CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums

CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums (
-   Holland America (
-   -   Verandah suit, is it worth it...balcony? (

Seattle March 20th, 2008 03:59 AM

Verandah suit, is it worth it...balcony?
My wife and I will be taking a cruise on the Oosterdam in Aug to Alaska.
I right now I have a OceanView room but I am thinking of paying more for a Verandah suit that has an outside balcony.

So how much privacy do the balconys have? Can I go out there in my robe. Are the balconys worth the money?

What do you think?

Mike L March 20th, 2008 09:54 AM

Definetly worth the money. My two cruises with HAL were SA and the balcony had a table with 4 chairs and 2 lounge chairs. Plenty of room!

You can go out in your bathrobe. Privacy is not an issue unless the people in the cabin next to you lean out and look around the partition. We never had this problem :D

DeeDee March 20th, 2008 10:40 AM

It sure is. When we did Alaska in August, I would bundle myself up in my terry robe (I don't think they have the terry ones anymore - just the waffle weave with a terry lining), lap blanket and sit outside watching for whales and looking at the scenery.

We've also never had a problem with people looking around the partition.

Enjoy the balcony - it's worth it, especially in Alaska.

nmnita March 20th, 2008 12:52 PM

yes, you can go out in your robe. Now, I am in a minority here I am afraid, to us it depends on the price difference. I do love a balcony with or without the suite, but only to a point. DH could care less. When I cruise with my daughter we always choose a balcony, with DH, no. With other friends I leave it up to them. Yes, balconies are very nice, are they a must? Not unless you spend a lot of time in your cabin, which we do not.

Nita :wink:

Divemaster March 20th, 2008 03:15 PM

Re: Verandah suit, is it worth it...balcony?
Depends. BTDT all over HAL's ships. To get true value for the premium for a balcony you might want a southern cruise where it is warm in that robe, there are islands to see (i.e. no fog/rain/mist/drizzle) and critters in the water - dolphins, whales, flying fish, etc.

That said, you are in the sweet spot as early August weather up there is generally good.

As to privacy, the balcony is only as private as the people on either side want it to be and don't forget those window washers.


Originally Posted by Seattle
My wife and I will be taking a cruise on the Oosterdam in Aug to Alaska.
I right now I have a OceanView room but I am thinking of paying more for a Verandah suit that has an outside balcony.

So how much privacy do the balconys have? Can I go out there in my robe. Are the balconys worth the money?

What do you think?

mountain dog March 20th, 2008 06:58 PM

We went on the Oosterdam last August, we had a SA suite And we had wonderful weather. I have worked outside most of my life and probably would have been out on the balcony if it was snowing. But like I said the weather was perfect so I was in my shorts half the time and inmy robe alot. When we arrived at the glacier the Captain got us up close and having that balcony was priceless . It was breath-taking. I also observed Whale and other marine life. The balcony also served as a great wind break. The first morning that we arrived at our first port I beleive it was Juneau I went out on the balcony and saw Alaska I ordered room service for Coofee and breakfast and it was great. It saved me dressing and going outside which would have been fine. Lots of good people out there really enjoying it also. Have a great time....

Ford_Racing_Ron March 21st, 2008 11:45 AM

Its sort of like,,,if you never had one you wouldn't miss it but if you had you can't picture a cruise without it. We did. I didn't have a suite, just a verhanda stateroom but I loved the balcony and have had one on my other crusies too. Its great to sit out there on sea days.

But I will tell you on my Alaska trip it seems everthing that was announced (whales etc) were on the opposite side of the ship so we would have to charge down the stairs to get to the Promanade deck and look out. Some friends had an outside cabin on the promonade deck right by the door leading out so all they had to do was leave their cabin to look out, no matter what side of the ship the "attraction" was on.

Jo-Ann April 20th, 2008 04:29 PM

Is the original poster referring to a Deluxe Verandah Suite or just a verandah cabin? I know he mentioned the word suite, but I'm thinking since he now is booked in an oceanview and is considering a balcony, that would be a huge leap to go to a Deluxe verandah Suite.

