! It didn't work for me but you never know your luck.
We were very lucky and received an upgrade for the first ever time on RCL's 'Navigator of the Seas' in June this year, from an inside for 2 adults & 1 child, to a superior outside with a balcony. A few days before we departed I noticed the cabin number was different to our original booking, and when checking the web site, thought this surely couldn't be right, but it was - we were really delighted, especially as we'd only paid £330 per person for the 5 night 'cruise only' ex Barcelona. I guess it's one of these things that happens only once in a lifetime !
As with any holiday accommodation ASK!!! as soon as you get there, thats my philosophy and has never failed yet.
Have you ever asked Thomsons for an upgrade and what happened. We always have paid for a deluxe cabin and hated it last year just a waste of money - the vibration was unbelievable so we are sailing on the Destiny this July - would love a balcony but really expensive - do Thomsons upgrade when you get on the ship and what does it cost?