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A long time ago I did a detailed post about the different sizes of the balconies on Ventura and Azura. it’s still one of my most popular posts – every day, between 10% and 20% of the page hits I get is for that one post. Here’s a link to it.

Here’s an additional post that includes an image file that explains how the balconies along the sides of these ships can differ so much. It’s taken from an accident investigation report into a fire on board the Star Princess in March 2006 – the report (by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB) was published in October that year. It included the attached graphic (the text in red has been added for the purposes of this post). Star Princess was the third of the original three ships in the Grand Princess class (Grand Princess & Golden Princess being the other, slightly earlier, two). There are differences between Star Princess and Ventura/Azura, among which were the huge ‘shopping trolley handle’ across the stern of the ship at deck 15 or 16 level, and also the fact that the early ships had one deck less – they had no Riviera deck, So A deck came immediately underneath the Lido deck deck, as shown in the attached image.

The image shows that the cabins on A, B & C deck are directly below each other – that is, cabins on B deck are directly below those on A deck, and cabins on C deck are directly below those on B deck. The balconies on A & B decks – and also on Riviera deck on Azura & Ventura – are made of aluminium and are, in layman’s terms, ‘bolted on’ to the outside of the cabins. (I’m sure they’re attached more firmly than that, but you get the picture.) Certainly there’s just fresh air beneath these balconies. The balcony structure on C deck is different, however. It’s not a bolt-on; it’s actually the roof of the larger Deluxe Balcony cabin on D deck, the deck below. Because these cabins are larger they ‘stick out’ further, so the C deck cabins on the deck above can make use of the D deck cabin extension for a larger balcony.

And indeed they are – the depth of a C deck balcony is 2.95m instead of 1.5m for A & B decks, so effectively double the depth. The cabins are the same, of course – balcony cabins on both B & C decks are graded HA (mid-ships), HB (either side of that), HD (aft) and HE (forward). P&O have clearly taken the policy of not charging extra for the extra balcony space or of classifying the C deck cabins into a higher grade.

Finally, I actually have a feeling that the diagram is wrong for D deck balconies! – I believe that these balconies are in fact 2m in depth, therefore somewhere between the depth of A & B decks and C deck.

Finally, here’s my well-known picture of Val, my wife, enjoying the space on a C deck balcony on Ventura!

Val enjoying a C-deck balcony (actually on Ventura)

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