Can this trip be saved? A bait-and-switch offer on a cruise upgrade — or not? By Christopher Elliott | June 13, 2011 FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest Like a lot of other travelers, Tom Brollini was just looking for a bargain when he clicked on the Cruises Only website a few weeks ago. And he thought he’d found one. The site offered several booking bonuses, including a one-category cabin upgrade. “When I clicked on the price category, a popup said, “Book a category 8A cabin and get an 8K upgrade,” he remembers. ” When I proceeded to book the cabin, guess what? No upgrade.” Brollini’s case isn’t that unusual. I receive regular complaints about expired online deals, whether it’s a fare that’s no longer available or an expired deal that a travel agency forgot to remove from its website. Most of the time, a polite email or call to the company can fix the problem. But not this time. “I called Cruises Only, and after much searching, the representative said, “Yes, I see it, but you have to pay a higher rate to get the upgrade,” he says. “After I pointed out to her and repeatedly explained that there were no stipulations anywhere saying these upgrades were only for a higher fare, she said basically, too bad, so sad! She only worked there and that was what it took to get those upgrades.” I contacted Cruises Only to get its side of the story. The first person I heard back from was Brollini. He had received a call from an operations coordinator, and they’d talked for close to an hour. We spent the whole time saying the same thing, over and over. She did show me that on subsequent pages where it did show that the “special” was canceled. I said that they need to remove that pop up when the “special” is over. She said their system was not set up to remove it, at least for some unspecified time frame. I said any good programmer could fix that pretty quick. She said, “not her job.” Brollini now believes Cruises Only isn’t pulling a bait and switch. But he wishes they’d fix the pop-up, because the price of his cruise has gone up in the meantime. Cruises Only’s perspective was slightly different. In a follow-up email, it described the phone call in this way: A senior customer care agent contacted Mr. Brollini. They reviewed our website together, and it was explained that the site is set up with the intention of providing a client with the lowest rate applicable to the particular cruise they may be interested in, and that an already-discounted rate may not always be combinable with all promotions. We also clarified that the rates, promotions and availability are determined by the cruise line, and advised that we cannot determine which promotions may be available until a particular rate code has been selected. Also, similar to websites of many other companies, our website advises that promotions are always based on availability. Mr. Brollini said he understood and he did not feel we were being deceptive, but he still expressed concern about promotions that appear on the website before the cruise particulars have been selected. We appreciate Mr. Brollini’s suggestions and our I.T. Department believes his input can be used to implement improvements. Both accounts agree on one thing: The deal Brollini thought he would get isn’t there anymore. So now what? Should I go back to Cruises Only and ask them to honor the rate Brollini though it had made? Or is this one of those times when a DIY traveler just wasn’t quick enough on the draw? FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest Christopher ElliottChristopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at email@example.com. Got a question or comment? You can post it on our help forum.More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn - Google Plus Jeanne Pearce Can’t remove a pop-up ad? Oh please! I work as a web content specialist for a major company. Many web content management interfaces enable you to stipulate an expiration date on banners that appear on your website. After that expiration date, the banners automatically stop appearing. Also, you can go into the content management system and manually remove a banner. You could set yourself up with a reminder in Microsoft Outlook (not exactly an esoteric piece of software) to remind you to remove a banner at a certain date. There is someone who maintains their website. Someone managed to originally post the banner, didn’t they? That same person can remove it after the expiration date. Of all the lame excuses for leaving up a banner, this has got to be the lamest. I vote “bait and switch” from my perspective. Julie It’s not a bait and switch and not worth making a fuss over. Cruise deals can be complicated and it told him as he went through the purchase process the deal was not available for the price he wanted to pay. If you aren’t able to follow the instructions when online ordering you should let somebody else who can (travel agent, relative, whatever) do it for you. Elizabeth Smith It might have been a bait and switch, except that he was notified by the site prior to purchase that there was no upgrade available for that rate. If he had completed the purchase and discovered that there was no upgrade, then yes, it would have been a bait and switch. I do agree that companies need to remove expired ads and rates when they are no longer available. I see this often when booking airfare and