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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I had very high expectations for this ship before I boarded. Considering it was brand new (only 4 months old when we sailed) and all of the bells and whistles that were advertised, I knew this would be a fantastic vacation. I was wrong. I ... Read More
I had very high expectations for this ship before I boarded. Considering it was brand new (only 4 months old when we sailed) and all of the bells and whistles that were advertised, I knew this would be a fantastic vacation. I was wrong. I was traveling with 9 people-5 adults and 4 children in 3 different cabins. The embarkation process was super easy and organized. I was happy with this as we all know how difficult it can be rounding up large groups of people and especially children. The service was awesome as well. Everyone on board was friendly and helpful. We loved the cruise director Mike and his team. They were funny, personable and engaging. The food was great and the head waiter Gus at the Reflections Restaurant was very good. He remembered our names when we saw him the next day after meeting us just one time the night before. Now the downside...this ship wasn't clean. Everytime I went into a restroom in a public area there was toilet paper on the floor, water all over the sink and an awful smell. There was dirt built up in the corner like it had never been cleaned. Again this ship wasn't that old so I'm not sure how this happened. We would walk down the hall any time of day and find dirty dishes outside the cabins which wouldn't be a problem except we would go back down the hall hours later and it was still there. When trying to find a place to eat at the buffet, there were always dirty dishes piled on abandoned tables. I've been on multiple cruises/cruise lines and never experienced this before. I also thought there would be more for the kids to do. There weren't many activities for the kids that didn't cost money. The IMAX theater, thrill theater and arcade were all very expensive. Overall it was a good time. If you do choose this ship, just be sure to lower your expectations and you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I love the layout and amenities of the new ship, Horizon, the indoor and outdoor spaces were great. My problem was with the food and staff. The free food was horrible. Very few options, low quality. If you don't pay for your food, ... Read More
I love the layout and amenities of the new ship, Horizon, the indoor and outdoor spaces were great. My problem was with the food and staff. The free food was horrible. Very few options, low quality. If you don't pay for your food, you will not be happy. Very little or poor quality alcohol in drinks. The staff was mostly not helpful and did not take any extra steps for you. For example, I arrived early at the dining hall for breakfast. I was told they didn't open until 8:30. That was it. Staff could have told me where my other options were if I wanted to eat immediately and not wait. This is one of many such examples. There was only one show, the staff show. Carnival takes nickel and diming to new heights by charging $5 to use the on ship app. After paying for the cruise, I find this additional charge insulting, it should be a free courtesy. The bingo was on paper, no tablets??? New ships or not NCL and Royal have Carnival beat in every area. My only plus was my room in the beautiful Havana Cabana area. Very exclusive, the only thing that made the cruise bareable, seriously. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I did not have high expectations of Carnival as I had read too many bad reviews regarding this line but I was pleasantly surprised at the experience. Yes, it is a party ship. It's known as the FUN ship for a reason. If you're looking for ... Read More
I did not have high expectations of Carnival as I had read too many bad reviews regarding this line but I was pleasantly surprised at the experience. Yes, it is a party ship. It's known as the FUN ship for a reason. If you're looking for quiet, there are places to go on the ship to get that, you just have to find them. CABIN - We divided our family of 5 into two interior rooms. The rooms are not that important to us as we hardly spend any time in them. They are small but didn't bother us as we're not big people but if you are on the larger side, they will feel very small. Housekeeping is lovely. FOOD - There were good things and bad things about the food. If you've cruised before, you'll be disappointed at the lack of choice at the buffet. They have separated stations into restaurants. So no pizza at the buffet, you'll need to go to Pizza place at back of ship. No hamburgers at lunch, you need to go to Guy's Burger joint (highly recommended). There is no pasta at the buffet, they want you to go to Italian restaurant. And there's no international station, they have Asian restaurants to take care of that. All of these are free at lunch, but not at dinner. Lunch had amazing cakes for dessert but they were absent at dinner buffet which is disappointing. We never ate in the main dining room because our kids wouldn't sit through that. We also noticed that they served basically the same food at the buffet with the exception of the special menu like lobster or escargot. Breakfast at Seaday Brunch is amazing, a step up from the breakfast buffet. Pizzas at back of ship are delicious too but line can be long. Overall, it was good food but some may find lack of choice at buffet a turn off. It does waste less food. I've found other cruises tend to recycle the leftover food for the next meal. ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS - Our kids loved SkyRide, SkyCourse and the SportsSquare. There can be a long wait for SkyRide so do it as soon as you can or just before it closes. Beware that if it's too windy, they'll close it, along with the SkyCourse. My kids loved the Clubhouse which had ping pong, soccer billiards and a 6 player foosball. We paid for the Thrill Theater which was okay, a little short (13 min.) but we had onboard credit. We also watched the Imax movie. Think they should reduce the price from $12.95 to $10 to encourage more people to go. My kids loved the outdoor evening movies with free popcorn. That was really nice. Sometimes hard to find a seat so go early or go halfway into movie as people tend to leave. Pools are warm which is nice. Pool at back of ship is less busy but they are both small for how many people are on board. Only two hot tubs for families are at the back of the ship and they are small. Note that both pools are salt water. Googles are recommended or it stings little ones eyes. Waterworks was a lot of fun for kids but could use more space for parents to sit. Waterslides were a bit of a wait but kids didn't mind too much. Warning that they will close if it's too windy. Both Waterworks and SkyRide/SkyCourse tended to close at 6pm. We didn't enroll our kids in the kids club as they were happy to stay with us. Our two older kids (13 & 16) are too shy to go to teen club. ADULTS - Serenity, the adults-only section is not really serene at all. It's just a big party place for adults. If you're looking for quiet, you're better off going to 5th floor outside which have loungers. Dislike that there's smoking in the casino and on some decks near the pool. Entertainment at night was good. Hasbro game show is really fun for kids. Comedians were just okay. Musicians on board were great, really talented. Elevators need work. For some reason, you push a floor and even though 7 elevators look free, it chooses the elevator that's already going to 4 other floors. I don't take them often, but we were on floor 3 and lido deck is on 10. Ship layout takes some getting used to. Some decks don't allow you to go from end to end because of the IMAX theatre which blocks it. That could've been designed better. Even arcade and Circle C club are somewhat hidden. There aren't a lot of onboard shops which was different from other ships. They also have strange hours. Our only Port was Bermuda. Highly recommend the Crystal Caves. We went to Horseshoe Bay beach. Beautiful pink sand with very few pebbles. If you're up to it, you can climb the rock mountain by the bar for a beautiful view of the beach. Beach umbrella and two loungers was $45 to rent. There's no shade otherwise and it was quite hot. There are food and beverage huts and bathroom with showers. We've been to Bermuda before so we knew we could take public transit to get to Horseshoe Bay. It's $9 roundtrip on the bus, $5 for kids. I saw transfers at dock for $7 per person each way, $14 roundtrip. So this was cheaper but more crowded. Bus only comes every 30 minutes too. Overall I really liked Carnival and as the Horizon is the newest ship, it was very beautiful and clean. There was a lot for kids to do and a lot of great food and drink options, all of which were reasonably priced. I would consider doing Carnival again if I was bringing my kids. If only traveling with my husband, I would probably not as seeing all the kids would make me feel guilty for not bringing mine. I wouldn't recommend Carnival too if you're just traveling as a couple. Celebrity or Holland America would be better. Royal Caribbean is good for older kids. Other option for families is Norwegian but I think Horizon beats them. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Let me just start by mentioning that we've been on 7 other cruises with various cruise lines including Carnival. I would have never booked this trip peak season at such a high price except that my husband had very little vacation time and ... Read More
Let me just start by mentioning that we've been on 7 other cruises with various cruise lines including Carnival. I would have never booked this trip peak season at such a high price except that my husband had very little vacation time and was flying out of JFK airport the day we arrived back at the Manhattan cruise terminal. In other words, this was the only cruise that would allow for us to leave from a local port, and for my husband to catch his flight on time. I was concerned about the high cost of this short cruise and the negative reviews in which I had read. I had prepared my family for gross food and an overcrowded ship in advance based on what I had read. However, we were pleasantly surprised and had a good trip. Population: We cruised with a very culturally diverse group of passengers most of which were families of all different age ranges. There weren't too many young babies probably due to the high cost. Most passengers were respectful of others and fun to be around. Embarkation: You are assigned a specific time to arrive at the terminal. Parking at the Manhattan Cruise terminal was plentiful and we were on board about 20 minutes after arriving. In all of our years of cruising, we have never gotten on the ship so quickly. Cabin: We were on a sold out ship in balcony