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Old June 13th, 2012, 07:28 PM
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Default Alaska balcony vs obstructed quandary

Ive booked our cruise to Alaska w obstructed balcony, to be assigned, on Carnival Spirit. For $340 more we can get an unobstructed balcony, assigned room. However, we do want to do a couple of excursions, we're a middle aged, very active couple. But we do want to enjoy the views from our room too. Do room service during the Glacier. Is it worth it to upgrade at that price?
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Old June 13th, 2012, 09:19 PM
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Let me preface my answer with saying, I have not sailed Alaska..If I did, I would want the unobstructed balcony, simply do be able to watch the scenery from the comfort & privacy of my balcony..if there was one port to spluge,.Alaska is the place to do it..enjoy!
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Old June 13th, 2012, 10:04 PM
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I have sailed Alaska, and we enjoyed our balcony. I recomend an up-grade to an unobstructed balcony.

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Old June 14th, 2012, 11:07 AM
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Talking Alaska

We have sailed to Alaska in everything from an inside cabin to a full suite. It is a wonderful cruise no matter how you do it!

We have enjoyed the balconies. When we cruised with my 91 y o aunt, the suite balcony was very convenient and we enjoyed it. Check out our trip report and pictures at Cruising to Alaska on HAL Zuiderdam. But that was two suite balconies opened and joined together! It was not on one cramped single balcony.

OTOH we have found that a balcony is somewhat restrictive. It seems that the naturalist is always saying, "There is a whale," or an eagle, or a waterfall on the OTHER side of the ship! In general we like to be out and about the ship in the public areas in Glacier Bay. On our last cruise we got a great upgrade from standard inside to balcony, but we would not have booked one. I think the pictures at http://www.bully4.us/alaska2010.html give you an idea of the cramped space on a normal balcony vs the wide open space in the public area.

Alaska is a pricey place to cruise. The premium for a balcony over a standard cabin is very large. There are many expensive shore excursions that are wonderful and should not be missed. For many, it is a once in a lifetime experience. Frankly for those people, I would suggest blowing the budget on a nice balcony cabin AND booking all the best excursions.

BUT -- when we go back for our ninth trip to Alaska next year, we will skip the balcony cabin and use the difference for shore excursions. Check the link in my sig below for more Alaska trip reports.
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Old June 14th, 2012, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin98765 View Post
Ive booked our cruise to Alaska w obstructed balcony, to be assigned, on Carnival Spirit. For $340 more we can get an unobstructed balcony, assigned room. However, we do want to do a couple of excursions, we're a middle aged, very active couple. But we do want to enjoy the views from our room too. Do room service during the Glacier. Is it worth it to upgrade at that price?
The most important issue here is this :

How many times do you think you will get to go back to Alaska, maybe many and maybe never...

If $340 will break you' then honestly you picked too expensive of a cruise to do. If you having a good time balances on $340 then cancel the cruise.

I hate to bring this up to you but better now then a surprise later...I did an Alaskan cruise and I can tell you that alot of the excursions are wonderfull...zodiac ride, train ride into a gold rush town, a helicopter tour which is fantastic but I must tell you that the excursions are rather expensive...many are hundreds of dollars apiece...

All in all get the unobstructed view...if I had to get a obstructed view I would settle for a outside cabin...IMHO a unblocked view of Alaska in an outside cabin is better then a blocked view from a veranda.
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Old June 18th, 2012, 12:37 PM
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I would also try and enquire as to how Obstructed your balcony is. Do a google search on your cabin number and ship name. Some of them are labeled as Obstructed but it wouldn't be anything big that blocks your view.

I liked my balcony in Alaska, but it's not used the same was as one in the Caribbean would be. I sure as heck wouldn't be eating my breakfast and dinner out there
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Old June 18th, 2012, 03:02 PM
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Be safe and happy with an unobstructed balcony. There are times you are just cruising the passages and it's nice to view them as you travel. As for circling to view the glacier, the ship did a 360 for us, but I went to the upper deck to view all the angles. We were there in a September and it was very chilly, wore layered clothing up on deck. If you were in a super obstructed balcony, you'd miss part of the view, and if you take pictures, you don't want the obstruction in those pics.
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Old June 18th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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I have to agree, when in Alaska, go for it and get the regular balcony, you certainly won't regret it. Enjoy your first cup of coffee out there enjoying the scenery, same at night before you turn in.
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Old June 19th, 2012, 09:05 AM
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Question Coffee on the balcony?

