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jjeffjb

Is a balcony worth the extra $ in Asia?

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We usually book balcony rooms in the Caribbean and summers in the Med.  If you've cruised Asia Oct. through November in a balcony room, how much did you use the balcony?  We

will likely book 3 or 4 B2B cruises so the cost differential is significant.  Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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17 minutes ago, jjeffjb said:

We usually book balcony rooms in the Caribbean and summers in the Med.  If you've cruised Asia Oct. through November in a balcony room, how much did you use the balcony?  We

will likely book 3 or 4 B2B cruises so the cost differential is significant.  Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

 

Depends what part of "Asia" - Oct/Nov can be their most pleasant outdoor weather months.

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45 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

Depends what part of "Asia" - Oct/Nov can be their most pleasant outdoor weather months.

Well   how would you want to use it?  Most times you dock in industrial, not pleasant areas far from the center.    Most times you sail far to sea out of sight of land.    Will you enjoy looking at just the ocean?     All questions only you can answer   How many port days and how many sea?      More factors  if you only sail at night between ports.        Choose wisely  the difference in fare can mean more $ for land tours.      On port heavy cruises  I go with an inside... and enjoy it.   

The difference between european/med and aisia are huge.... except for Hong Kong and Hilong bay  Singapore and Sydney. Auckland   ....    

Edited by Hawaiidan

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32 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

Well   how would you want to use it?  Most times you dock in industrial, not pleasant areas far from the center.    Most times you sail far to sea out of sight of land.    Will you enjoy looking at just the ocean?     All questions only you can answer   How many port days and how many sea?      More factors  if you only sail at night between ports.        Choose wisely  the difference in fare can mean more $ for land tours.      On port heavy cruises  I go with an inside... and enjoy it.   

The difference between european/med and aisia are huge.... except for Hong Kong and Hilong bay  Singapore and Sydney. Auckland   ....    

 

Exactly. All good considerations,  before making a choice one way or the other.  

 

We just like balconies and always book them, but on our upcoming Zaandam Antartica we booked an ocean view in the middle of the Lower Promenade deck - we expect rough passage, learned last time the Humboldt Current down South America keeps things very cold so being center and lower looked like a good choice.  

 

Plus being able to quickly get out to a lower ,more "sea level" deck and easy access to both sides of the ship seemed like a good idea on this unique trip too.  Price difference, yes that was material too because this is premium, seldom offered itinerary that will be among the last ones HAL can offer on this wonderful ship. 

 

So, is a balcony worth it ....you are very right, it depends. No one fixed answer. 

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Depending where you are going in Asia,  it could be typhoon season that time of year so that would impact my choice of location.  

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2 hours ago, OlsSalt said:

 

Exactly. All good considerations,  before making a choice one way or the other.  

 

We just like balconies and always book them, but on our upcoming Zaandam Antartica we booked an ocean view in the middle of the Lower Promenade deck - we expect rough passage, learned last time the Humboldt Current down South America keeps things very cold so being center and lower looked like a good choice.  

 

Plus being able to quickly get out to a lower ,more "sea level" deck and easy access to both sides of the ship seemed like a good idea on this unique trip too.  Price difference, yes that was material too because this is premium, seldom offered itinerary that will be among the last ones HAL can offer on this wonderful ship. 

 

So, is a balcony worth it ....you are very right, it depends. No one fixed answer. 

Great planning! We had an ocean view on Deck 4  for our Antartica cruise and it did exactly what you want. We would run on deck as did everyone on the ship. We ate early at a table for 4 which was at the window! Dinner was so exciting: whales, penguins and seals everywhere. It will be COLD  on deck. The bow was open too. Bring super warm gloves and a very warm hat. It can be very windy and rainy but still glorious!

 

 

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We took our 3rd HAL cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong in January this year. We had really enjoyed our balconies in Alaska and the Med, but probably spent less than a few hours on the balcony on the Asian cruise due to the long days on excursions and the fact it got dark just after 5pm. We loved the cruise and the Westerdam but would probably take a lower grade cabin on another Asian journey

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Interesting thread.  DW and I always prefer balconies although we will sometimes book an outside on HAL because of the ridiculous price of a balcony on some of their ships.   But we could care less about the ports (industrial or not) when it comes to our balcony.  We do not often sit on our balcony when in Asian ports as we are off the ship :).  And our favorite balcony time is during days at sea or when we are departing from a port in late afternoon (or early evening).  Unlike many HAL cruisers who are rushing to dinner at 5pm, we will often enjoy some wine on our balcony until at least 7:30...after which we might head to dinner.

