Again IMHO - a balcony is a must for the inside passage on Alaskan cruises. Otherwise it's a $$ thing. A Caribbean cruise will just be looking out at the sea, and in port you may be overlooking a cargo dock or an oil transport site. The promenade deck as said is usually deserted to get a look closer to the water and have some solitude. I love a balcony cabin but the $$ factor is foremost. The last cruise I took I had an interior cabin for the first time. Pitch black with the lights off, and no sense of time of day - BUT - the price I paid made it very worthwhile (close to one-third of the price of a balcony).