Personally, I wouldn't cruise in anything less than a verandah cabin. We were on Westerdam last week and we had a VD verandah cabin and my sister and BIL had an SA Deluxe Verandah Suite. The suite was phenomenal, but they also paid $1,000/pp more than we did for a 7 night cruise. For us it wouldn't be worth it. We'd rather take another cruise.

sassyredhat April 21st, 2008 09:22 PM

We always book verandah suites, (as opposed to deluxe verandah suites.)

The balcony is wonderful for watching all the wild life, the midnight sunsets, and just about anything.

We had a balcony in Alaska, and on our recent Hawaii cruise, I watched the lava from the volcano in a bathrobe on my balcony. :)


PeterC April 22nd, 2008 10:36 AM

I'm also a must have balcony for Alaska cruiser. Regarding the privacy however......our cabin was one deck below the part of the buffet restaurant that juts out from the side of the ship....Zaandam......and from the corner booth you got a pretty good view of some balconies. So some privacy is lost. But if wearing a robe....shouldn't be a problem really. Robes don't have to be revealing right? Enjoy the trip, and your coffee and danish on the balcony with the incredible Alaskan scenery passing by. Just stunning.

Bermuda Triangle April 22nd, 2008 04:17 PM

I guess I'm in the minority here, as I do not think having a balcony is worth the extra money - I'd rather spend it on cruising more often!

I had one on my first cruise but couldn't sit out there as the upwind neighbour smoked cigars.

The HAL ships have several uncrowded open decks from which to watch the World go by, without the need to pay for your own private one.

richstacy April 27th, 2008 02:17 PM

Is a verandah worth it? Yes! Absolutely. Without a doubt.

arkiegal May 12th, 2008 11:52 AM

I have to go with RichStacy....... not cruising without a balcony. Have never had a privacy issue...... once had a neighbor who smoked cigars on his balcony but really kind of enjoyed the occasional whiff. The breeze basically blew the smoke away.

Rev Hypocrite May 13th, 2008 07:07 PM

Personally, I couldn't live without a balcony! I'm out there day and night....clothed and unclothed. :wink:

On the other hand, my hubby, would gladly switch to an outside room, and spend more money on-board...... not with me, he won't! I'm hooked!

Toley May 14th, 2008 10:25 PM

Our first veranda was on an Alaskan cruise and there is no turning back for us. As we were passing an island in the Inside Passage, my husband stood on the veranda and called to me to see the dog that appeared to be running along the beach chasing the ship. Suddenly he realized that the dog was actually a black bear running on that beach! That wasn't the only great moment on that cruise that we had because of the veranda. Go for it!

DeeDee May 17th, 2008 07:02 PM

We just returned from a cruise to Alaska on the Veendam and unfortunately we were only able to use our balcony a couple of times as the weather was not very co-operative as you will see if you read Captain Albert Schoonderbeek's Blog

We did spend part of the day on the balcony while in Glacier Bay but it was very cold and windy.

It was still great to have the balcony as we could open all the drapes and have a nice view from inside the cabin.

Would we take a balcony suite again if we went to Alaska - DEFINITELY!

Even though the weather wasn't very nice, we had a wonderful time.

richstacy May 18th, 2008 01:59 PM

Dee dee, I think the time of year may have had something to do with how chilly it was. We were there at the end of April (very chilly) and the middle of July (very, very nice).

DeeDee May 18th, 2008 03:46 PM


Originally Posted by richstacy
Dee dee, I think the time of year may have had something to do with how chilly it was. We were there at the end of April (very chilly) and the middle of July (very, very nice).

I agree. We've been there in June and the end of August and the weather was quite nice. Even though we did have rain in some of the ports those times, it didn't stop us from wandering around the towns and taking excursions. This time it was not only the cold but the pouring rain and very, very strong winds. Next time we'll go in either July or August.

When we disembarked in Vancouver on Friday it was lovely and I saw on the news today that it was in the high 80's and people were at the beach soaking up the sun.

Even though the weather wasn't that great, we did have a super time.

dshackelll May 27th, 2008 10:12 AM

O go for a varandah every time.

It's private, robes are fine. You can sit out there with your breakfast, have a drink before dinner. Have a quiet read if the ship is busy on deck.

