1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
First off, a little background. I am a 62 year old widower traveling with my 33 year old son.This was my 5th cruise with Carnival (in addition to 2 with Royal Caribbean, 1 with Princess, and 1 with Norweigan). This was the 6th with my son, ... Read More
First off, a little background. I am a 62 year old widower traveling with my 33 year old son.This was my 5th cruise with Carnival (in addition to 2 with Royal Caribbean, 1 with Princess, and 1 with Norweigan). This was the 6th with my son, so we have a pretty good level of experience. Embarkation in New York went smoothly and we were on the ship within an hour of arrival to the port. The ship: We selected this ship because my son wanted to try a new ship that was large and had the newest "bells and whistles".The Horizon just hit the water a few months prior and with The Vista is the largest of the Carnival fleet.Its passenger capacity is about 4,000 (double occupancy, but when you consider the 3rd and 4th in the cabins, the census is probably over 5,000.We had an inside cabin (our usual choice ) that was quite adequate for us with everything in good working order.It has a new computerized elevator system (more on that later), a "sky ride", a rope course, a large waterpark area, an I-Max theatre, and a few other "bells and whistles". Because of the large capacity, some of the lunch venues and activities sometimes have some sort of lines, but only a very few times were the lines a problem. For the most part, the ship handled the passenger density well enough with the many food and activity venues. For those who have cruised before, you'll appreciate that it was rare not to find lounge chairs when you looked for one. The flaws: My main complaint with the ship is that it seemed every venue's music was blasting. I understand during a party or whatever, but when one seeks out an area to converse with a bar and some background music, it was almost impossible to find. Also (but it didn't really apply to me), this was the 1st ship I've sailed on that didn't have a dedicated dance club. If that is your thing, you have to check out the daily activities sheet to find out the location of that night's dancing. The elevators: You may read about the computerized system from other reviews, etc. It is a big bag of "nothing". Yes, it works differently from your usual elevator experience, but you get used to it with a short period of time...and it does work a bit better, but not earthshattering. The food: First dinners in the main dining room: Plenty of variety every night with at least several choices for soups, salads, appetizers, entrees, and desserts...all quite yummy. The breakfast and lunch and other included dinner venues (mostly on the Lido deck, but also spread out on other decks) include a large general buffet, a deli, 24 hour pizza, a Guy Fieri branded hamburger stand, a build your own burrito area, as well as quite a few more (plus the availability of a sit down meal in the dining room). We never ate in any of the "premium" venues, but in speaking to some who did, they apparently were top notch. I can never understand those that think negatively of Carnival's food. The activities: Typical cruise stuff- trivia, bingo, comedy shows, multiple movie venues (poolside under the stars, I-Max, etc.), shows in the main theatre, themed parties, etc....certainly the "something for everybody" mentality. The staff: I can't compliment them enough, especially our dining room waitstaff headed by Antonio, and the 2 ladies handling the bar at the Guy Fieri BBQ restaurant on deck 5. They were, without exception, wonderful. However, the stateroom staff had a habit of waking us early (3 x including 7:00 AM on disembarkation day). An annoyance that shouldn't occur on a cruise vacation. The ports: Did not do any of the excursions, walked the Old City of San Juan which was right at the ship's location in port. Hung out at Margaritaville in Grand Turk, and walked the port area at Amber Cove. Disembarkation: Not nearly as smooth as getting on the ship, but tolerable. Took a bit long with delays. Overall, a good, experience.My son loved the Sky Ride and the other "bells and whistles" Should lower the volume is some of the venues, but overall the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Great last-minute Carnival Cruise (booked 2 weeks before 8/28 departure) from Home Port. Carnival works for us THE POSITIVES: Great Value especially with not having to pay for flights No Flights for locals (No worry about ... Read More
Great last-minute Carnival Cruise (booked 2 weeks before 8/28 departure) from Home Port. Carnival works for us THE POSITIVES: Great Value especially with not having to pay for flights No Flights for locals (No worry about what to pack, bag weight, liquids, early airport arrivals, carry-on vs check-in, TSA lines, delays, car service to and from airport). Pack what you want and bring it aboard!!! Less than 1 Hour Drive from Home to Port 1/2 hour from port arrival to being on-board New York Departure (Harbor, Statue of Liberty, Verrazano Bridge, etc.) New Carnival Ship with nice features Rare itinerary especially from New York (Grand Turk, Amber Cove and Puerto Rico) Room 9377 –inside category for 4, very convenient location (Underneath the Lido restaurant). No noise issues, easy to walk up to all action. Room Stewart was awesome FREE Carnival Hub app was great for checking and setting favorites for activities with reminders, Account balance check, Dinner reservations, $5 per person texting option was a good value and useful. Great FREE lunch options (Guys, Burgers, Guys Pig & Anchor BBQ, Serenity Salad Bar, Blue Iguana Cantina, Cucina de Capitano, JiJi Asian Kitchen, Sandwiches, Pizza,etc Cake Bar in Lido deck had different selections of at least 5 different cakes everyday Main Dinning for Dinner was great (Good food and varying selection every night). Carnival still serves Lobster! Requested table via the Carnival Hub app and 5 – 10 minutes later table # was available on the app. Just walked down and was seated immediately every night. I don't know why so many people were waiting at the 5th floor desk. Sky Ride, Sky Course amazing over the blue water Water Slides Entertainment and game staff are engaged and enthusiastic (Good shows, great trivia and games (Digital scavenger hunts, Celebrity identify crisis, CLUE, Lip Sync,etc). Newly Wed show, Battle of the sexes The Club House and O2 teen club – great for kids. My 16 year old would disappear except for meeting ups for Dinner and to sleep at 1:30AM. AMBER COVE: Beautiful, private and new. We did the Damajagua 27 waterfalls with an outside excursion company (Actually did 12 of 27 as most excursions do because of time constraints but it was great). You will have to walk out of the port, parking and meet unauthorized excursion companies at the highway- before the port entry PUERTO RICO: San Juan is back and better than ever. We walk to the closest fort Castilo San Cristobal, paid admission then walked to El Morro fort via the road overlooking the ocean and passing by “La Perla” where the Despacito video was filmed. We got into El Morro for free with our receipt from San Cristobal. Then we walk back to the ship via the old streets full of shops, food, and people. Everyone was so nice. AMAZING! I am a NewYorkRican so yes, I am Bias THE NEGATIVES: Muster Drill took almost 1 hour (guests must take some blame as many just ignored the request) Inside category room with 2 drop down bunks was a little tight for my wife, myself and 2 teenagers Main Dining Room Staff is efficient but not friendly. No small talk, no getting to know you, just take your order, bring your food and thanks for coming. Did not mind it much as we did not have to wait for a table on any night. But a little more friendly and interactive service would be nice. Pool Decks and Lounge chairs were always crowded and ‘reserved’ with towels and items. Not much of a bother for us as we did a lot of the “inside activities such as trivia, demos, etc. We also found some nice chairs in the Serenity Deck and also above the Havana Pool. Lunch Buffet selection was not great and small. Issue is they have 2 small buffet stations on each side of the Lido restaurant serving the same items. Again, this was not a big deal for us because we took advantage of the many FREE lunch options (see positives above) Grand Turk: Just a strip of beach overwhelmed with too many people from the ship. We walked all the way to the end and laid out in front of Jacks Shack where it was less crowded and the water had less seaweed. I did go out and snorkel by the pier, although pretty deep and clear, not much to see. I would prefer an overnight in Puerto Rico instead. Disembarkation - a NIGHTMARE first experiment with new system of guests going up to the LIDO deck and get their own luggage tag #s during the last night. By the time I got up there only #s 27-30 which were 9:00 – 10:00AM disembak. We got # 27 which was 9:00AM We did not get off the ship until 11:00AM. It was horrible. New Elevator System was a bit of a mess and I think increased wait times. But again it did not bother us as we walked up and down most of time from our 9th floor Cabin to 5th floor for many of the games and trivia SUMMARY: We had a great cruise. This was our 8th Carnival Cruise and it just works for us. We did RCCL Allure last year and for us Carnival is much better value. The price, FREE dining options, and Entertainment, the Free useful App. I feel RCCL nickels and dimes you for everything. Also, the RCCL staff was not very friendly and arrogant on Allure. We have also done Princess, MSC and Norwegian but we are Carnivalers cruisers. I feel Carnival tries hard t is not just about the $. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I am an experienced cruiser. I have taken RCCL, Norwegian, and Princess. I am Gold with Carnival. This would be my 6th Cruise with Carnival. We are a group of 30-celebrating a rare feat these days-my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We ... Read More
