2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Stayed in 7458 which is an aft-facing Havana balcony. This ship is so immense, having access to the Havana-guests only pool deck was a vacation-saver. Lido pools were constantly jammed, but most I ever counted in the Havana pool was 14 one ... Read More
Stayed in 7458 which is an aft-facing Havana balcony. This ship is so immense, having access to the Havana-guests only pool deck was a vacation-saver. Lido pools were constantly jammed, but most I ever counted in the Havana pool was 14 one sea day. Some different shows on the Horizon which is a nice change of pace from the repeats in the rest of the fleet. However, the volume is ear-splitting. I complained a few times to no avail. One Liquid Lounge manager said they check the decibels every night. That may be true, but they are setting the volume way to high. You can't even understand the lyrics from the singers. It was so bad, my ears are still ringing three days after our cruise ended. Our itinerary was the 6-day from Miami with stops in Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Ocho Rios is kind of dumpy. We did not do an excursion but wandered over the Margaritaville (which is just as lame as all the other locations). Touts descended on us nonstop, with some even calling to us through the fence in the port area. We stepped onto our balcony during docking and it already reeked of ganja. Our Cozumel excursion was canceled due to lack of interest: Elite Champagne Sail & Snorkel. Kind of surprising as there were three Carnival vessels in port that day. Pretty much stayed in the Havana area. Lido deck was jam packed with blasting music from a DJ, and a bunch of idiots who brought their own speakers. The cacophony was too much to handle. Elevators work fine if you use them correctly (press button once for each member of your party). Problem was that people in general are morons, and would just press the button once or just ask if a car was going up or down and jump on without pressing a button. Smart elevators, dumb people. Some crew was great. especially Havana and Alchemy bar staff. Atrium bar staff was efficient but not at all friendly. Piano bar player Dara was excellent, but you had to tolerate her playing her own stuff and constantly reminding people to tip her (which I don't blame her for, because the hayseed crowd seemed to not understand the concept of how a piano bar works). Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Elevator system on the Horizon was HORRIABLE. We took the stairs most of our cruise. They also need to have a separate elevator for the handicap and scooters. my mother had to spend most of her time in the room because of the lack of ... Read More
Elevator system on the Horizon was HORRIABLE. We took the stairs most of our cruise. They also need to have a separate elevator for the handicap and scooters. my mother had to spend most of her time in the room because of the lack of working elevators on the ship.Our stateroom was only cleaned once day after asking for twice a day am/pm. Food was not that great. Mike the cruise director was excellent he made the ship experience a little better. Also they need to start breakfast at 6am instead of 7:30 some folks get up early. Guest services employees need to be a little more friendly to there guest and not have attitudes. I have cruised on Carnival several times this was the worst. I do plan on crusing again on carnival to give them another chance and if no improvement I will be going on another ship.. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I just came of a 8 day cruise on the Carnival Horizon and it was the worst experience I have ever had on a Carnival ship. I will start by saying that the boarding process was fine. Once on board we went to the Lido deck while waiting ... Read More
I just came of a 8 day cruise on the Carnival Horizon and it was the worst experience I have ever had on a Carnival ship. I will start by saying that the boarding process was fine. Once on board we went to the Lido deck while waiting for the cabins to be ready. When we did go to our cabin #6445, we found that the cabin was nice, but we found that there were not any bathrobes in the cabin which your advertising states that there should be. I will say that the cabin steward Muh was very good and did a good job throughout the week. My party had the any time dining and on the first night we went to dinner and were seated at the back of the dining room walking past numerous empty tables. We ordered our dinners and appetizers and then waited for them to be served. The appetizers came and some were good and others were inedible. When the main course arrived not all of my parties meals arrived at the same time and when they did they were either warm or cold. We all agreed that it might just be because it was the first night. The next morning was a sea day and we all met for breakfast for the sea day brunch. We we were seated it wasn’t very busy yet. We again ordered our meals and the same issues occurred. The food was not brought out at the same time. One of my party order the Seafood tower and the bagel that came with it was so hard it was inedible. We constantly had to keep asking for coffee to be refilled instead of the wait staff offering to do it. We also had to refill our own water. One morning my wife tried the 12 hour French toast and it came out and it was raw inside. That afternoon and every day we went to the Lido deck for lunch and I will tell you that the only thing in our opinion that was good was either the Deli which you had wait in a very long line or Guy’s Burgers which also had long lines. In my opinion that was due to the poor quality of the food on the buffet. That evening we again met for dinner and we we again escorted to the very back of the dining room past many empty tables. We were put in a secondary dining area that was so dark you would not have be able to see the food when served. At this point I went to the hostess to complain and the Maitre D heard me and I explained the situation to him. He did arrange for us to have a table closer to the from and also gave us a very good waitress named Healene who we had for the remainder of the trip. Unfortunately the quality of the food never improved for the remainder of the trip. We were constantly having to asked for something else to eat or just not finishing our food. We went to several shows in the lounges and found them to be of very poor quality and actually walked out of several of them. The one that we looked forward to called the Celestial Strings was a huge disappointment. They also offered one that was Music that was from the Big Band time that was ruined by interjecting modern music into it. I know that this is a new and bigger ship, but I found it to be not a easy ship to get around in. In my opinion, to get to certain areas of the ship you have to either go up or down a deck to get to them. Even though I found the dining experience to be bad, there was one thing that surpassed that and that is the elevator system. I have never heard so many complaints by so many people about the elevators in all my years of cruising. It has to be the most idiotic system I have ever seen. You press a button and you are assigned to an elevator and you have no idea when that elevator will arrive because you don’t see what floor it is on. Many a time after waiting several minutes we would end up taking the stairs. This is not a big deal when it is one or two flights, but is very annoying when you are on deck four and you want to go to deck 10. The ship has a Serenity area that is just for adults, but it is beyond my understanding how you don’t have a pool on that same area. We did use the pool at the stern of the ship but found it to be overcrowded and felt like sardines when in it. We also went into the hot tubs on several occasions and they were just warm and the jets were very weak. No air in the jets for the relaxing feel. My wife and I both enjoy going to the casino when we cruise and I will tell you that we found the casino staff all very nice. The only complaint I have is that the cigarette smoke and smell is so bad that being non smokers it is very hard to stay for very long. You would think that this being a new ship they would have done a better job on recirculating the air in the casino to remove the smell. Even when the casino was closed when in port if you had to walk thru it, it stunk. I have been a frequent cruiser on Carnival and have never had a bad experience until now Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose Carnival because it seemed to be the cruise line that appealed to our family in the past. Things have changed in the last 5 years on Carnival. We chose the Horizon because of the timing and because it was a newer ship. The Pros - ... Read More
