...balconies or not, and what about Barcelona?

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#1
Victoria BC
537 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
...we had to cancel our April 28th cruise and are now looking at doing something in the 'med' next year, in retrospect, we are now asking ourselves and you a few questions.
Question #1: On a cruise that is so port intensive, is it really that important to have a balcony/veranda when most of the time onboard ship is spent travelling to the next port of call?
Question #2: We are now entertaining the idea of an itinerary that goes from Barcelona to Venice instead of Rome to Venice, have any of you done this yet? If so, what can you share with regards to this choice?

...thankyou for any and all help you can toss our way.

cheers,

the Imagineers
NCL cruise on the Wind - Aug 27/06, it was great, I'll miss the Wind.
upcoming Oceania cruise on the Insignia - Apr 28/07(postponed to sometime in the
next season on whatever ship goes to where we want to go)
#2
Ruidoso, New Mexico, USA
423 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
We did the Barcelona to Venice on the Regatta this past October. I can't go without a balcony so I'm not sure I am a good one to answer you regarding this question. Frankly the ports you will sail into are spectacular (at least most of them). The sail into Venice is without saying, incredible. I can tell you that this itinerary was just great. We pre-arranged private tours through folks we met on cc and it made all the difference in the world. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Hope this helps.
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Jule and Bob
#3
South Jersey, USA
1,786 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Imagineer -
Our destination is the ship. We did our sight seeing in my previous life in the airline business. Now we want to relax; therefore I cannot answer your question # 1.
As to the balcony: I would never want to cruise without a private space, such as a balcony to which to retreat. That's why will not do a river cruise again. We'd rather cruise less often. We don't want to have to fight for a chair in the sun (or shade), and we certainly don't want to join the 'fun' and noise at the pool. Sitting in the library or lido café also get to be old hat.
To sit on your own spacious balcony, looking aft at where you have been, has to be the best cruising experience (for us).
Take a look at http://www.juergen.smugmug.com/galle...495/1/64707813 and you'll see what I mean.
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Juergen (and Helen)
Our cruise pictures are at www.juergen.smugmug.com

Next up:

Apr 13 Norwegian Star, New Orleans - Copenhagen (Stern Cabin)
Oct 13 Norwegian Star, Copenhagen - Miami (Stern Cabin)

Been there, done that:
APR 12 Norwegian Epic, Miami - Barcelona (Stern Cabin)
AUG 11 Norwegian Jewel, NYC - Bahamas (Stern Cabin)
APR 10 Azamara Journey, Miami - Barcelona (Stern Cabin)
NOV 09 Norwegian Gem, Barcelona - New York (Stern Cabin)
NOV 08 Norwegian Gem, Barcelona - New York (Stern Cabin)
APR 08 Azamara Quest, Miami - Rome (Stern Cabin)
NOV 07 Oceania Regatta, Barcelona-Miami (Stern Cabin)
APR 07 Norwegian Jewel, Miami - Athens (Stern Cabin)
MAY 06 Norwegian Dawn, Bermuda & Bahamas (Stern Cabin)
MAR 06 Oceania Regatta, Miami-Barcelona
(Stern Cabin)
SEP 05 Norwegian Jewel, Dover-New York (Stern Cabin)
DEC 04 Norwegian Sun, Western Caribbean (Stern Cabin)

#4
Delray Beach,FL
236 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
We pre-arranged private tours through folks we met on cc and it made all the difference in the world.

Hi Jule and Bob,
We will be on the Insignia 7/23/07 doing the same itinerary.
We would love to have information on any of the private tours you took.
Our e-mail [email protected]
Thanks!!
#5
Lincoln CA USA, 95648
12,739 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Many of Oceania's itineraries are very port-intensive, which for me reduces the need for a balcony.

Actually, I find balconies over-rated, and am quite comfortable in a standard oceanview cabin.

We've been on Oceania twice; both times we had a standard oceanview cabin. 1st trip on Regatta into the Baltic - very port-intensive; 2nd trip on Nautica, Istanbul to Singapore, with many sea days.

We did have a balcony on Pacific Princess, another R-class ship, and found we did not use it that often - preferring the pool deck when we wanted to be out in the open.

Isn't it wonderful we have so many choices?
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Michael
#6
Santa Cruz, CA
802 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Great question! We're wondering almost the same, the difference being that we have booked an inside cabin for a mid-to-late October cruise (Athens to Venice). Of course a balcony or oceanview would be wonderful, but we are about ten years out from retirement, with one child still in college, so we are really happy just to be going! Booking the inside cabin also allows us to budget enough to spend an extra week or so in Europe after the cruise - we're planning to travel to Paris by rail and fly home from there.

