Royal Caribbean Royal Up our experience - image is of a cruise ship

Royal Caribbean Royal Up {A Personal Account}

Royal Up is the name of Royal Caribbean’s stateroom bidding program. This article will explain how it works, our experience with Royal Caribbean Royal Up, and some reasons you may not want to bid.

Royal Up! My experience with Royal Caribbean's stateroom upgrade bidding program

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Royal Caribbean Royal Up

Prior to departure, when there are unsold staterooms or last minute cancellations, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line will offer select passengers the opportunity to bid on higher category cabins.

Be sure you have opted in to receive marketing emails from Royal Caribbean International. You can also check to see if you are eligible to receive an offer to bid on the Royal Caribbean website. You will need to put in your last name and reservation number.

If you are selected you will receive an email from “Royal Caribbean – RoyalUp” with an invite to submit a bid.

The email will give you the upgrade options available to you along with the minimum bid. Keep reading for the stateroom and minimum bids we were offered.

The bid you submit is per person for the first and second persons in the stateroom for the duration of the cruise (it is not a per day amount).

You can submit a bid on more than one stateroom category. Only 1 bid can be accepted and is based on availability and the bid amount.

If your bid is accepted your credit card will be automatically charged. You will receive an email letting your know your bid was successful.

Your new cabin number will be seen online and you will have to reprint your set sail pass (boarding pass) and luggage tags if you have already printed them.

It is important to note that if you have a successful bid, you cannot choose your cabin location and you cannot decline the upgrade.

Our email from Royal Caribbean said that you can be notified up to the day of departure, and that if you haven’t received any communication from them by 2 hours after sailing, then your cabin has not been upgraded. There may be last-minute cancellations.

2 Royal Caribbean cruise ships

Royal Caribbean Royal Up – Our experience

Please keep in mind that this was our experience and yours will likely be different. You may be offered different stateroom categories, and have different minimum bid prices. Perhaps you will be invited to bid on different balcony cabins, loft suites, a junior suite, or even a grand suite – wouldn’t that be amazing. This is just meant to give you an idea of what you can expect.

Our sail date was August 21, 2022. We were originally booked in an inside guarantee. This meant that we didn’t choose our cabin, we decided to take the cheaper option and have them assign a cabin for us. For this cruise we weren’t picky about where our cabin was, a standard stateroom was fine.

Our Royal Up offers

On July 9, 2022 we received an email inviting us to bid on a stateroom upgrade. Below are the stateroom categories were were invited to bid on along with the minimum bid. We are in Canada, so our offers were in Canadian dollars, however I included the US equivalent (using the exchange rate on July 9). Remember, these amounts would be times 2 since they charge the bid amount for the first and second person in the room.

  • Ocean view balcony min bid $130 CAD pp ($100.13 USD pp)
  • Ultra spacious ocean view (not balcony) min bid $50 CAD pp ($38.51 USD pp)
  • Spacious panorama ocean view (floor to ceiling window – not balcony) min bid $45 CAD pp ($34.66 USD pp)
  • Spacious ocean view min bid $40 CAD pp ($30.81 USD pp)
  • Ocean view min bid $30 CAD pp ($23.11 USD pp)
  • Promenade view interior $15 CAD pp ($11.53 USD pp)

On this cruise, it was just me and my teenage daughter. Her stateroom preference was the interior promenade view room. Next time I may bid higher on a balcony. But since we spend basically no time in our room and it was just the two of us we bid the following:

  • Ocean view balcony $135 CAD pp ($103.98 USD pp) (just $5 over the minimum)
  • Ultra spacious ocean view $50 CAD pp ($38.51 USD pp) (the lowest bid)
  • Spacious panorama ocean view $50 CAD pp ($38.51 USD pp) (the minimum bid)
  • Interior promenade $50 CAD pp ($38.51 USD pp) ($35 CAD or $26.98 USD pp over the minimum)

We chose not to bid on the spacious ocean view or the ocean view staterooms.

How it ended up

Approximately one month before our sailing we received a stateroom assignment, because we were booked originally as an interior cabin guarantee. You can read more about that here. We were assigned stateroom #3025 which is on the third passenger deck. I admit I was a little disappointed because I thought that meant we didn’t receive a Royal Up stateroom.

Then on August 18, three days before our sailing I received an upgrade confirmation email from Royal Caribbean saying congratulations, we received an upgrade to the Promenade Interior stateroom. Our new cabin number was #7263. This upgraded stateroom didn’t affect our online check-in, I just had to reprint our set sail passes (boarding passes).

Interior promenade view stateroom on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas

I didn’t tell my daughter we had a cabin upgrade, I wanted it to be a surprise when she opened the cabin door.

In the end we were very happy with our stateroom upgrade. The promenade interior stateroom overlooks the Royal Promenade. Having a window, even though it wasn’t to the outside, made the cabin feel larger.

There are dance parties that happen in the promenade below on multiple nights, these however were finished usually by 9:30. If you go to bed before then you might find them a little noisy. After that the promenade below was quiet.

When NOT to bid on Royal Caribbean Royal Up

There are a few things to be aware of before placing your bid in Royal Caribbean’s RoyalUp program. It can be exciting to get that email, but there are a key considerations or circumstances where you might not want to place that bid.

Don’t get caught up in winning

It is important when placing a Royal UP bid that you don’t get caught up in wanting to “win” an upgrade. It’s a good idea when booking your cruise to know how much more other cabins were. This can help you determine what your maximum bid should be should you receive an offer to bid on a higher room category.

If you weren’t willing to spend an additional $200 cruise fare for a higher cabin category when first booking your cruise, are you sure you want to bid $250 now?

When you have connecting cabins

If you have booked a connecting room with you travel partners and want to keep those adjoining rooms, don’t bid on an upgrade.

This is an important note, because If either room receives an upgrade, you will no longer be adjoining. You could end up at opposite ends of the ship from your friends or family.

Royal Caribbean Royal promenade

If you are concerned about location

Remember, once you place a bid you no longer have a choice of where your stateroom will be and you cannot decline the upgrade and stay with your original cabin.

If you cabin location is important to you then this bidding process may not be best for you. For some cabin location is very important they want to be close to something like the pool deck or want to be far from something like the night club.

In the end, the Royal Up program can be an attractive option to get yourself in one of the higher cabin categories for a better deal. If you are lucky enough it could even get you into the cruise cabin of your dreams, like a royal suite!

What was your experience like? Did you get the cabin you were hoping for? Let me know in the comments.

If you are planning your first Royal Caribbean cruise you will want to know what is NOT included in your cruise fare.

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