Unlock the Secrets: How to Get a Stateroom Upgrade On A Royal Caribbean Cruise Using the Royal Up Bidding System

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Ever wondered about the ins and outs of Royal Caribbean’s  “Royal Up” bid system while daydreaming about your next cruise adventure?

Dive in as I take you on a journey that’s part personal, part informative, and all about upgrading your cruise experience! Imagine the salty sea breeze, the upgrade notification pinging on your phone, and the delightful chuckle you have realizing you’ve just hit the cabin jackpot.

Let’s set sail together and uncover the mysteries of ‘Royaling Up’!

Why Bother with a Royal Up Bid? The Upsides of the Upgrade

Imagine this: You’re a couple of days away from boarding that Royal Caribbean cruise you have been looking forward to for months. You’re buzzing with excitement, already picturing yourself lounging on a sunbed with a Pina Colada in hand. 

But hey, while the cruise is sure to be amazing, the real cherry on top can be that surprise stateroom upgrade.

Now, you might ask, “Why bid for an upgrade when I’m already set with the cabin I booked?” Well, for starters, while your original booking might be cozy, there’s a vast ocean of difference (pun intended!) between a basic cabin and, say, a grand suite with balcony views that might turn your morning coffee into a ceremony in itself! 

Not to mention the additional amenities a suite or upgraded stateroom may bring. Think sprawling baths, personal butler services, and often, exclusive access to certain sections of the ship.

Plus, with RoyalUp, the bidding process becomes less of a gamble and more of a strategic play. You could win the upgrade of your dreams for a fraction of the cost of upgrading traditionally.

In short, if Royal Caribbean is the cake, RoyalUp is the icing, sprinkles, and that delectable cherry on top. Go ahead, give it a shot, and you might just sail into a world of luxury you didn’t know you were missing!

What Exactly is Royal Up on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line?

On Brilliance of the Seas Last Year We Snagged An Interior to Exterior Upgrade Using Royal Up
On Brilliance of the Seas Last Year We Snagged An Interior to Exterior Upgrade Using Royal Up

If you’ve been sailing with Royal Caribbean for a while or have just booked your first-ever cruise with them (woo, exciting!), you might have already come across the term ‘RoyalUp. 

RoyalUp is Royal Caribbean’s upgrade bidding program, offering cruisers like yourself a unique opportunity to bid on stateroom upgrades. Think of it as the cruise line’s version of a golden ticket—just one that you can put a price tag on.

Here’s how it goes: After booking your cruise, you get lots of emails from Royal Caribbean offering your everything from shore excursions to wi-fi and Royal Caribbean drink packages. But don’t ignore them, You see one day you might receive an email from Royal Caribbean inviting you to place a bid on available stateroom upgrades.

This can range from bidding for a balcony cabin when you’ve originally booked an interior cabin, to going all out for the owner’s suite because, hey, why not live a little?

But, (and there’s always a ‘but’), your bid amount is not the only thing in play. Bids are reviewed based on several factors including the amount bid per person, stateroom options available, and the original stateroom you booked.

How Does The Bidding Process on RoyalUp Work?

Brilliance of the Seas Sailing in the Adriatic in 2022
Brilliance of the Seas Sailing in the Adriatic in 2022

After you book your Royal Caribbean cruise, there’s a chance you might receive an invitation to bid for a stateroom upgrade. Think of it as a silent auction where cruisers can place bids on upgraded stateroom options.

Now, before you start daydreaming about the owner’s suite with a Royal Genie at your beck and call, keep in mind that you’re bidding per person, based on the first and second guest in a stateroom. 

You’ll enter the bid amount you’re willing to pay to upgrade your stateroom, and if you’re the winning bid, your credit card will be charged for the offer amount submitted. Voila, you’re now relishing in an upgraded stateroom category, perhaps even two categories higher than the cabin you originally booked. 

It’s a bit like the lottery, but instead of winning cash, you could win a chance to watch the sunset from a balcony cabin or have your friends back at home envy your Royal Caribbean suite life.

How To Nail That Stateroom or Suite Upgrade: Top Tips for a Successful RoyalUp Bid

Research the Going Rates

Before placing your bid for that fancy suite or upgraded stateroom, it’s smart to check current pricing for those cabin categories on  Royal Caribbean’s website or through your travel agent.

You certainly don’t want to bid higher than what the room would normally cost! So, if the price difference between your original room and your desired upgrade isn’t much, then your bid should reflect that. Check your bid carefully before confirming.

But if there’s a massive price jump, and you’re feeling lucky, then perhaps aim a bit higher with your bid.

Use the Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Loyalty Program

If you’re a member of Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society, it might give you an edge. Some cruisers swear that their status in the loyalty program impacted the success of their RoyalUp bids. After all, cruise lines love to reward loyalty.

