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Petoonya

Inside or balcony?

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Have a very expensive choice to make. On a May 2020 Bliss Alaska sailing a minimum inside with one perk costs $1800 less that minimum balcony with all perks. I can stand an inside, and I'm holding one, but sure would prefer the balcony. My dilemma is that I've already spent a small fortune on a cruise that departs right before this one. It's an 18 day Tahiti on Oceania which is very costly especially with airfare. I figured we'd wait a year before booking anything else but here we are.

 

This Alaska cruise was sprung on us a few weeks ago. I can't get out of it as it's a family cruise. The timing is bad as I already feel "cruise poor" in spending so much money on myself for cruises next spring. I'm not even including pet sitting for two dogs and four cats. 28 days away from home and a petsitter adds up.

 

I read somewhere here that the value of all perks together is about $700-800, so if that's true I'm deciding if the balcony is worth $1200.  Realize that in Alaska it is especially nice to have a balcony as there is so much to see- I have been before but never to Glacier Bay as this cruise does.

 

Only I can make the decision certainly based on my available funds. But curious what you'd do. Thanks.

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How many people would be in the cabin with you?

 

How much time do you typically spend in the cabin?

 

Will there be other cabins in your overall family that you can utilize (balcony wise, sofa wise, etc) if you keep an inside?

 

How often do you use each perk/which perks do you use?

 

I need more information before I can tell you what I'd do.  😁

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43 minutes ago, Petoonya said:

I read somewhere here that the value of all perks together is about $700-800, so if that's true I'm deciding if the balcony is worth $1200.

I wasn't subtracting correctly. The value of the balcony is $1000.

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For us personally, the balcony with all the perks wouldn't be worth the price difference.

 

With the inside, you'll already be getting the highest value perk, in the drink package.  We were in Alaska about a year and a half ago and, while it would have been nice to have a balcony, we didn't feel like it was absolutely necessary.

Especially considering your situation, if it were me, I'd stay with the inside.

But some people find it necessary to have a balcony for Alaska.

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4 minutes ago, LeesaB said:

How many people would be in the cabin with you?

 

How much time do you typically spend in the cabin?

 

Will there be other cabins in your overall family that you can utilize (balcony wise, sofa wise, etc) if you keep an inside?

 

How often do you use each perk/which perks do you use?

 

I need more information before I can tell you what I'd do.  😁

Just 2 in the cabin.

 

We are readers and might spend an afternoon, definitely the evenings reading. Not into the shows.

 

No- everyone has a balcony only. No Haven, no large balconies.

 

We'd use all the perks although we aren't big drinkers.

 

 

Edited by Petoonya

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3 minutes ago, MNcruisingcouple said:

For us personally, the balcony with all the perks wouldn't be worth the price difference.

 

With the inside, you'll already be getting the highest value perk, in the drink package.  We were in Alaska about a year and a half ago and, while it would have been nice to have a balcony, we didn't feel like it was absolutely necessary.

Especially considering your situation, if it were me, I'd stay with the inside.

But some people find it necessary to have a balcony for Alaska.

Thanks....I'm leaning your way. Think I'd rather put the extra $1k into excursions.

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3 minutes ago, Petoonya said:

Thanks....I'm leaning your way. Think I'd rather put the extra $1k into excursions.

 

Agree 100% about using the $ for excursions.  There are some awesome ones in Alaska.  

Have fun!

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I'd keep the inside and make friends with the observation deck.  Buy the internet package online so you save 10% or whatever it is. 

 

Some sailings get that "pick airfare for free" OR "an additional $50 shore excursion credit right now... so you might be able to swing either of those in addition to the drinks package (assumed chosen perk for inside cabin) if your sailing is eligible.

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I have taken 2 Alaska  cruises and a balcony for an Alaskan cruise is way  over rated!

 

For the inside passage you will want to be up on deck so that you can see BOTH sides.

 

You miss an entire side from your balcony.   Also for any glacier stops, the ship pulls up about  1/4 mile from the glacier on one side.  What if your balcony is not on that side of viewing the glacier?  You  will be forced to go up on deck anyway.

 

Plus, in Alaska,  you will not really want to be out on the balcony  very long  while at sea.  With air temps between 45-55 degrees  F,  you will freeze  quickly or be wrapped in many blankets.

