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52 Carnival Bermuda Cruise Reviews

We took this as our first cruise. It was my birthday that week. We didn't make it to Bermuda, however we had a great time.The dining staff(Eddy. Riafin and one other ) were fantastic. All the staff including room staff was fantastic! ... Read More
We took this as our first cruise. It was my birthday that week. We didn't make it to Bermuda, however we had a great time.The dining staff(Eddy. Riafin and one other ) were fantastic. All the staff including room staff was fantastic! We will definitely cruise with Carnival Sunrise again! For being on the ship 5 out of 6 days we were always enertained. The shows were incredible! The talent on that ship from shows to 3rd floor music was great. The pictuted we had done on formal nights came out beautiful, and there was no high potch sales involved! We look forward to sailing with Carnival Sunrise again, not to mention they gave us 100% refund dur to not making it to Bermida. We did stop in Charleston which was beautiful and enjoyed that port.All in all it was a grrat experience for a first time cruise! Can't wait to book again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Trip: Now that our kids are grown, my wife and I prefer cruising in late August/early September for several reasons - not the least of which is to take advantage of back-to-school while its still warm enough to swim and enjoy the ... Read More
The Trip: Now that our kids are grown, my wife and I prefer cruising in late August/early September for several reasons - not the least of which is to take advantage of back-to-school while its still warm enough to swim and enjoy the sun. This year was no different, and we knew the risk of booking during hurricane season - despite the fact that we'd been lucky over the previous 4 cruises and knew the odds were starting stack up against us. Previously we've had minor inconveniences, but nothing major. Well, we finally had a cruise that had to be redirected due to a hurricane, and it really wasn't that bad of an experience. We had a couple of days of rough weather (5-10 foot swells), but we wore the seasick patch and fared pretty well. Other people who had nothing or waited too late to take Dramamine didn't fare as well for 2 of the days, but I have to thank Carnival for redirecting south along the far edge of the storm to Grand Turk and Amber Cove rather than going north to New England or Canada - we were able to enjoy the warm weather and swim/sunbathe all 7 days. The Ship: The pride is an older ship, but in general Carnival's refreshes have improved her and she has held up fairly well. Some complain about the decor (I frankly don't care), and others complain that the ship is old. However, my wife and I prefer the smaller feel of the older design - the newer ships (in particular the megaships) are just too crowded for my taste. We did a Royal Caribbean cruise on a larger ship (3500-4000 passengers), and were turned off by the way they managed the larger crowds. The downside to the smaller design is that there really isn't a lot to do all day during bad/cold weather; the bigger ships have enclosed pools or other activities beyond the bars and casino. A definite upside is that the passenger to crew ratio is better, and the ship is easy to navigate. The Food: The best "free" food is definitely in the dining room at dinner, and the whole experience is a positive. The food was generally very good, although a few items were average (appetizer/dessert). My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the singing and dancing of the waiters - it is a nice touch I hope they keep. For lunch Guy's was great, and rivaled any chain such (Five Guys or Smashburger). The Lido buffet is passable, but it is average at best even for a buffet. At breakfast the dining room was good, but the room service egg sandwiches were not. We did pay for David's steakhouse one night for dinner, and it was excellent. Entertainment: One of the reasons my Wife and I prefer Carnival over other lines is the nightly comedy club. Over a 7 day cruise there are 2 pairs of comedians who do 3 different sets apiece so the comedy is fresh each night. The comedy shows are thus much better than the song and dance production in the main theater. On good weather days there is plenty to do up on deck, and at night there are plenty of choices of live music along with the typical clubs and bars. Service: For the most part service was pretty good, and in particular our steward and Dinner staff were very good. They did seem to be rushed at times, but were always pleasant. Walking the ship, most of the crew would greet you with a smile and a hello. The steward did offer a choice of morning or evening which offends some, but honestly I didn't feel the need for anything more than once. Embarkation: We live in southern New Jersey, and have sailed out of New Jersey, New York, and Baltimore. By far the easiest port to get into an out of is Baltimore. The new scheme of your sail-and-sign card being on your door is absolutely fantastic - there was virtually no line at security and once we were through we just walked onto the ship. We typically do the "faster-to-the-fun", but for embarkation you really don't need it now. Grand Turk: This was our first time to Grand Turk, and since we were redirected there after we sailed we couldn't do any prior homework. We picked an excursion for an all inclusive trip to a beach, and would not do it again. The food was pretty bad, and the drinks were basically rum punch or soda. It was a 10-15 minute ride, and it would have been much easier and cheaper simply to go to one of the beaches right at the port terminal. The beach had lots of rocks, and without water shoes my wife couldn't even go in deeper than her knees. Amber Cove: First time here as well, and we ended up booking a trip to "Ocean World" to swim with the dolphins and it was great. It is basically a smaller version of discovery cove plus seaworld, without the rides. Despite the reputation of the Dominican Republic, there was plenty of security at Amber Cove and Ocean World. Conclusion: We've already booked next year's cruise on the Pride, so yes I am happy with the experience. After cruising on Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity my wife and I are convinced that Carnival offers not only the best value but has the best options for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it left from our usual cruise port and was going to Bermuda. The port was Canaveral which we find exceptionally efficient! Embarkation processing was as fast as we could walk. Cabins were ready by 1:30 and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it left from our usual cruise port and was going to Bermuda. The port was