6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Ok, so, I'd read quite a few negative reviews on this site about Carnival Horizon which made me really not look forward to my cruise. I was expecting a ship with a horrible clientele, rude crew, awful food, a Sky Ride that didn't ... Read More
Ok, so, I'd read quite a few negative reviews on this site about Carnival Horizon which made me really not look forward to my cruise. I was expecting a ship with a horrible clientele, rude crew, awful food, a Sky Ride that didn't work and unclean public spaces. What I got was quite the opposite. I loved this cruise from start to finish. I loved the Dr Seuss waterpark and waterslides (my 13 year old daughter spent hours here whenever we were on board); I loved the Sky Ride too. I was expecting it to be a gimmick that wasn't too exciting, but it was much better than anticipated, whizzing up at certain points like a rollercoaster ride and taking me dizzyingly over the sea as well. I didn't try the high ropes course, but my daughter did - she found it tamer than other ships, but still liked it. Yes, the swimming pool areas were busy (although the slides never got too busy when we were there) but it you want to find a quiet sun bed, there are plenty of spaces where you can get away from the throng. Other reviews said that the bar staff didn't want to serve them. I didn't find this the case at all. I found ALL crew extremely friendly and bar staff were even happy to serve me regular iced waters for free. The vibe on the ship was always unplifiting, with a fun (but not in your face) entertainment team. We didn't spend much time at the shows (we did dip in and out of the theatre, but nothing took our fancy) because we LOVED the live music on board, more than we have on any other ship. We kept following the sounds of different music. An accoustic guitarist in the Pig & Anchor bar; then a pianist in the piano bar; then a live Latino band in the Havana Bar. We particularly liked the Havana Bar and went there most nights after dinner to enjoy the music and dance to a few tracks. It was a lovely place and really felt like we were in Cuba - very atmospheric. Food - this was heavily criticised in some reviews I read. What I do agree with is that the food in the Lido restaurant is limited. It's not that the food itself isn't tasty, it's that the range of dishes was not usually so healthy - like deep fried chicken, mac and cheese. There were rarely any steamed vegetables, for example - just a boring salad bar. BUT, there were so many other great places to eat on the ship that we just didn't care. The specialty restaurants are free at lunch time, so we went to them then - we loved the Mongolian Wok and the Pig & Anchor especially. We also found Horizon's BEST KEPT SECRET. This is Ocean Plaza on deck 5. We had breakfast there every day. It has a small selection of hot and cold dishes, no queues, and its own al fresco eating area on the promenade deck next to it. We were practically the only ones there most days. It was a heavenly start to every day. We could have had lunch there too - there are salads etc and soups, but my daughter isn't a mad salad fan, so we didn't do that. And as for dinner, we ate in the Meridian restaurant and found the food to be pretty good, ditto the service. It wasn't slow ever. Most often we just had two courses and we were in and out in about an hour. Equally we could have lingered and had desert if we had room. We did try specialty restaurant Ji JI's one night - it is sensational, especially the duck and pork belly. We LOVED our meal. We also tried Cucina del Capitano (the Italian specialty restaurant) and the food here was excellent too - great meatballs, GREAT risotto - I love rissotto and this was one of my favourites ever. Ports were great too and we did exciting things from them all. If you want to check out what the whole cruise was like (ship and ports) then this video should give you a good idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqRkOdBb4P4 Now for the ports: 1. Grand Turk: we did the ship eco kayak excursion - it was a nice gentle excursion with only 8 people on it. We liked it, but we didn't LOVE it, although my daughter really enjoyed the sea life the guide kept fishing out the water: sea cucumber, sponges, star fish, urchins, brittle stars etc. And we kayaked to a remote beach where we pootled around, looking for conches (we left them all there, don't worry) and finding lots of wild donkeys. There are lots of donkeys roaming free on Grand Turk. And then afterward we had time to chill on the beach by the ship for an hour or so before we had to get on board. 2. Dominican Republic: we didn't like the look of the ship excursions so we went to a gorgeous deluxe resort hotel near the port (Casa de Campo) for the day instead. It was gorgeous. There were ship excursions to this resort, actually, but they only took you to one bit of the resort and we wanted to decide what we did. In the end we stayed on their beach and went horse-riding at their ranch for an hour. 3. Curacao - I almost don't want to tell you what I did, because what we did was very untouristy and I don't want to drive the masses there, but we found a local beach an hour away from port called Playa Piscado which locals told us was home to green turtles. The beach isn't beautiful, but the turtles were there and we went snorkelling with them. It was AMAZING. We did this by ourselves. 4. Aruba - again, we went away from the crowds, on a guided hike I organised before coming through the tourist board. It was on the southern point of the island called Seroe Colorado and we clambered over rocks until we reached this amazing cenote (a Mexican word for swimming hole). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
After reading countless negative reviews of the Carnival Horizon, I feel the need to clear the air. This was my 29th cruise, and one of my top few. I traveled with my octogenarian, but very active father. He's a lifelong Bostonian, ... Read More
After reading countless negative reviews of the Carnival Horizon, I feel the need to clear the air. This was my 29th cruise, and one of my top few. I traveled with my octogenarian, but very active father. He's a lifelong Bostonian, and I live in Albuquerque. We sailed an 8 day cruise to Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten on 10/6/18. My Dad stayed for a few nights before the cruise at the Fountainbleu Hotel on Miami Beach. I can't speak to it personally, but he really enjoyed it, and has stayed there multiple times. The ship was one of the major draws for us, as we like all the cool things you can do on the Horizon. We were quite disappointed when we got an email a few days prior to sailing stating that the Sky Ride would be down for the duration of our cruise. We were lucky that they got it up and running on the fourth day, but more on that later. The bottom line is that the ship did not disappoint. She is a beautiful ship that was very well maintained. The activities on the ship were many. If you happened to read my Splendor review from June, you'd know that besides one ping pong tournament, there were no organized sports activities. I wasn't sure if this was a trend for Carnival, but I'm happy to report that there were several different sports tournaments: ping pong once, dodgeball scheduled three times but played twice due to rain one day, volleyball twice, soccer once I believe, and basketball knockout twice. I think there were also pool games one day. Besides the staff run tournaments, there were plenty of other activities. The aforementioned Sky Ride was a thrill. The lines could get long, so I'd suggest either going early or on a port day. The Sky Course was also a lot of fun. My Dad and I did each several times. The wait for the Sky Course ranged from 0-5 minutes. I'd recommend doing the course without grabbing your harness for support. Most people did the course while holding their own harness, and it defeats the purpose of the obstacles. The mini golf course was one of the best at sea. They also had cornhole, foosball, ping pong, billiards, and soccer billiards (that will be a new one to most, as it was to us). I also played several rounds of trivia of various subjects. The staff did an excellent job hosting these events. Service onboard was excellent. Our room steward was very capable. We had My Time Dining, and ate at around 6:45 most nights (which I'd consider around the peak time). We only waited on one night for about 15 minutes (the first formal night). All other nights we were assigned a table right away. All of our waiters (and we had different ones each night) were exceptional. Food was delivered quickly and our orders were always correct. Food was not always piping hot, but that is to be expected given the circumstances of serving several thousand guests. Speaking of dining, the food was really great. Horizon shines at lunch time. One negative thing that I read about before sailing was that the wait times at lunch venues was intolerable. I can tell you that for my sailing, we hardly waited at all, and we tried all of the lunch options. Our faves were probably Guy's BBQ and Guy's Burgers, but there isn't a bad choice in the bunch. I love the menu options in the main dining room - there are so many good choices that I ate way too much! I'm a lover of Royal Caribbean as well, and I have to say that Carnival far exceeds Royal in the MDR. Royal only has a few selections of each category, while Carnival has double the options. They even have special menu items based on the port you were in each day. Oh - check out the buffet at lunch, even if you eat elsewhere. They have 5-6 awesome cakes and a couple types of gelato, all of which are different each day. We stayed in an interior cabin on the 8th deck in the center of the ship. This was a very quiet area and we were easily able to get to the Lido deck only two floors up and the entertainment decks just a few decks down. The cabin was simple but very functional with two desktops and two 110v plugs, two USB plugs, and a European outlet. The fridge in the room was empty (as it was on Splendor), so you don't have to mess with freeing space for your own stuff. The beds were very comfortable. The entertainment on this ship is arguably the best in the Carnival fleet. I'd still say that Royal holds an edge here on Oasis Class ships, but Carnival's singer/dancer shows were extraordinary. I read reviews that said the show venue is too small and has poor sightlines. This is true, but if you arrive 20-30 minutes before the show starts, you will get great seats. The performers frequently come into the audience to perform, and it results in a really great show - as long as you get there early. The same goes for the comedy shows. For the late night performances, you definitely need to get there at least 15 minutes early to get a seat. The earlier shows do not fill up, so you can arrive just before showtime. I do love how Carnival offers so many comedy shows on their ships. We had late flights heading out of town, so we booked the Carnival Everglades trip with airport drop off. This was a great trip at a very fair price. The only negative is that you have to meet to get off the ship at 7:45am. I wish they offered a later option for people with really late flights like us. We were at the airport around 12:30pm, about five hours prior to our flights. All in all, we had an excellent trip at a great value. I look forward to cruising the Horizon or a sister ship in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
