We usually book a "guarantee" cabin. There is a certain amount of suspense and excitement in checking the cruise website every day, until finally a cabin is assigned. Sometimes that will be five months before the cruise, but usually 30-60 days. We have been disappointed a few times, especially on Celebrity and NCL. On the other hand, Princess and Carnival have given us some wonderful cabins. Princess once upgraded us from a mini-suite to a FULL suite! Our t.a. had never seen this happen before.
For our March 14 cruise on the Carnival Miracle we booked a balcony guarantee We were given an 8-I with an oversize balcony located at mid ship. Thanks, again, Carnival. You've made us happy campers again!
Normally I would hear about the cabin assignment from my TA, but in this case, it came on the Carnival site over the weekend when the agency was closed. I hope my TA will not be disappointed when she gets my email Monday telling her the good news before she has a chance to tell me.