4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Everything on the cruise was awesome except the food. The main dining room food was not good at all I did an 8 day cruise we ate in the main dining room 6 out of the 8 nights. The selection was not good the food came out cool or cold ... Read More
Everything on the cruise was awesome except the food. The main dining room food was not good at all I did an 8 day cruise we ate in the main dining room 6 out of the 8 nights. The selection was not good the food came out cool or cold never hot. I ordered the filet one night and could not eat it, it was tough cold and had no taste. That night my dinner was a salad and bread. Every night was the same food not good. The waiters and staff were very good. The buffet was ok at times most of the time the food was hot but pretty much the same thing every day. There was no variety at the dining room or buffet. There was also a problem on the ledo deck every day with groups of people playing there own music very loud. I did not go on a very expensive vacation to listen to loud nasty music. Security should walk around and stop this kind of behavior. Almost every day about 4 pm you could count on this music to start, and you would see people pack up and leave the ledo deck. This is not fair to your cruisers and should not be allowed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My daughter and husband told me about it so we went together great time food entertainment cruise director was the best if anybody wants to go on a cruise carnival horizon with Mike pack is the ship to go on we went on a eight day cruise ... Read More
My daughter and husband told me about it so we went together great time food entertainment cruise director was the best if anybody wants to go on a cruise carnival horizon with Mike pack is the ship to go on we went on a eight day cruise plenty of food great weather crew was where great but again mike the cruise director was the best, waiters,porters and mike's fun group cannot ask for a better time anybody that does not have a good it is there own fault went with 3 grand kids they also had a great time shows , l would love to see again looking to go again it took a little bit of time to find your way around but that was okay over 3900 people on ship and lines to me were not long all the people on board were to nice no trouble crew was there to help with anything you need Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise as it is out of NYC, and had 3 great ports on the itinerary. We were a medium sized group, and not one of us has any complaints whatsoever. The ship is modern and beautiful. The staff were amazing and helpful and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it is out of NYC, and had 3 great ports on the itinerary. We were a medium sized group, and not one of us has any complaints whatsoever. The ship is modern and beautiful. The staff were amazing and helpful and always could be found. As for the food, the buffet was really good, we had lunch and dinner there a few times. The Asian, Italian and Pig and Anchor served delicious food for lunch (included) and we dined at the Italian at night and wow, what can I say, it was DELICIOUS and well worth the extra $15 per person. We enjoyed all the bar drinks, they are generous with the alcohol. As for the pool, yes it was small, but we were able to take a quick dip, and enjoyed the water park to cool off as well. It was challenging to find an open deck chair, but all we did was be PATIENT. We went to the bar next to the pool, got ourselves a yummy drink, and Gasp... we waited til a chair opened. Never an issue. As for the entertainment, there was a new show every night, and the dancing and singing was spectacular as was the stage sets WOW. We went to several comedy shows and never left disappointed. We did take advantage of the many activities offered throughout the day, including the fun trivia contests, movies on deck, bingo, crafts, and dancing lessons. All I can say is we had a great time, and are not really quite sure why other people seem to have so many issues when we had absolutely none! Would go again in a heart beat! It is what you make of it and we took advantage of everything they offered! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
First let me start off saying that this is NOT my first cruise #6 but this was my first time cruising on a Carnival Ship. There was at least 30 people in my party filled with family & friends of All ages. Many who only cruise ... Read More
First let me start off saying that this is NOT my first cruise #6 but this was my first time cruising on a Carnival Ship. There was at least 30 people in my party filled with family & friends of All ages. Many who only cruise with Carnival. We had a Great time enjoying each other's company & making the best out of our cruise. Now, with that said here's my overall review of Carnival Horizon: The Good: 1. I loved the Carnial App in was the best thing on the boat & it allowed us to keep up with each other on the ship. 2. Guy Fury's Burger Joint was by far the best food on the ship. The location sucked, because the lines blocks the entrance to the dining hall. There is not enough space for it where it is located. 3. Ehar our stewardship was the absolutely BEST! He handled the rooms on the lido deck fwd 10243 what a great guy! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because it was a new ship. I was very concerned when I read the negative reviews but then i have been on many cruise lines and i have found that there will always be people who are never happy and tend to criticize ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a new ship. I was very concerned when I read the negative reviews but then i have been on many cruise lines and i have found that there will always be people who are never happy and tend to criticize everything, Embarkation was quick and easy. The comedy shows were very good. We saw many of the movies on deck at night time; I was pleasantly surprised at how new they were. We saw "The Greatest Showman", Avengers: Infinity War, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Pacific Rim: Uprising, etc. I did not buy the drink package but I always bought the daily special of the day which was at a discount price. The Latin music at the Havana Bar was very good. The only thing i was not too impressed with were the luncheons at Lido Buffet. Luckily, there were other places to go for lunvh; our favorite was Guy's Burger Joint. We had the 6 pm early dining - yes, the meals were smaller portions but you could always ask for more. I actually liked the smaller portions because it left room to order dessert and i also didn't leave feeling like i had over stuffed myself which is what typically happens on a cruise. I never had a problem with getting a lounge chair at the pool; granted, I am an early riser and thus there were lounge chairs available early in the day. We stayed in an Inside cabin on Deck 1 that had 2 bunk beds. I found our cabin to be spacious compared to other cabins on other cruise lines. I especially liked that there was a self-laundry room to wash clothes. We enjoyed the ports although the time spent at each one was short. We did a Snorkeling with power scooter and lunch excursion at Grand Turks through Carnival. We had a blast and I would highly recommend this excursion. We did a zip lining tour in Amber Cove. This was booked through Trip Advisor and was less expensive than the same excursion Carnival was offering. We decided to relax in San Juan and did not do any excursions. I did not find the new elevator system to be a problem; I feel that having read the prior reviews had prepared me in advance. There weren't too many retail stores to shop at and I found that to be disappointing. Disembarkation was a breeze. We walked off with our suitcases and called an Uber. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Well they over pack the ship with 5000 people and the pool is so small and you never find a seat at the pool. The food was ok nothing to brag about. They are cheap with water in your room afer 4 bottles for 4 people they charge you for ... Read More
Well they over pack the ship with 5000 people and the pool is so small and you never find a seat at the pool. The food was ok nothing to brag about. They are cheap with water in your room afer 4 bottles for 4 people they charge you for them. Mike the cruise director is excellent always happy. The shows are great nut the sky ride is closed half the time due to wind. The miniature golf and pool tables are a joke to windy balls blew around. The balcony doors are terrible they open like a door and slams so hard you wake up early if a kid is in your next room. So I say Carinaval Horizon is rated poor for my family. I must say the princes on drinks are high one round at the pool is $46. The Imax theater is $12.95 a movie pathetic Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I booked this trip over a year ago and was extremely excited to be sailing on Canrival's newest ship. This was my 7th cruise and 3rd on Carnival. I was traveling with a large group of family and friends, some of which were skeptical ... Read More
