All valid points made here, we have only done 2 cruises but had a balcony each time. The first one - Alaska - definately worth the balcony, the 2nd one - Baltics - again - worth the balcony. Both were upgrades from an outside cabin. It's great arriving somewhere early in the morning and watching the scenery / views as you approach. It has to be a matter of choice and what you'd prefer - a big difference in price yes but for some itineries well worth it. Make sure you look at which side of the boat is cruising alongside the land (port or starboard - I always get them mixed up !)and choose your cabin wisely - you may miss the views otherwise ! Happy sailing !