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


Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old November 16th, 2013, 11:33 AM
gmros's Avatar
gmros gmros is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 960
Default Inside vs Balcony

Do you think there's a big advantage for balcony over inside for an Alaska cruise?

I started planning out our Alaska cruise trip and the tours are crazy expensive. Looking at the tours we would like to take, it's totaling around $3100 including tips. So I'm thinking maybe we should downgrade to an inside instead of balcony. What do you think?
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old November 16th, 2013, 11:59 AM
live2vayk's Avatar
live2vayk live2vayk is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vermont
Posts: 183
Default

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmros View Post
Do you think there's a big advantage for balcony over inside for an Alaska cruise?

I started planning out our Alaska cruise trip and the tours are crazy expensive. Looking at the tours we would like to take, it's totaling around $3100 including tips. So I'm thinking maybe we should downgrade to an inside instead of balcony. What do you think?
I have booked our first cruise to Alaska for next August, and went with a balcony. We also had sticker shock at the total cost of the excursions we want to do, but I can't imagine going all the way to Alaska (we are East coasters) and not doing the things we want, and not having a balcony. However, it really is such a personal decision. I know people who say the balcony isn't really worth it to them as they can go out on deck, and others who wouldn't go without the ability to sit on their balcony. I have done plenty of inside rooms on other cruises, but can't imagine not having the ability to be on a private balcony in Alaska, so we are sticking with a balcony.
__________________
Coming up!
Explorer of the Seas to Bermuda Sept 2014
Liberty of the Seas Bermuda Sept 2015
Anthem of the Seas 3 night March 2016
Independence of the Seas Western April 2016

Past Sailings:
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska Aug 2014;Liberty of the Seas 2/2014; Carnival Fantasy 8/2013; Carnival Glory 6/2013 ;Freedom of the Seas 4/2012 ;Disney Wonder 4/2009 ;Serenade of the Seas 3/2008; Majesty of the Seas 4/2007
Explorer of the Seas 3/2005
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old November 16th, 2013, 12:12 PM
cruisePAC's Avatar
cruisePAC cruisePAC is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 221
Default

We had a balcony when we visited Alaska. It was beneficial to have our own private viewing space when we sailed to the Hubbard Glacier, when we sailed through the Inside Passage, and when we wanted to enjoy the scenery while in port. If you choose to forego a balcony, you can still view the sights from the Helipad, the outside deck areas, and from a seat near a window in one of the indoor common areas.
In short, having a balcony was a perk, but I don't think having an inside stateroom would have ruined my experience in Alaska.
__________________
July 2015 - Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean
July 2014 - Serenade of the Seas - Western Mediterranean & Venice
May 2013 - Brilliance of the Seas - Scandinavia & Russia
October 2012 - Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas
May 2012 - Radiance of the Seas - Southbound Alaska
October 2010 - Splendor of the Seas - Eastern Mediterranean
April 1999 - Sovereign of the Seas - Bahamas
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old November 16th, 2013, 02:02 PM
CowPrincess's Avatar
CowPrincess CowPrincess is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 7,647
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmros View Post
Do you think there's a big advantage for balcony over inside for an Alaska cruise?

I started planning out our Alaska cruise trip and the tours are crazy expensive. Looking at the tours we would like to take, it's totaling around $3100 including tips. So I'm thinking maybe we should downgrade to an inside instead of balcony. What do you think?
I've done inside and oceanview rooms to Alaska. IMHO if it is either a balcony or the excursions, you will get a better taste of Alaska by spending your money on the excursions.

I've never felt deprived by not having a balcony for Alaska, getting out onto the public decks gives a person a panoramic view.

Would an oceanview cabin be a reasonable compromise for you?
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old November 16th, 2013, 03:06 PM
frugaltravel frugaltravel is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,672
Default

As early in the season as you are going, a balcony has less importance. I agree with the comment above - if it is either a balcony or the excursions, definitely forgo the balcony.
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old November 16th, 2013, 10:36 PM
Putterdude's Avatar
Putterdude Putterdude is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sechelt, BC & Fort Mohave, AZ
Posts: 23,725
Default

