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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The Carnival organization should be recognized for its ability to take a brand new ship and reduce it to a floating tribute to poor food, bad service and mediocre entertainment. The food was cheap, overcooked and boring. The only ... Read More
The Carnival organization should be recognized for its ability to take a brand new ship and reduce it to a floating tribute to poor food, bad service and mediocre entertainment. The food was cheap, overcooked and boring. The only possible exception was breakfast where Carnival staff had nothing to do with boxed cereal, yogurt and some fruits. Toast was dry and cold. Eggs were immersed in oil. Lunch and dinner offerings were either overcooked or smothering in sauces to deguise the lack of taste. The Main Dining Room wasn't much better. Some items such as the Maine lobster tails were inedible. Other offering were old and tired and have been around for years. A new ship should have a new menu. I am left with impression that the Carnival strategy was to make the Lido and Main Dining Room food so bad that it would force guests to eat at the Speciality Restaurants to get a decent meal I would lke somebody to explain to me: to whom Carnival pay VAT in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea? It appears to be another grab on their part. Never before on a cruise ship have I ever experienced such a high degree of rude and indifferent staff. There was very little willingness to offer assistance or answer the simplest of questions. Carnival needs to reimagine loyalty. There was a time when Carnival hosted a reception for past guests with the Captain and officers present. Now it is a bottle of water and drink voucher with conditions; the last of the cruise, after 5pm and not to exceed $9.00. Loyalty shouldn't come with strings attached. Carnival expects my loyalty unconditionally, it should work both ways. Bon voyage Carnival. Never again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose the ship because it was new and was going to transition out of the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. It is a nice ship with many new innovations that bring it into the new era of cruise ships. In order of major changes that need to ... Read More
We chose the ship because it was new and was going to transition out of the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. It is a nice ship with many new innovations that bring it into the new era of cruise ships. In order of major changes that need to immediately occur: 1. The internet is just awful. If you need it for business purposes forget it. To call it just slow is too kind. It is something out of the 80's dial-up. You cannot open documents or stay on-line without getting bumped off within minutes. For a new ship in 2018 there is absolutely no excuse for such a horrible system. If you have to conduct business through the internet choose another ship. 2. The elevators. The ship has implemented the you choose the floor and the computer chooses your elevator. The programming is just a mess. Endless lines and waits. When an elevator does show up it is jammed with people. If you need to consistently use an elevator this ship is not for you. 3. Ship tours. Not one was on time. You wait 30 to 60 minutes for the tour to leave after you arrive in the meeting area. No one seems to be in charge and the one person who did most of the talking found himself amusing while no one else did. 4. Poor buffet planning. All of the tours return at the same time. There is one buffet line open for thousands of passengers as the dining time has passed. Again, this is just poor planning. So, there are the issues. The crew is great, our cabin staff and dining staff were wonderful. we had an outside small suite on floor 7 that was amazing. Full tub and huge bathroom. It is really not a ship for the Mediterranean and will fit well in the Caribbean. It has a spectacular water park with one of the fastest slides ever. Casino is fun but very, very smoke filled. One tip: Stay away from City Wonder Tours. They totally ripped us off in Rome. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We spent 24 days on the Horizon. I realize that this was an inaugural cruise and there are many "kinks" to be worked on but Carnival has been in the cruise business a long time and some "kinks" should have been ... Read More
We spent 24 days on the Horizon. I realize that this was an inaugural cruise and there are many "kinks" to be worked on but Carnival has been in the cruise business a long time and some "kinks" should have been obvious. They are already aware that the main showroom (Liquid Lounge) is not big enough and the seating arrangement is ridiculous. Deck 4 is better than deck 5 for line of sight and you must arrive 30 minutes before the show so you can get a seat. The Guest Relations desk is next to the atrium. There is constant music or performances going on which means the guests and the employees can not hear each other speak. There is definitely a lack of communication between employees in guest relations. We had a loud banging sound near our cabin. When the seas got rougher the noise got louder. We could not sleep it was so annoying. We reported this banging as soon as we heard the repeated banging. First we were told it could not be fixed when we were at sea. Then we were told it could only be fixed at sea. Then we were told it was fixed (twice) and the banging continued. We finally decided to find where the banging was coming from ourselves and opened a door that said crew only. There was the metal wall banging as it moved in and out. This time I requested a supervisor. Once I showed them where the banging was coming from an engineer was able to repair it. I want to thank Dorothy and the engineer for finally resolving this problem. We had dining your time You must first go to deck 5 to get your reservation ticket and then proceed to deck 3 to eat. Huh? There was definitely a shortage of wait staff. Many times guests did not receive there meals at the same time. My first 3 meals everyone else had finished eating and then I got my meal. You have to request coffee at end of meal the waiters do not ask if you would like some. And many times at breakfast they only came by with 1 cup of coffee .The problems in the dining room are management issues and not the wait staff. The wait staff all worked hard. Special kudos to wait staff Carol and Eric and hostesses Melania and Diana. Due to cool weather most of the indoor activities were so crowded you could not get a seat. That included the cooking demonstrations, trivia, and almost all activities. Director Mike and staff were great. Always visible and always cheerful and upbeat. I liked the new elevator system that has become very common in high rise buildings. I suggest they put a notice in all cabins explaining how to use the elevator system and removing the screens at the main elevator banks. There are no quiet places to sit indoors on the ship. The Library is very small and very crowded. I do think this ship will do wonderfully in the Caribbean. It has beautiful outdoor seating areas. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Just did the 10 day Europe trip on the Carnival Horizon out of Barcelona and was keen to try a brand new ship cruising out of my back yard in Spain. Embarkation was a quick painless experience out of the new D terminal at Barcelona - 30 ... Read More
Just did the 10 day Europe trip on the Carnival Horizon out of Barcelona and was keen to try a brand new ship cruising out of my back yard in Spain. Embarkation was a quick painless experience out of the new D terminal at Barcelona - 30 mins maximum. The ships lobby area is the entry point and it has a spectacular funnel shaped column that constantly changes color with images. Staterooms were made available at 130pm and mine was a comfortable balcony forward on deck 10. The facilities are standard but I found the room comfortable and practical, of course the beds are brand new which helps. The design of this ship is ingenious. It has the top deck with its Dr Seuss waterpark, the Skyride and other play areas on deck 12, but deck 11 is clear for seating/sunbeds that sit at a wider perimeter from the center so they are not covered by the play area above. First introductions to Mike Pack, Cruise Director extraordinaire who had a fantastic presence throughout the whole cruise and who managed to say hi to me, just one of 4200 passengers, four times during this cruise. I found him, the entertainment team and the ships while crew in general to be outstanding but I guess you would expect Carnival to put some of their top employees on their newest ship. The entertainment throughout the trip was outstanding and some tremendous productions each evening in the main theater, the Liquid Lounge. This theater by the way, is far too small and not well designed for this ship. Most of the seats on deck 4 are at the same level, meaning your view of the stage is blocked. The 2nd theater is used as Punchliners comedy club, and again, some excellent comedians throughout the cruise, who changed every 2-3 days. Food was a mixed bag and I have to say, the quality of the food in the main dining room was fairly average. I enjoyed breakfast and a good selection but I found the evening meals to be boring and little choice. Of course, all the good stuff now comes with a surcharge e.g steak and lobster. The specialty restaurants are excellent and worth the up-charge. I had a great 18oz rib-eye in Fahrenheit 555 and the Bonsai Teppenyaki is also a great experience. This was my first trip on a Carnival ship with Guys Burger Joint and I became a new fan. Carnival were applying VAT throughout the trip in Europe which made the expensive drinks even more expensive. In the big scheme of things its not a huge deal but there were a lot of negative comments about this. I love the movie screen on the outside on Lido deck but unfortunately the European weather was not very kind to us, it rained and got cold in the evenings. Once this ship is at home in the Caribbean that will be a major success. The Havana retreat at the back of the ship is closed to Havana suite guests during ther day but opens in the evening from 7pm. This is another masterful design and a great area to sit back and have a drink. I found the whole crew to be friendly, motivated and hard working and you can tell you are on a Fun Ship from the moment you board. One thing that totally impressed me was the Lido deck center being completely covered in towel animals on our arrival into Messina, amazing! I did the trip because of the ship rather than the ports of call (Livorno/Civitavechia/Naples/Dubrovnik/Corfu and Messina. Being Spain based I had visited all previously except Dubrovnik, which I loved, even in the rain. Debarkation couldnt have been easier back in Barcelona and I was off the ship and in a taxi in 15 minutes. All in all, a great trip Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We wanted to finally get to the Med and see Italy. This seemed a perfect trip to celebrate our Anniversary. We booked the 10 day out of Barcelona strictly for the ports we could get to. And boy were we not disappointed! The ship ... Read More
