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Booking question for 2022


RAS4331
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Hello,

We're looking at cruises for the early part of 2022.  When I select my cabin type (verandah), and pick the option to choose my own stateroom, the choices are extremely limited.  I'm only offered aft cabins on lower decks.  When I try to select a higher deck or a forward cabin, it says "not available."  Can all those cabins possibly be already booked, or am I doing something wrong?  Or maybe they don't release all the cabins till a later date? 

I'm doing all this on the Holland America website, not a third party site.  (and when it comes down to it, I'll book through my travel agent but right now I'm just looking at options on my own). 

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2 hours ago, RAS4331 said:

Hello,

We're looking at cruises for the early part of 2022.  When I select my cabin type (verandah), and pick the option to choose my own stateroom, the choices are extremely limited.  I'm only offered aft cabins on lower decks.  When I try to select a higher deck or a forward cabin, it says "not available."  Can all those cabins possibly be already booked, or am I doing something wrong?  Or maybe they don't release all the cabins till a later date? 

I'm doing all this on the Holland America website, not a third party site.  (and when it comes down to it, I'll book through my travel agent but right now I'm just looking at options on my own). 

I'm getting the same problem.  I don't want an aft cabin as I prefer mid-ship-forward.  I don't know what HAL is doing with their on-line booking program.  Have you tried doing a dummy booking on another site (big box store)???

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My understanding is that  many cabins are held for awhile because so many folks choose the lower priced guarantee option without the extra perks.  Still best, in my opinion, to book your preferred category and hope for an upgrade, though I think they will be rare when everyone feels safe to travel.  Every time a new "sale" comes along, stuff starts moving around.  View and Verandah ends Feb 28.

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Are you clicking the “mid ship” on the ship diagram?  Or changing the location where it says aft to mid ship?  If you don’t, you’ll only see aft cabins.

 

If you are and the choices are limited, another option is to type in different cabin numbers.  HAL only shows 10 cabins max in each category and they are not always the best cabins.  If the cabin you type in is available, it can be booked.

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A related question (not sure if it should just be a new thread).

I have never seen anyone mention use of the Personal Cruise Consultant (PCC) with HAL for their bookings. It is not something we have ever used with other lines as I prefer to review my options myself (maybe a fear I am going to be upsold?). However, with this being our first HAL cruise and getting older and perhaps lazier I am tempted to just connect with a PCC to get my questions (like the posted one which i also have) answered. Is there any advantage to researching and booking through a PCC? Would that increase or decrease the chance of getting a free upgrade?

 

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1 hour ago, rodndonna said:

A related question (not sure if it should just be a new thread).

I have never seen anyone mention use of the Personal Cruise Consultant (PCC) with HAL for their bookings. It is not something we have ever used with other lines as I prefer to review my options myself (maybe a fear I am going to be upsold?). However, with this being our first HAL cruise and getting older and perhaps lazier I am tempted to just connect with a PCC to get my questions (like the posted one which i also have) answered. Is there any advantage to researching and booking through a PCC? Would that increase or decrease the chance of getting a free upgrade?

 

I use the services of a HAL PCC and have been very pleased.   When I booked cruises recently, the PCC really came through for me with all options available.  She also did a good job of steering us in the right direction to save quite a bit of money on the last booking we made.  Hopefully, that one will actually sail.  She has been good about refares when prices go down before final payment.  One time prices really took a drop after final payment.  I made a casual remark about that, not asking for a refare, and she got me a cabin upgrade.   

 

The nice thing is that it is your choice whether to use the services of a PCC or not.  You can give it a try and if you don't care for it, don't use them in the future.   I do find that the PCC is generally more informed than the regular reservations agent.  Or, more willing to ask and find out.

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2 minutes ago, dfish said:

I use the services of a HAL PCC and have been very pleased.   When I booked cruises recently, the PCC really came through for me with all options available.  She also did a good job of steering us in the right direction to save quite a bit of money on the last booking we made.  Hopefully, that one will actually sail.  She has been good about refares when prices go down before final payment.  One time prices really took a drop after final payment.  I made a casual remark about that, not asking for a refare, and she got me a cabin upgrade.   