We chose Carnival because it seemed to be the cruise line that appealed to our family in the past. Things have changed in the last 5 years on Carnival. We chose the Horizon because of the timing and because it was a newer ship. The Pros - New Ship and very clean, the embarkation and debarkation were excellent, Never tried Your Time Dining before and was leary but we would up being ok with it. The Cons - My family hated the elevator system (I used the stairs so it did not effect me often), the food in in dining room was not as tastey, varied, and as plentiful as it used to be, the entertainment was not appealing to us, and the comedians onboard that week were awful. We never paid to eat in one of the extra $ dining rooms, but we did try the Mongolian Wok and Guys Pig and Anchor at lunch when they offered free meals. We liked the Mongolian Wok, but were disappointed in the BBQ options (except for the pulled pork, it was good) The excursions we chose were great. We did an ATV ride in Grand Turk, Dunebuggies and Monkeyland in Dominican Republic (these two excursions were the best we have ever done on any cruise), no excursion in Curacao only walked around town, and De Palm Island in Aruba (this was very nice). The excursion for my husband and son in the Domincan Republic was late getting back to the ship, but as promised the cruise line waited for the group to return (there were only 8 of them on this dune buggy excursion) and did not leave them! The overall experience was a good one, but we were bored a lot of the time while on the ship. Maybe it's because our children are now in their 20s and we have cruised about 9 times. It could just be getting old for us. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The reason was the new ship, the ports and the cost. It wa a perfect time and the staff was wonderful and always called me by my name. Our steward NATAN was the best I have ever had. The casino waiter also the best I ever had he had my ... Read More
The reason was the new ship, the ports and the cost. It wa a perfect time and the staff was wonderful and always called me by my name. Our steward NATAN was the best I have ever had. The casino waiter also the best I ever had he had my name down and drink of choice everytime without me asking. THank the VIFP club for the free appreciation drin, And of course the Casino, had a gret time. The Quest show was one of the funiest nights ever! The White nights and 80's were alot of fun and great msic. We ate in the speciality restaurants compliments of the casion it was fantasic Teppanyaki. Also ate at Guys Pig and Anchor great service for dinner and so much foo and great prices. Also thank the Casino Host he was wonderful and even got a T-shirt which made it more special. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
f you want to be overwhelmed by inefficiency, and get a good laugh to keep your sanity, and be extremely frustrated at the same time, the elevator system on the Horizon will invoke all sorts of feelings I did not meet one passenger that ... Read More
f you want to be overwhelmed by inefficiency, and get a good laugh to keep your sanity, and be extremely frustrated at the same time, the elevator system on the Horizon will invoke all sorts of feelings I did not meet one passenger that did not criticize the elevator system. Even crew members laughed at it’s inefficiency. People walked multiple decks, constantly, because they could not bear the wait for an elevator. Guess Carnival installed a system for passengers to keep weight down. Go luck if you are handicapped or a senior. Disembarkation was a nightmare. There were other negatives in addition to the elevators. On the plus side my wife made a small amount of money in the casino. Just so you don’t think these comments are from a new cruiser—this was my 91st cruise on 9 different cruise lines on over 30 different ships. I would place this Horizon cruise amongst the 5 worst. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I have cruised on Carnival a few times before. We left out of Miami after staying at the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach, which I would not recommend. We had Faster to the Fun, which is always worth it. Got on the boat in a breeze. Rooms ... Read More
I have cruised on Carnival a few times before. We left out of Miami after staying at the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach, which I would not recommend. We had Faster to the Fun, which is always worth it. Got on the boat in a breeze. Rooms were ready around 1:30pm. I felt like the rooms were bigger than those in the past. The lights confused us - your sign and sail must be in the holder for the power and lights to work. This also caused issues with charging - when there is no card or lights, no phones, etc. are charging. Seating was limited upon arrival at the Lido deck until rooms were available, but able to grab a table and have some buffet food for lunch. Our boys got pizza. Dinner was in the dining room, where our head waiter was not the most friendly of people, but they got the job done. Paid extra for the surf and turf, which in my opinion, was not worth it. Day two - day at sea. Did the brunch in the Meridian dining room, very good. Little one had the skillet cake, older the steak and eggs, hubby the French toast, which he ordered again. All very good. Very fun, so much for the boys to do. My oldest tried to do the Sea Ride, but the wait was an hour, so he passed. The boys did the water slides, pool, all the activities like golf, soccer, ping pong, etc. Dinner was in the Italian restaurant. It was good, but not the best I’ve ever had. Lunch was with the hubby at the sushi restaurant, which I highly recommend. It was so good. Day three - Jamaica. Did the bobsled excursion. The line was very long, like at least an hour for my kids and husband before they got on the sleds. Once they did it was very fun. The changing stations were not the best, so wear your suit under your clothes. Dinner was in the main dining, decent food. Day three - Grand Cayman. Did the turtle excursion. The bus we got on was hot and overcrowded, which is not unusual for these excursions, but one family went rogue and we were stuck on the bus waiting for them forever, sweating to death. Got to the turtle place, and it was pretty cool, but the heat was pretty unbearable. Their pool and slide were amazing! Had a decent lunch in their little restaurant. Took a public bus back to avoid the hot bus again, which was quite the adventure. But we arrived faster than the tour bus, which was good. Had dinner at the Teppanyaki place, which was so good. I highly recommend if you are lucky enough to get a reservation. The service was great and so was the good! Day four - Cozumel. Due to a late excursion to Passion Island were able to have a lazy breakfast at the Meridian. Good omelette, just a bit small. The excursion was ok. It was a 40 minute boat ride to the island, but they then make you wait in line to take yet another picture (which judging by the crowd, everyone was hot and over pictures at that point and just wanted to do their own thing). You then walk over to a meeting point where they tell you all about the island while the sweat trails down your back, and then they spend several minutes talking about tipping. The water was nice, we floated in it for quite some time. The open bar is not worth it, we ended up buying a couple of drinks from the cash bar to avoid warm well liquor. The buffet was meh, most food being out, they ran out of plates, and at the end, I found a hair in my food. When it was time to go back, we literally sat in the blazing sun for 20 minutes while they talked about tipping them. Enough. It’s hot. We had dinner at Guy’s Pig and Anchor. OMG. So amazing. Hubs had the prime rib which was delicious, I had pulled pork, my oldest had the ribs. All were so good. I would have eaten there every day for lunch had I known!!! Day five - Day at sea. Pools, basketball, sportsing, all the fun. Lunch was at the taco/burrito place which was ok. Dinner was at the steakhouse, Farenheit 555, on the boat. It was amazing. The only complaint was that they told us our oldest had to wear pants (which we bought but he forgot to pack), so we spent $65 on pants for him. When we got to the restaurant there was a family there that was wearing shirts with swear words on them, sweat pants, backwards baseball hats, half shirts and jeans, I could not believe that we were told our son could not wear his nice Gap khaki shorts, but this is ok with dress code, When I brought this to the restaurant’s attention, their comment was we just require pants. When I questioned if he wore his pajama pants, would that have been ok, they stated they just require pants. At the end of the day, they took care of us and we felt fully compensated but not sure that the requirement of pants is truly the requirement. We went to some comedy shows, did some trivia (I came in 3rd place for Mean Girls trivia), had a ton of pool time. I will say, this cruise had the most people I have ever cruised with, but with the use of space on the Horizon you would never know. With the exception of the embarkation day, there were no lines for food or issues with seating. You could actually use the pools and get a chair, and there were no issues with people. The restaurant food far surpasses the dining room and was a pleasant surprise. I loved the Horizon and would go back in a heartbeat!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Wide variety of activities and plenty of room to spread out. We loved the Playlist Productions shows - especially Soulbound and Celestial Strings. Only complaint was that the comedy club was too small. We still got in to see some good ... Read More
