Just outside the heavy cabin door is a members-only retreat. Your balcony, that is, a private 35- to 1,000-square-foot space for watching sea spume float by and spying on your neighbors -- but also cracking open a lobster tail, ogling high divers flip and twist into a pool 60 feet below and hosting a cocktail party for two or 20.
Thanks to public clamor, today's new ships include an ever-increasing ratio of balconies, making the once premium-priced accommodations accessible to the masses.
Of course, you can always splurge on a suite, which can transform the standard two-chair-and-a-table setup into a sanctuary with thickly padded chaise loungers, a hot tub and a wet bar. But a 10-by-5-foot swath of treated wood is plenty big for most pursuits.
Behold our list of nine things you could (and should) do on your balcony. But, however you take your salty breezes, be careful regarding activity No. 10.
--by Dan Askin, Cruise Critic Contributor