3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We cruised July 3 - 11. This was our 9th cruise with Carnival so I have a lot to compare to and I may have expected too much having cruise on older boats. In general of course we enjoyed the cruise and the vacation. Lots to do, my teen was ... Read More
We cruised July 3 - 11. This was our 9th cruise with Carnival so I have a lot to compare to and I may have expected too much having cruise on older boats. In general of course we enjoyed the cruise and the vacation. Lots to do, my teen was happy and occupied and the food is plentiful. The observations is about various minor things or simply because it’s different than other boats which doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad - only different. Carnival Hub - a phone application. Yes - do download it. Was mostly handy to see what’s happening on the ship, your account and you could reserve a table for your time dinner. Instead of going to deck 5 and getting a beeper or a slip. This feature wasn’t available the first day or 2, I think. Later on that’s how we reserved a table for dinner. We got the Social plan for “internet” and I was able to communicate with my daughter constantly via WhatsApp or iMessage. She was super happy because she could use Instagram, Facebook and snapchat. Decor - in comparison to Carnival’s other ships is way toned down. More modern. My husband says it looks like a shopping mall with Ikea furniture or a hotel look. The electronic center columns have changing designs, yet even that doesn’t give much of a wow factor. No interior glass elevators etc. Nothing wrong with this, it’s just so much different than other Carnival ships I’ve been on. Haven't been on the sister ship Vista - so I can’t compare to that. Pools are small but so are the pools on other ships. Jacuzzis are always full. It was disappointing because it was full of kids and no staff was policing the rule. Serenity the adult only area is fine if you can get a deck chair or “cabana”. We learned that the best time is around lunch time 1:30 - 2:00 PM when you can snag a place. I was disappointment from the the Spa/Cloud 9 area. I went with my husband looking for the whirlpool, sauna and showers like other Carnival ships have. I asked at the front desk where to go but I made a wrong turn and went in after someone to a really nice area with a whirlpool, 3 different saunas, mosaic covered lounging beds and refrigerated cooled towels. It was both for men and women. Was lovely but my husband never showed up there. I later found out that it’s an area that you can go into only with extra pay. I accidentally walked into it just after someone swiped in. From there I went looking for the showers as other ships have. To my surprise there are 2 showers only (one for handicapped) and a toilet in the women’s area. A very small dry sauna which you have to turn on and wasn’t turning on. This is the free for all area and the sauna they offer! Elevators - These are the new elevators that you press the deck you want outside and it tells you what elevator to go to wait by. It’s computerized and is supposed to be faster. You get used to them though sometimes there are long waits and the elevator didn’t stop where I asked it to stop. First day or two it’s a mess and people are confused. You may prefer to just use the stairs at those times. There is an iMax movie theater that costs $9.95 a movie. Great theater and huge screen. They had Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Costs much more on land for these new movies. There are free movies at night on the Lido deck (some of those that are on demand paid movies in the staterooms TV). Get a blanket or towel from the towel station, popcorn and a deck chair on that floor or above. Stores - they are on 2 levels and they seem to be smaller than other ships and had less to offer. I’m not talking about watches and jewelry. Less apparel, toiletries, hats and souvenirs. Just high end stuff. We needed flip flops but they had none (someone stole my husband’s flip flops from the water slide area). The Cherry on Top is bigger. There is a Victoria's Secret as well. Casino also seems a little smaller than other ships. There is no Art Gallery/Auction area like on other ships. Personally I’m happy for that. As an artist I don’t appreciate the type of art they are peddling. Instead the photo Pixel area is larger and has tablet areas where you can look up your photos (you an also do that on the phone Hub app). They sell art photos printed on metal instead of the paintings Liquid Lounge where the main stage shows are at is smallish compared to other ships but we didn’t find the columns a problem as other people did. There are some places you definitely can’t see because of them but that’s to be expected. The chairs at the center floor are arranged and changed for each performance. They are not fixed chairs and tables so that may reduce the amount of seating but it also helps the shows and the performers can walk between the audience that way. The shows are good and the troop is professional! Punchliner comedy club which they call the Limelight I think is also smaller. Freezing in there...we had great comedians. Chris Williams “The flying Scotsman” (the cruise director) is outstanding. The best cruise director we ever had. Energetic, fun and talented. He knows how to make people party and happy. Dining and food - There are plenty of options. Whoever complained just didn’t explore. Lunch time is not limited to the Lido Marketplace buffet. There is Guy’s Burger, Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse (free at lunch time, paid restaurant at dinner). Guy's Pig & Anchor also has its own brewery! 24 hour Pizza, a deli (line could be long), Mongolian & Cucina del Capitano (deck 11) free at lunch. BlueIguana Cantina, Breakfast/Brunch until 1:30 I think sea days. You can go to Serenity and make your own salad. Food is fine some better (burgers) some less (buffet at times). You can buy beer from an automatic vending station at the Marketplace. By the way - The Library/Game room has a buy a wine by the glass or by the bottle automatic dispenser. Dining room - we had your time plan and the first 2 days there was a long wait. Beepers given. Afterwards it got better and we used the Hub app as I already mentioned. The food was mostly good. Here and there some misses. Fillet mignon was rare when we asked for Medium well. Carnival melting cake wasn’t as good as other ships. It was over cooked and therefore not melting. Finally I asked the waiter to request one that isn’t overcooked and that worked. Some dishes had no salt at all. Still it’s so much nicer in our opinion than the Lido Marketplace. Don’t forget that you can have as many dishes as you want. 2, 3 appetizers and main courses and desserts though I don’t know who has room for all that. The disappointment was with the service and servers. Not consistent. Some servers were wonderfully friendly and attentive others cold, seemed harassed and distracted. We had spoons and butter on our breakfast table only once out of all the days we went there. I was surprised that there were no tablecloths during dinner or breakfast. Only at tea time (which very few people know about or bother to go and it’s only a few tables). Do try it, it’s a nice thing with cucumber sandwiches and some sweets. There is a midnight snack - always the same but very nice. Great mozzarella & tomato sandwiches, grilled ham and cheese, meatball sandwich, soup, bowtie pasta and cookies. There is a good magician who walks around and does small shows of card, coins and string tricks at the tables. Adds some fun. If I compare to other cruises there were less staff shows during dinners and the ones they had waned in comparison to other ships. So that coupled with the no tablecloths made it a little less festive and elegant than other ships I was on. We ate at one speciality restaurant - at the Bonsai Teppanyaki. The meal was very good. A 7 course meal. The cost is $25 or $30 per person depending on what you order. Two couples we talked to who ate at the Chef's Table said it was a great experience and unbelievable food. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth, the fastest and easiest compared to previous cruises. They streamlined the process. Only thing to note that you should pay attention to if you want your luggage taken at night. Is that you have to pick up the zone luggage tags yourself. There is an early and late time slots and you have to take the luggage zone tags from deck 10 forward. The zone tage are not delivered to the room. They put them out from around 12:45 PM at deck 10 forward. I didn’t bother to read the flyer they left in the room about disembarkation and only did so at 2 PM. By the time I got upstairs all the early zone tags were taken. I took the last zone (zone 30) and we were called last at around 10:30 AM. That was fine for us. We wanted to have breakfast the last day and sit in the sun to prolong our vacation just a little more and to avoid the Manhattan rush hour! This is a lovely ship and a great vacation. I hope Carnival will work out the staff issues and ease off from nickel and diming for things that are free on other ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Four day one stop to Bermuda I was previously on the Vista, the only difference is the Horizon has a large indoor Guys Pig and Anchor, free at lunch, fee for dinner. The CR was hilarious and his assistant Kendall was terrific as ... Read More
Four day one stop to Bermuda I was previously on the Vista, the only difference is the Horizon has a large indoor Guys Pig and Anchor, free at lunch, fee for dinner. The CR was hilarious and his assistant Kendall was terrific as well. The entertainment onboard was definitely better than on the Vista. The quality of the singers was outstanding. Enjoyed all shows, The two comedians onboard were very funny. Both the Vista and Horizon have the best free choices to dine for lunch. Guys Burgers, Pig and Anchor, Italian Pasta, Asian restaurants, all delicious and free for lunch. These ships have a Deli in the Main Buffet that is great as well. My only issue is that the main diningroom staff are sometimes overwhelmed. They are assigned too many tables and cant possibly give the proper quick and professional service that I am accustomed to. Blame should be placed on management. I spoke to the DiningRoom manager about this issue. Otherwise the selection of food was adequate and tasty. Bermuda was beautiful, perfect beach day and we went to Horseshoe Beach, The cost for two chairs and an umbrella was $45.00. $7.00 pp to ride in small bus approx. 35 min. drive to Horseshoe Beach, taxi $32.00 for four people - Food at the concession was expensive and low quality, so eat a nice breakfast before heading to the beach. I would definitely go on the Horizon again ! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Carnival Horizon was our choice for our anniversary cruise because we enjoy the larger ships, it left from NYC, a port close to us, and it was an 8 day cruise going to places we have not been before (Grand Turk, San Juan and Amber Cove). ... Read More
