Cruising Basics

What is a "Guarantee" (GTY) Stateroom or Cabin on a Cruise?

A Guarantee Stateroom or Cabin is an unassigned room on a ship. It can be the perfect choice for some people, but you need to know the difference between an unassigned room and an assigned room. Being informed means there are no surprises when you board the ship.

Cruise lines use this technique to manage their stateroom inventory. They guarantee you'll have a stateroom in a desired category but wait until close in to the sail date to actually assign you a cabin. This way they have the option of assigning you a cabin that hasn't been previously booked. It's very much like when you arrive at a hotel to check into your reserved room. You know the type of accommodation you'll get, but not the actual room number.

An assigned stateroom is exactly what it sounds like. You get to choose a specific cabin from the ship's deck plan, and claim it for your cruise. You'll almost always pay more for an assigned stateroom, but in some situations it's more than worth it.

What are the advantages of booking an assigned room?

There are lots of reasons why someone would want an assigned stateroom. Families traveling together in more than one cabin may want to be in close proximity to each other for obvious reasons; If purchased early enough connecting staterooms may even be available. Some people like being on higher decks so they use the stairs and elevators less often. Some want to be close to the elevators, others don't. Some prefer one side of the ship versus the other. Some like the middle of the ship so it's an equal distance walk to anywhere on any deck. It's all about personal preference and that list of preferences could go on and on.

What are the advantages of booking a Guarantee Stateroom?

If you like to know you've secured the absolute lowest stateroom fare for your cruise vacation in the category you want to pay for, then reserving a Guarantee Stateroom may be the right choice for you. Even though you won't know your actual stateroom assignment until shortly before the sail date, you will be guaranteed a stateroom of equal category or better than what you paid for. That means you could get an upgrade, but don't let that be the reason you book a guarantee. It will be a nice surprise if you do but the best reason is that you get to save money. Your accommodations will be exactly the same in size and amenities as if you'd paid more for an assigned room. The cruise lines simply reward you with a lower price for giving them the flexibility to manage their inventory.

So if the location of the room you stay in isn't important because you plan to spend your time on the deck, at the spa, restaurants, shows, casino, lounges, activities or exploring the ports-of-call — then get a guarantee stateroom.
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