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Tips for Selecting a Cruise Ship Cabin:
Balcony Cabins

by Linda Coffman

Celebrity Equinox

Deck chairs & a table suitable for dining are balcony standards in AquaClass staterooms aboard Celebrity Cruises' Solstice-class ships

Your home away from home
Essentially, a balcony or verandah cabin is an outside cabin with floor to ceiling sliding glass doors that open onto a  private slice of deck.

While the cabins have large expanses of glass, their balconies are sometimes cut out of cabins' square footage (depending on the ship). To give the illusion of more space, a balcony cabin might also rely on the generous use of mirrors for an even roomier feeling.

Balconies are usually furnished with two chairs and a table for lounging and dining outdoors. Be aware that balconies are not always 100% private—dividers might be opaque and may not extend all the way from ceiling to floor or from the ships hull to the railing. On Princess Cruise Line's Grand-class ships, the balconies are "stepped" like a layer cake. The result is that certain categories have balconies which are visible from above.

In addition to the usual amenities, your balcony stateroom might also have a small refrigerator. The cabin's vanity/desk will almost always have two electric receptacles—one will accept standard US-style plugs (110-volt) and the other for European style plugs (220-volt). To plug in more than one appliance at a time, you'll need a power strip, or, for dual voltage appliances, a plug converter.

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Star

A balcony stateroom with sitting area on board Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Star

Bathrooms often have a dual-voltage outlet suitable only for electric shavers.

A hairdryer may be mounted on the bathroom wall, or located at the vanity/desk.

Two twin beds can be joined together to create one large bed, the equivalent of a queen- or king-size bed.

Most balcony staterooms on modern ships have intimate sitting areas outfitted with a small sofa or loveseat with a cocktail table or small side table. Some of those tables can be raised to dining height. Sofas usually covert to beds to accommodate a third person. A nice touch in some cabins are floor to ceiling, wall to wall curtains that allow passengers to create a "private" sleeping space. You may even find a combination bathtub/shower instead of just a shower in some balcony cabins.

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