Carnival Horizon was our choice for our anniversary cruise because we enjoy the larger ships, it left from NYC, a port close to us, and it was an 8 day cruise going to places we have not been before (Grand Turk, San Juan and Amber Cove). Embarkation went well, we did have to wait a bit before getting on the ship, which had been normal for us on other cruise lines, but our last Carnival we literally walked right on. We had an inside cabin. It was pretty standard. The ship is beautiful and smelled new. The atrium was really neat and the display in the middle with changing pictures was amazing. Overall, the ship was amazing. The food was good. We did not do any of the specialty restaurants. We LOVED the Pig and Anchor. The buffet was great and the food was always good! The buffet was okay. We felt the options weren't great and it wasn't ever fully open. It also wasn't open for like a late lunch or early dinner. The options for late night food wasn't great. You really could only get a few deli sandwiches or pizza and the lines for both were always ridiculous. To say the entertainment on this ship was amazing is a total understatement. We have been on five cruises and my husband and I both agreed this was by far, the most talented group of entertainers. The Playlist Productions were amazing. They show a different show every night and I reccommend every single one. The singers danced and sang, all as talented as the next. Each show got better than the night before, which I did not know was possible. Carnival seriously picked a group of amazing performers. And then there was the Piano Bar. My husband and I ended up there every night because Eden was seriously the most talented pianist and singer I have ever seen on a cruise ship. He was so entertaining and really connected with each and every one of us and tried to get to all songs given to him. That guy deserves a raise or something! I also really loved the way Carnival has a "Fun Squad", who assists the Cruise Director. Chris, the Flying Scotsman, was great and so was his Fun Squad. We loved Kyndall, Erin, Joey and Bradley. They were so fun and they did a great job acknowledging everyone. The service on the ship was great. We had a charge put on our card that was not ours for over $100 and it was handled so well and taken off our bill within 24 hours. The bar staff was so amazing. We spent most of our time at the Atrium Bar and the Piano Bar and the bartenders at both were quick, great and personable. It was really nice. The one thing that really stood out to me about this ship that was unique was how the staff seemed to support each other more than I had ever seen on any other ship. We saw members of the Fun Squad come in to listen to Eden at the Piano Bar for a bit, things like that. It really was cool to see the friendships and collaborations. I really liked that. The ports were nice! We did an excursion at Grand Turk. We did a snorkeling and rays tour. We snorkeled first, then swam with sting rays. It was a great excursion and the workers were great! There were people of all age at all different swimming levels and the staff did seriously an amazing job breaking us up so that someone stayed with the people who did not feel as confident in the water. That worker pointed stuff out to them so they knew exactly what to look at. It was really nice! After, we were dropped off at the beach, which was nice and there were plenty of chairs available, even after we had gotten back from an excursion. San Juan was like a city, not your typical "island" port. It was nice, but we did not do much other than walk around. Amber Cove was beatiful, and my favorite port. It was very nice and had really cool waterfalls and other different things to look at. The shopping was pretty fun, too, with a lot of different shops. Another thing I want to mention is we parked over in Weehawken, NJ and took the ferry over to NYC. The parking was reasonably priced and the ferry drops you off within a half mile from the cruise ship. Since it was just me and my husband, we walked to the cruise ship and it wasn't bad at all. The few things that bothered us were the new elevator system. You choose your floor before you get on the elevator, so in the elevator lobby. It then tells you what elevator you have to get on. There was a lot more waiting and we saw many people just walk, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, however, when you see parents carrying strollers up and down many flights of steps because they had already waited more then ten minutes for an elevator, that is not okay. I am hoping that since it is a relatively new concept, maybe some kinks will be worked out. The other thing is that they really do hold tight to the 15 beverage limit if you get the beverage package. You will not be served after 15. Just something to think about. Overall, I really enjoyed this cruise. It was a great trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had wanted a family orient cruise, appealing to a variety of all ages and interests. I feel carnival did an excellent job meeting all of my expectations. The embarkation process was the easiest ever, cabins and all ship areas were ... Read More
We had wanted a family orient cruise, appealing to a variety of all ages and interests. I feel carnival did an excellent job meeting all of my expectations. The embarkation process was the easiest ever, cabins and all ship areas were clean, and the food was plentiful and high quality. The comedians were particularly good on the ship, as was the cruise director Chris and his staff. After reading other bad reviews on line, I was initially hesitant about going on the cruise, but Carnival Horizon's staff made me wonder if those people had sailed on the same ship that I was on. The fun started from the first minutes on board and did not stop. Everyone was helpful and facilitating, whether it was guest services, crew. Our cabin steward, Ruel, was excellent. Wait staff in the restaurants were extremely helpful, as were the bar staff. I never experienced any bad meals on board, and my family and I are quite picky when it comes to food choice. The ship decor, while very modern, was classy, which was a pleasant surprise to me. Having been on NCL, RCCL and Carnival, I feel that Carnival is just as good if not better than the other two. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
The Ship - The brand new Carnival flagship was big and shiny and spotless. Overall the décor was tasteful, but perhaps a bit subdued compared to other Carnival ships. Cabins were well appointed and nicely decorated, but were otherwise ... Read More
The Ship - The brand new Carnival flagship was big and shiny and spotless. Overall the décor was tasteful, but perhaps a bit subdued compared to other Carnival ships. Cabins were well appointed and nicely decorated, but were otherwise pretty standard. The many specialty dining options were mostly clustered around a central area that made them feel a bit more like a food court than an intimate restaurant. However, the meal we had at there was great. The Marketplace restaurant was divided into many separate areas with most tables offering a lovely view. This really helped make it less like a vast cafeteria. We never found it difficult to find a place to sit, which was surprising given how crowded it felt in other parts of the ship. The show and performance venues were poorly designed (which is a shame because the shows were great!) Lighting and sound systems were clearly state-of-the-art, but the effort to create multi-use spaces of both the main show room (the Liquid Lounge) and the secondary space (Limelight/Punchliner) backfired. The sad result are spaces with poor sight lines and inadequate seating for the crowds on board. People routinely lined up well before the doors opened and waited 45 minutes or more just for a seat (often with a lousy view). We had heard comments about this before we boarded, but were still surprised at how bad it was. Pools and pool deck were mobbed each time we checked them out. We were in a Havana cabin and loved having access to the Havana deck was heaven, with the added bonus of avoiding the crowds on the Lido. Perhaps it’s because we tended to head that way mid-day and meal times, but the main pool seemed chaotic, and the Tides pool was also jam packed. The sports deck was a highlight with lots of options for the kiddos and sportos. While the line for the SkyRide could be long, it was unavoidable. Embarkation/Debarkation - Boarding was smooth and easy. We arrived much too early (having left time for traffic delays that didn’t happen) and were quickly moved through the “standby line”. After about 15 minutes, they called out group and we headed aboard. No fuss at all. Debarkation was not so smooth. After calling the first few decks for self-assist debarkation, the progress halted for about 45 minutes – with no additional groups being called. Then, slowly, a few additional decks were called. After nearly two hours the self-assist folks had cleared the ship and the rest of the groups were called. In all, we waited about three hours to debark. On the upside, customs was breeze. Dining - We had traditional dining in the main dining room, which was modern and elegant. We had heard comments about a more informal style with no tablecloths, but we found the space to be lovely. The menu might not have been the most creative, but we never left hungry or disappointed. Our wait staff on this cruise was exceptional, and made us really glad to have scored traditional, late seating. That being said, we didn’t notice much of a line up or wait for Your Time Dining with one notable exception. On the first ‘elegant night’, the line to check in for My Time stretched half the length of the ship. We lunched in the Lido and found each of the specialty offering to be great – pizza, burgers, tacos, deli. But the line for pizza was outrageous, as promised. Deli line only slightly better. Carnival really needs to address this. Shows & Entertainment - First of all, we had a great cruise director. We were a bit disappointed that Mike Peck left just before we sailed. But then we met the Flying Scotsman, Chris Williams and his 9 kilts. He and his staff were energetic, engaging and always “on”. You really felt like they were going the extra mile – whether at trivia, in the main show room, or at an Atrium party. High marks all around for Chris and his team. Comedy shows were consistently good. We had kiddos with us, so only did the PG shows, but all the comics did a nice job of making it fun for grown ups as well as kids. Crowds were tough, especially at the early 5:30 show. We learned to arrive 30-40 minutes in advance if we wanted decent seats. And were turned away when we arrived just under 20 minutes before show time. Production shows were also in high demand and with good reason. The overall production quality was very high, and live music had a big impact. We enjoyed every show, although some were a bit more to our taste than others. But the theater wasn’t large enough for a ship of this size, and the design made it even more difficult to find a decent seat – or a seat at all. Folks lined up 45 minutes to an hour ahead of show time and when the doors opened, there was a mad dash to find a seat that wasn’t behind a pole or a speaker or lighting equipment. It’s a shame the space is so bad, because the performers and the productions were very, very strong. Piano bar was our one big disappointment. Musician was great, but we were unaware that the Piano Bar is adult only during the sing-along times. Normally, our teenagers really enjoy this and they were very disappointed when we were booted out. Music around the ship was, in general, quite good. The strings and guitarist in the Atrium were excellent and the Latin band in the Havana bar was outstanding. So, overall, high marks for the quality of the entertainment. Ports -We knew this sailing wasn’t about the ports, especially with relatively short stays on most of our port days. In Grand Turk, we headed way down the beach to Jack’s Shack where the crowds were thinner and the beer cheaper. It was a short, but enjoyable day. In San Juan, we met some family and spent the day at a great beach just outside San Juan. And then had an absolutely fabulous meal at a local beach side dive. And then, Amber Cove, which gets a failing grade. First, our day was short since we sailed at 2:30. Excursions were overpriced and a long bus ride each way for an hour for only a few hours of beach or snorkeling time. If you didn’t book a pricey excursion, there was no beach, with swimming only in the pool that was much to small to accommodate the crowds. Beach chairs were free, but you had to pay for everything else, including shade. Water slide wasn’t operating and our kids weren’t old enough to zip line. We felt trapped in a place too small for the number of passengers. We usually love the “private island” day, but this was a waste of time and money. Next time, we’ll stay on the ship or avoid Amber Cove altogether. Big, big thumbs down. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I choose this cruise because it was a new ship, it was affordable, only a 25 min. ride from my home, and a short cruise that could accommodate my daughter's work schedule. I am in my 60's and my daughter is in her 20's. I ... Read More