10/06/18 Carnival Horizon: Inaugural Flagship sailing out of home port Miami Hey there cruisers, Early October I received some really good VIFP Casino offers. Since I had some vacation time I browsed and found an opportunity to ... Read More
10/06/18 Carnival Horizon: Inaugural Flagship sailing out of home port Miami Hey there cruisers, Early October I received some really good VIFP Casino offers. Since I had some vacation time I browsed and found an opportunity to sail aboard the new flagship CARNIVAL HORIZON as it made its inaugural sailing from its new home port of Miami and jumped on it. This was the first opportunity I had to travel aboard a “vista class” ship and could not wait to see what was in store. Prior to this sailing my favorite Carnival ship was the Breeze. I really liked the layout and different décor. This sailing I traveled solo. I ultimately wanted to book a spa cabin or one of the new Havana cabins, but booking only 2 weeks out prices and availability changed my decisions. I weighed all my options and determined it was more affordable to book a regular deck nine interior and later add some Spa amenities. . This was my 20th Carnival cruise since 2006 and my 28th cruise over all. I have sailed with Fathom, Princess, NCL, RCI and Carnival cruise lines. I am Platinum aboard Carnival, but I do critique what I see and my overall experience in hopes the cruise line and future passengers may benefit. I tend to cover multiple captions in detail and I hope that my experience is helpful to you and possibly the cruise lines. I decided to focus this review primarily on the actual Carnival Horizon ship and its amenities and upgrades. Although this was a full 8 night sailing, I am certain that I did not get to see much of the ship, but I tried to hit most of the main areas. So let’s begin a walkthrough of the newest flagship CARNIVAL HORIZON. I hope I can pass along some incite to travelers and the cruise line to help make everyone’s voyage an exciting one. . EMBARKATION / DEBARKATION– Miami I have sailed from Miami several times. I arrived early and knew about the airport check in. I have used it before and it was always convenient. This trip I purposely wanted to test the timing at the port since this was a slightly larger ship with more passengers. Since I am Platinum this process is normally a simply process so I was not expecting much of a difference. I finally arrived around 12:00 with according to my expected check in time I selected during my online check in. To my surprise this embarkation was the quickest and easiest I have ever had. At the terminal door, my boarding pass was matched to my passport and security documents. My photo was taken for my boarding record and I was told “Proceed through the security metal detector and my stateroom was ready with my sail and sign card waiting for me in my mailbox” WOW! No additional desk check in, CC verification on my SS account etc. I was told all of that was completed online and unless I had a change to make everything was completed. I walked immediately onto the ship, WELCOME ABOARD! From exiting my UBER, handing the porter my luggage to entering my stateroom to drop my backpack was a total of 15-20 minutes if that. It could not be any easier. I proceeded to the Lido deck to grab a GUYS BURGER for lunch then took a tour of all of the rooms to grab some photos before they were flowing with guests. DEBARKATION: I opted for self-assist so was up and out of my stateroom by 6am. Once the ship was cleared everyone was escorted off and we were on our way. . SHIP: CARNIVAL HORIZON 10/06/18 I have sailed all three “Dream class” ships Dream, Magic and the Breeze and they have been my favorites recently in the fleet. I have heard much about upgrades to the “vista class” and could not wait to compare. This was my 4th cruise in 2018 preceded by the Magic and two Princess ships so the Horizon had some impressing to do for me as a comparison. As I mention in my past reviews, most cruise ships are simply floating amusement parks, so the neon and obscure décor I could overlook. The Breeze in 2014 I thought was a little more “sophisticated” with additional trees and foliage, but in the end it is simply style and comfort. Lately, I have been focusing on attributes such as side entertainment, cozy areas and new additions that manage to grab my attention and explore that I would not normally. It is one of the comforts of traveling solo without all the routine scheduling a group sticks to.. As you enter the atrium you are greeted by the tall centerpiece which sort of resembles a large tornado or funnel like shape. It has a digital skin and the graphics continuously change attracting your eyes upward. I honestly was expecting the Horizon atrium space to be grander and taller, but as the cruise progressed I found it to be just right as it was utilized for its acoustics and stage like presence for several side entertainments and games. The multi levels and landings created several great viewing areas while still keeping open the flow for traffic passing through. . INTERIOR STATEROOM 9211 4G Vista Deck FWD As mentioned, I chose to book an INTERIOR cabin. It has been a while since I have had a windowless interior and quickly was reminded how dark they can be at night. Traveling alone the space is adequate and works just fine. If I had a cabin mate I would prefer at least a window or porthole just to have that feeling of outward expansion. I am a FWD leaning cruiser since I do enjoy the spa and thermal suite. I often find it is the quieter portion of the ship with less flowing traffic. Although I was on deck 9 I did not notice much movement to the ship. I do not tend to get seasick and being a seasoned cruiser perhaps I simply pay it no mind. . The stateroom location was the furthest forward and I had no above or below concerns about noise. I definitely would choose 9211 again if I had to. The hall and stateroom reminded me a lot like the Spa rooms aboard the Breeze and Magic. Slatted wood paneling, upgraded linens on the Horizon gave it a warmer more comfortable feel. Some noticeable upgrades I discovered immediately were: Keyless electronic locks on the door that only needed to tap your sail and sign card to the door to open and USB additions at the desk for charging devices. The same energy saving device that you put your room key into is still there. One note, when you leave the stateroom all power shuts off once you remove your keycard. To bypass this, simple insert a random store card or even your room steward business card which will keep the toggle switch triggered. I tend to bring a clock so it helped not to have to reset it upon returning to my cabin each time. You can still manually shut off the lighting when needed. I was disappointed that there was only now one small desk drawer for storage which included the hair dryer that took up most of the space. I mostly used the large desk drawer to store my random paperwork, past daily schedules and misc. often used items keeping the desk clutter free. There was only one closet with hangers and a second with drawers and shelves. If I had a cabin mate only one hanging closet and no additional desk drawers would have been an issue. There is no sofa. I did appreciate the new contoured hangers which grasped the oval bars so they did not swing and make clicking noises in the night. Little things like this to me are noticeable. . Moving on to ROOMS, LOUNGES, BARS & SPECIATLY RESTAURANTS and DINING I chose YOUR TIME DINING which worked well for me as a solo traveler. There was a separate check-in desk you needed to go to away from the dining room at your convenience. You were given a ticket and which deck 3 or 4 to report to. Your reservation was help for 30 min and you simply handed it to the dining room attendant which escorted you to your table. It eliminated the long back-up at the dining room door as they tried to locate a table for you. You had the option of sitting alone or with others. The food was wonderful and I also managed to order off the Steakhouse menu in the main dining room without needing an appetite for a multi course meal or more formal setting.. The new PIG & ANCHOR with brewery is presented with the street-front entrance of an actual bar with simulated outside seating. The porch-like façade is inviting and leads you into an actual bar setting equipped with hi-top tables and bar seats. At the front you can see the brewery distillery of copper pipes and vats really giving atmosphere of a local Beer & Brew. It’s a great alternative gathering location for small parties or cocktails over the old conference room setting. The back of the bar utilizes the ship side windows allowing light to open up the space from a dark inside feel to a spacious pub-like social atmosphere. STOP IN and have a drink and you may forget you are onboard a cruise ship finding your nightly hangout for pre and post dinner cocktails. Also ask the bar staff about the “Behind the scenes tour of the Brewery”. It’s a fun look into the workings of the behind the scenes especially for the home brewing connoisseur. I was very pleased to see there was an ALCHEMY BAR on this ship and in yet another NEW location from the dream class. It