Canaveral which we find exceptionally efficient! Embarkation processing was as fast as we could walk. Cabins were ready by 1:30 and our luggage showed up prior to dinner (we did not have FTTF or elite status). Cabin stewards offer AM, PM, or twice a day servicing, extra pillows and towels when they come to greet you. Our steward was nice and did a pretty good job. The tide bar and blue iguana bar seemed the best at getting a drink fastest, though we never found issues with getting a drink (except in the MDR for dinner) even if the bars were busy. The buffet for lunch was different. It seemed to be busy all the time. The options for meals were pretty small (except dessert during the chocolate extravaganza - wow). Guy's burgers were awesome as always and the service fast there. The taco/burrito bar at the Blue Iguana were wonderful too. Dinner in the Steakhouse was fabulous! I highly recommend it! Our servers were Malana and Pani - Wonderful. The alchemy bar is great for martinis - Vera was the best bartender!! Red Frog Pub was fun as was the server we most often saw - Anthonie. He's hilarious and a treat all his own. We enjoyed the music of Liz & Lucas - they were really really good! Unfortunately they did not often play in the evenings when we were in the Red Frog Pub or Atrium. We'd liked to have seen more of them at night. If you get the chance to see The Sea Sharps with Surplus of Diggity - do. They are remarkable. The female singer is top notch as is the brass section! We usually enjoy the casino on cruises, but this one had such poor ventilation that we never used it at all. It's situated in the middle of deck 5 and unfortunately you must go through it to get from one end to the other - there is no walk around hall. If the doors are locked to outside (which was the case most of our trip due to winds), you have to go up/down stairs, cross over then back down/up to the other side to get across without going through the horrific smell of the casino. The one and only time we went through it we had to go back to the cabin to change clothes right away. It was rough. Our cruise stopped in Bermuda and Grand Turk. We rented a taxi for a tour in Bermuda and they did a great job. It's a very interesting and beautiful place. In Grand Turk we rented a golf cart which worked well for driving around the island. We also stopped at Jack's Shack which was fun to see. The beaches are beautiful and all open to the public to enjoy. If anyone has specific questions, please feel free to contact me - ksws64 Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this ship because it sailed from Port Canaveral (Orlando) to Bermuda. That was the ONLY reason. My previous experience with Carnival was "lowest common denominator". I've been on about 20 cruises with Norwegian, ... Read More
We chose this ship because it sailed from Port Canaveral (Orlando) to Bermuda. That was the ONLY reason. My previous experience with Carnival was "lowest common denominator". I've been on about 20 cruises with Norwegian, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Here are my "positive" notes: (1) fastest ever embarkation, (2) arrived at cabin 1:30PM with luggage waiting, (3) lifeboat drill used fast ship-card check in, (4) good quality balcony & deck furniture, (5) beach towels supplied in cabin, (6) cabin well lit (no struggle to read in bed), (7) excellent cake station in buffet - custom cut for you. Previous reviews have criticized the food as bland and uninteresting (and somewhere I've seen Carnival allude to their "hamburger and fried chicken" loving passengers. So I carried a bottle of Herbes de Provence which was unused after the 2nd day. We found the dinner menu quite adequate, imaginative and comparable to other cruise lines. While the Melting Chocolate Cake was the star of the dessert menu, there were other tasty selections such as a nicely done creme brulee. I was a bit disappointed in their preparation of mushrooms. We liked the layout of the buffet - relatively small "rooms" with buffet and nearby tables. No walking 50 yards around all the stations, then trying to find your seatmates. The first night we went late to the show, sat near the starboard door, something wet was dripping on my head and my partner was shivering. We left. During a talk by ship managers, a passenger remarked on the small number of Carnival shows ("on every ship"), and she would like to see more variety (as a frequent Carnival guest). The ship acknowledged the complaint, stated a new show is in the works, they are expensive to produce, and the existing ones have new personnel that bring a new look to an old show. The production shows are a big reason I cruise, so I'm not in a hurry to sail with Carnival again to see the same old thing. The band Sea Squared (if I have that right) was very good. We were particularly impressed with a string trio performing on the central stairway. A lot of talent (of course), with excellent variety., Definitely not "lowest common denominator". They were great. Debarkation went very well. We had to wait about 15 minutes with luggage in hand because the terminal got backed up. Absolutely no problem getting on elevators. We are happy! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was amazing! Ports were Amber Cove, St. Virgin Island, PR, and Grand Turk. It took only 45 minutes to get abroad the ship. People were very friendly. The workers are great and always speaking. Not one employee was on a ... Read More
This cruise was amazing! Ports were Amber Cove, St. Virgin Island, PR, and Grand Turk. It took only 45 minutes to get abroad the ship. People were very friendly. The workers are great and always speaking. Not one employee was on a cell phone the entire cruise unless they were high in authority. They work extremely hard. The food was good all over except the dining room food quality food appeared not top notch, which was fine. Plenty of other places to eat...and guess what you can try everything on the menu! The comedy shows were great....Just June and Billy Washington, were funny as heck! There were always plenty of deck chairs on the Lido deck and it was 3742 guest aboard the ship. Our cruise Director MarQ, was great and funny as heck! Some people did not care for him, but heck, who can make up jokes in a second, so kudos to him! From the all white party, to the Serenity Adult Only section, to the "Chicken Sandwich" at the deli, I thought I was eating a Popeye's chicken sandwich that everyone is going crazy over! I will say there were children, but many played in the waterpark and it was not an issue. I just believe Carnival should make the public pools alittle larger and create an adult only pool. They now have lifeguards at each pool which is a plus. The best excursions were St. Thomas, Kon Tik Tik Tour, was great...water was BEAUTIFUl and plenty of rum punch. We opted to take a tour on Grand Turk with a beach excursion and so glad we did, which allowed us to go to a private beach. They served us their island spice cake which was good and complimentary water. A bus was present to take any persons back to the ship when they were ready. I am a beach girl, so I stayed! I loved the Carnival Breeze and is in the process of booking again in August 2021 for a girls trip. However I will say Disembarkation was a mess...only TWO customs workers for 4000 persons....trick...get a porter to handle you luggage...lines move quicker! Great ship, people, food, entertainment, excursions, casinos, movies outside with movie blankets and popcorn! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Overall had a great time! Family of 4 (kids 5 and 9). 4 night cruise to Bermuda on August 15th. The crowd was very diverse, but very friendly. Met a lot of people from NY and CT, even a few from England. We are from Philly, we ... Read More
