Pete, the NCL Getaway cruiser, was looking for the best rate he could get for his money. I had him book an aft (back of ship) mini-suite for a decent price for a 7 day cruise. It was $300 more than a balcony but I had my reasons.
Firstly, he is cruising in early February and that is prime time for a chance that the upgrade fairy might hit, or at the least a chance for an upsell. I know what you're thinking...just what is an upsell? It's the chance to upgrade at a nominal fee.
When I took my boyfriend-now hubby- on his first cruise on NCL Jewel, I also booked an aft mini. We cruised the end of January and kept asking if an upsell was possible, please CALL ME!! And she did! I was able to go from the mini-suite to a forward facing PENTHOUSE! Yes, I'm yelling this because I was so excited. What did I pay? A measly $300 total. This is what that $300 bought me:
We could have had a party for 35 people and we would have had room to spare. The suite was #9500 and it came with a butler (Maurice) and a concierge (Alex) and the best room stewards I've ever had. It spoiled my hubby for life since it was his first cruise.
So new or fellow cruisers, what does this mean to you?
First, always let your travel agent (TA) know that you would love the chance for an upgrade or upsell. Some cruise lines are more likely than others o give them out. My thoughts:
- Choose the time of year wisely. Oct/Nov, Jan/Feb are the least expensive times to cruise for a reason. Most ships aren't booked and they are more likely to give you that much coveted upgrade.
- Cruise lines usually upgrade from inside to outside room, outside to balcony, balcony to mini-suite, and mini-suite to better suite. By booking either a guaranteed rate (you can't pick the room but you have a much better chance of a better room or suite), or a coveted room like the aft or hump (areas in demand).
- Remember, be happy with whatever you book because the upgrade/upsell fairy is very choosy.
- Most importantly, I always prefer a suite but I am happy cruising in a shoebox if that's all I get. A cruise is a cruise and that beats ANY DAY working!
IF you have any questions, please let me know. I'm not a travel agent but a complete cruise addict.