We wanted to finally get to the Med and see Italy. This seemed a perfect trip to celebrate our Anniversary. We booked the 10 day out of Barcelona strictly for the ports we could get to. And boy were we not disappointed! The ship itself with the new interior designs were contemporary and really a step up from the "vegas" carpeting of the other ships we had been on. We had a Deluxe OV cabin with the 2 bathrooms which was really helpful for ease of getting ready at the same time. Our cabin steward was very friendly and helpful. All the staff were, I can;t remember talking to anyone that didn't have a smile or say hello. Embarkation was super easy, we had done a tour in the AM in Barcelona and didn't check in til shortly after 2 pm and basically walked on. Being able to buy alcohol in the duty free and take it onboard was a huge bonus, glad we knew that piece of info before hand for European sailings and saved some VAT. Ports were Livorno, Civitavecchia, Amalfi Coast, Dubrovnik, Corfu and Messina. Would totally go back to Amalfi and Taoromina in Messina in a heartbeat! We used 2 carnival tours which were well organized and ran on time. We did hear that there was a Carnival tour back late in Rome- story was they had to wait and hour and a half on 4 people who had no common courtesy to return to the meeting point on time :( 2 ports we just played it by ear and picked up Ho-Ho busses or wandered on foot. Dubrovik was amazing to wander in! Walked the walls, took the cable car, found a cliff bar! 2 tours we had booked from a fb posting thru a "TA". The tour company that did the driving and was the guide were awesome- word of advise if booking a fb tour, check into the organizer, don't get ripped off. Some will tell you they aren't profiting from booking a group, but ask questions, get the details, do the research on private tours if you don't book thru the cruiseline. If I was to do it again Ide book private directly, or use a toursharing group that books directly, It was disheartening and a bit of a scammed feeling to find out that even tho I was charged 20 or 25 Euros more when you add up 40 people for 6 ports....the "TA" basically profited enough to sail and tour for free. If they are upfront that they upcharge no problem, but don't scam people. Food in the MDR was really good, we caught both elegant nights, we also used the Steakhouse and Cucina (we both liked Cucina more than the steakhouse). Guys pig and anchor was great, live music and great food, try the trashcan nachos! Buffet was laid out differently in squares you could go right around instead of up against the wall. We found that this layout was easier to navigate and not as busy, but might have been just timing of when we went. Lots of options on the Buffet and the new cake selection instead of the old boring desserts was a great change. CD Mike Pack is a fireball LOL and so much fun. Shows were good, we didn't care for the music in the Celsetrial Strings show but that was personal opinion. The Soulbound show was fantastic. Ide definitely sail Horizon again, even with 10 days onboard we didn't have enough time to try out everything on the ship! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I waited so long to go on cruise in Europe, and finally I made it on the newest ship of Carnival line!! yaay and absolutely i had so much fun. we were three me, husband our baby (2 years old) we all were happy on this ship the crews are ... Read More
I waited so long to go on cruise in Europe, and finally I made it on the newest ship of Carnival line!! yaay and absolutely i had so much fun. we were three me, husband our baby (2 years old) we all were happy on this ship the crews are Amazing they are working very hard all the time to make our experience wonderful. i loved the crew of camp ocean they were very nice to my child and give me chance to had free time with my husband the entertainment was absolutely amazing. and there is thing for every one our room located in family harbor which i love it! the food was good, there were many choices every day (fish- meat- chicken-vegetarian) . it's not the best but most of the time it was was Delicious The most two thing I liked about my cruise were: the ship itself and the ports! basically I have cross many city from my wish list! we visit Rome- Naples- Florence- Pisa-Dubrovnik- Corfu - Barcelona Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Prior to embarcation, we stayed 3 days n Barcelona, the departing city, and thoroughly enjoyed the entire city. Embarcation n Europe is a dream, compared to any US port. Just seemed to have ample staff directing everyone as to wat was ... Read More
Prior to embarcation, we stayed 3 days n Barcelona, the departing city, and thoroughly enjoyed the entire city. Embarcation n Europe is a dream, compared to any US port. Just seemed to have ample staff directing everyone as to wat was needed n hand and where to proceed to. This kept the short lines moving along quickly. The carnival staff at terminal were helpful and efficient. We were able to board the ship ahead of schedule. And u are allowed to carry on as many bottles of alcohol as you'd like. That holds true at all the European ports as well. So needless to say, my bar tab was mighty little this cruise, which was a plus. DisembarkationbEgan at 7am was completely finished by 9am. The only waiting was for more taxis to arrive back at the terminal. It was about a 20 min ride to the airport. Overall impression of the ship was terrific. Italy was a let down; was crowded beyond belief, felt like mice n a maze, was filthy, graffete everywhere, pick pockets on every corner. Store owners were less than polite to americans. NO restrooms!! Prices were within reason tho. Crew members on board were top notch, service and food n dining room was fair. Shore excursions were expensive and WAY TOO LONG, 8-10 hrs. Each port. Not worth the time or money. Could have easily done them on r own or n small groups w private guide. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
To save writing a tomb, here are the pluses and minuses, in our opinion. Overview, Sailed from Barcelona, called into Messina, Naples, Rome port, Florence port, Marseilles. We are a couple in our 60s and have been on NCL, Princess ... Read More
To save writing a tomb, here are the pluses and minuses, in our opinion. Overview, Sailed from Barcelona, called into Messina, Naples, Rome port, Florence port, Marseilles. We are a couple in our 60s and have been on NCL, Princess and RC. The reason we will not rebook is the ship is just too contemporary and lacking grandeur. And the reason we booked? Price. However we believe this type of cruise will appeal to many. Pluses New ship Excellent entertainment throughout the whole ship Very good dinners Excellent staff Very good stateroom Hard working Cruise Director Mike Sky Ride Water features (flumes) Housekeeping Casino Clever lift (elevator) system Smooth efficient dis/embarking Minuses Limited breakfast choice, quality suspect at times, not enough (quality) fruit. Awkward method of reaching food a rear of counter in Market Place cafe Small swimming pools Non enforcement of dining attire Having to queue on deck 5 to be given a ticket for your dinner table on deck 3/4 In stateroom, TV showing our account did not display accurate total, therefore 1hr queue at guest services, who were aware of this issue. Poorly designed Liquid Room theatre No music channel on TV Expensive, poor quality wine (same on all cruise lines) Surprising lack of hand sanitizing when entering all restaurants Very, very expensive off shore tours TIPS Ask for smoked salmon at breakfast, the staff will oblige Ask Guest Services when you can remove/adjust staff tips. It's normally 2 days before your cruise ends. This will save big queues (waiting in line) Ensure you are not given a stateroom with an adjoining door. We could hear people easily in the next stateroom. This is obviously for families. Be aware if you are lucky enough to win at the casino you will only be paid in $ cash. We know this is irrelevant now the Horizon is off to USA for the summer OBSERVATION Do people really need to wear baseball caps to dinner? Please only wear baseball caps back to front if you are under 12 Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
After having lived in the US for more than 8 years and doing Caribbean itineraries at first, we did our first European Cruise with Carnival on the Vista in 2016. We have a total of 42 days with Carnival now (VIFP Gold) and have sailed with ... Read More
