10 Best Cruise Ship Balconies

by Donna Heiderstadt

10 Best Cruise Ship Balconies

by Donna Heiderstadt

When it comes to great cruise ship balconies, size does matter, but location and amenities also play an important role. Sure, there may be a table, but can you actually dine there? Are the chairs hard wood or comfy recliners? And if you can see your neighbors through the partition or the view is obstructed, there may be a problem. We checked out private outdoor spaces on several top ships (and not just the newest ones) to create our picks for 10 best balconies at sea.

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Crystal Serenity's Penthouse Veranda / Crystal Cruises / Ian Schemper
Oceania’s Owner’s Suite
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1. Best Total-Wow Balconies

Oceania’s Owner’s Suites

The tricked-out Owner's Suites on Oceania’s two newest ships, Riviera and Marina, each have 2,000 square feet of total living space that includes a lavish, two-section balcony; it spans the entire aft of the ship on decks 8, 9, and 10 and measures 259 to 377 square feet. Out there you'll find a whirlpool tub, a flat-screen TV, and cushioned loungers.

Oceania’s Owner’s Suites

The tricked-out Owner's Suites on Oceania’s two newest ships, Riviera and Marina, each have 2,000 square feet of total living space that includes a lavish, two-section balcony; it spans the entire aft of the ship on decks 8, 9, and 10 and measures 259 to 377 square feet. Out there you'll find a whirlpool tub, a flat-screen TV, and cushioned loungers.

Overlooking the AquaTheater
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2. Best Non-Ocean-View Balconies

Royal Caribbean’s AquaTheater Suites

If you want to see more than just the rolling waves, these two-bedroom suites on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas are for you. Located aft on decks 8, 9, and 10 overlooking the AquaTheater and Boardwalk, the wraparound balconies (648 to 803 square feet) offer views of all the action including aquatic performances and even zip-lining passengers.

Royal Caribbean’s AquaTheater Suites

If you want to see more than just the rolling waves, these two-bedroom suites on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas are for you. Located aft on decks 8, 9, and 10 overlooking the AquaTheater and Boardwalk, the wraparound balconies (648 to 803 square feet) offer views of all the action including aquatic performances and even zip-lining passengers.

Premium Vista Balcony
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3. Best Aft-Facing Balconies

Carnival’s “Aft Wrap” Balcony Staterooms

The staterooms located on the aft corners of many Carnival ships — Premium Vista Balcony cabins on Carnival Dream, for example — feature wraparound balconies able to accommodate two sun loungers and multiple chairs. You also get both rear and side views, which are ideal during sail away.

Carnival’s “Aft Wrap” Balcony Staterooms

The staterooms located on the aft corners of many Carnival ships — Premium Vista Balcony cabins on Carnival Dream, for example — feature wraparound balconies able to accommodate two sun loungers and multiple chairs. You also get both rear and side views, which are ideal during sail away.

Pinnacle Suite
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4. Best Balconies for Peace and Quiet

Nieuw Amsterdam's Pinnacle Suites 

In Nieuw Amsterdam’s lavish mid-ship Pinnacle Suites (with 1,357 square feet of total living space), the verandas run the suite's entire length. Relax al fresco in the hot tub, on cushioned loungers, or while enjoying complimentary mimosas with your en-suite breakfast.

Nieuw Amsterdam's Pinnacle Suites 

In Nieuw Amsterdam’s lavish mid-ship Pinnacle Suites (with 1,357 square feet of total living space), the verandas run the suite's entire length. Relax al fresco in the hot tub, on cushioned loungers, or while enjoying complimentary mimosas with your en-suite breakfast.

Garden Villa on Norwegian Pearl
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5. Best Balconies for a Party

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Three-Bedroom Garden Villas 

These massive suites come in slightly different layouts and sizes (4,252 to 6,694 square feet) on Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Star, and as part of the Haven on Jewel-Class ships. With their private open-air “courtyards” featuring a hot tub, these villas are celebration-ready.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Three-Bedroom Garden Villas 

These massive suites come in slightly different layouts and sizes (4,252 to 6,694 square feet) on Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Star, and as part of the Haven on Jewel-Class ships. With their private open-air “courtyards” featuring a hot tub, these villas are celebration-ready.

