If you can bid for an upgrade on a flight, why not on a cruise line? That was the mindset over at the innovative Norwegian Cruise Line before launching the Upgrade Advantage Program.

Released to the public this week, the online auction gives travellers the chance to move to a higher category or suite before setting sail.

Similarly to existing airline bidding systems, the Norwegian Upgrade Advantage Program is open to Norwegian Cruise Line guests with an existing booking.

However, unlike airline systems, Travel Agents will earn commission if their client wins a bid!

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In order to take part in the auction, cruisers need to log into My NCL, locate the upgrade program and then choose how much they would like to bid for available options in the one or two meta categories above their booked statement.

For example, a traveller holding a ticket for an Ocean View Stateroom can bid for an upgrade to a Balcony Stateroom or a Mini-Suite.

Once cruisers submit a number, they can watch how their bid compares to others and decide whether they would like to increase their offer.

The auction will close two days prior to the cruise departure date and winning guests will be notified of their upgrade and payment will be processed. Details of the new stateroom and its number can be found when they log into My NCL.

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Meanwhile, unsuccessful bids will be notified within the same time frame and their original stateroom details will remain unchanged.

Steve Odell, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ Senior Vice President & Managing Director Asia Pacific, believes the bidding program will benefit guests and Travel Agents by offering “more flexibility and opportunity”.

“Guests will enjoy more flexibility and the opportunity to upgrade at a lower cost than usual and Travel Agents will earn commission on the upgrade value.”

Steve Odell, Norwegian Cruise Line Senior Vice President & Managing Director Asia Pacific

Direct booking guests will be contacted via email by Norwegian Cruise Line, Travel Agent bookings will receive an email both to the client and the agency, with agencies able to opt out of the program at their own discretion, in which case their booked guests will not receive bid invitations.

Currently the Upgrade Advantage Program is live with reservations aboard Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, Pride of America, Norwegian Star, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Pearl, and Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Sky, followed by Norwegian Bliss from January 2018.

Are you excited to bid for a cruise upgrade?