Planning Grand Princess/western caribbean for 1/08. I am sooooo confused. I've read too much about cabins. Upper decks being able to see you from above, walking too far, noise and foot traffic, etc. I've cruised a couple times before in an inside cabin only. I want a balcony and some decent privacy and a good view. Money of course matters but doesn't drive the ultimate end. I just want the absolute best bang for the buck if I'm moving up and outside. Back of the ship??? Up higher amid ship??? HELP! I laugh at people saying they have to walk too far........ get real.
If they have one of the lower categories at a good rate under what is called a "Guarantee" or "Run of Ship" status, it's usually the best rates and increases the odds you'll get upgraded. Look at one the the other threads on here that's titled "Princess is the Best!" That was an upgrade from a guarantee. What they do with a guarantee (if it's available) is offer you a cabin guaranteed to be at or above the category you book but allow them to randomly assign the cabin after all the people who want to pay a little extra to choose thier cabin have booked. There are typically more guarantees sold than they actually have cabins in the lower categories. Sometimes they leave the guarantees open even when they are out of standard balcony cabins all together. In those cases they're simply trying to fill the ship. Since you're guaranteed a balcony or better, that means someone is going to get moved up to a suite, as happened in the case of the thread I mentioned. One drawback, if you book a Cat BE guar (just an example, not saying to book Cat BE) you may well get a BE. You can't choose, so you may be by an elevator. You may be at the front or rear of the ship or even under the disco. Booking a guarantee is a gamble. It often saves money and often gets you more than you pay for. But you could get a cabin you wouldn't have chosen. I do it often for myself, and often for clients after giving the above disclaimer. The vast majority of the time you will be pleased with what you get. Once in a while you'll get something you didn't expect, exactly what you paid for. A low category cabin, not in a premium position.
If you want the cabin in a premo position and to eliminate the probability of an upgrade beyond your expectations, pay the difference and choose a Cat BA or BC midship on a high deck.
I just did an inventory search on Jan 08 on Grand. You out of luck for Jan 12th. They're sold out of balconies. On the 19th the Cat BD guar is available at $999. pp + tax.
On the 26th the Cat BC has one cabin on Aloha left and the option of a Guar, so you can choose. The pice is currently (as I type, but it could change) $1089. pp + tax.
BTW, there is an agency out there with some an onboard credit promotion with these cabins. The rates however would be the same through Princess direct or an agency. If you call Princess and mention the OBC, I'm betting they'll direct you to the right source to also get the OBC. They're very good about it if asked.
Lido is the highest deck on the ship that has passenger cabins. I'd skip the Cat BB and move down to BC if you decide you don't want the Lido Deck. The mid-ship BBs are under the Lido, under the pools and the rest of the activity deck. Might have some foot traffic issues. There are BCs, mid ship Baja, that would be a better choice and price.
Can't really help with the privacy issues. Don't know enough about the ship in that regard and there is no disclosure for such issues on the booking engines or their published info. You'll have to get feedback from some of the people who've been on the deck we're discussing for that info.
We know the Grand quite well and will be on her (our 3rd time on this ship) for its transatlantic crossing this April. I am not a big fan of the lido deck cabins because its just to far from many things on the ship and there is potential early morning noise with sports facilities, just above. The layout of the balcony cabins is quite interesting on the Grand and Grand Class ships. The balconies on A and B decks are very private and totally covered by the deck/balcony above. On C (Caribe) deck are our favorite cabins because their balconies are 50% larger than the ones on Lido, A or B and the Caribe deck balconies are half under cover and half in the open (best of both worlds). The mini-suite cabins on D (Dolphin Deck) are totally uncovered and have no privacy from anyone looking down from A, B or C decks. The interior of the cabins is the same on all the balcony cabins (except the minis and suites which are larger with sitting areas).