1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Carnival Horizon
We had a great time on this cruise and I would sail on the same ship again. That being said, it was imperfect. I thought the staff on the ship was great. By the pool a waitress asked if I wanted a drink, suggested a drink, brought it quickly, and later remembered what I'd had and corrected the number when I accidentally gave her one of the kids cards. The drinks were sufficiently strong. I mostly drank the wine I brought from home on the cruise but we're not big drinkers. If you need anything from the front desk you have to go in person. They never pick up the phone no matter how long you hold. I tried calling 4 times while on the ship. The lines weren't long in person. None of the little items I lost on the ship were ever turned in, that speaks to the guests rather than the staff. We got a massage package that was deeply discounted if you got 3 massages. Mel (a woman) gave me all my massages and I was very happy with her. She had strong hands, followed my cue on how much chatting to do, was very warm and personable, and never tweaked my back nor did I have to tell her to stop doing anything, which I commonly have to do with other massages. I was even a little late one day because I got the time wrong and she let me have the full massage time because she didn't have another booking afterwards. The buffet was sub par. It seemed like they were phasing it out that style of service. On Princess, Costa, MSC, Norwegian, and previously on Carnival there were full buffets with lots of things to try, this buffet had maybe ten things. The food tasted good but we wound up going to the dining room with the kids every night because it seemed like there was more variety there. Also if you wanted a sandwich, hamburger, or hotdog from the buffet area there were long waits. There was never much variety of fruits at the buffet, I never saw a berry or a grape. There were some delicious and beautiful cakes at lunch that you had to wait on line to get but then at dinner there would be pre-cut sheet cakes with flavors I didn't find appealing. My guess is that they prefer for people to eat in the dining rooms. My general sense of the ship is that they added bedrooms without providing much additional living space. As a result the main lobby/atrium was tiny. When there was live music they played from a higher floor while the chairs were downstairs and you had to look up. It was odd. Despite being the biggest ship I've ever been on there didn't seem to be more musicians, bars, or events. The kids didn't want to go to camp. The camp however looked pretty fun with lots of high energy activities like a DJ guiding them in dancing, art projects, toys to play with, two playgrounds that were open to the ship when the camp wasn't using them. There was no real nap area however so we had to watch the kids nap in our room. There were a couple of cushions for resting but the counselors said the kids would have to ask to nap, that they don't really do that and there was no quiet area. The waiting area for camp could be a nicer play area if they added a few toys that weren't just for babies. The toddler area seemed more geared to 2 year olds than 5 year olds. On the positive side, there was a large staff and my allergy kid never had a problem. A special call out to Kai Kai here, she was a manager and she and her staff always made special efforts to help my kids separate and join in the fun, even when they didn't want to. The camp seemed pretty good as these things go. People were nice about the kids being in the pools. Early morning the pools were fun, by noon they were pretty packed. The hot tubs allowed children and other passengers were very tolerant. My kids loved the recreation area that included extensive miniature golf with no wait, corn hole, ping pong, soccer pool, and foozball. My oldest wasn't big enough for the big water slides but there was a small one that he was briefly interested in. The splash area is nice but I was glad my kids were potty trained and could use the pools. The lifeguards aren't paying any attention and seem to wander off and speak to anyone who comes by. Watch your kids in these crowded pools. One really nice thing we did was watching a movie while we swam after dinner. There was also a 4D movie experience but it scared my gentle 4 year old and we left early. One day we went to a parade that wound up being more than that with an interactive show, we didn't follow the schedule much so there might have been more like that. The character breakfast was inexpensive and nice. It seemed undersold. It was the first time it was offered that they would make special food for my son with allergies. I wish someone from the cruise would have reached out to me earlier in the cruise about accommodating him before that point I just guessed at which foods would be safe -- the ship has some serious nut cross contamination at the salad bar. Most of the dried pasta on the cruise had egg in it, to the disappointment of my son. He ate a lot of french fries over the course of the week, so much so that I'm not sure it's his favorite food anymore. There are only two teppanyaki tables, explaining why it's so hard to get a reservation. I joined the waitlist before we cruised and managed to go. It was excellent though the upcharge is high at $25-30 per person depending what you order and I even had to pay that for each of my toddlers. We went to the mongolian grill restaurant at lunch when there was no upcharge and they served a bowl of noodles mixed with stir fried meats and vegetable of your choice. It was tasty but underwhelming as a restaurant. It's located above the buffet so I just ran downstairs to grab lunch for my son which he ate along with us. At Turks and Caicos we went to the beach that was walking distance from the dock. We paid $25 for two chairs and an umbrella in the front row. The water happened to be dirty with seaweed when we went. I'm told that it's normally clear. We had a great time and I loved that we were so close to the ship. Another ship docked as we wanted to leave and they wouldn't let us back onto the dock and we had to wait at least ten minutes, if I had known this was going to happen I just would have left a few minutes earlier, this was incredibly frustrating feeling trapped. We stayed on the ship in San Juan. In the Dominican Republic we did the ship excursion to Ocean World and loved it. It was a short drive. We saw some water shows (come a bit early if you want to sit). We got to hold some macaws and have other small birds land on us.There's a different show every half hour but if you skip a show you can see the rest of the park without walking in a crowd. At the end of the park is a small, calm beach where we had an absolutely great time swimming, they provided toddler life jackets. I bought beers for $3 and popsicles for $2. It was heaven. This excursion would likely be dull to adults but it couldn't have been more perfect for my 2 and 4 year olds. Not too big, we didn't see everything but we saw enough. I'd happily go again. Honestly I loved this trip. We were busy. The kids were happy. The crew was helpful and warm. I liked the ports. I'd do it again in a second. I'd probably even book the same room.