hotels. Brooklyn I think he’s being amazingly kind to the company! Of course it’s a bait and switch and the company should make good on the offer. This happens all the time and it’s just wrong, if not illegal. Online offers should be accompanied by their conditions on the first web page, and they should be removed as soon as they expire. I suspect that if he took the case to court, he’d win. sirwired Chris, can we see the pop-up here? Does it have some fine print stating the promotion is only available for certain fares? Bill H It may be unintentional, but I doubt it. Clearly a bait and switch. This is exactly why there are bait and switch laws. Stores used to advertise things they did not have to draw people in and them tell them that what they wanted wasn’t available, but look at the things that you can buy. Exactly the same thing is happening here. You should take this on just to pressure them into stopping this shady practice. Rosered7033 Just because Cruises Only didn’t update their website doesn’t absolve them from honoring an offer. And yes, they may have posted elsewhere on the site the terms and stipulations, but this is another example of “what the large print giveth, the small print taketh away”. As a consumer, I would not book or order anything online unless the discount promised showed up in the pricing summary BEFORE I paid. We should demand and get transparency. SoBeSparky If a programmer took the time to place a pop-up on a web page, he or she could take the same time to remove it once the deal has expired. Otherwise it is a so-called unintentional bait-and-switch. However, in truth, it is bait-and-switch through an act of omission. Immoral and illegal. Christopher Elliott Sorry, I don’t have an image of the pop-up. I’ll see if I can get one. Kelly Is this the same Tom Brollini who paid for a flight with an expired credit card? http://www.elliott.org/blog/why-cant-every-customer-service-interaction-be-this-good/ …and boycotted United when they lost his luggage? http://www.elliott.org/the-travel-critic/mad-at-the-airlines-4-ways-to-get-even/ Maybe he needs to put you on retainer. Crissy While I do think it’s embarassing that a company can’t take down a banner ad, I don’t think that’s really the issue. Any time you see a promotion it is subject to stipulations and limits, I always get a quote before I book. If I don’t like the deal, I don’t take it. Liz I think the better question is “Why does Brollini still want to do business with these people?” Anthony Yea, no doubt. I’d like to know this as well. I read the second link in particular. Having the U.S. taxpayers potentially fund your personal vendetta against an airline is ridiculous. Regarding the upgrade, I don’t know if I’m reading this right, but it could be very frustrating. On the other hand, I wouldn’t blame anyone but myself if I clicked the OK button without seeing the discounting applied. It’s a pretty marginal case, which is probably why it’s split about 50/50! Joe Farrell or a bulk rate! Carver This is not a case of the OP not understanding the site. in fact,the OP is coming across as extremely sophisticated. The site is poorly programmed as explained by several of the tech posts here. Anna If it is the same person, I want to change my vote to no. I feel duped! LOL. Rosered7033 Actually, I think the first link shows that Brollini’s ticket CREDIT expired and he lauded the airline for extending the expiration date. ShipCritic This is probably what happened. When the special was offered there was space available and free upgrades. But it’s very common for good deals to run out quickly. If they’re that good, lots of people want them. I agree, the offer should have come down the moment those cabins were sold. A friend saw a great deal on a cruise but had to call her husband first. When she called the same sales agent 15 minutes later the cabins in that particular program were gone. If she’d booked the cabin during the first call she would have locked in the discounted price. What most people don’t realize is upgrades are an illusion most of the time. Upgrades move you up a few categories but if you were booking a standard outside cabin, you’re moved to another identical standard outside cabin. It rarely happens that you are bumped up to a balcony cabin from a standard cabin. In these instances the cruise line sometimes bumps up people who have taken many cruises on their line. Rosered7033 Agreed on some points, ShipCritic, and a suggestion to those who want to take advantage of a short-term discount – ask if you can put the cabin on courtesy hold. Sometimes even an hour will be the time you need to check things out & decide. And yes, “upgrades” on a cruise typically mean within a category, not from, say, an inside to a cabin with a view. I do disagree that the cruise line “bumps up people who have taken many cruises on their line.” From what I have read on Cruise Critic (and I’ve read A LOT), newcomers are bumped up much more often than faithful customers. LeeAnneClark Anthony wrote: “Having the U.S. taxpayers potentially fund your personal vendetta against an airline is ridiculous.” Um…re-read the article. He didn’t use taxpayer money to “fund” his personal vendetta – that would suggest that it was costing taxpayers additional money to do so. He simply switched to a different carrier that (presumably) had more appropriate policies on lost