Hello...We will be taking our 12th cruise in October. This will be the 4th cruise on Princess. We will be going on the Golden Princess which is the sister ship to the Grand Princess we were on the last time.
I am trying to find out the following: When we were in a mini-suite on the Grand Princess a few cruises ago and had a mis-understanding on the true definition of a "Private Balcony" On most ships, your balcony is closed in on both sides and above for privacy, even though someone could lean over next to your cabin and peek in. However, on the Grand Princess, all of the floors were tierd, which meant that the first deck stuck out further than the next deck above. That meant that people above your floor could just look right down at you deck and see everything, not to mention that you had no protection from the sun. It looks to me like the Golden Princess has thd same deck plan.
At this point, it appears that the mini-suites on the Emerald Deck, room E-722 and others, which are near the stern of the ship, might be the only rooms that will offer more privacy, if not the same type of privacy like other ships. It looks from a diagram anyway that these rooms are protected because it's toward the end of the ship and the deck bloew is the same width.
In any event, we know some people don't mind total sun and the deck system this way. We prefer the traditional deck privacy since we are on the deck a lot. IF anyone has styaed on the Golden Princess and can let me know if the room we chose offers more privacy that other rooms that would help a lot. Or, if you can offer any other room ro deck that might offer more privacy than others, that would help too.
I've been on the Grand three time and I am goin gon the Golden in May. Yes, the Emerald deck mini-suites are covered. If you are able to book E728 or E729, not only are these covered, but since these are the last balconies on the sides for the aft of the ship, the balconies have an extended part, which will afford those looking for some direct sun the luxury. The rest of the balcony is covered, so it is the best of both worlds.
I, for one, have never minded the open mini-suite balconies on Dolphin regarding privacy reasons. It's not like I'm ever doing anything on my balcony that requires privacy . But, it is also open to the elements and the sun can be brutal in the Caribbean. Also, if it rains, your balcony will probably not get used.
I have been on both the Golden and Grand Princess. Both times we had category AD mini suites on the Emerald Deck. In December on the Grand we had the last cabin on the starboard side 729. It was a great cabin with the wrap around balcony. To me, if I would book again on either the Golden, Grand or Star ships I would book the mini suites on the Emerald Deck. Complete privacy and you still can sit out there if it is raining. I highly recommend these cabins.