room 6277 which was nicely appointed with basic ammenities. Our balcony door made a loud squealing noise from the wind but this was fixed within 10 minutes of us calling the desk. We had prearranged a gift for our son which was damaged and it was replaced immediately after calling the front desk. The only downside about staying on the 6th floor is that you can hear the movies playing from IMAX theater and you can hear loud passengers on the 5th floor wrap around board walk. I would not recommend choosing this floor for these reasons. Our steward Abraham was amazing and met our needs without us ever asking for anything! Towel creatures were plentiful. Food: We were assigned to "anytime dining" and our sign and sail card told us where to go for our reservation. There was a desk in which we signed in and waited with a pager for our table to be ready. We never had a wait except on lobster night when it was about 20 minutes. Food in the main dining room was typical cruise ship quality and the service was good. Specifically Vlad and his assistant were efficient and professional. There will always be the parents who allow their kids to scream and cry in the dining room but this is out of Carnival's control. The Lido deck buffet food is okay and typical for a cruise line however the choices are lacking and as other cruisers have mentioned, if you are dieting, have food allergies, or are vegetarian, you might have trouble finding a suitable meal. There are way too many processed food options on this ship but these items seemed to be a huge hit among cruisers. The Pig and Anchor is free at lunch and delicious. There is also a burger joint, taco bar, sandwhich station, and pizza place which are all excellent however have 15-30 minute lines on average during peak times. They are all open only at specific times with the pizza place being open around the clock. I recommend utilizing alternative options to the Lido buffet at non peak times. Soft serve ice cream is available around the clock. You can also eat breakfast in the main dining room which was wonderful. Antonio was our amazing waiter and we had wished we had eaten there every day rather than just the last day. It's quieter and the food is much better than the Lido. Service: Service in general was fantastic with staff always willing to help. While on the slides, a male worker saw me carrying up 2 tubes and took one to assist me. A female worker on Lido notived by tag and bra hanging out and fixed them for me. Our room steward was friendly and attentive. Sadu in the photo studio was extremely helpful. Once at that pizza parlor, my 7 year old spilled 1/2 of his pizza on the ground. A female worker immedately came to our assitance and offered to get him fresh pizza. I cannot say enough for the entire hard working staff on this ship. As far as service, you will not be dissapointed! Entertainment/Gym: I used the gym at 0800 and while busy, machines were plentiful. There is a huge sports deck that is the main hub. The water park is great if you catch it off peak. Otherwise it becomes so overcrowded that it's really not enjoyable. Pack your suit and head right to it when you first get on. The slides are so fun! Watch out for the burning hot deck though! The sky bikes were always a 40-80 minute wait. They were closed our last sea day due to rain and wind as was the rope walk. The rope walk is great and typically the line is only a few minutes but we experienced major hold ups due to people becoming scared or unable to get across the course. Sometimes this would cause huge jam ups on the cat walks. There are only 2 family pools and hot tubs which are packed all day long. This was a great dissapointment for us as you can barely get into one. There seemed to be enough loungers despite the small pools. The games, mini golf, and ping pong are all fun and typically available without a wait. Children's camp: Our 7 year old went on 2 days and cried when we told him that he must eat so it must have been great! The process for checking in and out was extremely efficient and we rarely waited in a line. Port: We only ported once at bermuda and we did the restless native sail and snorkel. It was a nice excursion but we were slightly dissapointed with the snorkeling as we saw fish, but had higher expectations. Disembarkation: The process seemed to go smoothly but we decided to hang out on board until most cruises had departed. We enjoyed a breakfast in the main restaraunt and this was relaxing and wonderful. Overall: There are 2 reasons that I will only give this ship 4 stars. The first is the crowds and the second reason was the high price for a short cruise. I could have taken (2) 1 week long cruises for the same price it costed for us to go on the Horizon for 4 nights. However, Carnival does a pretty good job of systematically handling the 5000 people on board. Prepare yourself for some lines and plan your day around less busy times as you would a theme park or Disney land. Even on a sold out ship, we had great service and a wonderful time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
The Horizon makes the occasional attempt at sophistication. There’s still a cruise formal night, where guests are expected to dress up for dinner in the main dining rooms. A library bar. Expensive suites and spa services. Diamond ... Read More
