1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
For 50th Reunion I loved the Havana Experience Dining The dining room experience was the worst I have ever had. There were only tablecloths on the tables 2 night. You had to save your fork from your salad for your main course. ... Read More
For 50th Reunion I loved the Havana Experience Dining The dining room experience was the worst I have ever had. There were only tablecloths on the tables 2 night. You had to save your fork from your salad for your main course. I got a baked potato on several nights and it was hard. On lobster night the waiters did not remove the lobster from the shell like I have experienced on my past 38+ cruises. Your time dining was the worst. You had to go to deck 5 to get a table on deck 3 every night. On the one night we had a group dinner when we got the dining rooms the tables were not ready and caused us to eat a separate table. We were randomly invited to do a chef tasting at breakfast one morning. Now that was a treat. The only drawback was that after tasting everything we were not hungry for dinner. But if you get the chance take it. Entertainment Typical mediocre cruise ship entertainment. I guess I am spoiled by Royal. I did not like the layout of the main theater because of the poles The 3 D theater was fun but kind of hokey. Maybe the subject matter because it was Halloween. Embarkation and Debarkation was a breeze. Mainly because we are Diamond and had priority. Casino Very smokey in the entire Casino. Felt like I needed to burn my clothes when I got out. Since we had already been to the ports we only did one tour at the last minute in Cozumel. It was a good tour. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We just got off the Horizon - 9 days cruising from NYC.. The check-in was a breeze, Do not arrive earlier than your assigned check-in time. Try to plan to arrive right on time. We had a 1:30 p.m. check-in time, arrived at 1:20 and we ... Read More
We just got off the Horizon - 9 days cruising from NYC.. The check-in was a breeze, Do not arrive earlier than your assigned check-in time. Try to plan to arrive right on time. We had a 1:30 p.m. check-in time, arrived at 1:20 and we were on the ship by 1:50 p.m. make sure you do all your check in online. We could not believe with all the ppl checking in how organized they were. We got our bags in two hours to our room with no issues. The steward was right there when we came to our cabin and was so nice. Food was available the minute we got on board on the 10th floor, which was packed from the moment we got on. Our first night was spent in Meridian Resturant - we were a large group and we had any time dining on our card from 5:30 -9:30 when we arrived at the host stand at 7 pm. We were told we didn't have our table any longer we had to go one floor up and check in and wait for a table. THIS WAS very annoying the line was down the hall, and very unexpected.. the last thing you want to do on vacation was wait to be seated for an hour for dinner. Somehow we were able to get two tables b/c I complained and everyone sort of seemed confused that worked at the host and it worked in my favor. The food was ok in the Meridian, the service was good, except I ordered a btl of wine and was told they were out of that wine. That night when I was playing with my carnival app I was charged for four BTLS of the wine they were out of... which was $199 on my account.. which made them put another hold on my credit card right away. Guest services were VERY helpful with this overcharge and removed the wine that night from my account. The pool deck - let me just say if you like to lay and relax by a pool this cruise is not for you! There are NOT nearly enough lounge chairs for 200 people and the boat holds 3950 guests! It is packed, nowhere to sit nowhere to put your stuff just people everywhere near the pools, it is ANNOYING!! Carnival will put a sticker on your chair if you are up for 40 minutes they will remove your stuff from your chair, and let other guests sit. The pools are TINY like the smallest I have ever seen on a cruise ship, and if you think you can't get a pool chair good luck getting a little spot to cool off in the pool, it is packed!! The pools on every level are packed, water park packed.. just trust me it is VERY annoying to relax on this ship!!! We did find some quiet napping time on deck 5, which no one seemed to know about.. this floor is great during the afternoon for a glass of wine and a quiet hour. Dinners- book the restaurants that cost extra.. they were delish. It is annoying b/c you spend more $$ but worth it. We only ate the Meridian only 3 nights the rest at the paid locations. Make your reservations before you sail, you can always adjust the times once on the ship. Do the cheers package if you like to drink.. it is worth the money even if you don't drink the 15 dinks per day. The entertainment was good but almost too much! Every 30 minutes something is going on after 7 p.m. and you see people running to each location to make the shows and get a seat. The ship is PACKED and very crowded so not much time for downtime, just keep that in mind. I came back exhausted which should not be the case on a cruise! Overall we were impressed with how clean the ship was, you put your empty glass down it is cleaned in 2 minutes, the rooms were always clean and no issues at all. Leaving the ship - super organized and easy! Just choose the early time to leave, you get off the same time as the last time but it goes fast. We were off the ship by 10:15 and at our UBER by 10:30. If you have kids - Camp Ocean is the way to go! My kids wouldn't go as much as I would have liked b/c they were in two separate groups - BUT we were super impressed by how great the staff were! The camp was super organized and clean! Excursions - you are at the port for a VERY short time, it is very disappointing - Grand Turk - the beach was NOT great off the ship. We felt super unsafe and I wasn't going to pay to go to a beach for 3 hours, it was very disappointing. PR - NOTHING to do and was boring ( and you are at this port the longest) Amber Cove - Do the Dolphins that was worth your money. Pros of the Ship: very clean, good wine selections for the cheers program, cocktails were on point. Cabin stewards were great! Cruise Director and his staff were great! Cons: Super packed and not enough space for everyone. Long food lines, I never even tried a burger from Guys burger place b/c the line was always SO SO LONG! If you like to cruise this boat is, for you, it is a long 8 days!!! Enjoy! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our 7th Carnival cruise, have also done 9 Princess cruises, switched to Carnival when our son was born. Hitting the Breeze again in February 2019 but then probably done with Carnival. We had a great vacation. Cruises are ... Read More
This was our 7th Carnival cruise, have also done 9 Princess cruises, switched to Carnival when our son was born. Hitting the Breeze again in February 2019 but then probably done with Carnival. We had a great vacation. Cruises are forever the best value for your vacation dollar, and you can do whatever you want, when you want. The Horizon is really nice, big, beautiful, new. Frankly, though, it was like a new Doubletree hotel....nice, new, but in a couple of years, it's going to look really beat up. Didn't see much in the way of the usual quality workmanship you are accustomed to in ships. Felt Target-y. Already after 2 months carpets in the main areas are worn. It's understaffed, sorry to say Carnival, and so it's not getting the regular cleaning and maintenance it's going to need. And finally, for a new ship, it just wasn't working right. AC in our room worked only half the time....we and many other rooms complained to Guest Services regularly, they finally came and drained the coolant system for our room on the 3rd day for it to work, but it never got working fully. Our sliding door howled for 3 days before they came and fixed that. Mistakes in build...our friends had a Family Harbor Suite on the second floor that was beautiful, but was RIGHT BELOW the dishwashing area where all night and early morning they are loudly washing dishes...ultimately our friends had to move to a new room and get some money back...they couldn't sleep there, and others were complaining too. The much written about elevators are actually better than what people say....when it's not a busy time they work beautifully. However when it's busy, like during dinner, you could wait 10 to 15 minutes. I had read a lot of articles about the build of the ship while it was occurring...the strikes in Italy, the delays, the worries about quality and workmanship, and it looks like those issues have definitely impacted the Horizon. All in all, nothing that's going to completely ruin your vacation, but disappointing these issues exist. Hearing Carnival may be done with Italy and moving to Finland for their new ships... Again, cruises are terrific for food...I have no idea what people complain about. It's plentiful and it's ok. Buffets are dinner are consistent, though the cooks for the steaks and meat do overdo, so order all your meats one level rarer. I don't expect 5 star food on a Carnival cruise. Main courses are good. Appetizers are good...portion sizes are smaller, but good. Food highlights, though....Guys Burgers and Fries are phenomenal, have no idea why he doesn't open on land. The Bonsai Teppanyaki grill was fantastic...though a little pricey at 35 bucks a person (ps....this is only a 12 seater, and if you reserve, you better cancel more than 24 hours in advance or you'll pay regardless, as you should....that's a note to the lady that whined about 2 of her party not showing up and them charging her for it...WHAT DID YOU EXPECT??!!!). Sushi was great. The 555 Steakhouse was very very good....a notch below the last couple of Carnival steakhouse experiences, chalk it up to early kinks. And BlueIguana (Chipotle-Plus on the sea) is ALWAYS good. We visited Grand Turk / Margaritaville, one of our favorite places, with their beautiful beach and pool. And San Juan is coming back, slowly....God Bless these wonderful people for what they've gone through....we walked through Old San Juan, did some shopping, spoke to a lovely young lady in one of the shops where she gave us all the details of the island's experiences of the last several months post Hurricane. And finally, Amber Cove, DR....this is a really beautiful port, and is going to become a top port next several months and years....the work there is beautiful, smartly designed...picture the cruise port at Grand Turk combined with Cozumel....STRONG RECOMMEND for Ocean World Day Pass Excursion....relative value at 49 adults and 39 kids......great time with beach, pool, animals, birds, excellent Sea Lion show...so much to do. Add 50 bucks per or so to live encounter a dolphin. We loved this place. Onboard: Waterworks is excellent, well done. TONS of activity, it's busy. And I'm skeptical they can keep up with the cleanliness, I'm sure kids peed in that water all day long. Didn't do the Broadway shows but reviews from others were mixed. Comedy was OK....did 5 of the later 18+ shows, mostly 2nd rate guys that felt talking about specific female and male parts were hysterical. It wasn't. Manny Olivera was the funniest of this bunch, a mix between Dice, Lampanelli......I'd look for him if he played locally, the others, not so much. Also, comedy shows too tight...a timed 30 minutes and you're out. Casino: Carnival Players Club VIP, so read on casino smarks: they changed all the slot machines to high volatility machines, so if