After having lived in the US for more than 8 years and doing Caribbean itineraries at first, we did our first European Cruise with Carnival on the Vista in 2016. We have a total of 42 days with Carnival now (VIFP Gold) and have sailed with Royal Caribbean on one cruise. This was almost the same itinerary as with the Vista two years ago (except we skipped Palma de Mallorca in the end). We have done cruises with kids before but this was the second time for just us. I have to live on a gluten free diet as I am severely gluten-intolerant so I will provide some details on gluten free options later. THE SHIP The ship is almost the same as the Vista with only slight differences. The decor is a little more conservative with tan and brown colours dominating in most interior areas (elevators, etc.). Overall a nice design and when you are used to the Carnival ship layouts you will find your way around very easily. One major change for some people were the elevators which now require you to chose the floor you want to get off BEFORE you enter the elevator. Based on your choice the system will tell you which elevator to go to and there are no buttons to press inside. Takes some time to get used to but this is much more efficient and waiting times in front of the elevators were minimal. The shop layout on deck 5 is a little different (smaller stores), the piano bar is on the different side and there is not a Teppanyaki next to the Bonsai sushi place. Also the Red Frog Pub is replaced with the Pig&Anchor BBQ place- they still serve and brew craft beers but also have BBQ options (free for lunch, charge for dinner). We did not try the food as most cruisers we talked to were very disappointed. THE CABIN Not much to day about the cabin - the usual Carnival layout. As on the Vista the safe not works with PIN instead of credit card, everything else is exactly as you expect on a Carnival ship. Enough space to put your clothes, enough space in the bathroom. One European outlet, one American outlet, 2 USB outlets to charge your device. One additional outlet in the bathroom for an electric shaver. Fridge to put drinks in (we ordered 12 pack of water though the Carnival site to be delivered to the stateroom and it was there when we got in - $4.50 for the 12 pack and we always had cold water in the fridge to take with us on tours). Our cabin steward did an ok job (two glasses in bathroom were dirty when we arrived, used towel under the bed). When we requested later luggage tags for debarkation he was very quick to help. THE FOOD As I said before I have to eat gluten free so I will start with the gluten free options on board. In the main dining room (we had late assigned dining at 8:15 pm) you get the menu for the following day the night before and can make your selections. They will try to make make any dish gluten free if possible sometimes leaving out the sauce (which I don't understand, they could just do them with corn starch). Gluten free bread is served that is barely edible (very bitter taste, very soggy even though slightly toasted) - that is completely not understandable for me as there is very good gluten free baguette available at the deli (try it, I had a Tuna sandwich which was excellent) and they could serve that easily. In general gluten free food handling seems very safe, at the Deli the gluten free sandwich was prepared in a completely separate oven and kitchen by a different employee that put new gloves on. Gluten free chocolate melting cake is available as well as fruits and ice cream/sherbet options every night.I had the creme brulee on night and it was excellent. In general the food quality in the dining room was ok but far from excellent and in my opinion was the worst out of all of our Carnival cruises. The food was rarely hot (rather slightly warm, sometimes cold) and the dished very exactly the same as they have been for years (except for the Port of Call options which were generally excellent). Don't bother to order french fries unless you like them luke warm and are satisfied with a portion size of 14 fries - yes I counted them!) You could tell that the service team did not interact with each other for a long time yet, service was chaotic and unorganized. I will never understand why they let hot food sitting on the prep stations doing other stuff letting the food get cold. They now always put a bottle of wine on the table (every night) which they will charge if you open it. This just leaves even less room on the small table and is just another attempt to get your money). The Lido buffet only had few good options for lunch but always had two flavours of fresh ice cream and one time a chocolate fountain. also the layout is not much better with little islands that can be accessed from four sides and therefore there are absolutely no lines except for the Omelette station. Food choices are the same every day and I cannot not understand Carnival for not offering more variety in fruits (always only two kinds of melons, grapefruit and bananas) for breakfast - no apples, grapes, strawberries, pears, oranges, nothing. scrambled eggs are made from prepackaged egg mix and taste awful. People on a gluten free diet please be careful: the bacon is resting on bread in a pan. No gluten free bread on the breakfast buffet in general. Royal Caribbean for example has a complete separate buffet with gluten free options (rolls, bread, etc.). The lunch buffet rarely had any gluten free options. In general I have to day Carnival is far behind other cruise lines when it comes to gluten free options and labelling of allergens in general on their buffets (lunch was partly labeled, breakfast not at all). The Mexican burrito bar on deck 10 had gluten free tacos available, always a good option. I did not try the gluten free Pizza but the Deli offers any sandwich on a gluten free baguette which is excellent. The frozen yoghurt was a good lunch dessert option. Guys burger joint of deck 10 also has a gluten free bun and the fries are excellent. Cocktails in general are expensive (including service charge and tax about $10 a drink) but good. Fruit mixes are used for fruity cocktails or frozen drinks. For premiums the price is high for the amount of liquor given (2cl of Hendricks gin in a gin tonic, $9). They offer one gluten free beer (Stella Daura). The Java serves good coffee options. Free lemonade, ice tea is provided during lunch, free juices for breakfast. Coffee from the machine is free in general but disgusting. ENTERTAINMENT To start of: Mike, the cruise director, was the worst out of all cruise directors we had so far on Carnival and I am not sure they gave him their flagship new vessel. Barely noticeable the whole week. We had Matt on the Vista and he was pure entertainment for the whole day. Music shows we excellent, very good singers and dancers and the show was nicely written. We did not care for the Welcome Aboard Show of Lip Sync or Marriage Show. The comedians were excellent especially Thomas Brown (watched him in the theatre one night, and another night in the Limelight Lounge). Live musicians in the bars were ok but much worse than on the Vista (the two cousins with the guitar there were just excellent). We did not try the pools, whirlpools or Dr. Seuss water park nor did we go to the IMAX (charge!) or try the skyride as we were in the beautiful ports of call all day long (that is one advantage of a European itinerary). We went to the Spa as part of our Spa cabin every night and used the pool and saunas. Very small area, only 9 (heated) lounge chairs. 5-6 people in the whirlpool. People reserve chairs all the time but we typically don't care and remove the towels if nobody shows up. For us after a long day it is worth the extra money for a Spa cabin to use the sauna and relax a little bit. My wife used the fitness center and liked it. She went around 6 am, it gets crowded after 7 am. PORTS OF CALL Barcelona: beautiful city, we stayed the night before but could have stayed a week if we wanted to see it all. Be smart and stay a couple of days. We stayed at the beautiful H10 Boutique Hotel Catalunya Placa which was just plain excellent (gluten free fresh rolls, cookies, Muesli, etc. for breakfast, Omelettes/Tortillas/Churros and fresh eggs made to order). In principal please note that we did not take a single shore excursion ever with Carnival as we believe they are excessively overpriced for what you get. We explore the ports and nearby cities ourselves by train and save a fortune. Carnival charges you between $59 and $79 just to get you to the cities ("on your own" tours) where you can just as easily take the bus and/or train for 5 Euros (more below). Messina (that was a change from the promised Cagliari): we walked to Messina Centrale train station (10 minutes from the port) and took a train for 4.60 Euros to Taormina (from there a bus to the mountain to the city center for 1.20 Euro, took in total less than one hour). Beautiful little town to explore on your own and eat some ice cream. Naples: we just explored Naples by foot as we have done the ruins of Herculaneum last time. We took a small train (buy the ticket at the tobacco store right at the station) up the mountain to Castle Sant'Elmo which provides a beautiful view of Naples. Then explored the small downtown streets of Naples and had some ice cream. Civitavecchia: as last time we walked to the train station from the free bus shuttle stop downtown (10 minutes) and took the train to Rome (5 Euros one way per person, Carnival charged $79 for the bus trip per person). The trains are clean and air conditioned and also have a bathroom. We got off at St. Peters square, from the train station the Vatican is just a 5 minute walk. The next stop would have been Rome Termini which is the main train station and closer to the downtown attractions. Rome is just beautiful and you could spend days. Go early if you want to get into St. Peter's cathedral as the lines get crazy after 10 am. Livorno: after having been to Pisa last time we decided to go to Lucca instead (beautiful old little city, really enjoyable and much more quiet than the bigger cities (check the pictures online)). You pay 5.60 for the train ride (change trains in Pisa). Since we had time getting back we got off the train in Pisa on the way back and strolled though Pisa and got some ice cream. To get to Livorno train station take the shuttle from the port and then a bus (buy ticket at any tobacco store, 1.30 Euro each trip) for the main train station. From there the train to Pisa (25 minutes), Florence (about 1 hour 15 minutes) or anywhere else. Marseille: we just explored the city and went up the mountain (by foot) to Notre Dame de la Garde - beautiful views. Don't take the Carnival shuttle (which is $17 to get your downtown) - a couple hundred feet further there is a free shuttle provided by the city which takes you downtown as well. SUMMARY Overall some highlights and some lowlights. I can say that the quality of the ships is going up but the service and food quality is deteriorating. After having sailed mostly Carnival up until now (we are both 39) we will now try other cruise lines. We would be willing to spend a little more for better food and service quality for sure. Overall we got good value for the money, we paid less than 1.000 Euros a person ($1.200) for the trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Bit surprised about the late change of itinerary. Would have thought Carnival Corp would be in a position command the best berthing rights in any port. Substituting Messina for Cagliari was not popular with us. Western Med itineraries ... Read More