seems like Carnival is finally realizing that this particular bar is very much a favorite for many and each time it has been relocated closer to the center of the ship, the busier it gets. I can remember when it first appeared at the far aft end of the ship just outside the piano lounge. It was a dead space during the day and only began to pick up around pre-dining cocktails and late PM. It is now located MID-SHIP adjacent to the Fahrenheit 911 Steakhouse, Piano Lounge and larger Bonsai specialty restaurant. This became my hang late night spot for late night drinks, laughs and friends. In the middle of this intersection is a 2nd Atrium like centerpiece which drops directly into the Casino bar below. Also with a digital skin that is pleasing to the eye with its multiple cyclone-like images. I did find one design flaw about this location. The BONSAI specialty restaurant has an open atmosphere with a simple fence like gate around its perimeter. Directly across was the lively ALCHEMY BAR. As you can expect, the noise level of the Alchemy bar could get elevated when it was full of rambunctious cruisers laughing and enjoying their own fun adventure. I couldn’t help but notice couples and tables of diners only 10-15 feet away wondering if they were a bit annoyed with the noise as they tried to enjoy their “specialty “extra charged” dining experience” If Carnival begins to receive feedback about this from the Bonsai attendees they may want to install either a simple Vined trellis or fabric noise reducer along the fenced perimeter. That said I was an Alchemy attendee and the staff was great. I have always managed to make friends at this bar and look forward to stopping in for my nightcap each night. Having the Bonsai so close also offered an appetizer option direct from the Alchemy bar. It's a nice option to grab a bite to eat. . If the Bonsai and Steakhouse specialty restaurants are not in your price range or sound too formal for your dining taste don’t worry your options are far from limited. The GUY’s BURGER JOINT at Pool-side Lido deck have pushed aside those frozen hamburger patties for a burger that simply crumbles into your mouth. Claim your burger and slip over to the complete TOPPINGS bar and customize the perfect sandwich. If burgers are not your “safe food” then on SEA DAYS there was a Pork-Roast BBQ is the hopping area. Visit the SEAFOOD SHACK located adjacent to the 24 hr. PIZZA PIRATE at the aft area of the ship. The newly designed LIDO MARKETPLACE has a more Caribbean-style feel transforming the vast “buffet” to food stations with comfort. The PIZZA PIRATE offered what I felt was a better made pizza then I have had aboard other ships. There is no longer an option for Caesar salad or Calzones which I was disappointed about. Since this is your only LATE PM option for food, not everyone wants to eat pizza just before bed.. Tucked away upstairs from the Lido Marketplace is CUCINA DEL CAPITANO, another family style Italian-like setting. They have a great free lunch on sea days set up sort of ALA-CART. In the evening for a small fee this is a reservation restaurant dinner option offering fantastic pasta dishes. It is less formal than the steakhouse and possible the more popular for the everyday cruiser. Also, don’t forget to start the day with sit down breakfast in the Southern dining room on the back of the ship. A NEW addition within the Lido Marketplace was the self-serve BEER STATION. Yes, you can now swipe your card and pour your own beer direct from the specialty taps. If beer is not your discretion, perhaps a pass through the newly remodeled library where several self-serve wine selections are offered by the glass. . HAVANA DECK and LOUNGE One new grand addition are the HAVANA STATEROOMS and HAVANA LOUNGE & DECK on the AFT. If lucky enough to secure one, you will have private access to the AFT Havana deck which includes a private pool, Havana bar, Jacuzzis and loungers. Think of it as a different type of serenity deck similar to the Aft Tides pool but with a Caribbean-Latin flare. This is a nice perk to get away from the noisy atmosphere around the main pool area. The lounge just inside has a nice seating area, Havana bar and small stage where Latin music is heard. The entire Havana section is comfortable, welcoming and has an exquisite feel of some of the finest Latin clubs. The big secret that many are not aware of is that after 7:00 pm the whole area is open to everyone on the ship right. Inside the lounge late after dinner the band strikes up and Latin inspired dancing takes over even the shyest cruiser to get up and have a great time. Once I experienced the Havana lounge, deck and cheerful cabin occupants I really look forward to booking a stateroom in the future. . GYM and CLOUD9 SPA The ADULTS only SPA SERENITY deck is just that. Peace, quiet, serenity. Cushioned Hammocks built for two, Cabana covered beds, and Full size opened SUN beds and adult only Jacuzzi. If you are finished with the outdoors and had enough sun, head inside and pamper yourself at the fully upgraded CLOUD9 SPA and GYM. The Horizon gym is surprisingly smaller then I was expecting it to be, however is still packed with all the needed treadmills, stair climbers and benches needed for a good workout. Upgraded exercise equipment and several classes to choose are available or experience pampering at its finest at CLOUD9 SPA. The spa also offers several fitness seminars for a healthier lifestyle. They are informative to attend and gives you a new perspective on how to shed off some of those extra calories you may be accumulating while enjoying your cruise and vacation. . I originally wanted to book a spa room, but it was more affordable for me to book a regular INT stateroom on deck nine then add the Thermal suite and Ala-cart Spa treatments. The Thermal suite on the Horizon does not have a Thalassotherapy pool unfortunately. Instead it has a large jetted pool which is located within the Thermal suite not in a separate room. There are still heated contoured loungers and four separate hot/steam rooms instead of the usual three. If you pre-book prior to sailing you can catch a discount, ($159 8nts) or take the SPA tour once you board and add it to your relaxation package right from the start. I took the tour and added the Thermal suite for $179 (8 nights). I also opted for the men’s triple package which included a Royal shave/arm-shoulder massage, a Bamboo massage and a Deep Tissue massage. At the end of the cruise I stopped back for a simple $25 haircut cleanup to go. One of my self-pampering gifts to myself whenever I travel solo is to add a spa treatment. They are relaxing and you always feel rejuvenated for the next day of your cruise. . ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT, FUN SQUAD, SHOWS, CASINO & CRUISE DIRECTOR I will combine all of the above into this caption I am calling my “entertainment section” This contains all the areas and options that keep the time moving and passengers occupied. Over the past several sailings I have been paying more attention to what cruise lines are offering me as a passenger to feel like I am really receiving a full package of enjoyment and entertainment. Carnival Horizon does not disappoint. First off the Carnival Hub App is your central go to option at your fingertips to see what, when and where everything is happening. Download the APP before leaving home port and get started. If you cannot go without your connection to social media and on ground civilization more affordable internet packages are available for you. I grabbed the middle package which allowed me to stay connected to family and friends via social media. If you add an additional $5 you can pick up the onboard text messenger and stay in touch with fellow cruisers. This is a nice option for families and large groups to remain in touch around the ship. You are able to favorite certain activities into your personal to-do list and always see what your next activity time is. I wish they HUB APP had an option to ADD a personal activity and time on your personal side. (i.e. 7:00 meet friends at Lido pool etc). I really like the fact that Carnival continues to bring back and introduce live music entertainment again. When they began to replace some things like the Steel drum with a DJ at poolside and Playlist productions over a live show band and less electronic oriented performances I was beginning to worry. One act aboard the Horizon was the NEW AGE TRIO. An electric violin trio first introduced aboard the VISTA. The New Age Trio is now a feature performance in the main atrium twice daily and attracts large crowds. They caught my attention on their first appearance while passing through the area and coaxed me to pause and listen to the entire half hour performance. I was hooked and returned for every performance there on along with many others. One evening they were integrated into a Playlist Production in the main showroom which began in the atrium, progressed to the show theatre and dissolved back out into the atrium. CELESTIAL STRINGS may have been one of my favorite Playlist productions I have seen over the years. The NEW AGE TRIO is an asset to the entertainment aboard and a not to miss opportunity. Swing by and say hello to the trio from Spain: Dani, Marta and Eli are more than willing to take a photo with everyone and are the nicest people to chat with.. FUN SQUAD & CRUISE DIRECTOR The Cruise director aboard the Horizon is MIKE PACK. I have to admit Matt Mitchum is my all-time favorite CD, but Mike Pack certainly gives him a run for his money. Mike and his Fun Squad did a wonderful job keeping the passengers involved and engaged. This is what makes a good cruise director to me over one that stick mostly to the show theater and makes announcements. I will admit that the sail away party was an absolute blast and may have been one of the largest aboard a carnival ship I have seen. EVERYONE was celebrating and having fun. The fun squad and Mike were out and about all over the ship keeping smiles and laughter going the whole trip. They made the trip memorable for sure.. PLAYLIST PERFORMANCES I am not going to dance around this topic. (No pun) I have not actually been a fan of the change-over of the production shows to the more 2.0 Playlist Performances in the past. Perhaps the induction of the “entertainment director” over the more recent years has had Carnival paying attention to some of the feedback regarding some of the talent being offered. I found the Horizon cast to be an absolute great variety of talented dancers, singers and performers then I have on other ships. The lead male vocalist has a fantastic range and clear sound to his vocals. Bravo. I am frankly embarrassed that I did not catch his name to give him a shout out in my review. He deserves the recognition. I also thought the onboard shows were executed nicely. I understand the attempt to bring the performers into the theatre space and changing up the floor seating, but I do not believe this was though out too well. Eliminating the fixed seating for moveable chairs also eliminated table tops for drinks. It also only took one passenger here and there to move their seats and the already tight spaces became difficult to navigate if you needed to depart mid show. . CASINO Horizon casino was packed every night. This could also be due to the fact that it was also the first ULTRA CRUISE of 2018. Casino prizes, machines flashing and money was flowing. (For me flowing in the wrong direction into the machines I know the MAGIC is the CASINO of the seas for Carnival, but the Horizon could give it a challenge. If you are a slot tournament favorite, the GAME HAS CHANGED. No more White Siberian Tiger. It is now a coordinated game to press the button while you also pop balloons falling down from the upper screen machine. It was much more fun to play then the old Siberian tiger. I also like the fact that you are more in control to determine your outcome instead of a mindless pushing of a button and hope. The ventilation on the casino definitely was noticeably better then on other ships regarding smoking. I wish Carnival hosted a SMOKE FREE day like they do aboard Princess ships.. FUN, SPORTS, EXERCISE, WATERSLIDES OH MY! It does not matter if you were 10 years old or 50 years old, the active cruiser seeking Fun & water games did not need to look far. All around the Main pool area you could see the DR SEUS water adventure park packed with colorful waterslides and play areas any kid inside everyone at all ages. The SPORTS SQUARE offered a collection of mini golf, basketball courts, foosball or ping pong tables and variety of games. For the outdoor exercise conscious cruiser there is a variety of work out apparatus or a circular track to get in some fresh air jogging or a simple stroll in the sun. If you crave adventure let a crew member strap you in for a walk around the elevated obstacle course. You can also take a seat and try out the newest foot pedaled SKYRIDE suspended high above the deck for a birds eye peek of the water and horizon.. SMART ELEVATORS (work when smart people use them) The Horizon has also implemented the concept of SMART ELEVATORS. Personally, I try to use the stairs the entire trip, but I did a few test rides over the course of the cruise. During embarkation, crowded port day returns and late PM when fewer travelers would be around. The purpose is to move passengers quicker and more efficiently, especially on debarkation day. I took sample feedback from other passengers on how they liked them. I heard good and bad. Some thought they were great while others hated them. My experience was it is just something different to get used to. You choose the deck you want on a touch screen and tap it for the quantity of passengers you have. The board will tell you which elevator to go to that will be the most efficient. The problem is when other passengers do not follow procedure and pile into whichever doors open first. Now the elevator thinks there are 2 passengers when there are 8. So it will stop along the way to pick up others thinking there is sufficient space. The second dilemma is there are NO BUTTONS inside the elevator. So those extra passengers that just jumped in have no idea if the elevator is going up, down and/or what floor it will be stopping on. If you take the time to follow the directions I can see them working efficiently otherwise be prepared for complaints and sighs around you. I will let you decide. . SUMMARY LIKES: I loved the HORIZON and would definitely sail her again! I found the “vista class” my new favorite class over the Dream class. USB’s in the stateroom, Havana deck, relocation of the Alchemy bar, NEW AGE TRIO, SKY RIDE.. DISLIKES: The floor seating in the main show theater to chairs and no tables for drinks was a BAD update.. Ok, so I will cut off my review here. It has already become a novel and I may have lost many that started it long ago. Thank you if you made it to the end without falling off your chair. If you happen across a deal for a trip aboard the newest flagship CARNIVAL HORIZON I would recommend it. Get on the ship and work out your upgrades later. Happy sailing and might your upgrades and offers flow frequently! . I wanted to add photos but for ome reason CC is giving me a hard time adding any. grr Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I just returned from THE. BEST. GIRLS. TRIP. on Carnival Horizon and the only thing that I didn't enjoy to the fullest, was some of the food in the dining area. Other than that the ship itself was clean, the other food options were ... Read More
I just returned from THE. BEST. GIRLS. TRIP. on Carnival Horizon and the only thing that I didn't enjoy to the fullest, was some of the food in the dining area. Other than that the ship itself was clean, the other food options were great, the staff was very friendly, and the entertainment was awesome. There were 2 crew members that really stood out. The cruise director Mike was very entertaining and the young man that host karaoke, I believe his name was Bradley. They were so pleasant and fun and really good at what they do. Boarding the ship was a breeze. No more sitting around waiting to board. Once we went through the security checkpoint we were on our way to the bar and waiting for the OK to go in our rooms. The elevator situation did get a bit frustrating on the first day. Maybe because people were getting acquainted with the new technology. After the first couple of hours, onboard that wasn't much of a problem either. Do not miss the Adult scavenger hunt if they have it listed as an activity. It is for open-minded individuals that are not easily offended, but it was so much fun. The late night party on the Serenity deck was awesome too!! I don't have anything bad to say about this ship. Do not let the previous reviews discourage you. If you are looking to have a good time, then you will have just that. If you going looking for something to complain about, just get the Cheers package and take advantage of 15 drinks a day and the complaints will go out the window. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I must say, this was my first cruise and all around it was AMAZING. Everyday, every moment, every seconds I loved it. But what also made my 8 days at sea so wonderful is the amazing staff I came in contact with. First these to amazing ... Read More
I must say, this was my first cruise and all around it was AMAZING. Everyday, every moment, every seconds I loved it. But what also made my 8 days at sea so wonderful is the amazing staff I came in contact with. First these to amazing people Francisco and Thal in house keeping, always remember there pleasant and genuine smile in the mornings and evening. I should know because I LOVE people and these two they have a very gentleness and pleasant spirit towards them. I pray a special blessing upon them and their family. They were very kind. Next in Pixels is Sinisa (Serbia). He is very pleasant and does an amazing job at what he does in Pixel. He complements a girl's picture when he is in it. Must I also say, he is GORGEOUS. Just a bonus and glad he was on this ship. Now a sets of amazing waiters, Adi, William (Colombia), Esther or queen Esther (India), Edi (Indonesia) and James ( St. Vincent).... These crew made my Church sisters and I laugh so hard and was a great pleasure having them as our waiters. They made dinner in the evenings exciting and with a lot of laughter. I do pray they keep that excitement in them because they help made my first cruise very exciting and a great experience. And to top is off, Mike the cruise director, HE WAS AWESOME and FUNNY. Whatever he does he makes it very exciting and gets the crowd involved in fun and excitment. From start to finish was amazing getting on the ship was all pure excitement for me but leaving I wasn't ready. I am sure there are plenty more wonderful people on board like the few I mentioned, but I must say GREAT STAFF you have Carnival Horizon. Thanks to you and your staff especially the ones I mentioned for making my first experience a memorable one. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I am way over due to write my Horizon review. We sailed the 8 day out of Miami on September 22nd. First of all, I loved every minute on the ship. I have no complaints at all. I am going to talk about things I noticed that might ... Read More
