Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Ports of Call > Alaska
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old April 8th, 2013, 07:52 PM
Canadianweaselette's Avatar
Canadianweaselette Canadianweaselette is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 60
Default Is a balcony a must for Alaska?

I am starting to research an Alaskan cruise for a couple years from now. I get the sense that a balcony is a must but for those who have done Alaska what do you think?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I896 using Tapatalk 2
__________________
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #2  
Old April 8th, 2013, 08:06 PM
dustyroad's Avatar
dustyroad dustyroad is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: quad cities illinois
Posts: 5,377
Default

a balcony is wonderful for Alaska and if you can afford it get it. many of us opt for a inside or ocean view so we can have more money for tours and thnings to do in the ports. there are many glassed areas on the ships too set at and get all the views you want. I loved the balcony I was lucky enough too get for one of my Alaska cruises. but I also don't spend hardly any time in the cabin so a inside is good enough for me.

you will not regret getting a balcony cabin but you can also get along without one.
__________________
DUSTY





norwegian pearl-glacier bay alaska 09/15/13- sister and friend--CANT WAIT
carnival spirit-tracy arm alaska 05/11-coworker
carnival spirit-tracy arm alaska 06/10-family cruise
carnival fantasy-western caribbean 9/09-solo
norwegian pearl-alaska glacier bay 05/09-solo
carnival victory-new england/canada 9/07-solo
carnival spirit-glacier bay 5/05-with a friend
carnival spirit-glacier bay 09/03



Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old April 8th, 2013, 08:07 PM
Ashland Ashland is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southern California by way of Kentucky
Posts: 12,084
Default

There will be as many that need a balcony as there will be that could do without it..It's a personal and budget decision for each of us...I for one always book a JS or above regardless of itinerary..I at least want the kind of acommodations I would have in a hotel..Will be on the May 17th northbound Alaska (2nd time) and will enjoy my cabin and all that view from my balcony has to offer
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old April 8th, 2013, 08:11 PM
bonvoyagie's Avatar
bonvoyagie bonvoyagie is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portland Oregon
Posts: 1,904
Default

I started cruising in AK with a huge balcony of a suite on the Aft of the ship - had a wonderful time. I have since cruised in a std balcony and another suite. On our last trip we had my MIL whom we had not seen in quite some time so it was nice to have both a suite and the huge floor to ceiling windows to watch things go by and converse and catch up. Sometimes in AK it is warm enough to go out and sit - and yes I have been know to bundle up and sit on the balcony - as long as it is not raining .

To me a cruise is a luxury vacation and so when I take one I go first class. I also spend money on excursions which can cost more than the cruise in AK . So I guess that if you have the $$ for both a balcony room and the excursions you want to do, then by all means get one. If you are in a pinch - go for a cheaper inside and keep the excursions.
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old April 8th, 2013, 08:12 PM
fredflint's Avatar
fredflint fredflint is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 621
Default

I really enjoy a balcony we went early June and many mornings were cool but I still sat outside and enjoyed my coffee and croissants. I like how much brighter the room is along with being able to sit outside.

But as has been said some folks book the cheapest inside room and spend the extra $$ on nicer dining or excursions.

I have had inside, oceanview and balcony cabins, now I only book a balcony.
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old April 8th, 2013, 08:18 PM
azevedan's Avatar
azevedan azevedan is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Northeast US
Posts: 691
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadianweaselette View Post
I get the sense that a balcony is a must but for those who have done Alaska what do you think?
A resounding YES! from me.
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old April 8th, 2013, 08:21 PM
tommycha's Avatar
tommycha tommycha is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Singapore
Posts: 230
Smile

We would say if u r going to Alaska only once or it's your first time, then balcony is certainly worth it!

We went to Alaska last sep in a balcony cabin and throughly enjoyed it!

You might want to check out our review.

http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...k-balcony.html
__________________
Our Travel Blog - Discover . Book . Travel
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.com
Our Full Alaska Cruise Story
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ry-so-far.html
Pre and Post Alaska Cruise Tour
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ka-cruise.html
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old April 8th, 2013, 08:49 PM
Canadianweaselette's Avatar
Canadianweaselette Canadianweaselette is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 60
Default

Thanks everyone. This would be our first time in Alaska. I won't say it'll be the only time since I have no idea how much we'll love it.

