I just phoned the hotel this morning and asked to speak to someone in guest services. Took 5 minutes for them to put me through to someone at the front desk - she made it sound like "guest services" was something totally unheard of. When I finally spoke to someone, I told him I realized there could be no guarantees, but would appreciate it if we could be assigned to a room with a balcony. He told me only 3 deluxe rooms have balconies and the chances of getting one were very, very slim. He plugged my request into the computer, but left me with the distinct impression that I have a snowball's chance in hell of getting one. Oh well, we'll have to wait and see. I finally got my Loews card in the mail. It says upgrade (if available) at time of reservation, so I mentioned it to him. He "snorted" at me and said upgrades are only given out at check-in. Both the web site and the brochure that came with the card say "at time of reservation" when you're using your Loews card for the first time. It's not that I can't understand why they wait until check-in, but why publish one thing and practice another? I'm just a little disappointed at how I felt by the time I hung up - like it was silly of me to have even phoned.