The best cruise ship balcony cabins for your vacation at sea

Fran Golden

Balcony cabins are popular accommodations on cruise ships, affording the luxury of an outdoor space where you can take in the sea breezes, read a book, have breakfast or a drink and stare at the waves without distraction.

These spaces vary widely in size, so it pays to study your ship's deck plan before booking. Affordable balcony cabins might come with a veranda so small your knees rub against the railing as you sit in one of two deck chairs flanking a small cocktail table. The most expensive suites, on the other hand, can have balconies as large as half a tennis court, equipped with cushy loungers, a big table for outdoor dining and even a private hot tub or plunge pool.

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With all balcony cabins, you can just throw on your bathrobe to catch views of wildlife or of your ship pulling into port. Keep in mind when you step outside that your balcony might not be entirely private — your neighbors might be able to see you (as will the ship's security team via hidden cameras).

Here are our picks for the best balcony cabins at sea.

Cove balcony cabins on Carnival Cruise Line

ocean view cruise ship balcony

On select Carnival Cruise Line ships, such as Carnival Vista and Carnival Magic, you'll find special Deck 2 Cove balcony cabins that are built into the steel hull of the ship, close to the waterline and near the ship's lifeboats.

These accommodations afford a unique view of the sea since you aren't on a typical balcony that hangs off the ship, but in a cutout in the ship's superstructure. You'll have more privacy than with typical balcony cabins, since no one can see you from above or the side — but that's not the main draw.

The thrill here is sitting in a deck chair and watching the waves and spray splashing up from only 20 to 25 feet below. Call it a free show. Just be aware that you can't use your balcony in rough seas when a watertight door seals off the space from the roiling water. Also, given the close-up view of rolling waves, these cabins are not appropriate for those who suffer from seasickness.

Cove cabins are limited in number and popular, so you'll need to snag one well in advance of your sailing.

Related: 6 reasons you'll want to book a balcony cabin on your next cruise

Infinite Veranda cabins on Celebrity Cruises

ocean view cruise ship balcony

On its Edge-class ships, Celebrity Cruises sought to redefine the concept of a "balcony." Instead of creating private outdoor spaces that hang off the ship, the cruise line cleverly designed a way to bring the outside space in.

At the push of a button, the top half of a floor-to-ceiling wall of glass in your cabin slides down like a car window to let in the fresh ocean air. If you want, you can close off the section of your room closest to the window by sliding shut a pair of folding doors. Once that is done, you have a cozy spot with two chairs and a cocktail table where you can admire the sea or enjoy your morning coffee — even if your cabinmate is still sleeping.

If the weather turns rainy or chilly, roll that window back up, and you can still enjoy the sitting area as an indoor portion of your cabin.

With no space wasted for a traditional balcony, the other benefit of this setup is expanded indoor space. These cabins are 23 percent larger than on the line's Solstice-class ships, including bigger bathrooms.

Sister cruise line Royal Caribbean has introduced these cabins on its newest cruise ship, Icon of the Seas , and other ocean lines such as Atlas Ocean Voyages have begun to copy the idea , too. The concept first began popping up about a decade ago on river cruise ships, where it was pioneered by Avalon Waterways.

Super Studio balcony cabins on Royal Caribbean

ocean view cruise ship balcony

Single cruisers have a tough choice. They can choose an inside or windowed cabin designed and priced for solo guests — but to enjoy balcony accommodations, they typically must pay a supplement (as much as 100% of the cruise fare) to reserve a veranda cabin designed for two people to share.

Related: These 8 cabins are great for travelers cruising alone

Royal Caribbean sought to level the playing field on its Quantum Class ships by creating Super Studio balcony cabins. On Quantum, Anthem, Ovation, Spectrum and Odyssey of the Seas, these solo cabins are designed and priced for one, with up to 199 square feet of interior space and a 55-foot balcony that's large enough for two chairs and a small table.

There are only a dozen of these cabins per ship, so you'll want to book as early as possible to snag one.

Rear-facing cabins on any cruise line

ocean view cruise ship balcony

On any ship, rear-facing balcony cabins are coveted spaces. They deliver mesmerizing views as your ship pulls out of ports of call, and their balconies tend to be larger than those on the sides of the ship. Many people book them for a feeling of privacy and to enjoy peaceful moments gazing out at the ship's wake. Corner cabins are a particular bonus, delivering long, wraparound outdoor spaces.

On the newest ships of lines such as MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line , you'll find suites occupying the corners, but other ships have more affordable balcony cabins in this location. Be aware when booking rear-facing balconies that your space might not have much shade and that you will feel more movement than you would in a cabin in the middle of the ship. These beloved cabins are not necessarily the best for those who get seasick.

Related: What not to do on a cruise balcony

AquaTheater Suites on Royal Caribbean

ocean view cruise ship balcony

On Royal Caribbean's enormous Oasis Class ships , these one- and two-bedroom suites overlook the back of the ship with the bonus of views of the AquaTheater. You can sit in your lounge chair and privately watch thrilling high-diving shows, complete with dancers, acrobats, dancing fountains and performers jumping off 30-foot platforms into the deepest pools at sea. There are no tickets needed and no jockeying for seats with your shipmates.

The largest suites sleep up to eight and wrap around the side of the ship with 772 square feet of outdoor space. You can hold a party at your outdoor bar or sit down to an alfresco, room-service dinner.

Sky Suites on Princess Cruises

ocean view cruise ship balcony

Princess Cruises ' latest ships — Sky Princess, Enchanted Princess and Discovery Princess — break the record for largest cruise ship balconies of any cabin on any cruise ship, according to the line.

The fancy Sky Suites, centrally located on a top deck, have huge, wraparound terraces that overlook the sea and the ship's sports deck. The 1,012-square-foot balcony features lounging areas, a dry bar, an alfresco dining setup and even a TV alcove.

The suites come with many perks, the coolest of which is a private viewing of what's playing on your ship's giant Movies Under the Stars screen. You even get to request a movie showing of your choice.

Sea Terraces on Virgin Voyages

ocean view cruise ship balcony

Virgin Voyages likes to do things more playfully than other lines, and its balcony cabins are in keeping with that philosophy. Book a Sea Terrace on the line's Scarlet Lady , Resilient Lady or Valiant Lady and you'll get a balcony equipped with chairs and a small table plus a hammock swing attached to the ceiling. Embrace your inner kid and swing to your heart's content while you enjoy fresh air and sea views.

Other unique quirks of Virgin Voyages' Sea Terrace cabins are mood lighting and full-size beds that turn into sofas by day.

Related: First impressions of Scarlet Lady, the first-ever Virgin Voyages vessel

Excel Presidential Suites on Carnival Cruise Line

ocean view cruise ship balcony

On Carnival's Mardi Gras , Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee , these big suites for big spenders afford the same forward-facing views as the captain, with plenty of room to entertain your nearest and dearest both indoors and outside.

The largest balconies in the Carnival fleet at 645 square feet, these come with double sunbeds and loungers, a dining table for meals outdoors and a private soaking pool plus an outdoor shower.

Book one of these suites and you also have unlimited access to Loft 19, a lounging area equipped with cushy loungers and cabanas that is reserved for suite guests.

Slightly more affordable are the ships' 12 Carnival Excel Corner Suites, with the "wow" of private, open-air hot tubs on wraparound balconies.

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Ocean View Staterooms

Each ocean view stateroom on board Celebrity includes the following world-class amenities that all contribute to your modern experience.

Ocean View Staterooms on Edge

Larger living spaces and expansive views make Ocean View Staterooms the ideal place to unwind at sea. These perfectly indulgent spaces come furnished with Celebrity’s eXhale® bedding featuring the luxury king-size Cashmere™ Mattress and everything else a modern traveler needs.

Panoramic Ocean View Stateroom

Enjoy ever-changing vistas through floor-to-ceiling windows, plus more space than our standard Ocean View Stateroom. Panoramic Ocean View Staterooms are ideal for families and travelers looking to relax in unique luxury. They’re conveniently located forward and mid-ship and furnished for pure indulgence.

212 sq. ft.

Please note: Panoramic Ocean View Staterooms do not feature the Infinite Veranda®.

Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom

Enjoy the friendly, intuitive Celebrity service in one of the largest staterooms on Celebrity Edge®: The Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom. Relax in your spacious living area as you take in the ever-changing ocean views.

242 sq. ft.

Ocean View Stateroom

Take in the stunning views while you relax in your Ocean View Stateroom. Like all Edge Class Staterooms, this stateroom is furnished with pure luxury in mind. From spacious living areas to the comfortable King-size Cashmere Mattress featuring eXhale bedding, you will feel right at home after your day of adventure.

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*Additional charges apply **Bed as large or larger than average standard international king-size bed † $9.95 service fee and 20% gratuity may apply

Go Green is the latest addition to our existing Save the Waves program. Our new housekeeping initiative allows you to earn rewards while reducing your footprint. Opt-in for reduced housekeeping services to conserve energy and resource consumption. You’ll still experience the highest standards of cleanliness, plus the added flexibility of choosing your preferred time of service -all while traveling more responsibly.

Accessible Ocean View Stateroom

Our Accessible Ocean View Staterooms include all the amenities and services above plus:

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STATEROOMS & SUITES

All for one and room for all, top-notch amenities spacious accommodations.

Our staterooms are designed with every type of guest in mind. Whether you’re sailing with your significant other, your family, a group of friends, or traveling solo — we’ve got the perfect room to accommodate your party and budget. Take your pick from Interior or Ocean View rooms, Balcony staterooms, or spacious Suites. You can even connect rooms allowing you to stay together with extended family or friends. The options are endless, and the comfort is always guaranteed.

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Interior Staterooms

Our interior staterooms include a wide array of amenities for your whole family to enjoy..

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Interior Stateroom

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You’ll never find a shortage of unbelievable room options. From romantic couples staterooms to spacious family suites, you’ll find just what you’re looking for to complement the adventure of a lifetime. Take a virtual tour to get a better look at our stateroom collection call dibs on your just-right space.

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Promenade view interior, central park view interior, spacious ocean view, spacious ocean view balcony*, royal suite, grand suite, owner's suite, aquatheater suite.

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ROOM TO UNWIND

There’s so much to do each day and night. But somewhere in between it all, you’ll want to relax, unwind, and enjoy some “me time.” When choosing your ideal cruise ship stateroom, first consider how much space you need, and which amenities are most important to you. We’ve broken it down to help you decide which stateroom fits your vacation needs.

