11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Went to find some April sunshine. Good points first: Never found the ship overcrowded even though almost 4000 passengers on board. Plenty of sunbeds and comfortable beds in the cabin. Bad Points: VAT on drinks!!. Who are they paying VAT ... Read More
Went to find some April sunshine. Good points first: Never found the ship overcrowded even though almost 4000 passengers on board. Plenty of sunbeds and comfortable beds in the cabin. Bad Points: VAT on drinks!!. Who are they paying VAT too in the middle of the Med??. Excursions are extortionately priced and much easier to make your own way around. Food in main restaurant is mediocre to average at best with not much choice. If you wish to dine in the 555 steakhouse it is an extra $35 per head, if you wish to dine in the Tepanyaki, Asian fusion, Pig roast or any feature restaurant it is another $20 or $25 extra.. If you have a drink brought to your table you have to pay VAT and service charge. Wine in main restaurant advertised for $38 actually cost more than $47 with added VAT and service charge. How many restaurants charge you to bring wine to a table??. Carnival constantly push bingo sales and so called deals in the casino, there are numerous photographers around the main decks pushing you to have photo's taken at silly prices. Main theatre is on 2 levels, DO NOT choose upper level as you will see very little. I have done many cruises and will never use Carnival again. Only choose them if you wish to offload a lot of money!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I chose this cruise based on the itinerary. I have not been on a Carnival ship in three years. This is my 21st cruise, so I have some perspective. The technology was great. I have also never embarked so fast. The crew was friendly. ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on the itinerary. I have not been on a Carnival ship in three years. This is my 21st cruise, so I have some perspective. The technology was great. I have also never embarked so fast. The crew was friendly. My issue was the food. Breakfast was exactly the same each day. The dining room experience was sad. Food not up to par. No butter, butter dish, salt and pepper. Service was rushed. Food was lacking any taste. The same choice each night for the vegetarian dish. I thought that was funny! We went to high tea on sea day. The waiter opened the tea box and gave us a choice of regular or decaf Lipton tea! There was no cream or jam for scones. I realize that this was their second voyage. They only seemed concerned about getting this ship to Miami. Numerous Carnival employees held meetings in the smoking area each day. It was all whispers until one stood up and yelled “who in their right mind would eat tapioca for desert.” There were no specialty reservations available. I started trying to book these 4 weeks prior. All of the Carnival employees had these reservations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
This was the 3rd cruise trip my sisters and I had with Carnival. We were very excited about our trip to Europe and be on Carnival's new ship Horizon. The ship has a new elevator system. The high tech system was designed to ... Read More
This was the 3rd cruise trip my sisters and I had with Carnival. We were very excited about our trip to Europe and be on Carnival's new ship Horizon. The ship has a new elevator system. The high tech system was designed to increase efficiency and reduce wait time. We didn't notice any improvement in wait time. Most of the time, we were tire of waiting and took the stairs instead. The 2nd night was the formal night. To get to the dining room, there's a new system. First, we went to a lounge on a different floor to register. We were given a pager. The pager would go off when our table was ready. We waited at the lounge along with many others. And we waited... After 2 hours, one of my sisters decided not to wait any longer and we walked straight to the dining room. We were taken to a table in 2 minutes. As we sat down, we noticed many empty tables around us. We were so hungry that we literally inhaled the food. By the time we ordered the desserts, the server said they were closing soon and hurried us to order. It was the most terrible dining experience we ever had on ships and on land. Two days later, we tried the dining room, again. There was no wait time and the dining room was half full. Other than the ox tongue appetizer, everything else was dry and rubbery. We were discouraged completely and did not go back to the dining room again. Now, let’s talk about Lido. The breakfast choices were exactly the same every single morning. We didn’t want to have breakfast there after the 4th day. We rather ate the cold pizza we saved from the night before. We ordered one breakfast from room service but the selections were limited to bakery and fruits only. Supper at Lindo reminded me of my years living in the university dormitory. The desserts at Lindo were cakes and nothing but cakes. I took one piece one night. It wasn’t good, so I left 2/3 on the plate. I tried a different cake two nights later. This time, I managed to finish half. The positive food experience we had was the night at the Japanese restaurant having Teppanyaki. The food was nice and the price was reasonable. We had sushi in the same restaurant on another night and it was pretty good, too. The servers were courteous and helpful. We were pleased with the dinner on both nights. There were many brand name shops on the ship; more than the average cruise ships we had been to. The little gift shop was about the size of my closet at home. We didn’t buy anything on the ship this time. The stateroom we were in was reasonably clean and comfortable. After all, Horizon is a new ship. The bathroom had an unpleasant odor when we got there. We did our own cleaning with Lysol and rubbing alcohol we brought along on the trip. It was okay for the rest of the staying. There was something about the corridor in the cabin section I want to mention. The floor was uneven. It dropped and raised unexpectedly. We walked gingerly to avoid tripping and falling. The overall experience on the ship was fine. If it’s not because of the disastrous food experience and the poor dining room management, I would have given it 4 starts instead of 2. Carnival Horizon is a very nice ship. I hope my review will help Carnival to make the necessary improvements for the future vacationers. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise for the inaugural voyage and mediterranean itinerary. Pros: - Excellent Staff - although VERY SHORT HANDED - Cove Balcony Rooms EXCELLENT - Debarkation was easy - Veterns Gathering was EXCELLENT - ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the inaugural voyage and mediterranean itinerary. Pros: - Excellent Staff - although VERY SHORT HANDED - Cove Balcony Rooms EXCELLENT - Debarkation was easy - Veterns Gathering was EXCELLENT - Carnival excels at that Cons: - Boarding Ship in Barcelona - VERY UN-ORGANIZED - especially baggage - VERY POOR Food in Dining Room (Cold, Burnt, Tasteless) on multiple occasions - Poor choice of entertainment - Theater was WAY TOO SMALL!! - Poor organization and planning of Shore Excursions. Poor meeting place - many individuals missed their tours. - Inferior shore excursion buses: NOT SAFE - LIDO DECK - Total CHAOS - Understaffed, unsanitary and overall VERY VERY Disorganized. - Hibachi Grill Restaurant was too small - Diamond luncheon with the captain was a little disappointing - food was not up to standard - Diamond/Platinium party was poorly planned - over crowded Overall - this was the WORST CRUISE we have ever been on with carnival!! We are ambassadors for carnival and we are having second thoughts! We have been cruising with carnival for many years and are utterly disappointed with this cruise!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Pros: Embarkation and Disembarkation were well organized Shore excursions were well organized Itinerary (Ports of Call) were amazing Main Entertainment (feature shows with Singers and dancers) were quite good We had an Ocean ... Read More
Pros: Embarkation and Disembarkation were well organized Shore excursions were well organized Itinerary (Ports of Call) were amazing Main Entertainment (feature shows with Singers and dancers) were quite good We had an Ocean suite and it was very nice. Although, these newer Ocean Suitesdo not have as much storage as the old ones (on older Carnival Ships) and lack the elegance of mirrored upper wall panels and were more bland than the older Ocean Suites, lack the nice dressing area housekkeeper- Natalyia - was awesome. Cons: Food- lousy, Even when people sent steak back when not done according to their request, it still came back wrong. A lot of people gave up. They never cleared wine glasses not in use from the tables (over crowded table) They ran out of Pinot Noir "sold by the glass" they would only sell it by the bottle- my Father said "Well- open a bottle !" - they would not. Buffet- not very good, what;s with the stale bread ?? 4 food stations with identical selections and items at the back you could never reach unless you asked someone (when they were available) Ok with 4 food stations all the same- have one station where those items are at the front- c'mon Carnival use your heads. Shopping- Horrible for the European Itinerary. Carnival does not ordinarily do European cruises, now I see why. With the extra taxes all those things they would have to price unattractively to recuperate the tax- they found a solution- don't stock it for this cruise. The onboard shops did not sell Booze, cigarettes, very few t-shirts or other apparel, very limited supplies of sundry personal items. Seriously, the stores looked empty with some shelves only having a few baseball caps on them, etc. Just terrible for Carnival. The ship- what's' the fuss ???!!! A small, bland useless Atrium. Carnival Glory was better. The new elevators- many people said they were more efficient. I guarantee you- you will not see it that way. When 10 people are waiting in an area with 6 elevators and no elevator comes for a protracted period because it seems to be waiting until there is enough "demand" to even send one elevator- you will be annoyed. Decor bland, un-inspired. IMAX shows were cool but of course you pay extra for those. A lot of nickel and dining on this ship. Service- improved as the journey progressed. Some of the wait staff, well what can I say. One night my menu was wrong (it was from the night before) so I joked and said " Oh look I was left behind in Naples" so the assistant waiter said very matter of fact "I don't know how that happened I changed the menus myself" Really ? Just say sorry and give me the correct menu- there was a fair bit of that kind of thing - very untypical of Carnival who are usually awesome. I would not recommend or book again on this ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