I booked this trip over a year ago and was extremely excited to be sailing on Canrival's newest ship. This was my 7th cruise and 3rd on Carnival. I was traveling with a large group of family and friends, some of which were skeptical to sail on Carnival. I convinced them that it would be a great experience because I had never had issues sailing on Carnival in the past. Boy was I wrong!!!!! I was extremely disappointed with SEVERAL aspects of this trip. However, I will start with the few PROs: Pros *Embarkation - was very efficient and quick. We arrived at the port within our appointment time and was on the ship within 15 minutes. Our staterooms were ready by the time we boarded and food was being served. *Decor/Design - the ship's decor is modern and welcoming. The design is ok. The pool area on the Lido deck is much smaller than on the Splendor and many of the speciality restaurants are small and can't accommodate many people. *Cabin - we had an aft balcony on the 9th deck. The beds were extremely comfortable (unfortunately, I didn't get much rest). Our cabin steward, Idewa, was amazing. He was extremely courteous, attentive and accommodated all of our requests. Cons: *Cabin - we paid extra money for the aft balcony at the back of the ship. Big mistake....for the extra money, we got a lot of extra noise and wasn't able to get a good night sleep not one night of the trip. The crew cleaned the Lido deck located above our room at the oddest times. The noise is so loud when they are moving the lounge chairs/tables and chairs around it awakens you from your sleep....it sounds like they are coming through the ceiling and they do it at the oddest times.....I had to call and make several complaints at 1am, 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am, 6am, etc..........I was so exhausted on most days, I had to nap during the afternoon or early evening. Each time I called to report the noise, a guest service rep would say that they've spoken to the supervisor and the noise should cease...that never happened. The noise occurred EVERY night and every morning on the ship. Secondly, for this to be a new ship, the mechanics are not designed well. When we would reach a port and the ship was docking.....not only was the noise extremely loud but the cabin would shake violently. It was disruptive and it was scary!!!! Lastly, the balcony doors slam extremely hard and loud. The noise from them slamming was continuous throughout the cruise. *Customer service - the service on the ship overall was POOR!!!!!! Our aft balcony provided us with access to the Havana area, however, whenever my children entered the area they were always told "this is a private area" despite the fact that they had on the access bands. Perhaps, the staff members weren't aware that African Americans could purchase cabins that included access to this part of the ship. If you had a question, no one seemed to be a able to provide an answer. If you asked 10 different people the same question, you got 10 different answers. We were a group of about 40...despite making dinner reservations 3 days in advance, no one in the Meridian dining room was able to get it correct and no one could seem to provide an answer as to who was in charge. We only planned to have dinner all together only ONE night to memorialize my grandmother's birthday. It was a nightmare!!! The staff didn't have the capacity, the common sense or the desire to accommodate us. Overall most of the staff members on the ship were not friendly, courteous or helpful. It didn't appear they were prepped well or have gotten used to serving the crowd capacity on a mega ship. Carnival, you must do better in this area!!!!! *Entertainment - this is supposed to be a "FUN" ship. For an 8 day cruise, I felt the itinerary was very scarce and redundant. There is no signature “Broadway-quality” production. There were no live bands in the pool area, unlike on other cruises where they will often feature reggae, steel drum or calypso music so that you feel like you’re at an island resort. The Fun Team appeared only once in a while. We were at sea for a total of 5 days and there were only 2 deck parties. *Food - the food at the buffet was subpar at best! There was no option for turkey bacon or turkey sausage at breakfast, the food selections were very limited, and the taste made much of the food undesirable. Guys Burger, the pizza, food at the deli and burrito bar were great but there was ALWAYS a long line! The shrimp and crab legs at the Seafood Shack were very salty. We ate at the specialty italian restaurant one evening and the food was pretty good there. When we boarded the ship after Grand Turks, there were only 3 complimentary food places available (not the buffet) and the lines were extremely long. This was absolutely UNACCEPTABLE! *Drinks - the bartenders and drinks at the Alchemy bar were amazing. Every where else, there was much to be desired! Most of our group purchased the $400+ drink package and was extremely disappointed in not being able to receive a decent cocktail. This experience was daunting!! I will not sail with Carnival again! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Just got off the ship, one of the smoothest, pleasant and fun packed experiences. We are experienced cruisers with experience on a variety of lines and this trip on Horizon was very good. Service, cleaniness, efficency are some of the ... Read More
Just got off the ship, one of the smoothest, pleasant and fun packed experiences. We are experienced cruisers with experience on a variety of lines and this trip on Horizon was very good. Service, cleaniness, efficency are some of the positives. Some rude guests who only went on and on about this and that grew old and tiresome, enough already. Dinner reservations were a breeze with the app, and it's free WiFi to use the app. Getting on and off was amazing and well run. Room Stewart and other staff were friendly and playful with us and our kids. Yes, the buffet was small but what people don't realize is that there are other places to get complementary lunch and lots of food options made to order and fresh....guys burgers, pizza, Chinese bar, pasta bar, pig and anchor, deli counter. Other cruises we have been on don't have as many made to order choices like this. Yes the pools are small but not terribly smaller than other ships and after first day it didn't feel crowded as people did various other things on the ship...major plus plus plus is the outstanding water park that kids and adults enjoyed. Best water park we have seen on a ship. Never had a problem with elevators. And at peak times after port visits the crew operated and controlled elevators to help everyone. Ports were great. (To those who complain about the short time at ports...you knew the itinerary when you booked...why are you surprised..you chose this) Entertainment was good. The band's and violins were amazing. Comedians were funny and people came back day after day to see them. Overall we never felt crowded. We woke up late and never had a problem getting window seats to eat or chairs. Front of the boat is beautiful on deck 5. Only improvement could be more food choices in the buffet for lunch and dinner and kid lunch buffet items and dinner in the main dining. Would we sail carnival again...yes Search up any cruise line...any ship....same complaints on all boats no matter which line. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My daughter friend birthday and the parents invited us to go with them,was great boarding the ship from NY was easy headed to the Lido deck for lunch by the time we got upstairs to our stateroom bags was there.The ship is huge this was our ... Read More
My daughter friend birthday and the parents invited us to go with them,was great boarding the ship from NY was easy headed to the Lido deck for lunch by the time we got upstairs to our stateroom bags was there.The ship is huge this was our first cruise the food was good we try three specialty resturant Ji Ji,cipiano italian,Bonsia all great and the main dining the Merridian ,all the negative reviews I read glad I did pay any attention to them .The cruise was relaxing I stayed on the 14 floor cloud 9 area was nice a little slamming of doors by passengers who could of just hold back the doors from slamming.Did not buy cheers package glad I did not ,you allowed two bottle of wine in your luggage and pay as I go at dinner time for drinks and I was fine drinks are between 7.50 to 9.50 unless you want to sit at a bar all day long,employees was nice hardworking. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The Horizon ship is nice—brand new and clean. We stayed on the family floor—suite. The room was nice and so was the crew. I rated this experience as poor because the ship is over crowded—ruined our experience. Also, the pools and ... Read More
The Horizon ship is nice—brand new and clean. We stayed on the family floor—suite. The room was nice and so was the crew. I rated this experience as poor because the ship is over crowded—ruined our experience. Also, the pools and hot tubs are small and packed with people. The waterslide area is neat, but too crowded—long lines. The trip is 4 days on the boat at sea. This many days at sea should have a less crowded boat for sure. Good luck finding a chair on the deck/s after 11 am. The minigolf and games outside are pointless with all the wind—bikes were even closed at times due to wind. Our daughter liked to go to the kids club now and again. All the meals that were included with the price were buffet and just ok. For us, the positives did not make-up for the over crowded ship. We will not cruise Carnival again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
First as a disclaimer, we're Platinum with Carnival and have sailed a number of their ships over the years. We were excited to try the Horizon, being the newest entry into the fleet. I always like the Pros/Cons type of review as ... Read More
