Cove vs. Regular Balconies: Which is the Best For Your Carnival Cruise?

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Selecting the perfect room is crucial for an enjoyable cruise experience, particularly when considering unique options like a cove balcony. To help you make an informed decision, I have thoroughly researched what a cove balcony entails.

Modern and stylish cruise ship stateroom with a cove balcony, featuring a cozy double bed with turquoise bedding, a matching sofa, and an abstract ocean-themed artwork on the wall. The room is bathed in natural light from the balcony, offering a view of the serene blue sea.

In this guide, you’ll discover the specifics of a cove balcony room and get insights to decide if it’s the right choice for your cruise.

What You Need to Know

A cove balcony on a Carnival ship is characterised by its location and unique design. Regular balconies are flush with the ship’s side. However, the cove ones are set into the hull. This design gives them a cosy, intimate feel. 

Elegant cove balcony cabin on a cruise ship, showcasing a comfortable queen-size bed with chocolate and cream bedding, a long cream sofa, and a warm-toned carpet. The room features a vanity area with a mirror, a flat-screen TV, and opens to a balcony with an ocean view, complemented by a vibrant landscape painting on the wall.

The balconies are on the lower decks, specifically decks 2 and 5, which brings you closer to the sea and offers an unparalleled connection to the ocean.

Cove Balcony Room Interior

Let’s take a peek inside the cove balcony room. The room is like any regular balcony room on a Carnival ship. The difference is the cove balcony outside. There are cove balconies in category 7C staterooms aboard cruises like the Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and Carnival Jubilee.

This category also offers Cloud 9 Spa Cove Balcony rooms, with an unlimited use pass for thermal suite facilities. Families cruising on Carnival Horizon, Carnival Panorama, and Carnival Vista can opt for Family Harbor Suites with a cove balcony.

Size

The size of a cove balcony room on a Carnival ship is similar to a regular balcony room. The interior space offers the same amenities and room size. The balcony itself makes the difference. The cove balcony offers a cosy, intimate outdoor space with a balcony rail that takes nothing away from the breathtaking ocean view.

Some ships, like Carnival Breeze and Carnival Magic, offer grand suites with cove-like enclosures. These suites offer more room than standard balcony rooms, and the cove-like balcony adds an extra layer of luxury and privacy. Consider it if you want a room upgrade on your next Carnival cruise.

Recommended reading: Carnival Suite or a Balcony Stateroom?

Views

One of the major highlights of a cove balcony room is the view. Since the balconies are closer to the water, you get a unique viewing perspective. Looking out from your balcony rail, you get a close-up view of the water, and you might even see some marine life, like dolphins swimming alongside the ship. It’s a view that can’t be beaten, especially during sunrise and sunset.

A man in a yellow striped shirt and a young boy in a blue striped tank top standing on a cruise ship balcony, gazing out at the ocean. The man is pointing towards the horizon, showing something in the distance to the boy, who is leaning on the wooden railing, looking intrigued.

However, the view can differ during rough seas. Since these balconies are closer to the water, they may get splashed during choppy conditions. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s something to remember. Despite this, many cruisers still prefer the unique view and experience of a cove balcony on a Carnival ship.

Facilities

Carnival offers a surprising range of facilities with these rooms. They have a comfortable queen-sized bed, an interactive TV, and a minibar with various drinks. The bathroom was compact but well-designed, with a shower, sink, and toilet. There was also ample storage space for personal items.

But what sets the cove balcony room apart is the balcony itself. It is directly at the waterline, offering a unique, up-close ocean view. You can relax on the comfortable outdoor furniture, listen to the sound of the waves, and watch the world go by.

Related reading: Do Carnival Cruise rooms have refrigerators?

Cove Balcony vs Regular Balcony

When booking a cove balcony, I also looked at the regular balconies. I noticed some differences. For starters, the cove balcony is closer to the waterline. It gives them a unique perspective compared to a standard balcony up high. Also, a solid steel panel protects the cove balconies. Meanwhile, the regular balconies are often only enclosed by a glass railing.

