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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.