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FAMILY STATEROOMS

When traveling with your family, space is always on your mind. A cozy Interior Room is our most budget-friendly option, and we offer Spacious Interiors, along with connecting rooms to accommodate larger families. The range of ultra-spacious cruise rooms across categories spans all the way up to our new Ultimate Family Townhouse — three stories that elevate the way you stay and play.

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STATEROOM FOR COUPLES

If you’re planning a getaway for you and a special someone, we’ve got a range of cruise suites to serve as a romantic backdrop. A private balcony, luxurious bedding and in-suite dining are just a few of the upgraded amenities you’ll enjoy. And if it’s extra pampering you seek, be sure to save time for a relaxing service at  Vitality Spa℠ .

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Looking for the perfect stateroom for you and your crew? When traveling with a group of friends, there are many options to choose from. Each category has options that offer maximum space to spread out. From Spacious Interior rooms to Ultra Spacious Ocean View rooms, to our top of the line Villa Suite with four bedrooms.

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Customized adventures, exclusive access and inclusive amenities. Luxury cruise suite accommodations on Royal Caribbean elevate every aspect of your adventure. From full-size tubs in Junior suites to 24-hour room service in Owner Suites and dedicated check-in for Royal Suite class, it’s little details you’d expect — plus elevated experiences you may have never imagined.

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THE SUITE LIFE  

Level up your vacation with a spacious suite. Choose between an intimate Junior Suite with great views, or a Grand Suite featuring a bedroom, living area and private balcony. And if you’re looking for the ultimate suite to complement an unforgettable adventure, opt for the Owners Suite loaded with extra added perks.  

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ROYAL SUITE CLASS

In Royal Suite Class — available on Oasis Class and select Quantum Class ships —every detail is thought of, so you won’t have to lift a finger. Sea, Sky and Star tiers include perks that range from exclusive spaces and venues to a Royal Genie or Concierge who will craft VIP experiences just for you — and more.

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THE ULTIMATE FAMILY SUITES

In the Ultimate Family Suite , you don’t even have to leave your stateroom to enjoy the thrills. Kids have their own in-suite slides and private game room. Plus there’s plenty of perks for parents too, like a private balcony jacuzzi. And our biggest suite ever, the Ultimate Family Townhouse on Icon of the Seas℠  maxes memories across three levels.

Accessible staterooms OUR GUESTS ARE ALWAYS OUR PRIORITY

All our ships have staterooms designed to accommodate guests with mobility disabilities and other disabilities that require the features of an accessible stateroom. Accessible staterooms range from 159 square feet to 298 square feet, and offer a five-foot turning radius in sleeping areas, plus bathrooms and sitting areas for easy maneuverability.

EXPLORE ACCESSIBLE OPTIONS

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Royal Up BID YOUR WAY TO A CRUISE UPGRADE

Scoring a fantastic upgrade is easy! Simply browse through stateroom options and select the amount you’re willing to pay the upgrade. Then, you’ll be notified via email if your bid was accepted. From Ocean View and Balcony staterooms to the most expansive suites at sea, the possibilities are endless.

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WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Wondering if you should pick a stateroom that’s forward or aft? We’ve got you covered.

Planning to spend your sea days by the pool? Or maybe you’re most excited about a particular specialty restaurant. Depending on where you plan to spend most of your time, you may have a preference of which venue or part of the ship you prefer to call home. Deck plans vary by ship and can be a helpful tool for picking your stateroom.

If you’re motion sensitive, you’ll want to choose a stateroom that’s lower to the water line and closer to the center of the ship. Layout and location varies by ship, so be sure to check your specific sailing and itinerary.

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My Personas

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My $540-a-night cabin on the world's largest cruise ship was shockingly small and disappointing

  • I recently sailed on the world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's new Icon of the Seas .
  • I stayed in an ocean-view balcony cabin, which starts at $3,790 a person in 2024.
  • My stateroom was a letdown and had a tiny bathroom — I'm not sure it would be comfortable for a family.

Insider Today

If you're assuming the world's new largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas , has giant guest cabins, I'm here to give you a reality check.

You're wrong. So wrong. 

Sure, if you’re shelling out over $100,000 a week for the ship’s most expensive Ultimate Family Townhouse suite , you’ll probably find the 2,523-square-foot, three-floor mansion perfectly comfortable. 

But if you’re like me — a normie who can’t afford a seven-day vacation that costs more than a luxury car — your stateroom on the behemoth 1,198-foot, 20-deck ship might be smaller than you’d expect.

Royal Caribbean invited me on the Icon of the Seas' complimentary three-night preview sailing in late January — a week before the ship's official debut.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

I was assigned one of the ocean-view balcony cabins on deck 14, near the spa.

A cool 80% of its 2,805 cabins were designed for families — a sharp increase from previous vessels, Michael Bayley, the president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, told reporters.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

The cruise operator is going after families. It makes sense — the Icon of the Seas looks like a giant floating amusement park .

But I'm not sure a family of four could peacefully coexist in my balcony cabin.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

I can be a picky cruise cynic . But I have a right to be disgruntled by a stateroom bathroom so small that it made a cryotherapy chamber look like a mansion.

Equally disgruntling could be its price: The Icon’s ocean-view balcony cabins start at $3,790 a person in 2024.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

The megaship is spending its first year operating weeklong cruises from Miami to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay . So the price comes out to $540 a night per person.

At least the stateroom guarantees great views of the ocean.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

Some of the ship's balcony cabins face the interior, either the Icon’s plant-filled Central Park or the colorful, kid-friendly Surfside neighborhood.

Thankfully, my 50-square-foot balcony — one-fourth the size of the cabin's interior — overlooked the ocean, serving as my meditative reprieve from the chaotic megaship.

But when I dragged myself back inside, my ocean-breeze-induced peace was quickly replaced with a list of complaints.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

Two twin mattresses were pushed together to make the king-size bed.

Unfortunately for my back pain, the hard ridge where the two beds met made me feel like a princess sleeping on a pea.

It didn't help that the sheets were unusually uncomfortable.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

But I'll pretend my bed's view of the TV, which included Chromecast, makes up for this.

The hotel room at sea can sleep up to four travelers thanks to the living room's sofa bed.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

I'm using "room" loosely. Like most cruise cabins, it was just a couch and a desk with a vanity.

Not much to say here: The space wasn't a standout.

(I'm just saving my breath for all my gripes with the bathroom.)

I've seen some small bathrooms. I live in a New York City apartment, after all.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

But the one in my stateroom made my apartment's box of a bathroom seem like a palatial retreat fit for a king (of a porcelain throne).

The room couldn't fit more than one person at a time. It could barely accommodate my bony elbows.

And the amenities fell short. I was hoping for more than a two-in-one body wash and shampoo.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

Some hair conditioner would’ve been nice, especially after a few hours at the ship’s chlorine-filled water park and hot tubs.

But I should’ve expected it — I had the same complaint when I sailed on the Icon’s predecessor and the world’s previous largest cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas .

Is it too much to ask for bath towels that don’t pill all over your face? I have a skincare routine to upkeep here.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

Problems aside, I'll admit the bathroom carried surprisingly decent storage: three sets of shelves and a deep drawer.

Ample storage should be a priority for any cruising family, especially in a small four-person cabin.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

Thankfully, I have minimal complaints in this department.

Small shelves were subtly integrated near the TV, the desk had plenty of drawers, and the closet was, well, a closet.

But I, ever the opinionated, have a bone to pick with the latter.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

The wardrobe's metal bins let out ear-piercing screeches at every move. It was a lazy design decision, and I'm sure some cheap felt pads could've saved me a few winces.

In defense of Royal Caribbean, my balcony cabin did come with all the bare essentials.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

And I'll admit I found myself retreating to my stateroom more times than I'd expected during my three nights on the Icon.

The ship was overwhelming. My cabin was not.

But at $540 a night per person, I had hoped for a nearly perfect hotel room at sea.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

The cost to vacation in the Icon's balcony cabin is comparable to that of an ultraluxury cruise ship .

Please, sir, I want some more square footage in the bathroom, towels that don't shed, a comfortable bed, and maybe even a drop of hair conditioner. (That's what Oliver Twist said, right?)

However, some traveling families could find this price justifiable.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

Cruises are often seen as a reasonable vacation value proposition . 

Besides the cabin, the cost to sail on the megaship includes fun nighttime entertainment, half the ship's restaurants, and activities like mini golf.

So think of it this way: You're not paying $3,790 per person to bicker with your kids about who gets to use the tiny bathroom first.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

You're paying to spend your afternoons flailing around the Icon of the Seas' six-slide water park and indulging in as many hot dogs as your heart desires.

ocean view cruise ship balcony

  • Main content

ocean view cruise ship balcony

Ocean View vs Balcony Cruise: Which Is The Better Option For Your Next Cruise?

by Judith Eve | Jul 18, 2023 | Cruise Travel Tips

ocean view cruise ship balcony

When I cruise, I love a balcony room. However, if I had to choose an oceanview room because of availability or budget, I definitely would.

When it comes to choosing a cabin for a cruise, one of the biggest decisions is whether to opt for an ocean view or a balcony. Both options have their pros and cons, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and budget.

Ocean view cabins offer a window or porthole that allows passengers to see the ocean and surrounding scenery. They are generally less expensive than balcony cabins and are a good choice for those who want to save money or don't plan on spending much time in their cabin. However, ocean view cabins are typically smaller than balcony cabins and don't have as much natural light.

On the other hand, balcony cabins offer a private outdoor space where passengers can enjoy the sea breeze and watch the world go by. They are generally larger than ocean view cabins and have more natural light, making them feel more spacious and airy. However, balcony cabins are more expensive than ocean view cabins and may not be worth the extra cost for those who don't plan on spending much time in their cabin.

Understanding Cruise Ship Cabins

Cruise ship cabins, also known as staterooms, are where passengers will spend most of their time during their cruise. Cabins come in various sizes, styles, and locations, and choosing the right one can make a big difference in the overall cruise experience.

When it comes to cabin types, there are typically four main categories: interior, oceanview, balcony, and suite. Interior cabins are the most affordable and do not have windows or balconies. Oceanview cabins have a window or porthole that allows natural light to enter the room. Balcony cabins have a private verandah with outdoor seating, while suites are the most luxurious and spacious.

