5 Reasons to Turn Down a Cruise Ship Cabin Upgrade (and When Not To)

A cruise ship cabin upgrade can be thrilling, with options like surprise complimentary upgrades, discounted upsell offers, re-bookings due to price drops, and online bidding for better rooms. However, sometimes it’s wise to decline an upgrade. While it may seem counterintuitive, what you consider an upgrade and what the cruise line considers an upgrade may not always align. Here are five reasons to turn down a cruise cabin upgrade, along with a few reasons to accept one:
1. You want a certain cabin location
When offered an upgrade, you typically can’t choose the location of your new room or suite. If you prefer to stay midship on a lower deck to ease seasickness, have specifically booked rooms near or connecting to travel companions, or are selective about decks to minimize noise, it’s best to stick with the cabin you originally booked and not risk an upgrade.2. You need an accessible cabin
Cruise ships have a limited number of wheelchair-friendly cabins and accessible suites. Since there’s no guarantee that an upgrade would include another accessible room, it’s best to book the cabin you need and decline potential upgrades.
3. You ‘re just looking for the perks
Certain cruise lines, such as Norwegian, Seabourn, and Oceania, offer special perks and freebies to passengers booked in their top suites, but these extras are not extended to travelers who receive free or discounted upgrades from lower-tier cabins. If you’re primarily interested in the perks, you should book the high-end suites from the start; the upgrade will only provide you with better accommodations, not all the additional benefits.4. You may lose your perks
This advice is for travelers who notice a price drop on their booked sailing and wish to upgrade to a better cabin at the reduced fare. Cruise lines typically allow this, but they treat it as a rebooking, which means you will lose any promotional offers associated with your original booking and be subject to the current promotion. For instance, if you originally booked an outside cabin at a rate that included a free beverage package and prepaid gratuities, but now see a balcony cabin at the same price with only $50 onboard credit as the perk, you can take the upgrade but will forfeit the better freebies from the original promotion.5. It’s not enough of an upgrade
An upgrade isn’t always as dramatic as moving from an inside cabin to a suite. You might be moved from one balcony cabin to another in a supposedly better location (according to the cruise line, but not necessarily to you). It’s up to you to decide if this kind of move is worthwhile. We’ve also heard of upgrades from balcony cabins to Concierge-level veranda staterooms, which are usually identical rooms with perks of questionable value. This type of upgrade can be fine if it’s free and you get the extra amenities, but it isn’t always worth paying for.
When It’s Worth Taking a Cabin Upgrade1. The upgrade is free or reduced-price
If you’re not particular about the cabin location but would appreciate the extra space of a higher-category cabin, consider saying yes to the upgrade if it’s free or offered at a reduced price within your travel budget.2. You’ll move up to the next cabin type
More space is generally worth any minor trade-offs, such as being farther from the elevator or experiencing more noise from surrounding decks. If you have the opportunity to upgrade from an inside cabin to an outside one, or from a balcony to a suite, either for free or at a low cost, do it.3. You’ll get extra perks
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to read the fine print regarding which perks you will or won’t receive when upgrading to a spa- or concierge-level cabin or suite. However, if your upgrade includes perks such as VIP treatment or exclusive access to restaurants and lounges, these additional amenities can provide even more value than just the larger cabin itself.
By carefully considering these factors, you can make a well-informed decision that enhances your cruise experience, ensuring it aligns with your expectations and preferences.​​Dreaming of a Cruise Vacation or beyond? I would love to help you design the perfect land or sea experience for your family!  Click here to schedule a “Let’s Get Acquainted Session” with me so we can start planning your family’s next great adventure. 

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