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We have a balcony room on FOS.  Just a few questions:  how private is the balcony area?  From pics, it seems the balconies are separated by removable partitions, not actual walls, that are even slightly see-through.  So, is it likely we will hear/see our neighbors?  Is smoking allowed on balconies (not for us, just want to if we will have smoke from other rooms wafting over)? If it is just partitions, are they easily moved?  Wondering if it is safe to leave valuables out on our balcony (binoculars etc), or could it be accessible by neighbors? TIA!

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Balcony areas are somewhat private, depending on the area, if you have a balcony that is near a room that is on a "hump" then the individual on the hump will be able to see quite a few balconies due to how they stick out from the side of the ship.  Not only that but if you have someone that is nosy they can simply hang over the balcony railing a bit and look around.  They are a little private but not as much as you think.  I would not advise leaving anything that is expensive on the balcony as well.....while you have most that will respect your stuff sitting out, if you have someone that is absolutely crazy enough you can easily get on the rail swing over and grab what happens to be on your balcony and then jump back over.  There is no smoking on the balconies but that does not mean that it does not happen.  I have been on a couple of cruises that you could smell someone upwind that was smoking, it has not happened a lot but it definitely has happened.  Hope this helps!!  Have a great cruise! 

 

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Balcony area is not totally private.  You will definitely hear your neighbors and the partitions do not go all the way to the ground nor to the bulkhead, so there is a gap.  Smoking is not allowed on any balconies.  If you are at the railing you will see neighbors, above below and next to you.  As far as valuables, I would not leave anything of value out there.  I normally only leave a bathing suit or towels out there.

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We sailed on Freedom a couple of summers ago.  The balconies are "semi-private" at best but we enjoyed ours.   We didn't really see a lot of people unless we were right on the rail, but very easy to hear people as noise seems to travel from neighboring balconies (even the ones above or below you).   

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I am sure that you will enjoy your balcony. We never sail without one now. Even with everything that you have read here it is still a great space to be able to go outside and get fresh air or look at the views and normally noise etc are not a problem at all. most people are pretty respectful. We especially love the balcony because we keep the door open some at night. The ocean waves sounds and the breeze are fantastic for sleeping :)

Enjoy!!!

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15 hours ago, Lovestotravel said:

We have a balcony room on FOS.  Just a few questions:  how private is the balcony area?  From pics, it seems the balconies are separated by removable partitions, not actual walls, that are even slightly see-through.  So, is it likely we will hear/see our neighbors?  Is smoking allowed on balconies (not for us, just want to if we will have smoke from other rooms wafting over)? If it is just partitions, are they easily moved?  Wondering if it is safe to leave valuables out on our balcony (binoculars etc), or could it be accessible by neighbors? TIA!

No smoking on balconies, but not everyone complies.  On our last cruise, we could smell cigarette smoke (slightly).

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I was in a hump balcony cabin on Freedom last year, with my kids in the connecting cabin next door. While it's true that with effort you or others can lean over and peek around the partitions, we never had a problem with that from any of our neighbors. Also never had any issues with noise from either side; only real noise problem we had was from our kids' cabin, as we could hear them clearly through the connecting door if they got to arguing.

That said, on one of our two Anthem sailings, we'd sometimes hear our next-door neighbors talking if they were out on their balcony. Not loud or obnoxious, it's just quiet enough outside that you can easily hear people talking at normal volumes without trying.

But having that view of the cobalt blue water when you're in the deep ocean makes any problems you might have worthwhile. I love those moments when I'm on a ship, now.

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I would add one exception.  The Voyager, Explorer and Adventure have a different balcony construction.  The balcony openings are "punched" thru the exterior structure as opposed to the other ships where the balcony extends from the structure.  Most of these openings are in pairs so the only balcony one can look around the divider on is the neighbor who shares the opening.  There are a few rare single openings which afford you much more privacy.

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13 hours ago, JLMoran said:

I was in a hump balcony cabin on Freedom last year, with my kids in the connecting cabin next door. While it's true that with effort you or others can lean over and peek around the partitions, we never had a problem with that from any of our neighbors. Also never had any issues with noise from either side; only real noise problem we had was from our kids' cabin, as we could hear them clearly through the connecting door if they got to arguing.

That said, on one of our two Anthem sailings, we'd sometimes hear our next-door neighbors talking if they were out on their balcony. Not loud or obnoxious, it's just quiet enough outside that you can easily hear people talking at normal volumes without trying.

But having that view of the cobalt blue water when you're in the deep ocean makes any problems you might have worthwhile. I love those moments when I'm on a ship, now.

You could hear them with the connecting door open or fully closed? We have a JS on Oasis next year and were only able to get a connecting one (we're not in the adjoining cabin) and I'm concerned about noise. Mostly from our own cabin as we have two little kids. Is there any bleed over noise when the connecting door is fully closed/locked? 

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1 hour ago, CarlaB said:

You could hear them with the connecting door open or fully closed? We have a JS on Oasis next year and were only able to get a connecting one (we're not in the adjoining cabin) and I'm concerned about noise. Mostly from our own cabin as we have two little kids. Is there any bleed over noise when the connecting door is fully closed/locked? 

Yes, this was when the connecting door was fully closed at night. There was one night that they got into a bit of a heated argument and we could hear them fairly clearly. Still somewhat muffled, but they were loud enough to make out what they were saying to each other. If they were just talking normally then the most we’d hear is some quiet / very muted sound bleed.

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