The Horizon makes the occasional attempt at sophistication. There’s still a cruise formal night, where guests are expected to dress up for dinner in the main dining rooms. A library bar. Expensive suites and spa services. Diamond jewelry for sale. Wild boar and escargot on menu for dinner. And, most successfully, there’s a really good new show in the theater – Celestial Strings – set all in white and with a live string trio providing some of the music. But if you’re looking for class and elegance you’re on the wrong cruise line. Carnival is home of the FUN ships – capital F. U. N. – and simple (some may call it low-brow) dining and entertainment is what they do best. The very hairy chest competition. The “Love and Marriage Show” version of the classic Newlywed Game. A group of (very drunk) friends singing Karaoke in lounge. PG-13 and R rated comedy and games. Not one, but two restaurants by Guy Fieri (burgers and BBQ). 24 hour pizza and ice cream. If you’re going on a cruise to have fun – and don’t have snobbish expectations – then you’ll do well on the Horizon. ---------- Cheers and Jeers – what good and what needs improvement on the Carnival Horizon Cheers! – for living up to the standards of being Carnival’s flagship cruise boat, with the best selection of activities, restaurants, and cabins in the fleet. Everything was new, clean, and working properly. Cheers! – for all the great technology on the boat. The free Carnival Hub app works great anywhere on the ship and lets you see maps, activity times, and even make dinner reservations from your own cell phone. The audio-visual tech on the boat is equally impressive – watching as the entire cast from the stage show leaves the theater and enters the atrium for an encore – and having the audio move seamlessly along with them – is impressive. The tablets used by some of the crew were also pretty cool. Jeers – for charging $5 to use the chat function on the app. This would have been convenient, but it should be free. Cheers – to our Cruise Director Mike. On a boat with over 1400 crew members, it’s amazing how much the charisma and enthusiasm of one guy makes such a difference. Mike was friendly, full of non-stop energy, and made everyone on the boat feel like he was their friend (all 5000 of us!). Cheers! – for trying something new with the elevator systems. Floors are select in advance, BEFORE boarding. Waiting for an elevator isn’t fun, and this should have helped. Jeers! – for poorly implementing the new elevator system. There aren’t enough signs explaining it, so everyone spent the first two days of the cruise confused and angry. Elevators were often over full, stopped at every floor, or stopped at floors were no one got on and off. In addition to more signage, the systems needs the ability to specify how many people are boarding, the ability to cancel reservations, and some way to know when an elevator is out of service (boarding was especially chaotic, as some elevators were being used for luggage, and no one had yet figured out how the system worked). Cheers! – for having a lot of great options for lunch. Guy’s burgers is a favorite for a reason, and Mexican at Blue Iguana is also very good. The key to both restaurants is freshness. Burgers, tacos, and burritos are all made fresh to order, and there’s a topping bar at each location full of fresh ingredients as well. Guy’s BBQ is great new addition to Carnival. It’s not the best BBQ I’ve ever had, but it’s still amazing to get real smoked BBQ on a ship, and it’s free at lunch. There were lots of other places we didn’t get to try as well –a Mongolian Wok, make your own pasta bar, deli, and more. Lunch is the best meal of the day on the Horizon. Unfortunately, lunch is the meal your most likely to miss because of port days. Jeers – for a kind of sad Afternoon tea. It was free, but if you wanted any tea better than Lipton you had to pay extra. Cheers! – for having an amazing and well trained staff. There are over 1400 people working on the boat from over 60 countries, and everyone we met was professional, friendly, and hard working. Many of the staff took the time to learn our names and greeted us when we passed by. Jeers! – for all the ways you can get ripped-off on the ship. In general, the more heavily something was promoted the worse of a deal it was. This includes: spa services, quasi-medical services (foot care and wellness treatments, etc), photo packages (some of which ran into the hundreds of dollars), shore excursions (almost always pricier on the boat than but directly on land), drink packages (either alcohol or soda), shopping (especially jewelry), and of course outright gambling (either Bingo or in the Casino). You could easily double the price of your cruise with these extras, most of which would be cheaper on land. Cheers! – for Carnival’s Cove Balcony cabins. These semi-enclosed balconies are available on the 2nd deck of the boat. They get less sun than balconies on higher decks, but otherwise are perfect. They are a great choice if you enjoy privacy (no one can look into the balcony from above) and being close to the water. Cheers and Jeers – for dinner in the main dining hall. Reflections (fixed time) and Meridian (flex time) are basically the same, although Meridian is larger and has two levels. The dining rooms are simply and modernly decorated but also somewhat generic looking and fall somewhat short of feeling luxurious. The menu generally looked good but execution was more mixed. Some dishes were pretty good (especially appetizers), where steaks and other main entrees were generally fair at best. Service in the restaurants, like everyone else on the