Great with toddlers

Carnival Horizon Cruise Review by littlechip

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2018
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Family Harbor Suite
We had a great time on this cruise and I would sail on the same ship again. That being said, it was imperfect.

I thought the staff on the ship was great. By the pool a waitress asked if I wanted a drink, suggested a drink, brought it quickly, and later remembered what I'd had and corrected the number when I accidentally gave her one of the kids cards. The drinks were sufficiently strong. I mostly drank the wine I brought from home on the cruise but we're not big drinkers.

If you need anything from the front desk you have to go in person. They never pick up the phone no matter how long you hold. I tried calling 4 times while on the ship. The lines weren't long in person. None of the little items I lost on the ship were ever turned in, that speaks to the guests rather than the staff.

We got a massage package that was deeply discounted if you got 3 massages. Mel (a woman) gave me all my massages and I was very happy with her. She had strong hands, followed my cue on how much chatting to do, was very warm and personable, and never tweaked my back nor did I have to tell her to stop doing anything, which I commonly have to do with other massages. I was even a little late one day because I got the time wrong and she let me have the full massage time because she didn't have another booking afterwards.

The buffet was sub par. It seemed like they were phasing it out that style of service. On Princess, Costa, MSC, Norwegian, and previously on Carnival there were full buffets with lots of things to try, this buffet had maybe ten things. The food tasted good but we wound up going to the dining room with the kids every night because it seemed like there was more variety there. Also if you wanted a sandwich, hamburger, or hotdog from the buffet area there were long waits. There was never much variety of fruits at the buffet, I never saw a berry or a grape. There were some delicious and beautiful cakes at lunch that you had to wait on line to get but then at dinner there would be pre-cut sheet cakes with flavors I didn't find appealing. My guess is that they prefer for people to eat in the dining rooms.

My general sense of the ship is that they added bedrooms without providing much additional living space. As a result the main lobby/atrium was tiny. When there was live music they played from a higher floor while the chairs were downstairs and you had to look up. It was odd. Despite being the biggest ship I've ever been on there didn't seem to be more musicians, bars, or events.

The kids didn't want to go to camp. The camp however looked pretty fun with lots of high energy activities like a DJ guiding them in dancing, art projects, toys to play with, two playgrounds that were open to the ship when the camp wasn't using them. There was no real nap area however so we had to watch the kids nap in our room. There were a couple of cushions for resting but the counselors said the kids would have to ask to nap, that they don't really do that and there was no quiet area. The waiting area for camp could be a nicer play area if they added a few toys that weren't just for babies. The toddler area seemed more geared to 2 year olds than 5 year olds. On the positive side, there was a large staff and my allergy kid never had a problem. A special call out to Kai Kai here, she was a manager and she and her staff always made special efforts to help my kids separate and join in the fun, even when they didn't want to. The camp seemed pretty good as these things go.

