Good luck with a balcony stateroom on HAL UNLESS you have a cruisetour.
We called Hal regarding our family reunion to Alaska in June of '08. We sailed with Princess to Alaska in '05 and wanted to sail with Hal this time. We were told HAL reserves their balcony staterooms for passengers that are going on a cruisetour. We did not plan a cruisetour so we are going with Princess again. We will be leaving out of Vancouver to Whittier.
We were told there were very few balcony staterooms left over. Maybe you will get lucky. We were told to call back in May. Princess will have their prices in April, so that was another factor in going with Princess again.
Bandrews - Thanks for the reminder about HAL holding their balconies for the cruisetour passengers. I had forgotten about that!!
gsel - Hello neighbor! I live in Justin. Now, please tell me...just exactly how did you score the balcony without purchasing the cruisetour? And was this fairly recent when you were able to do this?
I want to do our own independent tour and then take a southbound one-way from Seward to Vancouver. Might have to consider another cruise line for 2008 if HAL won't let me book a balcony without the cruisetour.
Carnival Conquest - 3/07
RCCL Rhapsody of the Seas - 5/05
Carnival Elation - 3/04
Another thing I forgot, Hal told us we could have a balcony if we booked a round trip cruise. Hal doesn't or didn't include Glacier Bay on any of the round trips and Glacier Bay was really important to us. Also, we wanted to leave out of Vancouver and not Seattle. IMO, I think there is much more scenery leaving out of Vancouver. We arrived Vancouver a day early to tour Vancouver. What a beautiful city !!! Also, on this site you will get pro's and con's regarding a balcony, however in my opinion a balcony heightens your whole Alaska experience.
I wish you luck, if not check out Princess, or Royal Carribean (if Glacier Bay is not a priority. R.C goes to Icy Strait Point and Sawyer Glacier). I have not sailed with the other ships to Alaska so I can't offer an opion on those.