I choose this cruise because it was a new ship, it was affordable, only a 25 min. ride from my home, and a short cruise that could accommodate my daughter's work schedule. I am in my 60's and my daughter is in her 20's. I have been on over twenty cruises on various cruise lines. My daughter and I throughly enjoyed this cruise. Although I have been on Carnival ships before, my daughter had never been on a Carnival ship although she has experienced other cruise lines. The organization of the ship was easy to navigate and we quickly knew how to get around. The decore was so nice and hotel like, and reminded me of other cruise lines I had been on. The ship was one of the cleanest I have ever seen. The food was absolutely delicious, hot foods were always hot and cold foods were always cold. The menus were different each day with wonderful offerings. Although both my daughter and I are small women we are foodies, and prefer not to eat at all if food is not good. We had Our Time Dining and it was easy to get a table quickly although we had to wait a little bit on lobster night. We always had a table for two, we loved that. The dining room looks like a restaurant not at all like a massive dining hall. We never ate at the extra payment dining rooms. All staff we encountered were pleasant and helpful. Staff was always ready to answer questions even though it may have not been their department. Our cabin steward was great and always made sure we had clean towels and a towel animal. We had an interior cabin and it had plenty of storage, the size of the cabin was exactly what we expected. The bathroom was a good size, but I wish there had been a sliding door for the shower instead of a shower curtain. The bed and the bedding were delightful and I had a good night's sleep each night. Entertainment was fun. During the day the usual silly and fun activities were offered, like the hairy chest contest, the love and marriage game, trivia, zumba and many other daytime activities. The pool deck always had lots of people, and activities. It was nice that there were several eateries around the pool deck. Of course there was a casino, which was small and bingo was constantly offered. The casino was extremely smoky at night and somewhat smoky during the day. Since I am a non smoker I spent little time in the casino. Night activities were great. There were two comedians. They both did general comedy and evening comedy for adults only. We only saw the adults only shows, we laughed a lot. One comedian was a guy in his 40's and the other was a women in her mid 60's, both were just hilarious, the comedy room was full during their performances. The pools were very small and full of children, so we did not venture into the pools and neither did most other adults. However, the Serenity area for adults was wonderful with cabanas, lounge chairs, two jacuzzis, a few tables, a bar and a salad bar. It was a wonderful retreat, but you needed to get there early to obtain a spot. They have towels there also, they were so lush that I purchased one to use when I go on other vacations. Our only port was Bermuda, since we both have been there several times, we just went to the little beach at the port and we visited the glass place. So we did not go on excursions. The beach was nice and clean and quiet, we enjoyed it. Nighttime entertainment was great. There was all kinds of wonderful live music all over the ship, I loved the violinist, and all other music I heard. There was a fun nightclub with good music for dancing. The professional dancers and singers at the shows did a great job, but there were no aerialist as I have seen on other ships. I would absolutely travel on this ship again and I plan to tell all of my friends and family how much fun we had. We had so much fun that we did not want to sleep to late or go to bed to early. The other passengers were also a joy. We met and talked to several nice people. Also there weren't as many children as I thought there would be, but most of the children I saw were quiet and well behaved. I did not see any loud and rowdy adults, nor teens. There were people of all ages on the ship but there did not seem to be lots of people in their 20's. There were some families with children and many without. The ship never felt crowded even though there were over 4,000 people. We will most likely go on the Horizon again or some other Carnival ship next year. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Carnival has always given us awesome vacations. This time the Carnival Horizon's officers had a somewhat snobbish attitude when asked questions or had little time to spend with the passengers. The cruise director, Chris Williams is ... Read More
Carnival has always given us awesome vacations. This time the Carnival Horizon's officers had a somewhat snobbish attitude when asked questions or had little time to spend with the passengers. The cruise director, Chris Williams is excellent! He does a tremendous job of entertaining and informing the passengers. An area of concern is the amount of kids running into the Liquid Lounge attempting to save seats with no regard to the older/elderly couples trying to see the show. They save 3 to 5 seats at the same time for a full 30 minutes. I saw several verbal arguments take place because those people wouldn't show up until the show started. I informed the entertainment staff about this, but he seemed unwilling to help. I hope that nobody gets hurt by these kids and then lawsuits occur. Please monitor and address this matter as soon as possible. Carnival is an excellent cruise line and will cruise with them again. Great dining experience and selection of food. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This ship is beautiful! If you are thinking of booking this ship I implore you to look into the Havana rooms. I am so spoiled now! Jorge and Cassandra were amazing to me and my friends/family all week and took good care of us. Never had ... Read More
This ship is beautiful! If you are thinking of booking this ship I implore you to look into the Havana rooms. I am so spoiled now! Jorge and Cassandra were amazing to me and my friends/family all week and took good care of us. Never had trouble finding a spot at the Havana pool and it wasn't overcrowded. We went up to use the water slides a few times and the main pool looked like a nightmare! The Havana is well worth the cost. My only complaint was that they sometimes hosted karaoke in the lounge and piped it in over the loudspeakers at the pool. Not very relaxing! Spent a lot of time at Ocean Plaza and Alchemy Bar. I'm not sure why, maybe it was because it opens to the deck on either side, but Ocean Plaza always felt a bit warm. Alchemy Bar was my favorite bar on the ship. Ask for Annamaria. She'll take good care of you! Cucina, Bonsai, and Farenheit 555 were all excellent. We only ate in the main dining room one night but we had a good experience - no complaints here. Buffet is always a zoo except at dinner so we mostly stayed away. Overall it was a fantastic cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
My wife wanted to go on this cruise. We usually go in the fall to coincide with our anniversary, but, this year we went soon after the ship came to NYC. We usually take the first one out, but, this year the first one out was a four day ... Read More
My wife wanted to go on this cruise. We usually go in the fall to coincide with our anniversary, but, this year we went soon after the ship came to NYC. We usually take the first one out, but, this year the first one out was a four day trip to Bermuda with no nights. Also, we got canceled out of Grand Turk on a prior cruise and got cancelled out of Amber Cove two years ago on the Carnival Vista. So this cruise presented us a chance to visit two ports of call we never made in the past. The middle port we choose not to go to since we have been there before. Everyone lines up at the CVS since that is the first place with air conditioning going out the front door. This was our 26th cruise and our 16th with Carnival. We had problems with our safe in our stateroom. Our Room Steward was helpful to getting the problem squared away. We started with two sea days. Played table tennis in the sports center every day. Went to gym most days. Met some kids of Cruise Critic members. Didn't get to see them so much since it was either Cruise Critic or Carnival who never sent notice to me when the Cruise Critic Event was. Sorry folks, but, if I don't know of the event, how could I be there? That was a down part. Dining- for the most part was good. Our waiter took too many liberties with deciding which wine I wanted with my dinner. I order one wine once and it is with my dinner the next night. So, I ordered something to go with it. As well as a scolding since it is not up to him what I will drink with my meal. Some nights had bad choices. Then I choose the salmon. One night I wanted grilled salmon which was not on the menu. Another night I wanted beef wellington and got something else. Later got my beef wellington. Service by the room stewards was excellent. The stateroom was kept clean. If we needed anything we just asked and it was there. Dining Room service was spotty. Didn't like the waiter wanting to choose what wine or any wine I wanted with my dinner. Entertainment and Activities- Some of the shows were pretty good. Others didn't do it. There was no country music played at any of the lounges or on records playing in the casino. Missed that. Played table tennis daily. Played in the casino daily. Cruise Director, The Flying Scotsman, was very good. Ports- Grand Turk- we went on a tour. The tour was very good and took us all over the island. Showed us where the US military was. Learned about the history of the island. Went to an Anglican Church, a market area, and to see the lighthouse. When we got back near the ship we had time to shop in stores. San Juan- We have been here before. Wife was tired from day before so we just stayed on the ship. Played table tennis, ate, rested. Amber Cove- Went on shore Excursion. It was very good and interesting. We went around Puerto Platta. Went to a church, Cigar maker, the country side, chocolate factory, restaurant, and farm. Very interesting. Had lunch at a restaurant and the owner also owned a farm. Saw that too. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Read several other reviews of this ship and I am not sure theses people were on the same ship I was. I noticed a lot were in lower cabins (i.e. going on the cheap) and therefore expected things to be entitled to them. This was our 4th ... Read More
Read several other reviews of this ship and I am not sure theses people were on the same ship I was. I noticed a lot were in lower cabins (i.e. going on the cheap) and therefore expected things to be entitled to them. This was our 4th cruise together on CCL and my 6th, going all the way back to Mardi Gras. Both my Wife and I are Gold Status. First off, the embarkation in NYC is very easy. We were dropped at the curb by a family member, gave our bags to a porter and inside we went. Met by CCL staff and handed a card with a number, this was boarding number, we were #21. Up to meet a guy who was very friendly who checked our Passports and Boarding Passes. He scanned the Passport, which became our photo on the S&S Card. Through the metal detector, like in the airport and then into a waiting area with plenty of seating. They were calling #10 when we got there, but within 25 mins our number was called. We walked to the Gangway, handed them our card and one more scan of the Boarding Pass and on we went. Total time 40 mins or less. The ship brand new and smells it. Someone said the ship has an odor. They obviously haven't been at sea a lot and on ships. I used to work in the marine coatings industry and I immediately recognized that smell as fresh paint, like the "new car smell". Entering the lobby at first I was unimpressed till we walked in further and the "mushroom" was all lit up in front of us. WOW! We walked up a deck and grabbed an elevator to the Lido deck. The elevators can be confusing at first and a little slow, but they easy to use once you understood how to use them. Lunch on the Lido was typical embarkation day Carnival fare. I had the roast turkey which was good. We met a family behind us on their first cruise and chatted with them a while. Then off to explore the ship and we were able to get to our cabin at 1:30 as CCL said we could. Our Steward, Putu was a great guy very friendly. We had a Balcony cabin on Deck 8 Aft - 8438. Room again, was similar to what we had on Triumph and Conquest in size and amenities. For the Inaugural Year Carnival has been putting a special book in your cabin about the Horizon. A Facebook group we are on someone mentioned it. I didn't see one in our cabin, so I asked Putu and said "I'll be right back" 3 mins later we had a book. At 3 we went up to the Tides Pool bar to do a Meet and Greet with the Facebook Group we have been part of for this cruise. It was really great to see and put names and faces together. It helped all week as we would see each other around the ship and we met some really nice people. 4 PM Muster Drill,which was super easy. Our station was in the Meridian Restaurant. Drill over by 4:30 and on deck for the Sail A Way party. The Entertainment Staff and CD , Mike Pack do an awesome job! They kept things moving all week and it was non-stop with Mike. If you cruise with him, be prepared, I swear he has Energizer batteries under his shirt..he keeps going and going and going. As we unpacked I realized I left my pants home. I had my suit pants and some nice pairs of shorts. First night in the dining room ( late seating Reflection Rest) I stopped to ask the Maitre'D if I could wear shorts, telling them of my issue. to my relief they said it was no problem on none formal nights. Turns out I wasn't the only one. Some comments about the Restaurant and Food. First off, we had amazing waiters who went out of their way to make sure meals were special. James and Alan were great and everything came out as we ordered it. We also got a chance to talk to them and learn about their families back home. Some people complained about cold food. Never experienced that at all. Closest I had was one night I ordered salmon and it came out, not as hot as I would have preferred, but it wasn't cold. They said the last night of the cruise they serve 15,000 meals a day, so having my meal come out as I ordered, I am impressed. The Lido food was no the best selection for lunch, but there are so many places to eat on board, you can find something, somewhere. We only did one specialty restaurant for dinner- JiJi Asian Kitchen and it was excellent. We did the Seafood Shack one day for lunch ( charge involved) and also thought it was good. Also did Pig& Anchor for lunch one day ( it's free for lunch, charge for dinner) and I wasn't that impressed. I heard dinner was so much better. Someone already mentioned that we had a emergency Evac at sea on the 2nd day. I have never seen that and it was interesting. We heard it was a case of appendicitis and the person needed surgery within 24 hours. The previous person also made a comment about they felt the ship could have sped up and we could have made Grand Turk instead of having to miss the port. This was NOT the case, we went off course about 200nm and back NW towards the mainland. There was no way making Grand Turk was possibility, but they can dream. The 3rd sea day was welcomed by us, as it gave us another day to chill. I would be just as happy with all sea days and one port day. That night we got back to our cabin, found an apology letter which included the 20% off our next trip. Already thinking of ways we can use it! San Juan was our first port stop and we did the Barcardi Tour on our own. After exciting the terminal go left and walk to the ferry terminal. The cost is $1 pp round trip and the ride across the bay was 10 mins. Once on the other side we found a taxi van to share with a family for $3 each $6 for both of us. I gave him a $10 and said keep the change. Barcardi wasn't open yet, so they dropped us in front. We waited outside maybe 15 mins when a guard came and let us in. Told us to walk along the side walk to the pavilion. Once there they were ready for us. Fee was $15pp and included a free drink of our choice from 4 or 5 and a souvenir glass. The tour was interesting and took about 2 hours. On the way back we took another van back to the ferry with the same family. Again another $10. Total cost for the 2 of us was $52. The ship tour which stopped there was $79.99 pp. After getting off the ferry, we walked around Old San Juan for about 2 hours and then back to the ship. We left at 5. Next day was Amber Cove, a new port for both of us. It's similar to Grand Turk in that it's a Carnival built port with shops, a restaurant and pool. We originally had a tour here, but cancelled it. Since we skipped GT, the excursion desk waived the cancellation fee. We did some shopping here and then went to the pool for about 2 hours, had lunch in the restaurant and then some final shopping for gifts for those back home and back to the ship. Mike Pack was there welcoming us all back. Next 2 days at sea were great and we saw 2 shows. The "Celestial Strings" show was very good. Each night we also saw the comedians who were very funny and yes, in the later very explicit :) We also spent time chilling in the Havana bar one night and another night in the Piano Bar. Debarkation sadly came and it was again very easy and simple. NYC port was easy to get through and made the ending of trip stress free. Only things bad we can say about the ship was there were times when we felt more staff was needed in certain area- The already mentioned in other reviews pizza place was one of them, but this is easily solved by adding ore staff . There were times we felt the crowds, but Carnival Horizon is a big ship and there are plenty of places to go to get away from them. The Starboard side Lanai was a excellent place for a quiet spot to read, sleep or just watch the waves go by. If you want to stay busy no problem there. I was able to do the Skyride, the Sky Course, a ropes course that can be challenging, We played mini golf in the Sportsquare and walked on the track to keep in shape. I also did both water slides in the Dr. Seuss Waterpark. "The Cat's Hat" (the red one) you sit on a tube and gives a great ride. "Fun Things" (the blue one) is surprisingly fast and gives a great ride. We also did massages in the Spa, but didn't take advantage of the other facilities there. Overall, Carnival Horizon was great trip. We knew what to expect from Carnival and were disappointed, in fact in cases pleasantly surprised. Would definitely recommend a trip on board her. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This cruise was a Christmas gift from my parents for my family and my sister's family. There were 11 of us ages 10-72. We have all cruised many times before, and have been on most all of the major cruise lines, including Disney. ... Read More
This cruise was a Christmas gift from my parents for my family and my sister's family. There were 11 of us ages 10-72. We have all cruised many times before, and have been on most all of the major cruise lines, including Disney. My mom choose this ship because it was new and leaving out of NYC, something none of us had done before. We all enjoyed having some sightseeing time in the city the day before the cruise started. We all arrived at the Manhattan Cruise port via Uber from our different hotels. (My parents arrived a bit earlier than we did and when Carnival noted my dad was walking with a cane and having a bit of trouble they got him a wheelchair and they put them in the Zone 1 Boarding group. This was a huge help and they were on the ship eating lunch by 11:30.) We had 12-12:30 boarding time and we arrived at 11:50. We dropped off our luggage and then proceeded upstairs to check in. This was by far the FASTEST and Easiest check in ever!! We literally never stopped moving the entire time from security, check in to boarding. I texted my mom at 12:07 that we were walking on the ship! We had our first lunch at Guys. This was a great way to start the trip. It wasn't hectic or busy like the min buffet can be at that first lunch. We got our food, easily got a nice outside table and started relaxing! After lunch we looked around the rest of deck 5 and then headed up to the Lido deck to meet the rest of the family. The kids all had their suits and so they went to get changed to enjoy the pools and slides for awhile. After the mandatory safety drill we got ready for our early dinner seating and then headed up deck 11 to watch the ship leave NY Harbor. What a great view of both the city and the Statue of Liberty. It was a lovely day and so we got some great pictures! We were initially given AnyTime Seating and were waitlisted for Early seating. I emailed the maître D before the sailing (as suggested by others on this site) and requested early seating for the family. About 3 days prior to leaving I received and email that said we would be given early seating time and that specifics would be on our sail and sign card when we got on Board. Just as they said we were given an assigned time. I was initially a bit confused because I noted on the card that it said we were in the Meridian Dining room which I knew was the Anytime dining room. But that was correct. We were give 5:30 time at table in that dining room. I wasn't thrilled at first with the 5:30 slot but it ended up being a perfect time!! (We did have a hard time getting there right at 5:30 but most nights made it by 5:40). We had a table all the way at the back of the room so we had a great window seat looking out the back of the ship. Plus with that early time we were finished with dinner most nights by 7-7:15 so were able to pick and choose from all the evening activities on the ship each night. We all enjoyed the food in the main dining room. My dad and sister noted that they thought the portions were a bit smaller for main course but for most of us they were just the right size, particularly as we enjoyed getting 2 appetizers and sometimes 2 desserts many nights so it was just the right amount not to feel completely stuffed at the end of the meal. The ships slides, sky ride, rope course and other on deck games and activities were enjoyed by all in our group. The slide line was never terribly long and we all used the slides each day. The sky ride line after the first day was also fine. We tended to wait 20-45 minutes for a ride but it was worth it and several in our group enjoyed multiple rides over the week. (Make sure you put on closed toed shoes, no flip flops or sandals of any sort, even those with buckles are allowed). The Dive-In theater on Deck had many good movies throughout the week. I think we watched at least 4. The thing we all loved was that they had blankets at the towel stand!! Just like checking out a towel during the day you could go over and get a blanket to keep you cozy while watching the movies. The first few nights when we were further north it was cooler on deck at night so the blankets just made it perfect to enjoy a movie on deck. We also watched 3 movies in the Imax theater. There was a fee for those (Perfect use of onboard credit). My husband said it was one of the best 3-D theaters he has ever been too! We bought the tickets ahead of time at the kiosk outside the theater. If there is a movie you for sure want to see and at a certain time I would suggest doing this early as 2 of the movies we saw had full theaters so we were glad we had gotten them ahead of time. At the start of the cruise you can see all of the movies and show times for the week. You can purchase them at that time thereby reserving your spots. We were supposed to stop at 3 ports but due to a medical emergency for a passenger the ship had to turn around mid-way and so we were not able to go to our first port, Grand Turk. This was a huge disappointment for all of us as we had booked a private snorkel excursion there. The company I booked with had said they would refund deposit if the ship did not come in to port so we did not lose our money but were disappointed nonetheless. When we booked this cruise I was not particularly excited to have 4 sea days and now this made 5! I will say however that even though we were still bummed to miss Grand Turk, this ship had such great activities that the 5th sea day ended up being just fine. Our 2 stops then were Puerto Rico and Amber Cove. We use "Free Walking Tours" for a walking tour of Old San Juan and then visited Fort Morro and shopped a but before heading back to the ship. In Amber Cove we did the 27 Waterfalls. If you want to do this excursion do it ON YOUR OWN! The ship charges $110/person and you only get to do the smallest portion of the falls. We did this on our own for just $31/person ($15/person for private transport with RV Tours, and then $16/person for entry to falls) and did all 27 falls. We got off the ship as soon as it was cleared and made it to the falls ahead of the cruise groups. We were in a small group, 8 of us and then 8 others they put us with. About 3/4 of the way back down in the falls we met up with a group from the ship. There were 30+ people in that group and they didn't get near the experience we did. This was our first cruise ever to enjoy Breakfast in the sit-down dining room every morning instead of going to Buffet. This was a great way to start our day each morning. We also rarely got anything for lunch from the Buffets, another first. Guys Burger Joint and the Blue Cantina were both so great we got lunch from one of those places most every day. Most in the group did get ice Cream multiple times a day and several had Pizza late at night. There was quite a wait most times for the pizza. I think each time we went up after 11 the wait was 20-30 minutes. We preferred the pool at the back of the ship. Each day we got sun chairs on deck 11 on one of the sides of the ship towards the back and when we wanted to go swim would walk back there. We did tend to go up and set our stuff on a few chairs in the morning to save some spots until we could get up there after breakfast. We did so with the attitude that if someone came along when we weren't there and moved our stuff we would be OK with it and tried never to leave the chairs with no one there for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. On Day 3 we did note that chairs, particularly in the main pool area that were seen to have no one in them by the staff were getting stickers placed on them.. The sticker noted the time the sticker was placed and then gave another time and said if they were not back by that time their stuff would be take to towel hut. The back pool was never over crowded. There always seemed to be space for people to swim, sit on the sides or lounge on the edges. The same appeared to be true of the main pool. Lots of people were enjoying it but it wasn't so full that you felt you were on top of others. My son and husband enjoyed many of the trivia games during the day. In the evenings we also enjoyed a variety of activities including the comedians, main theater shows, and deck parties. The cruise Director Mike Pack was just terrific. Our Balcony Cabin on Deck 9 was the perfect location! 9277. I would highly recommend this location on one close to it. Getting off the ship at the end of the cruise was also very simple. You could go and pick a luggage tag for the earlier or later assigned disembark time (last day at sea) or walk off the ship with your own luggage once your floor was called. They started self disembark at 7:15 am, top floor to bottom floor. We got up and ate breakfast, again enjoyable sit down in the Meridiad at 7:45. Then went back to the room by 8:30 picked up our suitcases and headed to the elevators. I was a bit worried about being on the 9th floor with 5 suitcases to get off but there was no issue. We pressed deck 3, 6- 7times (one time for each of us and extras because we had suitcases) We had to wait for maybe 6 minutes or so but an empty elevator arrived and then took us directly to deck 5). Again from that point we never really stopped moving until we were out on the street looking for Uber. Before we went on this trip I read a lot of negative reviews and complaints about the Vista and then this new ship. The experience on this ship was different from some other cruises but it was still great in its own way. Don't go expecting it to be just like a previous cruises, things are changing on board many cruise lines but that doesn't mean they are now "bad or lesser" experiences. Go expecting to enjoy yourself and enjoy what this ship has to offer and don't spend your week comparing it to past cruises. That is what my family did and we had a great time. If you do that I assure you that you will enjoy this cruise ship as well. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This is my 26th Carnival cruise spread over many different ships. I have also been on many Disney cruises. Although I would be remiss if I didn't point out the challenges on this new ship, in general it was a really nice cruise on a ... Read More
This is my 26th Carnival cruise spread over many different ships. I have also been on many Disney cruises. Although I would be remiss if I didn't point out the challenges on this new ship, in general it was a really nice cruise on a beautiful ship. Pro's: The ship - despite other reviews we thought this ship was so clean! Yes the elevator system bothered so many people. I think it just felt like the wait was longer than traditional systems because there was no floor indicator so you had no idea when it would arrive. Mostly we took the stairs. The atrium is different from the older class of ships but equally pretty and a fun place to be during scheduled events. Spa Cabin - our cabin was nicely decorated and the thermostat worked perfectly so we were never too hot or too cold. The extra amenities in a spa cabin were nice as well - beautiful brand new robes, nice lotions and shampoo's, slippers, serenity towels, etc. We did not take advantage of the spa discounts we received but did use the thermal access several times. The Crew - The nicest, most friendly crew I've ever seen with one exception (see dining hostess staff under cons!). Special shout out to our awesome dining room waitress Mirjana. Yes it took three sets of dining staff to find her but she was amazing. Our food and drink orders were taken quickly and the food delivered quickly and hot! The entertainment crew was among the best - special shout out to Erin and Kyndall. Mike, the Cruise Director, has so much energy and was very present. Ok, so no one can hold a candle to Matt M but he came super close! Our steward Samuel and his assistant were fantastic. And contrary to other reviews you can ask for two times per day service and they happily accommodate. Activities - So much to do on this ship. Highly recommend the Military Appreciation event and the Behind the Fun tour. Zumba on the Lido is a nice addition too. Comedians were in general funny. The house band and violist's were great. Favorite food choices: Salad bar at the Serenity deck was awesome. Fresh and so many choices including shrimp! BBQ was great as well. Cons: I don't have many but here are the notable ones in my book. Menu Selection in the main dining room. This is not necessarily a Horizon only criticism. We just didn't like the new American Table Menu. The choices each night and the overall taste was just not great. Dining room hostess - As much as we loved the crew on this ship I've never run into someone so rude on a ship. One night we went directly to dining room instead of checking in on 5 as we were around the corner at the comedy club. Showed platinum card and requested our favorite server. We were told her station was booked and, in fact, the entire Your Time dining room was full and we could not be accommodated. Our server saw us and seated us immediately. During our entire meal her station was half full as was the entire Your Time dining room. It was clearly a case of "follow my rules or I'll have the last word". That was the only time I ran into anyone less than awesome. Embarkation and debarkation in NY: Embarkation seemed frantic as only the Diamond guests were separated for early access. Platinum's were grouped with the Faster to the Fun crowd. Debarkation in NY is the worst ever! We used the luggage service the night before and had to wait an hour to get our "priority" bags in zone 3. I can't even begin to tell you how awful it was to get a cab, Lyft or Uber in NY. I will never cruise from there again. Wine prices - they have really increased the prices both with the wine packages and individual glasses. A glass of KJ cost more than an entire bottle in the grocery store. 2X is fine but 4X? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I am 63 and retired. We picked this cruise because it was on a new ship and was leaving from NYC(just a train ride away). We got to the pier at 1 o'clock,There were no lines since you enter your info online before you get to the ... Read More
I am 63 and retired. We picked this cruise because it was on a new ship and was leaving from NYC(just a train ride away). We got to the pier at 1 o'clock,There were no lines since you enter your info online before you get to the ship. When we got to our deck, we waited ten minutes for the 1:30 pm room availability to drop our bags. Your room key cards are outside your door in an envelope and you must put a card in a slot to turn on the lights I was told there were 4000 adults and 600 kids on board. I never thought the ship felt crowded. The new type of elevators required a long wait. Many people gave up and walked. I was told you are supposed to hit the button once for each person. Maybe they'll work out the kinks. Over all I thought the food was pretty good. Breakfast was pretty much the same every day. The made to order omelets were very tasty. On sea days there is brunch in the MDR, worth going at least once. For lunch besides the buffet there are the Guy's burgers and BBQ. I thought both were great and had only short lines if any. There is also pizza, pasta and Asian noodles none of which I tried although the one time I wanted to try them the was long wait. There are also burritos and tacos, which never seemed to have a long line. For dinner we had "any time" dining. We always opted to eat late. You check in on deck 5 and they tell to go to deck 3 or 4. The first night things were a little chaotic. But by the second night it seemed to go smoothly. The last night I ordered the pork and it was a little dry. We also ate at the steak house and the chef's table. I enjoyed the chef's table but would not do it every cruise. The entertainment was good. I never had a problem getting a seat in the Comedy Club. We listened to the band in the Ocean plaza. Very Professional. Service was good. I thought everyone was trying their best and they were all pleasant. We didn't take any organized shore excursions; we went out on our own. On Grand Turk we took a taxi to Cockburn Town. We just walked around and went to the museum( $5).The museum was interesting but it doesn't seem like there is much else to do or see. In San Juan we walked the long way to El Morro. We saw the city wall and the (outside of) governor's mansion. Since El Morro is run by the Natl Parks service we got in for free with my Senior Pass. It was very interesting but there are some challenging stairs. In Amber Cay(Puerta Plata), we just stayed in the cruise port area since we got up late and the ship was leaving at 2:30.Also, the rum distillery is closed on the weekends. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This was my birthday cruise. Living in NYC meant we did not need to fly. Experienced cruiser with at least 15 cruises on different lines THE GOOD Food quality: in included and specialty restaurants. Steakhouse was great. ... Read More
This was my birthday cruise. Living in NYC meant we did not need to fly. Experienced cruiser with at least 15 cruises on different lines THE GOOD Food quality: in included and specialty restaurants. Steakhouse was great. Clean ship, I like new ships. Awesome shows, especially Spellbound Nightly movies outside with popcorn. Finally got to see Blackpanther. THE BAD Elevators: I think it’s a software issue. Could be very frustrating at dinner time. Liquid Loung (main theater): way too small, get there early. Some seats are blocked by columns on the upper level. Buffet : I have never seen such a poor variety. Pizza and Deli are very understaffed. Cheers drinking package: starts on day 2 (8 day cruise) when you leave out of NYC. Although it’s more generous then some other cruise lines the cost is for 7 days but bars are closed on disembarkation. Lack of seating poolside. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We were very excited to be a part of the first US trip the cruise was going to take after it just arrived in the US a few days before we departed. This was my son's first cruise as we waited until he was five before taking him on ... Read More
