Enjoying a holiday on a cruise ship is a dream come true for many. If you have been saving up for a vacation, you want to make every dollar count. So, should you splurge when it comes time to select your cruise cabin? You’ll have many cabin types to choose from for your cruising adventure, and there are many factors to consider.
Booking a cabin with a balcony is one way to sail the ocean in style and have a private area to enjoy the fantastic views. But is it worth getting a balcony on a cruise?
So, Is It Worth Getting A Balcony On A Cruise?
Balcony cabins on cruise ships are more spacious due to the outside space. They have spectacular ocean views, fresh sea air, and a private seating area. Although these cabins are more expensive, the rewards of a private balcony sometimes outweigh the cost. If it fits within your budget, balcony cabins are worth it!
Read on for facts to consider when choosing the balcony option, and the different types of balcony staterooms on a cruise ship.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Balcony On A Cruise
Before deciding on whether to choose a balcony cabin for your cruising holiday, there are certain factors that you should consider, including size and price. Below we’ll look at these differences between a standard inside cabin and a balcony cabin.
Size Difference Of Balcony And Standard Cabins
When deciding is it worth getting a balcony on a cruise, room size is a top consideration. A cabin on a cruise ship with a balcony usually feels more spacious than a standard inside cabin. But, in reality, the square footage of a standard oceanview cabin and a balcony cabin is very close if not the same. Nevertheless, a balcony cabin may seem physically larger because the outside balcony area acts as an extension of the stateroom. The balcony area is typically separated from the cabin by floor-to-ceiling windows and a glass door leading onto it, which also serves to create a sense of added space.
Balcony aside, both cabin types are designed to sleep two to four persons. The four-sleeper cabin will have a pullout sofa that converts into a bed or a Pullman berth. You can expect that both types of cabins will have a small vanity, a mirror, a chair, and a private bathroom. A flat-screen TV, personal safe, and mini fridge are also standard features of all cabins on a cruise ship.
Price Difference Between Balcony And Standard Cabins
Is it worth getting a balcony on a cruise for the price? In the past, balcony cabins were almost double the price of inside standard cabins. But nowadays, balcony cabins could cost an excess of $100 or more per night than inside cabins. The price will depend on the view from the balcony. Is it an ocean view, which is more expensive, or a balcony with a view overlooking the inside of the ship?
Reasons To Pay Extra For A Balcony Cabin
Why pay extra for a balcony cabin? There are several reasons to choose this option. First, consider the absolute pleasure you will get from having your own private spot to sit back and relax with the full ocean view in front of you. Sitting on the balcony, sipping drinks, basking in the sunshine, watching the sunset over the ocean, or enjoying the moonlight, is priceless.
You also have an opportunity to spot wildlife like dolphins, whales, or sea birds. As you enter the port, you may see fishermen on the pier and other boats as they sail past the cruise ship.
Whether your balcony is port or starboard, the views will be spectacular no matter which side of the ship your cabin is positioned on, but we are partial to aft-facing balconies if you’re able to book one.
The extra space a balcony adds to a cabin is ideal for children. They can play, or sit out, on the balcony. And the fresh sea breeze wafting through the door is another good reason for choosing this cabin type. If you are prone to seasickness or are claustrophobic, being out in the fresh air on the balcony may help you feel better. This is another excellent reason to opt for a balcony.
Reasons To Avoid A Balcony Cabin On A Ship
There are a few downsides to choosing a cabin with a balcony. Your balcony will be spaced close to your neighbor’s so there’s a possibility you could be disturbed by unwanted noise. Usually, there is a strict no-smoking policy, but if one of your neighbors wants to smoke, there could be an unpleasant smell wafting your way. If the balcony overlooks the inside of the ship, neighbors opposite you will be able to see into your cabin.
Although most balconies on cruise ships are designed to be as safe as possible, you must always be careful about leaning over the railing. Remind children of the posing dangers, caution them on the safety rules, and never leave young children unattended. (Check out our tips for making your cruise cabin safe for babies!)
What About Upgrades On A Cruise Ship?
Sometimes, a cruise line will upgrade you to a higher cabin, but this does not happen often. Some cruise lines have programs where you can bid on upgrades as you get close to your sailing date. However, you will not get an upgrade if the ship is sailing at 100% capacity. Below are some valuable tips if you’re hoping to be considered for an upgrade.
- Book through a travel agent who can get you better deals.
- You will have a better chance if you book a more expensive room at the onset. Cruise liners will not skip a level to offer you a room.
- Mention a birthday, anniversary, or other celebration during the sea trip.
- It helps to be a frequent cruiser.
- Choose a TBA (to be assigned) option during the slow season. You will be guaranteed a room at the level you booked, and if available, you might be upgraded to a higher level.
Different Types Of Balconies On A Cruise Ship
There are several types of cabins with balconies that you can choose from when planning a holiday on a cruise ship.
Ocean View Balcony On A Cruise Ship
The oceanview balcony cabin has a wall-size glass window with a glass door that opens onto a small balcony. Here you can relax and take pleasure in the spectacular views.
Non-Ocean View Balcony On A Cruise Ship
Some cruise ships have balcony cabins that face some internal space on the ship. For instance, the cruise ships in Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class have balcony cabins that face the Boardwalk or the Central Park neighborhood. These cabins do not have views of the ocean.
The Boardwalk cabin has a view of the bustling boardwalk with a kid’s play area; some dining areas, and you will see plenty of daytime and nighttime activities. The Central Park cabin overlooks the quieter area of the ship. You will have a view of the garden area with cruisers strolling along to the restaurant areas or relaxing and enjoying the tranquil surroundings.
What Is A French Balcony On A Cruise Ship
A French balcony is a cabin found on river cruise ships. These cabins have a floor-to-ceiling glass window with a door. The door slides open inwards to reveal a railing you can lean out of. This balcony offers fresh air and a view, but no outside seating area.
Other Non-Traditional Balconies On Cruise Ships
There are a few versions of non-traditional balconies, or verandas, on cruise ships. Two of these types are:
A Celebrity Infinite Veranda
This veranda does not open onto a balcony but is part of the cabin. It is a small enclosed seating area with a sea view seen through a large window. The window can open for some lovely fresh air. A glass pocket folding door can separate the veranda area from the rest of the cabin if needed. Making the veranda an extension of the stateroom allows for a larger and more open-space feel.
A Virtual Balcony On A Cruise Ship
Using the best technology, a virtual balcony lets you enjoy real-time ocean views inside the cabin. A high-definition screen spanning almost the floor and ceiling offers fabulous sea views from global destinations. Both Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean offer cabins with virtual balconies. Although not quite a balcony, Disney Cruises was a pioneer in this area with its virtual portholes.
Are Cruise Ship Balconies Safe For Kids?
Cruise ships make every effort to ensure that the balconies on the ship are safe for everyone. Some of these safety measures are:
- The glass sliding door leading onto the balcony is challenging to open, even for some adults.
- The sliding door has two locks, one at the top of the door, which cannot be reached by small children.
- The balcony has a sturdy railing with plexiglass of at least 42 inches or taller, making it difficult for a child to hoist themselves over the railing (at least not without climbing on top of some furniture to do so).
However, these safety measures are not alone sufficient to prevent accidents from happening. Parents must instill safety rules in their children. Young children must be cautioned of the potential dangers like climbing onto the railings of a cruise ship balcony.
Is it worth getting a balcony on a cruise ship? In short, absolutely! If you can afford it, a balcony adds an incredible amount of value, not just in terms of added space, but in terms of your overall cruising experience.