First as a disclaimer, we're Platinum with Carnival and have sailed a number of their ships over the years. We were excited to try the Horizon, being the newest entry into the fleet. I always like the Pros/Cons type of review as it's simpler, so here's our take: Pros- ** Alchemy Bar. Absolutely fantastic "Mixologists". Zoran, Anna Maria and "Dr. Z" were on top of their game and the best drinks weren't even on the menu. I dare you-- challenge them! ** Lennox Lust (the band). Wow. Just wow. We're talking seriously talented musicians here. See them now before one day you'll have to pay for admission to watch them. You'll never find a better lead guitarist using acoustic anywhere. Yep, they're that good. **Pig and Anchor. Excellent BBQ--and free when you board and also for lunch on sea days. Do it, you won't be disappointed. And the beers on tap were very good also (especially the porter if you like darker beer). ** Embarkation. Not sure if it could have been smoother. Carnival has always been the best at getting you on the ship quickly, and this was no different. **On board parties. Carnival definitely has the most "fun" crowd on the seas (albeit younger.. so not surprising), but the White Out and outdoor Dance Parties definitely were a blast. The crowd really got into it! **Food. Didn't disappoint as both the main restaurants and the buffets were good, but the deli was excellent. Order a pastrami and tomato--no "cheap" sandwich here! Deli worthy indeed. **Cleanliness of the ship. Yes, it's new, but as expected the ship really was spotless and the staff cleaned constantly. **Staff. Wow.. were these people friendly and happy. I'd have to say the most pleasant crew of any Carnival ship we've ever been on. Genuinely nice and made us feel welcome. ** Elevators. Yes, I know many seem to love or hate these, but the only times we ran into an issue were when we first embarked and after a show when everybody ran to use them. The issue is that Carnival doesn't tell you to press the floor you want for EACH person in your party. This way the algorithm understands the volume of people and will direct others to another elevator. We say 2 parties of 6 or more press it once, and sure enough, there wasn't enough space. On a few occasions while pressing the amount for our party, the elevator would change to another--and that elevator always was unoccupied. A learning experience, but as a whole, one we felt worked. **Service. Every night we had an incredible wait staff, who were friendly, outgoing and accommodating. The only night we had an issue was when our waiter and his partner were responsible for 7...yes 7 tables (3 of which had 10 people!). He was simply overwhelmed but hustled like heck to do what he can. In all that chaos, he was still as pleasant as can be. **Carnival Hub App. This is where Carnival has really shined. We had anytime dining and instead of going to "check in" on a different deck and being handed a pager (are you listening NCL?), you simply went on the app, requested a table and it told you how long of a wait you'd have. Once secured, a notification with your table number and a message that your table was ready was sent to each in your party. Wonderful! You can also book the specialty restaurants for your week. TIP--if you wanted a specialty restaurant and weren't fortunate enough to book in advance, do so as SOON as you board and log into the app. The entire schedule of availability will be visible. (And Carnival won't want to say, but there's no penalty for canceling a reservation, so do so with confidence, even if you're not 100%.). TIP 2: If you're planning on eating at the steakhouse, under NO circumstance will you be allowed if you're wearing shorts of any kind (kids excluded). We hadn't planned for an extra night of attire and had to cancel as a result (1 pair of pants...and a dessert the night before killed the thought of a 3rd!). **Internet. Hands down the best we've ever had at sea on any cruise line. The Oasis of the Seas had this previous title in our world, but this wasn't even close. We were able to stream security cameras and the like with little hesitation. It was near land based speed in some cases.. wonderful! Cons- ** Crowded. Yep, it's a big ship, but on sea days it is a chore to find an open chair. This has been the most challenging of any ship we've been on to find an open chair. We were fortunate though to find some in the Serenity section as we tend to go late. TIP-if you're like us and start out late, look for a chair in the Serenity after 1pm, as the early folks tend to leave as they go to lunch. We were 4 for 4 with our timing. **Spa. I hate to say it's a "con", but Carnival as a whole and the Horizon specifically really lags behind the other lines when it comes to their spa. It has 2 niche saunas (that always had room) but a VERY small whirlpool and just a handful of stone chairs, that of course, were "saved" too many times as people would come in, put their towels on the chair then use the facilities before coming back to their chair while others waited. Really wish people would be more considerate (not a Horizon thing per se, but a cruise thing). I really expected a LOT more from a new ship. **Cabin. We had a spa balcony cabin and for the life of me (and many others after reading reviews), have NO idea why Carnival insists on using a shower curtain as opposed to a simple door. Just aggravating to say the least. And while other newer ships have tended to increase the bathroom size just a bit, not here. It's basically identical to any refurbished Carnival ship. If you were in the bathroom and closed your eyes, for $100 you couldn't guess what Carnival ship you were on. Color scheme included. Definitely disappointed. On a positive note, the beds and pillows were comfortable. **Casino. Well, more about the smoke in the casino. I know, gamblers like to smoke and you're indoors, but it just seemed worse on this ship for some reason. And having your Muster Station be.... the casino!..... made for a rough drill. We had to leave and stand in the hallway as the smoke smell was still overwhelming from the last cruise. Not sure what else they can do as they do have the air ionizers going full blast (you can smell them too) and in the bar added a 2nd story that is enclosed with the intention of capturing smoke...but still not there. Please keep trying! Overall we enjoyed the cruise (for us, it's hard not to enjoy any cruise!). The crowd was fun and was the most diverse we've seen on a cruise ship. Not getting political, but in today's environment I think it was a very good thing to actually watch all races and ethnicities--and yes, sexualities too-- engage and truly enjoy each other. I did notice a change in "tone" as the week went on as it went from "pockets" of like folks, to a mixed family environment where song and laughter were shared by all. Who knows... perhaps the answer to all our problems has a simple solution: sail the Carnival Horizon. :) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This is my 10th cruise, and my 2nd, and last, on Carnival, it was also the most expensive cruise that I have ever taken, and was not worth the money. I could have taken a 7 day cruise for less money. The Horizon is a brand new ship. HUGE ... Read More
This is my 10th cruise, and my 2nd, and last, on Carnival, it was also the most expensive cruise that I have ever taken, and was not worth the money. I could have taken a 7 day cruise for less money. The Horizon is a brand new ship. HUGE but the passenger to crew ratio is not appropriate. The crew was very friendly and helpful, but finding a waiter on the open deck for drinks was ridiculous. I took this cruise because it fit in with my schedule, only 4 days from New York to Bermuda and back. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, expect to wait at least a half hour in the waiting area before they call your number to board. Got on the ship at 11:45, but you can not put things in your room yet because they are still cleaning it, which I expected. Elevators operate differently, and are good once you get used to how they work. We were hungry from our long trip to get there and expected the buffet to be open...it was not, and the only place to eat was at Guys B-B-Q. The lines were ridiculous and there was only limited tables to sit and eat. Food was not that good, but I was really hungry. That is the only time you can eat for FREE at Guys B-B-Q, during the week you have to pay to eat there. All of the free eating areas are small buffet style, lines to get food are long and the food choices are very limited, compared to other cruises I have been on. The buffets also close early and the only FREE food is a burger and fries line, or a taco line, or a pizza line, and when I say line...imagine waiting for at least 10 minutes or longer and the food was not worth waiting for. The position of these food venues were designed poorly and blocked doorways to get to other parts of the ship. The 2 pools were smaller than my regulation size home pool, and of course overtaken by all of the children on board. There is a nice Adults Only section on the ship, but good luck getting a chair there. The rule is 40 minutes for a saved seat and your towel will be removed...well, I saw towels there for hours, I finally moved them to sit down. Restrooms on the public decks, casino, dining rooms were few and far between. I had to walk to the other side of the ship at dinner to find the closest restroom and then I had to wait in line again. There is a smoking section for those that smoke. The Dr. Seuss Waterworks is a fun waterpark for the kids, and there is a section with miniature golf, ping pong tables, corn hole game, fooseball, and pool tables. The zip line and skyride had a 45 to 60 minute wait for a 5 minute ride. The entertainment venue is small, maybe seats 1000 people, so we did not get to see a show. Dining rooms were nice and wait staff was excellent, that is where we ate for dinner each night. Food was very good in the dining room and it is included in the price of the cruise. I found a small hidden place for a small breakfast buffet, at the Ocean Plaza, and if you can find it the Ji Ji"s Asian and Cucina del Capitano those are FREE and very good. It's like a mongolian grill type of food place where you pick the meat, the veggie, and the noodle and sauce that you want and they make it to order. It was very good and on Deck 11. not easy to find though. I just got the feeling that they wanted you to opt for the dining experiences that you would have to pay for and not the ones included in the cruise price. Overall, I would rate the attentiveness of the crew as excellent, layout of the ships public areas as poor, food was average, cabin was very nice, i loved the balcony, no comment on the entertainment because the venue was so small we couldn't get a seat, casino was average, and no "freebies" like Norwegian offers. I will stick with Norwegian from now on. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Kudos to Chris the Flying Scotsman for making my cruise. Beautiful ship, lots of outdoor activities for teens. Great staff at teen club C. Decent BBQ at Pig and Anchor. Guys’ burgers and fries were good as was the deli. Pools ... Read More
