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JamieLogical

Thoughts on Aft Balconies?

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I am sailing on the Escape in a couple of weeks and they just dropped the price on Aft Balconies (B1) to where it would only cost us about $100 per person to upgrade from our current angled balcony (BE). The specific angled balcony we are in I have actually stayed in before back in October. I know I like the location and I know that we can fit one lounger on the balcony along with a normal chair. I am really interested in the aft balcony for two reasons: the larger balcony and the view of the ship's wake (which I LOVE to watch from the Waterfront and the Garden Cafe on the Escape). The main downsides I see are the greater potential for motion sickness and less privacy. I take non-drowsy Dramamine every day while cruising and have never had issues with motion sickness on a cruise so far. My sister is also prone to motion sickness, but has never been on a cruise, so we are unsure if Dramamine will be as effective for her.

 

Any thoughts from anyone who has sailed in an Aft Balcony on a Breakaway or Breakaway Plus class ship? Is it worth it?

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The motion in the aft is almost calm.  Actually when there are very rough seas it is the calmest part of the ship.  Think like this , if a big wave is at the front the front will rise up the most and the aft the least due to the fact that props must remain in the water to stabilize the ship.  If there is a strong cross wind it does not matter where you are, you will rock side to side.  

 

As far as privacy goes, the balconies are as private as any other on the ship.  Actually the angled ones have less privacy. 

 

We have stayed in aft balconies and suites 7 times in the past 4 years.

 

Lastly not all afts have the same size balconies.  Jump on the deal quickly if you want one as the best ones always go first or may already be taken.

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I agree with Skeeter.  Have sailed Aft on Breakway.  Motion is very low.  Privacy depends on deck (higher is more private) and you can always stay closer to your door for privacy; at the rail is less private with a good chance others can look down on you.

 

Downsides?  Sometimes engine noise and vibration but only when maneuvering into or out of ports.  Smoke from cigarettes or Spice H2O can draft back onto your balcony sometimes.  

 

But I loved the view!

 

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Can't agree more, we love the Aft. Less to no wind and a great view. After staying on the starboard side one cruise we booked 2 more in the aft.

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I loved the aft balcony I had 2 years ago on the Dawn.  No problems whatsoever with motion or privacy.  The view was fantastic, and we had a particularly large balcony.  We had the room steward bring us a couple of loungers.  

 

Balcony size varies by deck.  I think decks 9 and 12 have the largest balconies on the Escape.  I'm in an aft balcony on deck 12 for an upcoming cruise, and I'm thrilled!  

 

I've also heard there can be noise issues depending on what's above or below the cabin -- but you would need to research that.

 

Will you have a choice of cabin?  

 

 

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The angled ones are nice.  The aft-facing B1s are nice too and we had one late last year on Escape.  Just don't get right under Spice H2O as the noise from above can be loud with music and dragging chairs.   Occasional engine vibration and slight motion doesn't bother us.   I would only take a B1 if I could choose it myself.  

 

I agree about the smoking comment--people think their cigarette smoke wafts away on an aft-facing balcony (incl. suites).   It doesn't.  It lingers and stinks up the whole area.   Report it if you smell it as 99% of people know smoking on balconies is prohibited.  It is also a fire hazard.   

 

Watching the wake is wonderful.    

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Thanks for the feedback so far, guys. I should definitely have my pick of rooms as there were still 25 left as of this morning. They were woefully overpriced for our sailing before today. I expect they will sell quickly now, so I am going to try to get a call into my PCC as soon as possible.

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Get one as quick as you can, my Wife and I love them.  Nice and quiet, little movement, usually room for 2 loungers and more.  Usually more privacy, too.  One problem is you can get some soot, but, a towel can clean it quickly .

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Aft balconies are wonderful!  The space is great and the view is amazing. I'm also a big fan of watching the wake. There's nothing like relaxing on your own private balcony watching the wake.  You'll love it!

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Very low motion, and the slight vibration from the props was soothing. I loved having full loungers on the lanai, and watching the wake was awesome. The only problem we had (aft deck 13 on Escape) was club noise. Two or three nights they were really thumping upstairs and we could feel the base in our room. I can't imagine how the deck above me felt! Earplugs made the problem go away.

aft.JPG

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35 minutes ago, OhanaPy said:

The only problem we had (aft deck 13 on Escape) was club noise.

 

Deck 13 also has the least deep aft-facing balcony. The other decks are deeper. 

There are also differences in balcony width. The balcony on the port side directly next to the HC stateroom is the most narrow balcony for all decks except for deck 10. 

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1 minute ago, Two Wheels Only said:

 

Deck 13 also has the least deep aft-facing balcony. The other decks are deeper. 

There are also differences in balcony width. The balcony on the port side directly next to the HC stateroom is the most narrow balcony for all decks except for deck 10. 

 

I found your posts on the below thread VERY helpful. Thanks for putting those together!

 

 

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I've noticed some interesting pricing on Getaway's Aft balconies.  On a couple of cruises I'm watching the B1s cost more than that M6 (Minisuites with large balcony).  I'm going to be 'forced' to book those M6s:classic_ohmy:

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We booked an aft balcony on the Getaway deck 8.  Loved it so much we booked the exact same stateroom for a later cruise.  Huge balcony.  