Overall had a great time! Family of 4 (kids 5 and 9). 4 night cruise to Bermuda on August 15th. The crowd was very diverse, but very friendly. Met a lot of people from NY and CT, even a few from England. We are from Philly, we vacation in OC NJ, this crowd was more from Wildwood. We chose this cruise since we could drive to the port, overall it was a simple process. We parked and off loaded our luggage; and it took less than 10 minutes to get through security and onto the ship. The buffet lines were long for lunch on embarkation day, Guy's burger joint and the mexican place had long lines too (hint: go upstairs above the mexican place and eat at the Pig and Anchor, decent BBQ food and there was no line). You can also get a pizza delivered to you anywhere on the ship, this would be another idea on embarkation day, just use the app the pizza delivery guy will come to you, cost is $5 for delivery but it beats standing in line for 20 minutes. The pizza was awesome! Many other reviews complained really bad about the buffet lines and the 2 choke points...these reviews are accurate but just do you best to avoid those areas and you will be fine. The choke points were crowded but they encompass 10 feet of the entire ship, not the end of the world! Avoid the breakfast buffet line by going to the restaurant for breakfast, no lines! Kids loved the water slides and water splash area! We never really had an issue getting a lounge chair, maybe we were lucky but it was fine for us. We used Anytime dining: perfect with the kids since they wanted to stay outside for a while. I made reservations on the app 5 minutes before we wanted to eat every night and it was not an issue. You have to walk around the casino bar (yes, I agree with everyone else that it is a stupid design to walk through a smoky casino bar right after you grab a shower so I can get to dinner!). Drinks were a bit hard to come by in the restaurant, the waiters are all running around but the service is a bit below average. We grabbed drinks at the Alchemy Bar which is on the way to the dining room. I even ran out to grab drink #2 because it was easier than waiting. **You are allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine on the boat on embarkation day and you are allowed to carry it to your room. Read the alcohol rules, it is permitted. We each brought a bottle. Some night she filled a glass and carried it with her to dinner, it saved about $12/drink. My wife had the salmon and loved it, I had the flank steak (it was more of a sirloin as opposed to a thin flank but it was really good). I ordered multiple meals every night, and usually had the flank steak too. She had the salmon several times and like it. Avoid the seafood medley, seafood was overcooked and it was kind of bland. Several of the mushroom apps were good and there was a mushroom veg entree that my wife really liked. Kids menu was simple, spaghetti, burgers, hotdog, chicken fingers. They like ordering a few desserts each night. The Carnival Hot Lava cake is great every time! On Bermuda day: Get to the buffet early. Everyone is going to the buffet, it was really crowded, I would try to get there by 8am. We arrived around 9:15 and it was jammed. We went to horseshoe beach, take a taxi, it costs about $32. The shuttle bus costs $7/person which is $28. Don't bother renting an umbrella, there was another ship in port with our ship and the beach was jammed. By noon you can grab a vacated umbrella before the staff packs them up. The line for getting back was really long, I stood in line for about 20 minutes while my wife and kids played on the beach. We took a taxi back, same cost of $32. Shuttle bus line was 3x as long. We got our photos taken all of the time on the way to/from dinner. Usually this is annoying, but the kids thought it was a special thing. And honestly, the photos really came out great, my wife ended up buying a few of them. The photographers normally harass you, but these photographers were very friendly and really enjoyed their job. After dinner, we would hang in the Red Frog pub, foosball and shuffle board and board games are hidden in the back and kept he kids busy while we drank beer! The Flying Scotsman was worth the price by himself! Be sure to attend the R&B Night in the lobby bar. There was no lie probably 1,000 people in the bar, stairs, mezzanine, and upper floors looking over the rail. The whole place was singing and he was dancing and singing on the bar. Simply awesome! He does a 1 man show that was pretty good as well, not as crowded as the R&B show, but he sang opera which was pretty neat to see (I like Classic Rock and he did a lot of that too). Our kids did not do Camp Ocean, they wanted to stay on the water slides so I cannot rate the children's activities. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Arrived at the port around 11 and only weddings and media were being checked in. So we waited maybe 15 minutes and then we were able to get to the check-in scanner-holding people who scanned your passport and check marked your boarding ... Read More
