Colleen McDaniel
Cruise Critic Editor-In-Chief
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Cabins

Carnival Horizon offers cabin choices in spades, whether you're seeking comfortable and cozy interior space, family- and spa-themed options or suites. Just don't count on a ton of room in any category. Even the largest cabins onboard are only 345 square feet. That said, entry-level cabins start at 185 square feet, fairly large by industry standards, and all layouts take full advantage of every inch of space so you won't feel cramped. Cabins tend to be pretty basic, with few bells and whistles and little decoration. The ship's 1,980 cabins include 25 accessible rooms across all categories along with hundreds of connecting cabins ideal for family and group travel. Cabins can accommodate up to five people, depending on the configuration and location on the ship. The ship doesn't have cabins specifically designed for solo travelers, who likely will have to pay a premium, called a single supplement, for any room they choose.

All cabins on Carnival Horizon include beds, telephone, hair dryer, safe, unstocked mini-fridge, interactive flat-screen television and individual climate control. (We're not crazy about the hair dryer option, which is 1,200 watts and permanently affixed to the drawer in the desk. It also lacks a diffuser and requires you to hold the button the entire time you use it. If you're worried about hair-styling while sailing, we recommend packing your own.) Most cabins feature twin beds that can be combined for one king-sized bed, but a handful can't be converted and offer options such as two twins, a twin and an upper berth (where a bed lowers from the ceiling) or a twin plus convertible sofa bed.

Most cabins -- interior, outside and standard balcony -- are decorated in blues, yellows and oranges and feature medium-colored wood-veneer furniture. Each of these cabins include a sofa and coffee table, desk with ottoman and mirror, nightstands, two closets and shelves. There's ample storage space for a weeklong cruise, though we would have liked a few more drawers for storing smaller items.

Flat-screen TVs include channels like Discovery and Cartoon Network, along with news and sports channels. On-demand movies are available, including a few free options. Each cabin has European and U.S. outlets and USB ports as well. These are located on the desk, near the mirror. Sadly, you won't find any bedside outlet or USB options, a missed opportunity as this has become a standard requirement for many modern travelers.

Bathrooms feature toilets, sinks/vanities flanked by small shelves and adequately sized showers with curtains (rather than glass or plastic doors) that stick to your body as soon as they get wet. Bathrobes and slippers are included, as are a few toiletries -- bar soaps, shampoo and shower gel. Bring your own conditioner.

Families have a number of cabin category options, including the ship's Family Harbor cabins. Most rooms can accommodate cribs, and a number of Deluxe Ocean View cabins across Decks 1, 2 and 3 have junior-sized bathtubs.

On our sailing, our cabin attendant the first day asked how we'd like our cabin to be taken care of: in the morning, in the evening or both (both being a standard on virtually every cruise line). We liked having the option and elected for morning-only service.

Interior: Horizon's standard interior cabins come in at 185 square feet and are available on virtually every deck across the ship. A handful of interior cabins, on Deck 10 at the front of the ship, are 220 square feet. While classified as interior, these cabins feature picture windows with obstructed views. Similarly, Horizon has a few interior cabins that have portholes; these also measure 220 square feet.

Oceanview: Ocean View cabins, those featuring picture windows, are either 185 or 220 square feet, depending on the location on the ship. These offer the addition of a third closet, so there's more than enough storage space even for longer cruises. This category also offers Deluxe Ocean View cabins, which are 230 square feet. These cabins offer two bathrooms each -- one with a tub/shower combination, the second with just a shower. Tubs, which are shorter than most standard tubs, are ideally sized for kids but not so much for adults. Deluxe Ocean View cabins can accommodate three to four people, depending on configuration.

Balcony: Carnival Horizon's balcony cabins measure 185 square feet, and all standard cabins in this category come with 35-square-foot balconies. Each balcony has two mesh chairs and a small metal table, big enough to hold a couple of drinks but not large enough to accommodate a meal. Cruisers traveling together in connecting cabins can request balcony dividers be removed to create one long shared balcony. Cove balcony cabins, all located on Deck 2, come with 45-square-foot balconies. Premium balcony cabins, located near the rear corners on Decks 6, 7 and 8, have 75-square-foot balconies. Premium balcony cabins on Decks 7 and 8 are ideal for group travel because, while the rooms themselves don't connect, they offer the option to share veranda space with cabins on either side.

Havana: Carnival Horizon's Cabana cabins are among our favorites at sea, in large part because passengers staying in these cabins have exclusive access to the Havana Pool (Deck 5) complex until 7 p.m. This means passengers staying here can avoid the crowds that hit the Lido Deck while enjoying private pool and hot tub time. Passengers staying in Havana cabins must be at least 12 years old.

Carnival calls the cabins in the Havana area "cabanas," and most are located on Deck 5, though a number can be found on Decks 6, 7, 8 and 9 as well. All cabanas have a Cuban feel when it comes to design, with bright turquoises and lime greens, plantation shutters and light wood tones. Photographs of Cuba serve as the artwork. Cabins also have their own exclusive "Havana Experience" bathrobes and bathroom amenities. Interior cabins are available -- at 185 square feet, the same as standard interiors. But our favorite cabin on Horizon is the Ocean View Stateroom with Patio Cabana. The interior is 185 square feet and pretty much the same as the standard balcony, but the patio -- at 100 square feet -- sets it apart. The patio, which includes a chair, padded lounge chair, hammock chair and table, faces the Havana section's private lanai -- an outdoor promenade exclusively for Havana passengers. A knee-high white metal fence separates the patio from the lanai, and passengers simply need to open a gate to walk out directly onto the promenade.