I have seen Alaska out of a porthole, obstructed view and a balcony. If I thought that I was only going to cruise to Alaska once I would likely book a balcony, however having now cruised there enough I really don't think a balcony is necessary. You are likely going to be in port 4 of your 7 days and if sailing from Seattle then your are not likely going to see much for the better part of a day in either direction. Out of Vancouver things change a bit because you are going to have scenery on your sea days but there are enough lounges on ships that you are going to enjoy the scenery anyways. If you sit on your balcony (and few do because of the damp, cool weather) then you are only going to see half of the scenery. So you won't necessarily be shortchanging yourself by booking something other that a balcony and use the savings on excursions.
__________________

Upcoming Cruises
Western Caribbean - Ruby Princess - January 10, 2015
Eastern Caribbean - Ruby Princess - January 17, 2015
Eastern Caribbean - Ruby Princess - January 24, 2015
British Isles - Royal Princess - August 25, 2015
Hawaiian Islands - Ruby Princess - January 9, 2016

Previous Cruises:
Eastern Caribbean - Celebrity Silhouette - Jan 19, 2014 .. Western Caribbean - Celebrity Silhouette - Jan 12, 2014 .. Athens to Venice - Ruby Princess Sept. 15, 2013 .. Rome to Athens - Ruby Princess - Sept. 9, 2013 .. Southern Caribbean - Emerald Princess - Jan. 16, 2013 .. Eastern Caribbean - Emerald Princess - Jan. 6, 2013 .. Mediterranean & Adriatic - Grand Princess - Sept. 4, 2012 .. Southern Caribbean - Celebrity Constellation - Jan. 14, 2012 .. Mexican Riviera - HAL Oosterdam - Dec. 24, 2011 .. Pacific Coastal - Sapphire Princess - Sept. 18, 2011 . . Pacific Coastal - Sapphire Princess - May 14, 2011 . .Pacific Coastal - Golden Princess - May 11, 2011 .. Eastern Caribbean - Ruby Princess - Jan. 16, 2011 .. Western Caribbean - Crown Princess -Jan. 8, 2011 .. Mexican Riviera - Sapphire Princess - Dec. 4, 2010 .. Alaska - Diamond Princess - Sept. 4 2010 .. Alaska - Diamond Princess - Aug. 28, 2010. Pacific Coastal - Golden Princess - May 9, 2010 .. Southern Caribbean - Grand Princess - Jan. 15, 2010 .. Alaska - Sapphire Princess - Sept. 19, 2009 .. Pacific Coastal - Coral Princess - May 15, 2009 .. Panama Canal - Coral Princess - Jan 6, 2009 .. Pacific Coastal - Golden Princess - May 3, 2008 .. Hawaii - Diamond Princess -Dec.18,2007 .. Alaska - Celebrity Mercury - Aug. 10, 2007 .. Alaska - Canadian National Steamship's - SS Prince George - 13 cruises - May thru Sept, 1963 (crew member)
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old November 17th, 2013, 02:24 AM
Budget Queen Budget Queen is offline
Charter Member - 5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Syracuse, New York
Posts: 42,396
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmros View Post
Do you think there's a big advantage for balcony over inside for an Alaska cruise?

I started planning out our Alaska cruise trip and the tours are crazy expensive. Looking at the tours we would like to take, it's totaling around $3100 including tips. So I'm thinking maybe we should downgrade to an inside instead of balcony. What do you think?
This can be a tough decision. Questions to ask yourself- would getting a balcony, cause me to not do some touring of preference? Does this matter to me? Am I more interested in the ship experience?

Alaska is no longer that "exotic" where cruisers don't return. Is that possible for you? There are a lot of repeaters.

Everyone is different, and funds a personal decision. Writing down the options and coming back to them a few times, may further direct you to your decision.
__________________
Happy Alaska travels

budgetqueenalaska@yahoo.com
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old November 17th, 2013, 04:37 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
50,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 63,195
Default

I do not think a balcony is critical but I would get an ocean view rather than an inside cabin.

Keith
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old November 17th, 2013, 09:21 PM
bamm bamm is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 135
Default

I did the 10 day Alaska on Princess last May from San Francisco round trip. I booked a balcony and I can honestly say that the cruise would not have been the same without the balcony. So much in fact that when we go back in May 2014 we decided either we would have a balcony or not go at all.