Bit surprised about the late change of itinerary. Would have thought Carnival Corp would be in a position command the best berthing rights in any port. Substituting Messina for Cagliari was not popular with us. Western Med itineraries feature Messina more often than Cagliari! Not sure I heard correctly that the real reason was so that the Italian officers could visit their families! First time in 30+ cruise we had our confirmed and invoiced dining time changed. Managed to get it switched back from first sitting to anytime. Excuse given was that time allocation was depended on when you booked but we booked back in November! I suspect that renegotiating the price, adding Fun Shop items, excursions etc, after booking reset the clock. Something to be aware of! MDR food was OK with fair choice. Not a lover of chocolate so found desserts sometimes a bit limited. Our request for packet butter rather than the given margarine in the MDR was met only once so we started bring in our own from the Lido or room service! Other food options similar to previous Carnival sailings - burgers, pizzas, pasta. Midnight food a bit weird, same limited menu on offer each night. Also bear in mind there are limited fast food choices only between 1530 and 1800 so tough luck if you're back late from an excursion or want an afternoon tea! Did n't like the pools on Vista. Both are surrounded by bars, fast food options and even entertainment screen. Same on Horizon. And no pool in the Serenity. Was going to book Havana cabin to get a decent pool and hot tub area but decided as this was April in the Med maybe not the best of choices? As it turned out the weather was unusually hot and dry so a Havana would have been a good option! We booked a spa cabin instead and enjoyed the thermal area though I would say that the 4 person whirlpool was a bit of a disappointment when we should have had a decent thalassotherapy pool! Just a last point on water - is anyone else a bit peeved by those who sit, beers lined up, in a a hot tub for hour on end? Of the 3 main entertainment decks, Lobby, Mezzanine and Promenade, we found only 5 Promenade was walkable from stern to aft. 4 Mezzanine has the casino with the tobacco smoke and 3 Lobby has the galley and Reflections Restaurant. Of which the latter they let you walk through outside of dinner time! Site lines in the Liquid Lounge theatre are bad - too many pillars! I've come to the conclusion that Carnival start disembarkation extra early and just hope for the best! Announcements started just past 0600. No attention had been paid to our afternoon flight time. Just told our cabin status offered 'priority debarkation.' If we'd have gone along with the early time then we'd just have been stuck hours at the airport! We did change from slot 3 to 22 I think but we need n't have bothered as passengers just get off when they are ready! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I chose it as I had never been on Carnival before and mistakingly thought being American and new it would be great, sadly the description didn't live up to reality. I have been with, RC, NCL, MSC previously so was able to compare. ... Read More
I chose it as I had never been on Carnival before and mistakingly thought being American and new it would be great, sadly the description didn't live up to reality. I have been with, RC, NCL, MSC previously so was able to compare. Food. Breakfast, very poor choices, only toasted bagel and toasted bread put out. Had to ask for untoasted. No different breads or batches such as crispy, soft, seeded etc. Only one on egg counter meant long waits. Poor choice of fruit, cereal, hams cheese and jam. Lunch, lack of choice, 3 stations all the same, impossible to reach good at rear. Every other cruise I have been on the had buffet choices including grilled meat (steak, pork, lamb), Indian cuisine, Chinese cuisine, European cuisine. This had about 5 choices all if which were bland and served warm. Choice of 2 ice creams only with only one server. Dinner, cramped restaurant, why bother with a table for 2 when within 6 inches there is another table for 2 onside and a table for 4 the other. Waiters have no etiquette. Try and take your plate the minute you finish even if your partner is still eating. One day we shared a table for 4 with a couple we met. They served their main whilst my wife was still eating her starter, when he bought mine I told him to take it away and serve us together. Don't know if it's an American thing but it's certainly not good manners in Europe. Overall food was worse than I have eaten in cafes and worst choice ever. Entertainment. The theatre is poorly laid out, upstairs has area where as obstruct views, the quality is poor, loud singing and dancing with no match of story to costume or music. Cheap TV style entertainment Mr and Mrs style. So didn't bother with that stuff. The early piano bar guy was good, the latter after 10 seemed more interested in himself than the guests and kept the pedal down to reverberate every note, uncomfortable listening. I think anyone who thought the food and entertainment was above poor cannot have been on decent cruise lines. First time with Carnival and definitely the last. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
This was the 3rd cruise trip my sisters and I had with Carnival. We were very excited about our trip to Europe and be on Carnival's new ship Horizon. The ship has a new elevator system. The high tech system was designed to ... Read More
This was the 3rd cruise trip my sisters and I had with Carnival. We were very excited about our trip to Europe and be on Carnival's new ship Horizon. The ship has a new elevator system. The high tech system was designed to increase efficiency and reduce wait time. We didn't notice any improvement in wait time. Most of the time, we were tire of waiting and took the stairs instead. The 2nd night was the formal night. To get to the dining room, there's a new system. First, we went to a lounge on a different floor to register. We were given a pager. The pager would go off when our table was ready. We waited at the lounge along with many others. And we waited... After 2 hours, one of my sisters decided not to wait any longer and we walked straight to the dining room. We were taken to a table in 2 minutes. As we sat down, we noticed many empty tables around us. We were so hungry that we literally inhaled the food. By the time we ordered the desserts, the server said they were closing soon and hurried us to order. It was the most terrible dining experience we ever had on ships and on land. Two days later, we tried the dining room, again. There was no wait time and the dining room was half full. Other than the ox tongue appetizer, everything else was dry and rubbery. We were discouraged completely and did not go back to the dining room again. Now, let’s talk about Lido. The breakfast choices were exactly the same every single morning. We didn’t want to have breakfast there after the 4th day. We rather ate the cold pizza we saved from the night before. We ordered one breakfast from room service but the selections were limited to bakery and fruits only. Supper at Lindo reminded me of my years living in the university dormitory. The desserts at Lindo were cakes and nothing but cakes. I took one piece one night. It wasn’t good, so I left 2/3 on the plate. I tried a different cake two nights later. This time, I managed to finish half. The positive food experience we had was the night at the Japanese restaurant having Teppanyaki. The food was nice and the price was reasonable. We had sushi in the same restaurant on another night and it was pretty good, too. The servers were courteous and helpful. We were pleased with the dinner on both nights. There were many brand name shops on the ship; more than the average cruise ships we had been to. The little gift shop was about the size of my closet at home. We didn’t buy anything on the ship this time. The stateroom we were in was reasonably clean and comfortable. After all, Horizon is a new ship. The bathroom had an unpleasant odor when we got there. We did our own cleaning with Lysol and rubbing alcohol we brought along on the trip. It was okay for the rest of the staying. There was something about the corridor in the cabin section I want to mention. The floor was uneven. It dropped and raised unexpectedly. We walked gingerly to avoid tripping and falling. The overall experience on the ship was fine. If it’s not because of the disastrous food experience and the poor dining room management, I would have given it 4 starts instead of 2. Carnival Horizon is a very nice ship. I hope my review will help Carnival to make the necessary improvements for the future vacationers. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
As a family of 4 who had never been on a cruise we decided to start with this new ship for 7 days around the Med. Getting on and off the ship was something I was concerned about but thought this was done well. The Cabin was fine ... Read More
As a family of 4 who had never been on a cruise we decided to start with this new ship for 7 days around the Med. Getting on and off the ship was something I was concerned about but thought this was done well. The Cabin was fine with two showers and bunks for the kids. Beds comfortable. For a new ship the Air Con was average and we had to ask for it to fixed which helped somewhat. We tended to pay for the speciality restaurants ( which were well worth the money) as the general dining was average at best. Casino was good with great staff. Very good gym A bit of a grizzle was the bar service. Yes, it might be cool to try and serve 3 or 4 customers at once but it would be far better to do one at a time get the orders right and not have annoyed customers being served out of turn. The staff in the bars and restaurants need training. You don't take a customers plate when he is still eating with the fork in his hand!! The up selling of everything and added gratuities does get a little tiresome. Foe a first cruise it was fine but would I come back....not sure Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We didn't think Carnival could top the Vista, we had an incredible cruise on her back in 2016 so kinda expected the same experience on Horizon. How wrong we were, they have really pulled out all of the stops and made Horizon even ... Read More
