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