It was the ships maiden European cruise, so you would think they would put some European food on no chance it was like something you clean out the bottom of a parrots cage worst food on any cruise we have done and to date that is 15, if ... Read More
It was the ships maiden European cruise, so you would think they would put some European food on no chance it was like something you clean out the bottom of a parrots cage worst food on any cruise we have done and to date that is 15, if you like your food hot then this cruise is not for you Luke warm is the best you will get if you’re lucky. I spoke to many people asking if this was typical American food and they said no way. The entertainment was second class most of it was rubbish with the exception of a few,on more than one occasion a lot of the audiance got up and walked out. It says it all when the so called comedian was the only one laughing at his own jokes. Everything you purchase on board has gratuities added and tax which cannot be claimed back. I thought there were no pirates on the sees any more I was wrong, if they had the scull and crossbones as there flag it would suit the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We decided to go with Carnival Horizon because we had previously been on it’s sister ship the Vista which was amazing. We expect the same level of service and cleanliness from the Horizon. Everywhere you walked the floor was wet, not ... Read More
We decided to go with Carnival Horizon because we had previously been on it’s sister ship the Vista which was amazing. We expect the same level of service and cleanliness from the Horizon. Everywhere you walked the floor was wet, not from people walking after coming from the pool but there were leaks everywhere. The entrance to the Havana area always had a foul smell specially in the early mornings. The Havana bar offered espresso however you couldn’t order one until 10am which I found a little late..The staff was attentive, I just think upper management didn’t schedule them correctly. Sometimes you’d have a bar full of patrons and only one bar tender, it was the same for the specialty restaurants. We did one of the carnival excursions on Grand Turk with Mark (Marky Mark), he was a great captain made the trip fun and always made sure all guests were comfortable during our snorkeling trip. Our trip was truly made by our room attendant Myat, his friendly smile everyday was just so warm and welcoming. He always accommodated our every request and left all the lovely towel animals. Thank you Myat!! You’re the best! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Chose cruise on horizon for family of 5. Day before cruise, get an email from carnival sky ride is closed....... of course my kids really wanted to do that. Ship was new and spotless, crew members and director was also amazing. ... Read More
Chose cruise on horizon for family of 5. Day before cruise, get an email from carnival sky ride is closed....... of course my kids really wanted to do that. Ship was new and spotless, crew members and director was also amazing. Food was absolutely horrible and I really miss the ability to create your own salad from the salad bar (buffet) like on the dream. Guys burger joint went from being good to just okay. Dining room food horrible and if you wanted an edible steak, it costs $20 extra. Flat iron steak sucks! Made reservations in MAY, and had a confirmation email in writing from bonsai teppanyaki and when we showed up for our reservation, there was no record, nor did we have any place to eat that night......... email or not....... screw you.......lord forbid we were going to eat the rancid left overs in the buffet!!!!!! Pizza and ice cream were good. Guys pig and anchor, was good when it was free for lunch.....would NOT pay for it. Seafood shack had good fish and chips for $6......we were so hungry we were desperate for decent food. Any questions please ask. I personally felt nickel and dimed to death, and would not sail on this class of ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Elevator system on the Horizon was HORRIABLE. We took the stairs most of our cruise. They also need to have a separate elevator for the handicap and scooters. my mother had to spend most of her time in the room because of the lack of ... Read More
Elevator system on the Horizon was HORRIABLE. We took the stairs most of our cruise. They also need to have a separate elevator for the handicap and scooters. my mother had to spend most of her time in the room because of the lack of working elevators on the ship.Our stateroom was only cleaned once day after asking for twice a day am/pm. Food was not that great. Mike the cruise director was excellent he made the ship experience a little better. Also they need to start breakfast at 6am instead of 7:30 some folks get up early. Guest services employees need to be a little more friendly to there guest and not have attitudes. I have cruised on Carnival several times this was the worst. I do plan on crusing again on carnival to give them another chance and if no improvement I will be going on another ship.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We sailed on the "New" Carnival Horizon in July 2019. A family of four (2 adults and two teenagers) who have all cruised before on Carnival and Royal. We get two adjoining ocean front rooms. What we liked - In each room we ... Read More
We sailed on the "New" Carnival Horizon in July 2019. A family of four (2 adults and two teenagers) who have all cruised before on Carnival and Royal. We get two adjoining ocean front rooms. What we liked - In each room we had two bathrooms - one is a shower, toilet and sink and the other is a tub/shower and sink. We found this very useful for getting ready so all of could shower at the same time. Guys Burger Joint - great food as always Reflections Dining Room - great dinner service and awesome staff; attention to detail Punchliner - they had three different comedians and each did family or late night comedy - lots of variety Pig & Anchor - this was like a hidden gem - BBQ food for lunch was free and was good Getting on and off the boat was very easy and quick - no issues at all. Room - size was good (standard), had enough room to unpack comfortably. Comfortable beds. What we did like - Sea Day Brunch - same menu every day and very limited; extremely slow service Entertainment - the evening shows (with the exception of lip sync battle) were really not good. Themes were very limited. Show times - their timing did not match up with the dining times - was so annoying. Times every night were 7:30 or 9:30. So with the 8:15 dining time, we either had to show up late to watch a 7:30 show or rush through to make it to the 9:30 show. Seating was very bad in the main theater. Too many poles blocking view and very small theater for the size of ship. Chargers/Plugs - Need more places to charge/plug in. They only had a spot near the vanity mirror - very annoying since I like my phone near the bed and this was not achievable. There should be a plug or two near the bed area. Bring an extension cord. Teen Clubs - The way they break up the age was terrible - my daughter is in HS yet they had her lumped in with 12-14 year olds. She was a month out from 15. They would make no exception so they did not use this as my kids wanted to hang together. Lido Buffet - they were never fully equipped. We had multiple occasions where the buffet was still open for an hour yet they were closing it down. With only 1 section open, the lines were horrible. When they ran our of something we were told they have nothing else and we had to chose from what was in the buffet. Food at the buffets was not good. Salad stuff looked like it was about 5 days past expiring. Nothing looked fresh and did not taste it either. Deli - they had 1 or two people here and that was simply not enough. The line was sooooo long every day no matter what time you went. Since the buffet was often out of stuff or had long lines, many went to the deli. Very frustrating. Pizza - was just ok. It would be better if this was located someplace away from buffet so you could avoid having to walk through that mess to get to pizza. On Royal - it is nice that their food places are located in different spots so everyone does not congregate in one location. Elevators - this new system where you enter a floor number then wait for your elevator to arrive was awful. Many times there would not be enough room; if you made a mistake you were stuck, waited so long for elevators. Terrible system. Overall, we had good ports. Was not thrilled with LaRomana but Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk were good. Grand Turk - you can walk right off boat to the beach and there is also a large pool there. Plenty of drinks, music, etc. Water had a lot of seaweed which made for not wanting to get in much but we walked to pool and jumped in to cool off. Umbrellas and chairs for rent - there is no set price so just negotiate. Overall, for a ship that was so new, the only new thing we noticed was the sky ride (which was fun). Need better shows and timing. This was probably our last Carnival cruise for a while. Have been enjoying Royal much better. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise because of the destinations. Some of the staff were a little so aggressive for my taste (eastern European women). The dinner check in was aggravation and dining on the last few days felt a rush and not much effort was ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the destinations. Some of the staff were a little so aggressive for my taste (eastern European women). The dinner check in was aggravation and dining on the last few days felt a rush and not much effort was put in towards the food. The cabin was an ok size. Ship was beautiful. Elevators could be a little confusing and way too crowded because of how it's set up. The liquor store did not have the jamaican cream rum I wanted. I was told they would not have it until the ship return to port in Miami (that was day 2). Not really enough on board activities. We had to wait in line about 2 hours in the hot sun to board the ship because Carnival was late letting people get on. It was a nightmare. All in all it was a good trip and a fun experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I commend the Cruise Director, entertainment staff and Playlist Productions on a wonderful experience. The Celestial Strings was by far the best production i've seen on any ship. This was quite a stunning performance and the team is ... Read More
I commend the Cruise Director, entertainment staff and Playlist Productions on a wonderful experience. The Celestial Strings was by far the best production i've seen on any ship. This was quite a stunning performance and the team is very talented. The Cruise Director Mike is so entertaining and has so much energy and really knows how to pump up the crowd and include everyone. He was EVERYWHERE ensuring fun! Our family loved him. The dining room staff was upbeat and they had a few really good dancers surprisingly. The food was average and I recommend ordering from the Grill. There were several dishes I had to send back, but overall we were satisfied. The salmon was amazing and the lobster was very good! The buffet could use some healthier options and wish it was open after long port stays when pizza or burgers were the only options....i love guy's burgers but really dont want to live off them for days. I would like more fruit and green options as well for breakfast. Would be nice to have more than one cook on omelette station. The bar service was great and so was the pool service. Rarely had to wait for drinks. They were really on top of it. I had a balcony room, 7223 and our cabin steward was Arnell. He was by far the best i've had on over 10 cruises. The room was spotless and we always had fresh pool and bath towels. We were so impressed. I tend to do my own things for excursions and rented a jeep in Grand turk. This was such a great option for us as we got to go offroad to a few "off the beaten places" and felt completely safe on this island. Love this island and the snorkling here is topnotch. We rented a van in Aruba with another family and again, this was a great way to see the island and go at our pace. We took taxi in LaRamona to the beach which was 25 mins away. There were many "sales" people every 2 minutes trying to sell stuff but the service for chairs/food was nice. The beach was clean but we were not impressed with this port and would not want to return. No areas to walk too and many people didnt feel safe as there have been many issues in the country for tourists recently. Curacao was beautiful and we taxi'd to Mambo beach in the afternoon and enjoyed walking the city for shopping in the morning. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Let me start with some basic info about my wife Amy and I. We cruise yearly, for the most part, with very few exceptions. I have been on 17 cruises to date. This was my 6th with Carnival. More than any other line we have cruised with. We ... Read More
Let me start with some basic info about my wife Amy and I. We cruise yearly, for the most part, with very few exceptions. I have been on 17 cruises to date. This was my 6th with Carnival. More than any other line we have cruised with. We are in our young 60's. I will be posting my personal opinion on most anything I can think of related to this particular cruise. Many of you may disagree with me and that is fine. As I said, these are MY opinions....for what that is worth. A big part of this review will deal with the general decline of Carnival cruise offerings, as compared to my first ever cruise on the Carnival Destiny in 1998, as well as subsequent cruises on that same ship, and other cruises taken on the Fantasy, Pride and Glory. I always felt that Carnival offered a great value for the money. I've also felt that the overall experience was top notch, as long as you stayed on the larger, newer ships. The short Bahamas bound ships were never more than booze cruises in my opinion....not heavy on service. For that reason we choose the Horizon....their flagship offering right now. Embarkation: Port of Miami: Miami is the worst Port in Florida in my opinion. Very busy. Poorly organized. Horrible signage. Rude porters. All that aside, we got through the luggage drop-off process and parked the car in descent time. A short walk across the street and then things got so much better. I must say that Carnival gets an A+++ rating from me for their embarkation and debarkation processes. We walked right into the terminal, right upstairs and were on the ship in no time. With online check in, there is no longer any sitting around and waiting, while you are funneled to a desk where you have to produce your credit card, get your picture taken and wait for your sail and sign card. Now you just walk through security and keep moving forward until you are on the ship. Your sail and sign card will be waiting for you outside your cabin door in a sealed envelope. Debarkation with carrying your own luggage was even easier! Kudos to Carnival! The ship: The ship is quite beautiful, by Carnival standards. Gone are all the cheesy, tacky, loud and garish color combinations and glitz. This ship is quite attractive, particularly the two main atriums and the large funnels of color and light. We spent many hours below these structures with drink in hand, listening to some great entertainment and staring at these wonderful visual centerpieces. Again...kudos to Carnival! Much has been posted regarding the new SMART elevators. After 8 days on this ship, I am not convinced that they are that smart or if the even save you any time at all. In my opinion, the jury is still out on these things. The two main pools on this ship are more than adequate. Deck space seemed to be sufficient. We did not have access to the Havana pool, but it looked lovely. One thing that saddened me was that Carnival did such a good job in carving out the Serenity area on this ship.....except that this area does not have it's own pool. I found that awkward and for that reason, did not use the Serenity area. There are some nice lounges located throughout the ship. The Comedy Club was spacious as well....we had no problems finding seats for the 3 shows we attended. One thing I noticed was the lack of a discotheque, like we have seen in the past. Thought that was strange....not that we would be in there anyway. There are numerous specialty restaurants. The Main Dining Room was very much like the one on the Pride...2 story....open in the middle....not visually stunning...kind of basic. I did not care for the overall layout of the ship. For a big ship, it has many small spaces. Sometimes difficult to navigate. One of the biggest disappointments for us was the Main Theatre. They have switched to a flat main floor configuration which results in horrible sight lines. If you don't get there early, good luck in getting a good seat. The Lido restaurant was also a disappointment. A strange layout that has two separate buffet areas that are not visible from one another....each showing different items. Their pizza station stayed busy 24 hrs a day and pumped out what may be the best pizza on the high seas. Loved it...really loved that it was not overly spicy.....which meant that my old self could indulge at 1 am and not be woken up at 2:30 dealing with the aftermath. They also have a Mexican Cantina, which was nice as well as Guys Burger Joint, which was fantastic. The Seafood Shack looked interesting but we did not indulge.The java bar served up some wonderful coffee creations. Shopping, like on most Carnival ships was lacking. Not much to offer....just standard fair. You will not see the great bargains like I have seen on competitive lines. Cabin: Very well laid out and spacious. Probably the most efficient use of space we have experienced on any ship. The balcony was adequate. Attractive décor throughout. Entertainment: Carnival gets high marks here as well. All of the entertainers throughout the ship were very talented. Particularly the house band for this cruise, Pier Pressure and the Brass St Boys. They were absolutely wonderful....we spent most every night in the Atrium Lounge, drinking and dancing to this group. LOVED them! The piano bar was great, as always. Hard not to have fun there. We did not see the 2 main theatre shows but did enjoy the Hasbro Game show. The pool side events were fun. Trivia was a good time. The deck parties were plentiful and exciting. Ports: Not to go into much detail but The Turks was fun. La Romana is a wasted stop. Carocao is beautiful and fun....Aruba as well. This brings me to my opinion and general observations of the Carnival experience in general: Where do I start? In a nutshell....the Carnival experience is now just a shell of what it once was. This was evident