boat, was generally excellent, however. Cheers! – for Celestial Strings. This is Carnival’s latest show and will be exclusively on the Horizon for about a year. Like Carnival’s other shows, it’s still basically just a musical revue (the cast sings and dances to a selection of popular songs; there’s no acting or dialogue) – but this new show is beautiful, the cast was top notch, and the live music (three musicians playing strings were part of the cast) was a nice addition. You’ll need to get to this show early to get seats, but there’s a pre-show performance to keep you entertained while you wait. Cheers! – for smooth and efficient embarkation, debarkation, and muster drills. Carnival puts a lot of effort into making sure everything runs efficiently and it shows. Our ship was at full capacity and yet we had no problems either in Bermuda or NYC. Cheers! – for never feeling too crowded, despite being at full capacity. With so many people on board it could have felt like a mob scene, but the boat rarely felt crowded. Lines were generally reasonable (except for peak times at Guy’s Burgers) – and there were always quiet spots on the ship to enjoy. ---------- For those that have read all this way, here are some “secrets” that we discovered while cruise. These are things that most guests on the boat, especially first time cruises, weren’t aware of. First, the highlight of our cruise was Carnival’s “Behind the Fun Tour”. This very limited tour isn’t promoted by Carnival, and you can only sign up for it on board at the Shore Excursions desk. Spots fill up quickly, so it’s best to sign as soon as you get on board. It’s not cheap ($95), but this 3-4 hour walking tour gets you access to things you’d otherwise never normally get to see and includes several nice bonus items as well (several photos, including one with the captain on the bridge, some snacks from the kitchen, a string backpack, wristband, and baseball cap). Highlights of our tour included the kitchens, crew recreation and dining areas, engine control room, bridge, and backstage of the main theater. We got a chance not only to see these restricted areas but also do talk to the crew that worked in them. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re interested in what it takes to make a ship like this run this tour is highly recommended. A free option to see a less crowded area of the ship is to explore the very front of the boat. Most of this area is not shown on the deck plans, and you’ll often need to walk through cabin hallways and out unmarked doors to access these areas. If I remember correctly, decks 4-7 are accessible, as well as decks 9-14. Deck 9 is above the bridge, and you can walk out above the “wings” on the sides of the bridge to see a great view down the side of the boat. There’s also a small seating area on Deck 14 with great views. The views from the front of the boat are amazing, but you will have to deal with the wind, which can be pretty intense. There is a key car slot near the door that's needed to turn on the lights in your cabin. Be aware that when you take out your card the outlets in the room will turn off as well; this is bad if you need to recharge batteries. As a work around, use a business card (ask your room steward for one) will work and let you leave the outlets on while you're out. The water slides and sky ride bikes can get crowded – these have some of the longest lines. The best time to enjoy these are as soon as you get on the boat. (As a bonus, you’ll have great views of NYC from the upper decks where these rides are located). Sign up for the earliest boarding possible, and you’ll have the ship nearly to yourself for a few hours. This is also a great time to enjoy the pools. Food tips: Most regular cruisers may already know this, but you are always free to order multiple items from the dinner menu in the main restaurants. Want seafood and steak? Just order both entrees. This goes for appetizers and desserts as well. We did this nearly every night and it made the meal a lot more enjoyable. Also, mixing and matching from the food choices on the Lido deck is a great idea. Guy’s burgers has a suggestion to try salsa from Blue Iguana as a burger topping, but don’t stop there. My wife’s favorite was soft serve ice-cream from the Lido Marketplace topped with bacon from Guy’s burger bar. ---------- Conclusion: This was our first time on a cruise and we had a lot of fun. Cruising out of NYC made things so much easier and more relaxing. The Horizon isn’t the biggest or the fanciest boat out there, but it might be the most fun. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This is my 10th cruise, and my 2nd, and last, on Carnival, it was also the most expensive cruise that I have ever taken, and was not worth the money. I could have taken a 7 day cruise for less money. The Horizon is a brand new ship. HUGE ... Read More