Kudos to Chris the Flying Scotsman for making my cruise. Beautiful ship, lots of outdoor activities for teens. Great staff at teen club C. Decent BBQ at Pig and Anchor. Guys’ burgers and fries were good as was the deli. Pools are a joke. Havana cabins had their own until 7pm. What a total waste of space The aft pool was a sea of bodies. . Adult area Serenity, decent but a trek forward. Anytime dining, many more misses than hits. Stressed and shorthanded but always pleasant servers. Entertainment truly lacking but for Chris’ spectacular show. Gifted singer. Havana Club ok but closes at midnight, Limelight way too small for after hour mingling. Room steward, overworked folk. Phone call to housekeeping at 3pm the next day for clean towels and garbage picked up. Carnival replaced my granddaughter’s bag as it was damaged. Thanks Nelly. Will not sail this class ship. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was me and my wife's first cruise, I am 38 and my wife is 32. We have 3 kids but did travel alone. After researching it for so long I finally booked the Carnival Horizon leaving from N.Y.C to Bermuda for the 4 night voyage which ... Read More
This was me and my wife's first cruise, I am 38 and my wife is 32. We have 3 kids but did travel alone. After researching it for so long I finally booked the Carnival Horizon leaving from N.Y.C to Bermuda for the 4 night voyage which was from July 19th to July 23rd 2018 (despite all these negative reviews about it) This is my first review ever of anything really but I felt I had to say something positive about the ship itself and the crew after reading so much negative things everywhere, which I am so glad I didn't listen to. I am gonna be all over the place but I am gonna include things I didn't find in other reviews that I had wish I knew before I cruised and just general info to make your experience better and easier especially for first timers. First, boarding was a breeze,if you have an appointment time before 2 pm they will take your luggage at the door, tag it and it will be in front of your stateroom so you don't have to lug it around. You go through a short process where they get you searched and boarded on the ship by zones, it's very easy and simple to follow. You will not have access to your stateroom until about 5 pm or 6 pm so pack a carry on if you wish to start swimming/sunbathing once you get on the ship.(our appointment time to board was between 1 and 1 30 and were on the ship before 2 but wasted about 4 hours in street clothes which felt like such a waste of a beautiful day in port waiting to have access to our personal belongings. Your sail and sign cards will be in your mailbox at your room door around 4 pm. You need them to do everything on the ship from order drinks to purchase items on board. NO CASH accepted anywhere on board. Except the casino of course. The ship is amazing and obviously brand new so anyone complaining about the ship itself can't possibly be satisfied. The layout is pretty easy to remember and after a few times walking around the ship you get to know pretty well. (decks 1/2/6/7/8/9) are mostly rooms so no need to go there anyway if not staying on that floor. The 3rd deck (lobby) has a few shops, bars. Deck 4 is where the main restaurants are (included in the price) where you will be having dinner every night and the casino ( which is the only bar open after 2 am, also drinks are free if you are playing) Deck 5 are where all the bars and pay restaurants are. Deck 11 is the water park and kids area including the basketball area, running track etc.The 10 (lido deck) is where most of the daily action is, there is a pool mid ship and a pool with 2 whirlpools in the back. (both filled with mostly kids) Deck 15 is the serenity deck (adults 21 and over only). 2 whirlpools and a bar with a salad bar for lunch. I was surprised but the bar closes at 6 pm. It seemed pretty early for an adult only retreat but the whirlpools are open till midnight. Also you do still hear the kids going down the slides and screaming at the water park but not enough to be bothered by it. We stayed in an inside stateroom as we didn't need a balcony and didn't regret it because it was much cheaper and got to see plenty of the ocean just being on the ship while we were out and about. 2 comedians on board, both were funny. Food was excellent. We didn't go for any extra $ dining options as there was plenty to eat that was already included. Buffet menus changed everyday (breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus) breakfast buffet was open till 12 pm for late risers which was awesome. Pizza is 24 hours and delicious Burgers and fries were a little over seasoned but great. Tacos and burritos where great too. A few minutes to wait during peak times but staff was working their butts off to keep up with the demand. Once again, don't let waiting in line for a few minutes ruin your day!!! Dinner menu at the restaurant changed every night. You are assigned a dinner time for the main restaurant once you are boarded and it is written on your card. You will not be seated unless it is your time. There is one cruise casual night where you have to dress up but that is also when lobster is on the dinner menu (unlimited lobster tails!!!) Havana Bar had live music 3 of the 4 nights which was a lot of fun to dance and have some mojitos. At midnight the Havana bar closes so the limelight lounge was the hangout after midnight until 2 am if you wanted music.. Live DJ playing music with good energy (18+ only). Groups of kids where running around the halls etc. but not to the point to where any reasonable person would be annoyed or be complaining about it, also after midnight the ship is pretty much a ghost town other than the club and casino. So there are plenty of places in and outside the ship to just hang out and enjoy the sounds of the ocean or explore the ship. People complaining about the lines for the food are being dramatic and have never been to a club/bar in NYC where we are from. Sometimes you get lucky and get the bartender after 30 seconds, other times you are waiting a few minutes. BIG DEAL!!! You are on vacation and shouldn't be stressing out over nonsense. The casino bar is the only bar open after midnight so it does get a little overwhelming for the bar staff and the wait is a little longer. (hint:if you have a simple drink order go to the club bar (limelight lounge) which is a lot less busy and also located on the casino deck, much less of a wait and less than a minute walk from the casino). Service was amazing in every aspect. Food service was quick at dinner, staff everywhere cleaning up after people and cleaning the ship decks every night. Ship is pretty much spotless, other than left over plates on tables that were eventually cleaned up shortly after people left their tables at the buffet and some cups laying around. Asking employees for directions the first day was always pleasant and never felt like I was annoying them as they were very helpful and nice and always smiling. We did get the cheers package which was about 52.00 dollars a day, each adult in the stateroom did have to purchase it for the entire cruise. (No 24 hour package like other cruise lines) Also, any ship leaving from New York or Texas, you will not have access to the cheers program until 6 am the second day of the trip, its state law so you will have to pay for drinks the first day) For us we are not big drinkers but got it anyway and ending up getting around 60 drinks for the duration of the cruise for both of us so we did save some money) average drink did cost around 10 dollars. You do have a limit of 15 alcoholic beverages a day (6 am to 6 am) for each card. so if your spouse is not a big drinker you can use their card and no staff seemed to mind if it wasn't your own card. You MUST download the Carnival app, its free to use on the ship and gave you all the information you need to know of whats going on at every hour so you can plan out your day, also what places are open to eat etc. Room service is free but there is a 5 or 10 dollar total charge for orders after 10 pm. We did go jet skiing in Bermuda, which was only about a 3 minute walk off the ship. (K&S Watersports) About 150 for a single rider 170 for a double rider. 75 minutes of riding and swimming on a private beach for an awesome experience. Check out their website and videos In the end, it was an awesome experience, I will definitely cruise with Carnival again. Don't listen to all these people, book it and you won't regret it. Have fun, be silly and enjoy your time!!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I'm not sure why so many people are giving this ship and crusie such mediocre reviews. We were on the July 11-19 cruise. Boarding the ship was the easiest I have ever experienced! We chose a 2-2:30 pm boarding time, and simply walked ... Read More
I'm not sure why so many people are giving this ship and crusie such mediocre reviews. We were on the July 11-19 cruise. Boarding the ship was the easiest I have ever experienced! We chose a 2-2:30 pm boarding time, and simply walked up stood in a line for less than 10 minutes to drop off our bags, no wait at check in...just handed them our boarding passes and walked onto the ship. Total time to board...maybe 15 minutes! I thought the ship was very clean, staff were friendly, service was quick. We had one of our best times cruising. Shows in Liquid Lounge were really outstanding. The buffet was very good with decent variety, and easy to navigate without much wait time. We were always able to get a table and we had 4-6 people in our group everyday. Pizza was very good but expect to wait. Dinner in Reflections was also very good. The servers were friendly, quick, and very attentive. I did not find the ship overly crowded. My wife and I had no trouble finding a lounge chair around the Lido deck. Pools were small and somewhat crowded, but didn't care since I had no desire to get into the water. The only negative was the Casino on Deck 4 was a designated smoking area, and the smell was overwhelming. I hate the smell of cigarette smoke so I spent no time in the casino, and just avoided the fourth floor. Hummer excursion on Grand Turk was pretty lame. Not sure why Grand Turk is even a stop on Carnival...next time I'll just stay on the ship. The Outback excursion on Amber Cove (Dominica Republic), and Best of San Juan were excellent. Overall this was one of our best cruises. I would highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We decided to try something new & cruise out of our home city in new york. the carnival horizon seemed like the obvious choice, b/c it was carnivals newest ship. unfortunately we were wrong . for starters once you embark on the ... Read More
