Go with the balcony. We love sitting out there watching the action (people coming and going, docking procedures, dolphins jumping, storms rolling in over the city or at sea, hearing the waves at night, etc). For those with small children its even better-its a place to go and read or chat while the child naps in the cabin. Going through the Panama Canal it was cool when a ship was alongside too. Same while in port and a ship is next to you. You can check out the cabin layouts on the other ship!