The size of the cabin can also vary depending on the category and cruise line. Balcony cabins are usually larger than oceanview cabins, and suites are even more spacious. Most cabins are designed for double occupancy and come with a queen-size bed, but some can accommodate more guests with additional beds or pull-out sofas.

In terms of amenities, cabins are equipped with basic necessities such as a small desk, minifridge, and storage space for luggage. Ensuite bathrooms are standard in all cabins, but the size and layout can vary. Balcony cabins and suites often have larger bathrooms with a bathtub or shower, while interior and oceanview cabins have smaller bathrooms with only a shower.

Cruise lines such as Carnival offer a range of cabin categories to suit different budgets and preferences. It is important to consider factors such as location, size, and amenities when selecting a cabin to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable cruise experience.

Ocean View Vs Balcony: Key Differences

When choosing a cabin for a cruise, one of the most significant decisions to make is whether to opt for an ocean view or balcony cabin. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and it's essential to understand the key differences to make an informed decision.

Ocean View Cabins

Ocean view cabins are a popular choice for many cruisers. These cabins feature a window or porthole that provides a view of the ocean or port. They are typically less expensive than balcony cabins, making them a great option for budget-conscious travelers.

One of the main benefits of an ocean view cabin is the natural light it provides. The window or porthole allows sunlight to enter the cabin, creating a bright and airy atmosphere. Additionally, some ocean view cabins offer obstructed views, which means the view may be partially blocked by lifeboats or other structures on the ship.

Balcony Cabins

Balcony cabins are a step up from ocean view cabins and offer a private outdoor space. These cabins feature a door that opens to a small balcony with chairs or loungers, allowing passengers to enjoy fresh air and a view of the ocean. Balcony cabins are typically more expensive than ocean view cabins, but the added luxury is worth it for many cruisers.

The main advantage of a balcony cabin is the private outdoor space it provides. Passengers can enjoy breakfast on the balcony or watch the sunset in the evening. Additionally, some ships offer virtual balconies, which use LED screens to display a live feed of the ocean, giving passengers the illusion of a balcony cabin at a lower cost.

Promenade View Staterooms

Another option to consider is a promenade view stateroom. These cabins overlook the ship's promenade, a public area where passengers can walk and enjoy various activities. Promenade view staterooms offer a unique view of the ship's activities and are typically less expensive than balcony cabins.

In conclusion, when choosing between an ocean view and balcony cabin, it's essential to consider your budget and priorities. If you're looking for a more affordable option with natural light, an ocean view cabin may be the way to go. However, if you're willing to splurge for a private outdoor space and a more luxurious experience, a balcony cabin may be the better choice.

Location and Size Comparison

When it comes to cruise cabins, location and size are two important factors to consider. Ocean view and balcony cabins differ in both aspects, and it's important to understand these differences before making a decision.

Ocean view cabins are typically located on lower decks and towards the front or back of the ship. Balcony cabins, on the other hand, are usually located on higher decks and towards the middle of the ship. This is because balcony cabins offer a better view and are therefore more desirable. However, this also means that balcony cabins are more expensive than ocean view cabins.

In terms of size, balcony cabins are usually slightly larger than ocean view cabins. However, the difference in size is usually not significant, and both types of cabins offer enough space for two people. The size of the cabin also depends on the ship and the cruise line. On the Symphony of the Seas, most ocean view rooms offer 179 square feet of interior space, while standard balcony cabins boast 182 square feet in addition to a 50-square-foot balcony.

When it comes to choosing between an ocean view and balcony cabin, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and budget. If a great view is a priority and budget allows, a balcony cabin may be the best option. However, if budget is a concern or the view is not as important, an ocean view cabin may be a better choice.

Price and Budget Considerations

When it comes to choosing between an ocean view and balcony cabin, price and budget are two primary considerations. It's important to determine whether the extra cost of a balcony cabin is worth the added benefits.

For those on a budget, an ocean view cabin may be the best option. These cabins offer natural light and views of the ocean, while typically being more affordable than balcony cabins. However, it's important to note that the price difference between ocean view and balcony cabins can vary greatly depending on the cruise line, ship, and itinerary.

If budget is not a concern, a balcony cabin may be worth the splurge. Balcony cabins offer a private outdoor space to relax and enjoy the ocean views. They also tend to be larger than ocean view cabins, offering more space to move around and store luggage.

When comparing prices, it's important to consider the overall value of the cabin. A cheaper cabin may seem like a good deal, but it may come with fewer amenities or a less desirable location on the ship. On the other hand, a more expensive cabin may offer added benefits such as priority boarding, access to exclusive areas of the ship, or complimentary drinks and dining.

When booking a cruise, it's important to set a budget and stick to it. This can help avoid overspending on a cabin and allow for more funds to be allocated towards other aspects of the cruise such as excursions or onboard activities.

Amenities and Features

Oceanview cabins and balcony cabins on a cruise ship offer a range of amenities and features that can make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable. Here are some of the common amenities and features that you can expect to find in these types of cabins:

  • Living Space : Both oceanview and balcony cabins offer a comfortable living space with twin beds that can be combined into a queen-sized bed, nightstands, and a closet for storage. The size of the living space may vary depending on the ship and the category of the cabin.
  • Private Bathroom : All cabins come with a private ensuite bathroom that includes a toilet, shower, and sink. The bathroom is usually compact but functional.
  • Sitting Area : Balcony cabins have an additional seating area outside, usually with two chairs and a small table. This provides a private space to enjoy the view and relax.
  • Perks :Oceanview and balcony cabins receive the same services and features: daily housekeeping, onboard entertainment, and room service. Each cabin provides access to all the amenities and activities offered.
  • Vanity : Some cabins may also include a vanity area with a mirror and a chair for getting ready.
  • Chairs : Both oceanview and balcony cabins come with chairs for sitting and relaxing.

Overall, the main difference between oceanview and balcony cabins is the additional outdoor space that balcony cabins offer. However, if you're on a budget or don't plan to spend much time in your cabin, an oceanview cabin may be a more cost-effective option.

Choosing Based on Itinerary and Destination

When choosing between an ocean view and balcony cabin, one of the primary considerations should be the itinerary and destination of the cruise. The type of cabin you choose can significantly impact your overall experience, so it's essential to take into account the specific ports of call and activities you plan to do.

For example, if you're cruising to a destination like Alaska, the stunning scenery and wildlife make a balcony cabin an excellent choice. You can enjoy the views from the comfort of your own private space, and you won't have to jostle with other passengers for a prime viewing spot. On the other hand, if you're cruising to a destination like the Caribbean, where the ports of call are more focused on beaches and water activities, an ocean view cabin may be a more budget-friendly option.

When cruising with family, the itinerary and destination can also play a role in cabin selection. Families cruising with young children may find that an ocean view cabin is sufficient, as they won't spend as much time in the cabin and may not need the extra space a balcony provides. However, families cruising to destinations with more scenic views, like Norway, may want to consider a balcony cabin to enjoy the beautiful landscapes from the comfort of their own space.

In addition to the itinerary and destination, dining preferences can also impact cabin selection. If dining is an essential part of the cruise experience, a balcony cabin may be worth the extra cost, as it provides a private space to enjoy meals while taking in the views. However, if dining is not a priority, an ocean view cabin may be a more budget-friendly option.

Overall, when choosing between an ocean view and balcony cabin, it's essential to consider the itinerary and destination of the cruise, as well as personal preferences and budget. By doing so, passengers can select the cabin that best suits their needs and ensures a memorable cruise vacation.

Other Factors to Consider

When choosing between an ocean view and balcony cabin, there are several other factors to consider beyond just the view. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Motion and Seasickness

If you or someone in your travel party is prone to motion sickness, you may want to consider booking a cabin on a lower deck and closer to the center of the ship. This can help minimize the feeling of motion and reduce the likelihood of seasickness.

Temperature Control

Some cruisers prefer to have control over the temperature in their cabin. Balcony cabins typically have a sliding glass door that can be opened to let in fresh air, while ocean view cabins usually only have a window that can be opened slightly. Keep this in mind if you prefer a cooler or warmer room.

Room Service and Dining

If you plan on ordering room service or dining in your cabin, a balcony cabin may be more convenient as it provides a private outdoor space to enjoy your meal. However, if you don't mind eating in the main dining areas or public spaces, an ocean view cabin may be a more budget-friendly option.

Entertainment and Public Areas

If you plan on spending a lot of time enjoying the ship's entertainment and public areas, such as the pool deck, boardwalk, or spa, you may not spend much time in your cabin. In this case, an ocean view cabin may be a better value for your money.

Elevators and Lifeboats

If you are concerned about noise or privacy, keep in mind that balcony cabins are often located near elevators or lifeboats, which can be noisy or obstruct your view. Ocean view cabins may offer more privacy and a quieter atmosphere.

Group Travel

If you are traveling with a group, it may be more convenient to book cabins that are located near each other. Balcony cabins are often grouped together, while ocean view cabins may be scattered throughout the ship.

Cabin Comparison

Ultimately, the decision between an ocean view and balcony cabin comes down to personal preference and budget. Consider the factors above and compare the amenities and prices of both cabin types to make the best decision for your next cruise.

Ocean View Vs Balcony: Similarities

While there are certainly differences between ocean view and balcony cabins on a cruise ship, there are also some similarities to consider. Here are a few things that both types of cabins have in common:

Similarities

  • Both ocean view and balcony cabins offer natural light and the opportunity to see the ocean and ports of call from the comfort of your room.
  • Both types of cabins typically include a television, mini-fridge, and other standard amenities that you would expect to find in a cruise ship cabin.
  • Passengers in both types of cabins have access to the same dining options, entertainment, and onboard activities.

When it comes to drinks, there are a few similarities to consider as well. Most cruise lines offer a variety of beverage packages that can be purchased in advance or onboard the ship. These packages typically include soft drinks, juices, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages.

However, it's worth noting that passengers in balcony cabins may have a slight advantage when it comes to enjoying a drink in their cabin. With a private balcony, passengers can enjoy a drink and the ocean views without having to leave their cabin.

Overall, while there are certainly differences to consider when choosing between an ocean view and balcony cabin, it's important to remember that both types of cabins offer a comfortable and enjoyable cruise experience.

