When booking a cruise you may well be offered the option of reserving a ‘Guarantee’ stateroom. This is often the cheapest way of booking your cruise as these rates often carry the biggest discounts, however, these discounts are offered for a reason so there are always compromises to be made. You will generally find that when cruise lines bring out particularly low fares that the prices on these are based on ‘Guarantee’ staterooms.
When you book a ‘Guarantee’ stateroom this is on the understanding that your cabin number will not be available at the time of booking and will be allocated at a later date at the cruise line’s discretion. This means that the cruise line will allocate your cabin number either close to the date of the sailing or on the actual sailing day itself, but this is generally allocated around the time where your tickets are issued (around 4 weeks prior to departure).
You will be guaranteed a minimum standard of cabin as indicated by the cabin grade, but you will have no further choice in how or where onboard the ship your cabin will be allocated. You will not be able to submit any special requests regarding the position, facilities or bed configuration and if you are travelling with others, there is no guarantee that cabins will be located close to each other or will be of the same grade.
The main benefit of the ‘Guarantee’ stateroom is that you save money on the cruise fare, but another plus point is that there is also the chance of an upgrade!
The cruise line guarantee a stateroom to be allocated within the grade you are choosing or higher. This means that if you book an Interior, you will be guaranteed an Interior, but you could be lucky and receive an upgrade to a higher grade category Oceanview or even a Balcony.
The savings you receive will depend on which cruise line you choose. P&O, Cunard, Royal Caribbean and Seabourn have some great guarantee discounts on offer, but in other cases like Holland America line there are no real savings as although they offer ‘Guarantee’ rates, the price is the same so you will only really win if you get that all important upgrade.
More than anything the lure of the possibility of an upgrade is certainly appealing. If the category you have booked is full, you may be upgraded to an empty cabin in a higher category and you may also win from other peoples upgrades. There are always possibilities that guests with past-passenger status might get upgraded and you might get their free cabin in your category!
Its also worth noting that a ‘Guarantee’ passenger is more likely to be upgraded than someone of the same status who booked an allocated cabin at the same price.
The real risk in booking this type of fare is that you give up the chance to pick your spot on board whether your preference be midship, high deck or low deck the decision is out of your hands.
Each operator has its own unique policy so you should always check with your Cruise Expert to find out if this meets your expectations.
Call our Cruise Experts today on 0800 197 8050 to find out more and allow us to help you to choose the right cruise for you.