However, I’ll be completely honest with you, I’m not sure if it makes a difference or not. I’m a Diamond member with Royal Caribbean and put in a Royal Up bid for most of my cruises now. Most of the time, I haven’t been successful, so make of that what you will. Perhaps I don’t bid high enough? I am a canny Scot to be fair!

Keep the Sail Date in Mind

As your sail date approaches, Royal Caribbean may still have unsold staterooms. This could increase the chances of your bid getting accepted. It’s a bit of a gamble, but waiting a bit closer to your sail date might give you an edge.

Be Realistic with Your Maximum Bid

While everyone loves a good deal, it’s essential to be realistic. If Royal Caribbean’s minimum bid for a junior suite upgrade is $100, but suites usually cost $1,000 more than balcony cabins, bidding $105 might not cut it.

Remember, it’s about finding that sweet spot where the bid is beneficial for both you and the cruise line.

By the way, if you’re ever in doubt about how much to bid, ask around! Online groups, forums, friends, or even fellow cruisers might have some juicy insights about their winning (or losing) bid amounts. And remember, every cruise and every sail date might be different, so always go with what feels right for you.

This is Morag and I After Finding Out About Out Successful Royal Up Bid
This is Morag and I After Finding Out About our Successful Royal Up Bid

Royal Caribbean’s Different Types of Cabins: Knowing Your RoyalUp Upgrade Options

As you will know if you have ever cruised with Royal Caribbean before,  the array of stateroom choices can be overwhelming. Yet, understanding the nuances between cabin types can indeed be a game-changer for your sailing experience and your Royal Up bid strategy. 

Your most basic option is the Interior Cabin. These snug rooms are perfect for those cruisers who think, “I’m only there to sleep!” No windows in these ones, but they’re cozy, often more affordable, and come with all the essential amenities.

Then on the larger ships like the Wonder of the Seas, you have Interior View Staterooms, which might have a window out onto the inner promenade decks like Central Park.

Then you have Ocean View Staterooms. As the name suggests, you get a window to the world – or at least to the vast expanse of the sea. It’s a nice visual upgrade without springing for the full balcony experience.

For most people, Balcony Cabins are where the magic truly begins. Imagine waking up, sliding open a door, and stepping out to your private slice of sea view. It’s pure bliss, trust me. 

With the larger ships, you can even have a “Virtual Balcony” stateroom. Which is really just an interior room with a huge display screen that mirrors how it might look if you had a real balcony. Which is great until you try to look over the balcony and bump your head LOL

And for those with a taste for luxury? There’s the Suite Category. From the Junior Suite with its enhanced space to the lavish Royal Suite adorned with every luxury you can fathom – it’s a world where the sea meets opulence.

Just remember, with more amenities and space, comes a heftier price tag. But if you ask seasoned cruisers, many will tell you it’s worth every penny.

Alright, enough daydreaming about suites. Whatever your preference, Royal Caribbean offers a huge amount of choices to cater to your cruising style. So whether you’re pinching pennies or splurging on luxury, there’s a cabin upgrade waiting with your name on it.

RoyalUp Bidding: How Much Should You Really Bid?

The Brilliance of the Seas Pool Area
Remember There Can Be a Lot of Fellow Guests After That Same Upgrade

The thrill of a potential upgrade on a Royal Caribbean cruise can be incredibly tempting. But how much should you really offer? Let’s dive into the art of the bid!

First things first, not everyone gets an invite to bid. Only select passengers get that golden email inviting them to participate in the stateroom upgrade program.  Also, some passengers receive bid invitations much earlier than others. (For example, if you have booked a cruise from the UK, you normally won’t receive an email until about 30 days before the cruise).

If you don’t receive that email, don’t worry, you can still participate. Jump on to Royal Caribbean’s Royal Up website and enter your name and booking ID and that gets you into their system.

Before jumping in, however, consider your budget.

Bidding on an upgrade (and winning) means forgoing the cruise cabin you originally booked. So, if you’ve booked a specific room in a specific part of the ship, be sure you’re comfortable with the possibility of letting go of your initial choice. 

When you do decide to bid, while you might be tempted to bid the minimum, remember that a strong bid increases your chances of securing that coveted upgrade. It’s a balancing act of how much the better stateroom is worth to you and what you’re genuinely willing to shell out.

A few things to remember: If your bid is accepted, modifications or cancellations can become tricky, so be sure of your commitment.

Additionally, while you can bid on several stateroom types, Royal Caribbean’s RoyalUp program cannot guarantee a specific cabin.

Essentially, while you can aim for a category, you can’t pick out the exact room. So, if you’re someone who needs that particular cabin by the elevator (you know who you are!), the bidding process might not be for you.

Ultimately, whether you’ve received an email inviting you to join the bidding fun or are still waiting, keep your eyes peeled, and your bids smart!

