Understanding Cruise Ship Stateroom Guarantee (GTY) Fares

Apr 4, 2024 | CRUISE TIPS | 0 comments

Cruise stateroom GTY fares


A Comprehensive Guide to Cruise Stateroom GTY fares

Are you considering a cruise vacation but are puzzled by the term “cruise cabin guarantee”.

Your curiosity is piqued, and you might wonder about potential cost savings or the chance of scoring an upgrade. In this detailed explanation, we will unravel the intricacies of cruise cabin types and categories and the intriguing world of cruise stateroom guy fares, also known as guarantee (GTY) cabins.

Understanding Cruise Cabin Types and Categories

Embarking on a cruise adventure introduces you to a diverse range of cruise fares, each reflecting the type of cabin you choose. Delving into the intricacies, you’ll notice considerable price variations for the same itinerary, primarily influenced by the cabin type. Interior cabins, devoid of windows, tend to be more budget-friendly, while those with balconies or luxurious suites command higher prices.

Cruise ship deck plans and fare rate lists often feature stateroom categories denoted by a coloured legend of stateroom or suite locations. Each cabin type encompasses multiple categories associated with specific locations on the ship, be it aft, midship, or forward, which affects the price.

For instance, Seabourn Cruise Line offers a range of Verdanda suites in categories V1, V2, V3, V4, V5 and V6. Each is linked to distinct locations on specific decks, and pricing matches the deck and location.

Related: Why we Love Cruising with Seabourn

Deciphering the Enigma of ‘Gty’ Staterooms or Cabins

In the cruise industry, major players like Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and even luxury lines like Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Seabourn have introduced a fascinating option known as a “cruise cabin guarantee.” While you still choose the cabin type, such as a balcony, the specific category or room number becomes a delightful mystery.

Aptly named guarantees, these cabins assure you of at least the type of cabin you booked, leaving the specific room to be unveiled later. Guarantee rooms may also serve as a waitlist, especially when ships or cabin types are on the brink of being fully booked, holding your space until a suitable room becomes available.

The Pros and Cons of Opting for a Guarantee (GTY) Fare

Choosing a guarantee (gty) cruise fare often translates into substantial cost savings, as they are generally the most economical option within your selected cabin type. The potential for an upgrade to the next category adds an enticing layer of possibility.

If your chosen cabin type sells out, you might be pleasantly surprised with a better category, offering a slightly larger room or a more desirable location on the ship.

However, there are nuances to consider. The definition of the perfect cabin varies from person to person, and guarantee staterooms might not meet everyone’s criteria for perfection. Factors such as noise, location, and specific layouts can differ even within the same type and category.

Families or friends needing specific cabin arrangements might find the guarantee gamble less appealing.

Moreover, some affordable rooms might not qualify for attractive booking perks, as seen with Norwegian Cruise Line’s Sail Away category, which excludes Free at Sea fare inclusions.
It’s essential to note that booking a guarantee cabin means embracing a degree of suspense, as you typically won’t learn your cabin number until one to three weeks or even on the day of embarkation.

Guarantee (gty)

Related: Secret Ways to Save on Shore Excursions

The Good Stuff

  • Potential to Save Money
  • You are guaranteed a cabin, stateroom or suite  on the ship
  • The possibility of an upgrade to a higher stateroom category
  • You may qualify for a paid upgrade
  • Feeeling of satisfaction that you have paid less than others in the same catergory

The Not so Good

  • You risk giving up the chance to pick your ideal location — midship, high deck, low deck,
  • You could end up almost anywhere on the ship
  • You may not get upgraded
  • You may be next the the elevators or laundry room or under the pool deck

How some Cruise Lines Operate GTY fares

For a closer look at cruise stateroom guy (guarantee) fares, we examined some of the current cruise line offerings on guarantee fares. These may change from time to time, so it is always a good idea to check with your travel agent before booking.

Related : 9 Reasons you should always use a Travel Agent to book your cruise


The Offer: The Offer: Azamara sometimes offer guarantee (gty) staterooms if suites and staterooms in a particular category are sold out. You are guaranteed to be allocated in at least the category you have paid for and, occasionally, might get an upgrade, always subject to availability.

The Timing: Guarantee cabins are typically assigned between two and three weeks prior to your cruise departure, although some are assigned just a few days before departure.

Celebrity Cruises

The Offer: The way this works with Celebrity is that you choose a grade of stateroom (inside, outside, etc.) and usually pay a price lower than the regular fares for that category. You then get allocated a cabin within the chosen category, and there is no chance of a free upgrade. Upgrades may sometimes be available when the cruise line is running a special promotion.)

The Timing: Guarantee (gty) cabins are typically assigned about one week prior to departure, although some are assigned during the week of departure.

Cunard Line

The Offer: With a Cunard Guarantee (gty) fare, you are will receive a cabin/stateroom in the category you booked and occasionally better. However, free upgrades are possible only within the category booked, which means if you book an outside cabin guarantee, you might get moved to a better location on the ship, but you are unlikely to get upgraded to a balcony stateroom.

The Timing: As with most cruise lines, you are entirely in the hands of the cruise line and with Cunard this can be anywhere from 150 days to the day before departure.

