To upgrade or not to upgrade…. THAT is the question!

A lot of cruise-lines including P&O, Cunard, Princess and Holland America (to name a few) ask the customer at the time of booking whether they would like to be open to an upgrade.  This may sound like a no-brainer.  Why would you not want an upgrade… it’s got to be better right?


I try to run through the options in detail with my customers to make them aware of the full risks that selecting ‘open to upgrade’ can lead to.  Here’s the options and my advice on what to consider before making this decision:


‘Open To any upgrade’

The first thing to consider when choosing this option is that you cannot turn down an upgrade once you have been allocated one.  If you are happy with your current cabin’s position and really do not want to be in certain positions on the ship like near a lift, by the engines or underneath the swimming pool then this may not be the best option for you.  Other risks include that you may be allocated a cabin with fixed twin beds, an obstructed view or sheltered balcony cabin and you would have not control over this.

This option means that you could still be in the same cabin type to the one which you booked but you would be in a position of a higher category.  These are what are deemed by the cruise line to be in a better position on the ship but may not be in a position which you feel is better.  I would say this option is only worth ticking if you really are not worried about the position of your cabin.


‘Open to upgrade of next stateroom type’

This option includes all the risks of ‘open to any upgrade’ but with higher benefits.  I suggest this option for people happy to take the risk but who want to make it a worthwhile upgrade.  If you are given an upgrade by the cruise-line, you will be allocated a superior cabin type.  For example, if you are in a balcony cabin already then will move to a superior balcony as a minimum upgrade.   Some of my customers who have been particular with their cabin position choice have agreed to this option as they feel that the benefits of being in a better cabin will outweigh their disappointment if they are located in a worse position.  This is something you really need to consider though before selecting this option.


‘Do not upgrade’

This option I would strongly suggest to customers who are happy with the position of their cabin and really would not like to be in a particular area of the ship and have any nasty surprises.


Generally, if you are in a guarantee cabin (where the cruise line allocated the cabin number for you) you will always be ‘open to any upgrade’.


It is really down to personal preference, but I have heard of some very unhappy customers who have been upgraded so it’s a matter which needs to be considered carefully before making the decision.

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About Me

Hello!  My name's Debbie and I've worked in travel for 15 years.  When I say work that doesn't really sum it up properly.  Travel is my passion and I love  looking for my next holiday so helping you lovely people really isn't like work for me! I live with my…

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