Wide variety of activities and plenty of room to spread out. We loved the Playlist Productions shows - especially Soulbound and Celestial Strings. Only complaint was that the comedy club was too small. We still got in to see some good shows but that was the only area with large waits. Sky bike was fun. Excellent food service. We had early seating and it was fast and efficient. Some of the dishes were fantastic. All were good. Dining room breakfast service was also fast . We had our own hot buffet in the family harbor area - great for the kids and for excursion days. Staff and activities in the kids clubs were great. Jane made sure that the kids in Circle C made friends and had fun. We are used to smart elevators but many are not - some posted instructions would be helpful for those that have not used them. Many people did not understand that they had to push once for each person and then were frustrated when their group could not fit on. Unnecessary frustration. Ports - DR - we stayed on the boat as did many others. The rest of the ports were great. Aruba- nice tour and mini sub ride, Grand Turk - went to the beach next to the ship, Curacao - walked to town and shops. We always have fun on Carnival. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because 3 of the 4 ports we have never visited. The ship was very accommodating for our needs. We enjoyed everything the Horizon had to offer! We really enjoyed the ease and convenience of the smart elevators. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because 3 of the 4 ports we have never visited. The ship was very accommodating for our needs. We enjoyed everything the Horizon had to offer! We really enjoyed the ease and convenience of the smart elevators. The entertainment was amazing! I certainly understand why Carnival is named the fun ship! There is something to do every minute of the day for all ages! Our dining experiences were awesome! Our first time dining at the Fahrenheit Steak House was an amazing experience from start to finish! We also enjoyed the ease and safety of our excursion. We purchased the UTV excursion in Aruba. The experience was amazing and the tour guides we had were also amazing! We highly recommend this tour! It's a great way to see Aruba, there are plenty more amazing excursion for this Island, but this is the one we selected! Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We just got back today! This was a family cruise for my husband and I and our 2 kids, ages 10 and 9, and my Mom. I absolutely loved it, loved all the activities on board, found my happy place on the 2nd level shaded area by the pool (must ... Read More
We just got back today! This was a family cruise for my husband and I and our 2 kids, ages 10 and 9, and my Mom. I absolutely loved it, loved all the activities on board, found my happy place on the 2nd level shaded area by the pool (must reserve your spots early with towels) they go fast! The bingo was fun, enjoyed the comedy shows, laughed my head off at the hairy chest competition by the pool, kids had fun on all the kid friendly game area including mini golf, my son was obsessed with billiard soccer, loved the chocolate extravaganza, my mom won $80 in the casino, the excursions we went on were amazing!!! Curacao has fantastic snorkeling, La Romana had a blast zip lining into a pool at Bavarian Adventure Park, fantastic!! We had a tour guide going to Aruba’s Eagle beach that was over the top funny, entertaining and passionate about Aruba: Albert Washington! Loved the ride to the beach because of Albert! Learned so much about this happy place!! The 2 guys that kept our cabins pristine: Midhun and Liberado, thanks for all your hard work to give us the best vacation ever! We loved our cabin!! #8386, of course the food was amazing! Nobody does it like Carnival! Xo Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because of the ship’s ratings as well as the itinerary. We could not have had a better time. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. The food was all AMAZING. The staff all around the ship were friendly, outgoing, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ship’s ratings as well as the itinerary. We could not have had a better time. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. The food was all AMAZING. The staff all around the ship were friendly, outgoing, and helpful. We ate in the dining room for breakfast and dinner each night. Not only were the food choices perfect, the whole dining experience was exceptional. We fell in love with 2 pairs of wait staff so made sure to ask for their sections as we had chosen anytime dining. One group was David and Woody and the other was Peter and Sovi. The anytime dining worked out well for us and even with requesting wait staff, we never waited longer than 10 minutes. It was so nice not having to adhere to a specific dinner time. The ship is so clean and well maintained. Everywhere you go, you see someone cleaning and/or doing some sort of maintenance around the ship (painting, fixing, etc..). Comedians were hilarious, also enjoyed the cruise director. We loved the Love and Marriage show as well as the Quest. There was always something to do and you can stay well informed both on your app as well as with the daily newsletter you receive. We decided to get the drink package after much debate and I would definitely do it again. We never had a problem getting a drink. Some of the bars are more crowded than others but we never waited more than a few minutes at any of them. There are tons of bars around the ship so we found a few to frequent and the bartenders get to know you and what you like which is so nice. Take advantage of the BBQ lunch when it’s open, DELICIOUS! We had a balcony room, our steward always had it so nice and clean for us. The bed and pillows were super comfortable and trust me, I am picky about that. The ports were fun, do your research though as that’s something I wish we had done prior as we didn’t do as much as we would have liked to while ashore and excursions do sell out so don’t wait if you see something you like. On the first full day at sea the cruise director does a morning show that tells you about each port and some of the available excursions which was very informative. I really can’t think of anything negative to say as we had such a fantastic time. We are already looking at cruises for next year!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
”We had the pleasure of sailing on an 8-night Southern Caribbean Cruise on Carnival Horizon, departing June 15, 2019. Our cabin was an Interior Havana (74848.) We opted for assigned late seating. Embarkation/Disembarkation We ... Read More
”We had the pleasure of sailing on an 8-night Southern Caribbean Cruise on Carnival Horizon, departing June 15, 2019. Our cabin was an Interior Havana (74848.) We opted for assigned late seating. Embarkation/Disembarkation We arrived at our assigned time, which was 12 noon. The arrival process was super fast and we were on the ship by 1230 p.m. For disembarkation we decided to walk off with our luggage. We had a nice 8 a.m. breakfast in the MDR and then walked off. Again, everything went very fast and took about 30 minutes. Cabin The Havana cabins feature a nice, upgraded décor. Ours was unfortunately missing its art piece. Storage is limited, but we were able to fit everything. The bathroom is roomy enough. We wish they would have updated the shower curtain with an actual door. Upgraded Havana amenities were initially placed, but not replenished. Standard Shampoo and Shower Gel is available in pumps in the shower. Havana Area Simply amazing! We always found a chair and it never felt crowded. Hot tubs were rarely used. There seemed to be an issue with the filtration system of the pool, as it often got cloudy. All the suntan lotion probably did not help. Food & Beverage MDR – We loved our dinner experience every night. Food was fresh, delicious and well presented. Dining room was beautiful. 