Experts share how to get a cruise holiday ‘upgrade offer’

Jane McDonald discusses her father as she cruises Scotland

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There are many ways to save on a cruise holiday. An expert spokesperson from the Points Guy shared how cruise holidaymakers can save money.

The spokesperson said: “The best value depends on what each passenger is looking for.

“If you’re someone who doesn’t plan to be in your room except to shower and sleep, an inside cabin will be the least expensive and, therefore, likely the best value.”

Some passengers find interior cabins claustrophobic but others say they like the dark rooms as they’re great for lie-ins.

Guests who are planning on spending most of their time at bars and restaurants onboard could save with an interior room.

The spokesperson added: “However, if you’re someone who enjoys extras like butler service, priority embarkation or exclusive dining, a suite could be worth the price.

“It’s a good idea to check with a travel agent if you need help deciphering what’s available and what’s included for the price you’re paying.”

Travel agents will normally be able to help British tourists get the best deal on their cruise holiday.

Guests who book with travel agents will also have more support if they miss their cruise or have a flight issue.

Travel agents will also be able to help if guests have any issues with Covid or need to change their travel plans.

But there are a few times of the year when cruise passengers are more likely to be offered a holiday deal.

The spokesperson said: “Wave season, usually late November through March, is when cruise lines begin offering discounts or add-ons (free drinks, Wi-Fi, flights, etc.) to get people thinking about planning their vacations for the following year. That’s often a good time to look for upgrade offers.

“Other ways to get upgrades include being a member of your favourite cruise line’s loyalty program and working your way up to a high tier, asking if there’s upgrade availability at the port on embarkation day and checking with your travel agent.

“The latter two often do require you to pay for the upgrades, but it’s usually less expensive than booking a higher-level cabin straight away.

“Some cruise lines also allow booked passengers to bid on upgrades, which means they can be had at a discount.”

Cruise bids allow passengers to offer a sum of money in the hope of being awarded a room upgrade.

Passengers could upgrade to a cabin with a balcony or a suite for less money than the outright price.

Cruise travel agents are often the best people to help with upgrades as they have the most up to date information.

Guests can always book an interior room to start with and then bid for a better room once it opens.

Passengers can also save money with a drinks package if they know they want to drink a lot on their cruise.

Guests who are planning on sticking to soft drinks are probably better off skipping the inclusive package.

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