First, I have been on only 4 cruises prior to our Alaskan cruise so I am not a "beginner" cruiser. I also spent several years in the US Navy with deployments on ships. I understand how cruise lines operate... a friend was a captain for RCL, so I have a bit more knowledge than most.
I originally had an inside cabin (about 140 sq feet) booked for me and my two teen sons, but due to a job offer, I moved the cruise up by a month... thus allowing my teen daughter to join us (who would have been at camp in August during our original sail date). I upgraded to a balcony (about 200 sq feet) rather than pay the OUTRAGEOUS penalty for changing date of the cruise... the 1000 fee to change date was waived (although it cost me 1300 to upgrade and add my daughter).
Cabin 9634 was of decent size, but when set up for sleeping you could NOT access the balcony without some tricky maneuvering. Many bumps on heads... The pullman is directly in front of the sliding doors. Not the greatest in design... FLAWED! Our steward made up the room by 6 pm, essentially rendering our balcony useless when the skies were light until 11pm. The beds were HORRIBLY uncomfortable. The sofa sleeper, although wider, was like a rock slab. My daughter complained of it nightly... and it would fall apart! The foot piece is brought in from storage to extend the bed out, held on only by a weak velcro strip. The pullman was pretty uncomfortable too, but my 13 year old didn't seem to mind. Another fatal flaw in the layout, when the cabin is set up for 4 single sleepers, as we were... (Single mom and 3 teen children) the ladder to the pullman does not securely attach to the pullman... lots of near falls. We alleviated that by setting one bed on a slight diagonal, but it wasn't perfect. BE WARNED! The bathroom was of decent size for a cruise ship, although of all the ships I have been on Holland America has the biggest. Storage? TERRIBLE for a family of four... there was one closet, 4 useable cubbies and 3 drawers. I wound up moving the teapot and ice bucket tray to accommodate more storage. There was too much extra furniture (chair, and 3 tables...). Hindsight, I should have asked for their removal completely to give us more room, but we needed the space to set binoculars and miscellaneous items on. The main beds... not terrible, but mediocre. The bedding consists of a mattress, 2 layers of nasty looking foam (looked like carpet padding) and a mattress cover. The sheets were silky soft and much enjoyed after a long day of walking in port.