It is definitely worth it! There is so much beautiful scenery to see for almost the entire cruise that a balcony is, IMO, very important. We spent a lot of time on ours. You might not lay out in the sun like you would in the Caribbean, but you will use it for sightseeing. Cruising Alaska is different from cruising the Caribbean. We loved Alaska so much we plan to return at least 2 more times. We went on Princess (our first cruise with them) and fell in love with the cruise line, but when we go back, we'll go on HAL at least for 1 cruise, because they have more varied itineraries. We want to see as many new things as possible next time around. I don't think you would go wrong with either HAL or Princess. You'll love Alaska!