I am way over due to write my Horizon review. We sailed the 8 day out of Miami on September 22nd. First of all, I loved every minute on the ship. I have no complaints at all. I am going to talk about things I noticed that might sound like a complaint, it is not. Just an observation that I might have wanted to know before I got on the ship. Getting on the ship did not go as planned. We were expecting to start getting on the ship about 11:00. It was after 11:30 and people were still getting off. I think we finally got on about noon. I heard all sorts of reasons for the delay in embarkation- problems in customs, problems with luggage, they were finger printing everyone in customs, someone committed a crime on the ship and they were talking to everyone as they got off the ship….. who knows what really happened. I just know that it was pretty frustrating. We arrived early as we are platinum and were supposed to start getting on the ship at 11:00 AM. Before we got on the ship we looked outside and there was a hug line of people waiting outside, in the heat. I felt terrible for them. They must have been miserable. When we finally let people on they pretty much opened to the doors – calling group numbers one after the other. People just flooded the ship. Everyone showed up for food at the same time, all wanting tables to sit at etc. I really didn’t get a change to unpack before we sailed so I had to spend my first night in the room unpacking. But, we sailed right on time and Miami got smaller and smaller just when it should have. Our room was an aft wrap around balcony. I booked it in February 2017 because there was only 1 wrap around left that was not Havana. We did not want Havana as we felt it was too expensive, we had 7 people. They ended up changing our room to a Havana suite because of high demand. I didn’t get to use the Havana pool during the day because only 2 of the 7 of us were Havana. But the room decorations and balcony furniture were awesome. I loved them. With the exception of one chair on all the Havana balconies that was just not comfortable. You couldn’t really sit on it. We all just laughed at that chair Other than it was great. Our room set up was a bit weird (8470). It seems we lost a chunk of the walking space in the room. We never have much room to walk around in the room when you get a wrap around balcony. But this room was far smaller than any other. The bed was so close to the wall you could barley get through. The TV was off to the side. That did not bother us because we only turned the tv on to check our pictures and the menu for the night. The outlets were at the desk which was in the far corner of the room and hard to get to. All the walking room was on the other side of the bed. I am not sure if the room changed because of the stairs to get down to the Havana pool, or if we were just on a different deck this year. There were only 2 closets. I really did miss the 3rd closet. It made a difference to us. Other than that, it was wonderful. Our kids got a room in the center section at the back of the ship. (8453 and 8455). They had a private hall way and a square shaped room. The hallway much quiet. With only 5 cabins sharing this hallway they didn’t have the people running up and down the hall and slamming their doors. With the square shape of the room it was much bigger than a normal inside cabin. One cabin had a couch and a table. The other room did not have a couch because they had a connecting door. The rooms were great. The Havana pool was very nice. The chairs were very comfortable, and I loved the endless pool. I just wish I spent more time there during the day. We swam there at night quite a bit. The main theater on the ship was smaller than other Carnival Theaters. There was a large bar in the back, which took up a lot of seats. I was happy to see a bar in the theater, that was really nice. I always arrived early so I didn’t have trouble finding a seat. I am not sure if the smaller size was a problem on a larger ship. It seems like it would be. The shows were really well done. The sports bar was the other place that was smaller than normal. It seemed like it would be a problem. The only time that I saw it be a problem was Monday night football. People were standing in the sports bar and in the hallway outside the sports bar. It clogged up the aisle and I am sure people had a hard time seeing the TV’s. I cannot comment on the casino too much. Only that I could not stand walking through it. It was so smoky I couldn’t ever do more than walk (quickly) through it. It also seemed smaller. The comedy club is a different design as well. The center portion was all seats, theater style. No tables. This made for more seats available. The line to wait for the comedy club was in a main walk way and it took up a lot of the aisle when people were waiting. It was also right next to the sports bar so it was an issue on Monday night when the sports bar spilled out into the same aisle. Also, there were 4 very thick pillars in the comedy club. No matter when I got there or how long I waited I always seemed to sit behind a pillar. There were screens on the wall that showed the comedians, so I didn’t miss too much. But it seems like there were a lot of blocked seats there. The dining room was great. We enjoy our waitstaff and the food was very good. We feel like dinner in the MDR is more of an event than just a meal. It’s a highlight of our trip. We enjoyed it very much. We ate at the steakhouse 1 night. It was great. We enjoyed every minute of it. The photos on the Horizon are all digital. You can view them in your room or on the app on your phone or computer, or in the Pixels studio. All you had to do was give your room number to the photographer every time you had your picture taken. I only had to wait for about an hour for them to show up. Sometimes even less. I did not miss searching through all the pictures looking for mine every day. The digital pictures are a huge plus to me. There are also a ton of notebooks in the Pixels area. Instead of walls and walls of pictures there have notebooks. There were plenty of notebooks available until the last night. Then you had to wait for a notebook. Try not to wait for the last night to order your pictures. I really liked being able to see them on my phone. I had the unlimited photo package and brought home 226 pictures. I am a photo nut so I could not have been happier. Okay here is my only complaint about the Horizon. There are only 2 ice cream stations on the ship. Both of them are inside, in the lido area. I really missed the ice cream they had outside by the aft pool. Having to go to one specific place every time I wanted an ice cream was not fun. I know I said I didn’t have any complaints, but I was wrong. The ice cream is a real complaint to me. There were so many things to do on the Horizon. It was almost hard because I wanted to do everything! There is no way to do everything and I felt like I was missing things. Which is crazy, I know. I always say you can stay busy all day or do nothing, what ever you want to do. But what if I want to do both? It was hard for me to balance it. The Skyride was shut down the week were on the Horizon. That was pretty disappointing. We were really looking forward to it. It was one of the reasons we booked on the Horizon. Oh well. The ropes walk was great. The sports area was great with miniature golf, basketball pool tables, fools ball, shuffleboard etc. It was really well done. There were so many places to eat. We couldn’t eat everywhere. We ate lunch at the Italian restaurant and at the Pig and Anchor on sea days. Both were very good. We had a brunch in the dining room twice. Again, it was great. The food in the lido deck was very good and I liked the way it was set up. I really didn’t wait in a long line all week. Guys burgers is my favorite and I ate there a lot. So good!!! I had trouble finding the chocolate buffet on the last day. But, I finally found it. Again, my only problem with the food was the ice cream machines. The Baked Alaska parade was great to see again. I missed that. Some of us took a tour of the beer distillery on the ship. There was a charge but they got to see where they make the beer, learn all about it and it included beer, a free glass, a certificate and a glass of beer sometime during the trip. They all really enjoyed it. The Carnival app has really improved since the last time I used it in 2016. Last time I had trouble with my Samsung phone. But this time it worked great. There was a new planner function on the app. I could go through the daily activities and put anything I wanted to do in my planner. All I had to do everyday was look at my own planner and I would know what I wanted to do next. Again, so many things to do I couldn’t do everything. I could see it on my planner if anyone in my group put the same thing on their planner. That was a great feature. As I said before, I loved seeing my pictures on the app. Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp all worked great. The crew on the Horizon were all top notch. Everyone was great. Mike the CD was a lot of fun and very approachable. Mike had a Veteran’s appreciate event on the first sea day. My husband is a Vietnam Vet so we went. We weren’t expecting too much. We were both blown away. What a great job Mike did. Everyone left feeling great. We got to know a some of our cruise mates. And people were coming up to my husband to shake his hand and thank him. It made him feel great. I cried. But that is not unusual. Great job Mike!!! The Platinum party was the best one that I had been to. When we walked in the bar was covered with all kinds of drinks. Wine, fruity drinks etc. Plus they wait staff had plenty of drinks to pass out. In the past we have had a hard time getting drinks. This was not the case this time. They had daquiri’s, kiss on the lips, etc. They did a great job making sure everyone had what they wanted. It was a fun party. Getting on and off the ship was very smooth while we were in port. They only problem was trying to get in to the elevators. People would just jump on any elevator or not indicate how many people they had in their group. One time we had to wait for 4 elevators before we could get on one. Other than that they were well organized and efficient. The elevators work fine when you use them properly. The only problem was when people didn’t use them right. But I liked the system and I think it is a good process. I know a lot of people have complained about the layout of the Vista and the Horizon. I didn’t see it. I loved every bit of it. I hope to cruise on her again someday. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We boarded with anticipation this is a brand new ship and we were first in this US port to board. The new system they have in place is they scan your passport and use that picture for your sail and sign card identification. Our cabin was ... Read More
We boarded with anticipation this is a brand new ship and we were first in this US port to board. The new system they have in place is they scan your passport and use that picture for your sail and sign card identification. Our cabin was easy to find and ready for us so we could drop our carryon baggage and go eat before the Muster Drill. We ate mainly in the dining room and the food was on par nothing special to speak home about. Entertainment with Mike Pack the cruise director was so interactive we loved it. Service around the ship and help desk was on par. We loved Aruba and Curaco so we are returning to those ports to do excursions. Our Cruise Director Mike Pack was so awesome without him the ship would have been boring. Our Meet and Mingle was a great turnout almost a hundred showed up our Video can be seen on Carnival Cruise Director Mike Packs facebook page if you would like to view. So be sure you sign up for your meet and mingle on cruise critic its a sure fire way to get to know your fellow guest who will be onboard for the next 8 days. We enjoyed know our fellow guest by name and shared our experiences as days went on. Great Smiles for all. Oh and the new elevator system they have is awesome no waiting. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I am a travel agent so I am an avid cruiser. Before our vacation, I came here to read reviews about the ship. I was shocked at how many negative reviews I read and in all honesty, I almost wasn't even excited for the trip anymore. I ... Read More