luggage. Sounds like a BETTER deal for taxpayers, if you ask me! Do I want our military transported by an airline that stiffs passengers when the airline loses their luggage? Heck no – I want our service people treated right. Kudos to Mr. Brollini for making the right choice, and appropriately penalizing a company for giving bad service, by taking away their opportunity to provide service at all. TOM BROLLINI This is Tom Brollini & I did not ask Chris to try to get them to honor this deal. I contacted him because this appeared to be a bait & switch & felt the sales person I initially talked to blew me off & misrepresented the situation & if it was a “bait & switch” THEN they should be hammered & honor it. As was stated, I wasn’t convinced it was an intentional thing but sure looked like it might be one. He asked me if he could post this as an issue & I said OK. Thanks Chris it’s interesting to see the peoples take on this. He contacted them to get someone to respond to me after I verbally asked for a manager to call me & also emaild them asking for a call & no one contacted me. I had told him that I knew that this price would go up as it was over a week between when I contacted him & when we got a response from the company. That didn’t matter, as I wasn’t going to buy it unless it was with the upgrade. This was an effort to find out what was going on & fix it. I would never purchase from this company until I was satisfied they were not being underhanded & their site was fixed. As I said to Cruises Only, there was no easy way to see that a promotion was no longer available. It was by virtue of “NOT” showing up on the subsequent screen where you picked your cabin, that they said showed the item was no longer available. This was how they were showing that it was expired, & that is not good. Then a couple screens later, on the top of the page, a blurb saying “it was no longer available”. This was not apparent, as your attention was on the lower area of the page where one would pick the cabin etc. It is combersome, not well thought out & misleading. I & others have said, it is an easy fix to program & there is no excuse to not remove it from the site as soon as the promotion as expired. One of the big problems with their program is that when you click on the “upgrade” special”, (in this case) it said “book an 8a cabin & recieve a free upgrade to an 8K”. Look at it people, this is a specific statement & has no disclaimers that it is for an upgraded price! (or that it might be expired) This in & of itself is enough to scream “bait & switch” no matter what comes up later! I have previously commented on issues when Chris asked for feedback on specific issues. I have been talking to Chris for years on various topics he has posted because he is the best guy around on any travel issue. In regards to Kelly’s comment below, I did NOT pay for a trip with an expired credit card. “A FLIGHT CREDIT I HAD EXPIRED” read the article! It was a “ATTABOY” to American Airlines for their good customer service to ME! The other issue was airlines with poor customer service. I commented that United had really made me mad, and that I “got even”! Due to United’s action I was proud of the fact that I was able to “not” give them a lot of business. “The TAXPAYERS” did not fund anything as one uninformed person said below: ALL THE AIRLINES are paid the same price for a ticket – period! I chose to give other airlines the business. So before you open your mouth about things you havn’t a clue about you might want to make sure your foot will fit. I had made it a point, to point out, that we all should (& I do) praise & promote, good business, & castigate & avoid bad companies. (see both AA & United) As for “Julie”, I can read & follow directions; that’s why this is going on – the directions “suck”. I’m just an old Marine & am a firm believer in “payback”, good & bad. Thanks again to Chris for all his fine work. p.s. as someone said, “put me on retainer”, lol I’m retired so all income sources are appreciated TOM BROLLINI This is Tom Brollini & you need to read & understand what is written before you comment. Since you have a problem with comprehension read my subsequent post it may help you. All my posts have either been in resonse to questions asked by Chris or in this case a potential problem. And 3 posts in the course of several years does not make me an internet scribe. TOM BROLLINI Tom Brollini responding to you. You really need to read what people are saying before you make a fool of yourself. 1. No “funds” were used! All airlines are paid exactly the same price for tickets. Other airlines were selected due to their superior customer service. 