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  #1  
Old October 9th, 2010, 12:21 AM
timgram timgram is offline
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Default How does a "guaranteed" stateroom work?

My husband and I and another couple are on Marina's Northern Knights sailing in July 2011. Our companions just told us today they don't have a stateroom assignment yet, only a guaranteed Vista Suite. How does that work? They're #6 on the list to get an assigned stateroom in a category that only has 8 suites to begin with. That seems like horrible odds to me that they'll even get on the cruise. If no Vista Suite opens up, but an Owners Suite does, do they have to pay the difference since they were guaranteed Vista or above? Will Oceania's ultimate "guarantee" be that they will get their money back even if they're less than 90 days away from sailing? We're both booking our own airline flights over there, and if this is the case, they'll be stuck. Does this seem like a no win situation for them given that this is a cruise itinerary that's only offered once a year?
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  #2  
Old October 9th, 2010, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by timgram View Post
My husband and I and another couple are on Marina's Northern Knights sailing in July 2011. Our companions just told us today they don't have a stateroom assignment yet, only a guaranteed Vista Suite. How does that work? They're #6 on the list to get an assigned stateroom in a category that only has 8 suites to begin with. That seems like horrible odds to me that they'll even get on the cruise. If no Vista Suite opens up, but an Owners Suite does, do they have to pay the difference since they were guaranteed Vista or above? Will Oceania's ultimate "guarantee" be that they will get their money back even if they're less than 90 days away from sailing? We're both booking our own airline flights over there, and if this is the case, they'll be stuck. Does this seem like a no win situation for them given that this is a cruise itinerary that's only offered once a year?
Don't be concerned, a guarantee is just that. Your friends are guaranteed a cabin in the category that they booked, or a better one, on that cruise.
Oceania keeps records of how the cruises sell, how many people cancel at time of final payment, and so on. They would not have sold your friends the guarantee if they were not fairly sure that they could get them into a cabin.
If, despite the statistics, the right cabin or cabins should not open up as your sailing date approaches, Oceania will begin to offer "deals" to get space where they need it. These offers become more and more lucrative until the right cabins become available.
In any case, your friends can book their airline arrangements with a clear head.

Hope this helped!

J&S
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  #3  
Old October 9th, 2010, 01:12 AM
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hondorner hondorner is offline
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All cruise lines -- in fact, all airlines, hotels and many other reservation-type agencies, routinely accept overbooking. They know, historically, that a certain number of people will cancel before the cruise, flight or event, and it's good business to have a backlog of folks ready to step in and take the spot.

A well-run organization, like Oceania, has developed actuarial statistics that predict such cancellations. In other words, they have a pretty good idea how many spots will open up, and how many backup reservations they can reasonably accept. In the cruise industry, these backup reservations are called Guaranty bookings for a good reason. The folks who obtain such a reservation are guaranteed no less than the category the booked! They may not know which specific cabin or suite they will obtain, but they will get one.

The question always arises, what happens if not enough people cancel their reservation and open up a spot? The answer is that a lot of jockeying on the part of the cruise line starts taking place. In the specific case you outlined, if not enough Vista Suites open up, Oceania will look at the Owner's Suites and see if there is an open spot. If there is, it will be offered to someone -- most likely someone who already has a specific suite assigned. first, they will try an "Upsell" -- getting someone in a Vista Suite to pay a little extra to get an Owner's Suite. If no one agrees, they may offer the Owner's for free. If that doesn't work, or there are no Ower's suites available (which will likely be the case on Marina, since there are only 3 OS), they will start making offers to folks who already have a Vista Suite to move down, perhaps to an Oceania Suite, along with compensation, or even to give up their suite and take a later cruise, along with compensation.

In the words of Frank Del Rio, CEO of the parent company of Oceania, no one will be bumped -- "We will continue to sweeten the offers until somebody accepts." I've only outlined a few of the possible deals or offers -- they can get pretty interesting.

The important thing to take away from this is that the cruise line prefers to have the process go as quickly and smoothly as possible, and to not have to sweeten the pot too much, so they are pretty stingy with the guarantees. Once they have reached the number they expect to be able to finn, they quit offering the guarantees and convert to offering a WaitList position. They even have a numbers limit on those; at some point the booking will be listed as "Closed or "Sold Out". Obviously, the fewer staterooms they have available at a given level will govern how many guarantees they will issue.

Based on Mr. Del Rio's promise and the outstanding reputation enjoyed by Oceania, I think your companions have nothing to worry about. They will get a suite on Marina, likely a Vista Suite, or get an offer they can't refuse.