I do love a balcony room, butI would rather stay in any room on a cruise ship because, well, it's a cruise!

ocean view cruise ship balcony

Judith Eve, loves to write riveting articles on crusingtonpost.com. She hails from the sun-kissed regions of South Florida, residing within a stone’s throw of the bustling Fort Lauderdale and Miami cruise ports. As a native Floridian, Judith’s love for the ocean and cruising extends as far back as her memory can recall.

Her lifelong passion for travel has taken her to countless destinations around the globe, but cruising, undeniably, holds a special place in her heart. Judith has embraced the elegance of luxury liners, relished the intimacy of boutique ships, and marveled at the innovation found on the newest megaships. This varied experience makes her a well-rounded and knowledgeable commentator on everything cruise-related.

Balancing her writing career and family life with effortless grace, Judith is happily married, mother to two wonderful children, and a doting grandmother to three grandkids. Much like Judith, her family shares her enthusiasm for the sea, often accompanying her on cruise adventures and enriching her articles with their unique perspectives.

Her work for crusingtonpost.com provides readers with insightful, engaging narratives of her travels, from vivid descriptions of the picturesque locales she visits to in-depth reviews of the cruise lines she travels with. Her writing is not only an exploration of travel and cruising; it is a testament to her zest for life, her commitment to family, and her love for the ocean.

Endearing herself to readers with her warm, personable writing style, Judith has become a trusted voice in the cruising community. She is the go-to source for tips, advice, and comprehensive information on cruising. As a tireless explorer and devoted family woman, Judith Eve embodies the essence of the adventurous spirit, inspiring readers to set sail and create their own sea stories.

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Are Balcony Cabins Worth it on a Cruise? 10 Pros & 4 Cons

Cruise Ship Balcony Cabins - Are They Worth it

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One of the most important decisions you’ll make as you plan your cruise, is what type of cabin to book. Balcony cabins, sometimes called veranda staterooms, are a popular cruise cabin choice for good reason. 

When we think of balcony cabins, we envision amazing balcony views of the ocean, islands, glaciers and more.

However, you might be wondering if a balcony cabin is worth it on a cruise, especially since the cost will be higher than ocean view and interior cabins .

In this post, I share the 10 reasons to book a balcony cabin on a cruise and why it may be the perfect choice for you. However, there are times when a balcony won’t make as much sense or be worth the extra cost and we’ll look at this too.

Cruise Ship Balcony Cabins – Are They Worth it?

cruise Balcony cabin

What is a Balcony Cabin on a Cruise?

A balcony cabin is a cruise ship stateroom which has all the same features as inside and ocean view cabins. However, balcony rooms are usually larger and have a private outdoor balcony space. On some cruise lines, such as Celebrity and Holland America, balcony cabins are called Veranda cabins. 

Balconies on some cruise ships will be larger than others, but all will have at least 2 outdoor chairs and one small table. If you book an aft facing balcony cabin , you’ll often get lucky and have deck chairs to lay out and enjoy.

Cruise cabin tip: Beware of obstructed balcony cabins , which may be disappointing in terms of the view.

Related: Worst Cruise Ship Cabins to Avoid

Is a Cruise Ship Balcony Cabin Worth the Extra Cost?

Are balcony cabins worth it on a cruise? These days, balcony cabins may not cost as much as you think, and for many people, they are definitely worth the splurge! When you book a balcony cabin, you’ll have a private outdoor space where you can get a sea view at any time. Along with the larger cabin space, this can add so much enjoyment to your cruise experience.

Top Reasons to Book a Balcony Cabin on a Cruise

1. the ocean views.

It’s undeniable that one of the best reasons to book a balcony cabin on a cruise is for the amazing ocean views! Whether you enjoy being up early to catch the sunrise with a cup of coffee on your private balcony, or you love a good sunset and a glass of wine – it’s a very special experience.

There’s something so peaceful about the sea and the waves, especially when all is quiet.

Your balcony is also great place for stargazing late at night on a cruise in the open seas where there’s little light pollution. 

10 best reasons to book a balcony cabin on a cruise

2. Larger Cabin

Balcony Cabin on a Cruise Ship

Balcony cabins are larger than most inside and ocean view cabins. According to Cruise Critic , inside cabin sizes range from 150-185 square feet and ocean view cabins 160-200 square feet. Whereas, balcony cabins average 175-220 square feet. Some balcony cabins can even be larger depending on the cruise ship and cabin category.

3. Scenery & Itinerary

Cruise ship aft balcony view

There are some itineraries where the view from your balcony is a big reason to choose this type of cabin. In Alaska , as you’re sailing through Glacier Bay or Endicott Arm, you’ll have a view on the glaciers and incredible scenery from the comfort of your own balcony space.

At any time of day, you’ll see the landscape as well as potential marine and wild life. This is a reason many travel agents and avid cruisers recommend balconies for Alaska cruise itineraries.

In addition to Alaska, other itineraries that may be well worth the splurge for a balcony cabin include Mediterranean and Hawaii cruises.

Related:   Port Side or Starboard Side on a Cruise? Which is best

4. Value of a Balcony Cabin

cruise Balcony cabins and view

While cruise ship balcony cabins are generally more expensive than inside and ocean view cabins, they may be more affordable than you think. Years ago, there were fewer balcony rooms per cruise ship, and the cost difference may have been huge.

However, on some cruise ships you’ll find that the price of a balcony cabin may only be a couple hundred dollars more than an ocean view or outside stateroom. It’s always worth checking to see if there are any promotions or past passenger rates that can make a balcony room more affordable on a cruise.

Related:   27 Cruise Travel Hacks Repeat Cruisers Swear By  

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ocean view cruise ship balcony

5. Escape the Crowds

Some large cruise ships can feel busy and crowded, especially on sea days. A balcony cabin can give you some private outdoor space to read or just sit quietly, away from the activities going on on the lido deck and inside the cruise ship.

Related:  The Ultimate Cruise Lingo Glossary – How to Talk Like a Cruiser

6. Avoid Seasickness

If you’re worried about getting seasick on a cruise , one of the best things you can do is have a balcony cabin ideally in a mid-ship location. When you feel seasick on a cruise, one of the worst things to do is to go back to a small cabin and sit indoors. Instead, getting fresh air is helpful.

The ocean breeze you’ll have by opening the sliding doors in your cabin, will help you to feel better if you are a bit bothered by the ship’s movement.

Read more:  How to Prevent Seasickness on a Cruise

Bonine or Dramamine for Motion Sickness on a Cruise – Which is best?

Cruise Couple on Balcony

8. Claustrophobia

This probably goes without saying, but if you’re claustrophobic, having a balcony is absolutely worth the money. The fact is, inside cabins are small and cozy, meaning no natural light at all. You may be ok with an ocean view, but still feel a bit closed in. 

If you’re worried about feeling confined on a cruise ship, you’ll feel much better in a balcony or veranda cabin. You may even appreciate a larger mini suite or suite.

Balcony Cabin is it worth it

9. Balcony Dividers May Be Opened

Are you cruising with family or friends in different cabins? On many cruise ships, the crew will be able to open up the balcony dividers for you so you can enjoy a larger space for several cabins. 

Make sure to ask in advance, as cruise lines have different policies, but this is a great idea for group cruises if you do want to spend a lot of time together.

Related:   10 Things that Cost Extra on a Cruise but Are Worth It

10. See Whales and Dolphins

While there’s no guarantee, it’s certainly possible to sit on your balcony cabin and be lucky enough to see marine life like dolphins, whales and flying fish. When the seas are calm, you’ll have a greater chance of seeing such a spectacular sight right from your own veranda.

Remember to bring your travel binoculars to see as much as you can!

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When Is it Not Worth Booking a Balcony Cabin?

It’s hard to imagine when a balcony cabin wouldn’t be enjoyable, however there are times when it may be hard to justify the extra cost.

Cruise ship balconies mid-ship

1. Short Cruises

If you’re only on a cruise for 2-4 days, you may just not have that much time to enjoy your private balcony. If you’ll be off then ship or plan to participate in the many activities on the cruise ship, this may be a time to stick with a cheaper cabin .

2. No Sea Days

There are some cruise itineraries that are very port intensive, and have few or even no sea days. In this case, if you booked the cruise planning to be off the ship exploring the ports of call, a balcony cabin may be a waste of money on your cruise .

3. Cold Weather Cruises

If your cruise itinerary has a good chance of very cool or even rainy weather, you may not get a lot of use out of the balcony itself. In this case a large ocean view cabin may be a better value.

4. You’re Never in Your Cabin

If you love to be out and about during your cruise, and are only in your cabin to shower, get dressed and sleep, don’t let anyone convince you that you are missing out if you don’t get a balcony cabin.

In your case, an inside cabin is likely your best option.

Read next:  7 Best Reasons to Book an Interior Cabin

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Final thoughts

In this post we went through 10 reasons why a balcony cabin is worth the extra cost, from having more privacy to experiencing incredible sea views. However, to be fair, we also shared a few reasons that you may not want to pay extra for a balcony. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not a balcony cabin is the best cabin choice for you.

What type of cabin do you usually get, and in your opinion, are balcony cabins worth it?

Happy cruising!

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11 Comments

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You are so correct. On our first cruise we had an outside cabin, big porthole, no problems and absolutely nothing wrong with it. Our second cruise was for our 25th anniversary. We decided to treat ourselves to a balcony. That was many years ago and many cruises ago and we never went back. Our last cruise we upgraded to a junior suite. Walk-in closet and bath tub…Uh oh…

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Oh no…now you’re stuck, lol. Ah the larger spaces and bathtub must have been wonderful. Thanks for sharing this Greg!

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We had a veranda room on our cruise to Alaska and loved it. This was on Holland America. Then we used the same cruise line going to New England and Canada. We chose the veranda again but then saw where a lanai room was cheaper so we chose that. My husband and I both loved it. We could see a few people walking by (I’m a people watcher!) but no one could see in out room and one could only use the sliding door with a room key. It automatically locked every time.

I have heard that those are such interesting cabins, and so unique. I would definitely choose a lanai if it was an itinerary where outdoor privacy wasn’t a concern. Thanks for the tip about that awesome HA cabin type!

Thanks for sharing Joanne. I’ve never had this type of cabin, but I’ve heard they are one of the unique “best kept secrets” on the smaller HAL ships.