We didn't think Carnival could top the Vista, we had an incredible cruise on her back in 2016 so kinda expected the same experience on Horizon. How wrong we were, they have really pulled out all of the stops and made Horizon even better!!! The cabins are spacious, bright with plenty of storage and a wonderful large TV with various different TV Channels, Movies, weather, itinerary information... The crew were as always, FAMILY - no better feeling than being able to hug it out with your cabin steward when you board, knowing it's just going to be a great week and the positivity flowing around the ship really had a presence. Food was divine, Carnival offer superb value for money including various different styles of cuisine and food outlets which are complimentary (other cruise lines would charge you for these!). Guys burgers - YES YES YES!! Buffet was superb with an abundance of choice, fresh gelato every day on the lido, I mean - HELLO!? FRESH GELATO!? Entertainment was superb and Mike Pack the CD was just a part of the ships family as everyone else. The ship was spotless, everything had been thought of, anything that could have been wrong on the Vista was taken, rectified and then amplified 100x better! Thank you Carnival Cruise Line for a superb holiday, WE WILL BE BACK. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We are just off the beautiful Carnival Horizon after a terrific 7 day Western Mediterranean cruise. About us: family of 4: 2 adults, 2 kids aged 11 and 8. This is our second ever cruise. Our first experience was the Disney Magic in ... Read More
We are just off the beautiful Carnival Horizon after a terrific 7 day Western Mediterranean cruise. About us: family of 4: 2 adults, 2 kids aged 11 and 8. This is our second ever cruise. Our first experience was the Disney Magic in 2015. We are vegetarian, so if you are a carnivore looking for food reviews I’m sorry, this will disappoint you. Embarkation at Barcelona was smooth and seamless. There were public protests expected in the city on embarkation day, so we were warned to give ourselves extra time to get to the port. This may have influenced how they ran embarkation: on registeration we were given a number card and people boarded by number group. We had preregistered for an 11:30 embarkation time and we were onboard before that time. We headed to the Lido for lunch and were among the first to eat lunch, then hit the ship’s amenities. We were in room 1384, a deluxe ocean view room with bunk beds. It was a great room with enough room for the four of us and a lovely large window with a wide sill. The kids loved piling pillows up and sitting in the window reading or watching docking and the activity on the docks or in the harbours. It was very quiet, except that we could hear the engine as a constant quiet purr in the background. The cabin had lots of storage. Although we are light packers (2 suitcases for all four of us), we did have both warmer and cooler weather clothing as the spring forecasts were variable, and we started and ended our trip in Montréal. All of our stuff unpacked into about half of the storage space. There were 2 bathrooms - one with a toilet, shower and sink, the other with a shower/bath and sink. Both bathrooms had a bit of counter space and small shelves for storage. Each had a retractable clothesline which was hand for drying bathing suits. Remember to bring some clothespins. The queen bed was very comfortable, and the kids slept well on the bunks, although personally I found the bunk mattresses a bit hard. We asked for room service only once a day, so the bunks stayed out: I had expected them to be put away during the day, but I guess we had to request this. The kids got along better having separate places to flake out in, so we didn’t bother. The ship was beautiful! There are lots of decks and places for people to hang out, so it was not apparent that we were four among 4299 guests. The pool areas obviously get crowded on sunny warm afternoon. The onboard rides and activities were terrific: Sky Ride and the Sky Course obstacle course were lots of fun. We did them on several days, usually just as they opened for the day so the wait was minimal. Please note that closed toed shoes are required - for the first few days lots of people had to return to their cabins to change their shoes. I would have loved it if these rides had longer open hours. My kids loved the mini putt, and we all had fun with the football/soccer pool game. The water slides were a lot of fun, with short to no waits at all - it helped that as Canadians the cooler Mediterranean spring weather was not a deterrent for us to get wet. We did any time dining and never waited for a table. We did not always get the same serving staff, although on the second day we were asked if we cared where we sat, so I presume that requesting the same table/area/wait staff can be accommodated, possibly leading to a wait for a table. Requesting a table through the app was not yet available on our cruise, we had to go to deck 5 in person. Food was plentiful and adequate. Vegetarian choices were a bit slim, but not hard to find. We preferred sit down restaurant service for breakfast and dinner as the food was significantly better than at the buffet. We did not eat at any of the extra-cost specialty restaurants (although I am sure their vegetarian options were delicious, the prices were not a bargain considering the value of our Canadian dollar at the time of our cruise). The 24 hour pizza was very good. I would have liked to see vegetarian options at the Blue Iguana (where they offered sides only, so a cold burrito), and the Mongolian Wok. The “featured vegetarian” item on evening menus was always excellent, consisting of 3 Indian curries with sides, all of which varied each day. We enjoyed the Carnival melting chocolate cake every day. Other dessert options were less satisfying: the buffet offered a big selection of cakes every day, but we found there was way too much icing for the amount of cake and were usually disappointed. The kids took great advantage of the 24 hour soft serve ice cream station. We did not see much of the onboard entertainment as we chose this cruise for the destinations and had busy days exploring Italy. We did enjoy the Dive-in movies most nights. Likewise the kids did not do the kids’ clubs. We did tours in Naples and Rome through private tour operators and toured Cagliari and Livorno on our own. I can provide details if anyone wants, but as these are not related to Carnival I will skip them for now. Disembarkation in Barcelona was very smooth. We chose to carry our own luggage off the ship, disembarking around 7:30 am after having breakfast in the Meridian restaurant and encountered no delays. There were lots of taxis waiting and we got to the airport quickly. And now the less-happy stuff: cigarette smoke. We’re from Canada where it is entirely possible as a non-smoker to go through a day or week without ever encountering smoke. Our past cruising experience was with Disney which has no casino, and restricts smoking to limited areas. On board the Horizon smoke was very evident: out on deck we were never far away from a smoking zone. By day 2 the middle stairs and elevators were smelly from the Casino and as the cruise went on the smell extended upwards to the top deck. For future cruises I will avoid rooms located near the casino stairs. People were complaining about “unfriendly and grumpy” staff on board. I found everyone to be quite friendly, but in a European way: competent and efficient, but not engaging in small chat. I learned quickly to ask for whatever I wanted when I ordered, because not all waiters will offer (for eg ketchup for French fries, or jam for toast). We had no issues with the elevators. The new system requires you to tap your destination floor when calling the elevator. You are told which elevator will get you there. There was confusion regarding how many times to tap the screen - some people were saying you tap once for every member in your party. We only ever tapped once, and only once did an elevator arrive that was too full to accommodate us. Our waits were very reasonable. That said we did take the stairs whenever possible. Overall it was a fantastic holiday and I would very happily sail on the Carnival Horizon again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise for the inaugural voyage and mediterranean itinerary. Pros: - Excellent Staff - although VERY SHORT HANDED - Cove Balcony Rooms EXCELLENT - Debarkation was easy - Veterns Gathering was EXCELLENT - ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the inaugural voyage and mediterranean itinerary. Pros: - Excellent Staff - although VERY SHORT HANDED - Cove Balcony Rooms EXCELLENT - Debarkation was easy - Veterns Gathering was EXCELLENT - Carnival excels at that Cons: - Boarding Ship in Barcelona - VERY UN-ORGANIZED - especially baggage - VERY POOR Food in Dining Room (Cold, Burnt, Tasteless) on multiple occasions - Poor choice of entertainment - Theater was WAY TOO SMALL!! - Poor organization and planning of Shore Excursions. Poor meeting place - many individuals missed their tours. - Inferior shore excursion buses: NOT SAFE - LIDO DECK - Total CHAOS - Understaffed, unsanitary and overall VERY VERY Disorganized. - Hibachi Grill Restaurant was too small - Diamond luncheon with the captain was a little disappointing - food was not up to standard - Diamond/Platinium party was poorly planned - over crowded Overall - this was the WORST CRUISE we have ever been on with carnival!! We are ambassadors for carnival and we are having second thoughts! We have been cruising with carnival for many years and are utterly disappointed with this cruise!