Arrived at the port around 11 and only weddings and media were being checked in. So we waited maybe 15 minutes and then we were able to get to the check-in scanner-holding people who scanned your passport and check marked your boarding pass. On through Security and then a short wait in the lounge with the other platinum guests; boarding started around 11:45. Went to our 9C aft wrap cabin to drop off our carry-ons. Cabin decor is nice with blue and beige. Closet space could be larger, or have drawers somewhere. There just one shelf high above where hangers go in both closets. Nightstand has a little storage; prior occupant left some lotion in the cabinet. Bathroom decor updated but not the toilet as it had a black ring in it that would not come off. Shampoo and body wash were good. Mattress was very comfy. Empty fridge which promptly received our bottle of wine we brought onboard. The balcony itself has not been re-done. The flooring had holes in it and whoever mopped it got wads of mop rope in it. Also the black rubber rings around the windows were in bad shape and missing on the inside in some places. This is where Carnival lacks attention to detail. And the tvs are blaring when you enter the cabin. This is an issue with their tvs---every time you turn it on the volume is blasting. Also, I noticed there was only one lounger on our huge balcony and asked the cabin steward to get another. He had some excuse like "this is how they're doing it now" however, once I was able to reach Guest Services on the phone, (on hold way too long hearing how important my call is) that person called the floor manager and shortly after that, another lounge chair showed up. So to those who get our cabin next: you're welcome! Headed to Guy's Pig and Anchor and enjoyed an outdoor lunch there. Wandered forward to Serenity area which was very nice. Huge hot tub; its own bar area. We liked this area a lot (and it helped that we were the only ones there at that time) but since our balcony had loungers, we spent most of our lounging time there. We came across brand ambassador John Heald while in NYC port and reminisced about our 2 day Carnival Dream cruise years ago--in a nor'easter. It was an adventure on a brand new ship. He was there for the ship-naming ceremony and was soon off to catch Legend in Alaska. It's odd on this class of ship to see cabins on deck 5 aft where the piano bar, comedy club and one other club used to be. The Comedy club is now in Limelight lounge which worked out just fine although people had difficulty finding the mid-ship entrance to Limelight. The night club that used to be across from Alchemy is gone and the piano bar is now there along with Red Frog which was host to many events. Nice, open space. Didn't like walking through the casino to get mid-ship. The shops are the shops, and the Java Coffee bar that also used to be on deck 5 is now in the atrium area of deck 4. Had very interesting and delicious-looking donuts and muffins there. Game room (with board games) is gone and a few games are in the corner of the coffee bar. There is also a coffee bar in the buffet and we got cappuccinos there. The ropes course looked cool. There is a pool table up there too that we tried to use on a sea day. Can't do it when there is any ship movement. There is outdoor exercise equipment there, as well as the basketball court, and up one deck is mini golf. Water slides looked fun but we didn't get to them this cruise. Spa pass in a non-spa cabin was $69+ for the 4 days. Gave you access to the saunas, steam rooms, infrared room and heated loungers.  Liked the outdoor movie screen and we caught the end of the newer Mamma Mia movie. 2 movies showed every evening. Muster still takes too long. Carnival must be the only line that still makes you line up outside vs. sitting in a theater or restaurant. We had YourTime dining option, and the one night we went for dinner in the dining room we went to the check-in desk on deck 5, waited in a very short line, got our table assignment and took the paper to the aft dining room and we were seated right away. Worked out nicely, and has pretty much every time we've done this since Carnival introduced the option a few years ago. Forgot we could have used the HUB app to secure our table. Got a reservation at Fahrenheit 555 on board. Food and service was very good. It's a smaller restaurant since it is part of what used to be the upper area of the mid-ship dining room. Tried a few times but we were not able to get a reservation at the Italian restaurant. We were waitlisted and they did call us the last night for an 8:30 reservation which we declined. Also tried out Bonsai, and the appetizer and roll we had were both very good. Guy's burgers are consistently good. I did miss the Mongolian Grill as that was my favorite restaurant on Carnival ships. Buffet is a madhouse at breakfast time so we went to Blue Iguana where hardly anyone else was. Check the Fun Times to see where omelet stations are--there are several at various locations, as well as other breakfast options. Sea Day brunch was very nice and there is a new menu. I missed chicken diavolo and the froot loop crusted french toast, yet there were other good things to have. Pastas, burgers, breakfast items, etc. Everything we had was good at the brunch and I used my platinum drink coupon here for a mojito. I took a pic of the menu but I have to try to remember how to post it! Chocolate Extravaganza is now just a few cakes and a fondue station. The dark chocolate cake was very good. The new map channel is useless. Bring back the old one! I still do like the bridge cam to see what's ahead of us since our view was side and behind the ship. I liked CD Chris from Scotland and his never-ending selection of kilts. I loved when his announcement ended with something like "whatever you do, put FUN in it." Thought that was great. Welcome Aboard show in the Liquid Lounge. I expected to see previews of cruise entertainment, but it was Chris the CD talking to the audience and having a contest which would determine VIPs for the cruise. Just took longer than I expected. Then there was a 10 minute performance of the singers/dancers which was just ok. We didn't go to any of the shows except both comedians. The guy was very funny. Musicians around the ship were quite good. We have OBC from our TA and Carnival gives me a hard time when I want to split it among the people in our cabin. Why can't they just split it between the people sharing the cabin like other lines do. Becomes a pain to have to figure out who gets what or what to pay for on my account to cover their OBC. Also, on the tv (and Carnival Hub app) your account seems to get higher and higher $ but they don't show the OBC being deducted. You have to go to Guest Services to get that (or a kiosk to print out your statement). All things I wish worked simpler on Carnival. Platinum gift was the lanyard with the cheapest, junkiest plastic to hold your cruise card. Nothing else onboard to trade it for I was told. Believe me, I asked. First sea day was quite rough but not our first rough seas to Bermuda. During the cruise we had wind, rain, sun, more rain, more sun. Quite a variety. We arrived in Bermuda just after the beautiful Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas. It was windy in Bermuda, so we got to Horseshoe via the $7 shuttle, and no umbrellas were being rented due to wind. We did see one go flying, so we understood. Nothing here is cheap--the 2 lounge chairs we got were $44. It really is a beautiful beach and it does, in the right light, look pink. In summary, I was overdue for a cruise and it hit the spot. I love being at sea on the balcony; it's my bliss. However, I do wish Carnival had done a real overhaul everywhere bow to stern since there was rust all over the stern, the window rubber I mentioned already, etc. There was also a foul smell mid-ship on the lower decks near the lobby occasionally. I was glad we were staying at the stern. A short cruise is better than no cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This is my fourth cruise on this lady, Carnival Ecstasy, she is in good shape for an old gal! EMBARKMENT: My wife and I drove down from North Carolina and utilized the new cruise port parking arrangement. We used to park in an old ... Read More
