This question was answered on our Cruise IQ show on November 24, 2017.
Selecting a stateroom on one side of the ship or another doesn’t really affect your overall experience in most circumstances. For interior rooms, whether you choose port or starboard (left and right sides when facing forward) is really more about choosing the room that best fits your needs. For ocean view or balcony rooms, many people fixate on which is the best side to get the best view. In actuality, both are equally good. When you are at sea, the ocean pretty much looks the same regardless of the side you are on. Even though there is a “port side” of the ship, factors such as currents and winds can require the ship to dock on either side, so there is never a guarantee that one side will afford better ports views. If you are cruising close to a coastline or in an area like Glacier Bay, Alaska, you will really want to move topside to be able to take in the expansive views all around the ship instead of just one side. When sailing a one-way itinerary such as Northbound or Southbound Alaska again the views are ever-changing and while some parts of the voyage may favor views from one side versus another, overall the scenery is good from both. The main difference would be that you will get morning sun and sunrises on the starboard side and afternoon sun and sunsets on port side on a Northbound sailing and the opposite on a Southbound sailing.