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Cruiser complains about "obstructed" balcony and sparks Internet backlash

03 Jun 2024
Calista Kiper

A cruiser that complained on TikTok that her balcony railing "obstructs" her view received a lot of backlash for her hot take.

Abbie, who goes by the username @abbiesnormal, first posted a video in February about her cruise on Icon of the Seas.

The viral video, taken at night, shows the balcony view of a dark ocean from the world's largest cruise ship.

"Should this rail be considered an obstruction on my balcony?" The caption questions.

Users commented that it wasn't, disagreeing strongly.

"Have you lost your mind?" one TikToker asked.

Read more: I spent $2800 for 7 nights in a 157-square-foot room on the world's largest cruise ship. Take a look inside my tiny cabin

According to Abbie, a railing beneath the balcony blocks the ocean view

To better show the view, Abbie posted another video, filmed during the day. 

This TikTok has gone viral, with over 1.5 million views, and is captioned with a similar question: "Should this be considered an obstructed view balcony?

In her viral TikTok, Abbie explains that there is a rail beneath the balcony.

"You should be able to see all the way down to the ocean, but you can't [because] it's obstructed about a foot or so."

She pans down below the balcony view to reveal a railing that runs along the bottom of the deck.

"[The] 12th floor has this [rail] all the way around," she wrote in another TikTok.

Since Icon of the Seas is such a new ship, the TikToker explained that she didn't know what to expect from the cabin's balcony view.

Read more: Icon of the Seas cabins to avoid

According to a later video Abbie posted, she was booked in cabin 12608, on deck 12, which is classified as an Ocean View Balcony Stateroom.

Abbie disagrees with this classification, wondering if the cabin should be categorized as an obstructed balcony view instead. 

The railing appears to be support for the machine that cleans the balconies.

Railing on cruise ship

Although the ocean can still be seen clearly, Abbie explained that the railing at the bottom "messes up the way the ocean looks at night."

Since she had to stand up to get a 100% clear view of the ocean, she took to the Internet to ask if this would be considered an obstructed balcony view.

Over 7,000 comments later, the Internet seemed to come to a consensus.

Commenters opposed Abbie's opinion, attempting to convince her that the view was unobstructed

Most TikTokers disagreed with Abbie, using the comment section to tell her it was not an obstructed balcony view.

"No, it's unobstructed looking out, not down," commented user eileen000009.

"The expectation is that you're enjoying the view and the water in front of you but not below you."

Because the railing is below the balcony view, not directly in front of it, many commenters felt that the view was not obstructed.

JS balcony

"This is like asking if a flower box is obstructing the view of a window," The_J3NN wrote.

"No," Ash said, "You can still see the entire ocean. You're acceptable."

Other comments criticized Abbie for complaining about the balcony view at all.

"[You're] lucky enough to be on a cruise and still complain about a 3-inch wide rail," 1999_Ford_Ranger commented.

Another user remarked that they couldn't believe anyone could complain about the view, calling Abbie a "Karen."

Other comments asked if the viral video was a joke or satire.

Abbie responded to many of the comments, defending herself and explaining that the rail blocked her view of the ocean at night.

Abbie posted multiple TikToks displaying the view of the stateroom, even comparing it to a different balcony cabin

She also followed up with a third TikTok about the stateroom, comparing it to a previous balcony cabin she stayed in on Ovation of the Seas.

This last TikTok was a response to a comment disagreeing with her assessment of the Icon of the Seas balcony view.

"You are high," the commenter criticized.

In response, Abbie posted a still photo from inside her Ovation of the Seas stateroom, taken on an Alaska sailing.

Ovation of the Seas docked in Alaska

The video shows a balcony view with no white rail at the bottom.

"Notice how there's no foot wide white block holding a rail outside the bottom of my balcony," her caption reads.

The proof didn't seem to help her case, as many of the comments still disagreed with her.

"I see what you're talking about but it's really not that serious..." xklaudx said.

Others even joked that other small objects were blocking her view on the Ovation balcony.

"Those chairs are obstructing the view... you should toss [them] overboard," one commenter wrote.

Per Royal Caribbean's standards, the cabin has an unobstructed view


So, is the cabin considered to have an obstructed ocean view?

On cruise ships, certain cabins are categorized as obstructed due to the location of the stateroom on the ship.

Usually, the obstruction is a lifeboat or part of the ship's structure, i.e., an object that blocks the cabin's view but cannot be moved.

Obstructed cabins are considered a separate cabin category, listed at a slightly lower cruise fare.

Obstructed view balcony

Passengers who stay in them still receive a similar oceanview, and the same amenities as in standard staterooms.

Royal Caribbean's website states that an obstruction is "something that blocks a proportion of the direct outward view from a stateroom."

"This is typically due to the position of lifeboats or the outer structure of the ship."

Obstructed view

You can view the deck plans on the Royal Caribbean website to determine if a stateroom has an obstructed view.

Based on this definition, and the Royal Caribbean deck plans, Abbie's ocean view balcony is not considered obstructed.

Because the outward view of the ship is not blocked, and the rail is only visible when looking downward, she has an unobstructed view.

Calista Kiper graduated from Wheaton College, IL, with a B.A. in English Writing. 

Growing up traveling around the world, she developed a passion for diversity and cross-cultural communication. From her first cruise on Wonder of the Seas, she has delighted in the intersection between travel, diversity, and writing in the cruising world.

Calista spends her free time reading, cooking, and researching the latest human-interest stories. 

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