• TRAVEL NOTICE: Learn more about COVID-19
  • Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • Cruise Tips
  • News
  • Deals
You may also like
Dismiss
Royal Caribbean Cabins: Central Park vs. Boardwalk
Royal Caribbean Cabins: Central Park vs. Boardwalk
Oceanview vs. Balcony Cabins: A Cabin Comparison
Oceanview vs. Balcony Cabins: A Cabin Comparison (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Oceanview vs. Balcony Cabins: A Cabin Comparison

Oceanview vs. Balcony Cabins: A Cabin Comparison
Oceanview vs. Balcony Cabins: A Cabin Comparison (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Dori Saltzman
Contributor
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

One of the most important decisions you'll need to make when booking a cruise is deciding which room type (or category) you want. For most cruisers, the decision comes down to oceanview versus balcony cabins. To decide, you'll want to look at which option makes the most sense for the destination you're visiting, as well as for your budget. We break down the similarities and differences of the two room types to help you decide whether a balcony or oceanview cabin is right for you.

Balcony vs. Oceanview: Similarities

Oceanview and balcony cabins are more alike than they are different. In general, both are the same size and can be located on almost any deck, in any location (forward, midship and aft), though some cruise ships will not offer any balconies on lower decks. Both balconies and oceanviews typically have twin beds that can convert into a queen, a desk and small sitting area either with an armchair or a sofa. Some also have extra berths in order to fit a third or fourth passenger in the cabin.

Both also have the same standard amenities including TVs, hair dryers and safes, and in some cases coffee makers and minifridges (this varies by cruise line). Bathrooms in both cabin types vary, but generally feature a shower, sink and toilet and limited shelf space.

  • How to Choose a Cruise Ship Cabin

Oceanview vs. Balcony: Differences

Ocean View Balcony on Royal Caribbean (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

The key difference between oceanview rooms and balcony cabins is, of course, one has a window and the other has a private verandah, usually furnished with a couple of chairs and a drinks table. Oceanview cabins can have either a rectangular window or a round porthole, which typically do not open. Most balcony cabins have floor-to-ceiling glass doors so you can still see outside even if the weather isn't good. Because balcony cabins have this additional outside space, they cost more money.

Featured Videos

Cruise Critic 2021: Cheers to 25 Years!

Cruise Critic 2021: Cheers to 25 Years!

Carnival Mardi Gras' Excel Suite and Loft 19

Carnival Mardi Gras' Excel Suite and Loft 19

The Most Exciting New Ships In 2021

The Most Exciting New Ships In 2021

5 Crazy Cruise Deck Attractions For the Adrenaline Junkie

5 Crazy Cruise Deck Attractions For the Adrenaline Junkie

Virgin Voyages Reveals Suite Design New Cruise Ship

Virgin Voyages Reveals Suite Design New Cruise Ship

Cruise Embarkation Tips: What NOT To Do On Your First Day

Cruise Embarkation Tips: What NOT To Do On Your First Day

Best Spots For Adults On A Disney Cruise Ship

Best Spots For Adults On A Disney Cruise Ship

Inside Look: The Haven On Norwegian Cruise Line

Inside Look: The Haven On Norwegian Cruise Line

Inside Cabins On Cruise Ships: Whose Is Best?

Inside Cabins On Cruise Ships: Whose Is Best?

Cruise Critic Tries The Ultimate Abyss Slide On Harmony Of The Seas (POV Video)

Cruise Critic Tries The Ultimate Abyss Slide On Harmony Of The Seas (POV Video)

Balcony vs. Oceanview: Bottom Line

Whether you choose an oceanview or balcony cabin should come down to two primary considerations: price and itinerary. Can you afford the extra money you'll pay for a balcony? Or, even if you can afford it, would you prefer to spend that extra money on some other cruise experience (drinks, shore excursions, the spa)?

Secondly, will you use your balcony? If you're sailing in the Caribbean or some other warm-weather destination, chances are you'll spend some time out on your private balcony. You may also use it in cold-weather destinations like Alaska or Norway where the scenery is stunning. But in other cruise destinations such as the Baltic or New England you may not.

Updated January 08, 2020

How was this article?

Featured News

1
Which Cruise Ships Will Be Scrapped Or Taken Out of Service Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic?
5
When Are Cruise Lines Around the World Expected To Resume Service?
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.