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the timing despite having reservations about booking with Carnival due to a bad experience 18 years ago. It being a new ship and all we decided to give it a shot. This was a 30 year ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the timing despite having reservations about booking with Carnival due to a bad experience 18 years ago. It being a new ship and all we decided to give it a shot. This was a 30 year anniversary celebration and my 31st Cruise. Most other cruises have been with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess. My Third and last with Carnival. Embarking and disembarking went smoothly, better than most. When I opened the first closet door in the cabin a chain used to keep the closet doors from swinging back too far swung out and just missed hitting me in the face. I could see that the end of the screw that was to hold it in place, had tape around it and had come free from where it should have been. Obviously someone was aware of this and tried to fix it unsuccessfully. I reported it immediately to the cabin steward. It was never repaired. After a couple of days of nearly getting hit repeatedly, I unscrewed the remaining attached side and left the chain for the cabin steward to see. It still was never repaired. I respectfully adhere to the reuse of my towels for practical and environmental purposes but do not understand why those “towel animals “are placed on our beds daily? I would suggest doing this when there are children cruising. This just creates more unnecessary laundry and work for the cabin stewards. We appreciated being asked if we wanted a “turn down service” in the evenings which we felt was unnecessary so we declined. Our cabin was kept clean but we saw very little of our steward. Dining If you like to eat healthily forget this ship. There was an abundance of greasy fried foods, lots of meat and not a whole lot for vegetarians . The choices at the buffet were bland, the salad bar was bare bones, Caesar salad was tasteless. Same in the dining room. The Blue Iguana had fresh made tacos and burritos which were good. The pizza was ok, no vegiterian choice except mushroom alone which we had on several occasions as a last resort for dinner. The buffet breakfasts were the exact same every day, many items cold, tasteless. Omelets made to order were very good. There was limited fruit for breakfast. Saw whole oranges once, bananas most days. Cubed cantaloupe and honeydew melon every morning. Oddly in the evenings there was cubed watermelon, sometimes a little pineapple and a few grapes thrown in with cantaloupe and honeydew. I resorted to taking a bowl of fruit to my cabin in the evening to have for breakfast. There was no coffee / tea service from attendants at the Marketplace buffet until the second last day. A crew member with a cart was offering coffee, tea and juices. She told me it was the first day they were doing this.Also, the cups for water, juices and lemonade were small thick plastic cups one might give to a young child. I took a cup of water to my cabin and drank some throughout the night only to discover it tasted just like plastic. Anytime Dining The dining room lacked the elegance we are accustomed to on other ships. Table cloths used on formal night only. The first formal night was the best meal we had in the dining room. Lobster was served and cooked perfectly. One gentleman at our table had 3 servings. The tables had very casual looking plasticized woodgrain tops. The service was very slow. It took 20 minutes just to get a bread basket one night. Another night 40 minutes to locate our bottle of wine from previous night . We had no water at times and the wrong item brought to our table. We saw one server spill an entire plate of food into a passenger’s lap. We only ate there 4 times. One night the service was very good and we complimented the server and reported this to the dining manager. I asked to switch to set seating thinking this would be a better option and was run around the ship from guest services looking for the maître d, finally located the correct place. I asked to speak to him but was told he was busy. I made the request and was told someone would let us know. We never heard back. To get your table for Anytime Dining you have to line up on deck 5 to check in, then they indicate which deck to go to for dinner and when. Speciality Restaurants The Bonsai Teppan Grill was excellent. We went twice at an added cost. Well worth it. A very special surprise dessert at the end was amazing! Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and Seafood was average in comparison to other ship Steakhouse speciality restaurants. The Seafood Shack was ok, more fried stuff but other things as well. My clam chowder had a hair in it. The lobster rolls had a lot of mayo and were just ok. Some people commented that the crab legs were very good. Unfortunately we didn’t order them. We didn’t try some of the other places due to the types of foods being served. Mongolian wok for lunch was good but you must get there early as it is a small area and very busy. I enjoyed my meal but my husband found his bland which was odd because it was suppose to be spicy? Health and Safety From the onset of the cruise there were many many people coughing and coughing everywhere. Even boarding the ship we noticed it. People still tend to cough into their hands then handle all the spoons and tongs at the buffet, press the elevator buttons and so on. Even if you clean your hands upon entering the buffet you still need to clean them again before eating to avoid picking up all the germs from those who have not. This I can handle. What I found very disturbing and disgusting was the fact that numerous people filled their personal water bottles directly up under the spouts of the water, juice and lemonade dispensers instead of filling them from a clean cup. There was no signage indicating that this is an unsanitary practice and contributes to outbreaks in this type of environment. Other cruise lines have taken steps to avoid this and have posted signs as well as having a crew member encouraging people to sanitize before entering the area. The only sign I saw was a very small plaque on the ice water dispenser indicating to take as much as you would like but use a fresh cup to refill. I mentioned it to a crew member who gave me an awkward smile and said thank you. There were Purell hand sanitizer stands throughout the Marketplace Buffet areas but very few guests were using them. Needless to say we both ended up spending the last few days in the cabin, sick with bad colds which we still have. Shore excursions We took 6 Carnival shore excursions booked on line. Unfortunately our Best of Rome excursion was probably one of the worst excursions I have ever been on. I had seen many of the sights several years ago but we chose this for my husband’s benefit. Our first stop was St Peter’s square where we encountered the longest line I have ever seen, that snaked its way around the entire square. Someone asked the guide how long it would take to get to the entrance and she replied about half an hour. An hour and a half later she informed us that we had to leave having made little progress. We would not get into the Basilica as we didn’t have time. She then led us to a gift shop close by and said we had half an hour there. People were not happy. Based on her experience as a seasoned guide she should have known that we would not get in when we arrived or shortly thereafter. We then proceeded to the Coliseum where the lines were very long but after about 35 minutes we entered and she took us around, always in a rushed manner, walking quickly ahead. There were 50in the group. We stopped at a place for an arranged, included lunch which was ok, served quickly considering the number of people as another tour group was also there. The Trevi Fountain was a mob scene. We were having difficulty seeing the guide ahead as she was short and was carrying a half opened umbrella and not holding it up high. Other passengers had told her previously they were having trouble seeing her in the crowds but she ignored the comments. We suddenly lost her and the group in the mobs of people when it started to rain and numerous umbrellas went up. We could see other guides with their flags or paddles held high and after a brief panic, I approached a guide holding a Carnival paddle and explained the situation. He called her on his cell and then took us to her. I was very upset and told her we cannot see you with a half open umbrella which is not held up and her reply was to try to blame the Carnival person who was also with us but behind the group. No apology. Some people were very slow so they too had difficulties. After a 12hour day at $440 for the 2 of us we were not happy. I, as well as other guests, notified the Shore Excursion desk immediately when we got on board but was met with the standard customer service reply. Surprisingly, I received a phone call from the Shore Excursions manager who investigated the complaint and had credited our account for $95. We also learned that it was the security into the sites that resulted in the long lines. I had not encountered this in my previous visits to Rome. Had I known I would not have selected this excursion. It was very frustrating and exhausting. All the other guides were very careful about making sure we could see them and that we were all together. Most of the excursions were great, a little trouble understanding a couple of the guides but for the most part we enjoyed it. The bus drivers were amazing in handling the large buses in very tight situations. Taormina on your own was absolutely fabulous. We had about 4.5 hours to explore, shop, have a cappuccino and later lunch. It was a welcomed break from all the rushing of the other excursions. Highly recommend it.Sicily is beautiful and the one place I would love to return to see more of. We took the Hop on Hop off bus in Malta but wished we had not. There were 3 cruise ships in port and it was extremely busy with very pushy, rude people. Some cultures just don’t care about waiting their turn or respecting what little personal space you have. Very aggressive and unnecessary. We did one stop at Mdina which was lovely but the experience getting back on the bus resulted in us going back to the ship. The driver was having trouble controlling these people who continued to fill the bus when there weren’t any seats left. He refused to move the bus and ordered them off. Shouting, pushing. Not our style. In Cagliari, Sardinia we took the city tour from the pier which was in an open air bus. It was 22euro a person for a one hour ride to see not a whole lot. I would not recommend it. Entertainment There is no theatre for the main shows only 2lounges, which we found unusual. The Cruise line dancers and singers were mediocre. The entertainment overall was not that good. We noticed people during several shows getting up to leave. There were lots of trivia type games and such which were well attended and enjoyed. Comedy clubs were fairly good with different comedians. There was an adult only show which we attended. We are not prudes but this one guy went beyond being gross and sexually explicit making several people uncomfortable we later learned. We were surprised that this was acceptable even for an adult show. There were the usual around the pool activities. By the end of the first week we skipped the entertainment and retired early to our cabin. We did not make use of the IMAX. The Sea day I had planned to go, I was sick in bed. There were lots of activities for children and young adults. The Skyride was pretty awesome and not as easy as it looks. There is a laundry facility on deck 6 fairly close to this cabin. Good size washers for $3 a load.You use the cruise card to pay. Soap and softener available if you don’t bring your own. Ironing board and iron free. Pay dryers as well. Overall a combination of many small things and a few not so small things led to this being a big disappointment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I wanted to try an inaugural cruise and I wanted to try Carnival. We paid for a “sail away” ocean view fare and got a beautiful, 11th deck handicapped room with spa privedges. That was the best part of the cruise. I also liked that ... Read More