Glad to know you enjoyed a balcony in Alaska!

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I have always gotten a balcony or better room. I like suites but on the newer ships on longer sailings they can be priced out of my budget or what I want to spend. We sailed to Alaska and pulled up to the glaciers. Magnificent!!! We were on 9th deck, about 100 feet above the water. More glacier above us than below us. No crowds, no fighting for position for a good picture, and just the two of us. Thanks for your articles. Maybe we will be sailing again soon.

Sounds absolutely amazing & well worth it!! Enjoy your upcoming cruise Russell!

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I am going to be add man out here. The first cruise I sailed was a obstructed ocean view. that is basically a window that looks out to the life boat. You did get a feeling of night and day, but I did not find it appealing I also spend almost NO time in my cabin. It is a place to change, shower and sleep. When I go on a cruise, I spend 95% of my waking hours in the common areas of the ship. I have been booking inside cabins ever since. On my third or fourth cruise, there was an anomaly in the pricing where the balcony was actually cheaper than the inside cabin due to extra onboard credit for the balcony that was more than the difference in price. We got a balcony for that cruise, and I spend about 30 minuets of the cruise on the balcony as we were leaving port and never used it the rest of the cruise. These types of decisions are personal and if you find that you stay in your cabin, or like to be alone on your balcony, then these are decisions you need to make based on your likes and dislikes. I have now cruised 18 times and will stick with the inside cabin unless the cost of the balcony is a wash or cheaper.

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. You’re right, choosing a cabin is really personal and it depends how you spend your time on a cruise, and budget of course. Personally, I like an inside cabin sometimes and flop between these and balconies depending on the cruise.

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We are on a back to back Hawaii to Vancouver to Alaska cruise with a balcony and the Alaska weather has been much nicer than the Hawaii weather. We love balconies!

So glad the Alaska weather has been so nice! Funny about Hawaii – hope it’s a great cruise!

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Infinite Balconies on a Cruise: Pros, Cons, and Should You Book?

Traditionally, cruise cabins come in one of four categories: interior, oceanview, balcony, and a suite. However, cruise lines are constantly innovating and those popular balcony cabins — which give passengers their own private outdoor space — are one place where there have been changes.

Enter the “infinite balcony.” On some cruise ships, the traditional balcony has been replaced by a new idea called an infinite balcony. Now, instead of a separate outdoor space, passengers have the ability to turn the entire cabin into a balcony area.

But this style of cabin is very different. For some, it’s not ideal while others love it. So what are the pros and cons, and should you book one of these rooms?

Here’s what to know…

What Is an Infinite Balcony?

ocean view cruise ship balcony

Let’s start with what exactly this type of cabin actually is and how it’s different from a traditional cruise stateroom.

If you have a normal balcony room, you have the cabin, and then a wall with a door that goes out to a separate balcony space. The outdoor area is completely closed off from the rest of the room.

An infinite balcony works differently. Instead of a rigid wall with a door, the outside wall of the cabin is a large window. The top half of this window can raise to shut completely or lower halfway to open up to the outside.

There is still a separate seating area near the window with folding doors so that the balcony area can be partitioned off or opened up so that the entire cabin can enjoy the fresh air.

Which Ships Have These Rooms?

Zoomed in on an infinite balcony

To be sure, only a handful of ships have these types of rooms. Notably, newer Celebrity cruise ships like Ascent , Edge, and Beyond have a large number of infinite balcony cabins. They are also found on the new Icon class for Royal Caribbean ships.

Some cruise lines don’t offer these cabins at all, but that could change in the coming years.

What are the Advantages of an Infinite Balcony?

Why would cruise lines create this type of different room? There are some advantages to having a cabin like this.

First, normally the balcony area is completely separate meaning that unless you are sitting outside, you can’t enjoy that extra space. With infinite balconies, you can get that space back. With the window closed, you have an extra seating area in the cabin and are able to significantly expand the square footage of the room.

As well, with the balcony normally closed off, that means if you want the fresh breeze from the balcony, you either have to sit outside or find a way to prop open the heavy door. With the infinite balcony you can simply lower the window and make sure the partition doors are open. This way, the fresh air circulates through the entire room.

Finally, these rooms can provide more privacy when enjoying the outside. When you sit on a normal balcony, you have partitions on either side but you can still see from side to side. With the infinite balcony, there is a full wall on either side and a ceiling above. It’s practically impossible for any other balcony to be able to see in.

What are the Disadvantages of an Infinite Balcony?

ocean view cruise ship balcony

There are reasons to like this type of cabin, but there is a disadvantage that may be a dealbreaker for some people.

The major disadvantage is that with essentially a large window instead of a separate balcony area, the effect is not quite the same.

When you step outside the cabin into a regular balcony, you are doing exactly that — going outside. You’re surrounded by the sights, smells, and feel of being outdoors.

With the infinite balcony, however, you don’t have the same effect. With the large window, the view on the sides is reduced. As well, with the cabin ceiling the views above the room are also more blocked. There is a definite difference compared to being outside rather than sitting next to an open window. In effect, you’re getting more of an open window than a regular balcony.

Should I Book an Infinite Balcony?

Staying in an infinite balcony cabin promises to be a different experience than in a traditional one. So should you book it?

In some cases, you may not have much choice. Others you may be able to choose between a regular balcony or an infinite style.

To be clear, we see the advantages and disadvantages of these cabins. We like having more space in the cabin along with a window that takes over the entire wall, letting in lots of light and nice views. That’s what you get with the infinite balcony rooms.

But to us, it’s hard to beat the feeling of actually being outside that comes with a traditional balcony cabin. Being inside next to an open window has a much different feeling than stepping out into the fresh air.

So we’d have no issue sailing in an infinite balcony if it was offered, but would prefer the traditional open balcony if we had the choice.

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The Truth About Obstructed View Cabins – (Photo Examples & How to Find One)

If you’re considering booking a cruise, you might be looking for a way to reduce the cost of your cabin without reducing the cabin category grade.

On most cruise ships, there are some cabins that you can book for a reduced price, but the cruise lines rarely advertise them. These are called “Obstructed View” cabins.

What is an Obstructed View Cabin?

As the name suggests, an obstructed view cabin is a cabin where an item is obstructing the view from either the window or the balcony.

Obstructions can vary from a very slight obstruction down in one corner – to a lifeboat hanging in front of your cabin, obscuring the view completely!

Common obstructions include lifeboats, machinery, and pieces of other decks.

A lot of people run and hide when they hear the phrase “Obstructed View.” If you’re one of those people – I don’t blame you, but it can be a brilliant way to save a lot of money and is well worth considering .

Obstructed view balcony cabin

When I recently sailed from Singapore to Tokyo onboard the Spectrum of the Seas, I chose an obstructed view balcony cabin.

This was because I wanted to be able to see the wonderful views and the interesting ports from my cabin – but the trip was so expensive, I was looking to save some money if possible.

This obstructed-view balcony cabin seemed the perfect compromise. I still had the views – but at a reduced price. (I did have to stand up to see the views though – but that isn’t a problem for me.)

msc obstructed view cabins example

What Are The Benefits of Booking an Obstructed View Cabin?

Obstructed view cabins can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars cheaper than similar cabins without an obstruction.

Obstructed view cabins often have good locations and booking an obstructed view cabin means that you could possibly afford a cabin grade that you wouldn’t be able to have otherwise.

If you’re somebody who’s used to cruising staying in inside cabins, having an obstructed view ocean view or a balcony can be a real treat.

If The Obstruction Is A Lifeboat, You May Have Days When It Isn’t There!

When I took my latest Asia cruise, the lifeboat outside my room was taken down and used as a Tender Boat when we visited some ports.

On those days, I had a much better view, only the davits (Lifeboat brackets) were left in view.

Obstructed balcony cabin - lifeboat gone

What Could Be Obstructing an Obstructed View Cabin?

Common obstructions for obstructed-view cabins include lifeboats, machinery, other decks, and even on occasion, things such as crew walkways or whirlpools.

The obstruction may not be directly in front of the window or balcony.

  • Promenade Deck/Walkway
  • Whirlpools/Waterslides
  • A Deck below or above

Having something small such as a crew walkway between the window and the edge of the ship is enough of an obstruction that that cabin usually will not be sold at full price and will be marked as “obstructed.”

Obstructed view cabin

Many thanks to Xavier for the pictures above of his obstructed view cabin. He sailed with NCL and was upgraded from an inside cabin to an obstructed ocean view.

Why do Cruise Lines Sell Cabins That Aren’t Very Obstructed as ‘Obstructed View’?

There are obstructed view cabins on most cruise ships and cruise lines tend to be very careful when it comes to selling obstructed views.

The Cruise Line would rather sell a cabin as an “obstructed view” than sell it as a standard cabin and risk the passenger making a complaint about the lack of a view.

They don’t want to have to deal with that problem!

Cruise lines definitely err on the side of caution, and they call lots of things “obstructed” when really I don’t think they are.

There are some cabins onboard P&O’s newest ships Iona and Arvia are separated from the ocean by a promenade deck.

These aren’t classed as “Obstructed View” and are charged at full price. There could be hot tubs, sunbeds – and lots and lots of people between you and your view of the ocean!

Find out what I liked, and what I didn’t like about that cabin in the video below:

What Type of Obstructed View Cabins Are Available?

Obstructed ocean views.

When it comes to obstructed cabins, the cheapest cabin you can get is an obstructed ocean view, and these are usually the same price as an inside cabin.

If you’re used to cruising in an inside cabin, you’ll know when you wake up, it’s pitch black. You don’t know if it’s 3:00 AM or 3:00 PM – whether the sun is shining or if it’s pouring with rain!

If you’re able to get an obstructed ocean view, you at least have some daylight.

Even if you have a full lifeboat that covers the entire window, you won’t have to worry about waking up in the dark.

If the cabin is at the same price as an inside cabin – or even a little bit more, I would definitely pay extra just for the daylight.

If you do have an inside cabin, my favourite cabin hack is to pack a Sunrise Alarm Clock.

Unlike a conventional alarm clock, a sunrise clock slowly wakes you by lighting up the room gently. You can have optional sounds – like birds tweeting – it’s a far more relaxing way to wake up.

Find out more about Sunrise Alarm Clocks here:

Sunrise Alarm Clocks – The BEST Inside Cabin Hack

Obstructed Balcony

Obstructed balcony cabins are a great option for people who usually stay in inside cabins or ocean-view cabins.