We decided to try something new & cruise out of our home city in new york. the carnival horizon seemed like the obvious choice, b/c it was carnivals newest ship. unfortunately we were wrong . for starters once you embark on the ship chaos ensues , b/c there elevator system has been revamped , which confuses the hell out of everyone . Each sector of floors has its own elevator, normally you get into an elevator select a floor & there you are .. Not here . one of my biggest complaints which is the deciding factor of me not stepping onto another carnival cruise again , is the food... The buffett is subpar at best, that includes all 3 phases breakfast, lunch & dinner. the dining room experience is horrifying , there completely understaffed , the dining room crew are over worked & not very personable. The food is mediocre at best , i had to return dishes left & right. the quality of food is not on the level it needs to be. When you get to the point where you dread going to eat on a cruise, you know something is wrong. there were 2 specialty restaurants we ate at on the ship, where there is a upcharge to dine , & they were amazing. Fahrenheit 555 & cucina italian. What bothers me is that they have the capability of producing a high level eating experience , but fail miserably of providing it in the main dining area. The dining room decor is not elegant whatsoever, very bland layout, another major complaint is the port time stays. We docked at 3 caribbean islands grand turk, puerto rico, & puerta plata dominican republic. 2 of islands we were allotted times of 7am- 2pm.. Which is horrible b/c you have to wake up very early, & then time is limited to do anything significant. Usually on other cruise ships, port stays extend longer than the 2pm time frame,. the ship overall didn't have that " wow " factor being that it's a brand new ship. The ship has a basic feel to it, nothing special . We liked the havana lounge a lot , but other than that everything else fell flat. We made the best of our vacation , b/c we planned this trip several months back, & we paid over $6,000 dollars to stay in a suite, which was very nice, no complaints about the room. Future cruisers beware , don't take the plunge with this cruise offering b/c you will get soaked. oh i forgot 1 more thing , the second day in , our air conditioning wasn't working , at it took all day to fix .. New ship & no a/c in a suite ... unacceptable Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose the cruise, because I went with family. The ship is very nice (new), but I felt it was lacking warmth & 'industrial' looking. It's easy to get around the ship & there are many places to go for quiet time. ... Read More
I chose the cruise, because I went with family. The ship is very nice (new), but I felt it was lacking warmth & 'industrial' looking. It's easy to get around the ship & there are many places to go for quiet time. Plenty of kids' activities. If you're not a fan of having children around, skip this. The Cruise Director, Chris Williams, was excellent & very, very involved & energetic. The production shows were wonderful, but the comedians were awful. I was disappointed that there was no farewell show in the Liquid Lounge. Seating in the lounge is sparse, so get to the show at least a half hr. early. Finding seating at the buffet was easy. The food at the late buffet was horrible. Dessert was a joke...chocolate chip & oatmeal cookies. There were no cakes of any sort. The cabin was very comfortable, with plenty of storage. Don't forget to bring a magnet, so you can hang all the paperwork you want. Shore excursions were nice & mostly beach oriented, with snorkeling, etc. The service in the dining room & buffet was very efficient. Carnival has cheapened up (not the prices). Dining room served very small portions, especially the salad. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose the Carnival Horizon when another line changed to an iterary that would not work for our group. The Horizon had the dates and pricing that fit into everyone's budgets. Even though the ship is huge, you never feel like ... Read More
We chose the Carnival Horizon when another line changed to an iterary that would not work for our group. The Horizon had the dates and pricing that fit into everyone's budgets. Even though the ship is huge, you never feel like you're in a crowd. We had a balcony cabin and it was spacious enough for the two of us. The showers are slightly larger than other ships we have been on but it's still small. We also had a sofa and table and stool in our room. My only wish was for more drawers, three is not enough. The cabin was always clean and the towel animals were replaced daily. The dining room was service was excellent our wait staff, (Doni, Supack and Milosh) remembered all of our names by the second night, even though we kept changing seats on them. These poor people not only have to serve food but dance and put on shows almost every night. They do it all with a smile and with style. If you have a chance to cruise with Cruise Director Chris the Flying Scotsman, do it. The man has more energy than a power plant and gives 110% of himself every show. We didn't see too many of the shows because we had late dining. Do yourself a favor and either get the early dining or my time dining. We didn't get out of the dining room until after 10 each night. No one rushes you out. We ate at the Pig and Anchor one night. The food was good but can be a little salty. The coffee shop on board made really good iced coffees and hot teas, much better than the ship's coffee. Also try the deli sandwiches and the pizza and tacos. Lines tend to be a little long so try and go off hours if you can. The shows we got to see were good but not broadway quality like on other ships, they were shorter but enjoyable. Casino was very smokey and crowded but never had to wait for long to play any machines. The elevators, everyone has complained about the elevators. There is a short video on the tv in your stateroom and it explains how the elevators work. Watch it and learn. Also learn what bank of elevators are closest to your state room it makes it much easier. The Ports and shore excursions are ok. The cabana at Grand Turk was worth every penny with it's waiter service and air conditioning. We walked to Jack's Shack but should have taken a cab there as we were walking on the road and missed the sign. If you can stay on the beach it's a short walk. Seeing all the homeless doggies made me a little sad but they seemed ok and were very gentle. Amber Cove in the DR was very nice and the service at the resort was amazing. I also had an excellent massage when we got back to the ship after a day in San Juan. So overall it was an amazing cruise and my husband and I would highly recommend it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We enjoyed NYC the night before the cruise. It made for an easy embarkation onto the ship the next day. Carnival's Horizon is a beautiful brand new ship. Our balcony stateroom on the Lido Deck couldn't have been in a better ... Read More
We enjoyed NYC the night before the cruise. It made for an easy embarkation onto the ship the next day. Carnival's Horizon is a beautiful brand new ship. Our balcony stateroom on the Lido Deck couldn't have been in a better location. We had great shows each night to entertain us, great food in their buffets and in their main dining room all week, and the crew couldn't have been more accommodating. We've been on over 25 cruises and this one did not disappoint us. We loved every minute of it. Carnival offers so many activities for singles and families. You can not be bored. My family and I are sad that it's over. The eight day cruise just flew by. Carnival made getting off the ship just as easy as getting on and there were over 4000 cruise passengers. We're are looking to sailing Carnival next year. This cruise celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary with five stars. Thank you Carnival! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
So...I was very hesitant to take this cruise after reading so many negative reviews! Fake News!!!! Some people are just negative in life and will find fault with anything. We had a FABULOUS cruise! This is my 9th cruise. I would put this ... Read More
So...I was very hesitant to take this cruise after reading so many negative reviews! Fake News!!!! Some people are just negative in life and will find fault with anything. We had a FABULOUS cruise! This is my 9th cruise. I would put this ship in my top 3. Oasis and Allure being my top 2. Did not have any problems. Embarkation was an absolute breeze! Elevators were great! Took the first day to get used to them...but they really are very simple. Press the floor you want to go on...(press multiple times for people in your party to ensure an elevator arrives with enough space for your party)...letter of the alphabet shows on monitor...stand in front of elevator. What is everyone going on and on about?? Chris Williams, The Flying Scottsman, was our cruise director filling in for Mike Pack. Chris was FANTASTIC! Loved his afternoon show on the last day. His performances in the Atrium were energizing! Hope he is appointed the main cruise director of Carnival's next big ship. Kyndall Fire, part of the Fun Squad was also great and made the family games and trivia a lot of fun for all. Our dining experience was great. We were a party of 11. Pedro, Piotr, and Igede are a fabulous team. The food was delicious! Zoran at the Alchemy bar really knows how to make a good cocktail. Milos and Dodge make a great smoked boulevardier at Guy's Pig and Anchor and are swift and engaging with the guests. Loved loved the Blue Iguana Cantina. Breakfast burritos and lunch burritos hit the spot. Guy's Burger Joint had great burgers! Fries were a little overcooked. My kids loved the pizza...always a line! There really should be 2-3 people working there at meal times. We ate in the Italian restaurant and the food there was very good. Family comedy shows (PG) were entertaining and good for all ages. Enjoyed the piano bar with Gregor, but wonder why the piano bar sing along was only late at night and 18 and older. My teens would have enjoyed that venue if earlier in the evening. There are many quiet spots on this ship. Main pool deck, as any ship, was a little too loud for our family. We found numerous quiet areas on all decks. Always a seat or lounge chair somewhere! My kids loved playing the numerous games in the Library Lounge. The coffee at the Java Cafe was delicious. We enjoyed the National Parks movie in the IMAX theater and the chills and thrills ride. I thought the picture package was a little overpriced. We purchased a few and had them downloaded digitally to our phone which was very easy. Our cabin steward, Mr. M. did a great job with our adjoining rooms. The only thing I wish was that the times of the shows were a little later. We had early dining at 6pm. Like clockwork, we finished dessert every night at 7:30pm. The comedy shows and performances start at 7:30pm. It's a little tough to find seats. We skipped dessert two nights to try to get a seat, and our family still had to sit separately. At 7pm, the Liquid Lounge was packed! A whole half hour before the performance. You must get to the shows early! Vintage Pop was great! My kids enjoyed all the trivia games at the Ocean Plaza. The Fun Squad does a great job! Carlos is very hardworking and was great with the kids during Karaoke. We enjoyed listening to Crushed Velvet in the Ocean Plaza most nights. ALL STAFF was very friendly and engaging. We chose to walk off with our luggage and had no waiting time or difficulty. Would I go on the Carnival Horizon again? ...Most definitely!!! :) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