Four Havana Suites also are available. At 260 square feet, these suites each feature a room divider and curtain that can create separation between the bedroom and living area, which includes a sofa, chair, coffee table, desk and ottoman. Bathrooms feature dual sinks. These cabins have the same 100-square-foot patio configuration the Ocean View Staterooms have.

On Decks 6, 7, 8 and 9, you'll find Aft-View Extended Balcony cabins. These face the back of the ship and come in at 185 square feet. What sets them apart is the 75-square-foot balconies. For a real wow factor, book the Premium Vista Balcony category Havana cabana. These cabins have verandas that wrap around the corners of the ship and feel simply enormous.

Family Harbor: Passengers staying in the Family Harbor get exclusive access to the Family Harbor Lounge, a secluded spot on Deck 2. The lounge, decorated with a nautical theme heavy on navy blues and deep reds, offers families a dedicated concierge, large-screen TVs, family movies (plus popcorn!), video game consoles with games and movies available to check out and board games. (The concierge can handle tasks like registering the kids for youth programs or taking care of signup for Night Owls babysitting.) Families can also visit the lounge to grab a continental breakfast, snacks in the afternoon, and cookies and milk in the evenings. Frozen yogurt and soft serve ice cream are available in the lounge 24/7. Additionally, for families staying in the Family Harbor, kids under 12 eat free in most specialty restaurants, and one free evening of Night Owls babysitting service is included.

Cabins, all of which are located on Deck 2, are decorated in deep reds, bright whites and navy blues, with throw pillows and bed runners reminiscent of nautical flags. (We adore the buoy-shaped bedside lamps!) Families can choose from a variety of cabin categories, from interiors (185 square feet) that accommodate two people all the way up to suites that can hold five. Many of the Family Harbor cabins connect, so larger families can be accommodated as well. Family Harbor Deluxe Ocean View and Family Harbor Suites feature two bathrooms: one full bathroom with toilet, sink and shower and one featuring a small bathtub and sink.

The ship's 16 Family Harbor Suites are 275 square feet and have 65-square-foot balconies. They feature curtains that can separate living areas from sleeping areas, an especially handy feature when traveling with little ones with early bedtimes. Balconies include two patio chairs and a small table.

Cloud 9: Carnival Horizon has 98 cabins across multiple categories as well as six suites that give passengers access to a whole range of spa perks, including exclusive packages and discounts. Cabins are located on Decks 11, 12 and 14, and while the two-story spa is located on Decks 12 and 14, all passengers booked in Cloud 9 cabins are eligible for the perks. (Perks apply only to the first two adult passengers staying in each cabin.) Perhaps the best of the perks is full-cruise access to Carnival Horizon's thermal suite, which includes steam and dry heat chambers, a large whirlpool and two experience showers. Additionally, each passenger gets a scrub kit, two Pathway to Yoga or Pathway to Pilates classes, one body composition analysis, spa bathrobes and slippers for use during the cruise and a full range of Elemis bath products, including shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion and soap.

Decor for Cloud 9 Spa cabins is designed to be tranquil, with soothing marine blues and greens, and pastel yellows, along with light wood and soft finishes. Each suite, which accommodates a maximum of two people, includes a sofa, armchair and table as well as a walk-in closet. The bathroom has dual sinks and a jetted bathtub/shower combination.

Suites: Carnival Horizon features three categories of suites, all of which can accommodate two to four passengers, depending on category and configuration. Suite passengers are entitled to priority embarkation and debarkation in all ports, guaranteed main dining room preferences, priority tendering and a complimentary bag of laundry service per sailing.

Junior Suite: There are two Junior Suites on Carnival Horizon, both of them coming in at 275 square feet, with 35-square-foot balconies -- both of them obstructed by the ship's bulkheads. They're positioned over the bridge on Deck 9, and they feature windows that face a walkway open to other passengers, so foot traffic is fairly common here. (The windows are tinted so passersby can't see in.) Junior Suites can accommodate three people. Each has a good-sized seating area with convertible sofa and coffee table. They also have walk-in changing areas. Bathrooms have double sinks along with a shower/jetted tub combination.

Ocean Suite: Carnival Horizon's Ocean Suites measure 275 square feet with 65-square-foot balconies. There's a seating area with sofa, armchair, cocktail table and side table, plus a built-in entertainment center. Bathrooms include dual sinks and jetted tub/shower combinations. Suites also have walk-in changing areas with closets and vanities.

(This category actually includes one cabin that is 450 square feet, available for passengers requiring a fully accessible room. This cabin has a 100-square-foot balcony.)

Grand Suite: Each of the ship's eight Grand Suites measures 345 square feet with an 85-square-foot balcony. The suite features a seating area with sectional couch and armchair, and a cocktail and end table, while the bed area includes a desk. The suite also features a good-sized walk-in dressing area with a vanity and makeup mirror, plus plenty of closet space. The bathroom includes dual sinks, a bidet and a jetted tub/shower combo. Balconies are surprisingly narrow; lounge chairs must be positioned sideways to fit.

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Deck:
Deck 1
Deck 2
Lobby Deck
Mezzanine Deck
Promenade Deck
Deck 6
Deck 7
Deck 8
Deck 9
Lido Deck
Deck 11
Spa & Sports Deck
Deck 14
Serenity Deck

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