I am an experienced cruiser. I have taken RCCL, Norwegian, and Princess. I am Gold with Carnival. This would be my 6th Cruise with Carnival. We are a group of 30-celebrating a rare feat these days-my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We were all excited to be boarding the brand new Horizon. We did have hesitation due in part to the negative reviews we have read but we all went with an open mind and a discerning mind. I truly am disappointed in Carnival for the ship's layout, the lack of attention to the customer's needs, the poor design of the ship, and the relatively high cost to sail a very short and less detailed itinerary. Yes, I understand that I chose this ship and it only affirms my belief that I was going to have the "vacation of a lifetime" as it is so proudly promised and advertised by the Carnival Corporation. Before I get into specifics, let me just reiterate why Carnival should be ashamed of themselves. A less than appetizing Lido Buffet, very small and not practical pools, a very small Serenity area with no pool, lack of security presence, lack of safety precautions, no attention to the size of a lounge or showroom for a ship holding more than 5,000 passengers and a debarkation system which was hard to comprehend. Now I will go into more detail-listing the pro's of the ship first because there were positives. PROS- -The embark was quite possibly the best I have ever experienced on a cruise. We arrived to the port short of 1230 pm with a 130 embark and were on ship at 1pm-less than 30 minute process. Congrats to that staff. -My balcony cabin on the 10th deck was both roomy, clean, and with enough storage space to fit us comfortably. -The Dining Service in Reflections was outstanding. We were a group of nearly 30 people-children, seniors , and adults. We ordered multiple entrees and appetizers every evening and never felt a wait for any item. Jose and Head Waiter Roger made our vacation bearable. -The Specialty Restaurants-Italian and Steakhouse were worth the extra cost. We also did the Chefs Table and found that experience completely awesome I am disappointed in that Carnival in my opinion, fails to design a ship that takes into consideration the paying customer's needs. For example- lack of restrooms close by to the dining venues, the casino venue and lounge venue. Restrooms that were consistently dirty and without soap or paper towel. Restrooms that did not include a baby changing station. Shame on Carnival. This does not constitute the "perfect vacation" or "ultimate vacation experience" that I was promised. I am disappointed in that Carnival would short-staff a brand new ship-charging vacationers thousands of hard earned dollars to wait in line for overpriced fried seafood (Seafood Shack), overpriced Coffee, overpriced Pictures that were being pushed every evening and with every jam packed walk down an "open " corridor. Shame on Carnival. This does not constitute the "perfect vacation" or the "ultimate vacation experience" that I was promised. I am disappointed in that Carnival would not best protect its paying customers with a both responsive and visible security force. This ship was jammed with unruly teenage mobs (both girls and boys) who could be seen defecating in the hallways and pools. They were also free to roam the decks at any time of the day or night holding a booming stereo and smoking weed freely in front of other family's. This made for both an unpleasant and unsafe cruising experience. There was no quiet time or lock down time for these passengers either. They would be up and about or causing havoc in their cabins well into the early morning hours disturbing all around them. Shame on Carnival. This does not constitute the "perfect vacation" or the "ultimate vacation experience" that I was promised. I am disappointed in that Carnival would overcharge paying customers for simplicity's previously found. For example- 15.00 to open a bottle of wine that you are already over - charging 25% to purchase on board. Advertising a final bingo prize of 5000 and ultimately paying out just 615.00 that was split multiple ways? Room service items for 5.00 a pop? Shame on Carnival. Shame. This does not constitute the "perfect vacation" or the "ultimate vacation experience" that I was promised. I do realize that there is no control over another passenger's behavior or demeanor while on board but whatever happened to controlling yourself or showing respect to others? Cursing customers, threatening other cruisers or employees with their words or their demeanor. I felt like I was amongst wild tameless animals. I could never relax at the lounge for it was never comfortable -jam packed and no open seating. I did arrive nearly 15-20 minutes prior to a given showtime. I never spent time in a hot tub as they were always filled with kids or packed to the rim with fellow adults. We never went to the pools as they were too small to accomodate the packed ship. These are all design flaws. Shame on Carnival. This does not constitute the "perfect vacation" or the "ultimate vacation experience" that I was promised. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
My party of 11 sailed from NY on Aug 20-28. It’s been over 10 years we did not sail Carnival and had hoped for a great vacation keeping in mind it’s Carnival newest biggest ship. Sad to say we were very disappointed!!!! There were a ... Read More
My party of 11 sailed from NY on Aug 20-28. It’s been over 10 years we did not sail Carnival and had hoped for a great vacation keeping in mind it’s Carnival newest biggest ship. Sad to say we were very disappointed!!!! There were a few highs and lots of lows about the ship. Let’s start with the Highs. Embarkation was the BEST ever! It was very well planned/organized. None of the other lines is as easy as this. LOOOVEEEE it! Keep up the good work. Our Dining room staff was very friendly. We had the late dinner in the Reflections Restaurant and our head waiter, Michael was truly a terrific guy. His assistant Alex and Rosalyn too were great! Our cabin steward -Ike (Ikonomo- Sorry about the spelling of his name) is truly remarkable. He kept our room tidy and clean at all times. Very accommodating to my late risers. Dinner at Cucina del Capitano (the Italian Restaurant) was DELICOUS!!! The garlic bread…OMG was good! Service was excellent! Dinner at JI Ji Asian Kitchen-I personally did not eat here, but 2 of my grown kids did and said it was “REALLY REALLY GOOD!!! Great service too! Lows The Cheers (drink package) – 2 NO NOs on this! a. What good is a drink package if you cannot use it the very first day on the ship. Vacation for me started as soon as I boarded the ship! Some members of my party had to spend extra $ just to have a drink that afternoon. b. Then, why do I have to buy a drink package if I DO NOT drink, but my husband does! Just not right! The food on the Lido deck(Marketplace) was very limited – not much choices The Marketplace (Lido deck) floor was VERY slippery. The tiles were beautiful but not functional for a heavy traffic area. The Photo gallery - a total rip off! Not much choices about packages. And yes, I am comparing this to other rival ships. For instance, I was able to purchase ALL photos for a reasonable price on the other ships. Casino – very limited area...way too small for 5000 people! I am not a gambler but would have loved to have seen more slot machines and table games. The Casino should have a smoking and non-smoking area. The area is too small and confined. No matter where I sat someone is always smoking! And this is a turn off for nonsmokers. Dining - If I am going to dinner in a restaurant, I would expect to have it set up beautifully…this means having a table cloth EVERY night! Not just on the Captain nights. What a disappointment! If I’m taking the time to get dressed to come to dinner at a restaurant, let it be worth it! If not I could have just as well to have gone to the lido deck and have my dinner there. The standards have dropped considerably!! The food in the Reflections dining room is mediocre. When my 21-25 years old family members commented on this, I knew it was bad! Young ones of that age are usually less picky!!! The foods were tasteless. The smell of marijuana in the hallways- I know Carnival can’t control this, but people you can! The rowdiness of the passengers – have some decorum people! Treat the ship as a great resort vacation! It certainly is not cheap vacation! I hated writing this review, but i wanted others to know what to expect. This was my last vacation with Carnival! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I normally don’t write reviews or complain but this cruise is so bad I felt the need to warn others before spending your hard earned money. We are currently on the Horizon that sailed out of NY on 8/20/18. I am so disgusted with this ... Read More
I normally don’t write reviews or complain but this cruise is so bad I felt the need to warn others before spending your hard earned money. We are currently on the Horizon that sailed out of NY on 8/20/18. I am so disgusted with this cruise that I took the time to write this review while currently on board. I will start with the few positives first. We are staying in the family harbor suites. Then suite is nice and roomy. I will say having the small tub/shower and being 6’3 made taking a shower a lot easier than using the small shower in the main bathroom. Our cabin stew Marco is outstanding and very friendly. The one drawback on being deck 2 with the balcony, you need to be mindful of what’s happening above you. Several times I was sitting out on the balcony and got soaked from the staff washing something. I called several times and complained and all I got was a rude head of housing keeping saying he will look into it. The family room is nice to grab something quick before heading off the ship, and the snacks throughout the day are a nice touch. Bonsai Sushi was very good, so was guys pig and anchor. This is where the positives end. This cruise has 4 sea days and you are lucky to get a chair anywhere on the boat during those days. The Lido desk is near impossible unless you are there before 10am. The serenity deck is the same situation. Forget getting into any hot tub or pool. Unless you like being crammed in like sardines. We had the late dinning midship and first impressions the tables are very small and tight. The wait staff seems very inexperienced and not friendly. They never asked once what we wanted to drink, how we would like our steaks prepared and the food came out warm at best. As many have stated the lines at the egg station, guys burger joint, burrito bar and pizza are at least a good half hour to 45 mins. The buffet had limited choices and nothing overly kid friendly say like chicken fingers and maybe mac and cheese. The one time I found them it was for the kids club only. The food is just generally not good over salted and dry. I am very disappointed with this cruise and after taking six Carnival cruises this will be my last. After speaking with several other guests we happen to meet along the way all agreed. I know Carnival won’t do anything but we all plan on sending letters after this cruise. Save your money and look elsewhere. Carnival managed to screw up a perfectly brand new boat. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
