Which Side of an Alaskan Cruise Ship Is Best?

An Alaskan cruise trip is a fun-filled adventure full of spectacular views. Being able to capture all the fascinating scenes on camera is worth your time and money. The question many want to know before booking an Alaskan cruise is which side of it is best?

Which side of an Alaskan cruise ship is best? Contrary to some beliefs that one side is better than the other, both sides are actually best for an Alaskan cruise ship. The reason is that Alaskan cruise ships move in slow circles in scenic points to provide a good view of both sides from the comfort of your balcony. 

Additionally, there is a forward-viewing deck that’s open to the public. Anyone interested in seeing the view from both sides of the ship, together with the forward views, can take advantage of the view deck.

Most people may prefer the viewing deck rather than watching from their balconies, as they can witness the whole scene without interruption. Also, in the forward viewing deck, you can move from one place to another to focus on one scene that you want to immortalize. You can explore and shoot all angles of a scenic landscape from any vantage point of the viewing deck. 

One of the frequently asked questions about Alaskan cruises is whether it’s worth it to book a stateroom with a balcony or a veranda. Read on to learn more about which side of an Alaskan Cruise Ship is best and which cabins are the best.

Which Side of an Alaskan Cruise Ship Is Best?

Avid travelers should experience an Alaskan cruise at least once in their lifetime. It’s a wonderful opportunity that you shouldn’t miss. There are diverse points of interest and superb activities you can explore and enjoy in an Alaskan adventure.

You can admire fascinating glaciers in the world, such as the Mendenhall Glacier and Hubbard Glacier, and explore Glacier Bay and other charming tourist spots. Likewise, you can appreciate the variety of wildlife you may have never encountered in other continental states. Inland, there are dozens of places that you can visit too. They include Skagway and Sitka, which are two of the most famous Alaskan destinations.

Going back to cabin selection during your Alaskan cruise ship, what would be the best cabin for you to stay? It would really depend on your preferences and what you want to do.

The Best Cabins for an Alaskan Cruise Ship

alaskan cruise ship best cabins

1. Balcony Cabins

Most travelers may prefer balcony cabins to inner staterooms, as the former could provide them a good view of the scenic spots than the latter. However, if you’re skimping, any area in the cruise ship’s deck could offer a great view of the points of interest during an Alaskan cruise.

If you opted to stay in balcony cabins, take advantage of it optimally. Choose one that allows you to have a complete view of what’s outside the ship. Use the balcony as often as necessary. Relish the beauty of the superb views and fresh sea air around you.

However, you don’t need a balcony cabin to be able to fully appreciate the scenery. You can have an astounding view of everything from the public viewing deck and spend nothing for it, except that you can be with a lot of cruise-goers.

2. Upper Deck Cabins

The upper deck cabins are typically more expensive than the lower cabins because their services and amenities are better. Moreover, they are proximal to entertainment hubs and recreational areas. Spacious cabins in the upper deck areas are more expensive too.

Nonetheless, upper deck cabins in small ships are not for people who are susceptible to motion sickness, as the upper cabins tend to sway and roll more than the lower deck cabins. 

However, cruise ships these days are wider and bigger. They tend to have a stabilizing system that keeps the ship in place despite the ocean swells. Thus, cruise ships are more stable now. You just have to choose a cruise ship that has a stabilizing system.

Having a central and lower cabin would also deprive you of windows to view the impressive scenes around you. In some Alaskan cruise ships, virtual views are installed on the windows of some inner cabins.

Some inner cabins have a TV feed that comes from the cameras outside the ship, and the view can have a 360-degree angle that spans the entire scenic area. A panoramic view of the outside can be provided without you having to go there yourself.

Some people may prefer to have this feature because they get to see spectacular views from the comfort and convenience of their rooms. In case you’re interested in having this feature, you may want to inquire before booking your stateroom or cabin.

Naturally, if you’re a nature lover and an adventurer, nothing could beat the exhilaration of experiencing the event firsthand on the upper deck areas.

3. Outside Cabins

These cabins have a fantastic view of the points of interest during your Alaskan cruise. However, they are more costly than the inside cabins. You can view the scenic spots outside the ship without needing to change clothes to go out on the deck. These cabins are ideal for Alaskan cruises, as the incredible scenery is a significant part of the trip.