I am a travel agent so I am an avid cruiser. Before our vacation, I came here to read reviews about the ship. I was shocked at how many negative reviews I read and in all honesty, I almost wasn't even excited for the trip anymore. I can not think of one negative thing to say about the ship, staff, entertainment or itineraries. Anyone that could cruise on the Horizon and not have a good time is absolutely crazy in my opinion. I'll start with the activities and things to do on the ship. There was never a time to be bored- ever. From the movie theatre, the ropes course, the play area (one of my favorites!), swimming pools, water slides and water park, casino, games and shows, serenity area, spa, trivia, bingo, kids clubs and activities, etc... Carnival has it all. My children lost their father a little over a year ago and they have severe separation anxiety. We have tried kids clubs on other ships without luck and many tears. My children actually cried when it was time for me to pick them up. The kids staff was absolutely amazing and went above and beyond. Every single one made such sweet, genuine connections with our family and I am forever grateful. I wish that my children's teachers were this great in the real world. I was a little bit disappointed that the bicycles were broken on our sailing. However, I understand that these types of things are out of their control. The food was just okay, but there are so many options that there is something for everyone. I loved the Italian restaurant and I LOVE that it is complimentary during lunch time. I also really enjoyed Guy's Burger Joint and the Taco Bar area. Midnight pizza might have been my favorite way to end the night and I love that they deliver now to anywhere on the ship. Embarkation was a bit of a nightmare as boarding didn't start until 1 PM. After waiting in line for 2 hours, once we got on board it was time to go straight to the safety briefing. My children and I were starving and it took us a little while to find food after the sail away party started- but things happen! Most of the time, it isn't the cruise line's fault and I feel bad that the customers take it out on the staff. Until customs clears the ship, no one can get off or on! The Horizon can not be beat for the price. Carnival is the only cruise line to own all of their ships, which is why they can give their customers such great rates. Carnival is hands down my favorite cruise line and for the first time ever- I want to sail back on the Horizon ASAP! (I usually want to see new ships and have never wanted to sail on the same ship twice). If you are reading this and considering this cruise ship- PLEASE BOOK IT IMMEDIATLY! If you have a positive attitude and remember that you are sailing on a floating dream boat in paradise, who could possibly be disappointed? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Took this a day southern Caribbean cruise to celebrate my twins 15th birthday. Debarkation was a nightmare there was over 2000 people waiting over two hours with no information as to when we were going to board. Once on board the ship was ... Read More
Took this a day southern Caribbean cruise to celebrate my twins 15th birthday. Debarkation was a nightmare there was over 2000 people waiting over two hours with no information as to when we were going to board. Once on board the ship was extremely clean and staff was welcoming and present. We had a balcony state room on the Lido deck and it was absolutely fantastic location to be involved in all the activities. I never heard any of the movies being played on the deck or heard any loud music the entire eight day cruise. I met some amazing couples and some amazing staff members that I will remember forever. Our room was cleaned almost every time we left it and our room steward made amazing towel animals. I did have some motion sickness in my room steward had soda brought to the room for me to help me feel better. The food is a bit sub par but there’s a ton of variety you just have to pay for the better food. If you have a chance to do the Teppan-Yaki it is worth every penny. The alchemy bar was my absolute favorite place to get a few cocktails before and after dinner. My daughters went to the O2 teen club and the director was absolutely amazing!!! there is a bit of a discrepancy as far as dress code goes there are people who walk around in bitty bikinis and there’s people who walk around in ballgowns there isn’t a consistency in that department but it’s carnival . there is plenty of pools and hot tub‘s throughout the ship and they never seemed overcrowded but the hot tub’s are only about 95° it’s not a big difference from the pool. The entertainment is absolutely fantastic the comedy shows the adult quest the main stage they really do have great entertainment and you can keep yourself busy from 7 AM till midnight every day with activities! we are booking next year it is the perfect vacation for any parents with kids or fun couples it’s definitely not for those who have their nose in the air and stick in the mud!!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I had the opportunity to sail for two nights on the Carnival Horizon, Carnival's newest ship! The cruise left out of Miami and made a day stop in Nassau. The first thing I did after boarding was go the gym. This ship has a small ... Read More
I had the opportunity to sail for two nights on the Carnival Horizon, Carnival's newest ship! The cruise left out of Miami and made a day stop in Nassau. The first thing I did after boarding was go the gym. This ship has a small gym space but the equipment was new and worked very well. The views were amazing. I toured the spa just afterward, if you like to have a spa session while on your cruise, the Cloud9 Spa smells great and seems very comfortable. Be sure to ask about day passes as they are limited. Carnival had a giant presentation on the pool deck with Carnival Horizon Sr. officers and the CFO, Shaquille O'Neal! Shaq lead some games with Alonzo Mourning, Glen Rice, Shane Battier and guests, they even even gave away a free 7 night cruise. Carnival really showed a fun time. The FunShip blimp was hovering above and Carnival dedicated 1M dollars of donation to St. Jude's children's hospital to celebrate the Horizon Homecoming! As far as the ship goes, the fun never stops! A lot like the Carnival Vista, there are some small changes here and there. The Pig and Anchor pub, a Guy Fieri exclusive, which on the Vista is RedFrog bar, has a more local feel, with a full food menu and Carnival beers brewed on board! Of course you have the ropes course and the Skyride on the activities deck as well as the waterpark and sports court and other games for all ages! My other blog has details about all the ship facilities. Mostly on this cruise I enjoyed the Pig and Anchor bar, the activities deck and the Skybox sports bar. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Year after year Carnival just gets better and better. Carnival Horizon is Carnivals BEST, by far. We had just gotten on board and were waiting for the elevator. The door opens and out comes Shaq. He came to my 88 year old mother and gave ... Read More
Year after year Carnival just gets better and better. Carnival Horizon is Carnivals BEST, by far. We had just gotten on board and were waiting for the elevator. The door opens and out comes Shaq. He came to my 88 year old mother and gave her a hug and said a few nice words to her. He shook hands with 8 of us and he was off. About an hour later my mom and I were in the Pixels area and he saw my mom again. He walked over to her and gave her another hug and said " there's my friend again". He was so nice to her. I asked him if he could stand next to my mom for a picture, which he gladly did. He is such a great person. We had a Havana Cabana cabin and loved it. I had the exact same cabin number on the Vista when it first came to Miami. Our cabin was always spotless and so close to so much. Deck 5 is one of the main decks with so much to do. We were disappointed to find out SkyRide was not working but with so much to do, it really didn't matter. The kids with us had a great time at Waterworks and the pool. Guy's BBQ place was awesome. The food is great and the new Microbrewery beers were great. We had dinner the first night at Fahrenheit 555. The staff was fantastic and the food was some of the best I have ever eaten. One appetizer had bone marrow with it. I have never tasted anything so good before. My medium well Cowboy steak was perfect and was juicy and tasted great, too. My entire family, 12 of us, loved everything. A cruise on board the Carnival Horizon MUST include at least one dinner at Fahrenheit 555, the best of the best. I have been to Nassau so many times that I stayed on board with my mom who is in a wheel chair. I didn't want to take her off the ship there. We just sat by the Havana pool area and relaxed, it was great for me. Everybody else has a nice time in Nassau. The Carnival Horizon is so much fun and an AWESOME ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We did this cruise because we had to cancel another cruise; boy was I glad we got to take this cruise. It was the last cruise on this ship out of New York, and they did it New York way! Getting on the ship was fine, as long as you show ... Read More
