Carnival Horizon Cruise Review by crancowboy1
- Sail Date: May 2018
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
We had a great vacation. Cruises are forever the best value for your vacation dollar, and you can do whatever you want, when you want.
The Horizon is really nice, big, beautiful, new. Frankly, though, it was like a new Doubletree hotel....nice, new, but in a couple of years, it's going to look really beat up. Didn't see much in the way of the usual quality workmanship you are accustomed to in ships. Felt Target-y. Already after 2 months carpets in the main areas are worn. It's understaffed, sorry to say Carnival, and so it's not getting the regular cleaning and maintenance it's going to need. And finally, for a new ship, it just wasn't working right. AC in our room worked only half the time....we and many other rooms complained to Guest Services regularly, they finally came and drained the coolant system for our room on the 3rd day for it to work, but it never got working fully. Our sliding door howled for 3 days before they came and fixed that. Mistakes in build...our friends had a Family Harbor Suite on the second floor that was beautiful, but was RIGHT BELOW the dishwashing area where all night and early morning they are loudly washing dishes...ultimately our friends had to move to a new room and get some money back...they couldn't sleep there, and others were complaining too. The much written about elevators are actually better than what people say....when it's not a busy time they work beautifully. However when it's busy, like during dinner, you could wait 10 to 15 minutes. I had read a lot of articles about the build of the ship while it was occurring...the strikes in Italy, the delays, the worries about quality and workmanship, and it looks like those issues have definitely impacted the Horizon. All in all, nothing that's going to completely ruin your vacation, but disappointing these issues exist. Hearing Carnival may be done with Italy and moving to Finland for their new ships...
Again, cruises are terrific for food...I have no idea what people complain about. It's plentiful and it's ok. Buffets are dinner are consistent, though the cooks for the steaks and meat do overdo, so order all your meats one level rarer. I don't expect 5 star food on a Carnival cruise. Main courses are good. Appetizers are good...portion sizes are smaller, but good. Food highlights, though....Guys Burgers and Fries are phenomenal, have no idea why he doesn't open on land. The Bonsai Teppanyaki grill was fantastic...though a little pricey at 35 bucks a person (ps....this is only a 12 seater, and if you reserve, you better cancel more than 24 hours in advance or you'll pay regardless, as you should....that's a note to the lady that whined about 2 of her party not showing up and them charging her for it...WHAT DID YOU EXPECT??!!!). Sushi was great. The 555 Steakhouse was very very good....a notch below the last couple of Carnival steakhouse experiences, chalk it up to early kinks. And BlueIguana (Chipotle-Plus on the sea) is ALWAYS good.
We visited Grand Turk / Margaritaville, one of our favorite places, with their beautiful beach and pool. And San Juan is coming back, slowly....God Bless these wonderful people for what they've gone through....we walked through Old San Juan, did some shopping, spoke to a lovely young lady in one of the shops where she gave us all the details of the island's experiences of the last several months post Hurricane. And finally, Amber Cove, DR....this is a really beautiful port, and is going to become a top port next several months and years....the work there is beautiful, smartly designed...picture the cruise port at Grand Turk combined with Cozumel....STRONG RECOMMEND for Ocean World Day Pass Excursion....relative value at 49 adults and 39 kids......great time with beach, pool, animals, birds, excellent Sea Lion show...so much to do. Add 50 bucks per or so to live encounter a dolphin. We loved this place.
Onboard: Waterworks is excellent, well done. TONS of activity, it's busy. And I'm skeptical they can keep up with the cleanliness, I'm sure kids peed in that water all day long. Didn't do the Broadway shows but reviews from others were mixed. Comedy was OK....did 5 of the later 18+ shows, mostly 2nd rate guys that felt talking about specific female and male parts were hysterical. It wasn't. Manny Olivera was the funniest of this bunch, a mix between Dice, Lampanelli......I'd look for him if he played locally, the others, not so much. Also, comedy shows too tight...a timed 30 minutes and you're out. Casino: Carnival Players Club VIP, so read on casino smarks: they changed all the slot machines to high volatility machines, so if you won, you won big...saw several Jackpots of 2000 to two 40000 (25 buck machines)....but if you lost, you lost big. You will not grind on this ship, slot players be aware. HATE that the poker table is in the sports lounge....and you need another one. BTW, TX Hold Em tournament where you 150 per 10 players, but only pay 750? That's freaking robbery!!! The VIP first day cocktail party was a nice touch.
Need more waitstaff in the bar area now that anyone can get "free drinks" once they hit small number of points. Nice daily activities, trivia was always fun, Lido fun, and Hasbro Game show was fun. Camp Ocean is great for kids!!
People....mix of folks you would expect from NYC...all types, all nationalities. Lots of kids. Parents: could you please watch your kids? KIDS DO NOT BELONG IN THE &*#&#$# Jacuzzis!! One woman got upset when her diaper ridden 15 month old wasn't allowed in Waterworks.....what did you expect???!!!! And some of you have punk ass kids preteens that are spoiled rotten crappy kids. Spilling burgers and food everywhere, not picking it up (this is to those of you that let your kids hang in front of the arcade all day)...and also destroyed the games in the arcade. I weep for our future sometimes. On that note, I have to say....some people suck, they treat the workers like crap. We as usual had many great conversations with the workers, they are great people and work their butts off.......try it folks, you'd be surprised, and you'll appreciate what you have so much more. On the other hand, there were a few workers who did deserve the poor treatment...particularly I notice the Eastern European "supervisors" in the dining areas....boy do they treat their subordinates badly. They all need a lesson in managing people.....buttholes! I'd fire them all....jerks. Need to call out our room steward Windu....TOP NOTCH, great guy, super nice!!! Costinel, from Romania in the MDR was one of the best servers we've ever had on any cruise!! Mike the CD was good, witty, quick thinking....and the host in the Comedy lounge was good. Some of the CD understudies, though, need to rethink their careers, they're not genuinely nice or good, and you can tell they go through the motions.
All in all, again, cruises are a great value, and this was no different. And you're on vacation, so complaining is for the birds. For us, our son is getting older, and once we do one more Breeze (favorite Carnival ship) in the spring, we're moving onto RCL or back to Princess. For families with young kids, or first couple of times cruising, or budget conscious families looking for a nice vacation, do this.
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