10 tried and trusted ways to score a cabin upgrade


There isn’t a traveller on the planet who hasn’t tried for an upgrade – and cruise ship staff are well aware there are a thousand scams out there to move passengers from that inside room to an owner’s suite and everything in between.
Some are obvious – and some require the skills of a Oscar Winner. Would you try any of these? Tell us your favourite.

1. Choose your time…

Book early and travel at quiet times is an oldie but a goodie. Even cruise lines may be glad to upgrade when passenger numbers are down. Outside school holidays and mid-week are obvious examples.

2. Spend heaps

Look like a high roller and you’re likely to get the high roller’s suite. Booking a few expensive shore excursions can get you noticed, according to some experts. You have to invest a bit to make a lot, right?

3. Be loyal

Join the club, the newsletter, the Facebook page and any other way to display your undying loyalty to a brand, and it’s likely they will love you back.

4. Get mad

OK, this isn’t for the faint hearted, but banging the table and demanding an upgrade in a loud voice because you know friends were upgraded in similar circumstance on the last cruise can work. It won’t make you popular but it can achieve what you want.

5. Get sad

If you get desperate, resort to emotional blackmail. Tika Larasati, Influencer Marketing Manager, told one website: “Tears of a drama queen can work, either out of sympathy or to get you away from the other passengers. I guess when your hamster dies, it won’t work.”

6. Be a weighty problem

OK, so it may not be good for your health long term, but being oversized can quickly convince cruise lines that it’s probably easier to upgrade you than spend half a day trying to prise you out of the show! So forget Lite and Easy, and stick to the chips and burgers!

7. Dress up

Leave the trackies at home and wear that business suit or designer jacket you’ve had in the wardrobe since Paris, darling! It’s an oldie but still works on some.

8. Charm and smarm

Sleeping with the captain is probably too extreme, but a few well-placed words complimenting the check-in staff on their nail extensions can open doors – literally.

9. Look out for special offers

Lots of cruise lines offer larger cabins in higher classes if you travel in a quad. But make sure you regularly check out deals because many lines will offer a free cabin upgrade or for a much reduced price when you book the deal.

And finally…

10. Book a guaranteed stateroom

While it might be a bit of a gamble, booking a guaranteed stateroom means you will get the lowest price. There are stories of couples booking a guaranteed stateroom within the designated class and getting upgraded to a better room. While it is rare, it can happen!