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Guide to staying in a Carnival cruise balcony cabin

Carnival Mardi Gras balcony room

If you’re looking to book a Carnival cruise in the near future, you might be questioning which type of cabin is the best choice for you. Once you are ready to put down a deposit on an itinerary, you will have to select a stateroom category and location.

Balcony staterooms have become increasingly more popular throughout the last decade. Many cruise lines, including Carnival Cruise Line, are building more balconies on new ships than ever before. 

With a balcony cabin, you have access to the fresh air and ocean views at any time on a private verandah. Additionally, you can see the scenery right from your cabin without having to go to the top deck. If you’re sailing to scenic destinations like Alaska, having a balcony stateroom can really enhance your cruising experience.

Carnival Balcony

There are many different balconies to choose from when you take a Carnival cruise. For example, choosing a balcony stateroom on Carnival’s newest Excel Class ships will be different than sailing in a balcony cabin on an older, smaller ship.

Should you make the splurge for a balcony? And if so, which balcony is the right choice for your Carnival cruise? Here’s your ultimate guide to Carnival Cruise Line’s balcony staterooms.

How much does a balcony cost on Carnival?

Balcony Cabin Celebration

With demand fluctuating for specific sailings and ships, Carnival does not have a one-size-fits-all approach to pricing. If there is low demand for a sailing, prices will drop. On the other hand, cruising during peak season will often see the most expensive balconies. 

In general, you can expect to spend anywhere from $200 to $600 more for a balcony stateroom on Carnival than an inside cabin. Looking a typical 7-night sailing, a balcony cabin costs $115 to $155 per person for each day of the sailing.

Keep in mind this cost does not include taxes, port fees, and gratuities. 

What is considered a balcony cabin on Carnival?

Carnival Balcony

Carnival’s balcony cabins are staterooms that feature a private verandah connected directly to the room. You'll be able to access the balcony through a door. On newer ships, it tends to be a sliding door, while older ships have a single door that you have to pull. You will also find chairs and a small table on each balcony, as is standard for Carnival. The railings are 45 inches tall.

Balconies are available on every ship in Carnival’s fleet, even the oldest ones. Newer ships will have a higher ratio of balconies available, so if you are sailing on an older Carnival ship, you might find balconies are more scarce.

Carnival Paradise, for instance, only has 98 cabins with standard balconies. In comparison, Carnival Jubilee, the cruise line's newest ship, has 1,042 standard balcony staterooms!


While some balconies can sleep up to five guests, four is standard. The fifth guests would typically sleep on a cot or trundle bed. Moreover, balcony cabins are considered roomier than inside and outside staterooms. You can also book adjoining-- or connecting-- balcony rooms if you want to benefit from two bathrooms and additional living space. 

Carnival’s website states that the following ships have balcony door locks on the door handle: Carnival Elation, Carnival Paradise, and Carnival Spirit. All other ships in the fleet have a stateroom door leading out to the balcony with a safety lock located approximately 65 inches from the floor.

How many different types of balconies does Carnival offer?


There's a wide range of balcony types onboard Carnival’s ships. In fact, there are upwards of 20 different balcony categories on Carnival. Each of Carnival’s ship classes will have a different selection of balconies available for you to book.

For example, Carnival offers extended balconies on some ships, which provides additional balcony square footage in comparison to a standard balcony. You can also book specialty balconies in locations close to the spa, childcare centers, and Havana club. Whether you want a balcony that is forward or aft-facing is another consideration, among many.

Here is a list of all the different balconies available across Carnival’s fleet, along with each category code:

  • Balcony (8A, 8B, 8C, 8D, 8E, 8F, 8G)
  • Junior Balcony (7X, 7Y)
  • Cove Balcony (7C)
  • Obstructed-View Balcony (7A)
  • Extended Balcony (8J, 8K)
  • Premium Balcony (9B)
  • Obstructed View-Premium Balcony (9A)
  • Premium Vista Balcony (9C)
  • Aft-View Extended Balcony (8M, 8N)
  • Forward-View Extended Balcony (8L)
  • Havana Premium Vista Balcony (HM)
  • Havana Premium Balcony (HL)
  • Havana Aft-View Extended Balcony (HI)
  • Family Harbor Cove Balcony (FM)
  • Family Harbor Suites with Large Cove Balcony (FS)
  • Family Harbor Aft-View Extended Balcony (FO)
  • Cloud 9 Cove Balcony (7S)
  • Cloud 9 Balcony (8S, 8T, 8P)
  • Cloud 9 Forward-View Extended Balcony (8V) 

Note that this list does not include any suites with balconies. 

Balcony (8A, 8B, 8C, 8D, 8E, 8F, 8G)


The standard balcony room is around 220 square feet. The cabin itself measures at 185 square feet, while the balcony is an additional 40 to 44 square feet, depending on the specific ship. On each balcony, guests can find a small table and two chairs for lounging.

