Every cruiser lusts after the raved about the balcony room. What if I told you there are some serious advantages to an inside cruise cabin that you might not have considered? I just took my 8th cruise. I don’t think of myself as a cruising fanatic by any means, but I am not a novice cruiser. I’ve stayed in inside cabins, window view cabins, and balcony cabins. All have pros and cons, but the inside is my current favorite, and I don’t think I’ll ever spend the extra money for the balcony again.
Inside cabins have no windows at all. What this means is complete darkness – pitch black! And this translates to heavenly sleep! There is no chance of the sun peeking in, and you lose track of time. The element of now knowing if it’s morning, noon, or night is beyond relaxing.
Additionally, today, almost all inside cabins have a “fake” window that creates the allusion that you have a window. Some go as far as having painted scenery or video screens to make a wall appear to have a window. Balcony cabins are not blacked out. No matter how great the design, there is always space somewhere on the window treatment that lets in the light.
Inside cabins have come a long way and are more significant than you think. There is plenty of room and plenty of cabin space. Some of them are laid out quite well and provide you with the same amount of space as a typical hotel in NYC. The bathrooms are always smaller. Well, let’s be clear – microscopically tiny but hey ho.
Inside cabins offer you total privacy. No one can hear your conversations on the balcony. No one can see you. It’s like your private oasis. Don’t get me wrong – you have privacy in all the cruise cabins, but it’s absolute in an inside.
This one may be obvious, but it’s a lot cheaper to stay in an inside cabin than it is to stay in any other category. When we cruised Alaska, we paid almost $3k to have a balcony in the hopes of seeing wildlife. This was a tragic waste of money. Not only is there a naturalist on deck calling all sightings, but it’s irrelevant if the wildlife is not on your side of the boat! I saw the tail of a whale and nothing else. What about the Caribbean, you may ask? Well, staring at the ocean is not exactly riveting – it’s annoying. The only time you catch a glimpse of activity is in port.
The amenities are identical. You get the same room service and downturns. Likewise, the bathroom is the same size regardless, and unless you are willing to splurge on a suite, overall, the only difference is a balcony!
Check out how much closet space we had, and the automatic under closet light that turned on with motion!
If a balcony comes your way super cheap, as an upgrade or for free, fantastic. Otherwise, consider saving your hard-earned cash! You can take two, potentially three cruises if you opt for an inside cabin rather than the overrated balcony.
Nikki Webster is a travel writer who covers how to travel while grinding a day job, how to travel without breaking the bank, hotels, cruising, and off-the-beaten-track experiences. She is particularly fond of Florida and writes extensively about the state. She flies around 60,000 miles per year and has visited 54 countries, 50 states, and six continents. You can read all about her travels at www.britonthemove.com.