 

Save the cost  of a balcony.  I find balcony rooms best for CAribbean  or  South PAcific  or  MEdit.  cruises  where you can enjoy  your favorite drink as you sail away from  port.

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Don't overextend yourself if you're not comfortable with it. 

 

What if you look at booking the  sailaway rate with no perks?  You don't get to choose your cabin, bur since you're not a big drinker, the price difference and gratuity may be much more than you'd spend on beverages if you just pay as you go.  Price it out.

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Jeez, thanks everyone. I think you've made my decision for me. I didn't mention that I also have $250 shipboard credit to use towards dining/internet. We're the only one in the group without a balcony and were feeling kind of "lowly". But the inside is the smart choice. And my pocketbook will be grateful when we return.

Thanks! 🙂

Edited by Petoonya

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19 minutes ago, Mike_DeA said:

Don't overextend yourself if you're not comfortable with it. 

 

What if you look at booking the  sailaway rate with no perks?  You don't get to choose your cabin, bur since you're not a big drinker, the price difference and gratuity may be much more than you'd spend on beverages if you just pay as you go.  Price it out.

I don't think I'm comfortable with a sailaway. I'd hate to end up on a deck where I'm not sandwiched between decks with cabins. Deck 5 is noisy. Going with the greatest chance of noise protection I can get.

But thanks!

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27 minutes ago, LeesaB said:

I'd keep the inside and make friends with the observation deck.  Buy the internet package online so you save 10% or whatever it is. 

 

Some sailings get that "pick airfare for free" OR "an additional $50 shore excursion credit right now... so you might be able to swing either of those in addition to the drinks package (assumed chosen perk for inside cabin) if your sailing is eligible.

Ooooh. I like that. I'll check out the extra perk right now. Thanks!

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16 minutes ago, Petoonya said:

I don't think I'm comfortable with a sailaway. I'd hate to end up on a deck where I'm not sandwiched between decks with cabins. Deck 5 is noisy. Going with the greatest chance of noise protection I can get.

But thanks!

 

You're welcome.  Yes, sailaways/guarantees are are not for everyone.  Good luck!

Edited by Mike_DeA

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I was on an Alaska cruise in a studio. Granted, Bliss has the virtual window in their studios which was really nice, but I spent a lot of time in the observation lounge. (Though it's way easier to find a seat as a solo!) I probably would have spent more on the waterfront, but they didn't have the heaters on every time I went out there. 

 

Plus, with everyone else in the family having balconies you can just stop by their's to say hi! :classic_biggrin:

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I'm not an inside cabin person, but with that price differential and the fact that you are just coming off a long Tahiti cruise, I would strongly consider the inside. Or maybe upgrade slightly to an oceanview to at least get some natural sunlight coming in.

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My choice would always be an aft balcony on an Alaskan cruise. I used mine all the time on my last two Alaskan cruises.

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I agree with others.. do not over extend just for the balcony.  Book the inside now.  Watch for price drops; maybe you can upgrade later.  If not, no worries...plenty of people enjoy Alaska cruise with inside cabins.

 

Since it is a family cruise, if possible I might try to place my inside cabin in close proximity to a favorite relative’s balcony cabin.  No, it’s not the same as having your own balcony, but hanging with the right loved one is pretty sweet, too.

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I just came from an Alaskan cruise on the Norwegian Bliss, which ended this past Sunday.

If you want to save some money, don't get the balcony. It's utterly unnecessary. My stateroom, a mini-suite, did have a balcony, which I very rarely used. The Norwegian Bliss has a gorgeous almost 360 degrees lounge called the Observation Lounge on Deck 15, and it was my favorite spot. Even though we did have a balcony, we chose to go to the Observation Lounge for the Glacier Bay part of the trip, as it provided a much better view than what we had from our balcony. The Observation Lounge is very tastefully appointed, has a nice bar, good snack food, recliner chairs, lounge chairs, a piano, the works! Much more pleasant than our cabin, which we used basically to sleep. The Norwegian Bliss has many entertainment options. You won't be in your cabin that much while awake, and when you are, it's not always that you'll need a view (you may just have open ocean around, or distant land). Do I regret having had a cabin with a balcony? No. It was nice to have the balcony. But I'm just saying, I used it very, very rarely, so, my cruise wouldn't have been much worse if I had an interior cabin. 

