No. of Recommendations: 0
I tend to book "guaranteed" rooms ("guaranteed balcony", "guaranteed ocean view", etc). There are no perks, but it's rock-bottom pricing. And if you get lucky you could end up with a balcony while only paying for ocean view because they must (their rules) give you an ocean view even if it's a balcony or suite. So far I haven't received such a nice bump, but in principle it could happen. In the meantime I'm paying less than folks who get those cruise package bonuses (e.g. "free beverages").

We only have 4 cruises under our belts and a 5th one booked. The first one we did "guaranteed balcony F" and worried the whole time we would be stuck with one of the few cabins that had metal instead of glass on the balcony! We got a great location and were given a class B cabin.

Second cruise we decided that it worked so well we'd do it again but we chose to pay a little more for a "guaranteed balcony H" so we wouldn't have a metal balcony or any obstructed views. At the time we were given an "A" cabin. Well it was right below the rear pool and you could hear the chairs crapping when moved. Was not totally thrilled. Since then those cabins have been recategorized to F cabins!

We learned our lesson. We decided for a couple hundred dollars more we would secure a cabin in a location we knew we would like.

My best advise is to WATCH prices. When ever I find a price drop or a better package, I call my cruise line and they give me the better deal. On a 39 day cruise I saved $4,200 when there was a price drop and I never thought that cruise would have a sale! On our upcoming 14 day cruise I caught a 4 day price drop and saved us and our friends $1,800 each! It pays to watch.

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