This is my 10th cruise, and my 2nd, and last, on Carnival, it was also the most expensive cruise that I have ever taken, and was not worth the money. I could have taken a 7 day cruise for less money. The Horizon is a brand new ship. HUGE but the passenger to crew ratio is not appropriate. The crew was very friendly and helpful, but finding a waiter on the open deck for drinks was ridiculous. I took this cruise because it fit in with my schedule, only 4 days from New York to Bermuda and back. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, expect to wait at least a half hour in the waiting area before they call your number to board. Got on the ship at 11:45, but you can not put things in your room yet because they are still cleaning it, which I expected. Elevators operate differently, and are good once you get used to how they work. We were hungry from our long trip to get there and expected the buffet to be open...it was not, and the only place to eat was at Guys B-B-Q. The lines were ridiculous and there was only limited tables to sit and eat. Food was not that good, but I was really hungry. That is the only time you can eat for FREE at Guys B-B-Q, during the week you have to pay to eat there. All of the free eating areas are small buffet style, lines to get food are long and the food choices are very limited, compared to other cruises I have been on. The buffets also close early and the only FREE food is a burger and fries line, or a taco line, or a pizza line, and when I say line...imagine waiting for at least 10 minutes or longer and the food was not worth waiting for. The position of these food venues were designed poorly and blocked doorways to get to other parts of the ship. The 2 pools were smaller than my regulation size home pool, and of course overtaken by all of the children on board. There is a nice Adults Only section on the ship, but good luck getting a chair there. The rule is 40 minutes for a saved seat and your towel will be removed...well, I saw towels there for hours, I finally moved them to sit down. Restrooms on the public decks, casino, dining rooms were few and far between. I had to walk to the other side of the ship at dinner to find the closest restroom and then I had to wait in line again. There is a smoking section for those that smoke. The Dr. Seuss Waterworks is a fun waterpark for the kids, and there is a section with miniature golf, ping pong tables, corn hole game, fooseball, and pool tables. The zip line and skyride had a 45 to 60 minute wait for a 5 minute ride. The entertainment venue is small, maybe seats 1000 people, so we did not get to see a show. Dining rooms were nice and wait staff was excellent, that is where we ate for dinner each night. Food was very good in the dining room and it is included in the price of the cruise. I found a small hidden place for a small breakfast buffet, at the Ocean Plaza, and if you can find it the Ji Ji"s Asian and Cucina del Capitano those are FREE and very good. It's like a mongolian grill type of food place where you pick the meat, the veggie, and the noodle and sauce that you want and they make it to order. It was very good and on Deck 11. not easy to find though. I just got the feeling that they wanted you to opt for the dining experiences that you would have to pay for and not the ones included in the cruise price. Overall, I would rate the attentiveness of the crew as excellent, layout of the ships public areas as poor, food was average, cabin was very nice, i loved the balcony, no comment on the entertainment because the venue was so small we couldn't get a seat, casino was average, and no "freebies" like Norwegian offers. I will stick with Norwegian from now on. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Kudos to Chris the Flying Scotsman for making my cruise. Beautiful ship, lots of outdoor activities for teens. Great staff at teen club C. Decent BBQ at Pig and Anchor. Guys’ burgers and fries were good as was the deli. ... Read More
Kudos to Chris the Flying Scotsman for making my cruise. Beautiful ship, lots of outdoor activities for teens. Great staff at teen club C. Decent BBQ at Pig and Anchor. Guys’ burgers and fries were good as was the deli. Pools are a joke. Havana cabins had their own until 7pm. What a total waste of space The aft pool was a sea of bodies. . Adult area Serenity, decent but a trek forward. Anytime dining, many more misses than hits. Stressed and shorthanded but always pleasant servers. Entertainment truly lacking but for Chris’ spectacular show. Gifted singer. Havana Club ok but closes at midnight, Limelight way too small for after hour mingling. Room steward, overworked folk. Phone call to housekeeping at 3pm the next day for clean towels and garbage picked up. Carnival replaced my granddaughter’s bag as it was damaged. Thanks Nelly. Will not sail this class ship. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was me and my wife's first cruise, I am 38 and my wife is 32. We have 3 kids but did travel alone. After researching it for so long I finally booked the Carnival Horizon leaving from N.Y.C to Bermuda for the 4 night voyage which was ... Read More
This was me and my wife's first cruise, I am 38 and my wife is 32. We have 3 kids but did travel alone. After researching it for so long I finally booked the Carnival Horizon leaving from N.Y.C to Bermuda for the 4 night voyage which was from July 19th to July 23rd 2018 (despite all these negative reviews about it) This is my first review ever of anything really but I felt I had to say something positive about the ship itself and the crew after reading so much negative things everywhere, which I am so glad I didn't listen to. I am gonna be all over the place but I am gonna include things I didn't find in other reviews that I had wish I knew before I cruised and just general info to make your experience better and easier especially for first timers. First, boarding was a breeze,if you have an appointment time before 2 pm they will take your luggage at the door, tag it and it will be in front of your stateroom so you don't have to lug it around. You go through a short process where they get you searched and boarded on the ship by zones, it's very easy and simple to follow. You will not have access to your stateroom until about 5 pm or 6 pm so pack a carry on if you wish to start swimming/sunbathing once you get on the ship.