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CJW

How much of a guarantee does a guarantee fare offer?

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Hi,

I'm new to the forum. I've seen a few of the emails from Bolsover in the past but haven't got around to joining till today. I've been cruising for a few years now and sailed with P&O and Princess but what made me join was to ask people about guarantee cabins? Has anyone done this? I seem to hear it talked about more and more lately. I've looked at a few cruises for this year and I'm always hit with "that's on a guarantee basis". It's been explained to me a few times but I just wanted to get more opinions on it.

What exactly does it guarantee and how likely are you to get an upgrade? Does it impact your dining choice? What happens if you're travelling as a group?

I'm looking to travel with my family this time around. It will be their first cruise so I want to make sure we book something they will enjoy and not run into any problems. We want to try and be near to each other but seeing as I am paying for us all to go away (what was I thinking?!), I'm conscious of spend, so if a guarantee deal is worth considering, I will, as it will save me a substantial amount.

I'd appreciate any feedback...thanks in advance.

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Hi CJW

First, welcome to the forum - I hope you find it informative!

Secondly, with regards to your question of 'guarantee' - this depends entirely on a) which cruise line you are looking at and b ) what type of offer.


Generally speaking, you are guaranteeing yourself a 'minimum' cabin type, rather than a particular grade of cabin.  When you go on a guarantee offer generally speaking you are open to receive any cabin type above & beyond the minimum 'type' you have booked.

With the dining again this depends entirely on the cruise line and the deal type. On Royal Caribbean/Celebrity/Princess  you can have a guaranteed cabin type but still confirm dining, on P&O/Cunard/Fred Olsen some of their offers come with guaranteed cabins & dining allocated onboard, other offers allow you to request but not confirm dining etc...

 

Feel free to inbox me if you need anything more Specific!

 

Poppy

Bolsover

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Thank you very much for your inrformative reply. This is exactly the type of information I was looking for. I'm not new to cruising but it can still be confusing at times. Thank you for elaborating on the dining choice issue. I wonder why Princess and P&O/Cunard operate different procedures with this as I thought they were all under the Carnival banner?

It's a family cruise I've been looking at as it'll be the first time we've travelled with our grandchildren. Looking for something that we can all enjoy together so have looked at Royal Caribbean, P&O and Princess. Always booked a specific cabin and stated our dining at the time of booking so not used to the whole guarantee thing but it does sound quite intriguing. I've not really spoken to anyone who has done it so I'm interested to hear from all who have done it and experienced what it's like. I think for me, I do have a concern about getting the cabins near each other. It's not essential but would be nice. You've certainly helped me with dining though as I would want to confirm this so Royal Caribbean and Princess have taken a step ahead on that front.

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Hi CJW and welcome to the forum. Hopefully you'll find all you need to know on here. There's plenty of members willing to share their experiences and advice so I'm sure you'll find it useful.

I posted a topic on here earlier this week about playing it safe with cabin choices, asking forum members to share their views on whether they tend to play it safe and stay within the realms of their usual preferences or if they're more open to going wherever on board as long as the cruise is right. I've always been a little apprehensive about stepping outside of my comfort zone when it comes to choosing my cabin so I've aired on the side of caution and paid a little extra in the past to choose a specific stateroom. That said, as I mentioned in my other post, which you can find here, I am now more willing to give this a go. I've heard so many success stories of guarantee bookings from friends, family and colleagues that I am leaning heavily towards giving it a go. For starters, the price always seems appealing and, as Popsicle has pointed out, you can still confirm dining with a variety of cruise lines. I think if there's a cruise you like, that fits your dates and is likely to be ideal for your family, I'd go for it. If you're paying, you're going to need all the help you can get, so I'd seriously consider it. I'm sure if you book through Bolsover, they'll link the bookings for you anyway. They've done this for me before when I travelled with both friends and family in the past. I'm sure they'll say they can't guarantee for certain that the cabins will be allocated nearby but by linking your bookings with the cruise lines, it gives you the best chance and worst case scenario, you're all still on board the same ship and can meet up each day for breakfast etc.

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I'm a bit confused now. People are saying it saves money but we've booked for next month on a guaranteed basis but have paid the full select price so we've had our choice of dining time & the onboard spend but still have no idea of cabin number. As we have paid select price which is supposed to allow us to choose our cabin  does this mean that when are allocated a cabin  we are allowed to refuse it if it is in a position that we would not have chosen ourself such as directly underneath the buffet or are we stuck with it like when you get upgraded from your original choice?

