By Jeannine Williamson
Cruise Critic Contributor
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Cabins

Recently refitted as part of the fleet-wide refurbishment programme, Balmoral has 710 cabins ranging from singles to luxurious Premier Suites. The ship has a higher-than-average proportion of single cabins, making it an attractive choice for solo travellers, and there are also accessible cabins offering wheelchair access. The latter have large, well-equipped bathrooms and a walk-in (or wheel-in) wardrobe with a hanging rail at a height that can be reached by wheelchair-users.

There are 21 cabin grades overall, including 121 with balconies and 14 with interconnecting doors. Apart from the single cabins, all have either twin or double beds.

The cabins have a fresh, bright look with splashes of colour and attractive artwork, and the refurbishment has provided a contemporary, airy vibe with the addition of new carpets, soft furnishing and lamps. There is plenty of storage space, and all cabins are equipped with climate control, an interactive smart TV, hair dryer, desk, phone, fridge (which can be stocked as a for-fee mini-bar), tea and coffee making facilities and, depending on the category, a shower or bathtub and shower. They are all fitted with European two-pin plugs (220 volts) so passengers need to bring three-pin adaptors. A small niggle is the lack of toiletries -- just a dispenser of combined hair and shower gel. Even the enhanced products in the suites don't include conditioner.

Interior: The smallest cabins in this category are the 130 square feet Single Interior Rooms located on decks 3 and 6. Single Superior Interiors and all other interior staterooms measure 160 square feet and are spread around decks 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9, offering a good choice for passengers who prefer to be on lower or higher decks.

Oceanview: Outside cabins are situated across four passenger decks -- 3, 4, 5 and 8 -- and are 140 to 160 square feet for Single Ocean View or Single Superior Ocean View respectively, and 165 to 200 square feet for double occupancy staterooms across four different categories. Outside cabins have either picture windows or portholes, and these are shown on the deck plan. The picture windows provide wider views, however the portholes feel very authentic and contribute a nautical feeling to the cabin. 

Balcony: Balcony Rooms measure 180 square feet in size, and are located on decks 8 and 9. Verandas vary in size, but all have room for a table and two chairs and the balcony furniture was upgraded during the refit. Superior Balcony Rooms are slightly larger at 190 square feet and these can be found on Deck 9. It should be noted that some balconies are shady as they are covered by the decks above, so sun worshippers should check before booking if this is important.

Suite: There are five suite categories, including three 200-square-foot suites for singles on Deck 9; a nice touch. The Balcony Junior Suites for double occupancy are the same size and spread across decks 8, 9 and 10. Superior Suites, on decks 9 and 10, measure 275 square feet. The largest suites are on the uppermost deck. The pair of Marquee Suites, situated forward and closest to the spa and fitness centre, measure 390 square feet and have large sitting areas. The 14 beautiful Premier Suites are also located on Deck 10 and in a good position for passengers who want easy access to the spa and gym. They have extra-large balconies with a table large enough for a meal, plus two chairs and two loungers. These cabins have a divider that partially separates the sleeping area from the lounge area, which is furnished with a comfortable sofa and dining table. Another standout feature in these suites is the expansive walk-in wardrobes.  

All suite passengers benefit from the Suite Dreams Package, which includes a welcome bottle of sparkling wine, a fruit basket that’s topped-up throughout the cruise, fresh flowers, daily afternoon canape service and complimentary bottle of water, replenished on request. Other perks include laundry service discount vouchers of up to £10 per week that’s credited to your onboard account, free pressing service for formal wear, bathrobe and slippers, luxury towels, daily newsletter with national and international news, and enhanced toiletries with shower gel, shampoo and body lotion (albeit no conditioner or soap bars). Binoculars, a world atlas and umbrellas are also provided to borrow throughout the sailing.

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Deck:
Marina Deck
Coral Deck
Atlantic Deck
Main Deck
Lounge Deck
Lido Deck
Bridge Deck
Highland Deck
Marquee Deck

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