When perusing the different options and prices for a cruise from Australia, you might come across a guarantee option for various stateroom categories, often at a great price. Here are a few questions that our cruise consultants tend to receive about guarantee cabins.
What does guarantee status mean exactly?
Cruise lines will often offer special deals on cabins under a guarantee status as a way filling up their ships when cruises are close to departure. You will be assigned your chosen category but will not be able to select a cabin number or be given one on confirmation. They do this to secure you and your travel companions a space onboard and ensure they will be able to move your booking around if need be - think of it as a flexibility discount for making the tough job cruise lines have of placing all passengers in the areas they wish to be a little bit easier for them. This can mean great savings and the potential of free upgrades to passengers!
How does it work?
The cruise line will assign you a cabin in the category you have purchased, or potentially you may receive an upgrade to a higher priced cabin. They will do so, at their discretion, anytime between booking your cruise and the departure date. Generally, it is done a week or so prior to your departure.
It is important to note that in the meantime, you will not be able to make any requests in regards to the bedding or location of your cabin as you will have no cabin number to request them to. However, you will still be able to make special meal requests.
Can I get an upgrade?
Having the cruise line assign you a cabin can sometimes mean a free upgrade. An upgrade does not necessarily mean you will purchase a Guarantee Inside Cabin and be upgraded to an Ocean View or Suite. Within each cabin type (Inside, Outside etc) there are different categories. Cabins categories are priced based on location - with mid ship (which is commonly sought after) and quieter areas of the ship being the higher categories. There have definitely been cases where bookings have received upgrades from an Inside cabin to an Ocean cabin or higher, however these are rare.
What can I expect with guarantee status?
With the cruise lines cabin assignments, be prepared to be located anywhere on the ship that passengers cabins are found. This may mean higher or lower deck levels to where the originally purchased category would have been including forward, aft and mid ship locations. Once assigned a cabin it is almost impossible to request a move or reverse the change.
Pros and cons of guarantee status
There are benefits towards booking a cruise on a guarantee status and downsides - depending on what you are looking for on your cruise holiday.
A guarantee status cabin will work for you if:
- You do not mind where in the ship your cabin will be located
- You are after a great deal and possibly a free upgrade to a higher cabin category or cabin type
A guarantee status cabin will NOT work for you if:
- You are travelling in a group or with friends & family and wish to request cabins near each other
- You are travelling in a family of 5 or more and need to be side by side/close together
- You have a specific cabin, category or location request
- You suffer from motion sickness and would prefer mid ship (where you will feel the least motion) or aft ship cabin locations
- You have a specific bedding request or will mind being assigned a certain bedding type
- You or any of your travel companions have mobility issues
A guarantee status can be a great way to save on your cruise if the conditions above work for you. Generally the cost to purchase a higher category where you can pick your cabin number is not too much more and the benefits of doing so may change your holiday substantially. Weigh up the pros and cons against what is important to you and make a decision from there. As always, our friendly and experienced cruise consultants will be happy to help.
Personally, unless I am travelling with friends or family I do not mind a guarantee status if the price is right. It is a bit exciting to wait and see if you get an upgrade and who knows - maybe you will be one of the lucky ones?
Give us a call for more information (or to find a cruise!) on 1300 13 41 26.
You can also take a look at a particular cruise line page to find your next cruise if you like. Usually, companies cruising from Australia include P&O, Carnival, Princess, Holland America and Royal Caribbean.