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How to get a cruise cabin upgrade - luxury lines rolling out free perks now!

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Cruise holidays are excellent fun but what makes a getaway even more exciting is the thrill of a free cabin upgrade. Here's how to bag one.

Cruise ship cabins range enormously and you might end up missing out on the room you want due to budget restraints. Boo.

Luckily there are ways you can boost your chances of a cabin upgrade - but you have to be savvy.

From booking at the right time or just plain asking nicely you might be in with a chance.

Here are our top tips for bagging an upgrade to make your cruise a little bit dreamier.

How to get a cruise cabin upgrade

  • Book during Wave Season
  • Book with the same cruise line regularly
  • Book a guarantee cabin
  • Book an off-peak cruise
  • Book...and ask
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Book now

By now, we mean right now. Multiple cruise lines are unveiling their Wave Season offers as we speak and there are some fabulous deals up for grabs before and after Christmas.

For instance, Holland America Line (HAL) is celebrating with “Have It All+”, the ultimate upgrade event.

From now through February 28, 2022, guests who book a select summer 2022 through spring 2023 cruise with HAL will receive a free stateroom upgrade.

This means guests can book an ocean-view stateroom for the price of an interior and a verandah for the price of an ocean-view. Upgrade provided to next highest category when booking select categories.

- READ MORE: Where to go and who to cruise with next year -

The perks don't stop there. You'll also get Free Air on Europe cruises and 50 percent reduced deposits, plus shore excursions, beverages, speciality dining and Wi-Fi with the “Have It All” premium package.

As a bonus, guests who book with Holland America Line by January 20, 2022, also receive up to $200 (£150) per stateroom onboard credit, depending on the length of the cruise.

If you're after real indulgence, Seabourn is one luxury cruise line offering fabulous (and very lavish) cabin upgrades.

Seabourn recently announced its "The Suite Life Event” (see what they did there?) which sees passengers enjoy, yup, you guessed it, a "suite life" during their cruise thanks to a complimentary two category veranda suite upgrade.

You'll also receive an array of other benefits such as 50 percent reduced deposits and inclusive air and transfers on Europe or select Caribbean cruises.

Book with the same cruise line regularly

Loyalty gets you far in many areas of life and certainly within the cruise industry.

- READ MORE: How to choose cabins, top hacks & bagging room deals -

Cruise lines like to reward loyal, repeat customers, so the more you sail with a brand the more likely you are to be offered a free upgrade.

Just be sure to join the line's loyalty programme and keep your fingers crossed.

Cabin upgrades: The more you sail with a brand the more likely you are to be offered a free upgrade. Credit: Holland America Line

Book a guarantee cabin

If you like an air of mystery around your holiday and don't mind surprises, this could be a good option for you.

Booking a guarantee cabin means you'll definitely get a cabin in the category you're after - but you won't know which one until a week or so before departure.

- READ MORE: Check out all our amazing cruise deals and offers here -

If the category fills up before you're assigned your room, you might get bumped up to a higher category. Or, you know, you might not and you might end up with a room you're not happy with location-wise.

In short, yes there's potential for an upgrade but there's an element of risk to the strategy. You have been warned.

Cabin upgrades: Consider identifying the off-peak season and looking into cruises then. Credit: Shutterstock

Book an off-peak cruise

By sailing during a low-demand season there's less chance your cruise ship will sell out and some cabins may be left open - hence the great opportunity to wangle an upgrade.

If, in the run-up to your cruise, you see the line decreasing the prices - it's work checking if there's the possibility of a free upgrade.

Once you've worked out the destination you want to travel to, consider identifying the off-peak season and looking into cruises then.

Of course, be aware that cruising in the low season comes with its own set of disadvantages such as worse weather or attractions being closed.

- READ MORE: Find your next dream cruise with our handy guide -

Book...and ask nicely

Sometimes being ballsy does pay off so if in doubt why not ask your travel agent or cruise line if there's any chance of getting an upgrade?

It's worth being very polite and enquiring about two weeks ahead of departure - remember nothing might come of it, but you never know!

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