We were very excited to be a part of the first US trip the cruise was going to take after it just arrived in the US a few days before we departed. This was my son's first cruise as we waited until he was five before taking him on one. Getting on the boat was effortless. We were able to get to our stateroom before 1:00pm, which was great! The stateroom was extremely clean. The first "hiccup" we ran into on the boat was during the Muster Station drill. Not the fault of Carnival at all, but many cruisers decided to try to skip the Muster Drill. It took the staff quite a while to remove all the people in the swimming pools and bars to get to the drill. We waited nearly an hour before being dismissed from our meeting place. Your "sail and sign" card is scanned so the crew know you are skipping it. The kids, including my son had a hard time with this. In our previous cruises, the drill took maybe 15 minutes tops. Again, nothing to do with Carnival, but it is frustrating when other cruisers are selfish and hold up everybody. It quickly became evident that the bar staff was in need of additional help. We purchased the "bottomless bubbles" package before sailing and purchased cocktails on the sail and sign card. Waiting 10-15 minutes at the bar for a soda was a common trend throughout the cruise, sometimes even longer. At one point at the "Tides Bar" in the middle of the day, there was only one bartender working to make drinks for a full bar and for servers walking the decks taking drink orders. The drinks were great, but expect a long wait at Lido deck bars. The same wait applied for the food on the Lido Deck. The buffet had variations of the same food basically the entire cruise, so the other included food venues were popular. We waited on average 10-15 minutes on line to get a burger from Guys Burger Joint and the same for the BlueIguana Cantina on sea days. The pizza place was hit or miss with waiting. Sometimes there was no line at all, other times it would take 25 minutes to just order a pizza. Part of the problem was some cruisers were ordering multiple pizzas, and people they were cruising with would have them order pizzas for them too. The pizza tasted absolutely great though! The crew at the eateries worked as hard as they could to keep up with the demand though. The Seafood Restaurant was very decent, but again long waits. We ordered Fish and Chips. (they were out of a lot of the market price items on the second day of the cruise because this place was so popular...) He gave us a pager and proceeded to take another 4 or 5 peoples orders. They fry the food in batches to keep everything fresh. After about a 10 minute wait, the pager went off. The fish and chips was one of the best we have ever had. We did not try the other non-included eateries. One thing that I think Carnival could do better on is having staff keep a better eye on the pools. The day of embarkation the mid-ship pool was completely packed. We decided to wait until the first sea day to use them. We went in the aft "tides" pool in the morning. Our son loved it! Around lunch of the 2nd day of the cruise, we noticed the water in the mid-ship pool getting quite dirty. Soon after the pool was closed, netted, and taped off. It was subsequently drained. The aft pool then became the only working pool and that started getting dirty fast. We did not use the pool anymore after that. At one point in time there were about 15 people in the tides spa. (just in one of the two) There was even a couple having "relations" in the spa. Absolutely gross, considering how many other people were using it. Overall, we did enjoy the cruise! As expected, there are a few issues that need to be worked out because this was the first cruise for the ship out of the US. There were some great aspects of this cruise. The ship was clean, the crew was professional. Most everything ran orderly. The entertainment that was offered was decent too. Some staff members stood out well above others. Ruel who took care of our stateroom was awesome, as was Daniella who was bar tending up on the Tides Bar. She was able to keep her cool even as many cruisers were mad due to the long wait times. She was turning out drinks fast too, but one person cannot tend a fully packed bar with people each ordering multiple drinks. The bartenders were also making drinks for the bar servers who were walking the decks taking orders. Although we did not use Carnival's Camp Ocean, a few staff members who worked there stopped us to introduce themselves and tell us a little about it. Our son is autistic, so we were not sure of the environment and how he would react. More than one staff member took the time to say hi to my son and made him feel welcome. On our next cruise, we will definitely look into Camp Ocean. The food was consistent and and tasted great! The lines were long, but I suspect as the ship takes more and more passengers, the less waiting the lines would be. The elevators were not really as useful as marketed. The idea is great, but when there are a lot of people at once trying to get to the same floor, it because a hassle. This was amplified if you had a stroller or mobility issues. The problem is you would make a floor selection and would be assigned a car. So you get on line for that car and when it comes it fills up before you could get in. So you hit the floor you want to go to again, and get assigned a different car, but there are already people on line for that car. Situation repeats itself until a stroller, wheelchair, or other mobility device can fit in with other cruisers. The only other "negative" I had is we were unable to drink enough soda to actually pay for the all you can drink plans. It got tiring waiting up to 10-15 minutes every time you wanted a soda. I would not hesitate booking another cruise on the Carnival Horizon. In fact, we are looking at booking a repeat of this cruise in the fall of this year. On a side note, if you plan to go to Horseshoe Bay, I recommend the Carnival Transfer. We were going to take a shuttle bus at the recommendation of a friend. We were one of the first off the ship and waited over 45 minutes for shuttles that never showed up. The waiting became too much for a 5 year old to handle, so we walked to the snorkel park across from the cruise ship docks. That turned out to be a lot of fun. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Was so happy a new ship was coming to NYC! Overall ship A+ Public spaces and décor A+ Cabin A+ Activities A Food B Entertainment B Muster drill D Arrived at NYC terminal for the quickest Carnival check-in ... Read More
Was so happy a new ship was coming to NYC! Overall ship A+ Public spaces and décor A+ Cabin A+ Activities A Food B Entertainment B Muster drill D Arrived at NYC terminal for the quickest Carnival check-in ever—i-padlike devices before you go through Security. (if you’ve cruised on Anthem of the Seas—similar set up to the one at Cape Liberty). We then went to the back area where plat/diamond area was. Shortly after we sat down we were able to board this new ship. Cabin. Lovely and pleasant décor. Love that the coffee table has a shelf for storage. Usual closet/cabinets with safe. Plenty of hangers. Fridge was warm and ended up getting replaced. Nice new bed with very comfy mattresses, pretty linens that have leaf embossing on them. Balcony had 2 chairs (one reclines)and a table. Still in perfect condition. Bathroom good size but please stop using those curtains! Sufficient storage shelves. Toilet is now more like a bucket—no “shelf”. That was the best description I could come up with. Nice soft new towels. Use your key card to power the room. They need to fix balcony doors so they don’t slam shut as it's annoying to feel the bang of these doors. Large tv on wall in front of the bed. It was cute how it said "Welcome [our names]" and then at the end said "Ciao [our names]. You can view your account, several views from cameras (bridge, port, starboard, and aft!) which we liked. Getting to your account was a little tricky with when to choose “OK” vs. the fwd arrow. How it showed our onboard credit was odd. Also, if you have a joint account it shows up inconsistently between the tv and on the Carnival Hub app. We went to GS and it was explained to us well by Jing, but it wasn’t intuitive. I do not like being asked if I want cabin service in the morning or evening. Other cruise lines service twice per day as a given. I would have liked towels refreshed in the evening but felt bad because I figure Carnival has cut staff and given the cabin stewards more cabins to clean. Yet they have not decreased the daily service charge. Guest Services needs to have more staff available when the line gets long. Below us were Havana balcony cabins. Looked nice but I don’t like that everyone can look down on part of your “balcony” and also ahead of you is a glass wall much higher than a balcony wall. We looked in one of the Havana cabins on our deck and the décor is 4-poster bed and what seemed to be larger and bulkier dark furniture. There are “secret” stairways to take you to the Havana bar to the private Havana area, which although very nice, was small. 2 hot tubs and a very small pool. Comfy chairs and loungers and its own bar at the back of Havana club which is open to all guests after 7pm. It is a very nice area. The lobby has this very cool 3 story “funnel” that has various colors and patterns that change. Lobby area is larger than some other Carnival ships we’ve sailed, so that was good. It is a very pretty area. There's also a cool colorful funnel in the casino area. Spa. Listened to some of their treatment options but did not yield to their pressure to buy. Personally, being on a ship is my Bliss (Norwegian stole my term and named a ship after it!) so I don’t need any“youthing” treatments while on a cruise. The spa area was nice with 2 types of steam rooms, 1 dry, and 1 infrared room. Those tile heated lounge things looked cool and the mineral pool looked pristine. Gym looked very good too since everything was new. They offer organized classes—some include in fare, some not. Library is very nice on this ship, with lots of books and games. I wish I remembered to bring my own already-read books to leave onboard. Piano bar looks larger than other ships and is very pretty. Steakhouse is also right in this area, along with Teppanyaki and Bonsai. Alchemy bar too which did not disappoint. Pictures are all done on screens now. You select the pkg and can have them printed or digital. Continuing along this deck toward the stern is Java Café, and the Ocean Plaza, a very nice multi-purpose space. Bar there too where I had an Aperol Spritz or 2 or 3. Outdoor seating and eating spaces are on this deck and are nicely setup. If you’ve been on Norwegian’s newer ships—think the Oceanfront area. Very similar. Launderettes had very nice Speed Queen machines. You use your cruise card for payment. We had your time dining (or whatever Carnival calls it). Checked in on deck 5 mid-ship and both times immediately received our table # and got seated. First time was at the stern and it was very warm, and next time was more forward in the dining room and it was very cold. So dress appropriately for dining—I will bring a wrap or jacket next time just in case. We had lobster as featured one night and It was good although the sizes of the tails varied greatly. Service was a bit slow, but we dinnered with 3 very nice and fun ladies so it was fine. The second time we were given a two top between other two-tops and we were very close together but it was ok. Strip loin was just ok, the short rib was fabulous. Beef lasagna and the spaghetti carbonara were very good. We also had sea day brunch in Meridian, the aft dining room which was where we had dinner. No popovers! The chicken diavolo did not disappoint. I had to have the froot loop french toast too. Drinks (used our free drink coupon) took over 30 minutes and by that time were watered down. Mongolian Grill is now a sit-down restaurant called Ji-Ji above the Lido Marketplace. Included in fare for lunch and upcharge for dinner. You sit down and fill out a paper to select your food and then it gets made for you. I made the mistake of choosing noodles with my long list of veggies, and the bowl that came out was 90% noodles. Next time I will choose veg only. AND it’s under the basketball court and yes we heard basketballs bouncing. Not sure that would be pleasant at a long meal. Didn't try the Italian place but the