by the amount of continual cutbacks this cruse line has made over the years. This is not a knock on the servers at all, but rather the policies put forth by the company itself. I found the MDR staff and Lido staff to be split between some old pros that excelled in customer service, combined with many that appeared to be totally new to this service thing. That being said, service was inconsistent. I can see that they have cut back on staff, particularly bar runners. We had to go to the bar ourselves for most drinks as servers were just not there for the most part. Our cabin steward had a shaky start, as we arrived to an um-vacuumed carpet and a filthy bathroom sink. After speaking with him, he was very apologetic and corrected the situation quickly. We had no more problems with him. On the Lido deck, it appeared that the primary focus of the buffet staff was that of mopping up the spills of careless and sloppy cruise passengers....and not so much of clearing tables. Many staff members routinely walked right by empty tables filled with left over plates, dirty napkins and silverware. Conclusion: In sampling Carnival's product for over 20 years now, I can say that this line is not what it used to be. Gone are the Bridge tours and Galley tours. Gone are the elaborate buffets with carved fruits and ice sculptures. Gone are the steaks that used to be available at no extra cost on a daily basis (you now pay $20.00 extra). Specialty restaurants that used to cost $20.00 are now $45.00. Gone are the Cherries Jubilee and fancy Baked Alaska parades. (Replaced with dancing and singing waiters). Gone are the table cloths (Except for Elegant Night). Gone is the full setting of silverware....you get one fork now. Gone is the waiter that actually places your napkin on your lap while seating you. Gone is FORMAL NIGHT....no more tuxes....no more sparkling gowns....regular dress shirts and dresses rule the day now. Gone are the large Lido deck selections....at least the quality ones. Gone are the Champagne toasts. Gone is twice a day room cleaning...you get to choose morning or night now....and no more chocolates on your pillow. Gone are the big name music acts that often flew in to perform. Gone....in a word....is class. Sad to say, but the once elegant and very special dining experience has evolved into more of a Golden Corral on water for me. For this reason, My days of cruising Carnival are over. All these things aside, we still had a wonderful cruise. It still remains the best vacation value out there. It's just different. To the first time cruiser these differences would never be noticed because they never experienced the old way of doing things. And I don't want to give the impression that the other cruise lines are doing things as well as they did 20 years ago either. It is just that Carnival has sank lower than its competition. It's sad really.... Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 10th cruise. 7th with carnival. For the most part, the ship was ok. They shortened the atrium to 3 floors so they could add more rooms. No more glass elevators. The funnel in the atrium is pretty cool. The elevators are a ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise. 7th with carnival. For the most part, the ship was ok. They shortened the atrium to 3 floors so they could add more rooms. No more glass elevators. The funnel in the atrium is pretty cool. The elevators are a pain. Even when you get used to them, they keep trying to stick everyone in the same elevator. Oh well... Lol. What I liked..... Our room steward was great. Always prompt, friendly and fun loving. There was one issue with the room that most people complained about, but more on that after. The ship always seemed clean and well kept. The food and drinks were good. The entertainment, especially, the musicians, we're great. There were many other good points that I haven't mentioned. Ok, now what I didn't like...... First and foremost was the casino. I'm not much of a gambler. That being said, it's the smallest casino I've ever seen on a cruise ship. The worst part is that the ENTIRE casino is smoking. It stinks terrible. The worst part is that you can't walk on the 4rh floor promenade without going thru it. So even if you just showered and changed your clothes, you're either gonna stink or have to go up to the 5th floor to get around it. Doesn't sound like that big of a deal until you want to go to one of the other venues near the casino and you have to keep going up and down to get to them. If you're a smoker, you won't care. If not, you won't like it. Bad idea Carnival. The doors on the balconies should have been sliding doors not regular doors. So not only do you have to listen to people slam their room doors but also their deck doors. Gets pretty irritating after a few days. The wait staff in the dining room did a good job but seemed confused at times. I always got my food so no big deal. Just thought I'd mention it. The lido market place seems like it doesn't have that great of a selection of foods. Less than before anyways. They have part of it open from 11:30pm-1:00am. (Midnight buffet) The selection is the same 5 things every night. Boring really fast. Pizza is always there 24 hours, but that isn't as good as years prior. Like most of the ship, the Serenity is at the highest deck of the ship with no pool, just hot tubs. Stupidest thing they ever could have done. All of these new ships are adding more and more rooms. They need to add more pools so you can actually get in one on a sea day. By the time you figure that out as a first time cruise, they already have your money. Lastly, whoever designed the theater should be fired. The seating is terrible. Tons of places you can't see half the show. Small, again because they keep adding more rooms. If you have to sit next to the bar towards the back, you can forget trying to hear the shows. Between the mixers running and the drunks talking, forget it. They like to get on stage and tell you to keep the chatter down, but do nothing about it when it happens. Anyway, your definitely getting less for your money now than you did 5 years ago, but that is with every cruise line. You are getting more of one thing. That's RUDE PEOPLE. You know them. They're everywhere. The only ones that matter. You want to slap reality into them but know that you can't. Oh wait, the one thing about the room that was bad. It seems that they are re-using they're sponges or rags to much while cleaning the bathroom . Always had that sour dirty rag smell. Many complained about that.... Like the title says, "I think it's time for a new vacation"!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We just returned from our Spring Break cruise on the Horizon. We wanted to try a Vista Class ship. So far, we have taken 8 cruises with Horizon. Below are the Cheers and Jeers: Cheers Had a Havana Suite. The added balcony room is a ... Read More
We just returned from our Spring Break cruise on the Horizon. We wanted to try a Vista Class ship. So far, we have taken 8 cruises with Horizon. Below are the Cheers and Jeers: Cheers Had a Havana Suite. The added balcony room is a treat. The room was very quiet. Exceptional service from the room steward. Got to see the Dr. Seuss Activity in action. The children were enjoying themselves. Shows were good. The singers apparently were rehearsing and we were treated to one song in the atrium (third floor on the steps). Could have listened to them sing all day. The app is nice. We always get good service from the agents when booking by phone. More efforts toward sustainability - pencil instead of a pen, fewer paper handouts each day, straws by request. Cake Buffet had a different, delicious selection each day. Internet connectivity is much better. All you trivia cheaters will love it. Jeers We ordered the Cheers pass knowing that at best, we would break-even. Never again! Carnival has cut staff and it is especially felt in this area. Wait staff rarely come around so we had to go to the ONE bar that was open on the Lido Deck on port days. That bar was two deep so the wait was considerable. For most bars, there was only one bartender even on sea days. Think carefully about ordering the Cheers Pass if you have not been on a cruise recently. It just isn't worth it. (We tip in cash with every drink that is served to us so it is not us, it is them). Carnival needs to revamp the drink menu. Same boring drinks and them seem to be more sugary sweet. We went to Guest Services immediately upon arriving because we wanted to send a gift to someone on another ship. There was one person to handle us lowly cubic-zirconia level members. Diamond and Platinum have their own line. The person that was being helped was not accepting whatever the guest service agent was explaining. I waited for 15 minutes before I asked them to summons another agent. By now, the line had grown to the elevators. I asked the Diamond agent if she could get someone else to help. No one was in her line. "Well, I will go ahead and help you," she said sarcastically. She wasn't pleased to do so. She gave us incorrect information. We ended up calling the 800# on the Carnival website. We found ourselves at guest services twice. Both times, went away feeling like we were at the DMV. They had the warmth of a TSA agent. Main Dining Room - No, we were not able to check-in for ATD on the app. Instead, we had to go to level 5 where we were rerouted to level 3. Why can't we just go to level 3 in the first place? We ate in the MDR on first night. Food/service was good. Again, getting a drink takes awhile. On Elegant Night, we went to the MDR again. This time, we were seated in a dark corridor by the kitchen door/kitchen elevator. It was so dark that it made it difficult to read the menu. We wanted to see the show, so we asked to be seated somewhere else. The waiter spoke to someone and came back and removed the silverware from the table for the other two no-shows and left us there. We