If you have never booked a guaranteed cabin on a cruise, you could be missing out on a couple great perks. While these type of cabins are definitely not for everything, they provide some incredible incentives to those who are flexible.
What is a guaranteed cabin?
A guaranteed cabin is where you book a cabin into a category type but are not assigned a stateroom until a week or two before the cruise. If you book an oceanview guarantee, you will get an ocean view or better stateroom for the cruise. You will never get a lower category. (Example: You book a balcony you won’t get an ocean view or inside) You also can not pick the exact cabin or the deck that is it on.
Some cruisers like to pick the certain decks that can be more quiet and not right below the pool deck or above a dance club. Families traveling in groups tend to stay in cabins that are in the same proximity of each other. Many other cruises covet aft balconies so booking into a guarantee category is not an option for them.
Benefits of guaranteed cabins
The #1 benefit of booking into a guaranteed category is you will always get the lowest price for that category. On my last cruise that I booked on the Carnival Freedom, this option was $100 less than the next cheapest balcony category. If you don’t care what deck you stay on but want a balcony, then choosing this can be a great way to have extra money for an excursion, specialty restaurant, or to use towards a deposit on your next cruise.
The second benefit of booking into a guaranteed category is the free upgrades that you may receive. While the odds of getting a free upgrade are slim, they do happen. I know at least two different family members who have benefited from this. One booked an inside cabin on Costa and received a balcony and another booked an ocean view on the MSC Poesia and received a balcony.
I wouldn’t book a guaranteed category with plans on getting a free upgrade, but if it comes it is a nice little bonus before my cruise.
While booking into a guaranteed category isn’t for everyone, it can be a great way to save money and possibly get a free upgrade. If you really don’t care what deck you stay on and don’t mind not choosing your exact cabin ahead of time, then this might be a great option to look at when booking your next cruise.