555 – Tasty and well presented. Unfortunately it was unbearable hot in the dining room, so we couldn’t really enjoy the experience. JiJi’s (Dinner) – Innovative, fun and delicious food and drinks. Again, the space was a little warm. Cucina (Dinner) – My favorite of the specialty restaurants. Wonderful flavors, upscale presentation and comfortable. Again, the space was a little warm. Lido – I am not a buffet person, but there were many options. We all loved the daily gelato. My favorite station was the deli. Just amazing sandwiches. Guys and Blue Iguana – The burgers were not as good as I remember, but still pretty tasty. Iguana was good. Just wish the condiment bar would have stayed stocked. Alchemy Bar – Fantastic! (nothing else to say) – oh, try the Martini Class – so fun. Havana Bar – Yes! Entertainment Mike Pack is amazing! Friendly, relatable, down to earth, but whacky enough. Always there. Loved him. Shows were fresh and innovative. The sidelines in the show lounge are horrible, so get there a little before the doors open. Who came up with this design? White and 80s Parties were very fun – do not miss. Service This is were Horizon really shines! Service in the dining room was friendly, fast, helpful and fun. The team knew our names half way through our first dinner. Very impressive. Bar service at Alchemy and Havana was superb. Just a friendly and kind team. Cabin service was wonderful. We always found everything in order and were even brought ice and a cute daily towel animal. Our steward Myat was kind and always smiling. Thank you! We would like to thank Florin and Enrico in the MDR, Aleksander, Doan and Zolan at Alchemy and Angela, Jorge, Jose and Joel (Phillipines) in the Havana area. You all really made our vacation outstanding. Thank you! We hope to sail with Carnival again soon, but feel that our experience was this amazing thanks to being able to stay in the Havana area and not having to deal with crowds and chair hogs. Hopefully this helps other cruisers. Safe travels!” Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Our first cruise experience ever was the Carnival Fascination some 15+ years ago. We have a very nice time but with the caveat that the Carnival brand was a younger person's party cruise and we were ready for something a bit more ... Read More
Our first cruise experience ever was the Carnival Fascination some 15+ years ago. We have a very nice time but with the caveat that the Carnival brand was a younger person's party cruise and we were ready for something a bit more sophisticated. Since then, we have done multiple trips on Disney, NCL and RC. After watching a promo video on the new Carnival Horizon ship, we decided to give Carnival another try. Three days into our eight day trip and I expressed to my wife how pleasantly surprised I was at the experience. I was actually borderline impressed and that says a lot from someone like me. The food onboard was outstanding. We noticed that in comparison to our last Disney cruise experience where Disney appeared to be ratcheting down their food quality and experience, Carnival has totally upped their game. Don't get me wrong - cruise ship food is just that, cruise ship food. But on a scale of 1 - 10, Carnival's Horizon experience was a solid 9+. From their fast food stops, to their buffets to their sit-down options - we were pleased through and through. Like any company, Carnival has made choices on where to invest their dollars and where to throttle back their investment. The positives areas where they made investment: - kid's water park on top (although it should be open past the 6:00pm that is shut's down each day) - food options - dining room experiences - solid stateroom size, cleanliness and experience - great staff members - hand wash machines at key locations (albeit see below as not everyone used them) - cabin, bar and restaurant staffs were outstanding The negatives: - limited TV channels to a handful or so. On a 8 day cruise, at the very least an option should be offered to purchase an extended package of TV channels - soft drink availability options were the pits and forcing you into a woefully overpriced pre-pay package was a lousy alternative - the lack of actual chicken fingers on the boat was noticeable for parents with kids in tow. it wasn't that they were nowhere, they just were very limited in when and where you could find them - lack of staff to force hand sanitizer on people entering the buffers was noticed - so many people and presumably so many germs. It makes one feel better to know that at least everyone was being offered sanitizer as they come into the space - the "fun crew" were a bit grouchy. Don't get me wrong, they put their best face forward. From the cruise director to his staff, you could sense that they were short on patience and the repetition of what they do each week was perhaps weighing on them. With our experience on the Horizon, Carnival rose to a tie for our favorite cruise experience. While very different then Disney, and not to be thought of as like cruise experiences, Carnival more then holds its own in the cruise market on this ship. We considered the Carnival experience to be on par with our RC experience on Oasis. NCL has moved to a distant last place based on all of our experiences. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I love the deep Southern Caribbean cruises and this was a new ship of Carnivals and I wanted to give it a try and it did not let me down. Food was great, entertainment was fun and they had a lot to do for every age group. Our Suite in the ... Read More
I love the deep Southern Caribbean cruises and this was a new ship of Carnivals and I wanted to give it a try and it did not let me down. Food was great, entertainment was fun and they had a lot to do for every age group. Our Suite in the Havana was so nice our own private patio with a swing chair was so nice. We had a 2 sink bathroom with a walk in shower with a built in seat and a rain shower head. Loved it there were 4 of us to this room and we all had plenty so space to sleep and 2 TV so there was no fighting over the channel changer but who cares we were outside so much. The bike ride was scary and fun glad I did it and the skies were so much fun. The service to me was a 10 because the restaurant service team foe my anytime dinning always made sure I was at the same table because I wanted to keep the same people to serve use because they were so good to my family. They joked with us they took pictures with us and genuine care that they were happy to see us every night as we were to see them. They work very hard on these cruise ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
First, let me start by saying this was my fourth cruise on a Carnival ship and I was not disappointed. Previously I have been on the Liberty, Pride, and the Vista. I have a strong and reinforced belief that any cruise is what you make of ... Read More
First, let me start by saying this was my fourth cruise on a Carnival ship and I was not disappointed. Previously I have been on the Liberty, Pride, and the Vista. I have a strong and reinforced belief that any cruise is what you make of it. I had a Havana cabana room allowing me to spend time in the quieter Havana pool area which was AMAZING!!! The Havana Cabana outside deck area was wonderful and relaxing one of my favorite points was the hanging chair which would sway with the breeze at night. The ship is very large however easy to navigate. In terms of the food, I would have liked to see some better options available for formal nights, however, the themed meal for every port we were in was great. The entertainment was amazing the shows were phenomenal. AS a person that normally skips the shows in favor of seeing the comedians I was drawn in and not disappointed with any of the shows performed throughout the week. The fun squad was amazing. A few people in particular that made my time on the ship extra special were Lindsey aka Lucky Lindsey and Tyler. Those two made it feel like cruising with some of my best friends. The cruise director Mike...was definitely an unexpected delight. He was personable, funny and energetic. Just the type of cruise director I always look for when booking a cruise. Mike was always leading the party, keeping every one highly informed and checking in with people as he made his way around the ship for daily activities. I can easily say that I will be on this ship again in the future. This ship has the best of both worlds, plenty of ways to relax and just enjoy the time on the ship and many activities that are for the party animal on the inside. Everyone I passed on the ship loved their time there. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
So our Cruise group sets out every two years on a adult only cruise. We need a break from the kids. Anyway in choosing a cruise, destination and ship are the main criteria for us. After our 2017 cruise we knew the Horizon was set to ... Read More