2. Read my new post. Perhaps it will enable you to “understand” what was done & why. No one clicked OK, this was posted because the site was potentially a “bait & switch” & Chris wanted it looked at. 3. Not worth the effort – you probably won’t read this one correctly either Jeanne_in_NE My apologies, sir. I “liked” a funny response, not because I thought you were in the wrong for having been mentioned by Chris before, but because the response seemed funny to me at the time. I did vote “yes” because I thought you were in the right on this. TOM BROLLINI This is Tom Brollini and you can still see similar pop ups on their site. Go to Cruises Only site. Click on Carnival. Pick a cruise that says “upgrades”. click select. Scroll down to a cruise that has upgrades. Click on the marked link that says “up to 4(or whatever) category upgrade. It says: “Book a 6A category stateroom & automatically receive a 6E stateroom for the same price!” This is an exact quote from their website. So people tell me what you think. Is that explicit enought? Hope this helps. TOM BROLLINI This is Tom Brollini with a follow-up. People are confused on this & have asked about seeing it. So for carity you can still see similar pop ups on their site. Go to Cruises Only site. Click on Carnival. Pick a cruise that says “upgrades”. click select. Scroll down to a cruise that has upgrades. Click on the marked link that says “up to 4(or whatever) category upgrade. It says: “Book a 6A category stateroom & automatically receive a 6E stateroom for the same price!” This is an exact quote from their website. So people tell me what you think. Is that explicit enought? Does it constitute “Bait & switch” if it’s still there when you go to book & its gone? So, notwithstanding, any, disclaimers they may post….is it or isn’t it? Cheryl He needs to get what was advertised Joe Farrell it’s definitely still there – and I’m curious what the difference in cabin accommodations is between A and E or whatever . . . . thats whats important. What you need to go Tom Brollini is file a complaint with the Massachusetts AG and the AG of the state you are in . . . Lilahjones808 How do you set anything like that up if you are basing your information from what you receive from another company and it is not based on a date but on their availability? Usuallly for cruises, availability and upgrade promotions are not exclusive to one travel company, which means that there is no telling how short or long it will last. TOM BROLLINI Hi, yes i could but Chris may be the one to get some fixes done with these sites. Amazing what can sometimes be done. I’m sure he’ll have an idea of if it’s worthwhile to go the govt route. Anthony His issue was a PERSONAL one with United. Based on his PERSONAL experience with United (nothing to do with government business), he made a blanket order to his military office not use the airline again. Presumably, they had used United because it provided the lowest cost on the given routes up until that point. So to fuel his personal revenge, he made a blanket order based on nothing but his own personal experience. As far as your laughable assertion of saving money, I’m sure you can find some way in which every other airline on the planet “stiffs” people over any number of issues. So let’s not pretend it’s such a cut-and-dried issue as United “stiffs passengers when the airline loses their luggage”. This was nothing but personal revenge. TOM BROLLINI Yes it was personal! Everyone should make all issues like this personal. Maybe then, these mega companies who don’t give a crap about the consumers, will change their attitudes. After the way ALL United personnel responded to my problem, all the way to corporate, you bet I stopped doing business with them. The people I was getting tickets for did not neet to put up with that kind of nonsense. Since it cost no more to use other airlines it was a no brainer. Tell me, what would you do? See, again, you show yourself to be a tool. Anthony So you are telling us that when you ground your personal ax with the airline, it didn’t cost a penny more NOR did it inconvenience ANYone by forcing them into a worse schedule, longer trip, or less direct routing? Your personal insult had NO negative effects at all? I find that impossible to believe, because if it was true, then your office flew hundreds of flights for United for no conceivable reason. LeeAnneClark If you think that people in the military (or any other branch of government) don’t use their “personal” opinions and feelings in making decisions about vendors to use every single day, you are incredibly naive. I fully EXPECT people in leadership positions in our military to use their personal knowledge, experience and insight to make the best decisions they can for our service people and for American taxpayers. How stupid would it be if we told them “you have to make a decision about what company to use, but you can’t use anything you personally know about these companies to help you in your choice”? Meanwhile, I did not make any “laughable assertion of saving money”. In fact I didn’t mention saving money at all. You seem to have a bizarre pattern of reading things that aren’t there. What I actually said was that it was a “better deal” – meaning, presumably the airline that he chose instead of United had better policies on dealing with lost luggage. Where did I make any assertion about saving money? Please go back and re-read my comment before you call something that I didn’t even say “laughable.” What’s laughable is saying that I said something that I didn’t say. (Well, *I’m* laughing anyway!) ;-) Obviously, no airline is perfect, and I’m sure the airlines that he chose over United had their own failings. But United made the mistake of stiffing this particular person over his lost luggage – and he happened to have the power to punish them by taking away business and giving it to a competitor. That’s the way a free market works, Anthony – it’s what motivates companies to provide a good product. Because if they don’t, their competitors will get the business instead. LeeAnneClark I want to