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GenghisQuan

On which itineraries are balconies worth it?

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Some places, like Alaska, you want a balcony because you want to be able to see that rugged coastline, and you also want to have your own private glacier viewing deck.

 

Are there any places where you think an oceanview window or even just an inside cabin is fine, as a couple of glances at the port from one of the weather decks when you're pulling in or leaving is sufficient?

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Some people won't sail without a balcony.  I can do well without it.  It would be wonderful to have one sailing through the Norwegian fjords...But then, there is scenery on both sides...I viewed it from an open deck.  Same with Venice.  Same with the Panama Canal, even though once I had a balcony.  I've also done Alaska twice in an inside.  It's all what you want to spend money on.  

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Have had a balcony in the Panama Canal (and Mexican Riviera) and around Cape Horn (i.e. the Alaska of the Southern Hemisphere) -- it was too hot to enjoy the balcony on the first cruise and too cold on the second. What we discovered is it's the big window and lots of natural light that are important. Hence we have booked Panoramic Oceanviews on Royal Caribbean (one sailed, one in the future) -- best of both worlds. Oceanviews on the Lower Promenade Deck on R-class Holland America ships is another fine compromise -- just steps from the biggest balcony on the ship, the actual promenade.

 

We do have Princess Mini-suites booked for Alaska, because two Mini's were cheaper than three OVs for the five of us. Temps have been rising higher and sooner in the year on the cruise route, so maybe it will be warm enough to get some use out of the balconies.

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On 6/14/2019 at 7:29 PM, Essiesmom said:

Some people won't sail without a balcony.  I can do well without it.  It would be wonderful to have one sailing through the Norwegian fjords...But then, there is scenery on both sides...I viewed it from an open deck.  Same with Venice.  Same with the Panama Canal, even though once I had a balcony.  I've also done Alaska twice in an inside.  It's all what you want to spend money on.  

We had a porthole on Hurtigruten's Norwegian coastal cruise.  It was fine but we're going for a window next time.  But it's so easy to get on deck that I don't find it a deal breaker.

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Having a balcony is a must for us. Always having the option of that quiet private outdoor space = priceless !

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If you do your research on the different ships a balcony can be fun to have.  If you are going to hot climate; then look for a ship that has a balcony that may be partially covered; that way the sun won't beat down directly into the balcony.  I have sailed in aft cabins twice and all the way forward cabin once; they all had balconies.  I would take the aft cabin every time.  Would not book forward balcony;  had one and it was too windy.  Have had mini suite mid ship; which was nice;  had balcony cabin on Allure of the seas back in boardwalk area;  this was nice; you could see the aqua show, the ocean and the boardwalk activity all together.  

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We have not cruised much.  On all but one cruise, we’ve had a balcony.  On our last trip we got the last outside cabin available.   It was “ocean view,” which was a porthole.  I learned that I really really want that balcony.  Even if I don’t sit on the balcony much, I like to be able to open the slider for fresh air; I like to step out to see what’s around me.  I felt like I had spent 12 days in a cave!  

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bbstx,   you  have made a good choice with selecting a balcony cabin;  all good reasons to book one

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We've sailed in the Royal Suite as well as the smallest porthole cabin.  It really depends on the itinerary. We had a balcony on a small ship in Tahiti and almost never used it, as we were too busy being off the ship onshore doing things.  We had no balcony two weeks in the Med and never missed it--on a port intensive cruise on a small ship we just didn't need it.  

Our opinion is that on a small ship it's just not that important as there are plenty of places to sit in the fresh air without crowds.  On a large ship, I wouldn't cruise without a balcony--if I ever sail on one again.

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It really depends on how you wish to use the balcony. If you want a place to sit and relax for several hours a day, you won't get much use of it on a cold climate cruise (Alaska or Norwegian fjords). If you primarily want a place for viewing scenery without looking over someone else's shoulder, a balcony would give you that view in any climate. But not much scenery on a transatlantic cruise. If your cruise has you in port most days you also may not get much use of the balcony. We have cruised worldwide and usually book a balcony cabin because we like having the large windows and being able to step outside to check the weather in the morning and watch arrival and departures in port. However, some cruisers prefer the coziness of an inside cabin and don't miss a balcony while others find them claustrophobic. 

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I'd argue that balconies are actually pretty good to have for Alaska cruises, where you can get good views of glaciers and such without having to push your way in front of lots of people (and also without a window in the way of good photos).

 

So basically, it seems like balcony isn't completely necessary if there aren't places specifically known for "omg byootiful coastlines" and also if getting the occasional breath of fresh air isn't a hard need.

 

We may try one of those for Mexican Riviera or Caribbean.

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Alaska...great to have a balcony especially a true aft.....bundled up in PJ's with a blanket and hot chocolate watching the views especially on glacier days.

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Do people generally find balconies necessary for Caribbean, Mediterranean, Mexican Riviera, or Panama Canal itineraries?

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On Panama Canal transits, a balcony is handy to be driven inside by the sun and heat. That way your bed is handy for a nap!

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I want a balcony no matter WHERE I'm cruising!  I love being able to access the outdoors without leaving my space!  If you can't afford balconies every time, then that's ok...you can see all you need to from the public decks....but a balcony just makes it easier!

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On 6/26/2019 at 7:49 PM, GenghisQuan said:

Do people generally find balconies necessary for Caribbean, Mediterranean, Mexican Riviera, or Panama Canal itineraries?

I do!  It is, however , a very personal thing.  Some people go by the "I only shower/sleep in my cabin, so inside is fine theory.  I go by the "enjoy my own private space on occasion" theory, and I need that space to be more than a glorified closet!!  To each his/her own. 🙂

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You'll want a balcony if sailing to Hawaii for all them sea days

 

For Alaska I actually prefer Ocean View...

 

 

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I want a balcony on ANY itinerary.  Tried an OV cabin once...and that was once too much.  Would never ever consider an inside cabin...ever.

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The blurry residue obscuring the window from about 0:04 of that video seems like the biggest argument against an OV for Alaska unless it's significantly cheaper than going balcony.

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I've cruised in both inside and balcony cabins and enjoyed both.  My decision is based more on price than itinerary.  We don't spend much time in the cabin so usually only book a balcony if it's a really good price.  

 

Two of the most beautiful sailaways that I've experienced were Venice and Kotor.  Even though we had a balcony cabin we ended up watching the sailaway from the public areas of the ship as it provided a better view.  In Venice we wanted to see the view from both sides of the ship.  In Kotor, we watched it from the back of the ship.  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So much of this is personal preference.  I prefer having a balcony as I like to watch as we enter ports, and personally I enjoy sitting out on the balcony reading or just sitting watching the sea go by.  I spend lots of time out there when we are not in port.  DW, on the other hand, is virtually never out on the veranda, and I am sure she could live without one.

 

We had a balcony is Alaska and expected to have breakfast out there with the couple we were traveling with, etc., but it was too cold the entire time including when we arrived in Vancouver!

 

 

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Like others have stated it's more of a personal preference.  I love it.  No I'm not out there a lot, but the view early in the morning pulling into a beautiful port.  Watching the sunrise on a sea day.  For me, it's worth it.

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