This is my fourth cruise on this lady, Carnival Ecstasy, she is in good shape for an old gal! EMBARKMENT: My wife and I drove down from North Carolina and utilized the new cruise port parking arrangement. We used to park in an old warehouse and take buses after you dropped off the luggage at the parking lot. Now you drive in, they take your luggage and your park in the open air parking lot and take the shuttle to the cruise terminal. It appeared to be a little faster. The bottleneck at the terminal remained the same, long lines that are slow. You do get onto the ship in about an hour or so. ON BOARD: Your room key is now at your cabin's mail slot next to the cabin door, so when you get on board if you want a drink you have to show your boarding pass and give your cabin/stateroom number, the new system is a little faster, but not much. You head to the buffet on deck 10 and have the "standard" buffet food, good but not great. You get into your cabin by 1:30pm, you room key card and onboard charge card is in the mail slot next to the cabin door. INTERIOR: Rivera (4th deck) R63 is an interior cabin, with a queen bed, two twins pushed together. as my wife and I are CPAPer's we had the stateroom steward, Wayan, split the beds for us. He provided excellent service through out our cruise. Standard interior cabin, a little dated but functional. ENTERTAINMENT: On the ship, the entertainment is by cruise staff, all production shows, a couple were good, the cruise director, Deon, is a high energy and very personable. The Punchliner Comedy Club had a very good comedian, Jody White, we only saw her PG show and it was an entertaining 45 minutes. COST of DRINKS: They are getting expensive $6.50 for bottled beer and $9 and up for cocktails, similar to RCCL. PORTS OF CALL: My wife had not been to Bermuda in about 25 years, back in "those days" we did the snorkeling, glass bottom boat, the pink sand beaches and explored the island, now we sort of just walk around the port area. I will comment later about Bermuda it is a beautiful island to visit. MAIN DINING ROOM: We were "your time dining" from 5:45 pm to 9:30 pm, and there are long lines to get into the restaurant and your are given the buzzer that goes off when your table is ready, no matter what time we went, early or about 7:30 pm, there was about a half hour wait time. We dining in the Wind Star main dining room and fortunately got the same section at our request, with the team head waiter Iman and the team waiter Sentana, with a third rotating team assistant waiter at tables 138 to 146. They provided excellent service throughout the cruise. THE MENU: Standard fare, we had prime rib, two nights, beef tenderloin one night, and the menu varied on the beef and pork, with spare ribs, beef short ribs, along with the pasta, vegetarian, and seafood selection. There are two formal nights on the seven day cruise in which there are table cloths on the tables. The appetizers are standard, and they only have escargot (my favorite) one night of the cruise. Overall, the food was very good but not great. Now the "salt shakers" in the main dining room are the little cylinder ceramic shakers with three little holes onto and THEY ALWAYS CLOG!!! Five of the seven nights we had to have our waiter bring us salt shakers that were not clogged. Carnival get new salt shakers! If that was my main complaint, what am I complaining about. MEET and MINGLE gathering: I would have to rate it a poor compared to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. There were about 25 Cruise Critic M and M folks, and they coffee, juice, water and danish. On RCCL's meet and mingle, they had bottles of wine and champagne, hats, a backpack and the coveted pens and markers. THE CASINO: My wife and I were here on the Carnival Players Club "bounce back" casino offer, it you gamble "enough", and I do, you get a offer of an interior cabin for $100 per person, plus port charges and on board credit of $100 each, so essentially, its a "free cruise" excluding the port charges and taxes. Unfortunately the casino is small, and as I play three card poker (only two tables) and WPT heads up hold 'em (only one) I had limited table time as this cruise was also a Carnival players club "Premier" players club cruise and people were sitting at the table to play before the casino opened. There was a mix of old and new slot machines, mostly older vintage, and I did not hear of any really big slot machine wins announced. DEBARKMENT: Under an hour we went from the gathering place, Sapphire Lounge to pick up our luggage, through customs onto the shuttle bus and to our car in under one hour. Amazingly fast. OVERALL IMPRESSION: It was a nice cruise on an older ship, with standard accommodations, very good but not great food in the MDR that provided excellent service,that visited the beautiful island of Bermuda. There few kids on board as it is the school season, a good age group mix. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We sailed on Carnival Conquest from the 27th of October to the 4th of November. Even though my mother and I have been traveling together ever since I was born (22 years ago), all around the world - it’s only recently we started cruising. ... Read More
We sailed on Carnival Conquest from the 27th of October to the 4th of November. Even though my mother and I have been traveling together ever since I was born (22 years ago), all around the world - it’s only recently we started cruising. This was our fourth cruise and the first Carnival Cruiseline. Stateroom 2214: It was a very cozy, little cabin. Nothing extremely exciting, but what to expect from a standard cabin. The cabin-stewards were always very quick with cleaning the cabin, so it always looked nice. The cabin stewards were very sweet and always made sweet towel animals - so many that we had a zoo on the last day! The beds were outstanding! Never have we slept in better beds - not in hotels or other cruises - the madras was so soft and the pillows were fluffy and big. Dining: There were quite a lot different places to eat - but if it is doing the busy hours, not enough room to sit. We eat mostly on the Lido Deck with the buffets, Blue Iguana and the Pizza place. The food, in general, was good, but the variety isn’t the biggest. We liked the fact that we were able to get pizza almost any hour of the day and the frozen yogurt was available 24/7. The frozen yogurt/soft ice was very tasty and even though there weren’t more than three flavors to choose from - you never got tired of them. Breakfast: the croissants and most of the bread wasn’t fresh - which were quite a big bummer. The pasties such as cinnamon rolls were fresher and tasted great - but you expect to eat fresh bread every day when you are on an 8-nights cruise - actually no matter how many days you are onboard. Lunch: we loved the burritos and tacos - in general the lunch was great with a better variety. Dinner: the variety wasn’t the biggest, but it had a good taste. It could have been a plus if the Blue Iguana were open doing dinner-time. Desserts: Most of the cakes lacked taste and texture. Many were almost uneatable due to the huge amount of gelatin, so they became rubbery. Crew: We had the great honor of having Leigh as our cruise director - who is absolutely the star of the ship (if not the company). Leigh is energetic and shows a lot of passion and enthusiasm about his work. He cares a lot about the passengers, always allow himself time to chat with them and knows everyone onboard. He is without a doubt the greatest gift to this company and will with guarantee make your vacation even more unforgettable. He became a great friend of my mother and me, and we will always be thankful for everything he did. You will differently be missing him when you get back home. We hope to cruise with him again!!! Captain Claudio is - just like Leigh - a star of the ship. He is a very sweet, outgoing, charming man, that cares about his passengers, his crew and his ship. He likes to chat with people - not only doing events but also outside of the ship. My mother told him, I want to be a captain myself, and he immediately courage me to do so. The officers: all of the officers we came across were very smiling, sweet and caring. They always said hi and wanted to chat. Not only onboard but also when they saw you outside. The waiters: our experience with the waiters on the lido deck wasn't the best. They did not clean the tables very quickly and did not speak very much with the passengers. They did not seem to be very happy about their job and did not really want to get in contact with anyone - this was a shame, many want to talk with all kinds from the crew, and every other ship we have been to, the waiters were much more talkable and made you feel special. Entertainment: You will never be bored on carnival. If so, it’s your own fault. They have so many different activities during the day and night - so the only problem there is is the time-limit you have. Everything with Leigh is a must. He can make every event laughable. The game shows are a great fun - especially the love & marriage show. The shows with the dancers and singers have a beautiful, creative scenery, the performers and music are great - but the shows are quite the same concept except from a different theme (Motown, the 70’s & the 80’s). so it lacks a bit of variety. We were so lucky to be on Conquest on Halloween night. It was great to see that so many had a costume and Carnival for sure did a lot to put up special drinks and decoration for the night. The only minus was that it wasn’t the guests who chose the winner of the costume competition. It was a shame. Many talked about this afterward and they wished they had a saying in who should have won. The Wi-Fi was terrible. You have to log out and reconnect all the time, and you aren’t able to make a call over Messenger. The Hub-app, Carnival have is a great way to see what’s happening during the day and even get a reminder for the events. You are also able to see a map over the ship, which can come in handy for the first few days. Unfortunately, the app wasn’t able to download after leaving the port due to the Carnivals weak internet. Overall our first experience with Carnival was a success and we look forward to joining the fleet again in April on Carnival Splendor. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have been cruising for several years now on multiple lines. We are very familiar with Port Canaveral and enjoy sailing from there. Embarkation was fast and easy. Probably one of the best in our history. The Sunshine is a large Ship but ... Read More
We have been cruising for several years now on multiple lines. We are very familiar with Port Canaveral and enjoy sailing from there. Embarkation was fast and easy. Probably one of the best in our history. The Sunshine is a large Ship but not a mega ship. Large enough to not feel crowded. She had a major refit in 2012 changing from the Destiny to the Sunshine. My wife and I found her layout different than other ships and a little awkward at first to navigate. As always, our cabin steward was excellent and attentive. It is a personal opinion that industry wide, I have noticed a slight downward trend in food quality on the various lines. We make a point to dress and eat in the dining room for supper and for most breakfasts. The menu offerings were varied with some new items, but many of the familiar items and favorites seemed to be missing. Also portion sizes have shrunk a little. Not really a huge deal due to the fact that you can order pretty much all you want. We also make a point to try the Specialty options at least once a cruise. Some high points from The sunshine are the Havana Bar and its tastes of Cuba (gratis) and JiJis (15$ per person). JiJis is an inspired asian dining experience that was so SO worth it. Also I highly recommend trying the Chef's Table experience. It is worth every penny from start to finish. Just come hungry. Entertainment was on par with cruising. The stage shows were good but not wowing, although we had a master magician amaze us. This cruise had some of the best comedians we have seen and with fresh material. There was plenty to do on ship as usual. One really nice feature on the Sunshine is a 3 deck Serenity area at the fore of the ship. The service aboard was fantastic as usual. Our ports of call were Bermuda and grand Turk. Bermuda was beautiful. We, as a rule, do not book excursions, but rather "freestyle" and venture forth on our own. I took my time and did some research on Bermuda before our cruise and found some great travel options. The public transportation passes cover both ferry and bus. We spent some wonderful time travelling around and across the island, catching many sights and activities for less than the cost