 

Not to forget, I agree with the other poster who said the temperatures are low. I often did not stay in my balcony because it was too cold, with the wind caused by the ship's speed.

 

Enjoy! Glacier Bay is absolutely gorgeous, and the high point of the trip.

 

If you care for some additional advice on the Norwegian Bliss, don't miss La Cucina, their Italian restaurant. It is outstanding. We also greatly enjoyed Food Republic and Los Lobos. Paradoxically, we didn't like Le Bistro and Ocean Blue as much. For a relaxed, non-rushed, non-buffet breakfast, go to The Local.

Edited by Luigi007

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You mentioned noise protection: I found that my cabin on Deck 9 of the Norwegian Bliss was extremely silent. I never heard any noise from the neighboring cabins, or from the one on top. When the sea was rough and the ship rocked a bit more, there were some structural pops. For the two nights when it happened, I simply used a pair of foam ear plugs and slept like a log.

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You aren't big drinkers. We aren't either. But the booze package did make sense for us. We'd each have some 3 to 4 drinks per day, my wife basically almost always drinking the Norwegian Bliss' very good prosecco, and I varied a bit more, with red wine, white wine, and some Mai Tais, Mojitos, and caipirinhas. I figured that if I had paid for each drink we had during the 7-day cruise we'd have spent twice as much as what the drinks package costs. 

 

Internet: we got the 250 minutes WiFi package and in 7 days we used about 200 minutes. I think you typically don't need more; when you're cruising you want to relax and enjoy your spouse, not necessarily be on social media contacting all your friends or reading the news online. We actually could have used just 150 minutes... the last day we used more, just because we could.

 

Remember, in four of these 7 days you'll be in ports of call, which do have cellular service, so when we needed bigger online presence, we saved it for our Sprint cellular data allowance when on shore.

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Thanks for the help everyone. We're going to stick to our plan with the inside. Tahiti is really expensive and we're committed to that for 18 days and return just 2 weeks before Alaska. But we can save a little dough with the inside on Alaska. I'd rather do a few more snorkel excursions in Tahiti to be honest. Done Alaska  several times before and know a balcony isn't a necessity. I think my pride is suffering seeing as how we're the only ones doing the inside in this family. Oh ego......... 😞

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59 minutes ago, Petoonya said:

Thanks for the help everyone. We're going to stick to our plan with the inside. Tahiti is really expensive and we're committed to that for 18 days and return just 2 weeks before Alaska. But we can save a little dough with the inside on Alaska. I'd rather do a few more snorkel excursions in Tahiti to be honest. Done Alaska  several times before and know a balcony isn't a necessity. I think my pride is suffering seeing as how we're the only ones doing the inside in this family. Oh ego......... 😞

LOL for the ego thing...

 

I met people on the ship who were in more expensive accommodations than ours, and seemed less wealthy and less sophisticated than we are, and met people who were in less expensive accommodations than ours, and seemed wealthier and more sophisticated than we are...

 

With many cruises selling out fast, the kind of cabin someone has is not always a close match to what that person can afford or is used to. Besides, the value of human beings is hardly a match to how much money they have. I know some humble people who are much better human beings and much more fun to be around than some wealthy people I also know. 

 

One of the things I enjoyed while cruising, was the fact that almost with no exceptions, everybody was very friendly and outspoken and we made friends everywhere, regardless of social class.

 

So, put your pride aside, relax, and enjoy the trip!

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We ALWAYS book Inside so we can afford about 80 days a year at sea.   Our cabin is for sleeping, there are plenty of other places on the ship for everything else.

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7 hours ago, Petoonya said:

Thanks for the help everyone. We're going to stick to our plan with the inside. Tahiti is really expensive and we're committed to that for 18 days and return just 2 weeks before Alaska. But we can save a little dough with the inside on Alaska. I'd rather do a few more snorkel excursions in Tahiti to be honest. Done Alaska  several times before and know a balcony isn't a necessity. I think my pride is suffering seeing as how we're the only ones doing the inside in this family. Oh ego......... 😞

Eh.  Don't worry about the Ego.  I have done the same thing on a family cruise.  My MIL was in a suite, My Fiancee and her daughter in a balcony and I was in an inside.  It never came up as an issue or attack on my pride :)   But yeah, for that price, I would go inside all day long.  

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