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37 minutes ago, 2torts said:

I'm a bit confused now. People are saying it saves money but we've booked for next month on a guaranteed basis but have paid the full select price so we've had our choice of dining time & the onboard spend but still have no idea of cabin number. As we have paid select price which is supposed to allow us to choose our cabin  does this mean that when are allocated a cabin  we are allowed to refuse it if it is in a position that we would not have chosen ourself such as directly underneath the buffet or are we stuck with it like when you get upgraded from your original choice?

Do not understand why you have paid the same price as a Select fare but not picked you stateroom that's an unfair advantage to P&O with no savings benefit to you. You could end up being put in a stateroom that is in a poor/noisy position when you could have picked a stateroom of your liking and position for the same money.

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We wanted a particular grade of cabin but it was sold out so Bolsover suggested that we book it as guaranteed so that we would get what we wanted if one became available & if one didn't we would get a higher grade one. Never having sailed on Britannia before we hadn't got a particular cabin number in mind - we just wanted an unobstructed balcony.

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Must be to do with the lateness of the booking. Surely this is something you should get back to Bolsover about for an explanation.

RayO

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We have booked a "Guaranteed " Cabin several times with various cruise lines including P&O.

The Last time we booked a Guaranteed We got a choice of dining time all the extras but could not pick our cabin? As we had opted for the highest grade ,the upgrade would have been to a suite.

Guaranteed isnot to be confused with the Saver Fare which carry's no extras and no choices.....Davybe

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Davybe is right, you can have a guarantee cabin on the select fare purely because the cabins have sold out, but they still allow you to book on that grade.

Or there are the saver deals, where you are paying a reduced price which takes away the benefit of choosing a cabin number and dining option.

If you are booking a family holiday I wouldn't recommend these because you could be at opposite ends of the ship and even on different dining times.

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15 hours ago, 2torts said:

I'm a bit confused now. People are saying it saves money but we've booked for next month on a guaranteed basis but have paid the full select price so we've had our choice of dining time & the onboard spend but still have no idea of cabin number. As we have paid select price which is supposed to allow us to choose our cabin  does this mean that when are allocated a cabin  we are allowed to refuse it if it is in a position that we would not have chosen ourself such as directly underneath the buffet or are we stuck with it like when you get upgraded from your original choice?

This would of happened simply because the 'grade' had sold out of cabin numbers but they will carry on selling that grade at that price and will then give you a cabin on the guarentee basis.

You can always look at the price for the next grade up to see if cabin numbers are available, somtimes the difference in this can be £20-£30 extra sometimes £100-£200 extra so if Bolsover suggested doing the gurantee it may be because the difference was higher? They have always explained that to me and my parents when booking so it may just be a case of clarifying that with them

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19 hours ago, CJW said:

Thank you very much for your inrformative reply. This is exactly the type of information I was looking for. I'm not new to cruising but it can still be confusing at times. Thank you for elaborating on the dining choice issue. I wonder why Princess and P&O/Cunard operate different procedures with this as I thought they were all under the Carnival banner?

It's a family cruise I've been looking at as it'll be the first time we've travelled with our grandchildren. Looking for something that we can all enjoy together so have looked at Royal Caribbean, P&O and Princess. Always booked a specific cabin and stated our dining at the time of booking so not used to the whole guarantee thing but it does sound quite intriguing. I've not really spoken to anyone who has done it so I'm interested to hear from all who have done it and experienced what it's like. I think for me, I do have a concern about getting the cabins near each other. It's not essential but would be nice. You've certainly helped me with dining though as I would want to confirm this so Royal Caribbean and Princess have taken a step ahead on that front.

I would be carfeul booking on a guarentee if you wanted cabins close together as, linked or not, there is no gurentee you would have cabins near by, as MG16 said you may end up on different decks and at different ends of the ship and may not get the same dining. Though you may be booking and paying for it all together, each cabin has its own reference and is classed as a seperate booking.

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I'd certainly be willing to give guarantee fares a go. We spent very little time in the cabin anyway on our last cruise, so I think the lower prices are definitely appealing. That said, we are planning a cruise with extended family in a couple of years and will be paying the extra to choose our cabins on that particular one. As Furby says, it's the best way to guarantee that we will be located together from what I understand.

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Thanks for the replies so far everyone. Some interesting and differing opinions on guarantee style bookings. Just to pick up on a point that MG16 and Furby made, I understand the concern re cabin allocations as I know we could end up on different decks etc, which I can get my head around but Popsicle said before that dining can still be confirmed with certain companies, therefore surely we wouldn't have to worry about being on different sittings if we booked with one of those? If we did as advised and linked the bookings and confirmed the dining, that would be sorted would it not? Baing in different areas on the ship for our cabins is something we can understand and deal  with but dining is essential.

