What is an “Enclosed Balcony”

You have done the research, you have contacted your Travel Agent and provided your details and made a selection for the Stateroom and Category type you want based on your budget. You print off your e-documents and at the bottom of the page, highlighted in bold print, is the comment “This stateroom has an enclosed balcony”.

Many people do not have clear understanding about what this actually means and as a result, when they arrive at their Stateroom, they may have a surprise that may impact them in a negative way, if they were not aware of what an “enclosed balcony” actually is.

Most Stateroom’s with this style of balcony are located at the front of the ship. There is an increased metal superstructure there, in order to block the “elements” (excess wind, or water spray etc.) This means the balconies are usually much larger here than a standard balcony or mini suite balcony, but the pay off for the extra floor space is that you do not have the plexi-glass beneath the railing.

Instead it is a solid metal front, as it is a continuation of the Hull. As well, the top and sides of your balcony are rounded, so instead of a complete opening to the sea and sky, it is closer in appearance to a large picture window.

This enclosed type of balcony is a wonderful feature for: families with smaller children, people who like to entertain others on the deck or might want more privacy for romantic evenings while sailing on the ocean.

If none of those options describe your situation and you are expecting a floor to ceiling sea view, you might be disappointed with the room. So, if your preference is for more sunlight and open skies, over the larger balcony then an “enclosed balcony” is not the style for you.

If you happen to catch this before you sail, it is a simple matter of contacting your Travel Agent or the Cruise line directly and see what Stateroom you can change into. As choices start to become limited the closer you get to the sailing date, the sooner you make the change, the better.

If you don’t make the discovery that you have booked into an “enclosed balcony” until you arrive at your stateroom, then you can always go to Guest Services and ask if they have any other Stateroom to transfer you to, explaining that you must have missed the notification from the cruise line on your e-documents or while completing your online check in or that you were unaware of just how much of a visual impact it would actually have on your room choice.

Just remember that the cruise lines do all they can to sail at capacity and they may not have a free cabin to transfer you to. Even though the cruise lines leave the responsibility on the guests to ensure their cabin will meet their specific needs, prior to sailing, they are more than happy to assist you if at all possible, once on board. It is much easier for your Travel Agent to take care of any issues that arise, before you depart because then you are assured of having exactly what you expect, when you arrive for the start of your vacation.

I have provided an example of the Norwegian Epic Enclosed balcony staterooms below. Each Cruise Line and each ship will have a different configuration, so educate yourself before you choose your Stateroom. Remember that the stateroom directly beside one of these balcony’s may have slight encroachment of the metal divider on one side of their balcony as well. Finding this information directly on the companies web site may be next to impossible, so try looking at photo images to verify if your Stateroom is impacted or not.

In this photo, the Bridge is the extended part coming out from the ship and it is located on deck 13.

NCL Epic enclosed balcony

Deck 8

16 “Hull” rooms, 8 on each side of the ship. None of the rooms have glass under the railing, and a standard sized balcony. Included are: 8004, 8005, 8006, 8007, 8008, 8009, 8010, 8011, 8012, 8013, 8014, 8015, 8016, 8017, 8018, and 8019

Deck 9

10 “Hull” rooms. None of the rooms have glass under the railing. ALL of these rooms have balconies double the size of standard balconies. Staterooms: 9000, 9001, 9004 and 9005 have a much wider opening (less obstruction, wider opening). Staterooms: 9008, 9009, 9012, 9013, 9016 and 9017 (greater obstruction, smaller opening)

Deck 10

10 “Hull” rooms. None of the rooms have glass under the railing. ALL of these rooms have balconies double the size of standard balconies. Staterooms: 10001, 10002, 10004, and 10005 have a much wider opening (less obstruction, wider opening). Staterooms: 10008, 10009, 10012, 10013, 10014 and 10015 (greater obstruction, smaller opening).

