To “B or Not to B” - That is the Question

Image supplied by Viking River Cruises

Image supplied by Viking River Cruises

Written by Hollis Davis - Elite Cruise Counselor

Cruise ships transport passengers literally all around the world but can vary greatly in style, design, amenities and service. There are new ships, older ships, big ships, small ships and mid-size ships. Some offer a more intimate cruise experience, whereas some offer over- the-top onboard activities and entertainment. But one question is consistently asked… Do I really need a balcony? Bottom line, it’s a personal preference, but there are some important points to consider when making the decision.


Cost: In years past, balconies onboard ships were a rarity and traditionally cost hundreds more than an ocean view cabin. Now balconies are plentiful on the newer ships, making it much more reasonable to upgrade. Break down the additional cost of a balcony upgrade to a per/day amount. On some cruises, upgrading can be as low as $10/day overall, the cost of a cocktail, so why not give yourself a view of the world from your balcony?

There are currently over 300 sea-going cruise ships in the world today which can accommodate approximately 300,000 passengers per day. The average cruise length is slightly over 7 days and almost 90% of all cruise tickets sold are booked through Travel Agents!
— Hollis

Cruise Length: Shorter, 3-5 day cruises, are traditionally busier and passengers pack a lot of vacation into a short amount of time so many people opt for an ocean view or even interior cabin rather than a balcony.  Longer cruises can be a bit more relaxing with a mix of days at sea and days in port, so there is more time to enjoy the balcony upgrade.

Views and Itinerary: Many passengers decide on a balcony depending on the cruise itinerary. If they are traveling on an itinerary with iconic destinations, or in sight of land on most or all of the itinerary, then a balcony is definitely worth the money. A balcony gives you the ability to just step outside your cabin to watch a whale breach, take in the view of a Norwegian Fjord or the Sydney Opera House. You do not have to get dressed to run out on deck for that “Kodak” moment.  

Ambience: Whether you want a quiet place to read a book, a cozy spot to enjoy your first cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine as the sun sets, or a romantic place to watch the moonlight on the ocean with your honey, a balcony can play a huge part in the overall enjoyment of your cruise.   

Open Space: If you are worried about being closed-in, a balcony cabin is the way to go. Most balcony cabins have an entire wall of floor to ceiling windows with a sliding glass door that opens to a step-out deck.  This goes a long way in helping “open up” the space for a roomier and much less claustrophobic feeling. 

Take a look at our 2014/15 Scheduled Groups for information on our upcoming hosted cruises.