So our Cruise group sets out every two years on a adult only cruise. We need a break from the kids. Anyway in choosing a cruise, destination and ship are the main criteria for us. After our 2017 cruise we knew the Horizon was set to debut soooooooo we checked out the destinations and low and behold it was cruising to 3 new Islands we had never visited, Dominican Republican, Aruba and Curacao besides our first port Turks and Caicos which most of us had visited at least twice. Also it was a 8 night 9 day jaunt and since we loooooove to cruise ding ding ding the Horizon was our Pick for 2019, June 1st 2019 to be exact. Porting outta Miami we were hyped up about this cruise. We were not disappointed. Upon boarding the ship we were impressed with the atrium and the area around the large atrium bar. Of course we saw plenty of live and virtual video's of the ship, impressed we were, but live and in person confirmed what the video's showed us, this ship is Da Bomb!!! .....and we had just stepped on board. Anyway not to write a book, the elevators were new and using a new system and they were easy to navigate. The lido deck with its usual Guys Burgers, Frog Bar and Taco and Burrito stand were there and did not disappoint. The new set up for the buffet was interesting as it took the form of two island stands and you circle the stands to get the grub. In the middle is a chef who serves you bacon for breakfast or carves up the meat for lunch and dinner. Ok dont freak out cause the omelette station is set up on both sides of the buffet room and of course the buffet is set up on each end of the deck. Oh yeah the food was grrrrrreat! The ship is easy to navigate, The specialty restaurants are in close proximity, you can see em from the big huge picture windows which give you a view of the inner ship as well as a ocean view on the other side of the eateries. Our cabin was great, we had a balcony, and the entertainment of all levels was a++. The IMAX movie theater show's first run movies and At Thrill Theater, action jumps off the screen in a complete multidimensional experience - feel the wind in your hair or a light splash here and there or a poke in your back. Yes I did jump. The service was exceptional, the staff and crew were very professional and friendly. The ports were very beautiful, even grand turk for the 3rd time but Curacao stole the show. We took a private island tour: we just paid a cab driver to take us around so he loaded all 11 of us onto his van and gave us a very detailed tour complete with stops to take pics, visit the Premium Curaçao Liqueur & Blue Curaçao distillary and some of the resorts. This was a great tour. This is a great ship. Book it!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise because of the destinations. Some of the staff were a little so aggressive for my taste (eastern European women). The dinner check in was aggravation and dining on the last few days felt a rush and not much effort was ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the destinations. Some of the staff were a little so aggressive for my taste (eastern European women). The dinner check in was aggravation and dining on the last few days felt a rush and not much effort was put in towards the food. The cabin was an ok size. Ship was beautiful. Elevators could be a little confusing and way too crowded because of how it's set up. The liquor store did not have the jamaican cream rum I wanted. I was told they would not have it until the ship return to port in Miami (that was day 2). Not really enough on board activities. We had to wait in line about 2 hours in the hot sun to board the ship because Carnival was late letting people get on. It was a nightmare. All in all it was a good trip and a fun experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I commend the Cruise Director, entertainment staff and Playlist Productions on a wonderful experience. The Celestial Strings was by far the best production i've seen on any ship. This was quite a stunning performance and the team is ... Read More
I commend the Cruise Director, entertainment staff and Playlist Productions on a wonderful experience. The Celestial Strings was by far the best production i've seen on any ship. This was quite a stunning performance and the team is very talented. The Cruise Director Mike is so entertaining and has so much energy and really knows how to pump up the crowd and include everyone. He was EVERYWHERE ensuring fun! Our family loved him. The dining room staff was upbeat and they had a few really good dancers surprisingly. The food was average and I recommend ordering from the Grill. There were several dishes I had to send back, but overall we were satisfied. The salmon was amazing and the lobster was very good! The buffet could use some healthier options and wish it was open after long port stays when pizza or burgers were the only options....i love guy's burgers but really dont want to live off them for days. I would like more fruit and green options as well for breakfast. Would be nice to have more than one cook on omelette station. The bar service was great and so was the pool service. Rarely had to wait for drinks. They were really on top of it. I had a balcony room, 7223 and our cabin steward was Arnell. He was by far the best i've had on over 10 cruises. The room was spotless and we always had fresh pool and bath towels. We were so impressed. I tend to do my own things for excursions and rented a jeep in Grand turk. This was such a great option for us as we got to go offroad to a few "off the beaten places" and felt completely safe on this island. Love this island and the snorkling here is topnotch. We rented a van in Aruba with another family and again, this was a great way to see the island and go at our pace. We took taxi in LaRamona to the beach which was 25 mins away. There were many "sales" people every 2 minutes trying to sell stuff but the service for chairs/food was nice. The beach was clean but we were not impressed with this port and would not want to return. No areas to walk too and many people didnt feel safe as there have been many issues in the country for tourists recently. Curacao was beautiful and we taxi'd to Mambo beach in the afternoon and enjoyed walking the city for shopping in the morning. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Many months ago, we chose this cruise primarily because of date availability and number of activities for our 3 grandchildren, ages 6-14. When we realized booking in the Family Harbor was basically the same price as a regular interior, we ... Read More
Many months ago, we chose this cruise primarily because of date availability and number of activities for our 3 grandchildren, ages 6-14. When we realized booking in the Family Harbor was basically the same price as a regular interior, we went that route because of the private lounge for gaming, snacks, coffee, television, etc. This was the first time we have tried doing a family cruise with 11 of us. There were some challenges with that. But overall, it was still super. My wife and I have cruised about 12 times on various ships, but this was the largest ship we've booked and there is good and bad that goes with that. The embarkation was very smooth. We chose to park our cars off-sight, so we did a drive-through the Port of Miami to drop 9 people plus all our luggage. The 2 drivers then headed off to park the vehicles on the mainland, catch the shuttle back to the Port, and get with the family. Family was dropped off at 12:00 noon, and we boarded the boat at 1:00 pm. We couldn't get to our rooms right then, but with a little sweet-talking, they did allow us to head into the Family Harbor area just to drop off our carry on's at our room before heading on to lunch. We chose Guy's Pig & Anchor on Deck 5 for our lunch rather than head to the Lido Buffet. Overall, a good decision. The food at the BBQ was not quite what I had hoped for, but it was good, and it was even better when very few people seemed to opt for that choice despite it being free on sailing day. Overall, meals were good--above average. Nothing just wowed me at dinners, but all was good. We chose Anytime Dining, but after our first night of meeting our waiters that night, we zeroed in on making a point to get to them each night. "Big G" was our waiter---he was phenomenal with our kids! He was a grandfather of 3, and I think our 3 must have reminded him of his own grandkids. He made them feel so special. So, as the week wore on, our "Anytime Dining" was driven by our ability to get to Big G's table. The process of getting your Anytime Dining seating was a little different. You had to go to the coffee bar on Floor 5 to "check in" and show your entire party. At that point, you would be sent back to floor 3 to the dining hall, or given a beeper and told you would be called in a while. Sea Days were incredibly busy in the Water Parks area and Ropes Course/SkyRider. On the day the boat was in Cozumel, we made a decision to stay onboard with the