(our appointment time to board was between 1 and 1 30 and were on the ship before 2 but wasted about 4 hours in street clothes which felt like such a waste of a beautiful day in port waiting to have access to our personal belongings. Your sail and sign cards will be in your mailbox at your room door around 4 pm. You need them to do everything on the ship from order drinks to purchase items on board. NO CASH accepted anywhere on board. Except the casino of course. The ship is amazing and obviously brand new so anyone complaining about the ship itself can't possibly be satisfied. The layout is pretty easy to remember and after a few times walking around the ship you get to know pretty well. (decks 1/2/6/7/8/9) are mostly rooms so no need to go there anyway if not staying on that floor. The 3rd deck (lobby) has a few shops, bars. Deck 4 is where the main restaurants are (included in the price) where you will be having dinner every night and the casino ( which is the only bar open after 2 am, also drinks are free if you are playing) Deck 5 are where all the bars and pay restaurants are. Deck 11 is the water park and kids area including the basketball area, running track etc.The 10 (lido deck) is where most of the daily action is, there is a pool mid ship and a pool with 2 whirlpools in the back. (both filled with mostly kids) Deck 15 is the serenity deck (adults 21 and over only). 2 whirlpools and a bar with a salad bar for lunch. I was surprised but the bar closes at 6 pm. It seemed pretty early for an adult only retreat but the whirlpools are open till midnight. Also you do still hear the kids going down the slides and screaming at the water park but not enough to be bothered by it. We stayed in an inside stateroom as we didn't need a balcony and didn't regret it because it was much cheaper and got to see plenty of the ocean just being on the ship while we were out and about. 2 comedians on board, both were funny. Food was excellent. We didn't go for any extra $ dining options as there was plenty to eat that was already included. Buffet menus changed everyday (breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus) breakfast buffet was open till 12 pm for late risers which was awesome. Pizza is 24 hours and delicious Burgers and fries were a little over seasoned but great. Tacos and burritos where great too. A few minutes to wait during peak times but staff was working their butts off to keep up with the demand. Once again, don't let waiting in line for a few minutes ruin your day!!! Dinner menu at the restaurant changed every night. You are assigned a dinner time for the main restaurant once you are boarded and it is written on your card. You will not be seated unless it is your time. There is one cruise casual night where you have to dress up but that is also when lobster is on the dinner menu (unlimited lobster tails!!!) Havana Bar had live music 3 of the 4 nights which was a lot of fun to dance and have some mojitos. At midnight the Havana bar closes so the limelight lounge was the hangout after midnight until 2 am if you wanted music.. Live DJ playing music with good energy (18+ only). Groups of kids where running around the halls etc. but not to the point to where any reasonable person would be annoyed or be complaining about it, also after midnight the ship is pretty much a ghost town other than the club and casino. So there are plenty of places in and outside the ship to just hang out and enjoy the sounds of the ocean or explore the ship. People complaining about the lines for the food are being dramatic and have never been to a club/bar in NYC where we are from. Sometimes you get lucky and get the bartender after 30 seconds, other times you are waiting a few minutes. BIG DEAL!!! You are on vacation and shouldn't be stressing out over nonsense. The casino bar is the only bar open after midnight so it does get a little overwhelming for the bar staff and the wait is a little longer. (hint:if you have a simple drink order go to the club bar (limelight lounge) which is a lot less busy and also located on the casino deck, much less of a wait and less than a minute walk from the casino). Service was amazing in every aspect. Food service was quick at dinner, staff everywhere cleaning up after people and cleaning the ship decks every night. Ship is pretty much spotless, other than left over plates on tables that were eventually cleaned up shortly after people left their tables at the buffet and some cups laying around. Asking employees for directions the first day was always pleasant and never felt like I was annoying them as they were very helpful and nice and always smiling. We did get the cheers package which was about 52.00 dollars a day, each adult in the stateroom did have to purchase it for the entire cruise. (No 24 hour package like other cruise lines) Also, any ship leaving from New York or Texas, you will not have access to the cheers program until 6 am the second day of the trip, its state law so you will have to pay for drinks the first day) For us we are not big drinkers but got it anyway and ending up getting around 60 drinks for the duration of the cruise for both of us so we did save some money) average drink did cost around 10 dollars. You do have a limit of 15 alcoholic beverages a day (6 am to 6 am) for each card. so if your spouse is not a big drinker you can use their card and no staff seemed to mind if it wasn't your own card. You MUST download the Carnival app, its free to use on the ship and gave you all the information you need to know of whats going on at every hour so you can plan out your day, also what places are open to eat etc. Room service is free but there is a 5 or 10 dollar total charge for orders after 10 pm. We did go jet skiing in Bermuda, which was only about a 3 minute walk off the ship. (K&S Watersports) About 150 for a single rider 170 for a double rider. 