Hi, David ...
There are only two instances where I would choose one side over the other ... an Alaska Inside Passge cruise and a Panama Canal transit.
For Alaska, starboard heading north, port heading south.
There are no guarantees on which lock set you'll be in for the canal, but most people's experience (we've done it twice) indicates that cruise ships are usually in the "lower" lock set. That would be the right-hand set going to Florida, the left-hand set coming from Floria (or that direction, anyway). Going to Florida, portside, coming from Florida, starboard so you can see the concentration of action in the area between the lock sets.
Other than that, I don't see much difference. It's usually up to the HarborMaster which way a ship "parks" in port so it's impossible to predice whether your balcony will be ocean view or people view.
pamda -- CM First Time Cruisers Editor