grandkids so they could have complete access to those activities without the long lines. I would advise thinking about doing that as well. Pick a day you are not going into a port and use the ship's activities without all the hassles. All of those activities also have limited hours. The Water Park closes at 6:00 pm every evening. Check the hours on your Carnival Hub regularly to make sure you don't miss opportunities to do things. We found the Deli line and Pizza Line to not even be worth the hassle in the late evenings. I don't ever recall being on a cruise where I didn't hit up the Pizza Place at least a few times late in the evening. One night on the way to the Ice Cream dispenser, I hit a line and asked the people what it was for. "The Deli" was the answer. I refuse to wait 45 minutes for a Reuben at 10:30 at night. That was probably the biggest downer on the cruise for us was more long lines. We knew with the bigger ships, that might be an issue. It was a little more than I was comfortable with. Guy's Burger Joint on the Pool Deck on Sea Days was at least 30 people deep for hours at a time. Sea Days, normally a favorite of mine, were uncomfortable due to the crowds. I also acknowledge if we were not traveling with kids, there were other options available for adult pools and areas. Highlights were our excursions of Mystic Mountain/Jamaican Bobsled Run & Dunn River Falls climb in Jamaica. Our oldest son and wife took the 3 kids on a swim with the stingrays trip in Grand Cayman. They had a real blast doing that as well. Both of these excursions were great. My wife did not care for the Promenade Shops at all on this boar. They are good for expensive watches, perfume, or liquor. The normal shops where you can walk around and look at clothes and knick-knacks just weren't there. In her eyes, this was a major bummer. PIxels photo lobby was great--had not been on a cruise since the photo shops have gone more modern. Now you just log in and look at your photos vs. see all the photos lined up on the wall. Much smoother. Debarkation was a disaster for some reason. We were very, very late getting off the boat. In fact, still sitting there at 11:00 waiting for number to be called. This was contrary to everything I'd read about the new procedures in Port of Miami being smoother. I will assume it was an anomaly, but on this particular day, it was a long, long wait. We were beginning to think we'd get to sail away with the next group of passenger. Overall, it was a great trip with family. A memory maker. We didn't care for the long lines, the shoppes, casino (super small), but there were plenty of activities, wonderful dining room staff, nice sea day brunch, and plenty of positives. We enjoy Carnival--just understand it is what it is---low cost (for the most part) carrier with not a lot of the frills, bells and whistles you might like, but it got the job done for the 11 of us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
It was my first time cruising so I wanted a cruise worth every penny. The ports sounded nice when I booked so I went for it. Once on board I was like a little kid with a new home, exploring all the decks walking around. I loved loved loved ... Read More
It was my first time cruising so I wanted a cruise worth every penny. The ports sounded nice when I booked so I went for it. Once on board I was like a little kid with a new home, exploring all the decks walking around. I loved loved loved the guys burger omg amazing and the pizza!!! Ugh I miss it so much!! Horizon is just amazing from the mike the director to the fun squad I loved every minuet. We also did the carnival quest which is led by mike and so much freaking fun! I am completely hooked on cruising it’s the best! The lido deck I think could of done better food wise but it was horrible. The captains night dinner was ok as well. Carnival from what am told is a part boat and boy are they right! There were parties every night! I miss it every day Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Overall this was a wonderful vacation for my wife and me. Unlike some of the other reviews regarding the Horizon, I did not experience any problems with the bar wait times. I normally had my drink within a couple of minutes and the staff ... Read More
Overall this was a wonderful vacation for my wife and me. Unlike some of the other reviews regarding the Horizon, I did not experience any problems with the bar wait times. I normally had my drink within a couple of minutes and the staff was always friendly. The staff in the buffet areas seemed new. English was not good at all but they were friendly and worked really hard to please. Being Platuim, embarkation/Debarkation was a breeze. Nothing to complain about. The vessel is beautiful and well laid out. After the first day, the smart elevators became second nature. You just have to pay attention to which elevator it says is the one you need to take. The food was normal Carnival Cruise food. The buffet was plenty and filling, the deli and pizza were always open and never disappointed. We tried JiJi's and LOVED it. A few afternoons the JiJi area doubled and the Mongolian Wok. There was a little wait but worth it. The dining room food hasn't changed much over the years. Well, prepared and presented. Staff was prompt and friendly. We prefer anytime dining so we can dine by ourselves. We are the go with the flow kinda people so it takes a lot for us to complain. The only criticism I would offer regarding the Horizon is the ventilation in the casino. It's horrible. I would have probably dropped a few more hundred at the craps table if I could have breathed. Not sure what they can. However, it's hard to gamble when you cat breath..lol A special shoutout to Ishmel our room attendant. He did an OUTSTANDING job. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Our fabulous 8-day cruise to the “Exotic Southern Caribbean” aboard the Carnival Horizon was filled with plenty of positives and very few negatives. My wife and I wondered if the negative reviews were actually describing another ship. ... Read More
Our fabulous 8-day cruise to the “Exotic Southern Caribbean” aboard the Carnival Horizon was filled with plenty of positives and very few negatives. My wife and I wondered if the negative reviews were actually describing another ship. Tastes, preferences, and interests are unique to each cruiser, so I offer a bit of caution when you read those negative reviews about the Carnival Horizon. We sailed from Miami on May 18 and returned on May 26 after visiting Grand Turk, Dominica, Curacao, and Aruba. Boarding was a little delayed due to the previous cruise arriving late, but once we started moving, everything went very smoothly. We were settled in for a delicious BBQ lunch at the Pig and Anchor by 1:00. Sail away was at 4:00. A brief note about each port: On Grand Turk we simply enjoyed relaxing on the beach. Umbrellas and chairs are free in rows three and four. Margaritaville has a very nice pool with free access just steps away from the beach. We spent a relaxing day without spending any money! On Dominica we paid for an excursion to Monkeyland. If you read any negative reviews about this, I doubt the reviewer really went there. It was super fun to have the monkeys jump onto you for the food which was given to us. This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience! The ride to the monkeys aboard a comfortable bus gave us a glimpse of life on the island. On Curacao we strolled around the city enjoying the Dutch architecture, and we placed a padlock on the Lovelock Sculpture. This is a fun thing to do. Remember to bring a padlock. We did a little gambling, but didn’t win anything. We didn’t lose much, either. We didn’t leave port until 10 PM, so we got a glimpse of the lights at night. We didn’t stroll far enough from the dock to get a really good view, however. On Aruba we took the second of our two excursions. We took a comfortable bus tour of the top ten sites on Aruba. This was very enjoyable. Be sure to heed the guide’s warning about which stops have fee restrooms and which are free. We got back to the port in plenty of time to do some shopping in the area. Right outside the restricted port area you will find a local market. There are actually two “markets.” You need to cross the busy street to get to the one which appears to be more “local” and is in a big tent. I imagine many of the products are made in China but it still fun to browse in the market and talk to the local people. Now the “highlights” and “lowlights.” In no particular order: There was plenty of seating, everywhere, despite having almost 5,000 people onboard. There were only 500 children, so that may have made a difference. Single deck chairs were always available. If you needed a lot of chairs in a row they were not always available. My favorite place to sit was the Lani. Lounge chairs were always available there. My