I must say though, there are way more things to consider when booking Alaska vs. Caribbean.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I896 using Tapatalk 2
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old April 8th, 2013, 09:04 PM
CowPrincess's Avatar
CowPrincess CowPrincess is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 7,558
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadianweaselette View Post
I am starting to research an Alaskan cruise for a couple years from now. I get the sense that a balcony is a must but for those who have done Alaska what do you think?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I896 using Tapatalk 2
No, not essential. I've been 6 times, never had a balcony. Next time (if I can manage this at all) I'll be in an OV again for 14 days. For me, Alaska is about the destination, not the accommodation. DH and I have become a "warm weather balcony s l u t s" but for Alaska? Nope, gimme whatever I can afford so I can get back to ALASKA. (I spend a lot on shore experiences in Alaska, and travel Alaska solo, and have a restricted budget for travel so.... )
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old April 8th, 2013, 10:06 PM
Tweedy Tweedy is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,855
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadianweaselette View Post
I am starting to research an Alaskan cruise for a couple years from now. I get the sense that a balcony is a must but for those who have done Alaska what do you think?

I wouldn't say having a balcony is a must but it is definitely nice to have on the glacier viewing days. I guess it also depends on how much time you plan to spend in your cabin and what time of the season you plan to go. Weather can vary so much that if you are planning to spend alot of time on your balcony, the weather might just disappoint you since it can be so unpredictable. Also, another thing to keep in mind on a 7-day RT is that 3 of the days are spent in port. Assuming that it is your first visit to Alaska, I would imagine that you would be off ship doing an excursion or two.
__________________



My travel blog ...click to read


Photobook of Tahiti Hawaii 2014 on the Pacific Princess | Photos of Tahiti Hawaii 2014 on the Pacific Princess | Videos of Tahiti Hawaii 2014 on the Pacific Princess | PHOTObook of Alaska 2013 on the RCCL Radiance of the Seas | VIDEOS of Alaska 2013 on the RCCL Radiance of the Seas | Photos of Canada New England 2012 on the Emerald Princess; Videos of Canada New England 2012 on the Emerald Princess | Photos of Alaska 2012 on the Celebrity Century | Photos of Coastal Cruise 2011 on the HAL Volendam | Photos of Caribbean 2011 on the Emerald Princess; Videos of Caribbean 2011 on the Emerald Princess | Photos of Coastal 2010 on the Golden Princess | Photos of Panama 2009 on the Coral Princess; Videos of Panama 2009 on the Coral Princess | Photos of Alaska 2009 on the HAL Zuiderdam; Videos of Alaska 2009 on HAL Zuiderdam | Photos of Alaska 2008 on the NCL Sun | Photos of Hawaii 2005 on the RCCL Serenade of the Seas
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old April 8th, 2013, 11:08 PM
Budget Queen Budget Queen is offline
Charter Member - 5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Syracuse, New York
Posts: 42,372
Default

I never get a balcony as a partial view is never my preference, and I find a cruise vacation, way down the luxury pole for me, after 78 cruises. I am delighted those find it "necessary" as those higher costs, allow my rock bottom rates. Have to figure it out for themselves what cabin you want.
__________________
Happy Alaska travels

budgetqueenalaska@yahoo.com
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old April 8th, 2013, 11:43 PM
SuzCruise SuzCruise is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 284
Default

You are asking for very subjective responses and are therefore going to get just that. Knowing nothing about you, your budget, your age, your travel taste, your past experiences, etc., most of what you get may not be helpful. I will answer by saying that my husband and I spent our first cruise vacation in Alaska with a balcony and had the most fabulous experience watching whales breach right under our balcony in Glacier Bay on our wedding anniversary. And that was the worse cruise we have ever taken! While I would never book another cruise on that line again, I will always book a balcony or not bother. I would also recommend booking the smallest ship possible. You don't deal with crowds, but more importantly get to go places that a large ship can't go.
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old April 9th, 2013, 01:04 AM
vbmom87 vbmom87 is online now
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,569
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadianweaselette View Post
I am starting to research an Alaskan cruise for a couple years from now. I get the sense that a balcony is a must but for those who have done Alaska what do you think?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I896 using Tapatalk 2
The answers you will get truly depends on the person answering. There are plenty of people who would not go on a cruise without a balcony. I have even read where some people said they would rather stay home than cruise without a balcony.

I have never cruised with a balcony, and I am sure I would like it very much, but it is just not in our budget. I would much rather spend my money on great excursions, which will cost big bucks in AK. If I had the budget to do both, I am sure I would. I have loved my two cruises to AK, once in an ocean view and once in an obstructed view ocean view. We just spent lots of time on deck and in lounges with great views. Everyone has different priorities. For me it is the excursions, for others it is the ship and that balcony.