Deck 11

11 “Hull” balconies. None of the rooms have glass under the railing. ALL of these rooms have balconies double the size of standard balconies. Staterooms: 11000, 11001, 11004 and 11005 11005 have a much wider opening (less obstruction, wider opening).  Staterooms: 11008, 11009, 11012, 11013, 11014 and 11015 (greater obstruction, smaller opening).


Deck 12

10 “Hull”. None of the rooms have glass under the railing. ALL of these rooms have balconies double the size of standard balconies. 12000, 12001, 12004 and 12005 have a much wider opening (less obstruction, wider opening). Staterooms: 12008, 12009, 12012, 12013, 12014 and 12015 (greater obstruction, smaller opening). Staterooms 12006 and 12017 are the first one with the regular sized balcony with plexi-glass bottom.

Deck 13

No “hull” balconies on deck 13 according to the deck plans. The Stateroom windows behind the bridge are for officer’s quarters.

Deck 14

7 “Hull” balconies. All 7 of these rooms have STANDARD sized balconies with the greatest obstruction due to the small size of the opening. Staterooms: 14000, 14001, 04002, 14003, 14004, 14005 and 14009

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About travelonlywithjodi

As a Canadian living in a country of such great diversity, the experience of vacationing throughout the world brings you a deep appreciation for the beautiful world around us as well. Spending money on travel is like investing in your soul. Be inspired. TravelOnly with Jodi.
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3 Responses to What is an “Enclosed Balcony”

  1. Valerie says:

    Jodi,
    You explained this more clearly than our cruise line rep. that helped my mother book my Fiancé and I’s honeymoon trip (she is a latitudes member so we had her do it so she could get the points). She asked for a balcony, and the woman booked us for a “privasea” balcony. We booked the cruise 7 months prior to today for a cruise that departs this October so that we could get the best rates and not worry about the room we wanted being booked up. Our cruise rep called to speak with my mother about some deals available, and when my mother asked for a picture of our room’s balcony (we noticed the ‘enclosed balcony’ note on the confirmation), she showed what we were actually getting. As you noted, dissappointment is immediately what we felt. She told my mother “if you had asked for a picture when you booked, I would,’ve sent it”. We are now being told if we want a balcony (what we thought we had), it is going to be $500 more, and there may not be any left. We have always sailed NCL, have always LOVED NCL, we could not, and still cannot believe this mixup.

    • Congratulations on your Wedding! A Honeymoon cruise is an amazing way to celebrate! I’m so sorry you are disappointed by finding out about the enclosed balcony, but on the positive side, you can still try to get what you are looking for because you now have time to correct it. My suggestion, as you booked directly, to for you is to call the guest services at NCL 1-800-234-7350 and see what Balcony options are open for you at the same price point. The Hull Cabins with a Balcony will be in a different category than a regular Balcony, this lower price is very enticing though can be misleading to people who have no understanding of the difference in category types.

      Your cruise is far enough away that you should be able to cancel for a full refund and re-book the room category that you want and take advantage of all the amazing NCL promotions available up until April 6th,2015 such as: choosing between the Ultimate Beverage Package for 2 ($808usd value), the Ultimate Dining Package for 2 ($240 value) or prepaid Gratuities for 2 (approx $200 value), plus receiving an OnBoardCredit.
      Do the math between keeping your existing reservation and changing the room category and cancelling and re-booking under the new promotions to see which one works better.

      Another option available that a Travel Agent has access to, is checking the date of your specific sailing, to see if there are any groups that have held space. If there is, and they allow us to book you into them, you get the rates they secured sometimes up to 2 years ago! This means you can save hundreds of dollars instead of booking at today’s pricing. A cruise line will not do this for you, as they are doing what’s best for their profit margins and not what is financially in the best interest of the client, like a Travel agent will. There is no way of knowing, unless you check on it. The only downfall is your mother would lose her points.

  2. homeiswheretherootslead.wordpress.com says:

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