9 day cruise UGH. Let’s start by saying every vacation has a few bumps, and I have been on many cruise vacations and land vacations. I will list the pros and cons, to be fair. Pros, - getting on and off the boat was a positive ... Read More
9 day cruise UGH. Let’s start by saying every vacation has a few bumps, and I have been on many cruise vacations and land vacations. I will list the pros and cons, to be fair. Pros, - getting on and off the boat was a positive experience. It was relatively quick and one of the easiest, compared to other cruise lines. The hamburgers were very good. The buffets at the pig and anchor and the Italian resterants, very good and no charge. Pizza was good if you like waiting on lines Piano bar player Eden Parker was the real deal. Great time. Comedians were pretty good That’s about it on the pros, CONS- The boat is way overcrowded 5000 people and does not look NEW. I have been on Oasis and Allure of the seas Big boats 5000 people and did not feel like I was in a herd of cattle. The boat is not easy to navigate. The elevators are a nightmare, new system new technology, it sucks be prepared to walk and take the stairs. The room was extremely small with no storage. Yes, I get an inside cabin and my kids also had their own cabin. I always get the inside cabin because we are hardly in the room. These were the smallest rooms of any cruise ship I have been on. The A/c in my cabin was poor at best 74-75, complained twice but never fixed. My kids room the ac worked well. The pools, if that’s what you can call them are ridiculous. Two of the smallest pools you will ever see on any cruise line- 5000 people two small tiny pools. You might as well call them cesspools. A joke. One pool was closed two days, yes someone pooped in the pool two days in a row. I can’t blame the cruise line, but whatever. The food in the dinning room is edible, but very forgettable, nothing special bland. The service was poor. I can’t blame the server though. Overworked, not enough staff, wrong food given out, bread sporadically given and drinks forget it. I walked out to the bar after the second day to get drinks for the table. Yes I would walk to the bar 2 to 3 times during dinner to get drinks. Never had to do that before. I actually felt bad for the guys making pizza, way overworked like sweatshop workers, people yelling at them because of long wait times. I tipped them 20.00 just because I felt bad for them. 9 day cruise 3 ports with short visit times 7am to 2, on two ports, and were late into both with no extension time. I hated the cruise director, but that is descretionary, I thought he was annoying at best. Just an FYI I purchased two drink packages 850+ 2 soda packages 100+ and two internet packages 175+ Good luck with your choice Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This ship is pretty and because it is new, does not have the usual wear and tear. The dining choices are good (but you basically have to spend extra $ to get a decent dinner). Guys Pig has a good bbq lunch that is free. The bad: ... Read More
This ship is pretty and because it is new, does not have the usual wear and tear. The dining choices are good (but you basically have to spend extra $ to get a decent dinner). Guys Pig has a good bbq lunch that is free. The bad: Havana: We paid significantly more for havana rooms in order to avoid crowds at the pool. But the Havana pool was actually more crowded. It was loud, packed and had no chairs. Not worth it. New elavators: Big swing and a miss here. They SUCK. They take longer, confuse the elderly. The screens used to select floors work poorly. Carnival needs to ditch this system. Beds: the “king” bed is two smaller beds pushed together. But the mattresses push apart, leaving a canton in the middle of the bed. Dining: The main dining room anytime system sucks. You have to check in on a screen far away from the dining room. It is chaos. Long lines, too crowded. Gym: the gym is WAY too small for a ship this size. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
SUMMARY We normally cruise on Royal Caribbean and have done Norwegian several times as well. We booked this cruise because leaving from NYC is convenient for us, and we were comfortable trying Carnival for the first time because Horizon ... Read More
SUMMARY We normally cruise on Royal Caribbean and have done Norwegian several times as well. We booked this cruise because leaving from NYC is convenient for us, and we were comfortable trying Carnival for the first time because Horizon is a brand new ship. As of this writing, the ratings are just about evenly distributed between Excellent, Very Good, Average and Poor. There are a total of 50 Average and Poor ratings, and 48 Excellent and Very Good. I had a lot of anxiety about going on this cruise after I read the many negative reviews. But I have to say, all my fears were completely unfounded. I had a fantastic time! Now, having said that, let me explain my rating and this review. I never give anything a "5" because I feel that implies perfection and there is no such thing. I wanted to give this a "3" only because it is not quite as good as some Royal Caribbean cruises I have been on, where I have given a "4". But the hating on this ship seems ridiculous to me and I think Horizon deserves to see its overall rating improve. Any negative or snarky comments should not detract from my overall positive feelings about the ship but are instead designed to (a) provide some suggestions for future cruisers (on how to optimize your experience, and in some cases how to properly behave); (b) provide suggestions for improvement to Carnival management, assuming they read these reviews; and (c) reflect my love-hate relationship with cruises in general, in some cases not even specific to this ship. None of my negative comments below should dissuade you from taking this cruise. My whole family and I (there were 11 of us - six adults and five children) were all very happy. OK, now on to the details... FOOD Food quality overall was very good. I have reasonable expectations about food on cruises. I consider myself to be somewhat of a "foodie" and dine out frequently, often at upscale restaurants. I don't expect the food on a cruise to compete with the best restaurants. They are making massive amounts of food at one time, how good can you possibly expect it to be? Quality is always going to suffer in favor of quantity. I thought every meal was pretty decent and encountered no problems with cold food, botched orders or anything like that. We had the early seating in the Meridian every night except one. Our wait staff was absolutely phenomenal - Piotr, Pedro and Igedde (sp?). They remembered all 11 of our family’s names after the first night. Those of us that drank soda had cans waiting for them at the table when we arrived. The team worked well together, were very attentive and took time out to talk to and entertain the youngest children in our family. One night we ate at the Italian specialty restaurant. The food quality here was excellent, but the service not quite what we would expect. It did get a bit old sitting anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours in the Meridian seven out of eight nights, so I would recommend trying a few more of the specialty restaurants to vary things a bit. A side benefit of the specialty restaurants is that you’ll avoid getting interrupted by photographers while you’re eating. One negative in the main dining room was that they did not have the same wine that we enjoyed in the Italian restaurant, and we were unable to get it without a separate charge for the whole bottle, even though two of us had the drink package. Also, we were never proactively asked if we wanted coffee or tea with dessert, although of course if we asked it was served. There weren’t a ton of healthy choices. There were no explicit healthy selections on the Meridian dinner menu but there were some wise choices available. For quicker breakfast or lunchtime meals, I was hoping for offerings like those in the Solarium on Royal Caribbean, but there was no equivalent; the salad bar in the Serenity Lounge was fairly limited. Please don’t let there ever be a law that requires putting calories on the menus like in some parts of the U.S. As far as the specialty places: The java cafe on 5 had good coffee - nice that this is included in the drink package - but their nitro cold brew machine was out of service most of the cruise. The pizza place on deck 10 aft was good but I only had it once so can't really comment on the wait time so many other reiewers complained about. I can tell you the wait at the Seafood Shack was long, even though I was the only one ordering. I ordered a few things to share with the family: the lobster BLT had too much mayonnaise in the lobster; the steamed shrimp