Good luck deciding what will be best for you.
__________________


HAL Volendam Alaska June 15, 2008
NCL POA Hawaii May 22, 2010
HAL Amsterdam Alaska August 5, 2011
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old April 9th, 2013, 02:56 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
50,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 62,570
Default

It is not a must as you can go on the open deck to enjoy the views from the ship.

Think carefully what the extra cost will be and if it impacts the excursions you would do then I would go without the balcony. If you can do both and it is within your budget I would do that.

Keith
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old April 9th, 2013, 06:48 AM
Canadianweaselette's Avatar
Canadianweaselette Canadianweaselette is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 60
Default

I guess I could provide a but more info on us and budget...

At the time of the cruise it will be DH (47) and myself (39), possibly DS (10).

Right now I don't have a budget set because I have no idea what this will cost us, hence starting early with research. If I find a balcony is a "need" then I'd be willing to postpone a year to save up more.

We have been on one 4 day Bahamas with DCL and in 2014 we will be taking a 9 day E. Caribbean with NCL. We do not enjoy crowds which is why we chose a smaller ship this time.

I will also say that Alaska us DH's dream so I have no idea what I've gotten myself into trying to plan this

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I896 using Tapatalk 2
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old April 9th, 2013, 07:59 AM
DaveOKC DaveOKC is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 3,591
Default

We have done AK twice, once with an OV (limited one at that) and one with a large balcony.

Our balcony trip we spent one day at Tracy Arm and one at Glacier Bay and it was great having it (my wife spent alot of time out in the cold all bundled up to enjoy it). We also had some great views leaving Vancouver the first evening.

I would highly recommend the balcony. Is it a MUST? Hard to judge that for someone else, but given the total cost of the vacation, the upgrade to a balcony is a secondary expense IMO.

DaveOKC
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old April 9th, 2013, 08:33 AM
Robinhill Robinhill is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Catonsville, MD
Posts: 642
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadianweaselette View Post
I am starting to research an Alaskan cruise for a couple years from now. I get the sense that a balcony is a must but for those who have done Alaska what do you think?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I896 using Tapatalk 2
not for me- the cost difference between a balcony and outside or even inside is so great and I really dont spend much time in the cabin. Also- it is cold so I did not spend much time on the balcony the first time that I went. When i wanted to have a nice view- i simply went up on the deck. I prefer to spend my dollars on the really nice excursions for the overall experience- not on the cabin. Just MHO
__________________
Celeb. Century 5/03 Western Caribbean
RC Splendor of the Seas 10/04 Mediterranean
RC Grandeur OS 4/05 Western Caribbean (murder mystery)
Carnival Spirit 9/05 Mexico
RC Freedom OS 10/06 Western Caribbean (c&a mem. cruise)
RC Grandeur OS 12/08 Eastern Caribbean
RC Serendade OS 10/09 Western Caribbean
Celeb. Summit 01/10 Southern Caribbean
Radiance OS 09/10 Alaska cruisetour (Southbound)
Majesty OS 11/10 Bahamas
Enchantment OS 04/10 Bahamas (c & a member cruise)
Enchantment OS 09/11 New England/Canada
Enchantment OS 11/12 Bahamas
Grandeur OS 04/13 Repositioning Caribbean Adventure Cruise
Radiance OS 06/13 DIY Alaska land tour then southbound cruise






Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old April 9th, 2013, 08:54 AM
tangerinebunny's Avatar
tangerinebunny tangerinebunny is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA
Posts: 1,243
Default

Listen to the posts - people are saying they had a great time, balcony or not. That's the message that counts. If you set your mind to it, an Alaska cruiser will be enjoyable.

(btw, We're balconyphiles. We enjoy the big glass doors and views even on cold days.)
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old April 9th, 2013, 09:07 AM
rachelfran's Avatar
rachelfran rachelfran is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 604
Default

We are taking our first cruise and knowing my husband - I knew we needed a balcony ... He's an intense birder and needs the instant access... He's also a very private person and having to navigate other guests to be outside is not his preference ..
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old April 9th, 2013, 09:13 AM
Canadianweaselette's Avatar
Canadianweaselette Canadianweaselette is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 60
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelfran View Post
We are taking our first cruise and knowing my husband - I knew we needed a balcony ... He's an intense birder and needs the instant access... He's also a very private person and having to navigate other guests to be outside is not his preference ..
I think I would be perfectly happy with an inside cabin but I know my DH and he is also a very private person and I think he'd get more enjoyment out of the balcony. We have only cruised inside before so I wouldn't know what I was missing

Thank you all for your responses - it really helps to get different perspectives. I think my next step will be to figure out excursions and itinerary before deciding on ship and cabin.
__________________
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:20 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.