menu looked good. Pizza. Finally after many long long lines there, on the last sea day they had two people working the stand and made lots of pizzas, so the line built up but then moved quickly as the ready-made pizza was served. There has got to be a better system. I remember when the pizza was ready and there were rarely lines there. Seafood Shack is also at the stern. Sometimes had a line, sometimes not. We tried the lobster roll on Victory and I didn’t wish to bother againpaying for something that was just ok. Lido Marketplace. Buffet is now in two sections. There are islands that all contain bins of the same food on each island. A salad bar is separate, as is the sandwich station (Deli) which was always under-manned and had lines. That moved very slowly. Why do they have those beautiful and tasty chocolate cookies at this station! They should be more easily accessible. Dessert station is separate. Chocolate extravaganza is nothing like it was in past years. The chocolate cakes were good though (at the Lido Marketplace) and rivaled the one you pay $2.25 a slice for at the Java Café. Didn’t eat at Guy’s burger or Blue iguana but why do they close at 6? Guy’s Pig & Anchor was not open embarkation day for lunch, but we ate there the first sea day. It’s set up outside and as a buffet with a line from either side. It was very good food. We found a table outside on one of the little half moons that stick out of the deck. This restaurant/bar had a lot of whisky choices. We did a beer flight which was good, as was their seasonal beer. There was food at the Ocean Plaza area too. Trivia was held here too which is a nice large space. Tea Time was offered on both sea days. I went just to see if they offered any unique or at least different than the Lipton black and Bigelow green tea in the buffet. Nope. Same 2. So I left. I did see cuke sandwiches being served, andalso a cart with desserts on it. Outdoor movie screen had movies, but we didn’t get to any on this short cruise. I love outdoor movies on ships. We rode the Sky Ride and it was fun. There was a line but it moved rather quickly and the ride itself was fun. The wind helped push me along a lot of the time. We went to the Cruise Next location but apparently the Carnival staff did not have it on their schedule, so by the time the person showed up we only got to hear a little before leaving for our next event—a 3D movie. Too bad as I enjoy hearing about new itineraries and ships. She started out w/ talk about their credit card instead of ship info, so we didn’t get to hear much other than which ships are based in which US ports. We went to the Imax theater to see the National Parks 3D. It was $5.50 per person. Excellent film. Showed various films during the trip. Lots of sundecks and attractive seating areas all around the ship. Serenity adults-only area is at the front of the ship and was very nice. Away from the loudness of the pool area. Lots of decks have forward open space, including deck 5 Promenade deck. Loved being outside at the front of the ship. You cannot go all the way around though as Havana pool and private area is at the stern on this deck. Liquid Lounge is attractively decorated but seems small for a ship this size. And the top level was freezing cold. After freezing in seats in the top level at the Welcome Aboard show, we chose lower level seats for the Vintage show which was interesting. The music was very good. Comedy. Seems the thing to do these days is turn on the house lights and wander the audience talking to and picking on people. This happened twice. When it started at the second show we went to, we left. The Disco trivia and party was going on in the lobby at the same time and we should have just gone to that as it was very fun and entertaining. Muster Drill. Carnival please get it together. Longest muster ever and quite disorganized. First piece of advice: look on the back of your cabin door to see where your muster station is. We heard employees being asked and some just didn’t know which muster was where. Fortunately we knew we were on deck 3 Meridian dining room. FunTimes said 3pm so people started assembling, we arrived around 3:15 but it was then 3:30 and nothing was happening yet. I think we started at 3:45, but it was waiting and waiting. Apparently people were not checked in (cruise card get scanned). Carnival, you know who they are so make them attend the make-up one and don’t keep us sitting there for so long. PLEASE work on this. Send employees on other cruise lines like Norwegian and RC and see how expeditious and efficient theirs are 99% of the time. Smoking on balconies. Sigh. Now this is mentioned during muster: “Fire at sea”. . . “no smoking in staterooms or on balconies.” This is not sufficient. At the Welcome Aboard show the CD said 48% were first time Carnival cruisers, so maybe some did not hear this at muster. It was either Norwegian or Royal Caribbean in the last year where the announcer said “let me repeat that” and said no smoking in cabins or balconies again for emphasis. Which is a great idea. But we could not fully enjoy our balcony due to cigarette smoke that happened way more often that I could comfortably tolerate. The last sea day it was constant unfortunately. Although I did leave a note for the cabin steward that there was smoking on balconies nearby, if I could pinpoint where it was coming from I would have reported it to Guest Services. There are cameras everywhere so I’m surprised they don’t notice puffs of smoke from balconies. I do think some people just don’t know smoking is prohibited, but I realize that some do know and do it anyway. Surprised that Carnival doesn’t do more about this considering they had a fire on a balcony from a flicked cigarette on Sunshine in 2016 (on a cruise right before we got on). Other lines take this seriously; on Royal Caribbean you get a notice on your door immediately. People other than me need to speak up if smoke is bothering you while on your balcony; I cannot be the only person who did not enjoy the smoke on this cruise. New elevator system. Ugh. Not working well. You choose your floor from a screen and the screen tells you which elevator to wait at. And wait. And wait. We ended up doing a lot of stairs—which is not a bad thing—but not easy with a cocktail or tea in your hand. Many passengers were quite frustrated by the elevators. Sailing out of NYC port is always great as the ride down the Hudson is lovely. Platinum gift was headphones. Bermuda is beautiful and the water was so calm it was shiny. We seemed to do a very slow 180 degree turn to dock. This was the first time Horizon was porting there. Tug “Faithful” was standing by to assist. I don’t know where her sister “Powerful” was. (those who’ve been to Bermuda know these are the 2 tugboats). Seemed to be a very long time to get cleared to debark, and as a result, there were long line in the stairwells. Continued on our way and we took the $7shuttle to Horseshoe beach. This time I actually could see the pink sand which I guess I just never noticed before. Fabulous warm and sunny day. 2 chairs and an umbrella cost $45 to rent here. Headed back to the ship mid-afternoon on a shuttle bus. Wandered around the port area a bit. You can get wifi at many places there. The last day at sea had a mix of weather but it was enjoyable anyway(minus the cig smoke). We stopped at the channel outside NY harbor for the pilot to board just after 3:30am. We were at the dock with lines tied by 6:15 or so. Went to the appointed location for platinum/diamond for debarkation. Interesting system where you line up your luggage in order of your arrival and then go sit down. We waited till around 6:45 and then lined up with our luggage and walked off after swiping our card for the last time. Fort those who may not know, there is a lot of walking involved at the NYC port. You debark forward but walk to the end of the terminal to go in, down an elevator or escalator and then walk forward again for customs/immigration, then exit. It was quick and easy to get to the taxi line. No more customs cards unless you’re over the allowance. The ship is really beautiful. If you’re going on Horizon, ENJOY!!! Notes to Carnival in case you read this: 1. Please fix balcony doors not to slam. 2. Please get the muster drill together better. 3. Please do more to ensure smoking is truly prohibited on the balcony. 4. New elevator system not so great--needs more instructions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We sailed on the transatlantic cruise and had a wonderful two weeks. Having sailed on Vista a couple of years previously in The Med we knew what to expect from this class of ship and it didn't disappoint. Embarkation: very quick ... Read More
We sailed on the transatlantic cruise and had a wonderful two weeks. Having sailed on Vista a couple of years previously in The Med we knew what to expect from this class of ship and it didn't disappoint. Embarkation: very quick and easy, comfortable big cruise terminal in Barcelona with plenty of seats, a cafe, bar and a duty free shop that had its shelves picked clean - it was funny to watch. The Ship: it was great to see some familiar faces from the crew on Vista, most of the crew were brilliant and really create a fun, lively atmosphere on board. It has almost the same layout as Vista but they've made a couple of changes which are not an improvement such as opening the Steakhouse to flow into the Piano bar. We had an inside cabin on deck 7 which had a comfortable bed, plenty of hangers but could do with some shelves beside the wardrobe. The room steward asked if we wanted the room cleaned once or twice a day. Very friendly guy who always had a smile and a chat every time we saw him. Entertainment: we love the production shows, the comedy club, the lively atmosphere all around the ship. The entertainment on Carnival is far better than any other cruise line we've sailed with. The comedians were really funny especially the three British guys. All the shows we watched in the Liquid Lounge were excellent, including the guest singers and the hypnotist. Unfortunately Carnival have not listened to feedback from Vista and changed the design of the Liquid Lounge which is undoubtedly the worst theatre on any cruise ship afloat. It is totally inadequate in size and has a terrible layout meaning that only half the seats have a decent view of the stage. As a result people queue for up to 45 minutes to get a seat with a view. Design Flaws: the Liquid Lounge is not the only design flaw on this class of ship, they have repeated the same flaws as Vista. The gym is far too small and appears to be an after thought stuck at the end of the Spa. Two of the additional fee restaurants are located directly below the sports court so you hear a constant thump, thump, thump of basketballs while you're having lunch or dinner. There's a big massive waste of space covering three floors of the ship, the Imax. Surely a better use of this space would be more cabins and a bigger gym. Food: some good and some not so good experiences. We had YTD and it worked great every night. We never had to wait for a table whether we were sharing or just a table for two. Service was always very friendly, courteous and quick. Every night we had a really enjoyable meal, good food well served. The Lido could get busy during breakfast and lunch but we always found plenty to eat and always found a table. Plenty of variety although the signs above the serving stations in the Lido could be a lot bigger to make them easier to read. The Pig and Anchor always had a queue at 1200 when it opened but if you went in after 1300 there was no queue and plenty of seats available. Mongolian Wok and Ji Ji's - we went twice to each and had superb meals each time. Well worth the $15 fee for dinner. Its a shame they don't close the sports court directly above so you don't have to listen to the constant thump of basketballs. Cucina del Capitano was terrible, very poor service. We went for lunch on a port day, it wasn't busy so there can be no excuses for such poor service. Very slow, unattentive and they forgot two dishes. The food was nothing special so we didn't go back and certainly were not minded to go for dinner and pay a fee. They need trained on service standards by the staff from Ji Ji's. Overall we had a great cruise, met some lovely fellow cruisers, had some great experiences on a ship who's crew create a fun, lively, wonderful atmosphere on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Notes for our Carnival Horizon Our 8th crossing... our 78th Cruise with multiple cruise lines. Booking and Air We booked this Maiden transatlantic of the Horizon looking forward to enjoying sea days on the newest ship in the ... Read More