 

The nice thing is that it is your choice whether to use the services of a PCC or not.  You can give it a try and if you don't care for it, don't use them in the future.   I do find that the PCC is generally more informed than the regular reservations agent.  Or, more willing to ask and find out.

Thanks dfish,

 

I think we will give it a try with HAL. I don't think there is anything to lose by it other that if they become pesky and we have to go through a PCC 'breakup'. We did once contact a PCC on Carnival once for questions, but then she called us endlessly so we just had to ignore her and ended up booked on-line. We felt bad but, she was just too pushy. 

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1 minute ago, rodndonna said:

Thanks dfish,

 

I think we will give it a try with HAL. I don't think there is anything to lose by it other that if they become pesky and we have to go through a PCC 'breakup'. We did once contact a PCC on Carnival once for questions, but then she called us endlessly so we just had to ignore her and ended up booked on-line. We felt bad but, she was just too pushy. 

Mine has called a few times, but nothing like you describe.  She called after a cruise to ask how everything went.   She also called once when I had been searching through cruises on the website.  I explained to her I did that to dream, but really wasn't looking to book anything at that time.  We had a good conversation about my cruising preferences and how often I looked to cruise.   She always respected that.

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Just now, dfish said:

Mine has called a few times, but nothing like you describe.  She called after a cruise to ask how everything went.   She also called once when I had been searching through cruises on the website.  I explained to her I did that to dream, but really wasn't looking to book anything at that time.  We had a good conversation about my cruising preferences and how often I looked to cruise.   She always respected that.

THAT! was my problem - it seemed our CCL PCC got a ping every time i was searching the site and  called (which was alot) I think this time I know better to just have that frank "what do we expect from a PCC and where is this relationship going" discussion at the start to set the ground rules (-: 

 

Although we are looking at spring 2022 and I like to hope things are pretty normal by then,  it would be nice to have someone to call  this time if changes/cancellations are required .

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11 hours ago, RAS4331 said:

Hello,

We're looking at cruises for the early part of 2022.  When I select my cabin type (verandah), and pick the option to choose my own stateroom, the choices are extremely limited.  I'm only offered aft cabins on lower decks.  When I try to select a higher deck or a forward cabin, it says "not available."  Can all those cabins possibly be already booked, or am I doing something wrong?  Or maybe they don't release all the cabins till a later date? 

I'm doing all this on the Holland America website, not a third party site.  (and when it comes down to it, I'll book through my travel agent but right now I'm just looking at options on my own). 

Since you plan to book through a travel agent anyway, why not just go through the deckplans, make a list of preferred cabins---in order of preference---and have the TA find out if any are available? If the cabins are in order of preference you could even have the TA book, or put a hold on, a cabin right then and there, if you wanted. 

That's what a TA is for! No need to do all that frustrating work yourself. The HAL website is horrible, and it's especially bad when you are trying to select the cabin you want. 

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3 hours ago, rodndonna said:

A related question (not sure if it should just be a new thread).

I have never seen anyone mention use of the Personal Cruise Consultant (PCC) with HAL for their bookings. It is not something we have ever used with other lines as I prefer to review my options myself (maybe a fear I am going to be upsold?). However, with this being our first HAL cruise and getting older and perhaps lazier I am tempted to just connect with a PCC to get my questions (like the posted one which i also have) answered. Is there any advantage to researching and booking through a PCC? Would that increase or decrease the chance of getting a free upgrade?

 

We’ve used a PCC for all thirteen of our bookings. They have been wonderful, no “upsell” at all. He recommends options, makes changes when sales would give us a better deal and gives us a derailed comparison to help us decide, watches for when a more desirable suite is available, gets us perks for birthdays and anniversaries and calls if there is anything we should know. When our last cruise was cancelled he called the very next morning to talk about which booked cruise we wanted to move our FCC and OBC to. I can’t say enough about the service we receive. 

