Alaska balcony or not?

Jul 12th, 2006, 06:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Alaska balcony or not?

Balcony prices are about double inside cabins on most Alaska cruises for August. On our last cruise we were hardly in the cabin at all. Do we need to spend the extra monsy on a balcony, or should we spend it on tours?
sunblock90 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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My opinion only, the touring is my priority. I take any flight I wish, wildlife tour etc without regard to price, since I'm in a cheap inside cabin. I do, however spend all my time out on deck, few people do, but my priority is only front viewing, I want to see it all.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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If that is the case you just may want to stay inside as the excursions for Alaska are costy. Do get a good pair of binoculars. Cheers. Larry
jacketwatch is online now  
Jul 13th, 2006, 01:14 PM
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I agree that Alaska is all about the excursions. That being said, a balcony is an important of my cruise experience and not just a place to watch the outdoor scenery go by. I like privacy which is often hard to come by on a ship.

I enjoy coffee, breakfast, often lunch and a glass of wine before dinner on my balcony.

For me, any cruise is about more than the destination itself. If I cannot book a balcony, I do not cruise. I will fly and stay and see what I wish. A cruise is not simply a method of getting somewhere and a ship is a destination in itself so I am choosy about the ones I pick.

But we are all different.
kfusto is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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I'm with Kfusto. A balcony is as important as the tours. I want privacy. I want to sit and watch the beauty of nature from my room with a drink and not with a bunch of other people, but we ARE all different and if you honestly will not spend time on your balcony then there is no cents, $$$ in spending money on it.
cd is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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A great way to save money and see what the others are seeing on the expensive tours, is to rent a car in port. We did this at several ports on our last Alaskan cruise and went to the same places the big tour buses went. We drove into the Yukon and enjoyed not having all the people around. That way you can have a balcony and see the sights. It was a little expensive to rent the cars but much cheaper than the side trips. I believe one town was a local rental place so check it out.
GetOutThere is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 04:13 PM
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Both the balcony and the excursions are important IMO. I guess if I had to choose one over the other I'd opt for the balcony. I can't imagine an Alaskan cruise without one. Hopefully you can work it so you have both.
petlover is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 04:34 PM
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Watching the views of Tracy Arm from our balcony was nearly as nice as the excursions. If $$ permits a balcony is a great addition. If not you will have a great time anyway. It depends on your needs. Good luck. Larry
jacketwatch is online now  
Jul 14th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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We had both, but given the choice, I'd say the excursions were the most important - and the highlight of our trip - especially the more adverturous ones like the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari out of Skagway. The city tours were nice but those could be done for the most part on your own time if you had to with cabs & walking.
dbaker is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 03:33 PM
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PS - We did watch Tracey Arm from our room but also from the cafe/dining room and outside on deck. The views were nice from both. Either way, you get to see the views, just from different vantage points and levels of privacy/comfort. Whereas, if you skip the excursions, you don't get to see those things at all. Some food for thought.
dbaker is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 05:36 PM
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I would at least get an ocean view if you don't want to shell out the big bucks for a balcony.
Jul 28th, 2006, 05:29 PM
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We just returned from AK via Norwegian in June. After much debate, we took an inside cabin. Absolutely no regrets!!!!

We loved being on deck when arriving in ports or Tracy Arm. We would dash from one side to the other. It was cool!

Our room was really nice for two people. Shower was extremely small. Yet still, no regrets!
sk84fungirl is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 07:14 AM
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Glad it suited you. Thanks for leaving those balcony rooms for those who prefer them.
jacketwatch is online now  
Aug 1st, 2006, 11:56 AM
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Get a balcony if you could afford it, but when you're in, say Glacier Bay NP, it's best to be out on the deck. You might miss a spectacular calving if your side of the ship is not facing the glacier.

We went with HAL earlier this summer, and booked an inside cabin. To our delight, we got upgraded to an outside cabin with a nice window on a convenient upper deck where we could go outside very easily. It was nice to see the outside, but we actually spent most of our time during sailing days out on the deck. Sometimes, we had the entire back deck to ourselves! We even ate breakfast out there. I don't know where the rest of 1200 people were!
JC98 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 12:14 PM
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Maybe a compromise is to book an outside oceanview room. Make sure it's not obstructed. That way you get to see what the weather is like and some sceneries. It costs less than a balcony and probably not too much more than an inside cabin, so you don't feel too bad abandoning it to spend time outside your room. And splurge on your shore excursions, which should be the highlight of your trip.
JC98 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 09:37 AM
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Just got back from a Celebrity cruise to Alaska. We had a balcony and loved it! The weather wasn't the greatest and we could still sit on our balcony and enjoy the beautiful view.
0311 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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Actually the OP posted what she decided on and it was an inside cabin which suited her quite well.
jacketwatch is online now  
Aug 10th, 2006, 01:54 PM
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JC98, good to hear the report about your HAL cruise. We are booked for a HAL Alaska cruise in September. My spouse likes the biggest room he can get, so we got a balcony suite, and an inside room for my adult daughter just across the hall. I almost regret not booking the penthouse suite for all of us. However, I see that sometimes, upgrades are done for the inside rooms.

I was surprised to hear that the decks were relatively unpopulated. The size of the ship and number of passengers was my big concern. We've always done small ship cruising and prefer that. I am hoping this cruise will be relaxing, fun, and not a three ring circus with hundreds of kids on board, and long lines everywhere. My brother, a seasoned cruiser, highly recommended HAL, thus our choice.
shorebrau is offline  
Aug 11th, 2006, 07:29 AM
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Would join those suggesting an outside cabin with window and save your $$ for tours or other trips. Our HAL tour was fantastic and we spent very little time in our cabin other than for sleeping, but the window was great to see the weather in the morning, or scenery etc. We did all our marine life viewing off the decks, and as the naturalist said those who saw the most whales, fish, etc. we the ones who were on the deck the most. The decks are quite empty before 9 a.m. and even later in the day, it was no problem to get a lounge chair. Good binoculars are a must. Our concerns about crowds, lines, feeling like herded cattle were pleasantly wrong. The HAL staff has embarking and disembarking down well. Even the dining room had no lines unless you went before the opening times. The buffet lines could be a little long at prime times, but we selected the dining room since it was wonderful service, quieter, and exceptional food. The evening shows had lines before opening, but there were plenty of seats and great viewing from any location, so there was no need to get there early. Some folks just like to be first!
CollegeMom is offline  
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