Six Surprising Things You Can Do On a Balcony
September 23, 2014
Once upon a time a balcony cabin was like the holy grail of cruising.
A luxury reserved for the few cruisers with deep pockets and an accommodation option that many skip over completely for fear of being overcome at the sight of the price tag.
Not anymore though cruise fans!
As balcony cabins become more plentiful thanks to the newest megaships and increased demand, the price has come tumbling down. That, combined with the fact that they’re neither the budget option nor the luxury option anymore, means that you might find that there’s very little in it between the cost of a balcony cabin and an inside cabin.
So why not have a think about how you’re going to make the most of your new ‘with balcony’ status.
Whilst we’re not suggesting that you’ll have acres of outside space to play with (typical balconies offer between 40 and 50 sq ft, so leave the football at home) there are some surprising ways to make use of the space you do have.
Here’s our top six to try – (although some of you may want to avoid the last one!)…………..
1 – Enjoy Breakfast (and Lunch and Dinner) Al Fresco
Imagine being able to skip the polite chit chat with your fellow cruise dinner guests, instead dining privately whilst looking out to sea.
Well with some balcony cabins, you can do just that!
Whilst some balconies rather bashfully offer up a table that’s about the size of a dinner plate and only just big enough for balancing a cocktail on there are some cruise liners that provide an actual adult human-sized table that you could actually, gasp, eat a meal at!
Try Celebrity Cruises (look at Solstice, Constellation and Century in particular). The fact that you can order 24/hr room service and a daily ice service adds to how easy it would be to dine al fresco on your own private balcony.
If you’re a real foodie then Princess Cruises take balcony dining to another level with ‘the ultimate balcony dinner’, complete with champagne and lobster tails. You can also ensure that your excess doesn’t go un-noticed with a souvenir 8×10 photo that can take pride of place on your mantelpiece back home.
2 – Watch a Show
Book an Aqua Theatre suite on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis or Allure of the Seas and you’ll have your very own front row seat to this cruise line exclusive.
Watch the synchronised swimmers, the light shows and the divers as they plunge into the deepest salt-water pools on any liner. There’s no need to worry about getting ‘sea’-sick of the same show every night as these large balconies look out to sea on the other side. Ok, so these suites aren’t cheap (although they do sleep eight people) but if you loved the TV show Splash it might just be worth it. *wink*
3 – Star Gaze
The mini suites on Princess Cruises’ Grand Class ships have no overhang from balconies above meaning an uninterrupted view of the sky – amazing after sundown when you can sink a few sun-downers of your own whilst gazing up at the universe.
The fact that light pollution is non-existent when out to sea (apart from the light produced by the liners themselves, which you can’t really dispense with!) makes this an even more magical experience.
Whether you choose to contemplate or simply relax is up to you – but Candy Crush is banned!
4 – Meditate
Fancy getting a little bit zen on your cruise holiday?
If you really want to zone out then bag a balcony cabin on the aft of a ship (the back) – most cruise liners have them. From here you gaze out over the wake of the ship, watching the white froth swirl as far as the eye can see.
You could also have the added benefit of aft-balcony cabins boasting more outdoor space than regular balcony cabins – giving you plenty of space to practise those yoga poses. Ommmmmm…….
5 – Throw a Party
While it’s fair to say that most balcony cabins have barely enough room for a party for two, some suites with larger verandas are capable of hosting your very own private party – way to make friends with your fellow cruisers (except, perhaps, your next door neighbours)!
Make the most of room service and the mini bar or abuse the fact that many liners let you take a small amount of wine onboard for consumption in your cabin and you have the most exclusive bar on the ship.
If you’re one of the lucky cruisers staying in a Penthouse Suite on Celebrity Millennium class ships you’ll not only have enough space to set up your own private dance floor but your butler will be on hand to make sure that your party goes with a bang.
He can even arrange a cake, if you ask nicely!
6 – Smoke
There is one other thing that some liners allow you to do on a balcony – which may come as a surprise to Brits and health-conscious Americans – and that’s smoke.
If you’re a smoker and you’d like to enjoy your cigarettes without attracting scowls from your fellow non-smoking cruisers you might want to consider Carnival, Fred Olsen, Holland America or NCL.
If you fancied lighting up on a popular P&O or Royal Caribbean cruise then we’re afraid you’ve missed the boat – balcony smoking bans were brought in this year.
Of course, you could just use your balcony for settling down with a good book in privacy or taking smug sea view selfies to upload to Facebook or Instagram – but where’s the fun in that?
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