wife preferred a chair in the sun near a pool. She almost always found her chair waiting for her. Seating for shows was not as difficult as I expected. We always arrived a half hour before show time, but we would not have had to. The food in the dining room was almost always very good. I know you read otherwise, but unless you are a foodie, you will be happy. The food on the buffet was good and you have many options. Sometimes the dining room food is served on the buffet. At lunch there is a special row of fancy iced cakes. If you try a few pieces at each lunch, you will discover your favorite, but they do change every day. In the regular dessert section of the buffet they sometimes have amaretto cake which is excellent. Try it with some of the free ice-cream or gelato, which is available 24 hours a day. My very favorite dessert was the 7-layer cake served only during Sea Day Brunch. I liked that better than their signature melting chocolate cake served the dining room. Pizza is available 24 hours a day. It’s good. Guy’s Burgers are fantastic. They are free and there are several variations. Food in Ji Ji’s Asian Kitchen is outstanding. It is a specialty restaurant so you have to pay $15 for it. At noon there is a free version of the great food. It is called the Mongolian Wok at lunch. The bed and bedding were very comfortable. We were able to disembark at each port, quickly. Lemonade is always free and always available. It does not taste free! We really liked it. The Carnival Hub App is free and a must-have. It tells you what’s happening, which food places are open, and many other useful things. For $5 you can add a chat feature so you can text with your cruise mates for the whole cruise. My wife and I found it very helpful. The pastrami sandwich in the deli is delicious, and huge! There is free room service until late night. We just used it for coffee in the morning. The staff was very friendly, helpful, and kind. Once exception is noted below. Everything is squeaky clean and they are always cleaning and tidying up. The Fresh Creations salad bar on the Serenity Deck allows you to make a salad with dozens of ingredients. You can even load up on shrimp! I hesitate mentioning the few negatives because the positives far outweigh them. Our wait staff was not very attentive to our needs and the main waiter forgot things. When we asked for lemon or coffee he said he would bring it, but didn’t. He even forgot one of my main dishes. We heard it was advantageous to provide an extra tip at the beginning of the cruise. We won’t do that again. The people in the casino were not helpful and the lady in the cage was rude to me. I was told to “settle down” in a condescending tone. The free popcorn during movies on the deck was not very good. We didn’t try the popcorn for purchase in the theater. Although it was not Carnival’s fault, sometimes inconsiderate people sat next to me during the shows. One woman sang along when it wasn’t a sing-along! She did stop when I asked her to, however. These few negatives will not prevent us from sailing on a Carnival ship in the future. We loved our Carnival Horizon adventure. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The ship, crew, experience was awesome....EXCEPT for buffet. There were 2 service food areas in the Marketplace Buffet. Each area had 8 hot serving stations. For every meal, each serving station had the same dishes as all of the other 7. ... Read More
The ship, crew, experience was awesome....EXCEPT for buffet. There were 2 service food areas in the Marketplace Buffet. Each area had 8 hot serving stations. For every meal, each serving station had the same dishes as all of the other 7. There was 1 red meat, 1 fish, 1 white meat, carving station, rice, potato, 1 veggie, 1 soup....you get the idea. On other cruise lines there were many many more options. The staff and performers were awesome. The Carnival Quest and the Lip Sync contests were some of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. The ship is beautiful. I liked the elevators except when we were trying to get off in port in Curaçao. We waited 15+ minutes to finally get the elevator. My mother was not able to take the stairs so elevator was the only option. There were so many things to do and see. We never explored all of the ship. Overall, we had a great time filled with laughs and memories. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
As a family that cruises regularly, my husband and I decided to spend our family vacation this year aboard the Carnival Horizon, traveling with our six year old and 10 month old daughters. Worst and most expensive mistake we ever made. ... Read More
As a family that cruises regularly, my husband and I decided to spend our family vacation this year aboard the Carnival Horizon, traveling with our six year old and 10 month old daughters. Worst and most expensive mistake we ever made. Being that we have cruised with Carnival several times in the past and had wonderful experiences I neglected to read the reviews prior to booking with the Horizon. The customer service experience was horrible. On the very first day and immediately after embarkation I was trying to take a picture of my daughter next to the life size towel animal and because it was with my own camera and not carnivals, I wasn’t allowed to take the photo. Just another tactic to force you into buying the mediocre and expensive photos through carnival instead of being able to capture your own memories. Shortly after that, my youngest daughter and I were rudely kicked out of what I thought was a kids pool because she wasn’t potty trained even though she was wearing a little swimmer. Of course she isn’t potty trained, she’s 10 months old. I was very embarrassed needless to say. I stood in a very long line at guest services just to be told that she isn’t allowed in any pool on any deck and there is no designated swimming or splashing area for babies who aren’t potty trained. You would think that they would have this policy listed on the website or at least somewhere visible but absolutely not. Oh and by the way, she wasn’t allowed in the toddler/baby play area either. So we paid full price for a child to go on a cruise and not be allowed to participate in any fun activities for children. It was Mother’s Day and also my birthday. What a gift. The ship itself was extremely crowded with no guidance from the service team members who were impersonal and often very rude. I stood in front in the pixels desk for about two minutes without any greeting or acknowledgement of my presence. Once the service member acknowledged me, I was greeted with a crude “can I help you?”. The food was bland and oftentimes horrible and left my husband sick for 3 days. The buffet lines were out of control to the point that we avoided breakfast due to the chaos. We missed our excursions because the ship time wasn’t coordinated with the time at the port. There were people walking around in common areas screaming, cursing and even physically fighting and nothing was being done about it. There was so much noise in the hallways and on the balconies in the middle of the night that it made getting a good nights rest nearly impossible. On one of the last nights my husband scheduled a massage for me. It was absolutely the worst massage I have ever received and definitely the most expensive one. The masseuse decided that it would be a great idea to interview me face to face prior to the massage. She asked several questions that I didn’t feel comfortable answering regarding my home and personal life. I simply wanted a massage. Not a therapist. She was very rough and stated that it was supposed to hurt because my muscles were too tense. She then rubbed a bogus lotion on my back and wanted to charge me over $100 to purchase the product that she insisted would miraculously cure all of my stress and tension (her recommendation). After refusing several times I became annoyed with the relentless pressure to buy her products. By the way, she told me that my skin was extremely dry; the driest she’s ever seen actually; as she proceeded to recommend her almost $200 milk bath. I was insulted and very irritated. If her goal was to do the opposite of helping me relax she succeeded. Overall, this trip cost us around $4,000 not including the onboard expenses, gratuities and excursions. We could have made better use of our money for sure. That was definitely our last cruise with Carnival. If you have low expectations, no children and just want to party, the horizon might just be the ship for you. Otherwise please do your research first! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Let me start with some basic info about my wife Amy and I. We cruise yearly, for the most part, with very few exceptions. I have been on 17 cruises to date. This was my 6th with Carnival. More than any other line we have cruised with. We ... Read More
