1. Home
  2. First Time Cruisers
  3. 10 Signs You Should Upgrade Your Cruise Cabin

10 Signs You Should Upgrade Your Cruise Cabin

10 Signs You Should Upgrade Your Cruise Cabin (Photo: Cruise Critic)
10 Signs You Should Upgrade Your Cruise Cabin (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Find a Cruise

By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Are you tired of cruising in the cheapest, windowless cabin? Do you always book a balcony cabin without checking to see if you could afford -- or would be happier in -- a suite? Are you trying to find a way to make your next cruise a bit different or special? Then it might be high time you consider upgrading your usual cabin to a nicer one. If you have trouble committing to a change, here are 10 signs you should definitely upgrade your cruise cabin.

Updated January 8, 2020

1. You want to sleep four in one room.

You're taking the kids, but they aren't old enough -- or responsible enough -- to warrant their own cabin separate from yours. You can, of course, squeeze three, four or sometimes five into a standard inside or outside room, but why spend your vacation in cramped quarters? Look into a family suite or higher-category room with more space to move around. If money is tight, at least go for the balcony stateroom, so some family members can be outside on the veranda while others are getting ready or hanging out in the room.

Related: Best Family-Friendly Cruise Ship Cabins

2. It's a special occasion.

A milestone birthday or anniversary, or special event like an engagement or retirement, is a cause for celebration and worthy of a splurge. If you always wanted to try a spacious suite, with butler or concierge service, or an aft room with an enormous balcony, this is definitely the time to treat yourself to an upgrade.

Related: Best Cruise Lines for Milestone Birthdays

3. You got promoted.

In other words, you've got more money to spend on vacation. Embrace your bigwig status and leave those standard cabins behind for a mini-suite or concierge cabin.

Related: The Most Expensive Cruises We'd Book If Money Were No Object

4. You see a deal or a good price from the upgrade fairy.

When opportunity calls, pick up the phone! If you see a low price on a balcony cabin or a free two-category upgrade, don't waffle and take advantage of the offer. Or if the upgrade fairy calls with a reasonable fare increase to move up to that penthouse suite, now might just be the time to find out how the other half lives. If you hesitate, the deal could disappear and you'll be back in the same old cabin you've booked before.

Related: Bidding for Cruise Cabin Upgrades: Tips and Tricks

5. The itinerary calls for it.

If your sailing involves lots of scenic cruising, you don't want to be stuck in a windowless cabin. Long cruises or itineraries with lots of sea days mean more time in your cabin -- and more time to get claustrophobic in tight quarters. Look at the balance of ports and sea days because lots of time onboard is a sign you want to upgrade to the biggest stateroom you can afford.

Related: What to Expect on a Cruise: Sea Days

6. You plan on entertaining.

Perhaps you're the patriarch sailing with 20 family members, or maybe you're a social butterfly who loves to make new friends and invite them over for cocktails. Either way, you'll want a suite with plenty of room for entertaining -- or at least for all the kids and grandkids to be able to gather in one private place.

Related: What Cruise Ship Butlers Will Do for You

7. You want a bathtub.

Some people love a good soak. If that's you, know that not all standard cabins come with bathtubs these days. If the crowded, poolside hot tubs won't cut it, upgrade your room to one with a personal tub -- or better yet, a Jacuzzi.

Related: Jaw-Dropping Cruise Ship Bathrooms

8. The price drops on your cruise.

You diligently booked your cruise a year in advance but six months later, there's a price drop on your sailing. You could ask if you could get that money back in cash (depending on your line's policy). Or, you could ask to be bumped to the next higher cabin category instead. You've already spent the money so why not get more for it?

Related: Cruise Price Alerts: A Price Tracker for Cruisers In the Know

9. You're tired of no light and no air.

Inside cabins are an affordable way to get a cruise vacation when you're on a budget -- especially if you don't spend much time in your room. However, after a few cruises in windowless digs, you might be sick of no light and no fresh air. That's a sure sign that it's time to upgrade. Even an outside cabin is an improvement.

Related: Inside vs. Outside Cruise Cabins

10. You like exclusive privileges.

On certain lines, suite residents get access to all kinds of exclusive places -- restaurants, lounges, even a pool and sun decks. They get reserved seating at shows and VIP waiting areas on embarkation days. Spa cabin passengers might get complimentary passes to the thermal suite or a concierge to help them snag choice spa treatment times. If you want the star treatment, and like uncrowded venues only accessible to a select few, you'll want to upgrade your cabin to a specialty room or suite that comes with extra perks.

Related: Best Cruise Suite Perks

Find a Cruise

By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Popular on Cruise Critic

7 Ways to Outsmart Deck Chair Hogs
In the wee hours of the morning, under the cover of darkness, they creep. Their flip-flops smack across the pool decks of cruise ships everywhere as they shuffle like a horde of zombies armed with towels, sunscreen and books. If it sounds like a scene from a horror movie, you're on the right track. We're talking about deck chair hogs -- those inconsiderate fellow passengers who rise before the sun to stake out prime poolside real estate, mark it with personal belongings and then abandon it, rendering it useless to others. If you've had enough, we urge you to stand up to these selfish sunbathers and claim the deck chair that's rightfully yours. Join the peaceful revolution by employing the following seven tips for outsmarting deck chair hogs.
What to Pack for a Cruise: A Beginner's Guide
There once was a not-so-savvy seafarer who didn't feel right unless she took two steamer trunks crammed with outfits on every cruise. This, she learned, was not a good idea. Besides incurring the wrath of her male traveling companion, who pointed out that he would have to wrestle with excess baggage through airport terminals and beyond, she quickly tired of cramming her belongings into tiny closets. The now savvy seafarer follows this packing rule: Thou shalt put into one's suitcase only that which will fit neatly in the allocated cabin storage space. Following that advice is getting easier because, for the most part, cruising has become a more casual vacation with relaxed dress codes. Plus, with airlines charging to check bags, it's just plain economical to pack light. To do so, you need to have a good sense of what you’re going to wear on a cruise so you don't pack your entire closet. If you're wondering what to bring on your next cruise, here are our guidelines for what you'll need to pack.
The 7 Worst Cruise Ports for a Repeat Visit
Even the most fervent sailing fans are bound to suffer burnout, at least when it comes to certain cruise ports. Once you've climbed Dunn's River Falls, do you really need to go back to Ocho Rios? And sure, Monaco holds the glamorous appeal of the Grimaldi Royal Family -- but there's only so many times you can gawk at the Grand Casino before ennui sets in. Here is our unofficial list of worst cruise ports for a repeat visit. Lest we sound jaded, keep in mind that every cruiser has their own list of likes and dislikes -- and we're making our decision based on the variety of things to do. Cozumel or Cabo San Lucas, for example, might feel "been there, done that" and be at the top of some worst cruise ports lists, but cruise lines and tour operators in those ports always seem to be coming up with new excursions and activities. Read on for our list of worst cruise ports for repeaters -- and ideas for how you can make your next stop better.

Find a Cruise

By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.