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6 minutes ago, CJW said:

Thanks for the replies so far everyone. Some interesting and differing opinions on guarantee style bookings. Just to pick up on a point that MG16 and Furby made, I understand the concern re cabin allocations as I know we could end up on different decks etc, which I can get my head around but Popsicle said before that dining can still be confirmed with certain companies, therefore surely we wouldn't have to worry about being on different sittings if we booked with one of those? If we did as advised and linked the bookings and confirmed the dining, that would be sorted would it not? Baing in different areas on the ship for our cabins is something we can understand and deal  with but dining is essential.

If you can confirm your dining on the offer your booking then yes that would be fine, you would have that confirmed and then linked together to make sure you are all on the same table.

If it is a offer where dining is on a request basis or not confirmed until you are on board then this is when you would not be guarenteed to dine together, even if your linked together.

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Thanks for that Furby. In that case, if I am looking at a gty booking, with us travelling as a larger group this time around, I am better to stick to Celebrity, Royal Caribbean or Princess then based on Popsicle's post of being allowed to confirm dining. That's fine with us as I've sailed with Princess before and would certainly do so again and Royal Caribbean are  high on the list anyway with us looking for good entertainment for the kids.

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2 hours ago, CJW said:

Thanks for that Furby. In that case, if I am looking at a gty booking, with us travelling as a larger group this time around, I am better to stick to Celebrity, Royal Caribbean or Princess then based on Popsicle's post of being allowed to confirm dining. That's fine with us as I've sailed with Princess before and would certainly do so again and Royal Caribbean are  high on the list anyway with us looking for good entertainment for the kids.

Yes, but bare in mind that all these companies might not have a guarentee offer on all the time

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Understood and thank you for your help and advice.

Sorry to go on but can I also ask, if the cabin grade you book does not become available and you do get upgraded, are you able to say if you're unhappy with the new cabin position or is it set in stone?

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We've just been given our cabin number & its 4 grades higher than we paid for plus I think it's in a better position as it's mid ships aft on D deck rather than A deck forward. We should be able to walk to most places as it's fairly central so hopefully we'll get a bit fitter!  I'm very pleased with this outcome of trying a guarantee fare & might consider it again.

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14 minutes ago, 2torts said:

We've just been given our cabin number & its 4 grades higher than we paid for plus I think it's in a better position as it's mid ships aft on D deck rather than A deck forward. We should be able to walk to most places as it's fairly central so hopefully we'll get a bit fitter!  I'm very pleased with this outcome of trying a guarantee fare & might consider it again.

Sopleased it worked out well for you,enjoy the cruise...Davybe

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1 hour ago, CJW said:

Understood and thank you for your help and advice.

Sorry to go on but can I also ask, if the cabin grade you book does not become available and you do get upgraded, are you able to say if you're unhappy with the new cabin position or is it set in stone?

Yes usually it is a case of you get what you are given or pay the higher price to go on the difefrent offer and change it.

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23 minutes ago, 2torts said:

We've just been given our cabin number & its 4 grades higher than we paid for plus I think it's in a better position as it's mid ships aft on D deck rather than A deck forward. We should be able to walk to most places as it's fairly central so hopefully we'll get a bit fitter!  I'm very pleased with this outcome of trying a guarantee fare & might consider it again.

Fantastic, good for you!

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23 minutes ago, 2torts said:

We've just been given our cabin number & its 4 grades higher than we paid for plus I think it's in a better position as it's mid ships aft on D deck rather than A deck forward. We should be able to walk to most places as it's fairly central so hopefully we'll get a bit fitter!  I'm very pleased with this outcome of trying a guarantee fare & might consider it again.

It's nice to see that it actually does work out sometimes and the use of the word "upgrade" is not just there to hook people in.

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Respectfully said: Whilst a GTEE cabin grade is often a good bet, for those folk travelling together in pairs (as 'couples' as such), it would not be my suggested option, for those folks who are travelling (family) together in separate cabins or likewise grade differences. Especially so, for those folks travelling with younger family members in tow, as such?

Better surely, to book (lock-in?] adjacent or opposite lower cabin grades and numbers, than find yourselves located/separated half a ship away, in the extended/possible hope of (maybe) getting better and adjacent cabins all around, and together.

If GTEE cabin(s) are the sole and final remaining option? I think I'd likewise ask again, or look elsewhere for another cruise with the same line or a different cruise-line provider, with a very similar itinerary.

The family that plays together stays together.

My best wishes to you all!

Peter.

 

Edited by HALaP&O
added text

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Thank you for your comments HalaP&O. I shall certainly bear them in mind when finalising the cruise of our choice. It's not essential that we be close by to one and other but it would be nice considering we're taking the children away and it's always lovely to have them close by. Hopefully we can find something to tick all boxes.

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