We did this cruise because we had to cancel another cruise; boy was I glad we got to take this cruise. It was the last cruise on this ship out of New York, and they did it New York way! Getting on the ship was fine, as long as you show up on your designated time on your boarding pass, otherwise you have to go into another line. I have cruised many carnival ships before, but this cruise ranked #2 on all my cruises. We had the best cruise director ever. Ryan and his staff kept us quite entertained. Never had a boring day. The comedians were fantastic, Mike Davis and Jeffery Jene kept us in stitches. The food was good, the ship was clean. I would recommend eating at the 55 steakhouse. It was such a great experience. The service was more personal because you have less people to attend to unlike the main dining room. The dining room service was fast, I am not sure why people are complaining, but on our cruise we did not have to wait for dinner. One tip is that you can eat at the Pig and Anchor for free on the first day of the cruise until 3:30pm. Drop your bags off, and go there, you will not be disappointed. All and all a good time was had by all. Florence ruin our beach day in Bermuda, because the waves on the beach were large and we had red flag warning. I will be cruising again in January with Carnival and I hope Ryan is our cruise director. I also stayed in a spa cabin which was a first, but would do it again. Like having access to the spa and its amenities it had to offer. Also the celestial show was amazing. You can only see this show on the Horizon. Book your cruise on Horizon, you won't be disappointed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We wanted to try this new ship leaving from NYC to the Caribbean. We arrived around noon, we went on board right away, it was the fastest we have ever boarded a ship! Our room key was waiting for us on the ship. Our cruise director, ... Read More
We wanted to try this new ship leaving from NYC to the Caribbean. We arrived around noon, we went on board right away, it was the fastest we have ever boarded a ship! Our room key was waiting for us on the ship. Our cruise director, Mike was very enthusiastic and entertaining. Give him a hug! We enjoyed the on ship brewery, and ordered flights of their beer and ale samplers when dining at the Pig and Anchor barbecue for the lunch time offering (no extra charge, we did not try the evening dinner which is a separate charge). My husband and his mom and aunt are from the deep south and were opinionated with Guy's fare, my spouse loved it. I'm vegetarian so I just had a sample of the mac and cheese, ok for a side but not for a meal. I would often have lunch at Cucina Del Capitano where you cand choose your pasta shape, sauce and fixings, I'd get eggplant, marinara, arugula any vegetarian choices and there are a lot. You can have meat if you choose or a serving of lasagne with meat sauce, a side of focaccia, and Ceasar salad. There are other food service areas on board, making the Lido not so crowded like at the Ocean Plaza on 5 and Family Harbor on 2. If you want an extensive salad bar you would have to make your own at the Serenity deck, it opens at 11 am. Its so worth it! your choice of greens veggies, proteins, nuts, seeds and several dressings. For dinner we chose any time dining, often going as early as possible so we would be able to see the show in the Liquid Lounge, we would have to skip dessert to catch the earlier show. The dinner menu seems a little smaller than past cruises, some of the same dishes are also on the Lido deck at dinner time. On sea days we did tea time, but it was so popular we were not offered seconds. Not that we were hungry, it's just that on past cruises we were. They were quick to serve extra hot water for tea. We enjoyed the performances so much of the Carnival Horizon Playlist players, we went to one show twice. If you want a decent seat, go when doors open 30 min before showtime. There is usually a pre-show worth seeing or participating in. We especially liked the show called Vintage Pop. We also spent a lot of time in the Ocean Plaza area when the band titled Crushed Velvet was playing. We enjoyed dancing to their songs from many decades. The bands come and go with the contracts, but they appreciated us and how often we went to see them. The Latin band in Havana was very good, we danced there often. Our trip started and ended with a bit of drama. When we left the dock in NYC we decided to go straight to the dining room, there we had a perfect view from our window seat of the Statue of Liberty, at least 4 helicopters, a police boat and a fire department boat. We are used to the escort out of the harbor, but this was unusual. Apparently there was a sick passenger who was removed to the police boat and then went to the Staten Island hospital. We had stopped by lady Liberty to give the emergency crew time to make the transfer. I hope that person is ok now and recovered. We went to Margaritaville for drinks and the pool after snorkeling on the beach at Grand Turk. At Amber Cove there are pedicabe to take you to the gate from the ship, pay what you wish, we gave them $5. We spent time at the pool, the wifi is only $8 for the day. We had $5 Presidente beer at the bar with a view, a steep climb on a well groomed path. So worth it! Our trip was scheduled for 3 destinations, we went to Grand Turk and Amber Cover, but we did not go to San Juan which would have been our second stop. The reason we skipped this port was to keep us well ahead of hurricane Florence. It was a wise move, we had great weather and smooth sailing the entire time. We had a few brief rain showers near the end of our journey. To make it up to us, our cruise director Mike Pack organized a free bingo event. This was epic! We were in our cabin and the steward gave us each a sheet of 3 bingo games. Every guest old enough was given cards and everyone played in the Liquid lounge and the lido deck, the prize was a free cruise for 2. it was a lot of fun, and I was impressed on how they made this event happen. If you are not already booked in a room on the Havana deck check it out, it's open to all after 7 pm. The bar is always open but you can see how nice the cabana rooms are and use the pool area after 7. On the last day at sea we were pretty close to home and made our way up the coast near Delaware and NJ, docking in the wee hours at 2:30 AM in NYC. The only issue I had with the trip was leaving, we carried our own luggage and went to our designated meeting spot, which put us on an elevator, but sadly when we got off the elevator, the lobby was packed and other passengers were angry that we were cutting the line. I would have been happy to wait in the lounge having coffee until the lobby cleared out, I'm pretty sure the crowd at the exit were the Family Harbor passengers. It was very unpleasant. The crew had walkie-talkies, they should of had us wait until the line was moving. Other than that we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
As usual on this cruise I was with my husband and our daughter. This was our 6th cruise, third one with Carnival. Embarkation and Disembarkation Both the embarkation and the disembarkation were smooth and painless. We arrived to the ... Read More
As usual on this cruise I was with my husband and our daughter. This was our 6th cruise, third one with Carnival. Embarkation and Disembarkation Both the embarkation and the disembarkation were smooth and painless. We arrived to the pier at 11:30, which was our call time. After checking our boarding passes we were shepherded to the check-in desks. We waited less than 10 min after checking in for our number to be called. And then we boarded. 10 minutes before noon we were eating or lunch at Lido. For the disembarkation, we were looking to get off the ship earlier rather than later. The priority went by the deck the cabin was located on. However, for the passengers that had all their bags and were looking to leave before their deck was called, there were special waiting areas. We waited there for probably 20 min. We disembarked long before our deck was called. In addition, the entire process was so well organized, there was no crowding anywhere. At 8 a.m. we left the terminal. Service The service was excellent the entire week, from the cabin steward to senior officers, whom we had a chance to meet. Everyone was always very friendly, very helpful. And everyone had an exceptional memory, seemed like every member of the crew knew our names. Ship information We loved the ship. It was new, it was big, it was beautiful. Most importantly, it had a great layout and a great space to people ratio. There was always good places to sit all around the ship. Always, good spots to tan. Always available tables on Lido. The ship, despite being at full capacity, never felt crowded. For Muster Drill we were at the Theatre. Thomas from entertainment was leading the Muster Drill in the Theatre and he was great. Dining We were rather disappointed by the Lido deck buffet options. Perhaps on our 6th cruise, we started to get picky, however, it did seem as if there wasn't that much choice. The choices that were available were not particularly healthy. We found that on Carnival Horizon there was an abundance of deep fried food and food that was very salty. Coincidently, that is what we generally try to stay away from. With that said, we did not go hungry, not by a long shot. The buffet did not impress us and as a result we ate most of the meals in the restaurants. Breakfast/brunch, tea time, dinner. The food in the restaurant was very good. Our previous experience eating in the restaurant on the Carnival ships was that the service was extremely slow. It seemed that most of the time we were sitting waiting for something to happen. That was not the case on the Horizon! The service was very timely. Within minutes of sitting down our orders were taken. If it was dinner, appetizers were out within another 5 min. The orders would come in 20 min later. The service was impressive, on time and impeccable. Cabin After staying in several balcony cabins on previous cruises, we ended up in an inside cabin. And guess what, it was not bad. At first it was odd not to have windows and not know what time of the day it is. Overall, that had little effect on our ability to enjoy the cruise. It would be good to point out that we generally spend little time in the cabin. Entertainment We absolutely loved the shows. The cast was great, the production was exceptional. It seemed Horizon was looking to push the limits with what they can do. Disclosure - on our previous Carnival cruises we were not so impressed. On Horizon we were pleasantly surprised by the caliber of the shows. The bar was definitely raised. There was a con, of course. The theater design did not include the normal incline down seating. Instead there were regular chairs. That provided the flexibility of moving them around and for every show the setup was different. On the flip side, that limited the number of 'good spots'. So if you wanted to get a seat where you can see well, you had to ensure to be one of the first 20 people to enter the theater. And that meant you would have needed to line up 40 min before the show started. Movies under the sky, the Seaside theater. A variety of latest releases were shown, including the Avengers and Star Wars. What was great, as there was plenty of seating. In addition, you could sit on any of the 3 levels and see the screen. Plenty of choice. The sound was loud that you could hear well no matter where you sat. What was not so great - the ship is so big that in comparison the screen seemed a bit small. I suppose it's hard to get that perfect. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Me and my family had used carnival cruise in the past and had a wonderful time,And being on the Horizon was amazing tons of activities foods was great i mean everything was outstanding going on a vacation where you are constantly having ... Read More
