Let me be the first to acknowledge that a cruise to Alaska is quite a splurge. It is one of those Bucket List trips that you make once in a lifetime. It is an experience that you save for, you plan for in regards to appropriate clothing and finding the shore excursions you’d most enjoy, and then you start dreaming about. But, if such a trip is on your list — and I can testify that it is a sensational experience, then I would like to recommend that you go just one step further and book a stateroom with a balcony. And, if the room can be on the starboard side near mid-ship, then all the better.
Here are my 6 reasons for booking a balcony room:
- When you first arrive, your room feels bigger and IS, in fact, bigger by the dimensions of the balcony. For those of you with any hint of claustrophobia, the immediate sense of relief will be worth every extra dollar. May I just add here a thanks to Princess Cruise Lines and the Coral Princess, in particular? That bed was wonderful. Along with the comfortable mattress, the drone of the ship’s engine and the almost indiscernible rocking motion as we traveled throughout the night combined for some of the best sleep I’ve had in ages.
- Wildlife and all of the passing natural scenery can be photographed and enjoyed without having to jockey for position with hundreds of others on the public decks. We saw a brown bear lumbering along the shoreline, numerous bald eagles looking for fish and at least five glaciers in privacy and peace.
- You WILL get cold while traveling the Inside Passage of Glacier Bay. It is mighty handy to step inside and get warm for a few minutes, drink some water, use the restroom, etc. and then step right back outside for unhindered views. In warmer climates, I can imagine being able to soak up some sun without having to model your bathing suit (and your bathing suit BODY) for the masses. Gulp.
- The wildlife can even get a closer look at YOU. Check out the size of this seagull!!
- A stateroom balcony is a great place for a selfie. You can keep trying and trying until you get a decent one to share with your Facebook friends.
- A balcony room allows you an advance look at the towns where the ship has docked before heading out on a shore excursion.
Have I missed any reasons? This was, after all, our very FIRST cruise. I’m sure my more seasoned readers can name other advantages they’ve found. Feel free to chime in.