{EDIT} Jim has always been a better writer than me because he uses far fewer words to say the same thing! He posted while my poor addled brain was still composing...
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Last edited by hondorner; October 9th, 2010 at 01:14 AM.
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  #4  
Old October 9th, 2010, 02:41 PM
timgram timgram is offline
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Thanks so much for your prompt replies- and Don I appreciated your in depth response!! I've been a reader of cruise critic for years, but have only posed a question twice. I must say, if I had handpicked the two people I would have wanted to hear from on this matter, it would have been you two (or four, as the case may be). I trust your opinions completely and I feel better about this than I did 24 hours ago, but I still wish we weren't in this predictament. It's a very special celebration trip for all 4 of us and there isn't an offer out there that could make us want to change our plans. Hopefully, there will be lots of Vista Suiters who don't feel this way and will be willing to deal. J and S you live in our old neck of the woods- my husband worked in Stamford for many years and Don, you may be close to our traveling companions as they live half of the year in Jupiter. It's a small world. Thanks again.
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  #5  
Old October 9th, 2010, 03:07 PM
wripro wripro is offline
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Please relax. You are guaranteed a Vista suite and may end up in an Owner's suite. Nice problem!
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  #6  
Old October 9th, 2010, 03:57 PM
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Have been in your exact situation on a previous cruise...ended up getting exactly what was guaranteed...not to worry...we didn't.
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  #7  
Old October 11th, 2010, 01:56 AM
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Please relax. You are guaranteed a Vista suite and may end up in an Owner's suite. Nice problem!
I love your outlook on life, Henry!
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  #8  
Old October 11th, 2010, 06:18 AM
pacheco18 pacheco18 is offline
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Originally Posted by JimandStan View Post
Don't be concerned, a guarantee is just that. Your friends are guaranteed a cabin in the category that they booked, or a better one, on that cruise.
Oceania keeps records of how the cruises sell, how many people cancel at time of final payment, and so on. They would not have sold your friends the guarantee if they were not fairly sure that they could get them into a cabin.
If, despite the statistics, the right cabin or cabins should not open up as your sailing date approaches, Oceania will begin to offer "deals" to get space where they need it. These offers become more and more lucrative until the right cabins become available.
In any case, your friends can book their airline arrangements with a clear head.

Hope this helped!

J&S

All you (and Hondorner) say is true -- just wondering -- -- given the excitement about Marina - which is sure to increase after the inaugural sailing when the stellar reviews come in -- will they really have as good a handle as usual on cancellations, ability to upsell etc?
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  #9  
Old October 11th, 2010, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by pacheco18 View Post
...just wondering -- -- given the excitement about Marina - which is sure to increase after the inaugural sailing when the stellar reviews come in -- will they really have as good a handle as usual on cancellations, ability to upsell etc?
Excellent question. I'm sure there will be a learning curve. Marina will be different, and I'd bet they initially will make some wrong estimates that may make it very rewarding to a few who receive offers.

On the other hand, Oceania is well staffed with professionals with experience, many from other cruise lines, and surely several with experience bringing out new, exciting ships. And, FDR is convinced Marina will be one of the most exciting in its own, uniquely Oceania way (an easy prediction, given the industry buzz), and is surely anticipating the differences.
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  #10  
Old October 11th, 2010, 11:25 AM
pacheco18 pacheco18 is offline
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I think it will be interesting to see how things play out.
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  #11  
Old October 11th, 2010, 02:54 PM
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I wish I could get back into guarantee status for my Insignia Caribbean cruise Feb. 25. I originally booked as an inside guarantee and immediately got a cabin assignment. I tried to get moved out of the cabin and back to a guarantee, but O wouldn't allow it. Now I see all insides and outsides are waitlisted. I'd be willing to give up my inside cabin to be on guarantee status and had the TA check into it again for me. She says O still won't do it. They would be much more likely to sell a run-of-the-mill Caribbean cruise with lots of competition at the lower price of an inside cabin to fill the ship than to get someone with a new booking to pay the costs of the suites. There is nothing special or unique about this cruise to justify anyone paying the costs of the high end cabins which are many times more than on other lines doing Caribbean itineraries.

Perhaps when the final payments are due and some people cancel O will put me back on the guarantee list, allowing them to fill the ship.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 03:00 PM
wripro wripro is offline
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Thanks, JimandStan. I'm sure it's a lot like yours.

I think when someone books a suite it's not because of the itinerary justifying the higher expense. It's because he wants the comforts and benefits that come with the suite whether sailing in the Caribbean or the Med or Asia or wherever.
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  #13  
Old October 11th, 2010, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
I wish I could get back into guarantee status for my Insignia Caribbean cruise Feb. 25. I originally booked as an inside guarantee and immediately got a cabin assignment.
sorry I am a bit sleep deprived today
Trying to understand... you booked an inside GTY & you got an inside cabin right??

I do not understand why you want to go on GTY cabin status.
I must need more coffee

Lyn
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  #14  
Old October 11th, 2010, 04:24 PM
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sorry I am a bit sleep deprived today
Trying to understand... you booked an inside GTY & you got an inside cabin right??

