Q – Our neighbor, who literally packs pennies to carry to his bank, keeps telling me I am nuts to be sailing the ships that I love like Windstar and Azamara. He is really happy with the pricing and amenities on Norwegian Cruise line and he told me on Saturday that he had been able to “bid up to a suite”. I didn’t quite get what he was talking about and was wondering if it made any sense to you. Enjoy this site immensely – so thank you for that. 

A – Your friend is not exaggerating. Norwegian Cruise Line has designed a online auction system that allows booked passengers to bid on cabin upgrades prior to departure, Guests who win the bid process are notified by e-mail, along with their travel agent. The criteria include what the guest originally paid and the types of cabins on any given sailing, Once a bid is accepted, guests can change it again up to 48 hours prior to sailing. This is a way for NCL to maximize use of higher-revenue producing cabins. The guest does not bid on a specific cabin location. Instead, types of suites are described where available. This is the first online cabin bid system used by any major cruise line but it is fairly common for booked guests to be offered upgrade opportunities on light sailings by even the top-tier cruise lines. Most of these upgrade opportunities are rejected when offered as they represent a significant increase versus what the guest originally paid.