Keep the curtains open while in bed. You usually have a glass balcony wall so the view is just lovely.

Of course there are some ports where the wrong side of the ship will have people staring staright at you from their apartment - Auskland New Zealand is one such place. But that would happen with a ocean view.

Upgrade! upgrade!

beenthere2 June 4th, 2008 02:09 PM

Balcony worth it
A balcony does offer privacy. And if you want a view of the coast line instead of just open sea, try to pick the side of the ship that will most often be facing the coast during the daylight hours. (Port/left side = even number... starboard/right side = odd number staterooms.)

dd111163 June 15th, 2008 12:21 AM

:D YES! YES! YES! The Verandah is worth the money! I lived on mine last year (in my pj's). Very private, very worth the money.

calita June 23rd, 2008 04:56 PM

balcony or not
We love having a balcony. It gives you a view all day and night, fresh air all the time, and makes your cabin seem even bigger. For years we did not have one and came home with colds after a long cruise. Now with the fresh air available instead of the canned air we have never been sick. We will never go back....

Norcal June 23rd, 2008 05:22 PM

While a balcony is not that important to some, for us it is. On other cruises with other lines, once we experienced a balcony we couldn't even imagine going back for the trips that are warm weather. Hard to put a dollar value on maybe one of the best parts of the trip. We don't spend much time in our room but when we are there our time is on the balcony watching the waves, dolphins and any other magic moment playing out for us. On the sun side of the trip it is also nice to be able to sun bath there when the pool gets too crowded. Did I mention a few fabulous meals on the balcony? Well, that too. ;)

At a minimum now I guess I would settle for at least a window cabin, only if it is a colder area. It is rather like the saying "what you don't know, you don't miss" so think long and hard before doing it as you'll be as spoiled as we are.

SPACECOWBOY June 29th, 2008 09:38 PM

Balcony or Not.
Had to give my two cents worth on the subject of balconies. On our first cruise we just had a widow, and being a "smoker" and my wife not it was tough for her. The last two cruise we had a balcony and loved it, wouldn't go back. I can smoke out there and not bother my wife. Plus I love sitting out there first thing in the morning and late at night. It is definitly worth the money. Plus the views are great. Also we have only done Caribbean cruises.

Snooz June 30th, 2008 07:08 PM

Re: Verandah suit, is it worth it...balcony?

Originally Posted by Seattle
My wife and I will be taking a cruise on the Oosterdam in Aug to Alaska.
I right now I have a OceanView room but I am thinking of paying more for a Verandah suit that has an outside balcony.

So how much privacy do the balconys have? Can I go out there in my robe. Are the balconys worth the money?

What do you think?

Definitely book the balcony. We did Alaska on Coral Princess last August and it was great to be able to see everything from our own balcony and not have to go to the crowded deck. Wear your bathrobe if you want. Noone will see! Enjoy your cruise.

richstacy July 7th, 2008 10:58 PM

Once you have had a balcony/verandah, you can never go back. :-?

cowboybruno July 9th, 2008 11:13 AM

I have to agree with Bermuda Triangle. The prices for verandahs are pretty high now and aren't worth an additional 1000 bucks on some sailings.

Although they are nice, I was upgraded from an oceanview on my last Alaska trip. The problem was, it was too cold much of the time to really enjoy it.


HAL Westerdam 2006 Alaska
HAL Oosterdam 2007 Mexico

richstacy July 9th, 2008 02:56 PM

BTW, the balconies on HAL are generally speaking more private than those on Princess. For what it's worth. some of those on Princess ships jut out from those above and are fully exposed. Dumb design. (IMHO)

bjjala July 18th, 2008 01:13 AM

YES!!!! YES!!!! YES!!! :D Well worth every penny. My husband and I had breakfast most morning on the balcony. That was one of those memories we will keep with us. We will never sail again without at least a verandia suite. There was total privacy and no one hanging over the sides. When ever I came back to the cabin my husband would be there on the chase reading his book, coffee in hand and a big smile. Does life get any better than this? Book it NOW!!!!

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:47 PM.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1