Even if your balcony is completely obstructed, being able to get some fresh air/daylight is really nice.

I personally wouldn’t pay much more than an ocean view price for an obstructed view balcony – but it can be worth it in some circumstances.

View from Obstructed View Balcony Cabin

Obstructed View Cabin Examples

The amount of obstruction within an ocean view or a balcony cabin can vary dramatically.

If you have a look here at the MSC Preziosa, you can see this deck where the windows are behind the lifeboats.

The windows on the top level look out over the lifeboats but are still considered obstructed because compared to standard ocean views, the view is limited.

obstructed view oceanview cabin example msc preziosa

The below cabin is an example of an obstructed view oceanview, where the view really isn’t very obstructed at all.

The problem with the cabin below is that guests are able to walk in this area, so may be able to see into your cabin.

That said, if a cabin like this is available for the price of an inside cabin, I think you’d be mad not to take it. ..

obstructed view oceanview cabin example

Some obstructed-view cabins really are obstructed – such as the one above. In this situation, the cabin window is being used just to get some daylight, you can’t see any outside view at all.

Obstructed View Cabins Often Have Good Locations

Another benefit above and beyond just the cost-saving aspect of getting an obstructed view cabin, the obstructed view cabins often have good locations.

Many are right behind the lifeboats, so a lot of them are right in the middle of the ship.

Some people care more about the location than they do the view from the balcony.

If you’re somebody who likes to be in the middle of the ship for seasickness reasons, getting an obstructed view in the middle can be a really good way to get that location that you want, but without paying the premium price.

To find out all about the best position to be on a ship to avoid seasickness, read this article next:

What is The Best Cabin Location on a Cruise For Avoiding Seasickness? (I’ve Tried Them All!)

How Do You Find an Obstructed View Cabin?

It can be tricky to find the right obstructed view cabin. The more research you do into the cabins, the better experience you’re going to have.

If you’re booking through an agent, let them know that you are open to obstructed-view cabins.

Then they can have a look at the deck plans and you can chat about how obstructed you would like the cabin to be.

That is exactly what I did when I booked my Obstructed Balcony cabin. To find out what I thought of the cabin I was assigned below:

If you’re somebody who really is into researching your cruises, look at deck plans. You can find out how obstructed each cabin is and find out which ones you’d be happy with.

If you’re booking directly through the cruise line or through travel agents, you can see deck plans where you can see which cabins are obstructed view.

how to find obstructed view cabins on a cruise

Once you have a cabin in mind, it’s usually a good idea to do a quick web search of the cabin. For a lot of cabins, you’ll find photos from other cruisers.

A friend of mine saved almost $1,000 by switching from a regular balcony to an obstructed view balcony. Her balcony wasn’t one of those where you couldn’t see anything, there was just a deck that stuck out BELOW her cabin!

Can a Cruise Line Assign You an Obstructed View Cabin Without You Booking One?

No. It’s important to note that the only way that you’re going to get an obstructed view cabin, is if you book one.

The cruise line can’t assign you an obstructed view cabin if you booked a regular cabin.

Unless you’ve specifically said you would be happy with an obstructed-view cabin, you’re not going to get assigned one.

Before You Go

Find out other ways of getting the best cabin for your budget here:

Get The Best Cabin for Your Budget! Hints, Tips and Examples of How to Save Money Without Downgrading Your Cabin Type

Find out whether it is best to book directly with the cruise line, or through a travel agent below:

Is It Best To Use a Travel Agent or Book Directly With The Cruise Line? (Money-Saving Hints and Tips For Booking, and Much More…)

ocean view cruise ship balcony

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Sun Princess Cruise Ship Review: What We Love—and What Needs Work

May 8, 2024

Sun Princess , the latest addition to the Princess Cruises fleet, is the line’s largest ship to date, weighing in at 177,882 gross tons and able to accommodate 4,300 passengers. By comparison, the company’s Discovery Princess , which made its maiden voyage in 2022, is a mere 145,000 gross tons and can sleep almost 1,000 fewer cruisers. 

Sun Princess , the first in the line’s Sphere class of ships, is a 21-deck, next-level Love Boat with an innovative design aimed at bringing the outdoors inside and connecting passengers to the sea—and giving them some spectacular views. 

Additionally, the ship’s grand total of 30 dining and drinking venues outnumber the food-and-beverage offerings on any other Princess vessel, while a number of upgrades to suites, staterooms, entertainment, and kid-friendly attractions seem geared toward attracting more families and expanding the line’s appeal to a younger, hipper demographic. 

To find out what works—and what needs work—on Sun Princess , I took a weeklong cruise (at the invitation of the cruise line) from Rome to Barcelona, where the ship had its naming ceremony in April 2024. 

Read on to find out where the Sun shines brightest—and where its light is dimmed.  

Sun Princess Quick Facts

Launched : February 2024 Passengers : 4,300 (double occupancy) Crew : 1,600 Size : 177,882 gross tons, 1,133 feet long, 139 feet wide Booking : Princess.com , 800/774-6237

Sun Princess cruise ship: the Dome

1. The ship’s unique design—and dazzling views

The ship’s most striking design elements are its two “sun-inspired” concepts:

• a nine-deck-tall bubble in the middle of the vessel ( visible on the ship's exterior ) that has lots of windows to give wraparound ocean views and centers on the Piazza (pictured at the top of this story), an open and airy central atrium that spans three levels; 

• and the Dome  (pictured above), a glass-enclosed structure that sits at the top of the ship and is being dubbed the first-ever geodesic dome at sea.

Due to its placement and design, the multilevel glass dome (decks 17 and 18) shows off expansive ocean views from its indoor and outdoor areas, where you’ll find cushy lounge chairs, an indoor-outdoor pool, and the Sea View Bar . Outdoors, the spacious terrace also offers seating with a view, and because the terrace is partially covered, there’s shade that makes this a perfect spot for relaxing during days at sea.

You’ll find some of the best views from inside the ship around the Piazza, including at International Café (deck 9), Bellini’s Cocktail Bar (deck 7), Alfredo’s Pizzeria (deck 9), and Makoto Ocean (deck 8), a new collaboration with renowned Japanese chef Makoto Okuwa. 

Dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows at Horizons , the beautifully designed main dining room (decks 6, 7, and 8), supply a look at the ship’s wake from the back of the vessel. Step out onto the Wake View Terrace (deck 8) and you’ll feel like you’re in an exclusive area (though it’s not), with loungers, a bar, and an infinity pool suspended over the back of the ship. 

Sun Princess cruise ship: Cabana Mini-Suite

2. Elevated staterooms and suites

As visually appealing—and view-enhancing—as the spherical atrium and geodesic dome are, it’s worth noting that the ship’s interior décor has a more modern and upscale feel than other Princess ships, thanks in part to a subtle color scheme with natural wood tones in staterooms and suites . 

I stayed in a Cabana Mini-Suite (pictured above),   a new stateroom category for Princess that comes with a larger balcony than the next cabin category down (Deluxe Balcony) as well as more space (329 square feet compared to 235) and a few other perks, such as access to an exclusive outdoor lounge area on deck 9. At lower price points, there are Premium Oceanview and Interior staterooms, neither of which have balconies. (And at the other end of the price spectrum, Princess has launched with this ship a new set of luxury accommodations and amenities the line calls the Sanctuary Collection .)

Passengers on previous Princess ships will note that changes on the Sun involve   closets (no longer walk-in) with frosted glass doors, lots of storage, plenty of hanging space, and large drawers. You’ll also find a plush robe and slippers inside. 

In the bathroom, another welcome addition awaits: a glass door to the shower—goodbye, shower curtain! Bath and skin care products are by Beekman 1802. 

On the tech front, there are plenty of U.S. electrical and USB/USB-C outlets in the room. A thoughtful touch you’ll discover after dark: a motion-detecting nightlight. 

Sun Princess cruise ship: Medallion technology

3. Tech that works

While we’re on the subject of staying connected, the Wi-Fi on Sun Princess was some of the fastest and best I’ve experienced at sea. Glitches were nil and I never had trouble doing anything online that I wanted to do—a first at sea for me. 

That said, connectivity comes at a price. The line’s MedallionNet Wi-Fi is available to purchase pre-cruise for $24.99 per device per day. For four devices, the cost (pre-cruise) is $44.99 per day. That's competitive with what you'll find on other cruise lines . 

[It might be more cost-effective to purchase a package such as the Princess Plus option, which goes for $60 a day per person and comes with Wi-Fi for one device, a beverage package, and other perks.]

In addition to being impressed with the quality of the Wi-Fi, I found that Princess’s Medallion technology worked flawlessly. I was “Ocean Ready” when I checked in, having completed my paperwork on the Princess app days before, so it took just minutes to receive my Medallion—a quarter-sized, wearable doodad (pictured above) to be used in many of the ways that key cards are employed on other ships.

The device makes ordering stuff like lattes or glasses of wine seamless (you don’t have to hand over a card every time), and you don’t have to fumble around in your pockets or handbag for a key to get into your stateroom, either; as long as you’ve got the Medallion on you, the door will unlock automatically as you’re coming down the hallway. 

Sun Princess cruise ship: Horizons dining room

4. New flexibility in complimentary dining

The ship’s complimentary dining venue—the three-level Horizons (pictured above)—features a unique and new-to-Princess flexible dining concept, offering guests a choice among traditional, reservable, or walk-in anytime dining.

Americana Diner on deck 8 is the anytime option, serving casual comfort food such as an all-day breakfast, old-fashioned chipped beef on toast, buffalo wings, chicken parmigiana, pub-style fish and chips, burgers, milkshakes, and apple pie. 

Alternatively, guests can have the classic cruise dining experience, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same table with the same dining companions for every meal, on deck 6. For a quiet evening for two, make a reservation on deck 7 for a leisurely meal amid the space’s panoramic aft views from two-story windows. 

The three new complimentary dining options have been such a hit that Princess is rolling out this enhancement across the fleet. 

Sun Princess cruise ship: Umai Teppanyaki restaurant

5. Exciting new specialty restaurants—and solid standbys

Sun Princess maintains an impressive roster of new dining venues for cruising foodies along with longtime Princess faves, such as the Crown Grill steakhouse (deck 7), where I had one of the best meals of my cruise, thanks to well-prepared staples such as surf and turf and baked Alaska with cherries jubilee.