could have been healthy, if topped only with Old Bay seasoning, but instead was obviously immersed in butter; and the fried shrimp had an oily heavy batter instead of a thin, dry, crispy crust. However, the clam strips were very good - I actually enjoyed them more than the ones I had recently eaten at Legal Seafood in Boston. Guy's burgers poolside were very good and never a long wait; I visited there about three times during the cruise. I would say they taste most like burgers at the Five Guys chain (not the same “Guy”). The Pig & Anchor is hyped up by some professional cruise bloggers. We only went for lunch, and the lunch offering does not include baby back ribs. The brisket and pulled pork were good, but I've had better at local chains such as Mission Grill here in Philadelphia. You go up to the servers and they put what you request on your plate; I wasn't getting any sides so figured they would be a little more generous with the meat, but they were actually quite stingy so I walked away with a lot of open real estate on my plate. I didn’t eat in the Lido Marketplace except to grab early-morning coffee or maybe a mini Danish or croissant. But my father-in-law had a couple of sandwiches made in the deli section and made it a point to say he really enjoyed them. There was a small breakfast buffet in Ocean Plaza, deck 5 aft, which had fruit, pastries, scrambled eggs, bacon, oatmeal, and a few other things; this area was much less crowded than the Lido Marketplace and was a nice alternative to that or to the breakfast burritos that I had three of the mornings. Speaking of breakfast burritos, they are excellent as were the lunch burritos, all from the Blue Iguana on the pool deck. They also have tacos at lunch but only soft shells; I prefer crunchy shells. DRINKS The poolside Rum Bar and Tequila Bar were both good. I liked that they had these two separate themes instead of just generic bars, and the drink concoctions were interesting. The only problem is that they could get quite crowded at times. Other than these poolside bars, there were no outdoor bars where you could sit at a bar alongside the ocean and be served a drink. There is physically a bar just outside the Ocean Plaza, but it was closed all week; you could get yourself a drink at the indoor Ocean Plaza bar and take it outside, and of course you could always take a drink outside from various other places. The Alchemy Bar was hyped in some cruise blogs. I am somewhat of a cocktail aficionado and an amateur mixologist / home bartender, so I was looking forward to trying the Alchemy. But I was disappointed with their cocktail menu, which was just about entirely filled with sweet drinks (a problem at most of the onboard bars) and no classic cocktail derivations. Zoron runs this bar and will make you up something interesting if you tell him what you like. He is a very knowledgeable bartender that also works at the Rum Bar, but he is very soft-spoken so between that and his accent it was sometimes difficult to understand what he was saying. I really enjoyed the bar at the Pig & Anchor - Milos is a great guy, but my understanding is that he is getting a promotion which I assume will take him out from behind the bar - and the Smoked Rosemary Boulevardiere was a revelation - I have never seen a drink actually infused with smoke from burning herbs. The Liquid Lounge should stop serving drinks that have to be made with a blender. These concoctions cause a bottleneck when people are trying to get their drinks and get situated just before the show starts. The noise of the blender interrupted the comic juggler’s act and he made a joke out of the intrusive sound. My father-in-law got the soda package and was disappointed to find out that he could only use it to get a soda at a bar or restaurant, not at venues such as the deck 5 coffee shop. There were also no soda machines in the Lido Marketplace, such as Royal Caribbean has in its equivalent Windjammer. My wife and I had the ultimate drink package, which also includes bottled water, specialty coffees, etc. Well worth it for us, but you’ll have to do your own math on it. STATEROOM I wiped everything down myself and found a stray hair here and there. A few times we found a stray hair on our towels. That kind of stuff freaks me out. Despite this, the room was clean overall. Our cabin attendant was friendly enough, but three separate times I asked for extra towels and only got them once. As others have commented, it would be so much nicer if the shower had a door instead of a curtain; the ship is still pretty new right now, but those curtains are going to quickly get raunchy, and nothing is more disturbing than having a gross shower curtain rub against you while you are trying to get clean. Unlike on other ships, we received housekeeping only once per day. There was no evening turn-down service or replenishment of towels. It was only later we realized that there was an option we could have selected for once daily or twice daily service, but our cabin steward had only asked us if we wanted service in the morning OR in the evening. THE SHIP ITSELF – LAYOUT, AESTHETICS, LOGISTICS, ETC. Check-in was smooth. We arrived at the terminal early and were called for boarding earlier than scheduled. My wife had done all the check-in work online so we didn’t have to wait on any lines in the terminal. We did the walk-off disembarkation, which went as well as could be expected. I thought the muster drill was somewhat disorganized. There did not seem to be enough crew members around to direct people to their muster stations, and the crew members responsible for our muster station arrived after the scheduled start. I joked with my family that in the event of an incident, we would all be on our own, every man for himself! The ship is beautiful and clean, with colorful, contemporary and decorative venues, as one would expect with a brand new vessel. It was a little confusing navigating around sometimes because, rather than a straight “spine” down the middle such as the Royal Caribbean Oasis class promenade, you would sometimes come to a dead-end and have to turn left or right to an outer corridor to continue walking fore or aft. But it’s no big deal once you get the hang of it. One day, I needed to get quickly from the pool to our chairs on a lower deck in the forward portion of the ship. I learned that there is no way to do this without going inside, having to walk barefoot on the elevators and get blasted with cold air conditioning while soaking wet. For all I know this could be the case on just about every ship, but it’s something I just happened to notice on this cruise. I liked the fact that there were forward-looking views from the bow on several decks, including lower decks such as 5, 6 and 7; I have been on ships where there were no such vantage points. I also enjoy the view aft, watching the wake of the boat trail into the distance, but from what I could tell the only place to do this was deck 10; I wish there was a lower deck with this view, closer to the water. Lots of reviews included complaints about the elevators. I thought the system of selecting a deck and being directed to a specific car worked fine; I don’t think the wait times were any shorter or longer than on ships with a “normal” elevator system. Sometimes the waits were frustrating, but that has been the case on just about every ship I’ve ever been on. The pool area was pretty loud. A cruise should recreate the experience of an island resort, not a NYC club. How about some reggae or steel drum music instead of this loud club music? Some people should just stay home in NYC if they want to go clubbing. We like shade, and there is a shady deck just above and overlooking the pool deck, but it was just too loud there. We found a quiet and shady spot on deck 5, but it was not particularly convenient to venues for coffee, food or drinks. The Serenity Lounge is the adults-only area. It has no covered / shady areas and no pool of its own; Royal Caribbean’s Solarium on Oasis, Allure and Anthem (and perhaps others) has it all over Carnival Horizon’s Serenity Lounge. The Liquid Lounge is the “main” theater but it is not a large, impressive traditional theater like on other ships. As the name implies, it is more of a lounge and the seating is not as comfortable as in a “real” theater. Deck 10 aft was a nice area with some shady tables near the Seafood Shack and the pizza place, as well as lounge chairs out in the sun around a small pool and hot tub. They almost always had cruise-appropriate reggae music playing in this area. ENTERTAINMENT There is no signature “Broadway-quality” production. The same troupe performs in several different shows in the Liquid Lounge. We went to the Vintage Pop show (which was a “Roaring 20s” type of thing), which I enjoyed because I’ve always been interested in that era, and Celestial Strings, which was OK when they were doing some of the rock numbers but less interesting with the slower ballads (not to mention it was hard to follow the storyline, if there even was one). We also saw a comedic juggler in the Liquid Lounge. I liked the fact that the shows were generally 45 minutes instead of an hour and a half; I was able to get through them without falling asleep, and it left more time in the evening to do other things. There was a band in the Ocean Plaza just about every night, with a variety of different sets – jazz, pop, 50’s, etc. Most ships have either a jazz club or a blues club, but Horizon has neither. There is, however, a piano bar. We sat in there a few times and it was relaxing but a little stuffy, more like we were watching a piano recital and afraid to talk, rather than it being background music to a more lively bar scene. It was probably different later at night when they had sing-alongs but we did not go to any of those. There were no bands in the pool area, unlike on other cruises where they will often feature reggae, steel drum or calypso music so that you feel like you’re at an island resort. Across from the piano bar is the Library Bar, which is a room filled with books and board games, including classics like Monopoly, Connect Four and Battleship. I was amazed to see Rock-Em Sock-Em Robots too, but unfortunately, it was broken. There is also a self-serve wine dispenser. The kids