thank Tom Brollini for coming on here and giving us a more thorough explanation. I just went through the whole process on their website, to see for myself what all the hullaballoo is about. And I will say that, after spending quite a bit of time on their website, it is, in my opinion, a completely unethical and underhanded bait-n-switch. Yes, they do eventually give you a message that says “We are sorry but category upgrades, which are based on availability, have sold out for this sailing”. But it’s not until you have gone FAR down through the process – chosen a cruise, selected a date, input your name and email address (yeah, great way to troll for emails to sell and/or spam), and are at the point where you would select a stateroom category, which takes quite a bit of time. Just out of curiosity, I checked several cruises and dozens of sailings – and NOT ONE OF THEM had category upgrades available. This appears to be nothing more than a lie intended to suck in more customers with the promise of category upgrades that don’t exist. And it brings up one of my real pet peeves about shopping online for travel: not getting the full price information about what you’re trying to purchase until you have progressed many pages into the purchase process. If the upgrade isn’t available, say so BEFORE I have to input all my info (including my email address). And if upgrades are not available for ANY of the dates on a particular cruise, then don’t say that they are, and make the customer check all upcoming dates only to find out there are no upgrades on that cruise at all! Total bait and switch, and I hope Christopher calls them on it. I will NEVER do business with this company, and will note this on my facebook page so none of my frequent-traveling friends will either. LeeAnneClark Gee Anthony – are you calling him a liar? He’s made it clear in multiple posts here that the ticket prices were the same, and he had the option of using other carriers, which he opted to do. I find that completely believable…and in fact, far more likely than the suggestion that he would have gone with more expensive tickets just to stick it to United. If the ticket prices were higher, I suspect he would have had to justify that to his superiors…whereas if they were the same, he could probably just make the switch, no questions asked. Seems pretty likely to me. I find it rather presumptuous of you to jump to the conclusion that switching carriers would have had a negative effect…even though he’s specifically telling us it didn’t. Do you often call people liars to their face, when they say something that contradicts what you *want* to believe? Interesting debate tactic. Ssheldo I personally don’t think it was a ‘bait and switch’ by Cruises Only, as an upgrade (as previously mentioned) is usually just a few decks higher. All the rooms are exactly the same except the higher decks seem to be more prone to ‘the motion of the ocean’. I do feel that it was a shoddy programming job and therefore Cruises Only’s responsibility to honor the offer. If there were no more upgrades available by Carnival, at least a heartfelt apology and perhaps a small credit was in order. If I read it correctly, the OP didn’t know he wasn’t getting the upgrade until after he purchased. Iif that was the only reason he purchased, perhaps he should have promptly called CO and asked to cancel the transaction. Midnightbottle Wow. And I thought Chris Elliot was for the little guy… A few years ago, my sister’s out-of-state wedding was absolutely ruined by an unscrupulous cabin/ chapel owner (who’d sold the cabins our family had rented out for the occasion AND canceled the chapel service when he did/ Everything was paid months in advance, verified three weeks before the wedding. We get the call less than two weeks before the date telling us ‘oops’). Anyway, I wrote Chris, who gave a one-line reply. No offer to help. I didn’t take it as offense, as I’m sure he gets a ton of letters and e-mails every day. So now I’m wondering, when so many people can’t get help once here, how does this guy win the trifecta? Looks like Chris has his friends and the rest of us need not apply. LeeAnneClark Ssheldo, Tom states clearly in his post right above yours that he did not purchase the cruise. He wanted to get a confirmation about the advertised upgrade, which it turns out was not available. And it appears they are not available on ANY sailings. I checked dozens. There are some cruises in which I checked every single sail date, and not ONE of them had an upgrade available – not one. So why are they still advertising them? And why do they make you click down through multiple pages in the purchase process, to the point where you would make a cabin selection, before telling that no upgrades are available on THAT sailing? As for whether or not the cabin would be the same, note this text on the Cruises Only website, when you click the link that says “Up to 4 (or 7) Category Upgrade!” – “Book an eligible stateroom on any qualifying sailing and receive a free upgrade! In some cases, you’ll be upgraded to a more desirable location aboard your ship. In other instances, you’ll be upgraded to a stateroom with extra space and/or a better view. It’s also possible that you might receive all of these benefits. Select your sailing date to see which upgrades are available.” That seems pretty clear to me that they are