Things to keep in mind when bidding for upgrades!

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Things to keep in mind when bidding for upgrades!

There has always been a hope that once you book a room on a cruise ship that you will be given a complimentary upgrade to a higher class stateroom.  Those days are pretty much gone for some of the major cruise lines.   Instead those cruise lines now offer an option for its customers to bid on an upgrade to a higher class stateroom.

The cruise lines use a third party provider to handle the bidding process.  The option to bid will happen about two months prior to the cruise and not all customers may be given the option.  If you are given the option you will receive instructions on how to place your bid.

There is a minimum amount that you must meet to place a bid.   You will be shown a scale of how strong your bid is.  The theory is that if you bid higher on the scale you will have a much better chance of winning the bid.

Bid Screen

If you choose to bid for an upgrade keep the following things in mind:

If your bid is accepted your credit card will be charged right away.  At that point you are locked into the upgrade at the price you bid.

The cruise line will choose the actual stateroom for you.   The problem here is that there can be significant differences within a stateroom class.  For example if you bid for a forward facing suite on a NCL ship, some of those suites have a more obstructed view than others.  You could also end up with a stateroom that has a less preferred layout.

This program is designed to help the cruise line make more money on each stateroom.   Therefore in some cases the cruise line dramatically raised the prices of some of the higher end stateroom, forcing customers to either pay a very high price for the cabin or to have to bid for the cabin.   In those cases the minimum bid is usually the price that the stateroom would have been listed at prior to the bidding process.

You should always book a stateroom that you will be satisfied with just in case you do not win the bid.

Your bid can be accepted by the cruise lines at any time.  In some cases bids have been won just 48 hours prior to the sailing of the ship.  This is particularly true the lower your bid.  In all cases you will not be notified until 48 hours prior to the sailing of the ship that your bid is rejected.

This is a money making opportunity for the cruise line.  The main criterion of if a bid is accepted will be based on availability of the stateroom type you are bidding on and the price you are bidding.   The highest bid will most always win.

In the case of two bids of the same amount they will use some discretion in deciding who the bid is awarded to.  This could be the number of cruises you have cruised with them, the stateroom type you are in and the amount you paid for your current stateroom, the age and number of guests in your stateroom.

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