I wanted to try an inaugural cruise and I wanted to try Carnival. We paid for a “sail away” ocean view fare and got a beautiful, 11th deck handicapped room with spa privedges. That was the best part of the cruise. I also liked that “local” dishes for the day’s port were offerd on the menu in the dining room. Nice touch. I was very disappointed in the entertainment although the production staff was great. But they performed only 3 nights in a 13 day cruise. We did not go to the first night welcome aboard show—they may have been there. The rest of the entertainers were so-so—heavy on magicians/juggler type acts. The forward rooms for the first 3 decks are very noisy with thruster and wave bounce noise. The hotel captain agreed. My friend and his wife in a forward first deck ocean view cabin always knew when we were starting to get into port because it sounded like a large rolling cart outside their window. The hotel captain said that was the thrusters. Then they heard loud bumps or thumps. They thought we might have hit a container that may have fallen off a ship but after many thumps, the hotel captain verified that it was just the ship hitting waves. If you have trouble sleeping or want to sleep late avoid forward cabins on decks 1-3. I also would have liked casual seating for reading with natural light. We didn’t find a single window we could sit by and read. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
First off let me say the itinerary was awesome and the best I have ever experienced as a Platinum Cruiser with Carnival. The staff was warm and friendly with very few exceptions and tried very hard to adjust anything that had not quite got ... Read More
First off let me say the itinerary was awesome and the best I have ever experienced as a Platinum Cruiser with Carnival. The staff was warm and friendly with very few exceptions and tried very hard to adjust anything that had not quite got all the tweaks just right for a new ship on its Maiden Voyage. Almost all the excursions ran smoothly and seem to try hard to get the passengers the best for their money. Some need a bit of improving her and their but again they tried hard to make it work or at least make the errors in timing or traffic as fun as possible. But you expect a bit of that and for a first cruise a bit more, Having said all that I must say that the healthy food and nutrition which has become more prevalent for anyone who is either trying to maintain a reasonably healthy diet, has allergies or is one of 11 to 13 % of the global population and growing ... the dreaded Vegetarians. Ranging from the strictest Vegans to the various other Vegetarians, “BE WARE” Every year your ability to feed yourself a healthy well balanced diet wanes as the cost goes up. If case someone thinks this a big “Boo Hoo Feast” let me point out that we all pay the same amount to be fed the “Included” food. The included food should be base diet that at the very least should be healthy. What few options may be available should be clearly posted and simple steps can be taken to make sure that all passengers are made welcome and fed well. And years have been invested in all the correct steps of contacting customer service, meetings with the on board chiefs and the like but to no avail. Sadly, the launching of the Horizon was the worst to date and the corporate office that I have been told by the executive chiefs dictates the food available could care less. I personally have volunteered to work for them on a consulting basis to help them make very minor tweak to remedy many of the simply thoughtless, choices that could be easily remedied. These issues of sustaining a healthy diet, especially on a long voyage affect our children, the elderly and a growing number of adults that simply wish to avoid morbid obesity and all the risk to heart and health, Type II Diabetes, an array of digestive aliments that seem to be exploding, and the 10 percent of the worlds population that are vegetarians. Many Non Vegetarian practice a semi vegetarian diet as well. Most of us do not expect the same level of choices but we do pay the same amount and not to have the same opportunity or to be able to find a well-balanced options at any include facility on the ship, especially the Ledo deck where the majority of your meals take place is not acceptable. One green vegetable appeared at some but not all the meals and it was in a small container, placed at the back so it was hard to reach, and well over 80% of the time, it had bacon or some other item mixed in making unavailable to consume. The protein choices for those at least able to eat cheese, was equally as poor. Even places like Guys Burger bar have a veggie Pattie that they will take to the back and cook on a clean grill but nowhere do they post that. Do you know that you can get Soy milk? Yup it’s there but you have to chase someone down to get it. And again, no listing to make you aware that it is even available. And it comes in small containers that tjat can just as easily be put out as all the other forms of milk. If you drink the healthier alternative of Almond milk, forget it. Better buy it and drag it on board yourself. Hope you have time to go shopping. But you can chase someone down to go get you Soy milk. The blow off answer is to tell you to eat all your meals in the main dining room and if you tell the staff 24 hours ahead of time they will get you what you want. Again, we all pay the same amount to be able to get a healthy bite on our fun day at sea if at the pool or having to be up very early for an excursion and the only option is the Ledo deck or room service that is very sweet and kind but has yet to any order that is not on the menu correct. Sadly the Horizon either didn’t receive the order for basic healthy food or corporate has reached an all-time low on providing the needs of all within reason. I personally have watch the healthy choices for adilts and our children alike vanish when it is completely unnessesary and to offer a healthier choice can be more cost effective. But two week on a boat without proper protein and food choices that maintain a healthy diet for the money we spend is dangerous to the guest and very poor corporate choses when it effects up to 13% of their market. So the ship was beautiful, the staff was warm and friendly, many who went out of their way to help make sure where Horizon dropped the ball or didn’t care about our health … took what they had to help, the itinerary was awesome and I was fed beautifully off the ship as wer my more restricted passengers by kitchen who had so much less to work with, the chiefs Table which of course cost us over a hundred dollars each was magnificent and the $100.00 inaugural keychain gifts were nice but I’d rather be able to eat well and enjoy my trip without having to scavenge for basic food. FYI ….. My ideas on how to fix allot of the problem are still open to Corporate and can make Carnival the leader not only in fun and safe travel but staying healthy and fit for all as well. FYI … for all the high cost meats and animal proteins we are not consuming a basic healthy diet is not much to ask. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We choose to travel on Horizon for many reasons, firstly the sailing dates suited us very nicely and also it was a maiden voyage of Horizon. We came to know many fantastic staff on board during our cruise, Ms. Erbu from Turkey who was ... Read More
We choose to travel on Horizon for many reasons, firstly the sailing dates suited us very nicely and also it was a maiden voyage of Horizon. We came to know many fantastic staff on board during our cruise, Ms. Erbu from Turkey who was very nice, caring and helpful to us, , Ms Melina from Romania, Felix- from Peru, Vicktor from Hungry, David from Peru, Nikolina from Bosnia, Milutia from Bosnia , Frank who kept our rooms clean and tidy, There were many more staff that we had met and they made our our trip a great and memorial one. You had a great cruise director Mike. He made all the shows great and enjoyable for everyone. They was many varieties of food on board, We, both have highly recommended cruising to many of our friends. The shows every night was fabulous. we look forward to our next cruise on Carnival. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My wife and I chose this cruise to visit some points in history that we had not visited before. We chose a balcony room, it was roomy and very functional. Our service on the ship was always good, this included dining and room service. Our ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise to visit some points in history that we had not visited before. We chose a balcony room, it was roomy and very functional. Our service on the ship was always good, this included dining and room service. Our room steward and crew did an acceptional job. The ship was loaded with activities and shows. We saw a move at the IMAX and were quite happy with the experience. Carnival is our preferred cruise line, but are going too try some of the others to see how they fair. Overall our trip was great,we saw a lot and visited many sights. Thank You Carnival for a great trip. We have scheduled two more trips with Carnival to the Mexican Riviera and one to Ensenada during Christmas of 2016. We cruise not so much for the destinations, but just to be on a cruise. The cruise vacation has a good dollar value and includes plenty of relaxation if you want. My wife especially likes this type of vacation. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We've been cruising mostly Carnival the last 17 years. I feel we get the most bang for our buck and the treatment we get is awesome. We recently sailed with another couple (from the Czech Republic) on the new Vista through the ... Read More