Seabourn Odyssey Veranda Suite
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6. Best Small-Ship Balconies

Seabourn’s Veranda and Penthouse Suites

Seabourn’s three all-suite Odyssey-class ships feature spacious balconies. Those attached to Veranda Suites are 65 square feet and accommodate a table, two chairs, and one sun lounger. Balconies in Penthouse Suites measure 98 square feet and hold those items, plus a second sun lounger.

Seabourn’s Veranda and Penthouse Suites

Seabourn’s three all-suite Odyssey-class ships feature spacious balconies. Those attached to Veranda Suites are 65 square feet and accommodate a table, two chairs, and one sun lounger. Balconies in Penthouse Suites measure 98 square feet and hold those items, plus a second sun lounger.

Crystal Serenity's Penthouse
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7. Best Balconies for Romantic Dining 

Crystal Serenity’s Penthouses with Verandas

By booking a Penthouse with Veranda category stateroom on Crystal Serenity, you not only get 403 square feet of elegant living space (including an 81-square-foot balcony), but you also have the option to dine en suite whenever you wish. The cuisine in the ship’s Crystal Dining Room ranks among the best at sea; and having a meal served course by course on your balcony is thoroughly romantic.

Crystal Serenity’s Penthouses with Verandas

By booking a Penthouse with Veranda category stateroom on Crystal Serenity, you not only get 403 square feet of elegant living space (including an 81-square-foot balcony), but you also have the option to dine en suite whenever you wish. The cuisine in the ship’s Crystal Dining Room ranks among the best at sea; and having a meal served course by course on your balcony is thoroughly romantic.

Royal Princess Mini Suite
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8. Best Balconies for Sun Bathers

Princess Cruises' Grand Class-Ship's Dolphin Deck Mini Suites

While these 63-square-foot Mini Suite balconies on the Dolphin Deck offer no privacy due to a tiered design that leaves them open to the sky, this unique feature may appeal to sun worshippers. Book one of these Mini Suites on Grand Princess, Golden Princess, Emerald Princess, Sapphire Princess, Diamond Princess, Ruby Princess, Star Princess, Caribbean Princess, or Crown Princess and you'll also enjoy panoramic views and terrific stargazing.

Princess Cruises' Grand Class-Ship's Dolphin Deck Mini Suites

While these 63-square-foot Mini Suite balconies on the Dolphin Deck offer no privacy due to a tiered design that leaves them open to the sky, this unique feature may appeal to sun worshippers. Book one of these Mini Suites on Grand Princess, Golden Princess, Emerald Princess, Sapphire Princess, Diamond Princess, Ruby Princess, Star Princess, Caribbean Princess, or Crown Princess and you'll also enjoy panoramic views and terrific stargazing.

Mariner Suite
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9. Best Balconies for Privacy

Seven Seas Mariner’s Mariner Suites

Aft-facing corner balconies tend to offer the most privacy, and Seven Seas Mariner has a spacious Mariner Suite with an 89-square-foot side balcony cocooned between the living room and bedroom — so there are no neighbors’ balconies on either side. If the Mariner Suite is booked, the ship also has Seven Seas Suites at the aft with 286-square-foot balconies.

Seven Seas Mariner’s Mariner Suites

Aft-facing corner balconies tend to offer the most privacy, and Seven Seas Mariner has a spacious Mariner Suite with an 89-square-foot side balcony cocooned between the living room and bedroom — so there are no neighbors’ balconies on either side. If the Mariner Suite is booked, the ship also has Seven Seas Suites at the aft with 286-square-foot balconies.

Balcony stateroom on Celebrity Solstice
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10. Best Standard Stateroom Balconies

Celebrity Cruises' Solstice-Class Ships’ Veranda Staterooms

At 54 square feet, the Veranda Stateroom balconies on Solstice-Class ships are adequately deep and feature comfortable, reclining chairs and a dining-height table. Choose carefully and enjoy a category 1A Balcony Stateroom, located where the ships’ sides stick out (including cabins 7206 and 7159). These extra-deep, slightly angled balconies offer wind protection as well as more space.

Celebrity Cruises' Solstice-Class Ships’ Veranda Staterooms

At 54 square feet, the Veranda Stateroom balconies on Solstice-Class ships are adequately deep and feature comfortable, reclining chairs and a dining-height table. Choose carefully and enjoy a category 1A Balcony Stateroom, located where the ships’ sides stick out (including cabins 7206 and 7159). These extra-deep, slightly angled balconies offer wind protection as well as more space.

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