Let me start with some basic info about my wife Amy and I. We cruise yearly, for the most part, with very few exceptions. I have been on 17 cruises to date. This was my 6th with Carnival. More than any other line we have cruised with. We are in our young 60's. I will be posting my personal opinion on most anything I can think of related to this particular cruise. Many of you may disagree with me and that is fine. As I said, these are MY opinions....for what that is worth. A big part of this review will deal with the general decline of Carnival cruise offerings, as compared to my first ever cruise on the Carnival Destiny in 1998, as well as subsequent cruises on that same ship, and other cruises taken on the Fantasy, Pride and Glory. I always felt that Carnival offered a great value for the money. I've also felt that the overall experience was top notch, as long as you stayed on the larger, newer ships. The short Bahamas bound ships were never more than booze cruises in my opinion....not heavy on service. For that reason we choose the Horizon....their flagship offering right now. Embarkation: Port of Miami: Miami is the worst Port in Florida in my opinion. Very busy. Poorly organized. Horrible signage. Rude porters. All that aside, we got through the luggage drop-off process and parked the car in descent time. A short walk across the street and then things got so much better. I must say that Carnival gets an A+++ rating from me for their embarkation and debarkation processes. We walked right into the terminal, right upstairs and were on the ship in no time. With online check in, there is no longer any sitting around and waiting, while you are funneled to a desk where you have to produce your credit card, get your picture taken and wait for your sail and sign card. Now you just walk through security and keep moving forward until you are on the ship. Your sail and sign card will be waiting for you outside your cabin door in a sealed envelope. Debarkation with carrying your own luggage was even easier! Kudos to Carnival! The ship: The ship is quite beautiful, by Carnival standards. Gone are all the cheesy, tacky, loud and garish color combinations and glitz. This ship is quite attractive, particularly the two main atriums and the large funnels of color and light. We spent many hours below these structures with drink in hand, listening to some great entertainment and staring at these wonderful visual centerpieces. Again...kudos to Carnival! Much has been posted regarding the new SMART elevators. After 8 days on this ship, I am not convinced that they are that smart or if the even save you any time at all. In my opinion, the jury is still out on these things. The two main pools on this ship are more than adequate. Deck space seemed to be sufficient. We did not have access to the Havana pool, but it looked lovely. One thing that saddened me was that Carnival did such a good job in carving out the Serenity area on this ship.....except that this area does not have it's own pool. I found that awkward and for that reason, did not use the Serenity area. There are some nice lounges located throughout the ship. The Comedy Club was spacious as well....we had no problems finding seats for the 3 shows we attended. One thing I noticed was the lack of a discotheque, like we have seen in the past. Thought that was strange....not that we would be in there anyway. There are numerous specialty restaurants. The Main Dining Room was very much like the one on the Pride...2 story....open in the middle....not visually stunning...kind of basic. I did not care for the overall layout of the ship. For a big ship, it has many small spaces. Sometimes difficult to navigate. One of the biggest disappointments for us was the Main Theatre. They have switched to a flat main floor configuration which results in horrible sight lines. If you don't get there early, good luck in getting a good seat. The Lido restaurant was also a disappointment. A strange layout that has two separate buffet areas that are not visible from one another....each showing different items. Their pizza station stayed busy 24 hrs a day and pumped out what may be the best pizza on the high seas. Loved it...really loved that it was not overly spicy.....which meant that my old self could indulge at 1 am and not be woken up at 2:30 dealing with the aftermath. They also have a Mexican Cantina, which was nice as well as Guys Burger Joint, which was fantastic. The Seafood Shack looked interesting but we did not indulge.The java bar served up some wonderful coffee creations. Shopping, like on most Carnival ships was lacking. Not much to offer....just standard fair. You will not see the great bargains like I have seen on competitive lines. Cabin: Very well laid out and spacious. Probably the most efficient use of space we have experienced on any ship. The balcony was adequate. Attractive décor throughout. Entertainment: Carnival gets high marks here as well. All of the entertainers throughout the ship were very talented. Particularly the house band for this cruise, Pier Pressure and the Brass St Boys. They were absolutely wonderful....we spent most every night in the Atrium Lounge, drinking and dancing to this group. LOVED them! The piano bar was great, as always. Hard not to have fun there. We did not see the 2 main theatre shows but did enjoy the Hasbro Game show. The pool side events were fun. Trivia was a good time. The deck parties were plentiful and exciting. Ports: Not to go into much detail but The Turks was fun. La Romana is a wasted stop. Carocao is beautiful and fun....Aruba as well. This brings me to my opinion and general observations of the Carnival experience in general: Where do I start? In a nutshell....the Carnival experience is now just a shell of what it once was. This was evident by the amount of continual cutbacks this cruse line has made over the years. This is not a knock on the servers at all, but rather the policies put forth by the company itself. I found the MDR staff and Lido staff to be split between some old pros that excelled in customer service, combined with many that appeared to be totally new to this service thing. That being said, service was inconsistent. I can see that they have cut back on staff, particularly bar runners. We had to go to the bar ourselves for most drinks as servers were just not there for the most part. Our cabin steward had a shaky start, as we arrived to an um-vacuumed carpet and a filthy bathroom sink. After speaking with him, he was very apologetic and corrected the situation quickly. We had no more problems with him. On the Lido deck, it appeared that the primary focus of the buffet staff was that of mopping up the spills of careless and sloppy cruise passengers....and not so much of clearing tables. Many staff members routinely walked right by empty tables filled with left over plates, dirty napkins and silverware. Conclusion: In sampling Carnival's product for over 20 years now, I can say that this line is not what it used to be. Gone are the Bridge tours and Galley tours. Gone are the elaborate buffets with carved fruits and ice sculptures. Gone are the steaks that used to be available at no extra cost on a daily basis (you now pay $20.00 extra). Specialty restaurants that used to cost $20.00 are now $45.00. Gone are the Cherries Jubilee and fancy Baked Alaska parades. (Replaced with dancing and singing waiters). Gone are the table cloths (Except for Elegant Night). Gone is the full setting of silverware....you get one fork now. Gone is the waiter that actually places your napkin on your lap while seating you. Gone is FORMAL NIGHT....no more tuxes....no more sparkling gowns....regular dress shirts and dresses rule the day now. Gone are the large Lido deck selections....at least the quality ones. Gone are the Champagne toasts. Gone is twice a day room cleaning...you get to choose morning or night now....and no more chocolates on your pillow. Gone are the big name music acts that often flew in to perform. Gone....in a word....is class. Sad to say, but the once elegant and very special dining experience has evolved into more of a Golden Corral on water for me. For this reason, My days of cruising Carnival are over. All these things aside, we still had a wonderful cruise. It still remains the best vacation value out there. It's just different. To the first time cruiser these differences would never be noticed because they never experienced the old way of doing things. And I don't want to give the impression that the other cruise lines are doing things as well as they did 20 years ago either. It is just that Carnival has sank lower than its competition. It's sad really.... Read Less
Carnival Horizon Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
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 3.6
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.5

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