didn't return to the MDR for the rest of the cruise. While we enjoyed the Havana Suite, the patio chairs are very uncomfortable. They are low to the ground and are appropriate for a preschooler. The short lounge chair has a back that does not adjust. It is too low to look at sea or to read. Whoever purchased that chair should have to sit in it for a week. TV channels are limited. There is one news channel: CBSN which doesn't cover much. From there, TCM, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Discovery, and a few cartoon channels. To make up from this cost-saving mistake, you get a selection of Pay Per View movie channels. Many are free but they are so bad that you cannot even watch half of it without turning it off. Liquid Lounge Layout - get to the shows early. The Horizon has more passengers but it does not have more room for the Liquid Lounge or Limelight Room. Do not select a seat with a free-standing chair close to the stage.The performers use platforms in this area which means that you will miss some of the performance. Elevators - the destination dispatch elevators increases the wait time. You have no idea where the elevator you have been assigned is at in the hoist way because there are no position indicators letting you know if the elevator is coming or is being held up at another floor. Most floors do not have TV screens showing which elevator has been summoned to which floor to allow you to get on should the door open. There is no longer a PreSale Agent on board stating staff cuts. Carnival really needs to staff this position! Part of enjoying this cruise is booking the next one while on board. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
First the great. Embarkation was a breeze. We (my wife, daughter and her companion) arrived at our allotted time and we were on the ship within 10-15 minutes. It was the best embarkation experience of our 19 cruises. Great job on ... Read More
First the great. Embarkation was a breeze. We (my wife, daughter and her companion) arrived at our allotted time and we were on the ship within 10-15 minutes. It was the best embarkation experience of our 19 cruises. Great job on this! The food was also great! My wife and I were pleasantly surprised to find that this ship had such an array of dining selections and the quality of the food. The main dining room was our choice for 3 of the 8 nights, and all meals were terrific. We ate at the steakhouse twice and the Italian restaurant once, both were very good. Our daughter also ate at the Asian restaurant and loved it. For breakfast my wife and I ate in the dining all but one day and found it quiet and with wonderful service and food. The wait staff remembered our names after the first day. For lunches we experimented with Guys and the buffet. All very good. Our cabin (7305) was a Grand Suite. It was very nice. The balconies on these cabins are very narrow but still nice to have. The service from Agus was top notch. Now the not-so-great. We paid over $400 to get the Thermal Suite. If you are looking for peace and relaxation, do NOT get this. Passengers are rude, noisy, and do not care about anyone but themselves and the staff does nothing to stop it. We also got 5 spa treatments while on board. Most were very good, but the upsell effort was a little too aggressive. Finally, the worst experience we have ever had on a ship was getting off this one. We were supposed to have "expedited" privileges but it was a nightmare. We had our bags checked the night before and waited over 90 minutes to get them the next morning. We missed our flight and had to rebook at our cost. My advice, if you go on this shop and have a flight before 11:30 a.m., do not check your bags. Nobody could seem to help us...we were on our own. Everyone just shrugged their shoulders. I know this is a family ship in the "value" category, so we got what we signed up for. But we probably will not be going back to Carnival even if we are taking our daughter. It's too noisy, too much partying, and that disembarkation experience did it for us. I guess we have officially become old fogies. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is not our first rodeo with Carnival. We keep telling ourselves that "it will get better." That is why we decided to book a spring break cruise on their newest and largest ship: the Horizon. Now we can honestly say that the ... Read More
This is not our first rodeo with Carnival. We keep telling ourselves that "it will get better." That is why we decided to book a spring break cruise on their newest and largest ship: the Horizon. Now we can honestly say that the bigger the ship, the worse the service and amenities get. I do have to say that with a ship of this size and about 4,500 fellow passengers, I thought we would have felt somewhat crowded, but honestly we did not. There was never an issue finding a chair by the pool, a wait for a table in the dining room, waiting for service at the bar, etc. The pools were not crowded and activities still felt intimate. The only time you realized how many people were actually sailing with you was when the deck parties happened. Carnival if known for FUN and they did not disappoint in this area. If you are unable to find something to do on a Carnival ship then you are NOT on a Carnival ship. The most memorable part of this cruise and what will probably keep making me come back to the brand is the FUN concept. Our cruise director on this sailing was Schwartz and he was AMAZING!!!! Carnival picked a winner when they brought him on board. Our room was your typical balcony stateroom. The only complaint I had with the room itself is that your key card is what turns on the power in the room. This is fine, but I was quick to realize that when I left the room, all power went out. Nothing could charge, including my phone, camera, etc. while I was gone because I took my key with me. The second complaint is that there is no power outlet next to the bed, but we made do. Ohhh... and the beds must have changed. They were not comfortable at all and you could feel the seam. I don't know if Carnival intended to skimp on the stateroom service, but they did skimp indeed. Granted, we did sleep in until 10 or 11 every day and maybe this is the reason, but our room was only serviced once a day if we were lucky. A few times, not at all. We had to call for towels and toilet paper. Also, I had to call room service for ice after 10:00pm and was charged. However, when our room WAS serviced, an outstanding job was done. Lets talk food... Your best bet is the "for fee" dining. We were only able to eat at the Italian place and the Sushi place because of availability, but neither disappointed. Actually, it was some of the best sushi I have ever had; anywhere. The Main dining room had the same outstanding service and the food was good and nothing was wrong with it, but it just wasn't memorable. I don't care for barbecue so my review of the Pig and Anchor wouldn't be a fair one. Both Guy's burgers and the Taco place are outstanding. If you are able to get a table for lunch for either Ji Ji's or the Italian place, do so. It's free. Some really great looking salads came from the Serinity pool deck for lunch too. Beware of the Lido Buffet for any meal. It is disgusting and there is no variety for any meal. What you have on day one will be what you have days two through eight. The only good item here is the made to order omelets in the morning that you have to wait a hour for because they have one crew member preparing them for 2,000 people. The pizza place is mediocre and you will stand I line here for approximately 30 minutes for 2 slices of pizza. Up to an hour after 11:00pm. Room service, although delicious, is a joke. Everything is ala carte. This can add up. Other lines charge you a flat rate which is acceptable, but Carnival has you reaching deep into your pockets if you don't wait in the hour line for those 2 slices of bland pizza. All of the shows were amazing. The even premiered a brand new show on our sailing and it was a treat. The layout of the auditorium, however, is that of a very poor design. Get there early to get a seat on the main floor, close to the stage, with no pillar. Pools were great. More whirlpools/hot tubs needed. Waterpark was a favorite with the kiddos. All other outdoor activities kept everyone busy during the day. Though my son was upset that they closed the basketball courts during dinner hours. No complaints with the kids clubs. Spa was wonderful. Shops could have carried a few more personal items and apparel. Elevators, though aggravating at first, made perfect sense after a few days. All in all it was a pretty good cruise. I think I like Carnivals smaller ships better. This big ship was, well, Forgettable in some ways. For me anyway. You may think different. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Not a fan of port of Miami to start. The parking garage for our terminal was full and we arrived at 11:30 am .we had to drive to another garage and finally found a spot on the very top deck, 3of the 4 elevators were broke . I can’t image ... Read More
