Having done the Inside Passage several times, I personally think that starboard (right) is the best. Leaving Vancouver you will be able to watch the shoreline. This is something we enjoy. The only time we are not able to see the shoreline is on the return southbound for a short period of time. We are balcony 'sitters' and feel that starboard is the best. Just IMHO.......
I have to disagree. We recently took a northbound cruise from Vancouver and were on the port side. Almost every time the naturalist announced something coming up (whales, sea lions, glaciers, etc.) it was usually on the port side. We were able to see almost everything from our balcony without having to go up on deck.
We have takjen many, many, many Alaska cruises and it really isn't much different on which side of the ship you will be on.
However, in Port the starboard(righyt side) of the ship is usually the side tied up to the dock sop you overlook the pier and city satreets. On the port side you usually face the harbor. Unless we have been up-graded we do not go out of our way for a balconey in Alaska, It is usually wet, often old and the large plate glass makes it difficult to maintain the temperature inside of the cabin.
A balcony can be nice while in one of the glacier bays/
Just got back from cruising the inside passage where we had a lovely balcony room on the starboard (right) side. We felt this was the perfect place to be and had constant scenery.
I HIGHLY recommend a balcony on either side of the ship and simply cannot imagine having done this cruise without it. We spent countless hours enjoying the peace and serenity - and spectacular views - from our balcony. The few times we went up on deck we felt it was crowded and not nearly as tranquil - and in the case of the Celebrity Infinity - often had annoying waiters pitching various drinks for sail... which definitely took away from the atmosphere.
Get a balcony - you can't go wrong - but we were quite happy with our starboard side!
It is a toss up. Both sides will have scenery. But for me the front open deck is the only place so I can see it all. Actually it is a fairly empty place except at the glaciers and coming into port. I do spend all my sailing time out there and in reality few passengers do this. Dress warm!!!
We just completed the southbound itinerary on the Carnival Spirit. We had a balcony on the port side of the ship, our friends on the starboard side.... THEY WERE ALWAYS IN OUR CABIN!!!! REally, it doesn't make any difference.... in the fjiords, the ship goes in, turns around and comes out.... both sides see the same thing.... Also, we found we'd rather be up on deck, up near the bow to see BOTH sides...... Don't worry about it, either side will be wonderful!