Hmmm? One cruise with a balcony or two cruises in an inside room? I prefer the two cruises option. I would splurge on a balcony if the itinerary really warranted it, like maybe Alaska or somewhere that you will see something besides water. We prefer to watch sail-away from ports etc. from the top of the ship with new friends.
I would never opt for an oceanview over an inside. We actually prefer the darkness of the inside room for quick naps so we can party later. I tend to be a tad claustrophobic but have never had a problem on board ship in an inside cabin. Someone mentioned that once you have a balcony you will never want to be without one. Maybe a good reason not to start if you can't afford it. I would love to try a balcony, but have also heard complaints of drifting cigar or cigarette smoke, noise, profanities, fighting etc. from other balconies. Also, many balconies are very visible from other balconies or even from the top deck, so not very private. If you can afford it, go for it, but you can have a wonderful cruise without it. I realize that this reply sounds like excuses from someone who has never had a balcony but we've loved 9 cruises and got along great without one.