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Old 07-06-2005, 06:57 AM
Crystal's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Maine
Posts: 24

I have booked on the Inspiration on January 7th out of Tampa. Inside guarantee for $801.70 for both of us (military discount!). Category 12 is the only category available with balcony. It's $1100 EACH - Almost 3 times the price I'm paying.

Is Category 12 worth it? Actually, the category isn't the main reason - the balcony is - is the Balcony worth it?

I've been on 4 cruises - 2 inside cabins, one with a window, and a short cruise that had 2 portholes (worthless). Never had a balcony...

  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-06-2005, 10:37 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 27
Dear Crystal,
I can only speak from my own experience re: balcony/cost. We've been cruising for yrs. now and started out w/inside cabins eventually working our way to outside and then yrs. later a "Suite." For us it's worth the money because we don't spend alot of extras on anything else such as souveniers, drinks, excursions, etc.. If I were you, I would consider how much you'll probably spend above what is not included in the cruise and then decide if the balcony is worth the cost and in your budget. Some people would rather go w/out the balcony and spend on the extras. It's a personal choice.. For us, it's been worth every penney. We only go w/balconies while still watching cost in other areas. We're spoiled, can't live w/out them now.
Hope this helps. Good luck and hope you enjoy your cruise wherever you wind-up.
Luv Cruising
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 07-06-2005, 11:52 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 323
We just went on our first cruise and we had an inside room on the bottom deck. I didn't much care for the walking back and forth but for the price difference I suppose it was worth it...With the money we saved we were able to take our 3 kids with us and they LOVED it.

I've said to my husband that the only upgrade I would pay would be for a balcony (I had no idea what a huge $$ difference there was) But I spent ALOT of time on the decks... i was up every morning at sunrise and was out until at least 1 am just looking at the black ocean... but it was wonderful! I could do without my own balcony though with all the times I sat on the decks I never felt crowded at all ..usually just 3-4 other people around. I would probably pay that extra if I was going somewhere there was something to see all the time..like an Alaskan cruise. On our cruise we sailed to nassau and there wasn't a ton to see getting there.

good luck..tough decision.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 07-06-2005, 05:11 PM
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On the other side of that, we went and my husband and I had a room with balcony and our kids had an inside stateroom. It was SOOOO Worth the money! I would get up before sunrise, have tea or coffee brought to the room and sit on the balcony(in my PJ's) and watch the sun come up! It was SOOOO Beautiful and Really worth every dime. When we were getting ready for dinner our kids LOVED to sit on the balcony and watch the water. We have two cruises booked coming up and we booked balconies for both!
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Old 07-07-2005, 05:10 AM
Crystal's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Maine
Posts: 24
Thanks guys!

I guess a little more info would have been helpful!

We hardly ever buy anything while on a cruise. I think on average I spend about $250 the whole week with souveniers, smoothies and the casino (if that much).

It's just the two of us - no kids. Though we would be traveling with another couple (our best friends). She is a sun freak - she'll be up on deck almost the whole time. I don't partiularly like the sun (I get hot very quickly and I'm pale, so I burn easy). I'm also considered obese and I get a bit self concious being up on deck with the beauties...

With balconies - are they in the sun or shade, or both?

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Old 09-02-2005, 10:12 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: midwest
Posts: 33
Crystal, I know this post you made is a bit old, but I was looking through and found it so I thought I would throw a comment in. First re: the balcony, my husband and I LOVE balconies, we love sitting out there for some quiet, alone time and I love drinking my morning coffee sitting out there wrapped up in the nice bathrobes Carnival provides in balcony cabins. It all boils down to personal choice and what you get use to. If you are use to balconies, you usually don't want to go without one, if you've never had one, no big deal. The balconies we've been on have been covered by the balcony of the deck above us.
What I really wanted to comment on here was your comment about being considered obese and not wanting to be on deck in a swimsuit. This is rubbish!! The cruises we have been on, you see EVERYTHING!!! Large, small, beautiful, not so beautiful etc...I have seen women and men that were VERY large strutting their stuff in their swimsuits. It's your vacation, so enjoy it!!! You will probally never see any of these people again anyway. You paid for your trip so do what ever you want. If others don't like it, they can look away. You have a wonderful cruise and I can't wait to hear how you enjoy it.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 09-02-2005, 07:50 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Manhattan
Posts: 153
Hello Everyone!

Tracie has revived this post from Crystal and Everyone~~~

It cannot be said enough: It is your cruise----get out there and enjoy it! Absolutely no one cares about how "beautiful" anyone looks. In fact, I think that people on a cruise ship are extremely tolerant of their fellow cruisers looks. My fellow is a huge man who is Mr. America in my eyes only, but on a cruise ship he turns into everyone's hero! At the pool especially, the kids love him, all the ladies flirt with him, and I get jealous; and he wouldn't even fit into a rented tuxedo!

Please do enjoy your time by the pool!!!

As to your stateroom choice---do stay with your wonderful bargain that you have with the inside stateroom. What a wonderful opportunity.

A day will come in your future when a balcony stateroom will be available for much less than one would have to pay for a Cat 11 or Cat 12. Carnival has many, many opportunities to try one without breaking the bank. Their Cat 8s are just great, and with some advance planning can be had at a very, very good price. Talk to your travel agent, and/or keep "cruising" the cruise websites for good deals.

I hope that you have a splendid time---be brave---toss your towel on a lounge chair and jump in!

Bon Voyage!

  #8 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-2005, 08:05 AM
jmsettles's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 174

If you have never had a balcony, I would suggest you go with the great bargain that you are getting with your military discount.
We are also cruising and taking advantage of this new military discount that carnival is offering, and we in fact did get a balcony cabin for $855, but we are not cruising until March 5th.{Valor} So, maybe the ship that you are cruising on, booked quickly, and did not have any balcony's left on the lower decks.
Did you check into a balcony on deck 6?? It is worth following up on to see if by chance something did open up. People cancel all of the time. If you booked thru a travel agent,Let your travel agent do that work for you....they should be able to stay on top of the cancellations, and book you accordingly. We have always booked thru a travel agent, I know however that some people do not.
Or, is cat.12 all that is left with balconies at this point?
We have never cruised without a balcony.....so, I do not know what to compare to. Sounds like you are getting a great deal however, maybe consider booking really early next time to get the military discount that includes a balcony on a lower deck so your not paying the big bucks just to include a balcony.
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-2005, 12:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Manhattan
Posts: 153
The Inspiration is one of Carnival's earlier ships that has only a small amount of balcony staterooms, which are Cat 11 and 12.

One needs to be looking at more recent ships, such as the Valor, to see the huge amount of Cat 7 and 8 balconies.

  #10 (permalink)  
Old 09-06-2005, 12:04 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9
I believe the ONLY way to see Alaska is with a balcony. Otherwise inside or window is fine!
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