you won, you won big...saw several Jackpots of 2000 to two 40000 (25 buck machines)....but if you lost, you lost big. You will not grind on this ship, slot players be aware. HATE that the poker table is in the sports lounge....and you need another one. BTW, TX Hold Em tournament where you 150 per 10 players, but only pay 750? That's freaking robbery!!! The VIP first day cocktail party was a nice touch. Need more waitstaff in the bar area now that anyone can get "free drinks" once they hit small number of points. Nice daily activities, trivia was always fun, Lido fun, and Hasbro Game show was fun. Camp Ocean is great for kids!! People....mix of folks you would expect from NYC...all types, all nationalities. Lots of kids. Parents: could you please watch your kids? KIDS DO NOT BELONG IN THE &*#&#$# Jacuzzis!! One woman got upset when her diaper ridden 15 month old wasn't allowed in Waterworks.....what did you expect???!!!! And some of you have punk ass kids preteens that are spoiled rotten crappy kids. Spilling burgers and food everywhere, not picking it up (this is to those of you that let your kids hang in front of the arcade all day)...and also destroyed the games in the arcade. I weep for our future sometimes. On that note, I have to say....some people suck, they treat the workers like crap. We as usual had many great conversations with the workers, they are great people and work their butts off.......try it folks, you'd be surprised, and you'll appreciate what you have so much more. On the other hand, there were a few workers who did deserve the poor treatment...particularly I notice the Eastern European "supervisors" in the dining areas....boy do they treat their subordinates badly. They all need a lesson in managing people.....buttholes! I'd fire them all....jerks. Need to call out our room steward Windu....TOP NOTCH, great guy, super nice!!! Costinel, from Romania in the MDR was one of the best servers we've ever had on any cruise!! Mike the CD was good, witty, quick thinking....and the host in the Comedy lounge was good. Some of the CD understudies, though, need to rethink their careers, they're not genuinely nice or good, and you can tell they go through the motions. All in all, again, cruises are a great value, and this was no different. And you're on vacation, so complaining is for the birds. For us, our son is getting older, and once we do one more Breeze (favorite Carnival ship) in the spring, we're moving onto RCL or back to Princess. For families with young kids, or first couple of times cruising, or budget conscious families looking for a nice vacation, do this. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My husband and I have always sailed Carnival, and this was one of the few Carnival cruises to port in Europe. Let me start by saying overall I had fun not enough to justify the cost of this vacation and not enough to recommend it to other ... Read More
My husband and I have always sailed Carnival, and this was one of the few Carnival cruises to port in Europe. Let me start by saying overall I had fun not enough to justify the cost of this vacation and not enough to recommend it to other people. I had many friends on the ship who disagreed with my assessment. Here's what I think happened... Carnival doesn't usually sail in the Mediterranean so it probably won't be a problem for most people, but I feel like cruising is not the best way to experience Europe. We stopped in Sardinia, Florence/Pisa, Rome, and Naples (Italy), and Marseille (France), and we sailed from Barcelona, Spain. Most of our stops were not close to our actual destination and required a long bus ride (1-2 hrs) to reach the points of interest... Which left less time to explore and made for longer excursions. We only had one day at sea which was at the beginning of the cruise so all of our really long excursions were back to back. We were so tired by the time we reached our last stop that we actually skipped the expensive excursion we had already paid for. We just couldn't do another full day starting at 5:30 am (that's how early we had to get up to get ready, eat breakfast, and get to the meeting point in time for the excursion to start.) Plus, we were constantly rushing on and off the ship. On the excursions we were running to cram in as much of the sights as possible or to keep up with the tour group. I feel like we didn't have nearly enough time to really see anything Europe has to offer, which is A LOT. On the ship we were rushing to make it to some meal before the restaurant closed, or to some show, or to some other activity before they closed. Which brings me to my next point - I can't understand why Carnival had so many things closed so much of the time. It seemed like every time I turned around something that I wanted to do was closed and there didn't seem to be a good reason. On our last day on the ship we found only one of the four whirlpools on the ship was open. We had to wander around for twenty minutes looking for it. We did a lot of that - wandering around the ship looking for something that was open. I purchased the bottomless bubbles (soda) package which means you are supposed to be able to get free unlimited soda any time of day or night. I paid a lot for it. But there are so many catches... for one- you can only get a soda at one of the official bars (does not include the coffee shop or theater), which means yiu have to wait in line, there are no soda fountains. Second, you can only get a soda in a glass, (no cans) and only one at a time. So you can't use your bottomless bubbles to stock your in-room fridge. Last and most frustrating of all, not all of the bars are open at all times and not even the same times from day to day. Which means you have to wander around the ship all day and night searching for a bar that is open, or you need to constantly