In planning for a cruise vacation one of the things you will have to decide on early in your planning is the room type you will book. Choices include a luxury suite, a balcony room, a room with an ocean view, and the smaller interior room. The two ends of the room choice spectrum goes from the most expensive, and limited quantity suite rooms. The interior rooms with most cruises have the highest number of availability. The in-between room choices we will discuss is the ocean view and the balcony.
The ocean view room on a cruise ship refers to a cabin that has one window or smaller porthole through which passengers can see the ocean during the cruise. You can only see straight out of the window, so you have a ocean view, but it is limited. With an ocean view it is nice to see where you are on the cruise trip, but you will typically not spend much time looking out the window. You’ll look out in the morning to see the weather, and location of the ship. This is nice, but you will soon see the value is limited. The size and shape of the ocean view window can vary depending on the cruise line and the size of the cruise ship. Some ocean view rooms may have large windows or even a floor-to-ceiling window that will give you a slightly better view of the ocean.
Next we have the balcony room, also known as a veranda room, typically features a private balcony that extends out from the cabin room. The size of the balcony can vary depending on the cruise line and the ship, but it usually has a full floor to ceiling window with a door to access the private balcony. You can walk out and sit and enjoy the fresh ocean air, or even tan in private on your balcony. Most balcony rooms will be listed as a private balcony, but you can hear other people on their balcony, but this does not usually happen often. The nice part of having a balcony room is that you can see, while leaning over the balcony, a fuller view of the ocean and the ship.
Smoking is typically not allowed, so you will not have to worry about any undesired scents. You could choose to tan with less clothing than you would wear at the cruise pool, but going completely bare is often stated by the cruise line as not recommended. Also, the time of the year will help you in choosing a balcony or an ocean view. In the summer during the day a balcony room will have a nice breeze and agreeable temperature. In the winter, or sometimes at night, the temperature and wind may be an issue to where you decide not to sit out on the balcony during your cruise. If the rules do not say you should not fly a kite off your balcony, doesn’t mean you have a green light to do those activities.
The main difference between an ocean view room and a balcony room is that the balcony room will feel bigger with the extra space provided by the walk out balcony. The room size is typically the same for most cruise ships. The larger balcony rooms will be listed as a Balcony Suite or Luxury Balcony Suite. Most cruise ships have very view enhanced balcony rooms. The price of a balcony room is often higher than the ocean view rooms.
One major difference between the ocean view room and a balcony room is the floor location. With most cruise ships the balcony rooms tend to be on higher floors, which is also where most of the ship activities take place such as the central pool, and the dining halls and buffet. An ocean view room will be below most balconies, so you will most likely have to take an elevator, or use the stairs to access the daily cruise activities. Before you book your cruise room be sure to view the ship layout so you have a room closest to the activities you want to experience. If you prefer to be out with other cruise passengers for the music or pool, you may find that you will not use the balcony often.
Create a checklist of things you will want to do on the cruise ship and then decide on if an Ocean View or a Balcony meets your requirements.