of one ship excursion. I highly recommend going to the Fantasy and Crystal caves, and a visit to St. George. Grand Turk is small and very flat. There are some neat sights there and some great shopping. Our whole goal was to sit beside the pretty blue water and do some snorkeling. We even managed to swim with an octopus for a while. There was plenty of beach sitting with free lounge chairs and clamshell shelters. Never did it feel crowded. And found an amazing little snack shack, The Beached Whale. I would definitely recommend this trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise because I wanted to go to Bermuda, Embarkation was poor, this was the longest it had taken me to get on a ship in my 20 cruises since 1991.The Sunshine is a nice ship, this was my second time on board, it has a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to go to Bermuda, Embarkation was poor, this was the longest it had taken me to get on a ship in my 20 cruises since 1991.The Sunshine is a nice ship, this was my second time on board, it has a difficult deck plan.Cabin was very nice I had a balcony 7249. Dining was very good except they did not follow my request that I had book from May 2017 for a table for two only.After talking very firmly with them this was resoled, We also dined at the Fahrenheit Steak house, the manager had very poor customer service skills, she however apologize for not greeting us. Entertainment and Activities was very good.Overall service was GREAT!!. Ports and Shore excursions was great I did the Island tour of Bermuda and it was wonderful.I also meet some wonderful people on board in including staff and cruisers,Overall this was a wonderful cruise and I would do this again. Capt. Greene Read Less
Sail Date September 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 ... 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
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 ... 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
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 jewelry ... 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
Sail Date August 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 ... 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
Sail Date July 2018
I choose this cruise because it was a new ship, it was affordable, only a 25 min. ride from my home, and a short cruise that could accommodate my daughter's work schedule. I am in my 60's and my daughter is in her 20's. I ... Read More
I choose this cruise because it was a new ship, it was affordable, only a 25 min. ride from my home, and a short cruise that could accommodate my daughter's work schedule. I am in my 60's and my daughter is in her 20's. I have been on over twenty cruises on various cruise lines. My daughter and I throughly enjoyed this cruise. Although I have been on Carnival ships before, my daughter had never been on a Carnival ship although she has experienced other cruise lines. The organization of the ship was easy to navigate and we quickly knew how to get around. The decore was so nice and hotel like, and reminded me of other cruise lines I had been on. The ship was one of the cleanest I have ever seen. The food was absolutely delicious, hot foods were always hot and cold foods were always cold. The menus were different each day with wonderful offerings. Although both my daughter and I are small women we are foodies, and prefer not to eat at all if food is not good. We had Our Time Dining and it was easy to get a table quickly although we had to wait a little bit on lobster night. We always had a table for two, we loved that. The dining room looks like a restaurant not at all like a massive dining hall. We never ate at the extra payment dining rooms. All staff we encountered were pleasant and helpful. Staff was always ready to answer questions even though it may have not been their department. Our cabin steward was great and always made sure we had clean towels and a towel animal. We had an interior cabin and it had plenty of storage, the size of the cabin was exactly what we expected. The bathroom was a good size, but I wish there had been a sliding door for the shower instead of a shower curtain. The bed and the bedding were delightful and I had a good night's sleep each night. Entertainment was fun. During the day the usual silly and fun activities were offered, like the hairy chest contest, the love and marriage game, trivia, zumba and many other daytime activities. The pool deck always had lots of people, and activities. It was nice that there were several eateries around the pool deck. Of course there was a casino, which was small and bingo was constantly offered. The casino was extremely smoky at night and somewhat smoky during the day. Since I am a non smoker I spent little time in the casino. Night activities were great. There were two comedians. They both did general comedy and evening comedy for adults only. We only saw the adults only shows, we laughed a lot. One comedian was a guy in his 40's and the other was a women in her mid 60's, both were just hilarious, the comedy room was full during their performances. The pools were very small and full of children, so we did not venture into the pools and neither did most other adults. However, the Serenity area for adults was wonderful with cabanas, lounge chairs, two jacuzzis, a few tables, a bar and a salad bar. It was a wonderful retreat, but you needed to get there early to obtain a spot. They have towels there also, they were so lush that I purchased one to use when I go on other vacations. Our only port was Bermuda, since we both have been there several times, we just went to the little beach at the port and we visited the glass place. So we did not go on excursions. The beach was nice and clean and quiet, we enjoyed it. Nighttime entertainment was great. There was all kinds of wonderful live music all over the ship, I loved the violinist, and all other music I heard. There was a fun nightclub with good music for dancing. The professional dancers and singers at the shows did a great job, but there were no aerialist as I have seen on other ships. I would absolutely travel on this ship again and I plan to tell all of my friends and family how much fun we had. We had so much fun that we did not want to sleep to late or go to bed to early. The other passengers were also a joy. We met and talked to several nice people. Also there weren't as many children as I thought there would be, but most of the children I saw were quiet and well behaved. I did not see any loud and rowdy adults, nor teens. There were people of all ages on the ship but there did not seem to be lots of people in their 20's. There were some families with children and many without. The ship never felt crowded even though there were over 4,000 people. We will most likely go on the Horizon again or some other Carnival ship next year. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We were very excited to be a part of the first US trip the cruise was going to take after it just arrived in the US a few days before we departed. This was my son's first cruise as we waited until he was five before taking him on ... Read More