have your nose in a schedule trying to figure out which bar is open at that time that you happen to be thirsty. Most bars close at 11 or 12 at night and don't open again until 6 or 8 the next morning. If you want a soda between those times you have to go to the casino bar. If you're a non-smoker like me this can be exceedingly frustrating because the casino is a smoking area. You'll have to wade through the clouds of smoke to get a soda. I'm not complaining about the smoking, I'm complaining about the fact that the only bar open is in a smoking area. That's not very inclusive for people who don't smoke, and there doesn't seem to be a good reason for it considering there has to be at least 15 bars on the ship. Another example is the main buffet restaurant. During the day the buffet is almost always open, but only half of it... which makes for bigger crowds and longer lines. Why, Carnival? That's the main eating area, it's the busiest restaurant on the ship... seems like a really bad idea to keep half of it closed all the time. And if you want to eat between 12 and 6 am (hey, I'm on vacation... I'm allowed to eat late) the only restaurant open is the pizza place... Which will probably be packed since it's the only option. Or you can get free soft serve ice cream (If you can find a machine that isn't out). So basically late night entertainment and food is QUITE slim on this ship. Sometimes they have a night club open if you like that kind of thing... But I don't know if they have food. For those people who have babies and children under 2 yrs of age (there are a few of us at least) they do have a babysitting option but there are a lot of catches. It costs extra, of course but it's quite reasonable in my opinion. (6.75 per hour plus 15% gratuity). They only take babies 6 months to 2 yrs old at night from 10pm to 1am, and then in the mornings at different times depending on the day. Most days for us it was 6:30am to 12pm. That's a lot of hours but you have to work around the excursions you planned and the opening hours for all the activities on the ship. I felt like most of what I wanted to do was closed during most of those hours - not all of thise hours, and not everything. I did have a few small windows to take advantage of the baby sitting service but it took careful planning, and a lot of rushing, again. And one of those times was during the time I would have been on an excursion had I not been too tired. So I basically traded an excursion for a little bit of fun on the ship. So just be aware if you have babies. Lastly, the elevators. I don't know what they have done to the elevator system but I didn't meet one person on the ship who wasn't disappointed or angry with it. They have some kind of smart technology or poorly designed algorithm controlling the elevators. In the middle of the ship they have 6 elevators but I could only ever get 2 to work at a time. This meant you had to wait a long time for an elevator and sometimes it would be so full you had to push the button again and wait for the next one, or even the next one after that. I waited for 10 minutes for an elevator more than once on my cruise. Doesn't sound like a long time but when you're standing there doing nothing and you're in a hurry, AND there are 4 other elevators doing nothing at all... It gets frustrating. You can take the stairs but if you're on deck 3 and you want to get to deck 10 - who wants to climb 7 flights of stairs every day? This says nothing about people who don't even have that as an option. (Wheelchairs and strollers?!?) Another complaint I have is the amount of entertainment and food that costs extra now. Is it just me, or has Carnival started charging for a great many more things that used to be included? And it could have been my frustration clouding my judgment, but it seemed like the activities and food options that are included are closed more often than those things you pay extra for. I felt like a lot of the free "entertainment" was a sales pitch in disguise to get you to spend more money. There were faaaaar too many spa demonstrations and not enough live shows on the itinerary. The shopping was quite limited on the ship. A lot of expensive jewelry and watches, and not enough souvnire type shops. I was dissapointed. I really liked carnivals new candy shop, however. That was a fun place to go. I spent a lot of money on souvenirs for my children there. Another thing I really enjoyed was the service. Carnival always employs the hardest working and the friendliest people. I give them 5 stars for service. Also, the ship is always immaculate. There were never a shortage of clean tables to sit at in the main dining area (unless the dining area was straight up full - which didn't happen very often.) I loved the water slides, the sports square, and the skyride. The sky ride is soooo fun. You must try it if you cruise on the horizon or Vista. The sky course looked like a lot of fun too but I never got to try it. (I had a baby with me.) The ship is beautifully decirated as well. I loved my cabin which was just the right size. (A regular balcony room.) I love the addition if the mini fridge in the room. I also really appreciated the new hand washing machines in the main dining area. Those things were so cool and convenient. Overall, I had fun on this ship but it was very expensive and I feel like we could have gotten a much better value for our money if Canival had planned things just a little bit better. For that reason I do not recommend this ship to other people (especially families, people who don't drink or have conservative taste in shows and entertainment, or those with disabilities) and we probably won't sail with Carnival again. Read Less
Carnival Horizon Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.5

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