Available: All Carnival ships 

Junior Balcony (7X, 7Y)

Junior Balcony

A junior balcony room on Carnival is smaller than a standard stateroom. Plus, the cabin can only accommodate up to two guests, so it’s not suitable for a family. 

You will save some money in comparison to a standard balcony, but you will be sacrificing some space in the cabin itself. While the balcony is the same size as a standard balcony room at 44 square feet, the cabin is smaller at 172 square feet.

Available: Excel Class only (Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and Carnival Jubilee)

Cove Balcony Stateroom (7C)

Cove Balcony

In comparison to a standard balcony, a Cove Balcony is more enclosed and located on lower decks. Cove balconies have cove-like enclosures with the bottom half of the balcony tail having a solid steel panel. In other words, the balcony is built into the structure of the ship. 

A cove balcony has a smaller opening with solid sides. Compared to a standard balcony, cove balconies feel more like an open-window than an open-air balcony like you would expect. 

Available: Dream, Vista, and Excel Class ships 

Obstructed View Balcony (7A)

Obstructed Balcony

If you choose an obstructed view balcony on Carnival, you will have a view that is partially blocked. This obstruction is likely a lifeboat, but could also be other infrastructure of the cruise ship that is blocking your view.

Most of the time, you will have a lifeboat directly below your stateroom, which would partially block your view. Generally speaking, Carnival does not have an abundance of obstructed view balconies, but you will save some money by booking one of these balcony variations.

Available: Carnival Spirit, Carnival Legend, Carnival Pride and Carnival Miracle

Extended Balcony (8J, 8K, 8M, 8N, 8L)

Extended Balcony

(Extended Balcony on Mardi Gras)

There are three different types of extended balconies on Carnival:

  • Extended Balcony (8J, 8K): These can be located anywhere onboard.
  • Aft-View Extended Balcony (8M, 8N): These cabins are at the back of the ship and have a view facing the ship’s wake, which are highly sought-after for many cruisers.
  • Forward-View Extended Balcony (8L): These have a view of the front of the ship but can experience more motion and wind. Some of these have shields to help with the wind.

Extended Balconies on Carnival have larger balconies than standard balcony staterooms; however, the room is the same size as a standard balcony. The size of the larger balcony varies by stateroom. Some have significantly more balcony space, such as aft-facing cabins, while others are more minimal. In general, the extended balcony can vary from a few extra feet to double the size.

Note that Carnival's website states certain Forward-View Extended Balcony cabins are obstructed, too, as they steel railing. For example, rooms 9201, 9202, 10202, 12205, 14204, and 15206 all have partial views when sitting down. 

Available: All Carnival ships

Premium Balcony (9A, 9B, 9C)

Carnival Balcony

There are three kinds of Premium Balconies available on Carnival’s cruise ships.

  • Obstructed View Premium Balcony (9A)
  • Premium Balcony (9B)
  • Premium Vista Balcony* (9C)

Carnival’s Premium balcony staterooms are larger than standard balcony cabins onboard. You will find that both the room and stateroom are bigger. If you are looking to splurge, these Premium balconies will cost you more than a standard balcony but you will have more space for your sailing. You can also get a Premium balcony with an obstructed view.

*Premium Vista Balconies are unique balconies onboard on Dream, Conquest, and Sunshine Class ships. Premium Vista balconies are located on the aft of the ship and feature a massive balcony that wraps around the side of the ship; however, the size of the stateroom itself is the same as a standard balcony.

Available: Most Carnival ships, excluding Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, Carnival Jubilee, Carnival Paradise, and Carnival Elation

Havana Premium Vista Balcony (HM, HL, HI)


There are three different types of Havana balconies available on select Carnival’s ships.

  • Havana Premium Vista Balcony (HM)
  • Havana Premium Balcony (HL)
  • Havana Aft-View Extended Balcony (HI)

A Havana balcony on a Carnival cruise ship is a themed-cabin located near the ship’s lively Havana Bar, which is a Latin-inspired venue featuring Latin music, fun cocktails, and Cuban coffees.

When staying in a Havana balcony, you have exclusive access to the Havana Pool with two large hot tubs with tropical-themed decor. This is a relaxing space away from the bustling main pool deck with umbrellas and loungers.

While the Havana Bar is open to all guests onboard, the pool area is exclusive for Havana cabin guests. Havana balconies have direct access to the Havana Bar, so if you plan to spend a lot of time in this bar, a Havana balcony could be the perfect choice for you. 

Note that all guests must be 12-years-old and older. 