We've been cruising mostly Carnival the last 17 years. I feel we get the most bang for our buck and the treatment we get is awesome. We recently sailed with another couple (from the Czech Republic) on the new Vista through the Mediterranean just before she headed to New York. The ship was very nice and met all of our expectations with a couple of exceptions...no glass elevators. My wife and I have always loved the layout of the Carnival ships so they are very easy to navigate. I think this time I expected something different. The "different" was the I-Max theater. Wow, very very nice but they need a much bigger selection of movies. Sci-Fi might be cool movies to see but it's just not us. "Sully" was great to see. The down side of having the I-Max was the loss of the glass elevators which I always thought were really awesome. They need to make the next ship (Horizon) long enough to accomodate both. The buffet was ok...the Seafood Shack was good and the price no big deal but I missed the Indian food and the fish & chips (on the Glory). Sushi is a must! The taste bar and the outdoor BBQ were fabulous! The salad bar on the Serenity deck needs an awning but what a fabulous idea...loved the selection..would've liked it to be self serve but the service was great. The Sky Ride was very cool and the water park was something I can't wait to take our grandkids to. The cabin (inside was adequate as usual). The updated room temperature control was an A++ on my wifes book! She hates being cold in the ship (we're outside mostly anyway) but she was cold in the cabin too much on other ships. We thought the "any time" dining would be great but after 10 days of it we decided assigned dining was better. That way you can get to know your waiter and the people you sit with. We'll probably do the early dining again as we have been on quit a few of the excursions for which late dining is nice.The service was great as usual with the exception of one dining night when the server was slow and oblivious. The items on the menu were sumptuous...I really got hooked on the flat Iron steak in wine sauce Because we were out and about so much in Greece, Italy, France and Spain we were too tired to hit much of the entertainment after dinner...sit in the hot tub and soak out the weariness. The countries we visited were absolutely picturesque with tons of history everywhere you go. All the ports were very nice and getting through them was very easy. The BEST way to get Euros is to take money out directly from your account from back home through an ATM at the country you are in. If you go to a bank you have to show them your passport. The exchange rate is better through the ATM as well.The real disappoinment was for as long as these countries have existed there were some places very filthy with grafiti everywhere.. even where there shouldn't have been. The joke was "it looks like Greek to me!". The open top buses (hop on, hop off) is one of the best ways to see most of the local major sites..about 20 Euros per person for the day.. The train ride to Rome was great and fast (100 mph/165 km).The crouds in Rome were insane. We still managed to see enough to scratch our siteseeing itch. The weather in Greece was very nice but got cooler the further north we went..naturally. By the time we got to Spain it was jackets! We are good with Europe for a long while now..we love the warm Carrabean. Overall, Carnival did a great job! Their service is splendid! Our entertainment director did a great job, unfortunatey she went to another ship. We'll be back on the Vista Dec 3 for a couple weeks. Coming from Michigan I'm looking forward to the warmer weather! ..and hopefully they have a larger selection of movies in the I-Max. I'm hoping Carnival has something going from Hawaii to Australia soon...I'll be on it if they do. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this particular cruise because we wanted to experience Carnival's new ship and at the same time visit some of the ports in Europe we had not seen before. As we have come to expect from Carnival, embarcation went smoothly, ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because we wanted to experience Carnival's new ship and at the same time visit some of the ports in Europe we had not seen before. As we have come to expect from Carnival, embarcation went smoothly, our cabin was ready when we boarded; however, it was our anniversary and I had purchased a package that included decorations, a bottle of wine, a card and chocolates. Whe we arrived only the decorations were there, the wine and the glasses were missing and the card was misspelled. Not a good beginning....(They did give us an extra bottle of wine and a very nice cake for our dinner on the date of our anniversary which was VERY nice of them) Being a brand new ship, The Vista looked incredible. All the spaces were very nice and very appealing, the Sky Cycle was a lot of fun to ride and the I-Max theater was amazing. The Havana Cabanna bar and the Havana area on the back of the ship were incredible. We did have some issues with the design of the ship when you compare it with previous ones like the Breeze which was our last cruise with Carnival and remains our favorite Carnival ship. First, the Liquid Lounge which serves as theater and night club is smaller than in other ships, the seating arrangement is not good and the seats themselves are not confortable, they don't even have a place to put your drinks. The floor is not slanted so the viewing of the show can be a little challenging if you have taller people in front. The atrium which is the main lobby is not as open as other ships and they did away with glass elevators. They gave too much space for the Pixels Gallery and since they are doing away with the printed photo diplay in favor of digital displays for the viewings, they could have made it smaller. The "New Any Time Seating" system they came up with is not confortable. Everyone wants to eat at 7:30 and you could see people waiting in line for a long time before they got a table assignment. Meals in the main dinning hall were VERY GOOD, the menus were varied and as allways included alternatives for the less adventured cruisers as well as some classic Carnival signature desserts . ALL the restaurans and alternative eating venues in the ship are just amazing, from the Blue Iguana Cantina, Guy's Burger Joint to the Bonzai Sushi and the Farenheit 555 steak house passing through the buffet line and walking to the 24/7 Pizzeria and a few others, you could allways find something to tickle your taste buds. Carnival's classic after dinner dance performed by the waiting staff was very enjoyable with the added plus of Ken our Maitre'd who sang every night and entertained us with Sinatra's greatest hits. The entertainement on board was just amazing, all of the ship's productions were incredible. The other acts booked for the trip were fabulous as well. If were going to say anything is that maybe they could have more activities during the evening after the last show. As far as service is concerned, we feel that Carnival's biggest asset and its most redeeming quality is the staff and we don't mean only the people you see but also the ones you don't. They are nothing short of amazing, allways willing to do anything to make you feel like you own the ship and make your onboard experience the best one in your life. One sore point for us was the Cloud 9 Spa. I will say 2 words... "Norwegian Epic"... Sorry guys but after experiencing the Spa on the Epic, we were hoping for something a lot more spacious and enticing. The Casino is not very welcoming, it feels small and the gaming tables too close to each other without space to move around. Also the ventilation is not very good so the atmosphere is dense with cigarette smoke. The ports of call were very good, we were sorry to lose the visit to Turkey but that is part of the way things go in a cruise. The shore excursions offered were very good only they were a little on the expensive side. From reading the book in our cabin about the design of the ship, we got that it was designed by hotel people more that cruise ship designers... It Shows.... In short, we had a wonderful time on the Vista, we loved the ports of call, we loved interacting with all the staff. we thoroughly enjoyed the shows onboard and the cuisine and we will keep sailing on Carnival (it remains our favorite cruise line).. Only not on the Vista. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I chose this ship because it was new and for the itinerary. i sailed solo so chose most economical cabin, so small but cozy ,nice bathroom The individual eating venues that I tried were great, Buffet, Burger joint, new BarBQ, Burrito ... Read More
I chose this ship because it was new and for the itinerary. i sailed solo so chose most economical cabin, so small but cozy ,nice bathroom The individual eating venues that I tried were great, Buffet, Burger joint, new BarBQ, Burrito Bar, Horizons Dining room service was outstanding. I couldn"t eat at them all The Comedy Club offered new comics every few days and all were very funny, 9:30 was family friendly, at 10 it was for adults only and some very raunchy. Staged shows were spectacular, just the costumes alone, for each show were outstanding! All the singers and dancers were so talented. Everyone in all categories were courteous, friendly, smiled, and so helpful. All ports were exactly what I wanted and why I chose this cruise, I have been to most of the port before. Transpo to Rome comfortable, only excursion I went on was very good and well worth the money. Read Less
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