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there's always the open deck, a lot of people go there. get some great pictures. most ships have a lounge that they open just for that, on the NCL star is was the spinnacker lounge, they made it non-smoking to allow people to gather there. some went to the star bar, also a open area with a big window area.

the balcony was great for the cruising, got to just sit and sip hot chocolate for the hour to more to cruise up to the glaciers. we could still hear the anouncements from the park rangers.

we enjoyed our balcony every day, on sea days we spent time just watching the beautiful world cruise by.

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Actually, very FEW people are out on deck outside of the glacier viewing day. I do spend all my time out there, frequently alone. Most people do not have the proper attire which adds to the few people. I always pay for a cheap inside cabin. A few times I've been upgraded to an outside, I never use it. I just do not like side viewing, nor missing the other half of the views. My priority is marine wildlife, you need to be in the front and tracking from ahead. So I go cheap, but can go more often- which is another priority for me. :)

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A balcony is very nice. You can set outside and use your binoculars then go back in if it gets to cold. Easy to have a drink or just have coffee while your at it. I think you'll spend more time looking around with a balcony.


On the other hand you can see better from the deck most of the time. Broader range of site etc. BQ is right except on glacier days or when your close to shore most people on deck are walking for excercise not scanning the horizon for wild life.


We had a balcony mini suite which was ideal. However its a lot cheaper to be inside and if I went again I'd probable do that to save money. In Alaska its really smart to go on the excursions which are pricy.


Nothing wrong with inside, that the way I'm going to Mexico in Feb.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What type cabin is personal preference--for us, we've never sailed without a balcony (except our first cruise when we had no choice but inside). We're in a suite for our Alaska cruise in August as much for the larger balcony as anything.


We spend a lot of time on our balcony--one of my favorite experiences from our first Alaska cruise was sitting on the balcony watching the floatplanes take off and land.


But, if I had to chose between going in an inside cabin and not going, I'd take the inside!




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The balcony is definitely nice. We had a verandah suite on the HAL Veendam and loved it. This being said, however, I will say that there is nothing quite like getting the full panoramic view to be had by going out on the deck, since there's undoubtedly something worthwhile seeing on the other side of the ship...especially in Alaska. I agree with BudgetQueen about spending time out on the deck...I, too, very much enjoyed being out there basically alone with just my family and was surprised how few people are often out there. The first night we were out on the bow to catch the sunset out of Vancouver. It was just beautiful and there was virtually noone else there! Except for the big events, like cruising glacier bay, etc., the decks are often empty. The morning joggers are always out there, but it's a very peaceful place for the most part. The balcony is great, however, when you just want to step out for a bit to catch the view and a breath of fresh air and don't have to be worried about what you're wearing. How nice in the early morning or late evening to just slip on that bathrobe and open the door to your own private little deck! Go and enjoy....

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