WHAT THE HECK IS A GUARANTEE CABIN ON A CRUISE AND SHOULD YOU BOOK ONE?

Hi my lovely readers!

Maybe you have come across the term “guarantee cabin” before and wondered what it meant, or this is your first time hearing of it.

Either way it is likely that you will come across this cabin category one day or another when booking a cruise.

This post will clear up a few points including what a guarantee cabin actually is, what the pros and cons of booking a guarantee cabin are and if you should actually book one or not.

WHAT IS A GUARANTEE CABIN?

The term guarantee cabin is pretty much self explanatory. In basic terms it means you’re guaranteed a cabin on the ship when you book your cruise. In more detail, it means booking an unassigned cabin within a specific cabin category.

For example, you’re booking an outside cabin with a porthole as guarantee cabin. This basically means you are guaranteed to at least stay in an outside cabin with a porthole or an even better cabin category or grade. You will not be allocated an inside cabin as the cruise line guarantees to offer you a cabin at least in that category booked or like I said a higher and better one.

You might ask yourself why cruise lines would offer such a cabin category. The key benefit is that the cruise line makes the decision what cabin to allocate to you, which allows for flexibility on their part.

For instance, the cruise line has a sailing that is very popular and the entry level cabin category is selling out fast. The cruise line would need to free up some inventory in that particular cabin category to attract more customers. By possibly offering an upgrade to you, they are freeing up that space, which means they are booking more people, earning more revenue and on top making you happy.

They key to guarantee cabins is that you will either be allocated a cabin category you originally booked or higher. You can’t be downgraded.

THE PROS AND CONS OF BOOKING A GUARANTEE CABIN

One of the benefits of booking a guarantee cabin is that they are cheaper, they are normally sold at a discounted rate and that is often why many people book a guarantee cabin.

They want to get a cheap cabin and they don’t really care where their cabin is going to be on the ship. They basically just want to get on and safe money as they are likely to spend much of their time outside and not in their cabin.

Another plus point is the chance of being offered an upgrade to a better cabin than you originally booked for less money. This is of course not always the case, but it can happen.

Remember though that an upgrade could also mean being upgraded from a balcony X grade to a balcony Z grade. Essentially it is still a balcony cabin, but the location where it is on the ship might be different.

Sometimes guarantee cabins are the only and last cabins left to book. If you really want to go on a particular sailing because this cruise only visits xyz destination once a year and you don’t want to wait another year then booking a guarantee cabin might be the only chance to get on that sailing.

Cruise lines operate in similar ways like airlines when it comes to capacity. When a sailing is fully booked, they are still expecting no shows. People missing their flight to get to the cruise, sudden illnesses etc.

Guarantee cabins allow guests to book those last spots and gives them the chance to get on that sailing. Then they will be allocated the cabin of the no show person.

As you can see there are some valid benefits to booking a guarantee cabin, but of course the cons are all about not knowing where your cabin is going to be.

You can’t chose the deck or the cabin number. It’s going to be a little like playing the lottery. Sometimes you will get your cabin number a few weeks before the cruise or a few days, sometimes you will only find out once you are on board.

SHOULD YOU BOOK A GURANTEE CABIN?

If you have certain requirements or expectations, are a creature of habit and like to be in control, I wouldn’t recommend booking a guarantee cabin.

Some people like to be close to the lift as they have walking difficulties, others don’t like being close to the front or aft of the ship as they get sea sick.

There are other requirements that people have but all of them don’t matter if you book a guarantee cabin as you will have absolutely no control over where your cabin is going to be. Of course you can always ask the cruise line to keep your wishes in mind, but you can’t be upset or complain if you asked them to give you a cabin on a higher deck and you end up on deck 4.

Also, some people book guarantee cabins with the expectation of getting an upgrade. As mentioned, this will not always happen and may lead to disappointment. Therefore, you need to be prepared to get what you booked. The best is to book a guarantee cabin without the expectation of getting an upgrade. If you get one, that would be a bonus.

If you want to safe money or have a smaller budget, a guarantee cabin isn’t a bad option at all. Also, if you aren’t picky and not spending too much time in your cabin it might be a good alternative.

In the end, you know yourself best and you need to be happy in the cabin as this will be your temporary home for the duration of the cruise.

I personally have never booked a guarantee cabin as I like choosing the deck and cabin number. Also, I like knowing where I’m going to stay and as I have cruised many times now, I also know what I like and what I dislike.

Saying that, I am certainly not opposed to ever booking a guarantee cabin. So far though, there wasn’t a need for me to pick this cabin category.

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Would you book a guarantee cabin? What are your thoughts on this particular cabin option?

2 thoughts on “WHAT THE HECK IS A GUARANTEE CABIN ON A CRUISE AND SHOULD YOU BOOK ONE?

    1. Yep, it can be a hit or miss, I would certainly agree with that. I think airlines do these mystery destinations. My friend has done something like that once actually. He just wanted a cheap destination, went to the airport and said kinda what have you got? He ended up going to the Balearics for a week.

      Like

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