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Jetswdo

Balcony question for Alaska Cruise

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We are planning an Alaska cruise on Princess for July of 2008. We definately want a balcony cabin. I know that the Dolphin deck mini suites are uncovered (we were in one on Island Princess on a prior cruise)---I also know that the caribe deck balconies are half covered and bigger, although the rooms are smaller. My question is this: For Alaska itinerary, is it important to have a bigger balcony, with some coverage, a smaller balcony completely covered, or no coverage at all but have the luxury of a bigger cabin? There will be just my husband and myself, (we are in our 50's) plan on using room service occassionally (out of pure laziness) but want the luxury of viewing the glaciers from our balcony.

When we were on Island Princess, it was a Hawaii cruise and our daughter was in cabin with us---While I wasn't thrilled about a wide open balcony, the cabin overall was very comfortable for the three of us.

Please excuse my ongoing ramble, I'd like to read everyone's opinions regarding "best balcony to chose for Alaska"... Thanks, Anita

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Personally I would say go for a Aloha or Baja covered balcony if you plan on 'balcony meals'. I was told you must always assume in an Alaskan summer it is going to rain. As it happens, when we did our Alaska cruise a couple of years ago, we didn't have any rain in that week, but the previous week it rained constantly, so bit of a lottery there!

If you want to 'look over the side', go for a Dolphin, although this is as you say, uncovered. From the covered balconies you are about 20 feet from the ships rail, so can't see down and over the side when in port.

This doesn't really help does it?, but just thought I'd point out the 2 basic options. I'm afraid its your decision!!

 

Simon

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If you're sailing the Coral or Island, I believe balconies on the Emerald Deck are fully covered.

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My DW and I just got off the Coral last week. We were in cabin Caribe 235. This is a balcony which was fully covered. We were able to look straight down and into the water and could see EVERYTHING that was going on while we docked. This is a more forward cabin (about 15 back from the front) however, we did not feel hardly any of the ocean's motion:D !

 

As far as fully covered or what not I would say that is a persoanl decision you need to make. If it were me I would go with a fully covered because of something I learned while on this cruise. The coastal portions of Alaska (where you cruise) are a rain forest. The week we were there it rained all week. It was off and on and it was a light, steady rain. I think it is Ketchikan averages 240 days with rain per year. However, when it comes to rain, from what I have read from others here, it is a crap shoot as to whether it rains or not :o .

 

I hope this helps.

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Thanks for your replies. So would most of you go for the "desirable balcony" over the room size for Alaska? I should add, I wasn't particularly thinking of eating meals on the balcony, I just want to get the most out of this cruise. I can assure you that if it does rain in July, it will definately do so on whichever week we end up going (lol)

 

I'd love responses from anyone who has done any of the Alaska cruises on Princess, in a mini suite, and whether to do over again, would've done a regular balcony cabin for a better balcony, etc. Also, more "arguments" for Caribe, vs Aloha and Baja decks-- Thanks to above replies!! Anita

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We just got off of the Coral doing Alaska, and we had a mini-suite on Caribe. Was C417. We chose it because it is a corner "bump" balcony...and fully covered. The balcony was smaller than some, (plenty of room for two) but allowed us to look forward as well as to the side. The bump-out corners are great for this. We were a bit concerned about being starboard side on a southbound cruise, but it proved to be no issue.

 

I would insist on a covered balcony if you want to use it a lot. I spent lots of time on the balcony (read two entire books) and being covered helped not only with the occasional rain, but also with the occasional strong sun.

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ok, next question, please excuse my ignorance. Where is the bumpout section located? I ask this because on past cruises I always book in the mid section of the boat, to avoid seasickness as much as possible. I know alot of people prefer the aft, but I get headaches looking backwards. I really wish I wasn't so fussy, but oh well...

 

Also, part of my question is this: For Alaska cruises, I have been given the impression that people spend more time on their balconies due to the magnificent scenery. This is why I'm being very cautious before I book a cabin.

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I think to comment on a specific deck is difficult because it may depend which ship you are on. We cruised on the Dawn several years ago. I believe we were on the Aloha deck - fully covered balconies. There were 3 couples travelling together so we had the balconies opened up - gave us a very nice area. I think the balconies are fabulous to have on an Alaskan cruise, just because you always have the ability to stand outside and experience nature and the awesome views. But the glaciers - I would absolutely go outside to the deck. That way you can really experience the vastness of it. We did go back and forth to the room sometimes, if we were there for a long time. we also found a little known area at the front of the ship which could be accessed right from our floor. All in all a great trip.

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ok, next question, please excuse my ignorance. Where is the bumpout section located? I ask this because on past cruises I always book in the mid section of the boat, to avoid seasickness as much as possible. I know alot of people prefer the aft, but I get headaches looking backwards. I really wish I wasn't so fussy, but oh well...

 

Spend some time going through the deck schematics at the Princess site and you will see the "bumps-outs". Here is the schematic for the Caribe deck on Coral. Note that C417 is on the front corner of the "bump". I believe the bumps are due to the elevator/staircase shafts.

 

There is a fantastic website that a cruisecritic member has done that highlights the details on virtually all Princess balconies. I don't have the link, but hopefully somebody reading this will provide it.

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I think this is the website: http://mysite.verizon.net/res76zxu/princessbalconies/index.html

 

I used it to book our room on the Coral for Alaska next summer. We ended up with C228 because according to the diagram the balconies at the back are only partially covered and by looking at the photos, I felt I wanted one that was totally covered for our trip.

 

Hope this helps!

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Thanks! Those web sites are very helpful. I'm going to study them very carefully. Anita

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For Alaska I don't think the balcony size is a factor at least for us. What I would want is a balcony that is at least half covered. If you were comfortable with three in a balcony.

 

As the above poster suggested, study the deck plans of the ship you are going to choose. My preference would be mid-ship bump out on Coral or Island and near aft elevators on the Sapphire.

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We were on Coral June 4 . E 221 and it was completly covered which was a good thing. When it was raining we could be out on the balcony and still be dry.

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I think this is the website: http://mysite.verizon.net/res76zxu/princessbalconies/index.html

 

I used it to book our room on the Coral for Alaska next summer. We ended up with C228 because according to the diagram the balconies at the back are only partially covered and by looking at the photos, I felt I wanted one that was totally covered for our trip.

 

Hope this helps!

 

This is fantastic! Do you know if he has the same type of report for the other Princess ships? If so, where would I look for them. Thanks in advance.

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I think this is the website: http://mysite.verizon.net/res76zxu/princessbalconies/index.html

 

I used it to book our room on the Coral for Alaska next summer. We ended up with C228 because according to the diagram the balconies at the back are only partially covered and by looking at the photos, I felt I wanted one that was totally covered for our trip.

 

Hope this helps!

 

I actually just got off Coral and we were on C226--right next to where you will be. It was a great location. My kids enjoyed being able to see the captain in the bridge and waving at him from the balcony(and him waving back) while in ports.

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This is fantastic! Do you know if he has the same type of report for the other Princess ships? If so, where would I look for them. Thanks in advance.

 

I don't know if he has done the same type of thing for the other ships. I was only interested in the Coral so I didn't really search.

 

My kids enjoyed being able to see the captain in the bridge and waving at him from the balcony(and him waving back) while in ports.

 

That is so great! I'll have to give the Captain a wave or two myself. I'm glad to hear that you were happy with your room. I've read that alot of people complain about that part of the ship being noisy, but faced with only have a partially covered balcony aft, or a fully covered one forward, I decided to give the forward rooms a try. We're pretty easy going travelers and tend to just go with the flow so I'm sure we'll be happy with the room. Thanks for the info!

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