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ESSENTIAL THINGS TO KNOW

ABOUT GUARANTEE CABINS

BY

JONFLETCHER OF CRUISE HOLIDAYS UK

 

When you are choosing a cruise and deciding which cabin you would like, you may come across a type of cabin called Guarantee cabins or GUA cabins.  But what is a Guarantee cabin and are they worth considering?  In this article I want to give you the essential things every cruise guest should know about these cabins.

 

Guarantee cabins are normally found in all cabin categories from inside cabins right through to suites.   You can select these cabins in a full fare type, but on many cruise lines the saver type or late deal fares are often exclusively Guarantee Cabins. 

 

So what is a Guarantee Cabin?  A Guarantee Cabin is simply a cabin whose cabin number is not assigned at the time of booking.  You will often be assigned your cabin number when you check in online or even as late as when you are about to board your ship for your cruise.  They are called Guarantee cabins because the cruise line guarantees that the grade of cabin you book is the minimum grade that you can expect.  In other words you might be lucky and be upgraded free of charge to a better grade or position on the ship.  So for example you may go from a forward interior to a midships interior or be even lucky enough as has happened to both myself and some of my clients to be upgraded for example from an ocean view to a balcony and it has even been known for people to be upgraded from for example an inside to a balcony.  However you are guaranteed not to be in a lower grade than the grade you booked. 

 

So what is the catch?  If there is a catch it is that you have no control over the type of upgrade if you are lucky enough to offered one and you have no option once you have chosen a guarantee cabin to decline the upgrade offered.  In some circumstances you may go from a mid ships ocean view to a balcony cabin in the aft on a lower deck.  So if the position of your cabin is critical to your comfort or enjoyment of your cruise then a Guarantee Cabin is not for you.

 

One of the advantages of a Guarantee Cabin is that if you are lucky enough to be upgraded for example to a suite, then you enjoy all the benefits of that grade as if you had chosen that cabin.  So for example if you were upgraded to a suite and the benefits of that suite normally included priority embarkation, disembarkation, suite class dining room, butler, mini bar and spa treatments, then you could normally expect to receive those benefits too.

 

So why do Cruise Lines offer Guarantee cabins?  The main benefit to the cruise line is that it offers them flexibility and ability to fill the ship.  As you might guess very often the most popular and easiest cabins to sell are the cheaper grades such as the lead price cabins.  So for many cruise lines it makes sense to upgrade people in guarantee cabins in these grades to release these cabins for sale again rather than try and sell a more expensive less popular in terms of sales grade.  Another reason they may upgrade a guest in a guarantee is if someone has requested a cabin number that they have allocated to a Guarantee cabin guest.  This operational flexibility ensures greater efficiency and helps keep down costs.

 

So I am sure you are wondering how you can make the most of booking a Guarantee cabin?  Well while no one can guarantee an upgrade I have found over the years that the best time to book a Guarantee Cabin is as early as possible or as late as possible.  I always advise guests that if they are going to book a Guarantee Cabin they should book the best grade they can afford or the lowest grade they would accept and not affect the enjoyment of their holiday.  If you are booking as part of a group and want to be close to your family or friends I would avoid booking a Guarantee Cabin.  There is nothing worse than one member of the Party getting that nice unexpected upgrade and the rest of the Party missing out on one.

 

Guarantee Cabins are a great option if you have flexibility and don't mind where you are on the ship and can often prove great value for money.  They can prove a bit of a lottery but in most cases you will be more likely to be better off with one and it can be great fun checking your personaliser to see if you have been upgraded.

 

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