Two people from the wait list got confirmed this week, but I don't know if it was from cancellations. However, I also know of at least two instances where remaining roommates found and selected a person on their own. (One was on the message boards, and some of the responders were offering to pay for both their own spot and that of the vacancy poster. Don't know if they succeeded.)
On the surface, the hand picking seems completely unfair and wrong. You're barely in the room anyway; who cares if you are BFF, right? But on the other hand, this person will have access to all your stuff. There's only one safe in the room. Most people on the wait list are probably not thieving scuzzbags, but do you take the chance?
@knlsmom also pointed out that if you do a name change, you only pay $100, but if you have a cancelation, you forfeit at least 25% of your payment. That seems to discourage using the wait list too.
Please let me know what you think in the comments.
UPDATE: Early poll results show that most people would hand pick. So I've started a thread for people looking for cruise spots to post their wanted ads and tell us about themselves. We're a calmer group, I think, than ning, so please take advantage of this space to find a roomie if you need one.