Cruise Tip: What is a 'Guarantee' (GTY) Cabin or Stateroom?

People often get confused over the meaning of a guarantee, or GTY, stateroom.

I thought I would take a moment to clarify exactly what that cabin category means.

  • No matter what cruise line you decide on,  if you book a guarantee stateroom it means the same thing to each.  You are guaranteed to have that type of cabin or better at no extra cost to you. For example, you book an ocean view guarantee, you are guaranteed an ocean view or better (‘better’ typically means a better location on the ship, not higher cabin type, like a balcony).
  • It is similar to reserving a hotel room as you will not have a specific cabin assignment upon booking.  The cruise-line will assign your stateroom based on random assignment. Both you and the agent you book with will not have any control over what cabin you are assigned, unfortunately.
  • Typically the cruise line will assign the cabin and then resale this lower guaranteed rate, as it allows them to fill the ship and  put passengers where they have the most availability.  That being said, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the way they assign these guaranteed staterooms. Some say that they take past guests into consideration, and maybe they do, but the bottom line is only book this lower rate if you don’t have a preference for where your cabin is located.

There are pros and cons for choosing to book a guaranteed stateroom–

Pros: The cost of a guarantee is almost always less than if you choose a cabin assignment. If cost is very important to you than this may be the way to go. The chance for a free upgrade is also a nice bonus.

Cons: Your cabin can be assigned anywhere on the ship, we nor the cruise line can promise or request that you are mid-ship, or that you will be next door or even on the same deck as friends and family.  If you know that you only want or need to be mid-ship or if you need cabins that are side by side, than this is not an option for you.

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