Depending on the cruise line and ship I would say as soon as possible. On a Alaska cruise a balcony is almost a "MUST". Being able to wake up in the morning and walk out on your balcony and see the sights is something you will never forget.
No, but I would book as soon as you find out. You still have a while. Probably wouldn't worry until after the '07 season is over and the dust settles. Actually, you can wait to book until January or Feb. of '08 and usually be ok.
Balcony rooms are the first to go ! We felt we had to have a balcony for our Alaska cruise. We booked May of '05 for our cruise in Sept of '06 and 1 week later wanted to change rooms closer to the middle of the ship and was told they had no balcony rooms left.
We have friends that wanted a Mini-Suite for their cruise this summer and had to take an outside room, ---no balcony rooms or mini- suites. They booked their cruise this past November for their cruise in August.
I have talked with Princess already about our '08 cruise and was told to call back in April to be assured of a balcony stateroom or a mini suite. I would have already booked, but Princess does not have the '08 prices loaded yet.
I can echo all replies to your question. Balcony cabins are a must for an Alaska cruise. Just sitting on your own little private outside space having breakfast and seeing the glaciers up close and personal is a once in a lifetime experience. We were lucky enough to witness what is called "calving" when a big chunk of the glacier fell into the sea. The other part of the cruise to remember is the closeness the ship comes to land when you travel the inside passage. It is magnificent. So book a balcony cabin as soon as possible. You won't regret it.
As mentioned, alot depends on what cruise itinerary. We've booked a September 18, 2007 on Dawn Princess and, as of February 07, all the balconies were booked. This may be because the ship does a round-trip out of San Francisco. But, we were wait listed in the middle of January and booked near the end of January when one balcony became available. Every room on this ship is booked except for window rooms.
If you have an agency that doesn't charge cancelation fees or just "small" ones, which your priority for a balcony- I would book it as soon as they become available. If no fees, you can consider double booking, if your vacation dates change?
My opinion only, I never get a balcony. I like front viewing from on deck. No worse for wear, and I have to speculate I see way more than the average passenger. The significant cost savings are worth it for me. Go with what your cabin priorities are and enjoy Alaska!!!
We booked our cruise last March and got a sweet aft wrap around balcony...Book as soon as you can..
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain
We are sailing this coming June 8 and I just upgraded us to a balcony cabin only 3 months out from sailing date. The 2 lowest priced ones were sold out and my TA recommended going with concierge class, which was less expensive than the A class balcony cabin. So, for $100 less than A class, we now have all the benefits of the concierge service. Gotta love it!
My concern with not having a balcony is that it appears you don't even have a window that will open for fresh air. I, for one, can't sleep without a window cracked for air. That's something to think about - being stuck for a week without fresh AIR!