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If you look at the sticky topic, Upgrade Bid Experiences, you will see that people get informed of their success in bidding for an upgrade at a whole variety of times, although about 30 days before the cruise seems to be quite common. It depends on when the invitation to bid was issued (supposed to be 90 days before the cruise but can be closer), when you bid and probably the number of cabins available and when others bid too.

Here’s a link to the spreadsheet recording people’s experience. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pEoojQ5-EPmD4cI3gw1dVcYfYTXfZePdDXxU09l0H3M

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18 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

If you look at the sticky topic, Upgrade Bid Experiences, you will see that people get informed of their success in bidding for an upgrade at a whole variety of times, although about 30 days before the cruise seems to be quite common. It depends on when the invitation to bid was issued (supposed to be 90 days before the cruise but can be closer), when you bid and probably the number of cabins available and when others bid too.

Here’s a link to the spreadsheet recording people’s experience. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pEoojQ5-EPmD4cI3gw1dVcYfYTXfZePdDXxU09l0H3M

Not sure I explained properly.  I did not receive an email invitation to bid.  I was actually told that my booking rate made me ineligible to bid on an upgrade because it was a last minute voyage pricing reseration.

 

(I cancelled my previous reservation and switched to this because it was very worthwhile to do so even with forfeiting all my onboard credit). 

 

I checked on the website just to see if I could bid....and in fact I was able to bid after my cabin was assigned and did so.  Then after I bid I got an email saying that they would advise as early as 60 days prior to sailing if the bid was successful.  Looking at your spreadsheet it doesn't look like anybody has had a bid accepted within the 60 to 90 day out window...so was enquiring if that is indeed the case.  If anybody has had a bid accepted over 60 days out I'd be interested in knowing.  I think Celebrity accepts further out than that.

Edited by Xcelsior
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23 minutes ago, hubofhockey said:

Azamara sent us notification that we were upgraded on September 24 for an October 16th cruise.  That's 22 days, but it doesn't look like 30 days is a magic number.

I don’t think there is any magic number, there is a wide variation in how long before the cruise people were notified, with some being just a very few days before. It’s just that on the spreadsheet it shows quite a few people were notified at around 30 days - that doesn’t mean that would apply to any particular bid. It seems you can be notified at any time up to the cruise.

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It seems like they are trying to (understandably)  monetize upgrades, so I imagine the freebies will be few and far between because they will only be left with inside or window cabins (if any based on the precipitous drop in pricing close to departure date) at cruise departure time if the manage the upgrade bidding process well.  I would love to be privy to the revenue generate by the upgrade bidding, I imagine it is not insubstantial.

 

John R.

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On 10/9/2019 at 12:56 PM, Host Grandma Cruising said:

I don’t think there is any magic number, there is a wide variation in how long before the cruise people were notified, with some being just a very few days before. It’s just that on the spreadsheet it shows quite a few people were notified at around 30 days - that doesn’t mean that would apply to any particular bid. It seems you can be notified at any time up to the cruise.

 

We always get turned down on our upgrade bids, almost certainly because we’re cheapskates, and bid the minimum allowed.  Our notification is always at the very last minute.  On our last cruise, our next-door cabin neighbours got notified on the same day that their bid was successful, so even the “yes” answers can come at the last minute.

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30 minutes ago, lisiamc said:

 

We always get turned down on our upgrade bids, almost certainly because we’re cheapskates, and bid the minimum allowed.  Our notification is always at the very last minute.  On our last cruise, our next-door cabin neighbours got notified on the same day that their bid was successful, so even the “yes” answers can come at the last minute.

I don’t think you are being a cheapskate.  In my view just sensible from the moment you booked!  If really keen on the possibility of an upgrade then I might bid a little more, but I’m not going to pay too much, because as I’ve said elsewhere here, I book the cabin location I want at the start. Because of that and depending upon where the new cabin location is I might think of it as a downgrade.  Having no control over where they move me to brings this into even sharper focus.

 

Even under the old system I always considered an upgrade opportunity as a bonus and not to be expected.  

 

Phil

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1 hour ago, excitedofharpenden said:

 

 

Even under the old system I always considered an upgrade opportunity as a bonus and not to be expected.  

 

Phil

Yes, I have also looked at upgrades as a bonus and not something to be expected. In case of complimentary upgrades there were a nice gesture from the cruise line and something that besides being a surprise, in most cases were really nice upgrades (not just the move from a cabin category to another in higher category but less desired location). The same as upgrades in airlines. How often at the gate, people get called and receive an upgrade. I have received a couple of those upgrades also. It is a nice gesture to reward customers. 

Unfortunately nowadays, rewarding customers with such upgrades is not that important anymore on companies belonging to the Royal Caribbean Family, to which Azamara belongs. It has become more important to increase revenue.

Edited by travelberlin
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4 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

I don’t think you are being a cheapskate.  In my view just sensible from the moment you booked!  If really keen on the possibility of an upgrade then I might bid a little more, but I’m not going to pay too much, because as I’ve said elsewhere here, I book the cabin location I want at the start. Because of that and depending upon where the new cabin location is I might think of it as a downgrade.  Having no control over where they move me to brings this into even sharper focus.

 

Even under the old system I always considered an upgrade opportunity as a bonus and not to be expected.  

 

Phil

 

I always submit a bid when invited, but it’s mostly a bit of fun.  If I wanted to pay a lot extra for an unknown cabin, I’d have bought a guarantee.  If we get one for minimum money, I’d still be pleased, even if it itsn’t in the best location.  This time we’ve bid on a Club Continent suite, on the basis that we’ve never sailed in a suite before.  I haven’t read about any deal-breaker locations for CC suites (although maybe there are some?) so I’m happy if we get the upgrade, and happy if we don’t.

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  • 4 weeks later...
22 minutes ago, Fridaynightlights said:

Should I ask my travel agent to investigate an upgrade? I'm willing to pay a little more for a better cabin. Or is the process "bid only" directly thru Azamara for an upgrade? 

Confused!

You can ask your travel agent how much Azamara would want to charge you to upgrade to a higher level cabin - usually this is a lot, often the difference between the two prices (cabin booked & cabin wanted) at the time you booked, even if prices have gone down. If you’re happy with the price you could choose your cabin. Alternatively you can bid for an upgrade when invited to do so, if successful you have to take the cabin offered, no choice, no turning it down.

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6 hours ago, Fridaynightlights said:

We are 22 days out from departure and have not gotten a bid, even though balcony cabins are still being advertised. We are in Cabin 6089 on the Journey and are concerned about the "partially enclosed balcony". Hoping it's not "too" enclosed! Thanks Grandma Cruising.

You can check if your booking is eligible for the upgrade bidding programme here https://www.azamara.com/azamara-upgrade-program

Some travel agents don’t participate in the program.

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