Privacy

The thing that stood out to me was the cove balcony’s privacy. Unlike the standard balconies, which are open and exposed, the cove balconies are tucked away. They have solid walls on either side, which means you’re less likely to be seen by your neighbors. It felt like my own private corner of the ship.

That’s not to say that the standard balconies lack privacy. Regular balcony design ensures you’re not directly over the other balconies. But the cove balcony has the edge of feeling secluded and private.

Shade

Another significant difference between the cove and the regular balcony is the amount of shade. The cove balcony, being closer to the water and shielded by the ship’s structure, offers more shade. It can be a real blessing when there’s intense sunlight, letting you relax outside without sunburn.

On the other hand, the regular balcony, being higher up, gets more direct sunlight. It might be a better choice if you enjoy basking in the sun. It all depends on your personal preference.

Room Sizes

The size of the room is another factor to consider when choosing between a cove balcony and a regular balcony. The cove balcony rooms are pretty spacious. They have enough room for a queen-sized bed, a sitting area, and a functional bathroom. You have space for some chairs and a small table on the balcony.

Regular balcony rooms, on the other hand, can vary in size. Some are similar to the cove balcony rooms, while others are larger. Always check the room’s dimensions before booking. In any case, both types of rooms offer a comfortable and enjoyable cruise experience.

Access Factor

There’s a big difference in access between a Cove and a regular balcony. The Cove Balcony rooms are lower on the ship, closer to the water. So you have more direct access to the sea. You can relax in your rooms to the soothing sound of the waves.

In contrast, regular balconies are higher up. While these balconies offer breathtaking panoramic views, they don’t provide the same intimate connection with the sea. Depending on what you want from your cruise vacation, the access and location of your balcony can play a crucial role.

Location and View

View of a sunset over the ocean seen from the window of a cruise ship, with the horizon dividing a vibrant sky and the dark sea, and a security camera in the upper right corner.

When it comes to location and view, both Cove and regular balconies have their unique characteristics. Cove Balconies, being lower on the ship, offer closer views of the sea, giving you a feeling of being right on the water. The proximity to the sea also allows you to observe marine life up close, adding a unique touch to your cruise experience.

Meanwhile, regular balconies are higher up, offering a bird’s eye view of the vast ocean and the horizon. It also means you get more sunlight and a broader view. So, while Cove Balconies provide an intimate sea experience, regular balconies give you a more expansive view of the sea and surroundings.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cove Balconies

Like anything, cove balconies have their own set of pros and cons. Some say they are better than regular balconies, while others prefer the latter. Your preference will largely depend on what you want from your cruise vacation. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Cove balconies are more private.
  • They are closer to the sea, letting you enjoy the sounds of the waves.
  • There is less wind impact, making them more comfortable during windy days.
  • They are larger than regular balconies.

Cons

  • They are closer to the engine noise.
  • Cove balconies can have less natural light compared to regular balconies.
  • Cove balconies are located closer to the water, making them more susceptible to sea spray, especially during rough seas.
  • They don’t offer the expansive views as regular balconies.

Are Cove Balconies Better Than Regular Balconies on Carnival Cruise?

There’s a lot of debate about whether cove balconies are a better choice than regular balconies on a Carnival Cruise. In the end, it’s all about personal preference. Some people swear by the intimate atmosphere of a cove balcony. They enjoy the proximity to the sea and the sense of privacy.

However, others prefer the expansive and open feel of regular balconies. It’s a choice that requires some thought. Everyone’s preferences differ. There’s no one answer for everyone. The key is to consider what you value most in a vacation experience and decide which type of balcony best suits those needs.

What’s Your Vacation Type?

What type of vacation are you envisioning? A cove balcony might be perfect if you’re looking for a quiet, private space to unwind and enjoy the sea. On the other hand, if you prefer a more social and lively atmosphere, a regular balcony might be a better fit.

You’ll be higher up and have a broader view of the surroundings. It can be an excellent choice if you love watching the hustle and bustle of the ship and the port stops. Ultimately, you have to consider your vacation style.

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I'm Hannah and I've been cruising for as long as I can remember.

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