We really enjoyed the aspect of sailing into port early in the morning and sitting on our balcony. There is really something to be said for sipping coffee in your pajamas and watching bald eagles pass you by.
__________________
Carnival Inspiration- October 18 2013- Baja Mexico
Grand Princess - May 20 2013- Alaska
Sapphire Princess - Dec 2008- Mexican Riviera
Monarch of the Sea - June 2006- Baja Mexico

Last edited by bamm; November 17th, 2013 at 09:22 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old November 18th, 2013, 08:03 AM
LEtue's Avatar
LEtue LEtue is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Palm Harbor, FL
Posts: 11,362
Default

Having cruised twice in late May I can say that my experience sailing into port in my pajamas would have been covered by a heavy coat along with a hat and gloves. Neither time were we able to enjoy the balcony for extended periods of time with out winter gear.....although I did enjoy the view

My 3rd and 4th trips were in inside and outside cabins and I haven't looked back. Next year we are booked in an inside cabin again with access to a covered deck just a few feet away.
__________________
Linda
letue@aol.com



Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old November 20th, 2013, 01:36 PM
gmros's Avatar
gmros gmros is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 960
Default

Thank you everyone for all your help! We finally booked and got an oceanview with a big window on the Millenium Balcony cabins are more than twice the price of an OV ($700+). So we decided to forego the balcony and use the extra money for tours
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old November 20th, 2013, 02:42 PM
vbmom87 vbmom87 is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,574
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmros View Post
Thank you everyone for all your help! We finally booked and got an oceanview with a big window on the Millenium Balcony cabins are more than twice the price of an OV ($700+). So we decided to forego the balcony and use the extra money for tours
I am quite sure you will not regret choosing excursions over a balcony. Excursions are what will provide an amazing Alaska experience. If money were not issue, then I imagine a balcony would be great. (I haven't had the pleasure yet.) I have had one unobstructed oceanview and two obstructed ocean view cabins. We just don't spend time in our cabin, nor do we have the budget. Would it have been nice upon waking up to have the balcony view? I imagine it would. Plus, if we had a balcony, we probably would have spent more time in the cabin. However, we did not mind being out on deck or finding lounges with great views.

Have a great time!!
__________________


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

  #13  
Old November 20th, 2013, 02:57 PM
gmros's Avatar
gmros gmros is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 960
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vbmom87 View Post
I am quite sure you will not regret choosing excursions over a balcony. Excursions are what will provide an amazing Alaska experience. If money were not issue, then I imagine a balcony would be great. (I haven't had the pleasure yet.) I have had one unobstructed oceanview and two obstructed ocean view cabins. We just don't spend time in our cabin, nor do we have the budget. Would it have been nice upon waking up to have the balcony view? I imagine it would. Plus, if we had a balcony, we probably would have spent more time in the cabin. However, we did not mind being out on deck or finding lounges with great views.

Have a great time!!
Thank you vbmom! We're very excited! I'm already trying to make a shopping list for the trip
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old November 20th, 2013, 03:14 PM
LeftcoastBC's Avatar
LeftcoastBC LeftcoastBC is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Beautiful BC Canada
Posts: 3,307
Default

I'm late to the thread but to me...you took the great advice here. Enjoy your cruise.
__________________
Last Cruise:3 Day out of Vancouver on the Amsterdam MAY 21/2013

Next up: NOVEMBER 2014 Infinity--Panama Canal.
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old November 20th, 2013, 06:15 PM
VermeulT's Avatar
VermeulT VermeulT is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,583
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmros View Post
Thank you everyone for all your help! We finally booked and got an oceanview with a big window on the Millenium Balcony cabins are more than twice the price of an OV ($700+). So we decided to forego the balcony and use the extra money for tours
I was looking at double for the Amsterdam also. Man I want the balcony.... But $2k pp goes a long way towards excursions. I'm hoping beyond hope that we are offered an upsell.


Sent from my iPad using Forums mobile app
__________________

NCL Norway Caribbean Aug1985 ~ NCL Dreamward Bermuda Sept1995 ~ Golden Princess Caribbean Nov2001 ~ HAL Maasdam Caribbean Apr2004 ~HAL Zuiderdam Panama Jan2010 ~ HAL Eurodam Caribbean Nov2010~ HAL Westerdam Caribbean B2B Nov2011~ HAL Eurodam Caribbean Mar2014
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old November 24th, 2013, 12:06 AM
chipmaster's Avatar
chipmaster chipmaster is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 8,327
Default

Got your retirment paid, college 529 funded, and aren't making other compromise in life, then go balcony.