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We have only had an aft Balcony once, and that was on the GEM in 2010, it was perfect. We had heard so many positive things about  it that at the time, our TA called us and offered us a FREE upgrade to a Mini Suite and we said no, and we were glad we did. 😁

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, skeeter195 said:

The motion in the aft is almost calm.  Actually when there are very rough seas it is the calmest part of the ship.  Think like this , if a big wave is at the front the front will rise up the most and the aft the least due to the fact that props must remain in the water to stabilize the ship.  If there is a strong cross wind it does not matter where you are, you will rock side to side.  

 

This is not correct.  Ships rotate around a given axis the further you are from that axis the more the apparent rotation.  In pitch, that means anyone fore or aft experiences more motion.  For roll, generally higher decks are more impacted.  The ship can also move in other ways.  A naval architect could give you more details and specifics for the Escape, but the center of rotation is not the aft end of the ship.  It is possible aft cabins will be better in motion than forward cabins depending on how far they are from center of rotation, but none will be as good as cabin nearer to that point.

 

The props move with the rest of the ship; the crew will adjust speed and heading based on conditions to try and limit pitching in order to keep the props where they should be.  The props themselves don't "hold" the stern in the water.  Some interesting notes over in the Viking board as discussion on how the relationship of wave conditions, pitching, and props nearing the surface may have contributed to the loss of power.

 

Despite that, I'm willing to bet that on most cruises the difference perceived by a passenger is slight.  If the OP hasn't had issues with motion on ships before, I think it is unlikely the aft cabin would make enough a difference to be a problem.Personally it doesn't bother me at all, but I'm pretty tolerant.  As noted, there can be some vibration though in my experience its only been noticeable while the ship is maneuvering into a port or weather conditions require frequent power and steering corrections.

 

15 minutes ago, spanishguy1970 said:

We have only had an aft Balcony once, and that was on the GEM in 2010, it was perfect. We had heard so many positive things about  it that at the time, our TA called us and offered us a FREE upgrade to a Mini Suite and we said no, and we were glad we did.

 

I would make the same choice on the Escape, even versus the M6's.  An aft balcony may not have the big bathroom, but if chosen carefully you can find one with a comparably sized outdoor area.  Personally I like the larger overhang compared to the M6, both for privacy and shade.  In fact, it may be more private than an angled balcony; not only can adjacent balconies see in, but they are pretty easy to see from down on the Waterfront.  I would probably aim for one at least a couple decks below the buffet and Spice on Escape.  You might still hear some "party" noise down there, but it isn't really bothersome and mostly drowned out by the wake.

 

 

 

Edited by AL3XCruise
Typo

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Hi everyone..We had an AFT Balcony on the Norwegian Breakaway Sailing from Rome..it was awesome..we loved it so much we booked an Aft Balcony on the Norwegian Joy Seattle to Alaska sailing on August 31..I would not hesitate to recommend an aft balcony to anyone..We became quite spoiled with the views and did not experience any soot or annoying neighbors..as has been reported on other posts..

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4 hours ago, OhanaPy said:

Very low motion, and the slight vibration from the props was soothing. I loved having full loungers on the lanai, and watching the wake was awesome. The only problem we had (aft deck 13 on Escape) was club noise. Two or three nights they were really thumping upstairs and we could feel the base in our room. I can't imagine how the deck above me felt! Earplugs made the problem go away.

aft.JPG

That would be no issue for me, I’d be up top showing off my dance moves 🙂

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Hi Jamie!  We have stayed in several aft balconies (they are our favorite!), including one on our recent Bliss cruise.  I think you wont be disappointed with an aft.  There is nothing more relaxing than watching the wake!  Have a great trip

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We have only sailed once, but it was in an aft balcony and we loved it.  We were on the Escape during the sailing with the list, which had some rougher water, 3 of us had pretty severe motion sickness after the first night but then took the meds given out at guest services (I think it was Dramamine) for the rest of the cruise and no more problems.  

We loved the balcony and spent a lot of time there, love watching the wake.

The last night we were woken very early around 3am the vibration as it came into port in NY was very loud, never noticed it any other time though.

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Aft balconies are my favorite. No wind, and so relaxing to watch the ship’s wake. Here is 11910 on Breakaway. Plenty of room and I do not remember smelling any smoke. 

07C9CF4F-8822-4C8F-BB01-F20BC928E826.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

Love the aft.  Only issue for us is the soot.  Most every night they will blow out the soot from the boilers.  It's called "blowing tubes."  Depending on the wind when they blow the tubes you will have a deposit of soot on your balcony and furniture.  Bring a cheap rag to wipe off the furniture if you don't want to wait for your room steward to clean for you.  The soot comes off very easily.   

Edited by mianmike

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Posted (edited)

Well, it turns out that I'm not going to do the upgrade. Unfortunately if I do so, I will lose the Latitudes Rewards benefits and my Free At Sea perks from my original booking. Also, for some reason, when my PCC ran the numbers, she told me it was going to be something like $412 total for the upgrade, even though when I do a mock booking, the price difference between the aft balcony and my original booking is only $260-ish. Add on the loss of my $100 OBC from Latitudes Rewards, and a couple of Free at Sea Perks (WiFi and Shore Ex, which I really don't care *too* much about) and it doesn't really seem worth it. I think I would be better off spending $400 to buy spa passes for the two of us.

Edited by JamieLogical

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Spa passes and your original angled balcony sounds like a good cruise to me!

Hope you and your sister have a wonderful cruise🌞

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