We were on deck 12 in cabin 12292 so you might want to look at the ship map and see if your room is similar. As we were walking down the ship and the attendants were cleaning rooms, we did notice there were some other balcony cabins that had a bigger floor plan than ours did.
We put our four kids (18, 16, 13, & 10) in the balcony room and my wife and I took an interior stateroom. The balcony cabin was very small with four people in it. There is a bunk bed that folds down and once it is down, it makes getting to the balcony difficult as there is only about 16-18" of space between the bunk bed and couch below it and and wall cabinet. The wall cabinet doors also won't completely open with the bunk bed down, which makes getting your stuff in and out more difficult. They don't allow you to store anything on the balcony so empty suitcases (or full ones if you can't unpack all of your stuff) have to be put under the main bed. I didn't hear anyone complaining about the sofa bed but I didn't sleep on it myself. It looks comparable in size to a twin mattress.
The nice thing is that we didn't spend too much time in our room and there are a lot of nice public spaces to spend time on the ship. Since we were mostly in the room to sleep, it was inconvenient but not unworkable. The money we saved by not having another cabin made up for the inconvenience. Had a glorious afternoon sitting on the balcony as we cruised into Palma!! Very beautiful!
That's so helpful, thanks. We haven't booked yet but we've been looking at the same family balcony rooms as yours on deck 11 and 12. We are trying to decide whether it is worthwhile paying the extra for a family mini suite which seems exactly the same but a bit longer. It's our first cruise and I'd like to think we're not going to spend much time in the cabin. What a dilemma!
If upgrading won't take any money away from other activities you would probably enjoy the extra space. However, it means you would do one less shore excursion or opt out of some of the pay-per-use activities on the ship (we went to the Cirque Dreams show and thought it was incredible!) I would go with the smaller room and the expanded activities calendar.
Thank you RKTinAK. We've taken on board (no pun intended!) what you have said and will book a cabin at the rear of the ship either 2 doors down from your cabin or across on the opposite side. Only one more question (honest!) - was it quiet in that area?
There were cabins above and below us on Deck 11 and 13 so the area was pretty quiet. The only noise really was an occasional group passing in the hallway or the public PA announcements that were somewhat muffled coming through the door. Those are broadcast in the hallways and common areas around the ship, but not directly into the cabins, except in emergencies.