I do not understand why you want to go on GTY cabin status.
I must need more coffee

Lyn
I booked a guarantee, not an inside guarantee. Since all the insides and outsides are sold and waitlisted, if I could get back on GTY status, it's likely I'd end up in a better cabin. I've gone through this GTY thing with O before, 4 years ago, on my prior O cruise. If they don't really sell an any category GTY then they shouldn't take a booking under those parameters.
But they did when I initially made the reservation. I have it in writing.
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  #15  
Old October 11th, 2010, 05:18 PM
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LHT28 LHT28 is offline
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Exclamation Just my observation

Quote:
Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
I booked a guarantee, not an inside guarantee.
Ok we may be both confused
In your above post
Quote:
I originally booked as an inside guarantee and immediately got a cabin assignment
I wondered why you would want to go back on the GTY list when you already had a cabin.
I suspect you think you will get a better cabin Cat.

Just my observations
From past posts on oversold Cabin Cat ....passengers that booked early & have a designated cabin assignment usually get the offers to upsell or downgrade in order to clear the GTY cabin Cat lists... as needed

So those that booked early get the offers unlike on other cruise lines where they reward the last minute bookings with the upgrades

I am sure others will correct me if wrong.

There is always the exception to the rule

The squeaky wheel gets the upgrades

Lyn
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  #16  
Old October 11th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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Talking squeak,squeak,squeak

Quote:
Originally Posted by LHT28 View Post
Ok we may be both confused
In your above post

I wondered why you would want to go back on the GTY list when you already had a cabin.
I suspect you think you will get a better cabin Cat.

Just my observations
From past posts on oversold Cabin Cat ....passengers that booked early & have a designated cabin assignment usually get the offers to upsell or downgrade in order to clear the GTY cabin Cat lists... as needed

So those that booked early get the offers unlike on other cruise lines where they reward the last minute bookings with the upgrades

I am sure others will correct me if wrong.

There is always the exception to the rule

The squeaky wheel gets the upgrades

Lyn
I made a goof in my original post. I did book a GTY, not an inside GTY.

When does O typically start making the calls for upsells/upgrades? I was probably one of the first to book, in fact my original cruise date in January 2011 was canceled by O and they moved us to the Feb. 25 sailing and put us in a cat F instead of the G I originally had. It's still inside though.

I'm trying to be the squeaky wheel by starting now to see about helping O clear the waitlist by moving onto GTY status. : )
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  #17  
Old October 11th, 2010, 05:33 PM
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Talking Good Luck

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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post

I'm trying to be the squeaky wheel by starting now to see about helping O clear the waitlist by moving onto GTY status. : )
I am sure if you squeak in the right ear it may work for you
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  #18  
Old October 11th, 2010, 10:39 PM
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hondorner hondorner is offline
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Color me confused, as well. I never heard of an "any category" guarantee, but I'll accept that you had one. Therefore, you got exactly what you booked -- a cabin assignment into "any category", which apparently in your case was an inside category. If you knew you would not be happy with an inside, you should have booked a guarantee into a specific minimum category.

It's my understanding that Oceania will not accept a guarantee booking until all cabins in a specific category have already been reserved. Otherwise, if you choose a guarantee in, say, a category "B" and there are still cabins available in B, they will simply assign you one of them immediately.

I'd be really interested to see who put an "any category" guarantee into writing for you -- Oceania or your travel agent...
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  #19  
Old October 12th, 2010, 12:08 PM
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I'd be really interested to see who put an "any category" guarantee into writing for you -- Oceania or your travel agent...
My original reservation confirmation from the travel agent said "guarantee". Not "inside guarantee". It was an early booking discounted price as this was way back in December 2009. I specifically said I did not want a cabin assignment at that time, but a guarantee. As soon as I put up the deposit I was assigned a cabin. Every few months I ask the TA to move us back to GTY status and O can open up cat F to sell. But the TA says O won't do it, even though cat G to B2 are waitlisted or sold out. Most of the higher priced categories are still available. I highly doubt someone who is only willing to pay the costs of an inside for this cruise, $1749 and is waitlisted will pay $3749, the lowest available priced cabin now just to take this particular cruise when there are so many other choices out there if that is all their budget allows.

So I can hope that as a past passenger I will be offered the chance to be relocated to another cabin and O can make more money, especially if that cabin was going to go unsold. Some money is better than none for an empty, unsold cabin. it seems most O cruisers wanting to do the Caribbean have migrated to the marina and aren't interested in doing this same old itinerary on Insignia. I prefer the smaller older ship to a bigger new one.
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  #20  
Old October 12th, 2010, 01:42 PM
wripro wripro is offline
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When you book a guarantee cabin you are taking a gamble. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but you are aware of the situation from the beginning. I know most people book a guarantee with the hopes of an upgrade (unless that is all Oceania is offering because of particular voyage is mostly wait listed or sold out.) You just can't count on it.
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