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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-04-2008, 12:43 PM
mickeyd's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: TX
Posts: 129
We cruised from Seward to Vanouver last summer and had an inside room-no balcony.Never had a minute when we regretted it.

Not only did we save $, but it made us explore the boat more and realize that being on the bow, with the ship's naturalist, was the absolute best place to view marine life, glaciers, birds, bears etc. Friends that had a balcony said that you tend to miss a lot if you are just sitting on your balcony.
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 07-04-2008, 01:10 PM
Jill SC's Avatar  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 336
We were lucky - paid for inside and got upgraded to a balcony - we used the balcony a lot, getting wool blankets from the pool area, but some people never did use it, finding it too cold in May. Twice we ordered breakfast from room service and sat on the balcony, that included the day sailing into Glacier Bay listening to the naturalist on the TV. Then we spent the afternoon on deck as we sailed out again. We also sat out every evening bfore bed having drink, or two. Evenings are very long in Alaska in May, June & July. If you only choose one trip to splurge for a balcony, I would pick this one.

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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 07-04-2008, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,043
I have a nice memory of last August sitting on my balcony in Ketchikan. The sun shining, relaxing with my feet up, looking at beautiful scenery, and watching float planes take off and land. For many people Alaska is a once in a lifetime trip. They probably worked hard and saved for this trip for a long time. For that, people should reward themselves in the way that makes them feel good. Be it splurging on a balcony, a spa treatment, or exotic shore excursions. Do what makes you feel the happiest and creates lifetime memories. One never know what tomorrow brings.
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 07-04-2008, 02:07 PM
Dave's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,001
I liked the balcony experience because I felt it was a more personal interaction with the surroundings, and not like I was a member of a crowd. We were fortunate to have the balcony directly behind the port bridge wing. A man was out there and he started talking to me and pointing out mountain goats and other things. Not sure who he was other than he was not a crew member. Perhaps the guide or a pilot. Anyway, it was a nice encounter as he guided me to looking at specifics with my binoculars.

But to each his own. I'm sure those in the non-balcony cabins had a great cruise too. Four of them ate dinner with us each night and they were having a great cruise.
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 07-04-2008, 03:00 PM
TrvlPro's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 2,172
I admit it I like a balcony. However, I'm more than frugal, I'm cheap. I'd have an inside cabin for every sailing if my wife didn't have a say in the matter. I guess it would depend on what my budget was when I made the decision to book. Alaska would be the place, if you were ever going to spring for the difference to go ahead and do it.

I have a Star Princess 2009 sailing I've put a hold on twice but keep looking also at the Rhapsody of the Seas again after Dave's recent experience. I'm not usually indecisive about cruises but I intend to do an Alaska cruise and make up my mind. I may flip a coin.

Cheers, Neil
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 07-04-2008, 05:09 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Posts: 1,000
It is a cruise that is so very scenic along the inside passage way, you can see so many beautiful sites, it is not like you are at sea all day. I agree if at any time you were thinking of a balcony this it it! Then you get spoiled and have to have one every time !! We love being able to sit on our own private balcony, it is very special!
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 07-04-2008, 11:02 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 16
Once again, thank you all for your thoughtful replies. Sounds like everyone highly recommends the balcony for various reasons on this itinerary.

Although I do take to heart mickeyd's comments - even if we go with the balcony, we will be sure to spend time out on deck as well to be sure we don't miss a lot - that is the last thing we want to do.

Mickeyd - did you find the bow crowded during scenic cruising or did most passengers tend to spend time in other areas. As I think I mentioned in a previous post, I'm a short one so if someone is standing in front of me, I'm not seeing anything (unfortunately.)

Jill - Congrats on the upgrade. As a frequent traveler for business, I'm used to paying for the cheapest room in hotels and getting upgraded to some much nicer rooms. Unfortunately, I have no cruise line status. Is that how you got your upgrade or do you have a secret strategy I should consider?
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 07-05-2008, 10:31 AM
mickeyd's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: TX
Posts: 129
Mickeyd - did you find the bow crowded during scenic cruising or did most passengers tend to spend time in other areas. As I think I mentioned in a previous post, I'm a short one so if someone is standing in front of me, I'm not seeing anything (unfortunately.)

When going thru Glacier Bay there was about 100 or so, but at other times only a few dozen. There was plenty of room for folks of all heights to get great views. I am 6'2" so I did not have any issues there, but most folks are very considerate and understand that short folks should be able to get a good look too. Besides, folks are always changing positions, walking around, checking bith port and starbord sides.
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