Although we've cruised (on other lines) with ocean view, as well as balcony, accommodations, we're imagining that this inside cabin on Oceania will be fine, in part because the cruise is so port intensive. Also, considering the time of year, I would think it gets dark earlier, so a balcony might not be as useful for us as it might be in summer.

Still have 10 months until we leave, but it sure is fun anticipating everything!
#7
21 N 157 W
624 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by Imagineer
...clip...
Question #1: On a cruise that is so port intensive, is it really that important to have a balcony/veranda when most of the time onboard ship is spent travelling to the next port of call? ...
On port intensive journeys, the sailing is almost all done at night and you will most likely be in bed resting up for the next day's activities.

The balcony is nice is sail-in/sail-away ... many ports have intersting or spectacular entrances.

Where balconies would be really nice are after a long day pounding the pavement of a port. Often tired, it is really nice to kick-back and spend some quiet time away from any hustle and bustle. It's a 50/50 proposition on port/starboard docking, but you could just sit there and review where you had been during the day ... e.g., visually tracing your path down from the top of Gibraltar while you rest your tired feet.
#8
5,453 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
I really feel this is a question only you can answer..as you can see to some it is very important and to some not important at all..personally I will not sail without a balcony..but I have friends that could care less..so unfortunately you will have to make that decision on your own..
Jan
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#9
San Francisco, CA USA
1,492 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Personally, I'd rather stay at home than sail without my own balcony. I find I spend a lot of time on them even on a port intensive cruise. I even spent a lot of time on my balcony when Insignia went to Antarctica.

We did the Venice to Barcelona cruise on Regatta last October. Great itinerary!
#10
Nashville
42 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
We wont cruise without a balcony. Some folks couldnt care less about having one. Its just a matter of personal preference.
#11
"The Diner State"
2,042 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
We will only cruise with a balcony.We recently(June) sailed a port intensive itinerary that included Barcelona,Marseille,Florence,Rome,Naples,Mykonos,K usadasi,Istanbul,
Athens and Venice. And may I suggest to you a 2 day pre-cruise in Barcelona and 3 day post-cruise in Venice also. We found plenty of time for balcony relaxation in early A.M., late afternoon and also evenings. But it's a "to each his own" situation as far as balconies are concerned. This is our take on the matter.


Happy Cruising e CIAO,
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Steve
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#12
2,008 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Last year we brought our own Balcony with us.....it was the expandable type which fitted into our suitcase. Upon arrival we unpacked it and attatched it to the window and had a great time.

Brian
#13
Nashville
42 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by brian_uk
Last year we brought our own Balcony with us.....it was the expandable type which fitted into our suitcase. Upon arrival we unpacked it and attatched it to the window and had a great time.

Brian
We said balcony, not girlfriend!
#14
United Kingdom
458 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Hi,
like that one Brian! Just had a similar talk with my TA. We just booked Nautica for April 08 Beijing to Hong Kong. Had reserved a balcony [first time on Oceania but experienced cruisers] and then changed our minds as the weather that time of the year in the area is not great. In the Med I think I would always take one. Especially for ports like Venice. Anyway we booked a C1 and saved the money for travelling upgrade as I hate flying. Then i looked at this post and thought have I done the right thing? Ho hum!!! Best of luck with the decision,
cheers Teresa
#15
San Francisco, CA USA
1,492 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
"We just booked Nautica for April 08 Beijing to Hong Kong. Had reserved a balcony [first time on Oceania but experienced cruisers] and then changed our minds as the weather that time of the year in the area is not great."

We were on the March 16th PEK to HKN cruise in 2006. After leaving Beijing, the weather warmed quickly and we used our balcony every day and every night.
#17
4,000 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
i honestly think you answered your own question. Some people wouldn't dream of sailing without a balcony but you seem to be on the fence.
I think that you should get a standard outside if it is considerably cheaper ( $1000 per person less). If not, get the balcony.

I am sailing for the first time without a balcony for the first time since 2001. I decided to see if I can stand it! It was cheaper and I decided that I can spend more on spa treatments and other things.
#18
Toronto, Canada
6,768 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Digby, thanks, you made up my mind for me......I was wondering whether I ha made a mistake in booking a balcony because of the weather. Oceania Cabins are so small that the extra room would be nice.

Do you know whether it is worth it booking an A2 over a B2?
Thanks
#19
United Kingdom
458 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
now I don't know what to do I was sure it would be cold etc. Hope I can change my mind on this one! Anything else you would recommend on this itinerary?
thanks Teresa