My first cruise was in an ocean view room, my 2nd cruise was a balcony and I've never looked back. I did sail with a friend one year who was short of cash and we opted for an inside stateroom on the Carnival Triumph. It was terrible, very claustrophobic and depressing with no sunshine coming into your room, thank goodness I brought a small travel alarm clock so I would know what time it was. And, I disagree with a lot of posters, you spend more time in your room than you think. You're there every night to sleep...you spend time there dressing for the day...you return during the day to change your clothes, bathroom break, have a drink, enjoy room service, take a nap, etc., you change clothes there for dinner and return to sleep. A balcony extends your living area, you can open the door for fresh sea air, breakfast in the morning on the balcony is absolute luxury, pre-dinner drinks on the balcony heavenly, after showering I sit on the balcony and let the breeze dry my hair, not to mention the views of the islands, rainbows, entering and leaving a port. I would never go on a cruise if I could not afford a balcony room, no way. It's the same as staying at a Disney resort when you visit Disney World, it extends your vacation experience.