Cunard gty fares

Fred. Olsen

The Offer: Fred. Olsen does not offer guarantee cabins. Instead, it offers something called Anchor Fares, which require bookings to be paid in full at the time of booking. There is also a 100% cancellation charge with Anchor Fares. Cabin numbers and cabin grades are not known at the time of booking. Upgrades aren’t allowed with Anchor Fares.

The Timing: Cabin assignments are given by the line when cruise tickets are issued.

Holland America Line

The Offer: The Offer: Holland America guarantee (gty) fares are sometimes offered in specific cabin categories, depending on availabilit. If you book these staerooms, you stand the chanceof a free upgrade.
The Timing: Cabins are assigned between 30 days and one week before departure.

Norwegian Cruise Line

The Offer: Norwegian’s guarantee fares only guarantees: the ship, sailing date, fare, and a stateroom in the category paid for or possibly higher. The guarantee rate does not guarantee: deck or location, bedding arrangements, specific stateroom number, un-obstructed view / enclosed balcony nor upgrade.

The Timing: Assignments are made any time after final payment has been received, up to the day of sailing.

Oceania Cruises

The Offer: Guarantee (gty) staterooms and suites are offered within specific categories at the current published fare, once all available cabins in that category have been assigned.

The Timing: Oceania Cruises’ Guarantee fare assignments are normally made within 6 weeks days of departure. This is completely variable and could be the day after the reservation or final payment is made or even upon embarkation.

Princess Cruises

The Offer: Depending on availability, Princess Cruises offers guarantees within specific categories as an alternative to an assigned cabin, and you will be assigned a room in that category or better.

The Timing: Cabin assignments will be made at any time between booking and several days before departure.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

The Offer: If a cabin category is sold out, Regent sometimes offer guarantee cabins for that suite category. If you do book a guarantee fare you may sometimes get a free upgrade if available. It helps if you are a member of the Regent loyalty programme.

The Timing: Cabin assignments are usually made just before departure, anytime from one week up to the day of departure.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

The Offer: Royal Caribbean sometimes offer guarantee (gty) staterooms, based on availability. They call this the “We Pick” option. Prices are usually similar to the rates for assigned cabins within the same category. See the Royal Caribbean Guarantee’ (GTY) booking FAQ.

The Timing: This is a moving target and the timing varies. Royal Caribbean will “Pick” and assign your cabin about four to six weeks prior to sailing, although some However, the exact stateroom, number, and location of the stateroom on the ship will be allocated at any time up until checking in at the port.

Seabourn Cruise Line

The Offer: Seabourn occasionally offers guarantee fares as a special promotion on select departures. They are typically offered as a “run of ship” guarantee at a flat fare for outside (OS) and balcony suite categories (Veranda V1-V6) but not on Penthouse and above Suite categories.

Seabourn often also have a very special updgrade option for those folks who have booked a Guarantte (gty) fare. Called the PLUS option (Prefered Limited Upgrade Special) this is an opportunity to upgarde to the next catergory or above and select you suite number. This is normally a well priced upgrade option and well worth a look.

The Timing: Guarantees are typically assigned about a week prior to departure.

Silversea Cruises

The Offer: Silversea Cruises offers guarantee (gty fares) if all assigned suites are sold out in a particular category. Like many other cruise line guarantee programmes, this can become a waitlist for a possible free cabin upgrade. You might get upgraded or you might not, but you will get at least the category you booked.

The Timing: A suite may be assigned at any time by Silversea before departure.

Virgin Voyages

The Offer: In an effort to make your booking experience as seamless as possible, Virgin allows Sailors to choose a specific cabin category. They then assign the best cabin available based on the selected criteria. It’s a bit like booking a hotel room, you book a catergory of room but dont actually know which room you will be alocated. If you wish to change your ship location, you can select a new zone on the Web based on availability. If you wish to choose a more specific cabin or suite, you can reach out to Sailor Services Crew or your travel agent for help.

The Timing: Sometimes you get a cabin assignment a couple weeks ahead but this is subject to change until you check in.  Other times, you don’t get assigned untill you check in.

Windstar Cruises

The Offer: Windstar offers guarantee (gty) fares if all assigned suites and staterooms are sold out in a particular category. If a stateroom open ups in a higher category than the one you’ve guaranteed, you may be lucky and receive a complimentary upgrade.

The Timing: Cabin assignments could be made as late as the day of sailing, but normally they are made much earlier.

Conclusion: A Strategic Gamble or Guaranteed Delight?

As we conclude this interesting review of guarantee (gty)  fares, booking a cruise cabin guarantee is a strategic gamble for cruise vacations. It introduces the potential for significant savings or the delight of a more luxurious cabin than anticipated. It’s a bit like winning the lottery!

On the flip side, you may find yourself in a less-than-ideal cabin.

When a cruise ship is oversold and there is a waitlist, a guarantee cabin might become your best shot at boarding. The decision ultimately rests with you: opt for the gamble and potentially snag a bargain or pay more to secure your ideal cruise cabin or suite. Bon voyage!

Thinking of booking a cruise? Start with these articles:


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Mike & Anita

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