Me and my family had used carnival cruise in the past and had a wonderful time,And being on the Horizon was amazing tons of activities foods was great i mean everything was outstanding going on a vacation where you are constantly having fun i mean non stop fun all the way to your destination and back. A experience that you will never forget and come back for more.The crew on the ship are the finest people work hard and diligently to meet your expectation in everyday possible.Taking a walk around the ship and seeing the cleanliness of the ship very detailed. Whats a cruise without a great cursie director .Mike i must say my hat goes off to you full off energy vibrant a cruise director that will make the sun shine all day on your cruise. Most important dining on the ship very elegant the staff working every night so that your dining experience is house warming quality of the food is amazing Tip my hat to American Feast Team Headwaiter Slavsia Team Waitress Lairinkmi and Asst.Team Waiter Miriko for a fabulous job in making our dining experience a memorable time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had family that was booked on this cruise.. about a month out we decided to join them.. This was the first time that we had cruised with others.. and only our 5th cruise...We had a fantastic time with minor and personal ... Read More
We had family that was booked on this cruise.. about a month out we decided to join them.. This was the first time that we had cruised with others.. and only our 5th cruise...We had a fantastic time with minor and personal disappointments.. By no means am I complaining at all.. It was great.. A few minor things.. Left out of NY. Which we have done a few times.. There was always someone at the parking pier to help with our bags.. I have COPD so its hard for me to help hubby sometimes.. Sadly no one was there to help us.. We did manage.. BUT there was a family with a few disabled children that had no help at all..When we got down stairs DH did ask that someone please go up and help this family.. There was no way they could do it alone.. We were thanked later that day by the family.. They said someone did come to help.. The Horizon is using the new elevator system.. Now this did work out for most of us after the first day.. On boarding day they do ask that you please not use the elevators until we are moving.. Go figure.. no one listened.. So it was a mess.. BUT.. How it works is simple.. and it worked great if people would listen or learn how it works. There are menu boards outside the elevators with the different floors.. They want you to press the floor you want for each person that will be using the elevator.. so if 4 people are going to floor 5 press it 4 times.. that way the elevators knows how many people will be boarding that elevator.. BUT some people would press it once and then expect to load 10 people in when we already have 7 of us waiting.. They need to stress how it works a bit louder so people understand.. When it was used correctly it was great.. Rooms.. Food.. staff.. all fantastic.. I would have preferred a better mix of music by the pools.. It was the same music everyday.. and not very entertaining.. Although the shows were great as always.. I would have liked them to mix it up a bit more..I like to do and see as much as I can.. The sitting ares outside were perfection.. I enjoyed sitting and relaxing on a few days which I never ever do. We ate in the dinning room at night and the staff was fantastic and the food was very good.. The last 2 nights I did notice that the shared bathrooms around the ship were not being cleaned as well as they had been. not sure why.. We did see some food left on th floor the next day after being cleaned.. which was also strange.. Normally the ships are very very clean.. But this was still nothing to complain about.. It was very minimal.. We did have a hurricane that was building so we had to miss a port.. but always need to be safer than not.. So now the real complaints.. I gained to much weight.. and I walked.. Enjoy your next cruise everyone.. I am already looking into ours.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We had an amazing time on the Carnival Horizon, I sailed with my husband and 2 children (7 & 10). Embarkation was a breeze, we arrived at the NY cruise port and within 15 minutes we were on the ship. We aren't priority either. ... Read More
We had an amazing time on the Carnival Horizon, I sailed with my husband and 2 children (7 & 10). Embarkation was a breeze, we arrived at the NY cruise port and within 15 minutes we were on the ship. We aren't priority either. The first day the elevators were slow, but after that we didn't have a problem with them. You select your floor at the kiosk screen near the elevator and it tells you what one to go to. Food in the dining room was Amazing. Food at the buffet is buffet food. We had food from the deli which was really good. Guys burgers are the BEST! We also had pizza, the wait wasn't too bad, but we also went and off times. The crew is friendly and helpful. Our room steward Wendall was fantastic! He was always talking to us and joking around with our kids. The cruise director Mike Pack is so energetic and fun, he never stops. We saw Vintage Pop, and loved it. We went to 2 family comedy shows and 1 adult comedy show and loved them. The Thrill Theater was fun and worth the extra charge. It was hard sometimes to get a chair at the pool or at the Dr. Seuss water park. We unfortunately didn't make it to Amber Cove due to propulsion issues. Though each person on the cruise received $50 on board credit (so that was $200 for our room) then we got our port fees and taxes back for Amber Cove. I did the Sky Course which was fun...my kids were afraid once they were up there. There were many things for the kids to do on the ship. My kids only went to Camp Ocean once, they aren't fond of it. They'd rather stay with us, but we needed at least one night out. Debarkation was easy and fast, we opted to carry off our own luggage. Going through customs was a breeze too. A Cruise is what you make it. Things go wrong and you don't always get your way, but remember you are on vacation, so relax and enjoy. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Traveled with family 26 total, 21 adults 5 children. We had a ball. Embarkation was smooth, moment we stepped foot on deck it was party time till we return back to our home port. There were so may activities throughout the ship for all ... Read More
Traveled with family 26 total, 21 adults 5 children. We had a ball. Embarkation was smooth, moment we stepped foot on deck it was party time till we return back to our home port. There were so may activities throughout the ship for all ages. Need down time? Plenty of places to relax read a book. Mike Pack the cruise director was awesome!!! He is the energizer bunny, so much energy!!!. The shows were like Broadway shows, comedians were great as well..the food OMG..so much of it.. Who ever complained about the food must be out of their mind.. There were so many different varieties to satisfy everyone and those burgers!!! Delicious.. Been on 15+ cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norweigan.. Carnival tops them all hands down as far as entertainment and having a good time The kids really enjoyed the sky ride, obstacle course,the slides & water park.. They even have a movie theatre.. Overall,had a wonderful vacation can't wait to book our next family vacation.. Of course only with Carnival the fun ship The ship was absolutely beautiful,crew was very friendly..HORIZON is the ship Want fun go withCarnival Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We have cruised Carnival before and have never been disappointed! It is a BIG ship and yes, there are A LOT of people, but the atmosphere is amazing. Getting a chair on deck 10 or 11 is trying and I gave up after day one. BUT.......heading ... Read More
We have cruised Carnival before and have never been disappointed! It is a BIG ship and yes, there are A LOT of people, but the atmosphere is amazing. Getting a chair on deck 10 or 11 is trying and I gave up after day one. BUT.......heading down to deck 5 was the best.....so many empty seats and a combination of sun and shade. Quiet too - so if you like to read - bring lots of books! My kids LOVED Camp Ocean and the staff in the club is fantastic. They were so awesome with my children! My kids hated leaving and couldn't wait to go everyday. The pools are indeed packed particularly on the sea days, but there is so much to do that I was never bored. We had nothing but great interactions with the Horizon staff. They were terrific! The comedy shows and entertainment in the Liquid Lounge were great. Can't wait to book my next cruise! 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
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
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
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
Carnival Horizon Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.6
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.5

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