It’s an interesting point – on a balmy day (or night) do you close your balcony door or leave it open? Online message boards have shown this to be quite the debate of the moment between cruise passengers, and it’s certainly one to think about!
Cruise lines seem to have differing policies on balcony doors, with some virtually prohibiting guests from leaving them open, and some showing very little opinion either way. Princess Cruises prefer balcony doors to be closed, and post signs on the door to this effect, as their climate control system operates best if the room is sealed. Royal Caribbean and Carnival agree, although Carnival do say that while it makes sense for energy efficiency, they don’t actually have a rule against it. Holland America have thought long and hard about it, as not only does their air-con automatically shut off when doors are left open for a certain length of time, but a spokeswoman also said that leaving balcony doors open causes more drag and affects the aerodynamics of the moving ship, so effectively raises fuel costs, hence their recommendation that guests keep balcony doors closed.
There are several concerns related to safety when leaving doors open that cruise passengers should be aware of. Bad weather, high winds and wildlife can all cause problems in a cabin if the door is open, and you can only imagine the consequences for a sleepwalker! So all in all, the argument does seem to weigh on the side of a closed balcony door, and it is certainly a good idea to check the cruise line’s policy before leaving it ajar – however tempting the conditions are!