Notes for our Carnival Horizon Our 8th crossing... our 78th Cruise with multiple cruise lines. Booking and Air We booked this Maiden transatlantic of the Horizon looking forward to enjoying sea days on the newest ship in the Carnival fleet. Fortunately, Carnival had very reasonable pricing for our flights on United from Newark to Barcelona. Our flight departed Newark about 3 hrs. late, but the airplane seating, crew and experience itself was great. We arrived in Barcelona followed the crowd to immigration, picked up our luggage and headed to the baggage exit. Finding the Carnival representative was NOT easy. We had to ask several other cruise reps where we might find Carnival agents. After finding them, we stapled our pre-printed Carnival luggage tags to each piece, dropped them off with the Carnival porters and were directed to seats nearby. The process took about an hour with what we thought was check in at the airport (not).... the bus ride was about 30 minutes... after which we had to answer the same information once we arrived at the port terminal. As Platinum VIFP we were promptly led to the sign in desk and ready to board...however, we learned the we could bring our own wine and alcohol! The terminal has an extensive duty free selection of wine at reasonable prices, so we purchased a few bottles for the cabin. Boarding was fast, but the small, smart elevators caused long lines once on the ship as we waited our turn to go from deck 3 to our deck 6. Many angry guests could not imagine why it was taking so long! After about 20 minutes, we reached our cabin, 6461. We freshened up, checked the refrigerator only to find it was not working...we needed it fixed or replaced. (The 3rd replacement worked) The room and closet space were adequate, the extra long veranda however, was very narrow! Those sailing in warm weather would find it difficult to relax on the veranda with outstretched legs unless each chair was set on a 45 degree angle. The bathroom had a shower curtain and decor was in the retro old style and colors, it lacked enough space to keep toiletries conveniently nearby. No night light, no typical amenities such as body lotion, or shampoo conditioner... only shampoo and body wash dispensers in the shower. The one phone in the cabin was on the desk, as were the only 2 - 110v electrical 1 - 220v and 2 USB outlets. Again, not convenient to the bed or well thought out. We briefly met our cabin attendant, Daniel who asked if we wanted 1 or 2 make ups daily.... duh. We told him twice daily please. He and his partner Jelena were great at keeping the cabin tidy, clean and constantly filled our jumbo ice bucket! Off to lunch at the Lido Marketplace on deck 10, aft. Loved the layout, easy to find seating, several sections (front, mid and aft) each with much the same buffet selections, allowing for comfortable self service and finding tables. Many tables for 2, several up to 8. Liked the variety, happy with the quality, taste and prompt availability of whatever seems missing, just for the asking... (smoked salmon and poached eggs) in the morning. Never a food complaint in the Marketplace. Getting tables cleaned promptly was however, a challenge. Note: cookies are rare, and sugar free cookies never. Selection limited for all deserts, lines of 10 or more common. Need self service ... and additional sugar free deserts for those whose diet demands. Following lunch, we visited the maître D to change our dining time and table. Then it was time for the muster drill. Dinner was early 6PM at table 745. A lovely location, at the aft with a view of the ocean set for 4, our waiter and assistants were fabulous, the food was however, mediocre, never very hot, not up to our Carnival expectations (had always been better than other lines). Not a complaint, rather an observation. Usually after dinner, we would visit the casino! Not so on Horizon! The smell of smoke was unbearable despite Pierre’s (Hotel mgr.) assurance otherwise. He went into great detail at our Cruise Critic mtg about how much better the casino air filtration system was and how much effort and money went into making it so. Apparently it needs more effort, money or repair! Many guests we met had the same comment. Back to food.. Tried the Guys Hamburgers... they are absolutely delicious, fast service and excellent selection of toppings make for a great lunch. The BBQ was a disappointment... perhaps our expectations were set too high... long lines, hard to find tables, fatty ribs.. we found ourselves headed back to the Marketplace to finish lunch. The Seafood Shack is worth the few dollars extra. We shared a lunch combo platter (10.00. We are able to substitute clam strips for calamari, added shrimp, scallops, battered cod and fries. Plenty to share, all fried, all hot and delicious. Place your order, get notification via assigned buzzer when ready, pick up your meal and take back to a table in Marketplace. Ship The ship itself is not your typical Carnival décor. It's very attractive, just no glitz or glitter we are accustomed to. A guest we met said "there's no WOW factor". We were pleased with the extensive use of warm woods, glass and more "conservative" interiors.. Elevators Smart elevators ... good, but hard to get used to. More like some high rise buildings in metro cities, these are very efficient, but you need to indicate where you intend to go BEFORE entering the elevator, as there an NO buttons inside the elevator. You do this by approaching a pedestal, then touching the 6" X 10" display screen with the deck number you want to get to. The display then shows and sounds an Alpha Letters (A, B, C etc.) which elevator to use for that request. On most decks there's also a large display screen near the elevator bank with info. about which elevator will will stop on which decks etc. Frustrating at first, however, takes getting used to.. TV at seas, it's incredible how good the reception actually is. Just wish there were US stations. We had BBC, CNN international Sky News, CNBC etc. Great selection of movies... many are included, a few of the LATEST are priced at 4.99. Interactive menu lacks music channels, ship info. is minimal (ship camera, speed and depth, sunrise, sunset only) Would like temperature, wave heights and wind info.. Would also be nice if we could order room service ... perhaps this is coming. Veranda - Best said... this is a ship built for warm weather and outdoor activities. As such, our Veranda while longer than most, is so narrow as to make it impossible to pass when someone is using a lounge chair with legs extended. Theater - Liquid Lounge is MUCH too small, difficult to see stage from many seats, no pitch to the floor, so it's hard to see over guests seated in front of you. IMAX - Great experience, excellent selection, worth the small surcharge. Crew - Outstanding.. obviously these are selected for their experience and have been trained well. Always a smile, always do their very best to satisfy the guest. Dining Room - Moving away from the open, no division between sections, each area is a bit more defined a bit quieter than typical. There were however, NO table cloths, (except for formal nights), and the tables themselves are fairly close to each other making any privacy impossible. Overall, we had a pleasant cruise, we would do it again (if they offer another transatlantic). NOT a cold weather ship!! Not enough space at the indoor venues for games, cards, mahjong etc. when everyone is "indoors". Disembarkation Well coordinated - moved quickly. Note that customs declaration forms were not required UNLESS you had to something to declare. Hard to find porters in the luggage area. Lines waiting to get one as they returned to the terminal. Only other comment has really to do with the Carnival VFIP program. Just not very competitive with most others. Would love if they added things like some free wifi, 2 coupon drinks per day, etc. at Platinum level. Love the laundry perk, boarding priority, private phone contact and Platinum Line at Guest Services. 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
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
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
suitable for children new cruise ship. taken several carnival cruises before. staff bend over backwards to be helpful mike the cruise director was entertainment on his own!! a great asset to carnival. fun squad always cheerful and ... Read More
suitable for children new cruise ship. taken several carnival cruises before. staff bend over backwards to be helpful mike the cruise director was entertainment on his own!! a great asset to carnival. fun squad always cheerful and hard working. restaurant staff were very helpful and caring for our vegetarian grand daughter. the waiter Goran and assistant Nemanaja and Gabor were great. extra bath and sink in family harbor rooms are very useful our group of 2 adults and 2 grand children. we dont mind paying $5 pp for the IMAX cinema and our grand children loved choosing sweets and candy in cherry on top. the children looked forward every evening to the photographers attention and posing in the very many backdrops. we bought a photo package in advance of the cruise which was very reasonable. overall we had a great week and look forward to carnival returning to europe in the near future. overall, anything we asked for or wanted was made possible by the ever helpful staff. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Bring new ship exactly the same as the vista slightly wider lobby area but apart from the same. The entertainment wasn’t brilliant -hypnotist , magic shows , and cheesy games shows with qvc Mike. The stage crew did a scary Motown show ... Read More
Bring new ship exactly the same as the vista slightly wider lobby area but apart from the same. The entertainment wasn’t brilliant -hypnotist , magic shows , and cheesy games shows with qvc Mike. The stage crew did a scary Motown show which was well directed. Sky ride people were really friendly. Shelby in the kids clubs was amazing -always a smimey face. The food wasn’t well match with sides so bit of mismatching going on. The lido moved the cups out so you had to take your boiling hot coffe over the other side of the deck for milk Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We booked this ship for the maiden voyage! We have sailed with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Celebrity. We booked a spa cabin and it was great! The balcony was pretty small but the perks of being able to use the thermal suites ... Read More
We booked this ship for the maiden voyage! We have sailed with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Celebrity. We booked a spa cabin and it was great! The balcony was pretty small but the perks of being able to use the thermal suites was great! Our steward was fantastic! We only went to the dining room 3 times for the entire cruise. Service was not up to snuff and the menus were not as great as usual, We did go to the steakhouse one night and it was fantastic! But pricey $30 each. The Art at your table dessert was wonderful! We were not impressed by the Pig and Anchor which you can have free for lunch. The lido buffet was good with steak one night, prime rib another. The excursions we had through Carnival were great. We book through the ship and the first port Florence, had 29 people that did not make it back to the ship due to traffic and they were left. They totally missed their day in Rome and made it to the ship for departure. The itinerary was packed and we were worn out, but happy! The ship was pretty cool, but I missed the big atrium for older ships. The elevator was computerized which was nice. I don't think we will go for huge ships anymore, due to long lines and crowds. Getting on and off was not a problem. The comedy club was awesome! 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
Carnival Horizon Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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