Carnival Horizon Cruise Review by TFay
- Sail Date: July 2018
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Where - NYC, Grand Turk, San Juan, Amber Cove
Who - 6 People, Ages 21, 23, 24, 24, 61, 64
I read many comments as we got closer to our departure date and I was honestly weary. Many people made many poor comments, BUT please do not be as weary as we were - we had a blast!!
The Food - I, and my boyfriend who traveled with my family, both have culinary backgrounds. We have worked in restaurants and understand what goes on behind the scenes. It is a cruise ship, not a michelin star restaurant. You are going to get par level food, yet it will satisfy you. Oh and remember, for the most part, your meals are free so if you are for some reason not satisfied order something else or indulge in a late night pizza. No one will judge you. My family and I ate at the Main Buffet, Guys Pig & Anchor BBQ Buffet, Guys Burger Joint, The Taco Stand, The Stir Fry Station, The Serenity Salad Area, The Pizzeria, The Meridian Dining Room (Your Time Dining), and The Italian Restaurant ($). We truly enjoyed all of the food, some more than the rest. However, I never complained about my meal. I would recommend The Taco Stand for breakfast (breakfast burritos were highly satisfying) and Guys Burgers for lunch (the burgers are juicy and the fries are perfectly crisp). As for dinner, we ate at The Meridian Dining Room around 6 o’clock each evening. To our luck, we were sat within 10 mins each time and were in and out in an hour or so (perfect if you’re trying to catch a show). I recommend using the app, it’s free and no need to purchase WiFi. With the app you can request a table and it saves a trip to the 5th floor just to be directed to the 3rd. Also to our luck we were sat in a similar section each evening, and our waiter was superb! Please be on the lookout for Andy and request him! He went above and beyond - he suggested dishes and drinks, gave us tips for when we were in port, and said hello (by name!) when we saw him around the ship. My family and I were blown away by his hospitality!
The Shows - My mom and dad were slightly disappointed with the shows, as they love theatre and there were no such shows on board. There were plenty of musicians and comedians, however. My boyfriend and I saw each of the four comedians (some twice)! I would recommend the 18+ shows because you will certainly laugh for the entire show. As for the musicians, I personally loved the duo called Imprint. They played pop songs with classical instruments. The musical chords and voices were one of kind. I would have purchase a CD if available, they were amazing. I do wish there was a magic show! A magician came up to our dinner table one night and performed five tricks on the spot. All of our jaws dropped in awe. I truly wish we could have seen more of his tricks through a performance. Even so, I was satisfied with the weeks worth of shows. There was always something going on an something for everyone. Even late at night there were options. My boyfriend and I watch many of the Dive In Movies that we’re offered. You’re given a blanket and popcorn and you can lay down and enjoy a movie. I would recommend getting there a half an hour early to grab a comfy chair on Deck 11. The same is true for all the shows on board. Arrive half an hour early or you’ll be dissatisfied. There are a lot of people on the ship and small areas for performances. If you truly want to watch something, plan accordingly.
The Pools - My whole family is early risers, so we never had an issue with lounge chairs. We were outside between 8AM and 9AM and were always able to grab six chairs next to each other in the Aft Pool Area. There are umbrellas here and it is much less crowded than the main pool. With that said, the pools themselves are still crowded. There were only two pools open, unless you were in the Havana Suites. The pools were small, way too small. My family would simply jump in and out to cool off. There was no way with all of the reckless children that we could actually enjoy a swim. Thus, my boyfriend and I attempted to enjoy the adult only area as much as we could. I do wish there was an adult only pool in the Serenity Area, however. The hot tubs are pointless when it is 90° outside.
The Ports - In Grand Turk my boyfriend and I did a Paddle Boarding and Snorkeling Excursion. It was a perfect day and a very reasonable in price, $70 a person for a three hour experience. In San Juan my family and I explored the shops and then we walked to the historic site by the ship. It was only $7 a person and with the city views from above the stone walls, it was well worth it! In Amber Cove we all stayed in the free pool area. It was welcoming to have a huge pool to actually swim in. There were also water slides to choose from, which were free to enjoy. My boyfriend and I also paid an extra $20 a person for the all day zip line pass. I was a worthwhile purchase! I truly had the most fun in Amber Cove. The place is gorgeous and there is no need to do an excursion to take in all of its glory.
Overall - My brother and I have been on three cruises, and my parents have been on four. This was the first for my boyfriend. Obviously, everyone has expectations. Some cruises do better in some areas than others, however I believe The Carnival Horizon was well rounded. For a newer ship, they could have had more clear improvements. However, the staff was always there to make up for any lacking areas. We all enjoyed our time on board!
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