Not a fan of port of Miami to start. The parking garage for our terminal was full and we arrived at 11:30 am .we had to drive to another garage and finally found a spot on the very top deck, 3of the 4 elevators were broke . I can’t image the frustration for those arriving later or those who were older folks with difficulties walking stairs and having to carry there luggage . I have sailed on many different cruise lines and this was a complete disappointment. Giving this a mid rating. The ship was pretty, the beds were comfortable. We stayed in a balcony room and it was so loud with all the ignorant people who opened and slammed there balacony and room doors all hours of the night . We complained nightly to the manager and heard from multiple people on the ship it was continuous on every floor. The only food that was good was the BBQ from pig and Anchor & Burgers from Guys Burger joint. However these were only open for specific times . The buffet food and dining room food was gross. Even the Deserts were gross except for the soft serve ice cream. I was also extremely disappointed in the wait staff on the ship , I have never seen such minimal wait staff across a cruise ship to assist with drinks . There was only 2 bartenders per bar, and 2 on the deck . I asked the waitress after standing in line for 30 minutes at the bar if she could get me a drink , The deck waitress refused to get us drinks bc we weren’t sitting in a chair , however after 45 minutes waiting in a chair they still didn’t make it over to take our drink order. When you have 3900+ people on a ship you would think they would allocate more to wait staff. We had to wait in line at the bar for 30-45 minutes to get a drink and they only serve you 1 at a time, which was frustrating due to the wait time to even get a drink. This didn’t matter if you were getting a soda or a alcoholic drink. The plus side was embarkation and debarment, smooth and quick less than 10minutes . The 2 comedians who performed were actually funny. We had 5 kids and The kids were disappointed in the camps and refused to go back. There was minimal entertainment. I won’t get back on a Carnival ship again. I saved for 2 years to bring my family on a cruise that cost over $5K and everyone was disappointed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a six day cruise for me and a friend (two seniors). I have been on five other Carnival cruises and over 22 on other cruise lines. We left on March 2nd and stayed overnight at the Best Western Premier since we flew in from Nova ... Read More
This was a six day cruise for me and a friend (two seniors). I have been on five other Carnival cruises and over 22 on other cruise lines. We left on March 2nd and stayed overnight at the Best Western Premier since we flew in from Nova Scotia. We arrived at the ship at the allotted time of 12:30 and were able to breeze through security and directly onto the ship. We had an aft Havana balcony cabin (# 8474). I would definitely recommend the Havana area as it is private all day until 7 PM at night. There is a small pool and two hot tubs and it is adults only. The cabin was very nice with a tropical colour scheme of turquoises and oranges. Three closets: two with hangers and one with shelves and a safe. There were also two small drawers in each bedside table. The bathroom had no storage area and only six glass shelves to store items. It was a very small bathroom and the shower had a curtain and not a glass door. The water temperature in the shower was not very consistent. It was nice and hot on a couple of days but the rest of the time it was only warm no matter how high you turned the thermostat. The elevators. I have never had to discuss elevators before but the ones on this ship are the newest innovation in modern technology and will take some getting used to. There are NO buttons inside the elevator itself. There are small computer screens outside the elevator banks and you have to touch them to have them list the various floors on the ship. You touch the one you wish to go to and the screen will list a “letter” (A – Z). Each elevator is labelled with a letter above it and that is the elevator you are expected to take. At the main elevator banks there is a larger computer screen that shows which elevators are going to which floors. A very unique experience but works very well once you get used to it. FOOD: I was not very impressed with the food choices in the buffet and found that a lot of the selections were covered with sauces. We did not go hungry since the burgers at Guy’s Burger Joint were amazing and we had a lot of salads. We did eat at the Pig and Anchor once and had an excellent prime rib meal with all the trimmings for only $10.00. We ate in the main dining room only once and it was disappointing. The prime rib was thin and tasteless and the chocolate melting cake was only lukewarm so not very appetizing at all. I have had the chocolate melting cake on all of the Carnival ships and it is usually HOT and wonderful. ENTERTAINMENT: This was disappointing. This ship does not have a “theater” with stadium seating like most ships. It now has the Liquid LOUNGE which is used as a lounge with a bar and dance floor when they do not have a production show for the passengers. The main level of the “lounge” has movable upholstered chairs and some small tables. If you are sitting in most areas your view is going to be partially blocked by people sitting in front of you. There is a balcony which is tiered and I would recommend that over the main floor. One of the featured singer/dancers was injured so the show was modified and was only four singers sitting on stools and taking turns singing and three violinists (who were very good). The second show was a production number but again you could not see all of the players from our vantage point. The other BIG problem is the sound!!! I am a senior and do not have any hearing problems but I always wearing earplugs to the shows. Even when using those in my ears there were times during the performance that the loudness actually gave me pain! I have no idea why this is allowed as it is actually damaging to your hearing especially when the shows are over 30 minutes long. There is really no need at all to have the music and singing amplified to this level. CASINO: This can be summed up easily…SMOKE FILLED. We could not stay any longer than about 10 minutes because of the heavy cigarette smoke everywhere. As far as I could tell there were no areas where smoking was not allowed inside the casino. They will be losing a lot of business because people will not go there. ACTIVITIES AND STAFF: We used the mini-golf and tried the sky cycles which were great fun. It is not so crowded on port days. The staff were excellent everywhere on the ship; friendly and helpful. PORTS OF CALL: We did not take any excursions as we normally book our own and in Jamaica all the resorts we wanted to book were at least a 30 minute bus ride from the ship. The resort we planned to book in Grand Cayman was not available and we didn’t bother taking a tender into the port just to shop. There was no use trying to do anything in Cozumel as we were one of the late arriving ships at 10:00 AM and there were SIX other cruise ships in port before us. It seems the cruise lines are seriously messing with their timetables and it is making it hard to plan any private excursions plus it is too crowded with that many people. Overall we enjoyed the cruise but that was mainly because we mostly just used the pools and relaxed around the ship. I would not go on this ship again because of the smoke in the casino, the poor food choices and the fact that they no longer have a normal theater for their shows. NCL has the right idea with their new ships since they now have a separate and enclosed casino just for smokers! Carnival could take a lesson from them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Not worth the money... over crowded deck, slow restaurant service, at full capacity shows, long wait lines. Day 1: room was not stocked with towels, hand soap or animal towel. Day 2: went to deck and placed towels on chairs while I took ... Read More
Not worth the money... over crowded deck, slow restaurant service, at full capacity shows, long wait lines. Day 1: room was not stocked with towels, hand soap or animal towel. Day 2: went to deck and placed towels on chairs while I took kids to the obstacle course on the next deck up and then down to the pool. Came back 30-40min later to a ticket stating the towels sat for too long unattended and I can find my belongings in a bag at the towel bar. At this time all the chairs in the sun were taken front, sides and back of the ship filled. The only spot available was in the shade with an obstructed view of the ocean. Day 2: night we placed our kids in camp ocean ages 7 and 8. Kids were super excited to go due to prior camp ocean experiences on other ships. We picked our kids up two hours later to 2 of 3 crying saying they never want to go back. They hated it, no games and/or arts and crafts. They made kids participate in scheduled activities. They did not provide alternative options. My daughter wanted to color instead of playing in their olympics and they told her no. They have a terrible child to teacher ratio. At one time I counted 28 kids to 3 adults. Sea day brunch and dinning took over an hour to get our food. Comedy shows were sold out every night. People started to line up an hour before hand. Terrible seating options. Seats are individual chair-no booths so there is limited seating. All in all it was not an enjoyable experience, not worth the money, our family will not be rebooking this shop again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We are platinum members on NCL. We thought we would give Carnival a try. Embarkation was a breeze! From cruise port door to lunch in less than 45 minutes. Great job on that. Our spa balcony stateroom was lovely, nice colors, plenty of ... Read More
