For the difference in price I would definitely opt for the mini suite. I love the extra room and the larger closet. It's nice to sit on a couch and relax rather than in a chair or on the bed. We don't spent lots of time in our room but when we do we're really comfortable. We're sailing again this November and have our mini suite all booked.
I would agree with topher, in saying that the extra room provided in the mini-suites on Princess is well worth the extra money. I usually get a mini-suite, if the price is right, but the balcony cabins on Princess are also very nice.
With integrity nothing else matters; without it nothing else matters.
Are you sure the $300 cost is to upgrade to a mini-suite with a balcony? Remember there are some mini-suites (the least expensive) that don't have balconies. I don't know if you would want to give up your balcony cabin for a mini with no balcony. Just a thought - you might want to check further.
I was tossing about getting a mini-suite on the Golden Princess but have decided I'd rather have the larger balcony on Caribe Deck, since this is a warm weather cruise,and we spend more time outdoors - so perhaps the type of cruise could be taken into consideration.
We stayed in D730 on Ruby - a mini suite at the AFT.
We discovered (by luck) that complimentary canapes are offered in the lounge before dinner (we went to watch the sunset in the lounge and there was a sign saying "Private Function" which is for anyone in a suite. We said we are in a mini suite - so we were allowed into the private "cocktail party". It was very civilised and a nice pre dinner option! And no kids allowed !!!
For $500 each more you were smart to stick with the balcony. the mini-suite is a little larger and has a bathtub instead of just a shower but it is not worth $1000
Soveriegn of the Seas 2000
Legend of the Seas 2002
Constellation January 2004
Adventure of the Seas January 2005
Caribbean Princess January 2006
Queen Mary II, November 2006
Cruise of the Century December 2006