Boosting Your Chances of Winning That Amazing Cruise Cabin Upgrade

Yes This Is All One Cabin Complete With Hot Tub, Dining Area and Bar on the Balcony
Yes This Is All One Cabin Complete With Hot Tub, Dining Area and Bar on the Balcony

Ah, the million-dollar question: Is there a secret method to ensure you emerge victorious in the Royal Caribbean stateroom bidding game? Well, there’s no magical potion, there are some hot tips to nudge the odds in your favor!

Firstly, while the urge to save is real, it’s essential to be realistic about your bid. Going too low might not do you any favors.

Remember, you’re not just bidding for fun; you’re competing against other eager passengers looking for that same upgrade.

Make sure you regularly check your email to ensure you don’t miss any notifications. Sometimes, you might get an email inviting you to opt-in to the upgrade game even just 2 days before the sail date. Talk about last-minute surprises, right?

Another sneaky tip is to keep an eye on the available cabins. While you can’t guarantee the exact room, you can bid on staterooms that have more availability, increasing your odds.

Last but not least, there is an element of persistence. If at first, you don’t win a royal up bid, don’t despair. There’s always the chance to bid on your next cruise adventure. So, keep those bids realistic, your notifications loud, and that cruise spirit high!

What Happens if Your Bid Gets the Green Light?

The Ultimate Family Townhouse Suite on Icon of the Seas

So you made a bid for a Royal Caribbean stateroom upgrade, and you’ve won! Now what? 

When your bid on a stateroom upgrade gets the nod of approval, the adrenaline rush is truly something else. But there are also some logistical aspects you should be prepared for.

First things first, you’ll get the email confirming that your bid was successful. Think of it as a digital round of applause, if you will. That’s the good part. The bad part is that your credit card will have been charged for the cost to upgrade based on your bid. Remember that the bid is per person for the first two people in the cabin.

This email will detail your new stateroom and provide all necessary information about the upgrade. Remember, this change is now set in stone; you’ve upgraded from a scooter to a convertible, and there’s no turning back!

Once you’ve absorbed all the excitement (and maybe danced a little jig of joy), it’s essential to check to see if there are any additional details or activities related to your new stateroom that you should be aware of.

Maybe it comes with some swanky amenities or events exclusive to the guests of that cabin category. So be sure to stay informed, and bask in the glory of your upgrade. 

Cancellations and Changes: Navigating the Tricky Waters

Cruising, like any form of travel, can be subject to unexpected changes or disruptions. Therefore, it’s important to understand the implications of cancellations and modifications, especially in the context of Royal Caribbean’s upgrade bids.

Once you submit an upgrade bid through RoyalUp and it’s accepted, remember that this becomes a committed transaction.

If you have a change of heart or a shift in plans, you should be aware that refunds are not typically available for successful upgrade bids.

However, in situations where Royal Caribbean subsequently has to make a last-minute decision to cancel a cruise (e.g. due to bad weather), passengers who made successful upgrade bids will be refunded the amount they bid. This ensures that you won’t face financial loss for an upgrade on a cruise that didn’t happen. 

As with all policies and agreements, it’s crucial to be informed. Always read the terms and conditions associated with the upgrade process and remain updated with the cruise line’s policies.

Is RoyalUp Always the Best Bet? 

Who Would Not Want An Upgrade To This Loft Room Cabin on Icon of the Seas
Who Would Not Want An Upgrade To This Loft Room Cabin on Icon of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s RoyalUp program is an enticing opportunity for those looking to upgrade their cruise experience, but is it always the optimal choice for every traveler?

Like every service or offering, it has its pros and cons, and there may be situations where considering alternatives could be more beneficial.

Booking directly into the stateroom category you desire at the time of initial reservation can sometimes be a better move. This approach guarantees your preferred accommodation without the uncertainty of bidding and waiting.

While the RoyalUp program might offer a chance at a discounted upgrade, securing your desired cabin or suite upfront ensures you’re not left hoping for an upgrade that might never come.

Additionally, early bookings often come with promotional offers, deals, or additional amenities that can provide added value to your cruising experience.

Another option to consider is working closely with a trusted travel advisor. These professionals often have insights into available inventory, promotional deals, and potential upgrades.

They can advise on the best strategies to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck without leaving it up to chance.

In conclusion, while the RoyalUp program is an exciting avenue for potentially nabbing a stateroom upgrade, it’s essential to weigh its benefits against the security and potential perks of other booking methods.

What’s next? Make sure you are decked out in the finest Cruise outfits and you remember to pack all the latest cruise essentials!

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Alan took his first cruise in 1991 and has been cruising ever since. When he is not writing articles for CruiseNonstop.com you'll find him either on a cruise ship (he's the guy in the kilt), or on the golf course!

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