Available: Vista Class ships

Havana Cabanas (HE, HJ)


Two Havana Cabana balcony categories can be found on select Carnival ships:

  • Havana Cabana (HE)
  • Havana Extended Cabana (HJ)

Onboard Excel Class ships, Havana balconies are different in that they aren't actually "balconies." While you still have a private outdoor space, it sits adjacent to a public walkway, meaning you do not have a real view of the ocean.

Like with the Havana Premium Vista Balconies, you'll still gain access to the exclusive Havana pool area, and guests must be 12-years-old or older to stay in a Havana stateroom. 

Available: Excel Class ships

Family Harbor Balconies (FM, FO, FS)

Family Harbor

There are three types of Family Harbor balconies available on Carnival cruise ships:

  • Family Harbor Cove Balcony (FM)
  • Family Harbor Aft-View Extended Balcony (FO)
  • Family Harbor Suites with Large Cove Balcony (FS)

Carnival Cruise Line is very family-focused, and Family Harbor staterooms are designed for families with young kids in mind. These balcony staterooms are nautical themed and located in a specific area onboard.

Most importantly, these family-friendly balconies come with a slew of amenities and benefits, including access to the Family Harbor Lounge. If you are traveling with young children, these balconies are great because of the close proximity to Camp Ocean.


The lounge also provides breakfast in the morning, which can be less hectic than fighting the crowds elsewhere onboard. The lounge also serves snacks throughout the day.

Other amenities for Family Harbor balconies include access to board games, video games, and movies in the lounge, as well as a free evening of Night Owl babysitting service and kids-eat-free in most specialty restaurants. 

Available: Carnival Vista Class ships; however, Carnival’s Excel ships have the same Family Harbor concept onboard. On these ships, you won't find any balconies, though, as they only have inside and ocean view Family Harbor rooms. 

Cloud 9 Spa Balconies (7S, 8S, 8T, 8P, 8V)

Spa balcony

There are three different kinds of Cloud 9 Spa balconies available on Carnival’s ships:

  • Cloud 9 Cove Balcony (7S)
  • Cloud 9 Balcony (8S, 8T, 8P)
  • Cloud 9 Forward-View Extended Balcony (8V)

Cloud 9 Spa balconies are themed-staterooms located conveniently near the Cloud 9 Spa where guests receive exclusive amenities and benefits during the duration of their cruise. Cloud 9 Spa balcony guests get access to the ship’s thermal spa for the entirety of their cruise vacation, along with priority access to spa appointments and discounts on spa treatments on port days.

Guests will also receive a complimentary scrub kit for the Thermal Suites and access to fitness classes. Cloud 9 Spa balconies also include luxury bathrobes and slippers.

Available: Excel, Vista, Dream, and Sunshine Classes

Should you book a balcony for your Carnival cruise?


If you are looking to have more space and a private outdoor verandah to watch the ocean views and sunsets, then splurging on a balcony is probably a great choice. You’ll have more room in a balcony stateroom, and you can also enjoy fresh air whenever you choose.

Balcony staterooms are more expensive than inside and ocean view staterooms. If you are not planning to spend much time in your stateroom, then you might prefer to save your money and book a more affordable cabin. You might also want to consider if your balcony offers enough privacy, as some extended balconies, as well as Havana Cabanas, are visible from other areas onboard.

Another consideration is the amenities onboard your ship. If you are going to be spending most of your time exploring the cruise ship and port, then you might not find the value of a balcony stateroom. You do not want to spend extra for a balcony if you do not think you will have the time to use it and get your investment’s worth.

If you enjoy having some private time and access to ocean views during your cruise -- and if your budget allows it -- then I would say booking a balcony is worthwhile. If you are cruising somewhere especially scenic, such as Alaska, then I would definitely consider booking a balcony.

Which balcony cabin is best on Carnival?


Of course, we are not here to tell you exactly which room is best for you. Everyone has their own preferences and budgets, which is why Carnival has a wide range of balconies to choose from.

A standard balcony is perfect if you’re looking to upgrade from an inside or outside cabin but do not want to splurge on a specialty-themed stateroom or extended-balcony. You might be able to save a lot of money with an obstructed view balcony, assuming you do not care about having something blocking your view of the ocean.

Carnival’s themed staterooms, including the Havana balconies, Family Harbor balconies, and Cloud 9 Spa balconies, are all unique to the cruise line. If you are looking to spice up your cruise experience compared to a standard balcony, these might be a consideration. Plus, you'll get extra perks that might help and justify the price. 

If you are traveling with kids especially, we would recommend choosing the Family Harbor balconies. These are conveniently located and include some very nice amenities for those with younger children, including complimentary babysitting and access to the Family Harbor lounge.

For a special occasion, such as a honeymoon or anniversary, having an extended balcony or an aft-facing balcony would be a nice selection. These balconies allow more space, which you can enjoy privately together.

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