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Originally Posted by Donna View Post
I have to agree, when in Alaska, go for it and get the regular balcony, you certainly won't regret it. Enjoy your first cup of coffee out there enjoying the scenery, same at night before you turn in.
Wow -- that would be a very rare experience on any of our Alaska trips. Even in the Caribbean, when the ship is moving there is quite a breeze and balconies can be chilly at those hours. In Alaska -- I can think of very few times that we would have been able to have morning or evening coffee on the balcony without bundling up heavily due to the cold wind from the ship's motion.

It is true that the balcony usually has full sliding glass doors as opposed to simply a window in many outside cabins. So you can enjoy your coffee in your jammies, sitting in the cabin and watching the scenery outside through the glass.
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Old June 19th, 2012, 05:43 PM
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I agree with buttons16...how many times are you going to visit Alaska? If this is a once in a lifetime opportunity...book the balcony! Alaska is beyond beautiful and we've been there many times and each time discovered something new and exciting. We've always had a balcony and never ever regretted it. Early morning as you sail through the 'inside' passage it's sooooo lovely and quiet. You can have breakfast or just hot coffee or coco as you watch beautiful scenery pass. Words can't describe it.

Excursions in Alaska are very very very expensive. We've had excellent experiences with some of the cheaper ones. (Jeep tours; meet/greet sled dogs etc.) Just research BEFORE you go to make sure that a particular excursion is worth it. Sometimes you can get the same or similar excursion when it overlaps with another. e.g. We got to see some of the Alaskan Klondike when we went to see the sledge dogs training camp because it was about a 2 hour drive into the Klondike Territories. Other's paid to go on a specific tour to see pretty much the same as we did. (only I dare say we had a lot more fun. It's also where we met for the first time the Alaskan State Bird face to face...the mosquito. This is no joke...their mosquitos are sooooo big!) So if you do a little research you might be able to go on one tour that overlaps another and save money that way.
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Old June 19th, 2012, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Fieldmouse View Post
I agree with buttons16...how many times are you going to visit Alaska? If this is a once in a lifetime opportunity...book the balcony! Alaska is beyond beautiful and we've been there many times and each time discovered something new and exciting.
I think you misread the OPs post. They did book a balcony, but an Obstructed one. They need to find out how obstructed to see if it even makes a difference.
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Old June 19th, 2012, 07:15 PM
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Depending on the wind direction, I've found the balcony to shield you from the wind. Been to Alaska twice so far, and both times, have had temps get into the 70's, so the balcony was wonderful....The coldest temps I encountered was in Victoria doing a whale excursion, but they provided winter jackets and everyone sure used one.
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Old June 19th, 2012, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trackypup View Post
I think you misread the OPs post. They did book a balcony, but an Obstructed one. They need to find out how obstructed to see if it even makes a difference.

Yup yup yup...you're right I sure did...

I would get an unobstructed view. We had an obstructed view on an Mexican Rivera cruise and even though we'd been on that itinerary about 5 times before,
it bugged the heck out of me. But then again, I can't do an inside cabin either so...it might just be me...
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Old June 20th, 2012, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin98765 View Post
Ive booked our cruise to Alaska w obstructed balcony, to be assigned, on Carnival Spirit. For $340 more we can get an unobstructed balcony, assigned room. However, we do want to do a couple of excursions, we're a middle aged, very active couple. But we do want to enjoy the views from our room too. Do room service during the Glacier. Is it worth it to upgrade at that price?
Lets get this straight ok....the OP is asking if it is worth upgrading to a unobstructed view with a assigned cabin for $340...and I said yes it is....not sure what the confusion is about.

We all understand that she already book a obstructed veranda..the question is....is it worth the upgrade.
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