As a first time cruiser on Carnival(been on Norweigan, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity), i wasn't sure what to expect but I was a bit nervous going on the ship after the reviews I read. I will break the review into pros and cons. With ... Read More
As a first time cruiser on Carnival(been on Norweigan, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity), i wasn't sure what to expect but I was a bit nervous going on the ship after the reviews I read. I will break the review into pros and cons. With that being said, I think I am done with Carnival for the reasons I will list below. Pros 1. Nice ship- ship is a nice big ship with a modern look. Nice looking pools, water park, and decks are all in good shape. 2. Entertainment- shows were excellent and comedians were pretty good as well. The entertainment staff was some of the best in the industry and Cruise Director, Ryan Rhodes, was sensational. 3. Food- good food every day but not the same as other ships. Pig and anchor is a cant miss for lunch. 4. Stewards- our steward, windu, was great and despite leaving our tiny cabin for 4 a mess, windu made a room presentable with a smile everyday. Cons 1. People- I do not consider myself super classy or high end however the type of cruisers on this ship were as low class as you could get on a cruise. The type of attitude, dirty looks, yelling and screaming, and overall ghetto attitude was not my cup of tea. 2. Numbers- way , way, way too many people on the ship. Ship was big but not 5000 people big. Could barely get into the pool which were tiny, even compared to other ships. Anywhere you went it was super busy. Lines for food, shows, clubs and everything... 3. Getting off the ship- was supposed to be in the early departure however left an hour later. 4. Nothing for free- the only thing carnival gives you is the free space in bingo. Didn't take the booze program which applies to everyone in the cabin, even if they dont drink, so I got my own booze. Super sugary with little booze. Bartenders were not super friendly either maybe due to the droves a people. An absolute fortune. Specialty restaurants were good but why pay so much when the cruise itself was a small fortune. Paid 160 bucks for 5 people at hibachi. I would rate Norwegian better due to the options they give you and Royal Caribbean is miles apart from Carnival. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We had a great time on this cruise and I would sail on the same ship again. That being said, it was imperfect. I thought the staff on the ship was great. By the pool a waitress asked if I wanted a drink, suggested a drink, brought it ... Read More
We had a great time on this cruise and I would sail on the same ship again. That being said, it was imperfect. I thought the staff on the ship was great. By the pool a waitress asked if I wanted a drink, suggested a drink, brought it quickly, and later remembered what I'd had and corrected the number when I accidentally gave her one of the kids cards. The drinks were sufficiently strong. I mostly drank the wine I brought from home on the cruise but we're not big drinkers. If you need anything from the front desk you have to go in person. They never pick up the phone no matter how long you hold. I tried calling 4 times while on the ship. The lines weren't long in person. None of the little items I lost on the ship were ever turned in, that speaks to the guests rather than the staff. We got a massage package that was deeply discounted if you got 3 massages. Mel (a woman) gave me all my massages and I was very happy with her. She had strong hands, followed my cue on how much chatting to do, was very warm and personable, and never tweaked my back nor did I have to tell her to stop doing anything, which I commonly have to do with other massages. I was even a little late one day because I got the time wrong and she let me have the full massage time because she didn't have another booking afterwards. The buffet was sub par. It seemed like they were phasing it out that style of service. On Princess, Costa, MSC, Norwegian, and previously on Carnival there were full buffets with lots of things to try, this buffet had maybe ten things. The food tasted good but we wound up going to the dining room with the kids every night because it seemed like there was more variety there. Also if you wanted a sandwich, hamburger, or hotdog from the buffet area there were long waits. There was never much variety of fruits at the buffet, I never saw a berry or a grape. There were some delicious and beautiful cakes at lunch that you had to wait on line to get but then at dinner there would be pre-cut sheet cakes with flavors I didn't find appealing. My guess is that they prefer for people to eat in the dining rooms. My general sense of the ship is that they added bedrooms without providing much additional living space. As a result the main lobby/atrium was tiny. When there was live music they played from a higher floor while the chairs were downstairs and you had to look up. It was odd. Despite being the biggest ship I've ever been on there didn't seem to be more musicians, bars, or events. The kids didn't want to go to camp. The camp however looked pretty fun with lots of high energy activities like a DJ guiding them in dancing, art projects, toys to play with, two playgrounds that were open to the ship when the camp wasn't using them. There was no real nap area however so we had to watch the kids nap in our room. There were a couple of cushions for resting but the counselors said the kids would have to ask to nap, that they don't really do that and there was no quiet area. The waiting area for camp could be a nicer play area if they added a few toys that weren't just for babies. The toddler area seemed more geared to 2 year olds than 5 year olds. On the positive side, there was a large staff and my allergy kid never had a problem. A special call out to Kai Kai here, she was a manager and she and her staff always made special efforts to help my kids separate and join in the fun, even when they didn't want to. The camp seemed pretty good as these things go. People were nice about the kids being in the pools. Early morning the pools were fun, by noon they were pretty packed. The hot tubs allowed children and other passengers were very tolerant. My kids loved the recreation area that included extensive miniature golf with no wait, corn hole, ping pong, soccer pool, and foozball. My oldest wasn't big enough for the big water slides but there was a small one that he was briefly interested in. The splash area is nice but I was glad my kids were potty trained and could use the pools. The lifeguards aren't paying any attention and seem to wander off and speak to anyone who comes by. Watch your kids in these crowded pools. One really nice thing we did was watching a movie while we swam after dinner. There was also a 4D movie experience but it scared my gentle 4 year old and we left early. One day we went to a parade that wound up being more than that with an interactive show, we didn't follow the schedule much so there might have been more like that. The character breakfast was inexpensive and nice. It seemed undersold. It was the first time it was offered that they would make special food for my son with allergies. I wish someone from the cruise would have reached out to me earlier in the cruise about accommodating him before that point I just guessed at which foods would be safe -- the ship has some serious nut cross contamination at the salad bar. Most of the dried pasta on the cruise had egg in it, to the disappointment of my son. He ate a lot of french fries over the course of the week, so much so that I'm not sure it's his favorite food anymore. There are only two teppanyaki tables, explaining why it's so hard to get a reservation. I joined the waitlist before we cruised and managed to go. It was excellent though the upcharge is high at $25-30 per person depending what you order and I even had to pay that for each of my toddlers. We went to the mongolian grill restaurant at lunch when there was no upcharge and they served a bowl of noodles mixed with stir fried meats and vegetable of your choice. It was tasty but underwhelming as a restaurant. It's located above the buffet so I just ran downstairs to grab lunch for my son which he ate along with us. At Turks and Caicos we went to the beach that was walking distance from the dock. We paid $25 for two chairs and an umbrella in the front row. The water happened to be dirty with seaweed when we went. I'm told that it's normally clear. We had a great time and I loved that we were so close to the ship. Another ship docked as we wanted to leave and they wouldn't let us back onto the dock and we had to wait at least ten minutes, if I had known this was going to happen I just would have left a few minutes earlier, this was incredibly frustrating feeling trapped. We stayed on the ship in San Juan. In the Dominican Republic we did the ship excursion to Ocean World and loved it. It was a short drive. We saw some water shows (come a bit early if you want to sit). We got to hold some macaws and have other small birds land on us.There's a different show every half hour but if you skip a show you can see the rest of the park without walking in a crowd. At the end of the park is a small, calm beach where we had an absolutely great time swimming, they provided toddler life jackets. I bought beers for $3 and popsicles for $2. It was heaven. This excursion would likely be dull to adults but it couldn't have been more perfect for my 2 and 4 year olds. Not too big, we didn't see everything but we saw enough. I'd happily go again. Honestly I loved this trip. We were busy. The kids were happy. The crew was helpful and warm. I liked the ports. I'd do it again in a second. I'd probably even book the same room. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Recently sailed the Horizon and it truly was an amazing vacation. The embarkation from NY was fast. We were on in 15 minutes. I had priority boarding since I booked a Suite and my room was also ready. My son had a balcony, however they ... Read More