I guess I'm a lover of deals, and regardless of finances I'm always looking for the best value and inside is where I always look first.
__________________
Princess: 1999, 2008, 2010, 2014 Disney: 2000, 2014 Carnival:2005
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old November 25th, 2013, 05:24 PM
DragonOfTheSeas DragonOfTheSeas is online now
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: virginia
Posts: 5,116
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmros View Post
Thank you everyone for all your help! We finally booked and got an oceanview with a big window on the Millenium Balcony cabins are more than twice the price of an OV ($700+). So we decided to forego the balcony and use the extra money for tours
I am also late to the thread.

However, I agree the excursions are most important thing. We have sailed in balconies and a JS to other places and really enjoyed them. . . .and I am sure I would have liked a balcony in Alaska. But, I doubt I would have used it all that much.

We took the last NB cruise that left Aug 31. It was cold many days. We stayed on the deck when we could stand it and viewed from inside i.e. Viking Crown lounge the rest of the time. We had an inside cabin. Our Alaska cruise and our Panama Canal cruises are our 2 favorites so far--and they were both inside cabins.

I do not regret not having a balcony. I would regret not going on a whale watch or the train in Skagway.

Have a great cruise.
__________________
[/url]


Previous Cruises:Carnival Ecstasy– July 2000: Mexico; Carnival Fantasy– August 2006: Bahamas; Carnival Pride –October 2009: Bahamas; Celebrity Constellation–March 2010: Panama Canal; Enchantment of the Seas–June 2010: Eastern Caribbean, September 2010: New England and Canada, March 2012: Southern Caribbean; Celebrity Mercury–November 2010 Eastern Caribbean and January 2011 Bahamas and Florida; Carnival Legend –April 2011: Western Caribbean; Radiance of the Seas--Alaska; August 2012, Explorer of the Seas--Bermuda: October 2012; Legend of the Seas –Transatlantic, October 2013; Grandeur of the Seas –June 2005: Bermuda, April 2013: Caribbean reposition cruise; March 2014: Western Caribbean; Brilliance of the Seas--North Atlantic TA: August 2014

Last edited by DragonOfTheSeas; November 25th, 2013 at 05:25 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old November 26th, 2013, 10:11 AM
agabbymama's Avatar
agabbymama agabbymama is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 7,373
Default

Different strokes for different folks!

I would not cruise period, if I couldn't afford a balcony cabin, and I very rarely do any high priced excursions.

Our first cruise we didn't book one excursion, just went mainly for the cruise (to see if hubby would get seasick).

2nd trip to Alaska was an 11 day HAL cruisetour that provided me with all the info, sights, etc that I wanted to see in the Yukon & Alaska, without spending extra cash for excursions. Only booked one extra to Jeff King's Husky Homestead. I wouldn't get in a small boat or small airplane so those high priced excursions don't figure into my budget. What I see from my balcony on the ship is enough for me.

No natural light in the cabin, no fresh air in the cabin, I would hyperventilate real quick in an inside cabin. Even with the ocean view on our first Alaska cruise it was rough, we were always out on deck, spent very little time in the cabin. Just be prepared with warm outerwear!

But everyone has to decide what is best for them! Have a great trip!
__________________
Eleanor
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old November 26th, 2013, 11:28 AM
vbmom87 vbmom87 is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,574
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonOfTheSeas View Post
I am also late to the thread.

However, I agree the excursions are most important thing. We have sailed in balconies and a JS to other places and really enjoyed them. . . .and I am sure I would have liked a balcony in Alaska. But, I doubt I would have used it all that much.

We took the last NB cruise that left Aug 31. It was cold many days. We stayed on the deck when we could stand it and viewed from inside i.e. Viking Crown lounge the rest of the time. We had an inside cabin. Our Alaska cruise and our Panama Canal cruises are our 2 favorites so far--and they were both inside cabins.

I do not regret not having a balcony. I would regret not going on a whale watch or the train in Skagway.

Have a great cruise.
I feel the same way. Alaska, for me, was all about the excursions. Without the excursions, you get just the appetizers. With the excursions, you get a full course meal. I am sure I would like a balcony, but definitely not if it meant I could not go on the excursions I wanted. So far, no balcony for me.
__________________


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

  #20  
Old November 26th, 2013, 06:09 PM
donaldsc donaldsc is online now
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 7,064
Default

AK is one cruise where I think that a balcony is worth the money - as long as it does not prevent me from doing other stuff that I want to do.

DON
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 12:58 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.