Is a Balcony on an Alaskan Cruise Worth the Money?

balcony cabin of an alaskan cruise

This question is most often asked by people who wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise. To help you decide, here are the pros and cons of a balcony cabin on an Alaskan cruise ship.

Pros of Balcony Cabins

1. Convenient

If you have an excellent cabin view, then it’s worth it. You can have a view from your balcony without having to change clothes and be forced to stay among other spectators. However, if the view is obstructed from your balcony, then it would be better to do away with the balcony and go out on deck as many travelers do. So, when choosing balcony cabins, make sure that you get what you pay for.

2. Provides Privacy

If you value your privacy, instead of being with people to join in the fun, you can choose a balcony cabin. The balcony is all yours, but it’s not as private as you think it is. People can hear you from the adjacent balcony.

However, take note that there are perks of going on deck and enjoying the show, just like everyone else. It could be a whole new experience for you. You get to meet new friends and learn how to socialize.

3. Can Be Good for Smokers

If you smoke a lot, having a balcony where smoking is allowed can be convenient. Nonetheless, determine if smoking is indeed allowed, as cruise ships have gotten stricter regarding non-smoking areas. And be aware that it would be cold out there, so you might not be able to stay long and leisurely smoke your cigarette.

Cons of Balcony Cabins

1. More Expensive

Sometimes, the extra cost for the balcony is quite significant that you could have used it for more useful events on your trip. Rather than paying for a partially obstructed balcony view, you can select a cabin without a balcony. Anyway, you could have an excellent view from any part of the ship’s deck, or could simply go to the viewing deck and bask in the beauty of the whole scenery.

2. Less Expansive View than the Deck View

Deck viewing is still the best, as it can provide an entire panoramic and genuine scene instead of a half or quarter view from a balcony cabin. Some people choose the forward portion of the ship instead of the aft end. It just depends on personal preference and where you would feel most comfortable.

3. Cold Temperature

It’s often cold in the balcony, and you may not be able to stay there for long. Well, the view deck can be cold too, but you would be in the company of other people, making it warmer and more enjoyable.

4. Balconies Are Not Airproof or Soundproof

Also, if the person adjacent to your cabin smokes and you don’t, it can spell disaster. You may have to endure the smell when you decide to spend time on your balcony.

The sounds of the occupants in the other balcony can also be heard from yours, as the wind carries sound. You may not see them, but you can still hear them. Not so much privacy, don’t you think so?

5. Cramped

Unless you have booked a luxury cabin with a spacious balcony, standard balconies can only accommodate a maximum of four people: two sitting and two standing. Booking cabins with wider balconies can be extremely costly.

Nevertheless, if you can afford it, then go for it. Don’t be scrimping on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. You may never find time to do it again.

When Is the Best Time to Cruise Alaska?

The best time to cruise Alaska is from May to September. During these months, the weather would not be too wet or too cold. Any month earlier or later than May to September would be too cold and too wet for you to be able to appreciate the cruise. You would not be able to venture outside of your cabin for too long.

Moreover, you may want to book your room earlier, so you can have the luxury of choosing a stateroom that suits your preferences. When you book early, you may also be able to avail of discounts and freebies. 

The Royal Caribbean or Harmony of the Seas cruise ships offer fantastic Alaskan cruises that can provide top-notch entertainment, magnificent live views from any suite stateroom, and virtual balconies. 

Many Alaskan cruise ships can provide modern amenities and features that can turn your trip into a comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable journey at the right cost.

If you’re traveling on a budget, don’t worry, as there are good options for you as well. It is advisable to scout for a cruise ship congruent with your travel itinerary and financial budget. Don’t let money limit your exploration and adventure. Think out of the box. You can accomplish your objectives by being positive about your Alaskan trip.

Conclusion – Which Side of an Alaskan Cruise Ship Is Best?

So to recap our initial question, which side of an Alaskan Cruise Ship is best? Both sides of the ship are excellent when going on an Alaskan Cruise. Utilize the main viewing deck to get the utmost pleasure of enjoying the spectacular views around you without additional cost. You won’t have to pay a ton of money to get the best out of your Alaskan cruise adventure.

So, take that huge leap now, and go on that Alaskan cruise that you have been dreaming of. Either side of the cruise will bring you amazing views. Everyone should experience this incredible trip even once in their lifetime.

Related reading:

Which Deck Is the Best on a Cruise Ship?