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First, the website it not working well.  I got locked in to aft the way you mentioned and when I tried to switch to mid it wouldn’t allow me to select that.  So it is definitely not working smoothly now and  an awful lot of cabins showed booked even though it had just opened.

 

I think the PCC vary,  the one we had assigned was not very helpful.  And as we use a TA we just now go through them.  

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12 hours ago, kazu said:

Are you clicking the “mid ship” on the ship diagram?  Or changing the location where it says aft to mid ship?  If you don’t, you’ll only see aft cabins.

 

If you are and the choices are limited, another option is to type in different cabin numbers.  HAL only shows 10 cabins max in each category and they are not always the best cabins.  If the cabin you type in is available, it can be booked.

That is what finally worked for me -- the deck I wanted was coming up as unavailable, but when I typed in a cabin number on that deck, it was available!  Thank you!!

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5 minutes ago, RAS4331 said:

That is what finally worked for me -- the deck I wanted was coming up as unavailable, but when I typed in a cabin number on that deck, it was available!  Thank you!!

 

YAY - glad I could help.  It’s worked for me before 🙂 
Glad it did for you 😄 

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A knowledgeable travel agent will know how to access the full inventory in your preferred category / location for your sailing. As HAL sell many “collectors cruises” made up of of one or more segments be aware that either the segment or collectors cruise may only have a very limited number of rooms allocated for that particular way of booking. The inventory control department determines, based on historical booking patterns, which way of booking gets the bulk of the inventory allocated. Room selection with HAL can be more complex as a result. 
 

I was recently looking at a 21 day European cruise for someone.  None of her preferred rooms were available booking the 21 day segment. However if she booked that cruise as a 35 day collectors cruises (including the following 14 day segment) ALL of her preferred rooms were available for the 35 day option. 
 

The HAL website is good for some things, but for specific cabin availability a knowledgeable travel agent is worth their weight in gold!

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11 hours ago, IslandThyme said:

Is it allowed to name PCCs here? I would really like to have the name of a good one!

No, it is not allowed. Nor are we to ask someone to email us with that info, or solicit an email offering to send that info. 
Sorry. 

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12 hours ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

A knowledgeable travel agent will know how to access the full inventory in your preferred category / location for your sailing. As HAL sell many “collectors cruises” made up of of one or more segments be aware that either the segment or collectors cruise may only have a very limited number of rooms allocated for that particular way of booking. The inventory control department determines, based on historical booking patterns, which way of booking gets the bulk of the inventory allocated. Room selection with HAL can be more complex as a result. 
 

I was recently looking at a 21 day European cruise for someone.  None of her preferred rooms were available booking the 21 day segment. However if she booked that cruise as a 35 day collectors cruises (including the following 14 day segment) ALL of her preferred rooms were available for the 35 day option. 
 

The HAL website is good for some things, but for specific cabin availability a knowledgeable travel agent is worth their weight in gold!

Thanks, that's good information!

 

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23 hours ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

A knowledgeable travel agent will know how to access the full inventory in your preferred category / location for your sailing. As HAL sell many “collectors cruises” made up of of one or more segments be aware that either the segment or collectors cruise may only have a very limited number of rooms allocated for that particular way of booking. The inventory control department determines, based on historical booking patterns, which way of booking gets the bulk of the inventory allocated. Room selection with HAL can be more complex as a result. 
 

I was recently looking at a 21 day European cruise for someone.  None of her preferred rooms were available booking the 21 day segment. However if she booked that cruise as a 35 day collectors cruises (including the following 14 day segment) ALL of her preferred rooms were available for the 35 day option. 
 

The HAL website is good for some things, but for specific cabin availability a knowledgeable travel agent is worth their weight in gold!

 

And, as you are being very modest, "a knowledgeable travel agent," such as you, will save the cruiser anywhere from 10 to 13%.  This has been my personal experience over the course of 20 consecutive years of ocean cruising with three different independent (no big box, no "online only") travel agents!

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