We are platinum members on NCL. We thought we would give Carnival a try. Embarkation was a breeze! From cruise port door to lunch in less than 45 minutes. Great job on that. Our spa balcony stateroom was lovely, nice colors, plenty of space, comfortable. Our cabin Steward, Alfredo was top notch, friendly, always around and just a very nice young man. We thank him for being so attentive. Most common areas are ok to look at nothing that elegant or fabulous. People go crazy over the elevators but we found it very efficient, our cabin was on the top of the ship, we had no trouble with the elevators. The thing that made this cruise was the Cruise Director, Schwartz! He was really terrific and made the events quite fun. There were so many things we enjoyed in the area of entertainment, this is another thing Carnival does really well. The movies on the deck were quite enjoyable as well. Nice touch offering blankets! We enjoy the spa on any of the ships we have been on so we booked the spa balcony. The first day the staff was oh so nice after that wow they got crankier and crankier. The spa itself is very disappointing, the thermal pool is pretty tiny and can't fit more than 6 people. They do have the wondrous stone loungers but if you are not able to get one, well there's no place for your to relax and you have to leave if you have done the steam and sauna etc. The locker room was adequate. We booked the Italian restaurant and the Steak House for specialty dining, but also went to Pig and Anchor one night. The Italian restaurant was terrible. Food was cold and quite underdone, we left most of it, the Steak House served a great meal and is worth the cost. Pig and Anchor...oh my! Lunch there was pretty awful as well. Does Guy Fieri follow up on his namesake? If he did he would find out that this place is butchering his name, the food was barely edible. Most of it tasted like reheated frozen food. So that left the main dining room and buffet, both served pretty miserable foods any time we tried dinner there. Breakfast was ok, not much on flavor or variety. Trying to get an omelette at the buffet was a long long wait. The Gelato at lunch time was delicious! Cakes we pretty and mostly not very tasty. I will give good words to the Pizza place, Blue Iguana and the Guy's Burger place, all three served pretty good foods. We are still reeling from some stomach ailment we got on board, not sure what it was. The adult area, Serenity was nice but getting a chair is virtually impossible unless you go up at 6 am. Wow! It was always hard to find a place to sit, you end up milling around until you stalk someone leaving. Perhaps Carnival can convert this area or part of it to a limited access pay for area with guaranteed seating. I'd pay for that! Casino was smoky and pretty smelly, we stopped in for a brief few minutes once or twice. Getting off the ship and back on at the ports was also very easy and quick, I give Carnival great praise for people moving overall. We did our own excursions so I can't speak for ship excursions. We went to Bohio Dive Resort in Grand Turk, walked all around San Juan and had dinner at Vaca Brava, went to the Marriot St. Kitts on a day pass, and the most fun excursion was Billy Bones Cigarette Boat All Day Excursion, it included snorkeling, beaching, lunch, airport beach and more swimming/snorkeling. Lots of fun! There are a lot of things this ship does well, there are things that this ship does not do well. If a nice dining experience is important to you, I would not recommend this ship. I can't speak for all Carnival ships just this one. Overall, I give high praise to Embarkation and Debarkation, Cabins, Cruise Director, Room Steward, Steak House and Casual Lunch at Pizzeria, Blue Iguana and Guy's Burger. We unfortunately will not try another Carnival Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarkation flowed well Only issue was our new, unopened bottles of SMART water was confiscated by Security for the reason they said "you can't have plastic bottles on the ship." However, you can purchase plastic bottles ... Read More
Embarkation flowed well Only issue was our new, unopened bottles of SMART water was confiscated by Security for the reason they said "you can't have plastic bottles on the ship." However, you can purchase plastic bottles of water on the ship, and you can bring them on in the ports, and there are plastic recycle bins on the ship so apparently you can have plastic bottles on there. So, terrible reason Carnival; come up with something more honest. Also, if you can't have plastic bottles on the ship then 3/4 of my toiletries should have been confiscated too. I think they wanted our SMART water for personal use. Another confiscation was my travel iron "they" said for safety reasons. When you pull your room card out of the wall socket it shuts down all electricity in the room. So what is the safety issue? The curling irons and hot rollers don't get confiscated even though they use the same electrical outlet as the iron. Don't try to be pro wrinkle free; you have to go join the masses waiting to use the iron if you want to look nice on formal night (go early; you'll still be in a line) Once on the ship our room wasn't ready so we went to the Marketplace (buffet) and chilled. I liked the addition of the bar tables in addition to dining tables. Our room on the Spa Deck was really nice and looked just like the website photos. I did not like this ship! All through the ship you can see Carnival $ cutbacks. This ship is computer controlled everything. Hopefully, there is a backup plan for computer crashes and computer dumps. Compared to other Carnival ships the decor is boring, the clubs are boring, the biggest disappointment was the Atrium; so boring. Showtime is no longer like Broadway shows or broken up by other acts. Every night was the same group of young people singing. That was it, just singing all the way through the show. The club was unimpressive, while the group was singing "they" would digitally display these unfavorable backdrops. The midnight buffet is the same food as the dinner buffet; no longer the extravaganza display of food and talents, ice sculptures, etc. Another huge noticeable cutback by Carnival. The mercantile store was replaced by a Victoria's Secret store. So be prepared and bring enough sunscreen, headache pills, women necessities, etc. We ate our meals in the dining room for food quality reasons, but beware, there are extra charges for food in the dining room. The pool games were boring; not like the pool games of the past. Even the men's hairy chest contest is not played the same. The casino is a designated smoking area so it ALWAYS reeked of nasty, stale, gross, cigarette smoke. The second hand smoke in it will kill you -- take a mask with you to wear in it. We liked the ports, did an excursion in each of them which were all good, milled around the tourist shopping areas and felt safe. Enjoyed the outdoor movies under the stars. Don't stand in line for popcorn; the popcorn is stale and cold and hard to eat. Cruises of the past you weren't moneyed to death by Carnival for everything; now you are and on top of the pricey cruise price that you would think would cover more than it does, get ready to pay out a whole lot more. I suggest you watch the daily Fun Times for all the dining places available and take advantage of them. The only thing I found on the ship worth the money were the specialty donuts at Java Blue. I spent our whole 8 days reflecting on cruises of the past and comparing it to this one. So disappointing in so many areas. You can definitely tell where the $ cutbacks are. I actually felt bad for all the new cruisers and the young people for they don't know what they are missing. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I’ve been cruising for the past 15 years and I will try to give an objection opinion for all of you. I won’t include the good and bad of the cruise ports we went on or the weather which have nothing to do with the ship. So, I’ve ... Read More
I’ve been cruising for the past 15 years and I will try to give an objection opinion for all of you. I won’t include the good and bad of the cruise ports we went on or the weather which have nothing to do with the ship. So, I’ve been cruising for 14 years and have seen a lot of changes in the industry. The Carnival Horizon is a gorgeous ship. It was very clean, my girlfriend and I loved the décor and the center area with its funnel shaped changing screen is a site to behold. The cabins are also nicely appointed and very comfortable. The new elevator system is neat but doesn’t always work as intended (not as fast as you would like). The restaurants that we tried were excellent. But the Carnival Horizon represents a new vision with cruising which has caused me to say that, after 23 cruises, this is my very last cruise. It used to be that you paid your cruise fare and everything was included. Tipping was done with cash and you paid extra for good service. Yes, even during formal night, a lot of the guys would wear tuxedos. Then little things started to change. You still get your towel animals done by your steward but the little mints they used to give you are gone. On past cruises, you could order room service anytime you wanted and pretty much get anything you wanted at no extra charge. This is vastly different on Carnival Horizon where room service without charge is only available from 2pm-10pm and the available free room service menu is limited to a few sandwiches. Anything else (and everything else outside of the 2pm-10pm time frames) is an extra charge. A few years ago, cruise ships added a specialty restaurant where you could pay extra to get a better dining experience. The Carnival Horizon has five such restaurants. We did try Jade ($15 extra per person) and it was a great Asian meal for sure. But Fahrenheit 555 will set you back an extra $30 per person. The regular dining room was good too but they tried to get you to buy wine or fresh pressed juices. Don’t get me wrong, all of this looked good. But it does seem like less and less is included in your cruise fare. The Carnival Horizon also has an IMAX theater which is very impressive…but a movie will cost you $12.95 per person. They also have an interactive theater which we liked. But again, this was $5 per person. I will say the entertainment on the Horizon was pretty good and better than you would expect on a cruise ship. Our favorite show was Soul Bound followed by Vintage Pop. We liked the Havana Club and pool. You can only use the pool after 7pm unless you have a Havana cabin. But the Havana pool, the Serenity adult area, the shows and restaurants were all good. The buffet was okay but I really do think it was designed on this ship to be good but not too good…so you’ll try the specialty