Has anyone had this problem? I want to cruise on Holland in August 2008, but I can't get a balcony room. Holland's Representative told me that I had to book a cruisetour to get a balcony room. Any ideas if the balcony rooms become available later on?
We had the same problem.
We have cruised Princess before and wanted to try HAL out of Vancouver in 2008 and were told the same thing.
We were told HAL saves the balcony staterooms for cruisetour passengers. They were happy for us to book another room and keep us on standby for a balcony. I was talking with HAL not a TA. He did say however, our chances of a balcony was much better if we did not want to book a one way cruise. That did not work for us, and we do not like standby. Too much money not to get what you want. We booked Princess with a balcony.
The problem here is that you are going through the cruise line instead of a TA. We booked a Seattle round-trip,cruise only, for June 08 on HAL. If you go to HAL they will tell you there are NO balcony cabins available on that cruise. The same day my TA gave me a choice of any category balcony I wanted. This has happened to me with RCI, too. I don't know if they reserve a certain number of cabins for TAs or what, but you can almost always get what you want through a TA.
The one on RCI was one-way and it was the same deal..... no balconies available through the cruise line, but any balcony category I wanted through my TA. From what I read on the boards, dealing with a cruise line directly is always a crapshoot. A good TA will get you what you want/need.