advertising some upgrades to actual bigger/better cabins, NOT just the same cabin on a higher deck. I stand by my opinion that this is a classic bait-n-switch. If there are no upgrades available, why are they advertising them? LeeAnneClark I think this is an unfair criticism of Christopher. He is a well-known travel ombudsman, and I’m sure he gets hundreds of requests. He can only handle so many, and he would have to have some criteria for which requests he investigates. I imagine that criteria would have to do with a) which would make the best articles, and b) which had the best possibility for a positive outcome (but this is pure speculation – I’m sure Christopher could tell you what criteria he uses). Keep in mind, you are not paying for his services – he has every right to pick and choose which requests he follows up on. I sent him a request about a cruise issue a few years back, and he referred me to a journalist who specializes in cruises…who wasn’t interested in my case. Oh well! That’s just the way it is. If I really wanted to go after the company, I’d hire a lawyer, not send my request to a journalist. I don’t blame Christopher for not taking my case – it’s certainly his prerogative. Your case does sound like shockingly bad service…and I hope your sister DID hire a lawyer. Sounds like you would have had a case to sue for some damages. Christopher Elliott Mel, you might want to review the correspondence between us in 2009. I did not send you a “one-line” reply. Nor was it dismissive, as you suggest. I asked several questions — none of which you answered. I would be happy to resend our emails to refresh your memory. Or, if you’d like, I could republish them in the comments. Carver Midnight Botte, If you want guaranteed assistance, then you should be prepared to pay for it. I’m sure Joe or I or one of the other regular attorneys members would have been happy to provide you with advice at $350+/hr. But don’t expect Chris to jump at your beck and call. Undoubtedly he has numerous requests for help and cannot help everyone. Michelle LV After all this why would someone want to continue using the same company that did the bait and switch. This should be the red light warning not to purchase from them. Now when something else goes wrong he will be back complaining but in fact all the signs were there to steer clear. Michelle LV. People are too quick to jump to court. It is a waste of court time. He isn’t out any money. He should be steering clear of this company instead of continuing his negotiations for the same company. Michelle LV Wait.. I’m not sure if interpreted it right. Did he actually make the purchase or did he see that he wasn’t getting his upgrade and not complete the transaction? MichelleLV Wait.. I’m not sure if interpreted it right. Did he actually make the purchase or did he see that he wasn’t getting his upgrade and not complete the transaction? MichelleLV Maybe he sensed your entitlement issues and knew better. You are on a FREE website that offers FREE information. Want dedicated advise? Hire a lawyer. I have never met Chris, don’t know much about him except for the info on this website, and he has helped me twice by offering sound advise. Oh and I’m just a “little guy” in the travel world. You should send him an apology or get off the website. Ever heard that you should not bite the hand that feeds you. Even if he hadn’t replied back this website offers mounds of information that is VERY helpful. FYI >>ALL DAY TODAY I HAVE DEALT WITH THIS TYPE ATTITUDE. IS IT THE WEATHER??? TOM BROLLINI I guess you didn’t see in my post. I clearly state I didn’t buy nor would I unless I was satisfied with their explanation & that they had fixed the site. And, as an aside, there is zero chance of my purchasing from them since I’m sure I have been blackballed over this. lol TOM BROLLINI Again you show your utter stupidity by mouthing off when you have no clue about the situation. Again all costs were the same & United did NOT have the best schedule. No personnel were in any way inconvenienced by not using United. As said before PERSONAL is exactly what we need to make ALL these issues! It is the only way to get big business to treat us right. Last response to you since I’ve not come across a bigger fool, more obuse idiot than you in a long time. TOM BROLLINI Again, I’ve said it numerous times—I DID NOT purchase. I contacted Chris when I found the problem & they would not respond. Joe Farrell Yeah, but filing a complaint with the State AG will force them to spend time and effort responding to an official government inquiry . . . MUCH more effective than some bad press in a tiny corner of the internet . . . Joe Farrell @Ship – not a chance – there never was and never will be an upgrade. . . I’m a little more cynical than you are. . . this company baits people in with the free upgrade – and then gets them through the entire process and then, oops, we’re sorry, no upgrade on ‘this’ cruise – most people, being trustworthy themselves just assume that its not available on ‘their’ cruise . . .not realizing that it was all a scam to begin with . . . its clearly against the law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts . . . flutiefan name-calling, Tom? on multiple posts? you’re losing credibility and support. flutiefan 100% agreed! and i believe it is a full moon. no kidding! Cheryl Good point, Chris any comments?