A fun addition is the line’s first Japanese teppanyaki restaurant, Umai Teppanyaki (pictured above; deck 8), which shares space with Umai Hot Pot . Lively meals here are overseen by talented, spatula-wielding chefs whose bag of showy cooking tricks don’t overpower the fresh, flavorful results. 

Another favorite: The Catch by Rudi (deck 9),   a collaboration with award-winning master chef Rudi Sodamin, the line’s head of culinary arts. The menu features fresh seafood and showstopping desserts, such as a piled-high croquembouche.

On the other side of The Catch, The Butcher’s Block by Dario is a carnivore’s delight, with one meat course served after another—the Florentine steak is the mouth-watering highlight—engineered by Dario Cecchini, the “world’s most famous butcher.” 

Dining at any of the specialty restaurants comes at an additional cost unless you’ve sprung for the Princess Premier package, which includes a dinner at two specialty restaurants and a long list of other amenities, including Wi-Fi for up to four devices, a premium beverage package, reserved seating for theater shows, unlimited fitness classes, and more. The package costs a pricey $80 per day per person, so before you purchase make sure you’ll actually use the various components to make it worth your while. 

Sun Princess cruise ship: Spellbound magic show

6. A magical evening at Spellbound

Sun Princess 's immersive dining-and-entertainment experience is an exclusive collaboration with L.A.’s Magic Castle, a club for expert magicians and their most devoted fans. On the ship, the evening begins with dinner in a private room at the back of the Horizons dining room. Afterward, guests are led by a caped and top hat–sporting gatekeeper through a nondescript door into a seabound version of the Magic Castle, a sexy and mysterious space where bartenders serve elaborate cocktails in cages and smoky boxes as a wandering magician performs close-up card tricks.

After drinks in the lounge, guests are ushered to a performance area for a display of more masterful magic from a headliner "handpicked from around the world," according to Princess (performers change about once a month). The top-notch skills of the magicians, the inventive drinks, and the overall floating-speakeasy vibe add up to an experience that's mesmerizing in every sense of the word. 

The price for the evening, including dinner, drinks, and entertainment, is $149 per person—not too bad, considering all that you get. There are three seatings each night and space is limited. I recommend booking one of the earlier seatings, at 5pm or 7pm, so you can linger at the bar after the show.

Sun Princess cruise ship: Good Spirits at Sea cocktail experience

7. Expertly mixed cocktails at a huge variety of bars

The fact sheet for Sun Princess lists 12 different bars, but that doesn’t include one of my favorite spots, O’Malley’s Irish Pub (deck 7). It’s classified as a restaurant since it serves pub fare, including bangers and mash, a Guinness-braised beef stew, and drunken mussels. Situated just off the Piazza, the space is handsome and the food is hearty, but perhaps the best thing about O’Malley’s is that it's glass-enclosed, so you can enjoy your traditional Irish fare with a side of traditional Irish music without being disturbed by noise from the lively atrium.

I’m also a fan of the sophisticated air and ocean views of  Bellini’s Cocktail Bar (deck 7) for a glass of champagne or a well-made Aperol spritz. For more complicated cocktails, the expert mixologists at Good Spirits at Sea (pictured above; deck 7) prepare tasty drinks inspired by destinations around the world during the space’s Cocktail Experience. Check the ship’s daily schedule for times. 

Outside, some of the best spots to toast the view are the Wake View Terrace Bar (deck 8), the Sea View Terrace (deck 17), and the Sun Bar (deck 18).

Sun Princess cruise ship: The Piazza

1. Noise levels in The Piazza 

With the focus on attracting a younger demographic and new-to-cruising guests, Princess has amplified the amount of games and entertainment in the Piazza, installing a three-story LED screen, pumping out lots of music, flashing a lot of lights, and scheduling activities around the clock. 

Throughout the day, this area hosts game shows, dance classes, Zumba classes, live music of all genres, parties, a silent disco, and much more. Seating along the glass periphery on all three levels of the Piazza makes it easy to watch, listen, and play along. 

But all this action makes a lot of noise—and the commotion can feel inescapable, especially when you’re trying to have lunch at Alfredo’s Pizzeria during a dance class (one, two, cha, cha, cha), or enjoy a quiet pre-dinner cocktail at Crooners (where the live music at the bar has to compete with the noise from the Piazza), or eat your sushi in peace at the specialty Makoto Ocean restaurant.

Sun Princess cruise ship: Princess Arena theater

2. Not enough seating in the Princess Arena

The Princess Arena (deck 7) is the line’s most technologically advanced theatrical space, offering three different configurations for shows (the ship's April 2024 naming ceremony is pictured above). But since the venue can accommodate only 990 spectators, it fills up quickly when the ship is at its full capacity of 4,300 passengers—well over four times the number of people the theater can hold.  

The only production show that was ready for our sailing, Vallora, A Pirate Quest , was sold out when we arrived about 45 minutes before the performance, so we (and many other guests) were turned away. Two nights later, we took advantage of the reserved seating that comes with the Princess Premier package so we could catch the swashbuckling production. That worked, but even with the package, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis—and when seats are gone, they’re gone. 

That means that if you have your heart set on seeing a popular show during your cruise, you could be out of luck, especially when the full slate of productions isn’t available.

In addition to Vallora , future passengers can expect two new shows— Stage Struck and Viva La Música , neither of which was ready during my voyage—and Fiera! , a reimagined Princess staple. 

Sun Princess cruise ship: Princess Live! venue

3. Not enough seating in The Dome and Princess Live!, either

The same seating issue applies to The Dome, where evening acrobatic performances are staged by Québec’s renowned Cirque Éloize. This space has seating capacity for just 250 people, leading to more potential for disappointment—and cramped quarters. On the night I attended, crew members brought in extra chairs to squeeze in more people, but that can make things feel crowded and create terrible sight lines. My view of the performers, for example, was almost completely blocked by the person seated in front of me. 

Similarly, the venue on deck 7 known as Princess Live! (pictured above) often has only standing room available for its lineup of live music, comedy, trivia, and lectures. Not to mention that the spot’s close proximity to the Piazza means that punchlines are often drowned out by noise from the ship’s central gathering area. 

Sun Princess cruise ship: casino

4. Smoke from the casino

To an unusual degree, cigarette smoke wafting down the corridor from the casino (deck 8) toward the Piazza was an issue on my sailing. Many guests commented on the noxious smell—something I don’t recall encountering on other cruise ships. Maybe Princess needs to take a second look at the ship’s air filtration systems? 

Sun Princess cruise ship: The Butcher's Block by Dario

5. The Eatery is congested.

With the ship at full capacity, I found The Eatery buffet (deck 9) to be congested, especially in the morning on port days when everyone was trying to grab breakfast before getting off the ship. Finding a place to sit can be challenging. Pro tip: Try looking near The Catch by Rudi and The Butcher’s Block by Dario (pictured above) at the back of the ship. Seating options should be better on warm days when more passengers opt to eat outside on the deck. 

To avoid the morning madness in The Eatery, consider room service, especially if you have an early excursion. If you have a leisurely morning planned, go for breakfast in Horizons. You can also grab a quick bite and a latte or cappuccino at International Café. 

Related : 10 Tips and Tricks for Dining on a Cruise

Sun Princess cruise ship: family dining

With Sun Princess , the cruise line is making a stronger push to appeal to families with kids. A central piece of the strategy is a top-deck activity zone called Park19 (decks 19 through 21). 

The area was not yet open during my sailing. When it’s complete and passes muster with the regulators at sea, Park19 will feature Sea Breeze, a ride that takes cruisers suspended in harnesses around an electric track at speeds up to 11 mph. Park19 also has a climbing wall that leads to an observation deck with 360-degree views. Additionally, you can try out a ropes course, set the kids loose in a splash zone, or hit a multifunction sports court for fitness classes, ping-pong, and other activities. 

Park19 joins other expanded family offerings onboard, including kids clubs for three different age groups (preschoolers to teens), more connecting staterooms and suites for families traveling together, and a bunch of dining options for younger palates at The Eatery (deck 9) and on the Lido Deck (deck 16). 

Still, Sun Princess doesn’t match the extensive kid-centered activities on other megaships, where you’ll find go-kart tracks, 10-story slides, futuristic arcades, and elaborate stage shows for youngsters. It will be interesting to see whether Princess’s expanded but still comparatively modest pitch for family travelers is enough to compete with rival lines that are better established in the kid-friendly game. 

Sun Princess cruise ship from Princess Cruises

Altogether, Sun Princess is a good-looking, cutting-edge vessel with many top-notch dining and beverage experiences. The outward-facing design and light-filled spaces feel modern and upscale, and have a way of showcasing the ocean views as more ships should do. 

An effort to liven up the Princess image, though, won't always impress loyal fans of the line. Too often, especially in the central Piazza area of the ship, a nonstop frenzy of activity generates more noise than anything else. And it’s not yet clear whether an expanded slate of kid-friendly activities will be enough to compete with rivals that go all out in that regard.

What’s more, as impressive as the ship’s design is, the crucial matter of providing enough seating in theaters and other performance spaces appears to have been overlooked. While I was on board the ship, Princess announced a delay in the delivery of its next vessel, Star Princess , by about two months. Here’s hoping the delay will be used to address some of the capacity issues in the Princess Arena and The Dome. 

Some relatively small fixes would go a long way toward pushing this next-level Love Boat to, well, the next level.

After sailing in the Mediterranean and Europe this summer, Sun Princess will debut in the U.S. in October 2024 with 7- and 14-day Caribbean itineraries sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida . Visit Princess.com for more information . 

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More From Forbes

‘msc euribia’: see inside northern europe’s newest cruise ship.

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Built in 2023, the MSC Euribia cruise ship spends much of the year in Northern Europe.

The newest cruise ship in the MSC Cruises fleet sails Northern Europe itineraries for much of the year. There’s lots to see and do between port calls, so Euribia is a great choice for families, young couples, or groups of friends who don't mind a lively, pan-European onboard atmosphere.

Unlike the line’s other recently-launched ship, MSC World Europa , which was the first in a new class of vessel, the design of Euribia is based on the tried-and-tested ‘Meraviglia Plus’ class.

