yes, you can go out in your robe. Now, I am in a minority here I am afraid, to us it depends on the price difference. I do love a balcony with or without the suite, but only to a point. DH could care less. When I cruise with my daughter we always choose a balcony, with DH, no. With other friends I leave it up to them. Yes, balconies are very nice, are they a must? Not unless you spend a lot of time in your cabin, which we do not.