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MomOnTheRun

Explorer of the Seas Cabins for Alaska Cruise

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I'm heading to Alaska Aug 2018!  Can't wait.  There are 7 of us - so we have 3 interior cabin rooms currently.  I'm looking to upgrade to a balcony room for myself, hubby and our one teen boy.  Not much left, but trying to decide between either aft cabins 8690 or 1688  - or just a balcony mid ship deck 8.  Any thoughts, or prior experience?  I have looked at pictures - 1688 room looks great, but looks like the balcony is blocked more than in 8690, it's also a bit more than room 8690.   Which has the better balcony to see the sights? I'd love to hear others preferences!  Thanks for the help 

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Welcome to the boards!

Aft balcony rooms are a big deal on Radiance or Vision class ships.  Explorer of the Seas is a Voyager class ship, so the benefit of an aft balcony isn't quite the same.  It's still nice tho!

I think a mid ship balcony is a better choice for two reasons: 

  1. I doubt there is much difference in terms of what you see on one side or another. Certainly negligible in terms of which side to book.
  2. The distance to walk to the back of the ship constantly will get old

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The benefit of an aft balcony in Alaska is that you can essentially see both sides of the ship as you pass. However, the midship balcony will be much more convenient and I've experienced both an aft and a midship balcony cabin in Alaska. 

While a balcony is definitely beneficial in Alaska and convenient, I wouldn't spend the money on a balcony if it means you need to skimp on in port activities. We are facing a similar situation with a Norway cruise this summer which if similar in many ways to an Alaskan cruise in terms of scenery. However, the price difference between an inside and a standard balcony for the two week cruise is $3000 ($1000 pp), which covers our airfare. This, we'll be finding public space to view the fjords from. 

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1 hour ago, MomOnTheRun said:

I was looking at the aft balcony's mostly for size, will a mid ship balcony be able to accommodate 7 of us hanging out?

Not comfortably for a standard ocean balcony.  I'd say 3-4 adults could reasonably stand against the railing, with others standing behind.

To really get a balcony large enough for 7 adults, you are talking about either connecting balconies (two adjacent balcony rooms with middle balcony divider removed) or a suite.

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On 2/20/2018 at 9:24 AM, Matt said:

Welcome to the boards!

Aft balcony rooms are a big deal on Radiance or Vision class ships.  Explorer of the Seas is a Voyager class ship, so the benefit of an aft balcony isn't quite the same.  It's still nice tho!

I think a mid ship balcony is a better choice for two reasons: 

  1. I doubt there is much difference in terms of what you see on one side or another. Certainly negligible in terms of which side to book.
  2. The distance to walk to the back of the ship constantly will get old

I would agree-- for the prime sites, the captain usually does a 360 degree turn

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On 2/20/2018 at 2:34 PM, DocLC said:

The benefit of an aft balcony in Alaska is that you can essentially see both sides of the ship as you pass. However, the midship balcony will be much more convenient and I've experienced both an aft and a midship balcony cabin in Alaska. 

While a balcony is definitely beneficial in Alaska and convenient, I wouldn't spend the money on a balcony if it means you need to skimp on in port activities. We are facing a similar situation with a Norway cruise this summer which if similar in many ways to an Alaskan cruise in terms of scenery. However, the price difference between an inside and a standard balcony for the two week cruise is $3000 ($1000 pp), which covers our airfare. This, we'll be finding public space to view the fjords from. 

I agree with your statements about not getting a balcony if it means you will have to skimp on port activities.  My favorite Alaska views are top deck 360 degree views anyway.  You can always get a good spot to view the prime spots if you are willing to try to outsmart the crowds a little.  ( Either go early, or go after they get cold and hungry!  We went back out to view the glacier a few years ago after everyone else got cold and went to breakfast.  We got amazing views of calfing and had almost the entire deck to ourselves to view it!!!  I also love lounging in the solarium on alaksa cruises to watch the views go by!

 

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