Personally, I think the balcony is totally worth it - both cruises I went on I had a balcony cabin was out there alot. Every morning I would enjoy coffee from room service out on the balcony. Plus you can watch as you enter and leave port, and see what the weather really is like before going up on deck. Plus I did not feel closed in as I could go outside for fresh air. I would also relax out on the balcony in the evening. So yes, for me, it is almost a necessity to book a balcony cabin!