Sorry Ruth, just noticed your question. For some unknown to me reason, HAL will not typically allow a rate to be adjusted on a paid in full booking even if it is not within the penalty period. They have a lot of different promotions with different rules. They frequently run promotions called SWAT rates (usually guarantee status, random assignments) and another that is common called a 5 Day sale promo. When you book one of these rates they're very low cost but have some strings attached. You have to pay in full at the time of booking regardless of the date of the booking. Also on these, they go into full (100%) penalty as soon as they're booked. So if you don't add cancellation insurance and have to cancel for ANY reason (even medical) there is no refund of any portion of the fare, only the tax is refunded (they're required to refund the tax).
This is not meant to scare you away from HAL, they are a great cruiseline and the best fit for many clients. You just need to know that their rules are often differnt from the rest of the cruise industry. Never pay a HAL booking in full unless it's required and always ask if there are any restrictions/special requirements on the rate code you're booking.
Ruth, If you ever see a rate reduction with any cruiseline, including HAL after you've booked, be sure to call your agent and ask to have it reduced. If they refuse to do so, ask for onboard credit in the amount of the difference. Some promos allow some types of adjustments that others do not. Since each of the lines have so many differing policies and promotions it never hurts to ask. Occasionally I'll get to a Supervisor that will bend the rules, cancel and re-book if possible (also against their rules) or find some way to accommodate my clients. It is very rare and becoming more so. But you kind of get to know a few of the folks over the years that will try hard for for clients and agents and ask for them. Sometimes the cruiseline agents won't transfer you. You have to give the reason for wanting to speak to a Supv. If you get the wrong person on the call and they notate your booking, it becomes futile and even those who would have helped have their hands tied.
It's really frustrating at times and I'm not generally a guy who would ever go around the rules. But once you discover that there are some ways the right person in a position of authority can help your client with a situation that shouldn't require going around the rules to accomplish (well, maybe I'm justifying doing the wrong thing here but I'm a whole lot more concerned about the client than the corporation's script) I do it anyway.
Whatever the outcome, have a great cruise and it's always worth a call.
Being a Canadian, we are anxious to pay before our dollar loses it's value against the American dollar.
We are going on a Disney cruise (booked through the Disney web site) and I called last week and the cruise has actually increased in price - $50. more a person but we pay the price initially quoted. I don't think that Disney ever lowers their prices.
Now, it is just hard to wait for our April, 2008 cruise.