Recently sailed the Horizon and it truly was an amazing vacation. The embarkation from NY was fast. We were on in 15 minutes. I had priority boarding since I booked a Suite and my room was also ready. My son had a balcony, however they allowed him to board with me.  The ship is simply beautiful and very clean. Our room steward Silvana was top notch. She took great care of us. We didnt have to ask for anything. She brought robes, slippers, extra towels and blankets, buckets of ice everyday ( the room was very cold, but I didn't complain).  We requested service once a day, but she serviced our cabins twice a day.  She addressed all of us by name everytime we encountered her including her seeing us in PR on the street.  The MDR staff...our waiters Erik and Wijana were amazing. We ate Seaday Brunch and breakfast on port days there. Food was delicious and plentiful. We rarely ate in Lido... the food there is terrible. We tried Bonsai Teppanyaki, Cucina, and Guys Smokehouse & Brewery for dinner...all great service and well worth the added expense. For lunch we ate at the Deli, Mongolian Wok, Seafood Shack and Bonsai Sushi. We didn't purchase Cheers,  however we preordered water, soda, beer and wine for our cabins. I had a total of $980 in gift cards and OBC so I walked off the ship owing nothing. The pools were over run by kids daily. We waited until after 7 to visit the Havana Area. Quiet and we enjoyed ourselves. The chair hogs were out in full force everyday. Same people, hogging the same chairs. Carnival should address this issue. The smart elevators worked great when we took them..no long wait at all. The lines for food were never long except at Mongolian Wok which turned us away one day because they were at capacity. Lots of great entertainment so there's always something to do. The sports square was a lot of fun. In tge last sea day we rode the Sky Ride. It was cool. If you love music, be sure to go see Crushed Velvet and the Brass Band in Ocean Plaza. I spent a lot of time there. I loved the new Pixel Gallery. Simple to purchase and you can view your photos from the Hub App. We chose Your Time Dining. We checked in before we arrived and our table was ready in 5 minutes. Overall this trip was wonderful. I would certainly cruise the Horizon again, but not from NY ( if it was staying). My two complaints were the smoking on the balcony...cigarettes and weed. I could smell it from my cabin and it wasn't plesant. In addition, there seemed to be a lot of folks with no class on the ship. Witnessed arguments and a fight. I'm not accustomed to that behavior so it was a bit shocking. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I had very high expectations for this ship before I boarded. Considering it was brand new (only 4 months old when we sailed) and all of the bells and whistles that were advertised, I knew this would be a fantastic vacation. I was wrong. I ... Read More
I had very high expectations for this ship before I boarded. Considering it was brand new (only 4 months old when we sailed) and all of the bells and whistles that were advertised, I knew this would be a fantastic vacation. I was wrong. I was traveling with 9 people-5 adults and 4 children in 3 different cabins. The embarkation process was super easy and organized. I was happy with this as we all know how difficult it can be rounding up large groups of people and especially children. The service was awesome as well. Everyone on board was friendly and helpful. We loved the cruise director Mike and his team. They were funny, personable and engaging. The food was great and the head waiter Gus at the Reflections Restaurant was very good. He remembered our names when we saw him the next day after meeting us just one time the night before. Now the downside...this ship wasn't clean. Everytime I went into a restroom in a public area there was toilet paper on the floor, water all over the sink and an awful smell. There was dirt built up in the corner like it had never been cleaned. Again this ship wasn't that old so I'm not sure how this happened. We would walk down the hall any time of day and find dirty dishes outside the cabins which wouldn't be a problem except we would go back down the hall hours later and it was still there. When trying to find a place to eat at the buffet, there were always dirty dishes piled on abandoned tables. I've been on multiple cruises/cruise lines and never experienced this before. I also thought there would be more for the kids to do. There weren't many activities for the kids that didn't cost money. The IMAX theater, thrill theater and arcade were all very expensive. Overall it was a good time. If you do choose this ship, just be sure to lower your expectations and you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I love the layout and amenities of the new ship, Horizon, the indoor and outdoor spaces were great. My problem was with the food and staff. The free food was horrible. Very few options, low quality. If you don't pay for your ... Read More
I love the layout and amenities of the new ship, Horizon, the indoor and outdoor spaces were great. My problem was with the food and staff. The free food was horrible. Very few options, low quality. If you don't pay for your food, you will not be happy. Very little or poor quality alcohol in drinks. The staff was mostly not helpful and did not take any extra steps for you. For example, I arrived early at the dining hall for breakfast. I was told they didn't open until 8:30. That was it. Staff could have told me where my other options were if I wanted to eat immediately and not wait. This is one of many such examples. There was only one show, the staff show. Carnival takes nickel and diming to new heights by charging $5 to use the on ship app. After paying for the cruise, I find this additional charge insulting, it should be a free courtesy. The bingo was on paper, no tablets??? New ships or not NCL and Royal have Carnival beat in every area. My only plus was my room in the beautiful Havana Cabana area. Very exclusive, the only thing that made the cruise bareable, seriously. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I did not have high expectations of Carnival as I had read too many bad reviews regarding this line but I was pleasantly surprised at the experience. Yes, it is a party ship. It's known as the FUN ship for a reason. If you're ... Read More
I did not have high expectations of Carnival as I had read too many bad reviews regarding this line but I was pleasantly surprised at the experience. Yes, it is a party ship. It's known as the FUN ship for a reason. If you're looking for quiet, there are places to go on the ship to get that, you just have to find them. CABIN - We divided our family of 5 into two interior rooms. The rooms are not that important to us as we hardly spend any time in them. They are small but didn't bother us as we're not big people but if you are on the larger side, they will feel very small. Housekeeping is lovely. FOOD - There were good things and bad things about the food. If you've cruised before, you'll be disappointed at the lack of choice at the buffet. They have separated stations into restaurants. So no pizza at the buffet, you'll need to go to Pizza place at back of ship. No hamburgers at lunch, you need to go to Guy's Burger joint (highly recommended). There is no pasta at the buffet, they want you to go to Italian restaurant. And there's no international station, they have Asian restaurants to take care of that. All of these are free at lunch, but not at dinner. Lunch had amazing cakes for dessert but they were absent at dinner buffet which is disappointing. We never ate in the main dining room because our kids wouldn't sit through that. We also noticed that they served basically the same food at the buffet with the exception of the special menu like lobster or escargot. Breakfast at Seaday Brunch is amazing, a step up from the breakfast buffet. Pizzas at back of ship are delicious too but line can be long. Overall, it was good food but some may find lack of choice at buffet a turn off. It does waste less food. I've found other cruises tend to recycle the leftover food for the next meal. ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS - Our kids loved SkyRide, SkyCourse and the SportsSquare. There can be a long wait for SkyRide so do it as soon as you can or just before it closes. Beware that if it's too windy, they'll close it, along with the SkyCourse. My kids loved the Clubhouse which had ping pong, soccer billiards and a 6 player foosball. We paid for the Thrill Theater which was okay, a little short (13 min.) but we had onboard credit. We also watched the Imax movie. Think they should reduce the price from $12.95 to $10 to encourage more people to go. My kids loved the outdoor evening movies with free popcorn. That was really nice. Sometimes hard to find a seat so go early or go halfway into movie as people tend to leave. Pools are warm which is nice. Pool at back of ship is less busy but they are both small for how many people are on board. Only two hot tubs for families are at the back of the ship and they are small. Note that both pools are salt water. Googles are recommended or it stings little ones eyes. Waterworks was a lot of fun for kids but could use more space for parents to sit. Waterslides were a bit of a wait but kids didn't mind too much. Warning that they will close if it's too windy. Both Waterworks and SkyRide/SkyCourse tended to close at 6pm. We didn't enroll our kids in the kids club as they were happy to stay with us. Our two older kids (13 & 16) are too shy to go to teen club. ADULTS - Serenity, the adults-only section is not really serene at all. It's just a big party place for adults. If you're looking for quiet, you're better off going to 5th floor outside which have loungers. Dislike that there's smoking in the casino and on some decks near the pool. Entertainment at night was good. Hasbro game show is really fun for kids. Comedians were just okay. Musicians on board were great, really talented. Elevators need work. For some reason, you push a floor and even though 7 elevators look free, it chooses the elevator that's already going to 4 other floors. I don't take them often, but we were on floor 3 and lido deck is on 10. Ship layout takes some getting used to. Some decks don't allow you to go from end to end because of the IMAX theatre which blocks it. That could've been designed better. Even arcade and Circle C club are somewhat hidden. There aren't a lot of onboard shops which was different from other ships. They also have strange hours. Our only Port was Bermuda. Highly recommend the Crystal Caves. We went to Horseshoe Bay beach. Beautiful pink sand with very few pebbles. If you're up to it, you can climb the rock mountain by the bar for a beautiful view of the beach. Beach umbrella and two loungers was $45 to rent. There's no shade otherwise and it was quite hot. There are food and beverage huts and bathroom with showers. We've been to Bermuda before so we knew we could take public transit to get to Horseshoe Bay. It's $9 roundtrip on the bus, $5 for kids. I saw transfers at dock for $7 per person each way, $14 roundtrip. So this was cheaper but more crowded. Bus only comes every 30 minutes too. Overall I really liked Carnival and as the Horizon is the newest ship, it was very beautiful and clean. There was a lot for kids to do and a lot of great food and drink options, all of which were reasonably priced. I would consider doing Carnival again if I was bringing my kids. If only traveling with my husband, I would probably not as seeing all the kids would make me feel guilty for not bringing mine. I wouldn't recommend Carnival too if you're just traveling as a couple. Celebrity or Holland America would be better. Royal Caribbean is good for older kids. Other option for families is Norwegian but I think Horizon beats them. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Let me just start by mentioning that we've been on 7 other cruises with various cruise lines including Carnival. I would have never booked this trip peak season at such a high price except that my husband had very little vacation time ... Read More
