If you are planning a vacation with Princess Cruises, you may be wondering how soon you can book a guaranteed cabin and when to expect confirmation.
When will Princess cruise line assign me my guaranteed cabin?
Princess cruise line is not obligated to assign your guaranteed cabin at any specific time. The cabin assignment can come as soon as the same day you book or as late as the day of sailing. You’ll be ensured the category that you booked but will have no control over its position on the boat.
I recently booked a cruise for a large group of family members for a reunion. We decided to roll the dice and save a bit of money in the process by booking a guaranteed room. In our case we received an upgrade and ended up near the swim deck which was perfect for the kids. If you too want to gamble, here is the low down to booking a guaranteed cabin on Princess!
What Are Guaranteed Cabins
Also called a “Cruise Cabin Guarantee”, guaranteed cabins on cruise ships can help you save money and potentially get a surprise upgrade.
The latter isn’t guaranteed but it’s enough to incentive some people to gamble on the position of their cabin.
A guaranteed cabin on Princess Cruise lines, is the option to accept a certain grade of room but not select the actual room itself.
This leaves things a bit up to fate but can be worth it if you are looking to save some money. You won’t be able to choose whether you are in the aft, midship, forward, or even if you prefer a specific deck.
How does it work?
When you book your cruise and pick a regular fare, you will first pick the cabin type. Then you’ll be able to look at a map and choose a room from the deck plan.
You are then good to go and know what to expect down to the restaurant that is closest and the view you will have.
With the guaranteed cabin, you will be able to pick the cabin type, but you won’t pick a category (window or interior) or go to the deck plan and pick the exact room or rooms you’ll be staying in.
Are There Advantages to a Guaranteed Cabin?
Upon booking, you are sometimes given the option to select a guaranteed cabin over an assigned cabin. So why would you choose one over the other?
While booking an assigned cabin takes out the guesswork and apprehension of not knowing the exact position of your cabin, guaranteed cabins, which leave things a bit up to fate, do have their advantages.
The two main advantages to booking a guaranteed cabin are the possibility of an upgrade and reduced rates.
When booking online, you might notice that guaranteed cabins are sometimes offered at a lower rate compared to the assigned cabin of the same grade. This could mean a savings between 10% to 30% depending on the cabin type and availability.
Possibly one of the best reasons to book a guaranteed room on Princess Cruises is the potential of an upgrade.
While the guarantee will get you at least the cabin category you booked, there is a possibility it could yield an upgrade to a higher-fare cabin.
While there is likely a ranking system that will move cruisers with points to the top of the list, the likelihood of being upgraded in higher with guaranteed cabin status than if you book a normal fare.
When and why does this happen? It’s generally a case of the cruise line managing its inventory. They are dealing with canceled tickets and changes in room categories from other passengers which means the shuffle may benefit a guaranteed cabin fare holder.
Cruise lines never want to sail without being completely booked out. They will tend to oversell a cruise with guaranteed fares to ensure that future cancellations won’t yield a less than full ship.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Guaranteed Cabin?
As discussed above, the worst that can happen is that you end up in a part of the boat you’d prefer not to be, for example farther away from preferred amenities.
There is one disadvantage to note. Cruisers who have booked a guaranteed oceanview cabin are more likely to end up with an obstructed view.
This is because they are likely priortixing the regularly ticketed customers in that category first.
When Are Guaranteed Cabins Assigned on Princess
There are many factors that determine when your booking is assigned, including sailing date and accommodations selected.
Your cabin assignment can come as early as the day after your booking or as late as the morning of your departure. For my recent booking, we were assigned about a week before departure.
Remember, when booking a guaranteed cabin, the cruise line is under no obligation to give you a room assignment at any particular time other than on the morning of sailing.
As a general rule of thumb, most cruisers have luck with room assignments the three to four weeks before the ship departs.
Who Offers Guaranteed Cabins
Princess isn’t the only cruise line that offers guaranteed cabins. All of the major cruise lines offer this type of rate as a special or as a strategy to ensure full sailing capacity.
The bottom line is that even with a deposit on a booking, it doesn’t mean it will convert to a sailing passenger.
Things happen and when payments fall through or cancellations happen, cruise lines want to be able to cover their bases and will often offer guaranteed cabins to fulfill last minute incidents.
- Guaranteed cabins are those that are booked without a specific room designation.
- The advantages are a reduced rate and potential for upgrade.
- The disadvantages are that you are gambling with the exact location of your room.
- Guaranteed room assignments can come any time up until the morning of sailing.