restaurants for an extra charge. But like everyone else, I hate, hate, hate automatic gratuities and so, like a lot of people on our cruise; I waited in line (a long line) at the customer service desk the last day to have the gratuities removed. The reason is that I always pay cash tips for great service and the automatic gratuities added to your bill do not go directly to the people that waited on you or really to anyone else but the cruise line. The reason is that an employee on a cruise ship signs up for a 6 month or 9 month contract with a salary. That salary is based on what tips the cruise line would be expected to receive but I like to tip the people that waited on me directly. So, the bottom line for us is that not too much is included in the cruise fare. The cruise lines seemingly want you to pay extra for this and extra for that. I’m not even including the typical shopping on board for t-shirts, cheap jewelry and other things that we’ve come to expect. But a vacation is always about getting the best value for your money. In our case, we took a 6 night cruise, with taxes and port charges added, for a total of $1,313. But…then you have to pay $132 to park at the port…then you have to pay $144 ($72 each) for internet on board the cruise ship. This comes to about $264 a day for a very small cabin (and yes you will hear your neighbors), some decent food at the main dining room and a couple of good shows. So you really do have to ask yourself if this would be worth it to you. In our case, we think that at this point, going to an all-inclusive land based resort (such as Sandals) might be the better deal. The cost may be a little more but your room will be stunning, no constant announcements about shopping, no pre-paid gratuities, no up charges for a restaurant. So, in summary, the Carnival Horizon is a gorgeous ship, but what you get for the money no longer makes sense. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This is a review of the six-night Western Caribbean itinerary. We are a middle-aged couple who have traveled extensively and have been on seven cruises including three on Carnival. Embarkation in Miami was a breeze as you no longer ... Read More
This is a review of the six-night Western Caribbean itinerary. We are a middle-aged couple who have traveled extensively and have been on seven cruises including three on Carnival. Embarkation in Miami was a breeze as you no longer have to stand in line if you check in online and use a credit card. The sail and sign card is at your cabin door. The ship: Being new the ship was clean and in good shape. The atrium was small and unimpressive. The elevators system was hit or miss. Sometimes it worked great and other times it was down or assigned too many people to a car. The problem with the system is that when a person selects a deck number it does not know if they are alone or with ten family members. The casino was large but stank of smoke. The main pool deck had no whirlpools. It was hard to find an empty place on the Serenity Deck at times and there was no shade. My favorite place was the Lanai on deck five which is shady and quiet. Shopping: You can buy a fancy watch but there was no place to buy over the counter medications, sunscreen, candy bars, magazines, toothbrushes, Dramamine, diapers, etc. What were they thinking? Service: Our cabin steward kept our cabin clean and remembered our names. The buffet attendants whisked away dirty dishes amazingly fast. We did not eat dinner in the dining rooms so I can’t comment on waiter service and we don’t drink so we did not use any bars. We never received a final bill under our door so we had to request one via the internet. Instead of crediting us $100 for our gift card they credited $10! We had to fax them a form to fix it. Food: Since we were not feeling well and did not bring formal clothes we never ate dinner in the main dining rooms. The food at the buffet ranged from unedible too average. There were only about ten foods to choose from plus the salad bar. Cakes were dry. I remember huge buffets with multiple stations on past cruises. The deli was ridiculously small and understaffed so the lines were always long. Guy’s Pig and Anchor was OK as was the Mexican restaurant near the pool. There is a limited breakfast service in the Ocean Plaza that is quiet and not crowded. There are few free options for dinner if you don’t feel up to the main dining room. Why can’t they offer a Ruby Tuesday quality restaurant that is free? Surely this would be cheaper than a three course meal in one of the dining rooms. Entertainment: There are many options for entertainment although there is too much trivia. The Liquid Lounge performers were good although the sight lines in the theatre are terrible. I never had a problem getting a seat. Unlike other cruises I have been on there were no live bands in the pool area playing reggae, steel drum or calypso music. The SkyRide was still down. They should dismantle the whole thing. Noise: The main pool had very loud, almost painful, music at times. There was also loud music in the atrium. We could hear people talking outside our cabin, kids running down the hall late at night, doors slamming, people above us opening their balcony doors and moving furniture and when the ship was moving fast, waves hitting the side. Also a couple of times there were announcements in the middle of the night. Water shuttle (tendering): You don’t need tickets for the water shuttles in Grand Cayman and the cruise director will say that nobody waits for more than 12 minutes but what they don’t tell you is that you may sit on the rocking water shuttle for up to 30 minutes while it loads. They hold over 300 people which is why they take forever to fill. If you have a private excursion reserved allow at least an hour to get to land and find your tour company. Fellow passengers: There were over 600 kids on board which seemed like a lot for a school week. Most people seemed lower to middle class and spanned the age spectrum. Don’t worry about looking chunky in your bathing suit at the pool as there is fair number of people of size on board. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for our Honeymoon based on the ports. We really wanted to see Curacao and Aruba, and we enjoyed Grand Turk the last time we were there. It's great to just walk off the ship and be on the beach. La Romana was the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our Honeymoon based on the ports. We really wanted to see Curacao and Aruba, and we enjoyed Grand Turk the last time we were there. It's great to just walk off the ship and be on the beach. La Romana was the unknown, so we opted for the Monkeyland excursion and it was AWESOME. We have been to the DR a number of times, and wanted to do something different. The excursion takes you into the mountains, and they are gorgeous. The ports were definitely all wonderful experiences for us, and we were really happy with them. The rundown of the cruise itself.... Embarkation was so easy we were nervous we missed a step. haha. Our room was really nice. We went for a Deck 2 cove balcony which was a first, and we would definitely do it again. Really not much different from a regular balcony except I felt it was more private, and really enjoyed being so close to the water. There was nothing that was outstanding about the stateroom. It was clean, new, and served it's purpose. :) Definitely request a robe from your steward. Those robes are awesome. Best bar on the ship is easily the Pig & Anchor. We enjoyed every drink we got there, a nice selection of whiskeys, and a killer Bloody Mary. The bbq is delicious too. Bartenders were friendly, worked hard, and made you feel welcome. Guys Burger place was good too. And the taco bar was a tasty option. Not a fan of the deli. The dining room food was good. Beef Wellington was my favorite dinner, and stuffed mushrooms won for best app with us. Melting chocolate cake will always be my number 1, but my husband loves the cheese plate, and there was a Key lime mousse one night that was surprisingly delicious. Sea day brunches are tasty, and they offered fresh pressed juice blends that were great. Entertainment was pretty good. I really enjoyed the musical show that was a 20's style performance of current songs. Very talented singers! Other than that, there was the expected Bingo (I'm convinced it's rigged) and the Love and Marriage Game (always a great time) but nothing else that really stood out. There were 4 comedians total, but we only saw 2. They had very different styles which was good. I read a lot of reviews and thought, why are people struggling so much with elevators??? But now I know. They are frustrating. There were a lot of times we would wait a good 10 minutes (not exaggerating) for our elevator to show up. We would just end up walking most times, but for older cruisers and those who use wheelchairs, it had to be awful. My two biggest disappointments: 1. Lack of lounge chairs. Let me rephrase. The lounge chairs are there. But they are stacked and tied, and on parts of the deck that are completely empty because there are no chairs out! Meanwhile, people are wandering around, towels in hand, hoping and hoping they will find someone that is leaving. But they're not. 2. Where was the Lip Sync Battle? When we were deciding on which cruise to go on, like I said, we were basing it on ports. But a fun/exciting/different extra always helps! We thought the idea of a Lip Sync Battle was fun and different, and we were really looking forward to it. But it never happened! It was never talked about, never on the schedule, and it was never addressed that it wouldn't be happening. We were bummed. All in all, it was our honeymoon and we made the best of everything. But I don't think we will be booking on The Horizon again anytime soon. Read Less
Carnival Horizon Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.5

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