Want a balcony - they are sold out

Dec 10th, 2007, 12:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 34
Want a balcony - they are sold out

I am interested in Alaska 2008 (June or July). No cruisetour. We really want a balcony, but at this time, HAL is sold out. I understand that rooms may open up after the 1st of the year, but what is the best way to monitor this without checking every day? I had planned to book on my own, but would a travel agent have the inside track if rooms are released? Thanks!
Suzanne12 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 402
Request to be waitlisted for a cancellation in the category of cabin you want with either a TA or HAL. Personally, I prefer to work with a TA who will keep an eye on things and keep checking for me. A TA with connections (i.e. sells lots of HAL cruises) to the cruise line can be priceless. Good luck.
charli is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Thanks! I don't think I've actually ever used a TA (possible in 1995) so I'll have to look into that!
Suzanne12 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 09:21 PM
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For cruising, we always use a travel agent. For one thing, on our last trip they gave us shipboard credits, vouchers to the Pinnacle Grill, etc. Don't assume anything is sold out. The agency we use buys up blocks, so while a couple of agencies around town told us that the cruise we wanted to Hawaii was sold out, our agency got us on.
April is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 10:01 PM
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Have yourself waitlisted for that.
As final payment is around 3 months before departure, cancellations at that time happen.
Ida101 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2007, 08:26 AM
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Keep in mind that cruise lines always have a deadline for final payment. It is just before that deadline that many people cancel so-as not to loose their deposit if they find that the cruise will not work for them.

Find out when that date is and with the help of a good agent there should be some openings.

While I'm not a big balcony fan ... for an Alaska cruise it IS a real plus.

We'll keep our fingers crossed that you get a balcony.
Hold is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 12:29 PM
Original Poster
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Thanks for your help! I will keep my fingers crossed as well. Has anyone ever purchased their airfare while on a waitlist? It's the airfare that makes me nervous. If I see a great price over the next few months, I would want to lock it down. Is it crazy to buy airfare before you are booked on the cruise?

Suzanne12 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
Can you fly Southwest? You can cancel even the cheapest flight without penalty and use the $$ within a year for another trip.

Or you can buy insurance.

Personally, I wouldn't buy the air now without a plan B. What if you can't get the cabin you want?
FainaAgain is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 130
Are you on the waitlist for a balcony or for the cruise itself?

I would not book airfare if not booked on the cruise, especially if you do not plan to go if you can't have a balcony. There is no way to know if a balcony will open up for you.

Alaska books up fast. People are known to book waaaaay ahead. Some are booking for '09 now!

You might want to go to Cruisecritic.com. It's a great source of information and much more active then thos board.
Robin72 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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Did you check other sites like expedia, travelocity and did you send it out to bid on cruisecompete

We just booked 2 balcony cabins using bid from agency responding to cruisecompete quote request - and they all had different cabins "available".

Last February Celebrity said there were no cabins of a certain class available and we booked one thru travelocity - I think some of these places reserve blocks of cabins that may not show up on cruiseline website.
gail is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 03:58 PM
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April, would you mind sharing your travel agent's info with me? Thanks!
travelbug1976 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 11:57 PM
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It was CruiseShipCenters in Sidney, BC, Canada.
April is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 09:43 AM
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I would especially start watching at the date when the final payments for your cruise are due...that is almost always when you will see some cabins open up as people decide they aren't going and want all their deposit money refunded.
Dukey is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 460
keep checking. when people cancel their cruise, their cabin becomes available. this is very true JUST before the 60 or 90 day deadline to get all paid back.
bonniejns is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 05:19 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,087
Are you planning to sail from Seattle or Vancouver and what length are you considering. I see that vacationstogo.com are offering some balconies on some of the HAL cruises at a discounted price in your time frame.
traveller69 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 03:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 241
Definitely check other travel agencies or websites. I have often found categories sold out on one website & available on others. I am a fan of cruisecompete. I wouldn't book a cruise without checking them out; I have received some awesome bargains there at peak times on great cabins!
rattravlers is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 01:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 6,994
All things being equal, would not worry too much about the balcony. Have done several Alaska cruises with a balcony, and we used it very little. When you are viewing the glaciers, you want a Panoramic view, and we spent most of our time on deck, with binoculars... the inside cabins our kids had was actually much more spacious. They take the room for the balcony out of the entire sq. footage.
clarasong is offline  

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