What You Should Know Before Booking a Cruise Ship Balcony Room from What You Should Know Before Booking a Cruise Ship Balcony Room

What You Should Know Before Booking a Cruise Ship Balcony Room

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What You Should Know Before Booking a Cruise Ship Balcony Room

Though regular cruise ship rooms are certainly nice, balcony rooms will amaze you. Imagine sipping Champagne while watching the sunset in the comfort of your own private outdoor space. Balcony rooms give you the opportunity to escape the crowds, especially when you feel like you need to relax and recharge. Read a good book or meditate while looking out over the ocean and enjoying the spectacular scenery. This all sounds great, but the truth is that these rooms can be a bit pricy. You need to consider if booking this room is really worth it.

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Research the Region Where You’ll Be Cruising

“Think about the region in which you are going to be cruising and how much you are really going to want to be outside using your balcony,” says Mollie Fitzgerald, co-owner of Frontiers International Travel. For instance, “if you are cruising in Indonesia or Southeast Asia where it can be very hot and humid, or perhaps in Scandinavia where it is often chilly, the balcony may not be in play that often or worth the extra upcharge compared to the Caribbean or Med where weather might be more delightful and the balcony used much more.”

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Ask About Obstructed Views

“Ask if the view from the balcony is obstructed in any way,” Fitzgerald explains. “Sometimes tender boats or life boats are suspended from the ceiling and can partially or fully obstruct the view from the balcony.”

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There May Not Be Furniture on Your Balcony

“Ask if the balcony is furnished – a table and pair of chairs so that you can actually step outside and enjoy it,” Fitzgerald says. “Sometimes, the term ‘balcony’ can be misleading and it is just a ‘Juliette’ balcony (also sometimes called ‘French’ balcony) which is a sliding door but the balcony itself is only 8-12 deep so no room to have furniture or sit down.”

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Wait to Upgrade Your Room

Don’t purchase your balcony room while booking your trip. Wait until after boarding. According to Roaming Around The World, many cruise lines try to entice their passengers with a reduced-rate upgrade program in an attempt to fill balcony state rooms that weren’t reserved.

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Your Room Location May Determine the Size of Your Balcony

“Get the square footage of the balcony for the cabin you are considering,” Fitzgerald says. “The largest ones are often on the cabins at the front of the ship and/or at the rear – not the sides.”

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It May Be Noisy

What is the point of paying extra money for a balcony if you can’t enjoy it? Fitzgerald says you should “ask how private the balcony is,” as sometimes you can see or hear your neighbors to each side, which can be annoying.

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Smoking May Not Be Permitted

"Some people want a balcony because they smoke and they assume you can do this outside,” Fitzgerald says. Make sure you ask whether smoking is permitted on balconies because some ships are completely non-smoking, she adds.

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Depending on the Duration of Your Trip, You May Not Use It

Travelers on shorter trips may want to save the money on a balcony and use it somewhere else. The truth is that the shorter your trip, the less time you’re likely to spend in your room; the longer your trip, the more time you will have to relax in your own private outdoor space.

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You May Lose Interior Space

“On some ships, especially smaller ones, sometimes having a balcony actually impinges on the interior space of the cabin,” Fitzgerald explains. “If maximizing interior space is a priority, you might consider NOT having a balcony.”

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Opt for a Forward-Facing Balcony

If you prefer to see where you are going, instead of where you have been, you may want to consider a forward-facing balcony. These balconies are sometimes less expensive and much larger, depending on the ship and the sail date, according to icruise.com.

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French Balconies Are Cheaper, But Not as Luxurious

The idea of having a French balcony sounds enticing, but the truth is that although they are cheaper, they don’t offer the amenities other balconies do. According to icruise.com, they usually feature floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open to a railing, and if you’re lucky enough to have a deck, it is very narrow.

What You Should Know Before Booking a Cruise Ship Balcony Room