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Alaskan Cruise Tips: Is a Balcony Room Worth the Cost?

Jun 13, 2008
If you've already started planning an Alaskan cruise or Alaskan cruise tour, you might have been considering whether it is worth the extra cost to book a balcony cabin. Of course, with Alaskan cruises in high demand, the cruise fares have been on the rise, meaning that a balcony room is often no small investment.

So are balcony rooms worth the price? The answer depends on several factors, including your personal finances, the time of year you plan on cruising, and the amount of time you plan on spending out of your room.

Balcony rooms on Alaskan cruises can cost anywhere from a couple hundred to a thousand dollars more than inside rooms (and the differential can be even higher at the peak of the season). However, despite this sometimes big difference in pricing, it is common for balcony rooms to sell out before either inside or oceanview cabins.

Why are balcony rooms so popular on Alaskan cruises? The reason for their popularity is that there simply is so much to see along the Alaskan cruise rout that, if you don't have a balcony, you miss out on a good amount of it.

Unlike in the Caribbean, where you sail from island to island, spending much of your time at sea, in the Alaskan Inside Passage, you spend the majority of your journey passing through a relatively narrow waterway between a chain of islands, often with incredible landscapes visible from both sides of the ship: soaring mountains, lush, green forests, countless waterfalls, fjords, glaciers, and even the occasional whale -- you'll see it all along the Alaskan cruise route.

Of course, if you simply aren't able to spend the money on a balcony room, you still will see plenty of Alaskan scenery. There are wonderful views from many of the ship's decks, and often you will have great views from the restaurants as well. Many people who book inside rooms end up spending a good deal of their time outside of their rooms anyway, taking part in the many activities and attending the wonderful shows and other events available on large cruise ships.

However, with a balcony stateroom, you will be able to take it all in from the privacy of your cabin. If you have the money or can book in a less expensive time of year (like May or September), I highly recommend a balcony stateroom. It's simply the best way there is to experience the wonders of coastal Alaska.
About the Author
Scott Russell is a writer, consultant, and frequent traveler. He is also an editor of the Alaskan Cruise Advisor, which provides information on all aspects of Alaskan cruises, including details on Alaska cruise ships, and tons of great Alaska cruise information.
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