Let me just start by mentioning that we've been on 7 other cruises with various cruise lines including Carnival. I would have never booked this trip peak season at such a high price except that my husband had very little vacation time and was flying out of JFK airport the day we arrived back at the Manhattan cruise terminal. In other words, this was the only cruise that would allow for us to leave from a local port, and for my husband to catch his flight on time. I was concerned about the high cost of this short cruise and the negative reviews in which I had read. I had prepared my family for gross food and an overcrowded ship in advance based on what I had read. However, we were pleasantly surprised and had a good trip. Population: We cruised with a very culturally diverse group of passengers most of which were families of all different age ranges. There weren't too many young babies probably due to the high cost. Most passengers were respectful of others and fun to be around. Embarkation: You are assigned a specific time to arrive at the terminal. Parking at the Manhattan Cruise terminal was plentiful and we were on board about 20 minutes after arriving. In all of our years of cruising, we have never gotten on the ship so quickly. Cabin: We were on a sold out ship in balcony room 6277 which was nicely appointed with basic ammenities. Our balcony door made a loud squealing noise from the wind but this was fixed within 10 minutes of us calling the desk. We had prearranged a gift for our son which was damaged and it was replaced immediately after calling the front desk. The only downside about staying on the 6th floor is that you can hear the movies playing from IMAX theater and you can hear loud passengers on the 5th floor wrap around board walk. I would not recommend choosing this floor for these reasons. Our steward Abraham was amazing and met our needs without us ever asking for anything! Towel creatures were plentiful. Food: We were assigned to "anytime dining" and our sign and sail card told us where to go for our reservation. There was a desk in which we signed in and waited with a pager for our table to be ready. We never had a wait except on lobster night when it was about 20 minutes. Food in the main dining room was typical cruise ship quality and the service was good. Specifically Vlad and his assistant were efficient and professional. There will always be the parents who allow their kids to scream and cry in the dining room but this is out of Carnival's control. The Lido deck buffet food is okay and typical for a cruise line however the choices are lacking and as other cruisers have mentioned, if you are dieting, have food allergies, or are vegetarian, you might have trouble finding a suitable meal. There are way too many processed food options on this ship but these items seemed to be a huge hit among cruisers. The Pig and Anchor is free at lunch and delicious. There is also a burger joint, taco bar, sandwhich station, and pizza place which are all excellent however have 15-30 minute lines on average during peak times. They are all open only at specific times with the pizza place being open around the clock. I recommend utilizing alternative options to the Lido buffet at non peak times. Soft serve ice cream is available around the clock. You can also eat breakfast in the main dining room which was wonderful. Antonio was our amazing waiter and we had wished we had eaten there every day rather than just the last day. It's quieter and the food is much better than the Lido. Service: Service in general was fantastic with staff always willing to help. While on the slides, a male worker saw me carrying up 2 tubes and took one to assist me. A female worker on Lido notived by tag and bra hanging out and fixed them for me. Our room steward was friendly and attentive. Sadu in the photo studio was extremely helpful. Once at that pizza parlor, my 7 year old spilled 1/2 of his pizza on the ground. A female worker immedately came to our assitance and offered to get him fresh pizza. I cannot say enough for the entire hard working staff on this ship. As far as service, you will not be dissapointed! Entertainment/Gym: I used the gym at 0800 and while busy, machines were plentiful. There is a huge sports deck that is the main hub. The water park is great if you catch it off peak. Otherwise it becomes so overcrowded that it's really not enjoyable. Pack your suit and head right to it when you first get on. The slides are so fun! Watch out for the burning hot deck though! The sky bikes were always a 40-80 minute wait. They were closed our last sea day due to rain and wind as was the rope walk. The rope walk is great and typically the line is only a few minutes but we experienced major hold ups due to people becoming scared or unable to get across the course. Sometimes this would cause huge jam ups on the cat walks. There are only 2 family pools and hot tubs which are packed all day long. This was a great dissapointment for us as you can barely get into one. There seemed to be enough loungers despite the small pools. The games, mini golf, and ping pong are all fun and typically available without a wait. Children's camp: Our 7 year old went on 2 days and cried when we told him that he must eat so it must have been great! The process for checking in and out was extremely efficient and we rarely waited in a line. Port: We only ported once at bermuda and we did the restless native sail and snorkel. It was a nice excursion but we were slightly dissapointed with the snorkeling as we saw fish, but had higher expectations. Disembarkation: The process seemed to go smoothly but we decided to hang out on board until most cruises had departed. We enjoyed a breakfast in the main restaraunt and this was relaxing and wonderful. Overall: There are 2 reasons that I will only give this ship 4 stars. The first is the crowds and the second reason was the high price for a short cruise. I could have taken (2) 1 week long cruises for the same price it costed for us to go on the Horizon for 4 nights. However, Carnival does a pretty good job of systematically handling the 5000 people on board. Prepare yourself for some lines and plan your day around less busy times as you would a theme park or Disney land. Even on a sold out ship, we had great service and a wonderful time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose the Horizon because it was a brand new ship leaving from New York Which made it convenient to us. We had previously sailed on the Pride which we loved and the Sunshine which we liked almost as much as the Pride. Embarkation ... Read More
We chose the Horizon because it was a brand new ship leaving from New York Which made it convenient to us. We had previously sailed on the Pride which we loved and the Sunshine which we liked almost as much as the Pride. Embarkation went smoothly as did disembarkation. Luggage was taken immediately at curb and we moved continuously on to the ship. Disembarking was also organized and smooth. Ship: Although it is huge and brand new, we were not overly impressed. Upon entering the lobby we immediately noticed the lack of elegance. Later at the dining room we were surprised at the lack of décor. After having sailed with Carnival many times we expected much more. The sports deck was also located above the Italian Restaurant and because of the noise the courts are closed everyday from 5:30pm to 11:00pm. Such poor planning when there are so many young adults and kids that want to play basketball. I'd suggest dividing the court in half to 18+ and under 18 to give the younger kids a chance to play. The floors on the Lido deck are extremely slippery when wet. Many people slipped during the day, myself included. The air conditioning was another issue. Although our room was cool many people in my party complained that theirs wasn’t. Many common areas were warm especially the elevators and casino! The ship is clean, organized and looks beautiful from the outside, but overall, we were not impressed. I got the feeling that Carnival added more rooms to fit more people but didn't put much thought into the common areas of the ship. Cabin: We were in a balcony room on the 8th floor, room 8353. We liked our room. It was clean, comfortable and the balcony views were unbelievable. Surprisingly, for a brand new ship, rooms looked exactly like ones we have stayed in. In fact I think the showers were smaller than the Sunshine. Our beds were comfy and our room steward IPuto was wonderful! I highly recommend a balcony!! My aunt also had a Havana room which we went to look at and was definitely worth the extra $$ for the private pool area and aft balcony views. Dining: We were very pleased with dining. We loved the Tacos and Burrito Bowls from the Blue Iguana Cantina for lunch. Guys burgers also delicious! We realized on the last day that Guys Pig and Anchor was included for lunch,that buffet included pulled pork, fried chicken, beans and mac and cheese.All yummy! My husband and daughters also went to the Italian restaurant for lunch to order specific pasta dishes and thought it was great.The breakfast buffet was the same everyday but there were many options to choose from. We enjoyed dinner in the MDR for late seating each night and had no complaints about the food, I think Carnival stepped up their game in this area. We also enjoyed Fahrenheit