People were nice about the kids being in the pools. Early morning the pools were fun, by noon they were pretty packed. The hot tubs allowed children and other passengers were very tolerant. My kids loved the recreation area that included extensive miniature golf with no wait, corn hole, ping pong, soccer pool, and foozball. My oldest wasn't big enough for the big water slides but there was a small one that he was briefly interested in. The splash area is nice but I was glad my kids were potty trained and could use the pools. The lifeguards aren't paying any attention and seem to wander off and speak to anyone who comes by. Watch your kids in these crowded pools. One really nice thing we did was watching a movie while we swam after dinner. There was also a 4D movie experience but it scared my gentle 4 year old and we left early. One day we went to a parade that wound up being more than that with an interactive show, we didn't follow the schedule much so there might have been more like that.

The character breakfast was inexpensive and nice. It seemed undersold. It was the first time it was offered that they would make special food for my son with allergies. I wish someone from the cruise would have reached out to me earlier in the cruise about accommodating him before that point I just guessed at which foods would be safe -- the ship has some serious nut cross contamination at the salad bar. Most of the dried pasta on the cruise had egg in it, to the disappointment of my son. He ate a lot of french fries over the course of the week, so much so that I'm not sure it's his favorite food anymore.

There are only two teppanyaki tables, explaining why it's so hard to get a reservation. I joined the waitlist before we cruised and managed to go. It was excellent though the upcharge is high at $25-30 per person depending what you order and I even had to pay that for each of my toddlers. We went to the mongolian grill restaurant at lunch when there was no upcharge and they served a bowl of noodles mixed with stir fried meats and vegetable of your choice. It was tasty but underwhelming as a restaurant. It's located above the buffet so I just ran downstairs to grab lunch for my son which he ate along with us.

At Turks and Caicos we went to the beach that was walking distance from the dock. We paid $25 for two chairs and an umbrella in the front row. The water happened to be dirty with seaweed when we went. I'm told that it's normally clear. We had a great time and I loved that we were so close to the ship. Another ship docked as we wanted to leave and they wouldn't let us back onto the dock and we had to wait at least ten minutes, if I had known this was going to happen I just would have left a few minutes earlier, this was incredibly frustrating feeling trapped.

We stayed on the ship in San Juan. In the Dominican Republic we did the ship excursion to Ocean World and loved it. It was a short drive. We saw some water shows (come a bit early if you want to sit). We got to hold some macaws and have other small birds land on us.There's a different show every half hour but if you skip a show you can see the rest of the park without walking in a crowd. At the end of the park is a small, calm beach where we had an absolutely great time swimming, they provided toddler life jackets. I bought beers for $3 and popsicles for $2. It was heaven. This excursion would likely be dull to adults but it couldn't have been more perfect for my 2 and 4 year olds. Not too big, we didn't see everything but we saw enough. I'd happily go again.

Honestly I loved this trip. We were busy. The kids were happy. The crew was helpful and warm. I liked the ports. I'd do it again in a second. I'd probably even book the same room.
littlechip’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages Under 3
Ages 3 to 6
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Carnival Horizon price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Family Harbor Suite
Cabin FS 2414
The room was very nice both attractive and spacious. There was constant noise at nice, clanking or things dropping, we're good sleepers so this didn't impact us. We had a shower and a tub with a shower. We brought a folding step stool to help the kids reach the toilet. We could have had two fold out beds for the kids but we chose to use a crib for the youngest. The kids area had a heavy curtain we used to block out some light. Gerry made up our room twice a day. He was very helpful. My husband tipped him and his helper at the start of the cruise and we never wanted for anything. When there was sand on the rug, Gerry rushed to vacuum it. He managed to do everything while we were out of the room, which I've seen hotels struggle with because we have a long afternoon nap time.

The lounge area that comes with the room is so great. The breakfast is basically the same as what's offered at the full buffet so you can eat in your room, in the lounge, the family can eat separately, you can grab a tea or coffee or ice cream cone at your leisure. I absolutely loved having the lounge and it was well maintained and the staff was nice.

This room is perfectly located. We were near the elevators but didn't hear them. Near the lounge but not bothered by that. One flight from the fine dining restaurant. An elevator ride from the buffet and the pool we liked without having to walk the length of the ship.
Deck 2 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews