The shelter deck cabins have a very high solid balustrade therefore you cannot sit down to see the view neither would you be able to sunbathe, also the doors are not sliding and have to be wedged to stay open, they are on deck 5 and 6. OK if you want the air but the noise travels as does smoke and noise from other balconies
Brtter thann inside but not ideal.
We had a balcony cabin on the Queen Mary 2 maiden voyage. It was a cancellation and we were very glad to have it, BUT because it was in the bulkhead, the main problem was that you could only see out if you were STOOD up leaning on the rail. When you were sat down all you could see was the inside of the hull and therefore couldn't sunbathe on your own balcony.
If you are crossing the Atlantic - as we did June and July both ways - forget the balconies. We had no sun - stormy seas one way and fog for 5 days the other. We did not open our balcony door! Apparently this is quite normal and something you are not told beforehand!
No they dont particularly get any sunlight, they are nice to have just to look out and check the weather but if you really want to sit out on them you need an A grade. Having had a B grade in the Caribean I would not pay a lot more than an oceanview or go for Deck 8 with obstructed view and choose carefully cabin number between lifeboats and that may be better.
We crossed the Atlantic last June(2007) on the QM2 in a statesroom with one of these balconies, deck 4. It was the best we could afford. We were glad of the sheltered balcony as the atlantic can be quite rough even in June, we went through a rough gale force of 11!. IF we were going to the Caribbean we would certainly consider going up a few decks in order to get a better balcony allowing direct sunshine most of the day.
We sailed on the QM2 in a sheltered balcony cabin on a trans-atlatic crossing
and found the balcony dark,the sun light did not get in at all, when sitting on the chairs you could not see anything, because our cabin was forward the noise from the bow weave was quite annoying , hence the fact that we did not use the balcony much, did find that the balcony and the chairs were always wet.
But having said all that the ship is wonderful and a pleasure to sail on.
Virtually no. Here is a general listof pros and cons of in-hull sheltered balcony cabins (categories B1-B4), in case you need it:
Unlimited view when standing at the balcony.
Almost total privacy. You can be naked on the balcony and nobody takes notice.
The balcony is wider than B5/6 or A-category cabins.
They are located on the lower levels of the ship, presumably allowing for less rolling or pitching.
View straight to the sea below.
In a transatlantic crossing, nicely protected from the winds.
In warm climates, you can have your door open at night and hear the sound of the waves as the ship is moving...
Relatively economical in price.
Steel railing. No sea view from bed or when sitting on the balcony chairs: you see only the sky.
Virtually unsuitable for sunbathing.