enjoyed this room – they spent some time in there alone, and some with us. There were two different PG-rated comedy shows. And they really were PG-rated, there was nothing that pushed the envelope for our youngest like on the supposedly family-friendly comedy show we went to on Norwegian Breakaway a couple of years ago. One of the comedians, Cee-Jay Jones, was particularly enjoyable because he actually addressed the kids with humor about how lucky they were to be on a cruise. He drew the kids into his routine with jokes about family dynamics between kids and adults, which was funny for both generations while also teaching the kids somewhat of a lesson. On the way out, I even heard my wife admonishing my son over something he was doing, with the line “Didn’t you hear what the comedian said?” There were seemingly nonstop opportunities to engage in trivia games in an endless variety of topical areas, and we had a few winners in our group, although my in-laws were disappointed there was no 50’s music triva. FITNESS The gym sucks. If you do anything other than run on a treadmill, or aren’t lucky enough to snag one of the two rowing machines, forget about a decent weight training workout, there just isn’t enough room (although there are heavy dumbbells available). The running track is way too small – 7 laps are required just to complete a mile – and you’ll have to dodge people walking with flip-flops holding cups of coffee. It is also on the opposite end of the ship from the fitness center, so if you have any intentions of putting together a circuit that includes running and weightlifting you’re out of luck unless you use the treadmill. I like ships that have a dedicated track on a lower deck, shaded by the deck above and padded with running track substrate. They have some useless machines on the deck near the running track that mimic certain weightlifting machines using bodyweight only; it looked more like an adult playground than any serious fitness equipment. I saw a picture on Carnival’s website about a heavy bag and brought my gloves with me but there was none; (the Carnival website featured the brand name they use for this area, Sky Zone, but it is not the same on every ship). They did have a pull-up bar (although it was way too thick to sustain a grip for more than a few reps) and dip bars, so I was able to put together a circuit of running, pull-ups, dips and push-ups. The spa had a drink case that had protein drinks on the first and last days but was empty in between. PORTS OF CALL Not my favorite part of any cruise. If you really want to experience a Caribbean island, go there for vacation, which is my general preference. I’m not interested in being part of a cattle call for an excursion that provides some sanitized island experience that does little or nothing to show the true character, culture or feel of the island. Of course, nothing is stopping you from exploring the island on your own, but there usually isn’t enough time, especially with the risk of not making it back to the ship for its departure. For these reasons, I generally prefer to stay on the ship during the cruise; it’s your floating resort, and it’s nice when the crowds are gone. If you get off the ship and don’t take any excursions, here is what your port experiences will be: - Grand Turk: scramble to get off the ship early enough in the morning to secure a lounge chair on the nearby beach, haggling with one or more competitive lounge chair guys after you have safely navigated through their dogs running freely on the beach, and then enjoy a view of the Horizon about 100 yards in front of you while swimming in a mix of water, seaweed and diesel discharge from the cruise ship and the other watercraft buzzing to and from the beach on both sides of you. We did do some snorkeling here and saw some cool stuff including a school of squid but hardly an optimal snorkeling opportunity. - San Juan: walk around Old San Juan. It was nice to get the essence of the area with its narrow cobblestone streets and colorful building but you won’t want to do this long in the heat. - Amber Cove: go to Carnival’s own area featuring a pool, water slides, bar, and restaurant!!! What? They have these on the ship already? Oh… But at Amber Cove I get to pay for my drinks because the drink package doesn’t work here! But seriously, I did leave out one good part, and that was the zip line - $20 for as many rides as you want – I did have a lot of fun doing this with my son and nephew. Note the age requirement is 14 and up, which disappointed my daughter after she had made the trek up the hill. By the way, the water slides were closed for renovation, and apparently this was the third week of the shutdown. MISCELLANEOUS The app is definitely helpful and the ability to text your family or friends that are onboard is certainly worth $5 for the cruise (unnecessary if everyone in your group has the internet package). But the app is somewhat temperamental; for whatever reason I would have to frequently sign back in. There were also texts that did not go through. If you really want to make sure someone sees your text, ask them to confirm receipt. I got the premium Internet package. It worked fine and the speeds were good. The only issue was, as noted above, finding that I had gotten kicked off and had to sign back in. Also note that if you have the Internet package you need the app to access it. I’ve seen reviews indicating that the crew was not friendly. I did not find this to be the case. Everyone was generally as friendly as on any other ship, and all interactions were favorable. Chris, the cruise director, was a force of nature running around the ship in his kilt. The guy is a performer in his own right and can seriously sing; he’s a one-man show of his own. Don’t try to take a nap at around noon or you’ll be awoken by an announcement that it’s noon, followed by a “gong” sound. Is this really necessary? Some passengers need to learn how to act or stay home. Several groups of teenagers were walking around with boom boxes – is there not enough music for you to choose from on this ship? What gives you the right to decide what everybody around you is going to listen to, especially in areas where people went to get some peace and quiet? You grown-ups that play music or videos on your phones within earshot of other people are no better. The worst were the people in the cabin next to my sister-in-law’s family, running up and down the halls and making noise in their room at 4:30am; security had to be called. This just seems to be the type of crowd that finds its way onto cruises, particularly when they leave from NYC. But people like this are, fortunately, the exception not the rule. We saw an IMAX movie on National Parks. There were technical difficulties when we were supposed to see it so we had to reschedule, but we were given an extra free show for the trouble, which was nice. We chose one of the 4D thrill features, which was OK but the second of the three segments was blurry. I liked the 8-day itinerary. A 7-day cruise doesn’t feel like a full week, because the departure day is not a full day. With an 8-day cruise, you get a full week in addition to that first half-day. I also liked how the itinerary was bookended by two sea days at either end, with three port days in the middle. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I have no idea why there are so many bad reviews. I was so nervous reading all of these before I cruised. So glad I did not let it get to me because THE SHIP WAS AWSOME!! I had such a fantastic time. I had my time dining and we ate ... Read More
I have no idea why there are so many bad reviews. I was so nervous reading all of these before I cruised. So glad I did not let it get to me because THE SHIP WAS AWSOME!! I had such a fantastic time. I had my time dining and we ate after 7pm each night and never waitied more the 10 minutes for a TABLE. We mad our reservation on the Carnival Hub App and by the time we got to the restaurant our table was ready NEVER WAITED. The elevators are not as bad as everyone says we stayed in the spa cabins (which were lovely and provided access to the spa thermal suites) on the 14th floor. Only 2 elevators go to that floor and the wait was never bad. The entertainment was A+ Chris the cruise director was great and so was the rest of his crew. Never a long wait at any bar. Loved the Alchemy and the Piano Bar the Best ( have to go see EDEN in the piano bar..so much fun!) SO much food I just wish there were more then pizza available 24 hours need to add more hours to buffet at least. One thing not great were the pools both of them very small and filled with children who have accidents and throw up (yes gross) I avoided them and stuck to the serinity deck on 15 they have 2 whirlpools and a great bar plenty of padded loungers and a great area to watch the sunset. Don't pass this one by I was on the July3rd cruise and can't wait to get back on. Just LOVED IT!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
better than I expected. not as nice as Disney but enjoyed it. the cruise director was fabulous. the entertainment was great. the Canadian comedian was hilarious. the food was better than expected. food not very hot in the ... Read More
better than I expected. not as nice as Disney but enjoyed it. the cruise director was fabulous. the entertainment was great. the Canadian comedian was hilarious. the food was better than expected. food not very hot in the restaurant. the buffet was good. blue iguana was excellent. burgers were excellent. pools were small. embarking and disembarking were easy. drink prices could have been a little cheaper. too many extra charges the seafood shack should be included. cabins clean. staff very friendly. charged for imax movie most ships movies are included. the ports were nice easy on and off. could have better picture packages. pictures a little pricey. desserts very good. not as classy as other cruise lines but was nice. very family oriented. pools crowded on sea days. overall nice cruise no real complaints. this was my first carnival cruise. was what i expected. no real complaints would recommend for families Read Less
Carnival Horizon Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.5

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