75 minutes of riding and swimming on a private beach for an awesome experience. Check out their website and videos In the end, it was an awesome experience, I will definitely cruise with Carnival again. Don't listen to all these people, book it and you won't regret it. Have fun, be silly and enjoy your time!!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I was excited to travel from New York to Bermuda on this new ship but it was not an experience that I would recommend. I would not recommend traveling with Carnival or taking this particular ship. If you do, bring your patience, there will ... Read More
I was excited to travel from New York to Bermuda on this new ship but it was not an experience that I would recommend. I would not recommend traveling with Carnival or taking this particular ship. If you do, bring your patience, there will be a lot of waiting and subpar service. I was disappointed from the check in line. It took over an hour to get through the check in (maybe if you get there earlier you will wait less. Idk). After the check-in, the trip was an endless experience of waiting for elevators, a seat at breakfast in the Lido Marketplace, a lounge chair at the pool side movie, a cabana in the adult-only resort, everything! It was just lots of people and slow service (waiting 20 minutes to order a drink at the bar). Additionally, the service was bad and awkward. We did dine on your own time dining, the dining room was on one floor but the reservation spot was two floors up and around a corner (did I mention the slow elevators). The app did help with this but we used the app several days and we would get to the dining room (on-time) and they had reassigned our table, tried to sit us at tables that were already seated, and we waited 10 or more minutes once seated for service. One night, they told that they just sat two large parties and would have to wait a while for bread and water. The hostess was rude, unapologetic, and often acted distracted. Once seated, we waited a long time and the food was not good. We tried almost all the restaurants, Guys Burger Joint was by far the best (and free). The Seafood spot had a long line and did not have all the items on the menu. The pizza was also very good (20+ minute wait in the line). We stayed in the Family Harbor area, the lounge was also packed always (no seats, plates, silverware available). The scheduled food service in that lounge was inconsistent. One day, they did not bother to put food in the lounge at all. We ordered room service and the wait time was incredible 1.5 hours once and 45 minutes the other time (Our 2 year old was on a PBJ binge and without being able to access the family lounge -- room service became the only other place). We had massages in the spa. We waited 30 minutes past our appointment time to be seen (paid over $300) but later that day they gave us a $50 gift card that we could not use on the previous service. So, I recommend waiting until the end of the cruise to book any spa services in case they give any discounts later in the cruise. Finally, we pre-paid for the PixelMax before sailing and I have a $644 charge for pictures that I need to call and dispute. Not the vacation that I imagined. Two things worked well, Camp Ocean and our room stewart was good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Horrible cruise and ship!!! Our room on deck 1 had a fishy smell, and our intercom in our room did not work so when the cruise host came on to give the cruisers daily info we could hear any of it. The high tech elevators leave you waiting ... Read More
Horrible cruise and ship!!! Our room on deck 1 had a fishy smell, and our intercom in our room did not work so when the cruise host came on to give the cruisers daily info we could hear any of it. The high tech elevators leave you waiting for 10 to 15 minutes on most occasions. Don’t even think about getting a taco, burrito, or taco bowl unless you have an hour to wait in line. Think you want a pizza well carnival had one employee forming dough, making the pizzas, baking the pizzas and waiting on cruisers, so the wait for pizza is at least 45 minutes. On the lido deck in the buffet area it is like an ice skating rink walking. Peoples feet sliding out from under them. Almost slipped and fell many times. Reported to staff and was told they were aware of it. At breakfast water was dripping from the ceiling in the seating area in the buffet and had to move tables twice and seen many other families moving there seats as well. Was told it was condensation!!! And for the wow factor of a new cruise ship the atrium (lobby) area looked unfinished with white plastic looking stone walls. Not impressed at all and will think twice before cruising with Carnival again!!!! Read Less
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