Steakhouse for dinner one evening and we couldn't stop talking about it. Everyone in my party loved the food there. I highly recommend going there one night! We tried to book the Dr. Seuss breakfast which we have always attended but it was booked the morning of our second day. Entertainment/Activities We attended almost all the shows in the Liquid Lounge and loved all of them.The singers and dancers are very talented and entertaining! We also attended the comedy shows and they were funny, not hysterical. We went to the first bingo but never went back because there were more bad jokes and talking than actually playing the game. The hosts made attempts to be funny but just became irritating IMO. The ropes course and skyride were tons of fun. The pools are small and often but they served the purpose when I wanted to cool off. We also loved the Thrill Theater and Imax. The one area that needs fixing immediately are the basketball courts. They are closed from 5:30 until 11 pm each night. When they are open there are activities such as dodgeball planned only for 18+. It wasn't until the last day when they had a knockout tournament open for all ages. I'd suggest dividing the court in half to 18+ and under 18 to give the younger kids a chance to play. My son spent a lot of time trying to get in a game.....when it was actually open. Because of this he spent much more time in the game room then previous cruises and of course this cost me more money. Service: We were happy with the service for the most part. We loved the cruise director Mike, He was very energetic, friendly and entertaining. Our room steward was efficient as were our waiters and bartenders, always giving us anything we asked for. The only thing I felt was missing is the personal touch we have always had on a Carnival cruise. In the past our waiters talked to us each night, told jokes and got to know us and we them. This did not happen. My feeling is that they are tending to many more tables now and do not have the time for that extra touch. I missed that. Ports/Excursions: We had been to Grand Turks twice before and looked so forward to going again. The beach is beautiful but you need to walk down to Jack's Shack to get away from the crowds. We did feel the beach had become a lot more commercialized with boats and people selling water sports. The beach had a lot more seaweed than ever before not sure if that is because of recent storms but just something we took note of. We booked a banana boat trip for the kids. We used Papa J Tours. They had a boat for 12 and we paid 20$ per person in total $240. They boat left and was back in 5 minutes. I complained to the operator bt he just said that's what it is. So be sure to get a time amount before you pay! I felt like we had been ripped off. In Puerto Rico we enjoyed the shops and the streets of Old San Juan. There are little huts along the way with different items for sale. We stopped in Barrachina Restaurant for a delicious Pina Colada. Amber Cove: Unfortunately, as was told to us... due to a shallow port, lack of tugboats and mechanical failure we were unable to disembark. This was a low point of the trip. We were all so very disappointed and not looking forward to 3 full days at sea after expecting to be on a beautiful island all day. This was the one port we have never ben and looked so forward to going to. I understand things happen but this was an awful disappointment. I traveled with my husband and 3 children but we were part of a larger group of 40 family and friends.Although we made the best of it, this was not our favorite cruise. I am definitely taking a break from Carnival. I feel overall their goal was to get more people on the ship and in doing that they lost some of the things that made them great. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We just returned from an eight day trip on the new Carnival Horizon. I will try my best to give a fair assessment of our experience, with the hope that it helps others make an informed choice about their cruise options. I’ll start by ... Read More
We just returned from an eight day trip on the new Carnival Horizon. I will try my best to give a fair assessment of our experience, with the hope that it helps others make an informed choice about their cruise options. I’ll start by saying, this was our third cruise in the last four years. We’ve experienced Grandeur of the Seas (Royal Caribbean), Breakaway (Norwegian), and now, Carnival Horizon. This summer’s choice had to do with sailing on a new ship and location (NYC departure). My eleven year old liked the itinerary as well (Grand Turk, San Juan, and the Dominican Republic), so he had some level of influence. Below, I will share my summarized experience.... PROs: -a very simple process of getting on and off the ship -a helpful and pleasant staff (a shout out to our room steward...I putu, main dining room servers, Dedik & Costinel, and Blue Iguana employees, I putu (yes, same name) & So long) -the Cruise Director (Mike Pack), the entertainers (wonderful shows each night), activities staff (Edward, Bradley, Anthony, Adele, Carlos, Erin...put their heart and soul into their job) -cabins were great, our location was midship, 8th floor = perfect -Guy’s Burgers we’re out of this world, excellent Burritos at Blue Iguana, Nice Lunch buffet at Pig & Anchor, pasta & Asian options includes for lunch as well -prices for “extras” were reasonable....fancy coffees, shakes, fancy ice cream, excursions, alcoholic drinks (individually purchased) -24 hour pizza (and it was good), soft serve ice cream, and frozen yogurt -deli available most of the day for great sandwich’s -a clean ship -fairly new movies most nights on the pool deck....with popcorn! -AND the fantastic Carnival Hub App...a free download (without having to pay for WiFi). This app has each daily activities, account balances, can book excursions....so wonderful. CONs: -the Lido buffet had little variety, same food often repeated, and the basics for kids were non-existent (not kid friendly at all)...this surprised our family, as the other cruise ships had those things available everyday...there was a good salad bar though -the venues on the ship (main theater, for example) are poorly constructed (spacially) for the number of passengers (5000 on our trip) -elevators are not very efficient (see other reviews) -swimming pools are too small for the size of the ship -casino is midship on the 3rd floor and is 100% smoking....enough said And finally, my lingering issue: Our last port (Amber Cove, Dominican Republic) was canceled because the ship was having mechanical problems. We could see the dock, waited, and were them told the port was canceled. Obviously, excursions were refunded (logical). To compensate, Carnival gave each person a $50 onboard credit. To me, this was unreasonable for losing an entire stop and poor customer service. I went to the front desk the next day to ask for additional compensation. I was told (by a rather nasty employee), “it was the main office, you’ll have to call them when you get home”. I asked for a supervisor and they refused. Well...what was between a 4 and 5 star experience sunk to a 3. I’m not calling their main office. If the port was canceled because of weather or something that wasn’t Carnival’s fault, not a problem....but, the issue was mechanical. Back to Royal Carribean or Norwegian next time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
First of all i have cruised many many times and carnival is by far the worst. The food is by far the worst no selection in the buffet and the dinning room. Its all the same every day cheap food . The staff looks overworked and not happy ... Read More
First of all i have cruised many many times and carnival is by far the worst. The food is by far the worst no selection in the buffet and the dinning room. Its all the same every day cheap food . The staff looks overworked and not happy at all . Nobody requests you to wash your hands in the buffet as they are waiting for a severe health problem. Health issues seem no concern like all the other cruise lines show a concern for it. point 1 - food is horrible . Point 2- staff not happy. Point 3-no encourgement for quests to wash there hands. Point 4- carnival finds reasons to miss ports. point 5- for a new ship nothing special.point 6- it would be nice if the dj jazze would smile once it seems she hates being there. my true advise is save your money and cruise with royal, or norweigean . You will be much happier. i did have the opportunity to speak to many other guests and everyone felt the same . In all fairness i must give a shoutout to mike the cruise director and mr m who took care of our room . I feel they deserved that and am sorry they are stuck with carnival. Getting on and off the ship was fine and the cabins were fine . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We booked the carnival horizon, for the 8 day eastern caribbean trip to Grand Turk, san Juan, and Amber Cove. I want to start out by saying, don't let the negative Nancy's affect your experience on this ship. I must admit, i was ... Read More
We booked the carnival horizon, for the 8 day eastern caribbean trip to Grand Turk, san Juan, and Amber Cove. I want to start out by saying, don't let the negative Nancy's affect your experience on this ship. I must admit, i was a little bit worried about how my experience was going to be on this ship after hearing so many negative reviews, from this site right here. I've never written a review before, but I felt it was necessary considering Carnival Horizon is getting such a bad rep, for such an awesome ship. Embarkation wasn't completely perfect, we arrived late for our check in time, and it took a little bit longer to get on the boat than it should have, but that is no fault of carnival, debarkation was smooth, up until getting out of the pier, where waiting for a taxi was hell, but once agin not the fault of carnival. The ship is beautiful, upon entering we entered into the atrium, it is truly a magnificent design. We stayed on the second floor, in a deluxe ocean view, family harbor room. It's worth the extra penny, the family harbor lounge provides a place to play video games, watch movies that would normally cost money had they been ordered in room, and around 3, they serve snacks to fill your belly! Along with an ice cream machine, coffee machine and ice water machine. Unfortunately, i didn't take the time to dine at any of the specialty restaurants, but I must say, the food at the Meridian was excellent! Their steak, prime rib, grilled chicken, and other things are simply amazing.The Lido buffet, isn't anything to brag about I'll admit, but it's still taste good, and fills your belly. We scheduled the my time ding option, so unfortunately we didn't have one specific server throughout the duration of the cruise, I must say the ones we did have however, were on point. Shoutout to Henry, Erik, and those I can't remember, you guys were awesome! In the reviews saw a lot of people complaining about the line for pizza and burgers, but to be honest, i didn't expect any different, Its a boat with over 4,000 people, you think you're the only one who likes pizza? Our room steward was was very nice and helpful, my nephew who is is 10 has a bit of a bladder problem, so he was forced to clean urine soaked sheets more than once, however he did not complain, or he even screw up his face once, he didn't even seem surprised when i alerted him to the the sheets needing to be changed, I greatly appreciated that, because we have come across many people who who have not been so welcoming to his issue. The activities to do on the ship are endless, the sky ride, min golf, ping pong, group activities were all fun. I am an avid basketball player, so i was on the court a lot, theres always competition and people looking to play a pickup game, don't worry about bringing your own basketball, there are plenty provided.I didn't really get in the pool much because it is a saltwater pool, and my eyes do not react well when saltwater gets in there, even though i wasn't in the pool much, I did notice that a lot of people were on the Lido deck, and there seemed to be minimal deck chairs available, which once again is to be expected, considering the fact that there are 4,000 people on board, and on an especially hot/sunny day, most people want to enjoy the pool. A lot of the complaints I've heard were biased and no fault of Carnival. I read one person complain about noise from workers cleaning in the late hours, and while i can understand being annoyed to due to lack of sleep because of noise on your vacation, the deck has got to be cleaned at some point, and the wee hours of the night are the best times to do it, considering that there aren't nearly as many people roaming around during the daytime as there are at 3 in the morning. The fitness center was nice and spacious, as well as the sky fitness on the 12th deck. All in all, my carnival cruise was excellent, the only reason it did not get five stars was because we were forced to to skip the Amber Cove port, due to mechanical problems with docking, I was very disappointed considering that this was the place i wanted to see the most, carnival did however, credit us 70 dollars of onboard credit to our sign and sail account, which honestly isn't worth anything compared to missing a port, but I made sure myself and everyone in my party spent every dollar they credited us!which will no doubt be the source of many negative comments, on this site. Don't be afraid to take the trip on the Carnival Horizon, it's fun for the entire family, comedy shows for the adults, camp ocean/circle C/Club O2 for the children, and plenty of family fun to go around. Don't let the negative Nancy's ruin your vacation expectations. Enjoy your carnival trip! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We had an amazing time on the Carnival Horizon, I sailed with my husband and 2 children (7 & 10). Embarkation was a breeze, we arrived at the NY cruise port and within 15 minutes we were on the ship. We aren't priority either. ... Read More
We had an amazing time on the Carnival Horizon, I sailed with my husband and 2 children (7 & 10). Embarkation was a breeze, we arrived at the NY cruise port and within 15 minutes we were on the ship. We aren't priority either. The first day the elevators were slow, but after that we didn't have a problem with them. You select your floor at the kiosk screen near the elevator and it tells you what one to go to. Food in the dining room was Amazing. Food at the buffet is buffet food. We had food from the deli which was really good. Guys burgers are the BEST! We also had pizza, the wait wasn't too bad, but we also went and off times. The crew is friendly and helpful. Our room steward Wendall was fantastic! He was always talking to us and joking around with our kids. The cruise director Mike Pack is so energetic and fun, he never stops. We saw Vintage Pop, and loved it. We went to 2 family comedy shows and 1 adult comedy show and loved them. The Thrill Theater was fun and worth the extra charge. It was hard sometimes to get a chair at the pool or at the Dr. Seuss water park. We unfortunately didn't make it to Amber Cove due to propulsion issues. Though each person on the cruise received $50 on board credit (so that was $200 for our room) then we got our port fees and taxes back for Amber Cove. I did the Sky Course which was fun...my kids were afraid once they were up there. There were many things for the kids to do on the ship. My kids only went to Camp Ocean once, they aren't fond of it. They'd rather stay with us, but we needed at least one night out. Debarkation was easy and fast, we opted to carry off our own luggage. Going through customs was a breeze too. A Cruise is what you make it. Things go wrong and you don't always get your way, but remember you are on vacation, so relax and enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
First let me start off saying that this is NOT my first cruise #6 but this was my first time cruising on a Carnival Ship. There was at least 30 people in my party filled with family & friends of All ages. Many who only cruise ... Read More
First let me start off saying that this is NOT my first cruise #6 but this was my first time cruising on a Carnival Ship. There was at least 30 people in my party filled with family & friends of All ages. Many who only cruise with Carnival. We had a Great time enjoying each other's company & making the best out of our cruise. Now, with that said here's my overall review of Carnival Horizon: The Good: 1. I loved the Carnial App in was the best thing on the boat & it allowed us to keep up with each other on the ship. 2. Guy Fury's Burger Joint was by far the best food on the ship. The location sucked, because the lines blocks the entrance to the dining hall. There is not enough space for it where it is located. 3. Ehar our stewardship was the absolutely BEST! He handled the rooms on the lido deck fwd 10243 what a great guy! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Everything on the cruise was awesome except the food. The main dining room food was not good at all I did an 8 day cruise we ate in the main dining room 6 out of the 8 nights. The selection was not good the food came out cool or cold ... Read More
Everything on the cruise was awesome except the food. The main dining room food was not good at all I did an 8 day cruise we ate in the main dining room 6 out of the 8 nights. The selection was not good the food came out cool or cold never hot. I ordered the filet one night and could not eat it, it was tough cold and had no taste. That night my dinner was a salad and bread. Every night was the same food not good. The waiters and staff were very good. The buffet was ok at times most of the time the food was hot but pretty much the same thing every day. There was no variety at the dining room or buffet. There was also a problem on the ledo deck every day with groups of people playing there own music very loud. I did not go on a very expensive vacation to listen to loud nasty music. Security should walk around and stop this kind of behavior. Almost every day about 4 pm you could count on this music to start, and you would see people pack up and leave the ledo deck. This is not fair to your cruisers and should not be allowed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because it was a new ship. I was very concerned when I read the negative reviews but then i have been on many cruise lines and i have found that there will always be people who are never happy and tend to criticize ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a new ship. I was very concerned when I read the negative reviews but then i have been on many cruise lines and i have found that there will always be people who are never happy and tend to criticize everything, Embarkation was quick and easy. The comedy shows were very good. We saw many of the movies on deck at night time; I was pleasantly surprised at how new they were. We saw "The Greatest Showman", Avengers: Infinity War, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Pacific Rim: Uprising, etc. I did not buy the drink package but I always bought the daily special of the day which was at a discount price. The Latin music at the Havana Bar was very good. The only thing i was not too impressed with were the luncheons at Lido Buffet. Luckily, there were other places to go for lunvh; our favorite was Guy's Burger Joint. We had the 6 pm early dining - yes, the meals were smaller portions but you could always ask for more. I actually liked the smaller portions because it left room to order dessert and i also didn't leave feeling like i had over stuffed myself which is what typically happens on a cruise. I never had a problem with getting a lounge chair at the pool; granted, I am an early riser and thus there were lounge chairs available early in the day. We stayed in an Inside cabin on Deck 1 that had 2 bunk beds. I found our cabin to be spacious compared to other cabins on other cruise lines. I especially liked that there was a self-laundry room to wash clothes. We enjoyed the ports although the time spent at each one was short. We did a Snorkeling with power scooter and lunch excursion at Grand Turks through Carnival. We had a blast and I would highly recommend this excursion. We did a zip lining tour in Amber Cove. This was booked through Trip Advisor and was less expensive than the same excursion Carnival was offering. We decided to relax in San Juan and did not do any excursions. I did not find the new elevator system to be a problem; I feel that having read the prior reviews had prepared me in advance. There weren't too many retail stores to shop at and I found that to be disappointing. Disembarkation was a breeze. We walked off with our suitcases and called an Uber. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Traveled with family 26 total, 21 adults 5 children. We had a ball. Embarkation was smooth, moment we stepped foot on deck it was party time till we return back to our home port. There were so may activities throughout the ship for all ... Read More
Traveled with family 26 total, 21 adults 5 children. We had a ball. Embarkation was smooth, moment we stepped foot on deck it was party time till we return back to our home port. There were so may activities throughout the ship for all ages. Need down time? Plenty of places to relax read a book. Mike Pack the cruise director was awesome!!! He is the energizer bunny, so much energy!!!. The shows were like Broadway shows, comedians were great as well..the food OMG..so much of it.. Who ever complained about the food must be out of their mind.. There were so many different varieties to satisfy everyone and those burgers!!! Delicious.. Been on 15+ cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norweigan.. Carnival tops them all hands down as far as entertainment and having a good time The kids really enjoyed the sky ride, obstacle course,the slides & water park.. They even have a movie theatre.. Overall,had a wonderful vacation can't wait to book our next family vacation.. Of course only with Carnival the fun ship The ship was absolutely beautiful,crew was very friendly..HORIZON is the ship Want fun go withCarnival Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We have cruised Carnival before and have never been disappointed! It is a BIG ship and yes, there are A LOT of people, but the atmosphere is amazing. Getting a chair on deck 10 or 11 is trying and I gave up after day one. BUT.......heading ... Read More
We have cruised Carnival before and have never been disappointed! It is a BIG ship and yes, there are A LOT of people, but the atmosphere is amazing. Getting a chair on deck 10 or 11 is trying and I gave up after day one. BUT.......heading down to deck 5 was the best.....so many empty seats and a combination of sun and shade. Quiet too - so if you like to read - bring lots of books! My kids LOVED Camp Ocean and the staff in the club is fantastic. They were so awesome with my children! My kids hated leaving and couldn't wait to go everyday. The pools are indeed packed particularly on the sea days, but there is so much to do that I was never bored. We had nothing but great interactions with the Horizon staff. They were terrific! The comedy shows and entertainment in the Liquid Lounge were great. Can't wait to book my next cruise! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise as it is out of NYC, and had 3 great ports on the itinerary. We were a medium sized group, and not one of us has any complaints whatsoever. The ship is modern and beautiful. The staff were amazing and helpful and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it is out of NYC, and had 3 great ports on the itinerary. We were a medium sized group, and not one of us has any complaints whatsoever. The ship is modern and beautiful. The staff were amazing and helpful and always could be found. As for the food, the buffet was really good, we had lunch and dinner there a few times. The Asian, Italian and Pig and Anchor served delicious food for lunch (included) and we dined at the Italian at night and wow, what can I say, it was DELICIOUS and well worth the extra $15 per person. We enjoyed all the bar drinks, they are generous with the alcohol. As for the pool, yes it was small, but we were able to take a quick dip, and enjoyed the water park to cool off as well. It was challenging to find an open deck chair, but all we did was be PATIENT. We went to the bar next to the pool, got ourselves a yummy drink, and Gasp... we waited til a chair opened. Never an issue. As for the entertainment, there was a new show every night, and the dancing and singing was spectacular as was the stage sets WOW. We went to several comedy shows and never left disappointed. We did take advantage of the many activities offered throughout the day, including the fun trivia contests, movies on deck, bingo, crafts, and dancing lessons. All I can say is we had a great time, and are not really quite sure why other people seem to have so many issues when we had absolutely none! Would go again in a heart beat! It is what you make of it and we took advantage of everything they offered! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My daughter and husband told me about it so we went together great time food entertainment cruise director was the best if anybody wants to go on a cruise carnival horizon with Mike pack is the ship to go on we went on a eight day cruise ... Read More
My daughter and husband told me about it so we went together great time food entertainment cruise director was the best if anybody wants to go on a cruise carnival horizon with Mike pack is the ship to go on we went on a eight day cruise plenty of food great weather crew was where great but again mike the cruise director was the best, waiters,porters and mike's fun group cannot ask for a better time anybody that does not have a good it is there own fault went with 3 grand kids they also had a great time shows , l would love to see again looking to go again it took a little bit of time to find your way around but that was okay over 3900 people on ship and lines to me were not long all the people on board were to nice no trouble crew was there to help with anything you need Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I booked this trip over a year ago and was extremely excited to be sailing on Canrival's newest ship. This was my 7th cruise and 3rd on Carnival. I was traveling with a large group of family and friends, some of which were skeptical ... Read More
I booked this trip over a year ago and was extremely excited to be sailing on Canrival's newest ship. This was my 7th cruise and 3rd on Carnival. I was traveling with a large group of family and friends, some of which were skeptical to sail on Carnival. I convinced them that it would be a great experience because I had never had issues sailing on Carnival in the past. Boy was I wrong!!!!! I was extremely disappointed with SEVERAL aspects of this trip. However, I will start with the few PROs: Pros *Embarkation - was very efficient and quick. We arrived at the port within our appointment time and was on the ship within 15 minutes. Our staterooms were ready by the time we boarded and food was being served. *Decor/Design - the ship's decor is modern and welcoming. The design is ok. The pool area on the Lido deck is much smaller than on the Splendor and many of the speciality restaurants are small and can't accommodate many people. *Cabin - we had an aft balcony on the 9th deck. The beds were extremely comfortable (unfortunately, I didn't get much rest). Our cabin steward, Idewa, was amazing. He was extremely courteous, attentive and accommodated all of our requests. Cons: *Cabin - we paid extra money for the aft balcony at the back of the ship. Big mistake....for the extra money, we got a lot of extra noise and wasn't able to get a good night sleep not one night of the trip. The crew cleaned the Lido deck located above our room at the oddest times. The noise is so loud when they are moving the lounge chairs/tables and chairs around it awakens you from your sleep....it sounds like they are coming through the ceiling and they do it at the oddest times.....I had to call and make several complaints at 1am, 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am, 6am, etc..........I was so exhausted on most days, I had to nap during the afternoon or early evening. Each time I called to report the noise, a guest service rep would say that they've spoken to the supervisor and the noise should cease...that never happened. The noise occurred EVERY night and every morning on the ship. Secondly, for this to be a new ship, the mechanics are not designed well. When we would reach a port and the ship was docking.....not only was the noise extremely loud but the cabin would shake violently. It was disruptive and it was scary!!!! Lastly, the balcony doors slam extremely hard and loud. The noise from them slamming was continuous throughout the cruise. *Customer service - the service on the ship overall was POOR!!!!!! Our aft balcony provided us with access to the Havana area, however, whenever my children entered the area they were always told "this is a private area" despite the fact that they had on the access bands. Perhaps, the staff members weren't aware that African Americans could purchase cabins that included access to this part of the ship. If you had a question, no one seemed to be a able to provide an answer. If you asked 10 different people the same question, you got 10 different answers. We were a group of about 40...despite making dinner reservations 3 days in advance, no one in the Meridian dining room was able to get it correct and no one could seem to provide an answer as to who was in charge. We only planned to have dinner all together only ONE night to memorialize my grandmother's birthday. It was a nightmare!!! The staff didn't have the capacity, the common sense or the desire to accommodate us. Overall most of the staff members on the ship were not friendly, courteous or helpful. It didn't appear they were prepped well or have gotten used to serving the crowd capacity on a mega ship. Carnival, you must do better in this area!!!!! *Entertainment - this is supposed to be a "FUN" ship. For an 8 day cruise, I felt the itinerary was very scarce and redundant. There is no signature “Broadway-quality” production. There were no live bands in the pool area, unlike on other cruises where they will often feature reggae, steel drum or calypso music so that you feel like you’re at an island resort. The Fun Team appeared only once in a while. We were at sea for a total of 5 days and there were only 2 deck parties. *Food - the food at the buffet was subpar at best! There was no option for turkey bacon or turkey sausage at breakfast, the food selections were very limited, and the taste made much of the food undesirable. Guys Burger, the pizza, food at the deli and burrito bar were great but there was ALWAYS a long line! The shrimp and crab legs at the Seafood Shack were very salty. We ate at the specialty italian restaurant one evening and the food was pretty good there. When we boarded the ship after Grand Turks, there were only 3 complimentary food places available (not the buffet) and the lines were extremely long. This was absolutely UNACCEPTABLE! *Drinks - the bartenders and drinks at the Alchemy bar were amazing. Every where else, there was much to be desired! Most of our group purchased the $400+ drink package and was extremely disappointed in not being able to receive a decent cocktail. This experience was daunting!! I will not sail with Carnival again! Read Less
Carnival Horizon Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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