 

Hank

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The industrial port of Goteburg Sweden was one of the most fascinating we haver ever witnessed - they really move a lot of containers round like so many Leggos with speedy precision. Nice to check in on the cargo side of sea travel, and the vital underpinnings of our world economy.

 

While Burma was under US  trade embargo, we watched tons of logs get loaded on to ships in Yangon harbor port to Singapore to "sanitize" their origins, before ultimately going on to the US -so we were told.  History of containized shipping is really history of our modern consumer economy. Plus I love the romance of the different cargo container names which makes it fun to see some of them show up on trucks stateside.  Keeps your fingers on the pulse of who is trading with whom. 

 

That being said, it is always a bonus to get docked right in town and save transit time and hassles for sight-seeing. Just don't sell some industrial ports short. We were stuck in Puntarenas, Costa Rica once because of general strike and forced to ply our way up and down the various tourist stalls which we would have missed if we had been able to go on a shore excursion. Lo and behold we found a very delicious brand of premium high altitude coffee on that forced port march - Shade Lady.

 

Always remember some excellent travel advice I got years ago, "there is no uninteresting street in India" before I left on an extensive solo tour of that country by train. Indeed, this advice has proven itself right over and over - you never know what can turn up in some highly unlikely port areas. They are "real" that is for sure.  Just don't go outside the gates in Callao (Lima), Peru. That is a bit too real, and did come with ample warnings. 

Edited by OlsSalt

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Mostly we book a balcony on the Vista ships and up because there isn't much difference in price between that and an OV cabin.  However, on such ships as the Volendam we do OV because of the much bigger difference in prices.  I do prefer a balcony but if it's to be an OV cabin I'm happy to go with it.  At least I'm on a ship!

 

Ozcruizer

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We were upgraded from a guaranteed inside to a verandah on the Westerdam for our recent Asia cruise (March 3-17 Shanghai to Hong Kong).  It was our first balcony and I was really looking forward to it.  The first week was too cold to sit outside but it was nice to see the ports.

 

The 2nd week was much warmer and I sat out there quite a few times for sail-away and on sea days to relax and read where it was quiet.  The EXC in the Crow's Nest always had very loud talkers.

 

Would love to do a balcony again in the future but not for $1K more.

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l know some who think it's a waste of $$ but I always book a room with outside space I just feel so closed in in a regular cabin.

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We were on a 31 day back-to-back Westerdam cruise this January from Singapore to Shanghai.  While we normally book a balcony, we were very satisfied with our oceanview because the cruise was very port intensive.  Its less a case of the weather conditions than how many sea days you have where you would actually use the balcony.  I strongly disagree with those who say a balcony is a waste on the Antarctica cruise.  While you are in the Antarctica region, there are countless announcements throughout the day of wildlife sightings and we only had to take a few steps to our balcony to spot them.  Much more convenient than running from your oceanview cabin, camera in hand, to an open deck which may or may not be close by and run the chance of missing a sight.

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I did the Westerdam from Singapore to Hong Kong Last December. I enjoyed it nice to sail into halong bay sitting on your balcony . weathers was ok I spent lots of time relaxing through Vietnam on Sea days watching the fishing boats 

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I literally cant imagine being on a cruise ship without a balcony. More than just for the views I think its necessary if you just need a breath of air without getting dressed and hanging out with people. I understand that there are hundreds of rooms that dont have balconies but I could never actually stay in one. 

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As others have said the Asia trip is very port intensive.  We did the 28 day Singapore to Yokohama in 2017.  We had a balcony but spent very little time there.  Our days were very long with some of the most fascinating excursions we've ever taken.  We also decided to to 2 excursions where we were off the ship overnight and met the ship in the next port.  We have now started booking ocean view cabins because I like the light and we've found that not having the balcony is not a problem.  We just always make sure that we're mid ship.  Enjoy your cruise.  It's a fabulous itinerary!!

Helen

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