Friday, September 21, 2012

How to Get an Upgrade on Your Cruise (Without Paying a Dime)

Taking a cruise can be a pretty economical way to travel.  You pay one flat fee and all of your lodging and most of your meals are included.  Luckily, not only am I economical, but so are my friends.  My friend, Amy, recently took a cruise through the Mediterranean, and instead of paying roughly $1,500 for 2 people for a room with a window for 7 nights, she paid about $1,350 for the same room plus got the added bonus of a $100 onboard credit, and a $25 refund… just by using an old-school technique.

Vacationing on this boat can be cheaper than you think!
Amy, how did this all start?

I was looking for a cruise leaving from Rome to Sicily, Greece, and Turkey.  I looked through all of the major travel websites: Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and Cruises Only.  When I found a great route on Royal Caribbean, I checked their website too, and that’s when I found a room with a window for about $1,500 for 2 people – the best deal on a room with a window I'd seen.

Why didn’t you book right away?

I had found another great deal on Cruises Only for $1,350 and that included the $100 in onboard credit and a $25 refund. The only problem was it did not include a window. And I really didn't want to be stuck with no window but didn't want to spend the extra money when this deal was better with the onboard credit and refund.

What did you do next?

I decided to call Cruises Only and tell them I was interested in their deal, but Royal Caribbean had a room with a window for almost the same price and when I looked at their room with window offerings it was more. I asked them why it was different and told them I really like their offer best and wanted to book with them, but Royal Caribbean offered a window room cheaper than they did. The representative I talked to basically agreed it should be the same price on both sites and upgraded me to the room with the window, keeping it at the interior room price of $1,350, plus I still got the onboard credit of $100 and the $25 rebate.

So, what’s your advice?

Never settle just for what you see on the Internet.  Do your homework if you want the best price.  I bet this would work for hotels too, but probably not airline tickets because the airlines are pretty big sticklers.  Who knows, it’s worth a shot!

Do you think all these people knew how to
get an upgrade just by negotiating?!?!
Have you ever had good luck negotiating your way to travel deals?

Total Cost: $1,350 for a window room

Best Deal: Also getting an extra $100 on board, as well as a $25 refund


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