So, if you’ve sailed on Grandiosa or Virtuosa , the focus on indoor spaces such as the iconic two-deck interior promenade will feel instantly familiar.

The cruise ship, designed to accommodate almost 5,000 passengers at double occupancy, can reach full capacity at 6,327 guests, but this typically happens only during vacation periods when many more children are on board.

'Galleria Euribia' is the venue for many of MSC Euribia's restaurants, shops, bars and parties.

Euribia can feel crowded at popular times, such as pre- and post-dinner on sea days. That’s especially true when adverse weather drives everyone indoors—common in Northern Europe throughout the year.

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However, it’s worth taking the time to fully explore the ship on embarkation day , as there are quieter spots to be found. The Carousel Lounge is open throughout the day, and there is a lot of seating around the atrium.

Entertainment For All On Euribia

MSC Cruises is known as a lively cruise line , and Euribia certainly lives up to that reputation, with multilingual, family-friendly activities throughout the day and late-night parties for adults.

The three-level atrium on MSC Euribia features the signature Swarovski staircases.

The ship’s central feature is the three-deck central atrium and ‘Galleria Euribia’, a visually stunning two-deck interior promenade with a curved LED roof, home to specialty dining, shops, bars, and lounges. It’s a venue for both organized and spontaneous parties, including the captain’s welcome. At one end is the atrium, home to the famous Swarovski staircases .

The ship boasts a spacious rooftop pool deck and a tiered aft sundeck. Key attractions like waterslides, a ropes course, and top-deck waterpark are all popular spots when the weather is favorable. Should that not be the case, there is sheltered seating on the main pool deck.

MSC Euribia features a main pool deck with a large screen. An adjacent indoor pool with retractable ... [+] roof gives flexibility.

Inside, the fun keeps going with a covered swimming pool, more hot tubs, a sports court and a vast arcade. Kids clubs are available for various age groups, giving parents a few hours of peace especially on sea days.

Evening entertainment includes three seatings for the main show in the Delphi Theater, which is bookable using the ‘MSC for Me’ app. Although there is no theater bar, the ship’s 21 bars and lounges mean you’re never far from a drink, although be prepared to wait a while at busy times.

Secondary performance space the Carousel Lounge hosts big band concerts in a more informal atmosphere. The flexible space functions as an additional observation lounge during the day, with snacks and full bar service available.

MSC Euribia's Carousel Lounge is an observation lounge by day and a secondary performance space by ... [+] night.

As with all cruise ships, the casino is only open when at sea, and as a welcome plus is entirely non-smoking. Smokers are nevertheless well catered for with several outdoor smoking areas around the ship.

Accommodation Options

The 2,419 cabins on Euribia offer a wide range of choice for guests, although the brown and beige color scheme won’t be to everyone’s taste.

The 755 interior cabins offer the best value, while duplex suites with balcony hot tubs are available for those seeking the most luxurious experience.

Balcony views can be worth the extra money on Norwegian fjords itineraries.

The high number of guests typically sailing on Euribia is one of two very good reasons to splurge on one of more than 1,000 balcony cabins. The other? Northern Europe itself, especially Norwegian fjords cruises .

Such cruises are partly about the ports, but just as much about the sailaway. Having a private space from which to enjoy the scenery is worthwhile. That being said, inside cabins on Euribia are spacious compared with industry standards, and offer the best value.

Inside cabins are an economical yet comfortable way of staying on MSC Euribia.

There is plenty of outdoor space on higher decks to enjoy the scenery, although you will struggle to find a window seat in popular lounges.

Varied Dining Venues

As a line firmly in the mass-market segment of the industry, MSC is not renowned for its food offering. Yet, steady improvement has been made in recent years.

Kaito sushi bar is a speciality restaurant on MSC Euribia.

The inclusive offerings are more than satisfactory, especially the seafood, and the ship’s breads and pasta, all made on board. Also produced on board is fresh mozzarella. More than 650 pounds of it is made—and eaten—every day.

Euribia’s buffet restaurant can be hit-and-miss and does get crowded at popular times, but at least one main dining room is also open for breakfast/brunch/lunch, depending on the day.

White corn tacos are among the menu items at MSC Euribia's Mexican-themed cantina.

Adding to the choice is a number of speciality restaurants, including French-themed Le Grill, Japanese grill, sushi bar, and a Mexican cantina. The latter, with authentic white corn tacos and a $20 all-you-can-eat option, is outstanding value.

Spa And Fitness

With the availability of delicious pizza almost 24/7, it’s wise to get familiar with the fitness offer on Euribia. A well-equipped fitness center with views is open from 6am, and the combined walking and jogging track on deck 16 is popular on sea days.

Part of the thermal suite on MSC Euribia.

The Aurea Spa features a thermal area, for which day passes or cruise-long passes are available. A variety of massages and treatments are available in private treatment rooms, while a nail and beauty salon, and a barber shop rounds out the offer.

Aside from the spa, a total of five swimming pools and several hot tubs are available throughout the ship.

The Yacht Club Experience

If the Vegas-style amenities and atmosphere appeal but you want some peace and quiet too, Euribia offers the MSC Yacht Club experience.

The Top Sail Lounge is an observation lounge and bar exclusively for Yacht Club guests on MSC ... [+] Euribia.

MSC’s take on the ‘ship-within-a-ship’ concept is an access-controlled area of the ship for 100 cabins with an exclusive restaurant, bar and lounge, and an outdoor deck with pool, bar and daytime buffet.

Situated at the front of the ship, both the outside deck and observation lounge offer some of the best views anywhere on Euribia .

Unlike other line’s premium offerings, Euribia’s Yacht Club features a range of accommodation, including interior cabins, giving guests a more budget-friendly way to accessing a premium experience.

The private terrace in MSC Euribia's Yacht Club features bar service, a daytime buffet, and a ... [+] private pool.

Guests staying in the Yacht Club pay substantially more, but have access to butler service, and a premium drinks package, among other perks.

A ‘Greener’ Ship

While cruising is anything but a sustainable activity, Euribia is powered by liquified natural gas (LNG), something which not all new cruise ships are.

Although still criticized by environmental campaigners, LNG is considered the ‘greenest’ fuel that’s available today at the scale required for cruise ships. LNG significantly reduces sulphur oxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions compared with traditional maritime fuels.

MSC also claims an advanced onboard wastewater treatment system, energy efficiency through smart HVAC systems, and the ongoing ocean conservation work of the MSC Foundation .

Euribia isn’t for everyone, but what cruise ship is? If you enjoy a lively atmosphere, a packed program of activities, and a healthy dose of Vegas-style sparkle and glamor, Euribia could be for you.

David Nikel

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    An ocean view cabin, often called an outside cabin, is a room with a window that looks out to sea. The window is usually a large, rectangular picture window and is also the biggest difference between an outside cabin and an inside room on a cruise ship. While the windows let in natural light, they do not open to let in fresh air like balconies.

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    CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE. On select Carnival Cruise Line ships, such as Carnival Vista and Carnival Magic, you'll find special Deck 2 Cove balcony cabins that are built into the steel hull of the ship, close to the waterline and near the ship's lifeboats. These accommodations afford a unique view of the sea since you aren't on a typical balcony ...

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  12. Everything to Know about Balcony Cabins on a Cruise (Read Before

    Instead, you should just anticipate the price difference between a basic bare-bones interior cabin and a balcony room. In our estimation, it seems to run between 50%-100% more for a balcony cabin. So if a 7-day cruise for an interior cabin is $500 per person, expect a balcony to be between $750 and $1,000. You can check prices for balconies ...

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  18. Odyssey of the Seas Ocean View Balcony Cabin Review

    Similar to our experiences on other Royal Caribbean cruise ships, the Odyssey of the Seas Ocean View Balcony was the perfect mix of size and value. The bed was comfortable, and the space was adequate. Our stateroom location provided easy access to the stairs and elevators. The main cabin and balcony square footage were on par with most balcony ...

  19. Infinite Balconies on a Cruise: Pros, Cons, and Should You Book?

    Traditionally, cruise cabins come in one of four categories: interior, oceanview, balcony, and a suite. However, cruise lines are constantly innovating and those popular balcony cabins -- which give passengers their own private outdoor space -- are one place where there have been changes. Enter the 'infinite balcony.' On some cruise ships, the traditional balcony has been replaced by a new ...

  20. Ocean View

    Ever wonder what it's like to have an ocean view balcony on a cruise ship? This entire video is unedited (with NO ADS), and complete with all the random sur...

  21. The Truth About Obstructed View Cabins

    The amount of obstruction within an ocean view or a balcony cabin can vary dramatically. If you have a look here at the MSC Preziosa, you can see this deck where the windows are behind the lifeboats. The windows on the top level look out over the lifeboats but are still considered obstructed because compared to standard ocean views, the view is ...

  22. I've stayed in 3 types of rooms on cruises, and the cheapest was never

    The rooms' sizes and capacities depend on the ship, but balcony staterooms are usually larger than ocean-view staterooms and tend to sleep up to five guests. Even if the rooms' living spaces aren ...

  23. Cruise Passenger Criticized After Complaining About 'Obstructed View'

    As the world's largest cruise ship, at 250,800-gross tons, ... 276 ocean view staterooms, and 1,815 balcony staterooms - and that's just counting normal staterooms, not suites. There are ...

  24. Freedom of the Seas Ocean View Balcony Cabin Review

    For our Southern Caribbean cruise on Freedom of the Seas, the Princess and I booked a guaranteed balcony. We were assigned to a portside balcony cabin, 6638. Reviewing the plans, this balcony is considered an Ocean View Balcony Cabin (a 2D Category stateroom). For cruisers comparing different options on the ship, we have put together this ...

  25. Sun Princess Cruise Ship Review: What We Love—and What Needs Work

    Crew: 1,600. Size: 177,882 gross tons, 1,133 feet long, 139 feet wide. Booking: Princess.com, 800/774-6237. James Morgan, Getty Images for Princess Cruises. Where the Sun Shines Brightest: 7 Things We Love. 1. The ship's unique design—and dazzling views. The ship's most striking design elements are its two "sun-inspired" concepts:

  26. 'MSC Euribia': See Inside Northern Europe's Newest Cruise Ship

    MSC's take on the 'ship-within-a-ship' concept is an access-controlled area of the ship for 100 cabins with an exclusive restaurant, bar and lounge, and an outdoor deck with pool, bar and ...