I have read many reviews about balcony cabins on Celebrity, Holland America and Princess and I'm a little confused. I have read that Princess doesn't have private balconies that people can look down on you or see though the the dividers. I read that Holland America's are private. I have read that Celebrity has both private and non-private balconies. I have also read that some cruiselines can open a connecting door between balconies if you're traveling with companions in an adjacent cabin.
Does anyone have any insight or clarification on this?
My limited experience (Hal ships, and the Princess Grand) for what it's worth. The verandah's on minisuites are larger than on the Princess ships. The Grand is built so that the upper decks look down on the verandahs, like stair steps. If you want to be totally private on the Grand, either book on the very upper deck (Lido) or prepare to be seen, on at least part of the deck. We were on Aloha,and could look down on everyone below. Only Lido could look down on us! The balcony was smaller than we were used to having on HAL, but nice as the cabin had a sliding glass door, so it was easy to open, and leave open if you cared to. There was a removeable divider between the balconies on both lines, I believe, although since I wasn't interested in opening it, I could be wrong about HAL. I am sure about the Grand, as our "next cabin neighbors" opened theirs so their kids could run back and forth. They just asked the steward.
So, HAL's were larger, but the Grand has more categories with balconies, depending on your price range. Either were great for a tropical breakfast! Enjoy!
I've only been on one cruise, a quick repositioning cruise on Princess where we got a complimentary upgrade to a balcony.
It was private, but the barrier between it and the next cabin had a big gap at the bottom (for possible water flow?) Noise carried through quite a bit. However, no one else could look in on us from either side, below or above.