We were very excited to be a part of the first US trip the cruise was going to take after it just arrived in the US a few days before we departed. This was my son's first cruise as we waited until he was five before taking him on one. Getting on the boat was effortless. We were able to get to our stateroom before 1:00pm, which was great! The stateroom was extremely clean. The first "hiccup" we ran into on the boat was during the Muster Station drill. Not the fault of Carnival at all, but many cruisers decided to try to skip the Muster Drill. It took the staff quite a while to remove all the people in the swimming pools and bars to get to the drill. We waited nearly an hour before being dismissed from our meeting place. Your "sail and sign" card is scanned so the crew know you are skipping it. The kids, including my son had a hard time with this. In our previous cruises, the drill took maybe 15 minutes tops. Again, nothing to do with Carnival, but it is frustrating when other cruisers are selfish and hold up everybody. It quickly became evident that the bar staff was in need of additional help. We purchased the "bottomless bubbles" package before sailing and purchased cocktails on the sail and sign card. Waiting 10-15 minutes at the bar for a soda was a common trend throughout the cruise, sometimes even longer. At one point at the "Tides Bar" in the middle of the day, there was only one bartender working to make drinks for a full bar and for servers walking the decks taking drink orders. The drinks were great, but expect a long wait at Lido deck bars. The same wait applied for the food on the Lido Deck. The buffet had variations of the same food basically the entire cruise, so the other included food venues were popular. We waited on average 10-15 minutes on line to get a burger from Guys Burger Joint and the same for the BlueIguana Cantina on sea days. The pizza place was hit or miss with waiting. Sometimes there was no line at all, other times it would take 25 minutes to just order a pizza. Part of the problem was some cruisers were ordering multiple pizzas, and people they were cruising with would have them order pizzas for them too. The pizza tasted absolutely great though! The crew at the eateries worked as hard as they could to keep up with the demand though. The Seafood Restaurant was very decent, but again long waits. We ordered Fish and Chips. (they were out of a lot of the market price items on the second day of the cruise because this place was so popular...) He gave us a pager and proceeded to take another 4 or 5 peoples orders. They fry the food in batches to keep everything fresh. After about a 10 minute wait, the pager went off. The fish and chips was one of the best we have ever had. We did not try the other non-included eateries. One thing that I think Carnival could do better on is having staff keep a better eye on the pools. The day of embarkation the mid-ship pool was completely packed. We decided to wait until the first sea day to use them. We went in the aft "tides" pool in the morning. Our son loved it! Around lunch of the 2nd day of the cruise, we noticed the water in the mid-ship pool getting quite dirty. Soon after the pool was closed, netted, and taped off. It was subsequently drained. The aft pool then became the only working pool and that started getting dirty fast. We did not use the pool anymore after that. At one point in time there were about 15 people in the tides spa. (just in one of the two) There was even a couple having "relations" in the spa. Absolutely gross, considering how many other people were using it. Overall, we did enjoy the cruise! As expected, there are a few issues that need to be worked out because this was the first cruise for the ship out of the US. There were some great aspects of this cruise. The ship was clean, the crew was professional. Most everything ran orderly. The entertainment that was offered was decent too. Some staff members stood out well above others. Ruel who took care of our stateroom was awesome, as was Daniella who was bar tending up on the Tides Bar. She was able to keep her cool even as many cruisers were mad due to the long wait times. She was turning out drinks fast too, but one person cannot tend a fully packed bar with people each ordering multiple drinks. The bartenders were also making drinks for the bar servers who were walking the decks taking orders. Although we did not use Carnival's Camp Ocean, a few staff members who worked there stopped us to introduce themselves and tell us a little about it. Our son is autistic, so we were not sure of the environment and how he would react. More than one staff member took the time to say hi to my son and made him feel welcome. On our next cruise, we will definitely look into Camp Ocean. The food was consistent and and tasted great! The lines were long, but I suspect as the ship takes more and more passengers, the less waiting the lines would be. The elevators were not really as useful as marketed. The idea is great, but when there are a lot of people at once trying to get to the same floor, it because a hassle. This was amplified if you had a stroller or mobility issues. The problem is you would make a floor selection and would be assigned a car. So you get on line for that car and when it comes it fills up before you could get in. So you hit the floor you want to go to again, and get assigned a different car, but there are already people on line for that car. Situation repeats itself until a stroller, wheelchair, or other mobility device can fit in with other cruisers. The only other "negative" I had is we were unable to drink enough soda to actually pay for the all you can drink plans. It got tiring waiting up to 10-15 minutes every time you wanted a soda. I would not hesitate booking another cruise on the Carnival Horizon. In fact, we are looking at booking a repeat of this cruise in the fall of this year. On a side note, if you plan to go to Horseshoe Bay, I recommend the Carnival Transfer. We were going to take a shuttle bus at the recommendation of a friend. We were one of the first off the ship and waited over 45 minutes for shuttles that never showed up. The waiting became too much for a 5 year old to handle, so we walked to the snorkel park across from the cruise ship docks. That turned out to be a lot of fun. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Was so happy a new ship was coming to NYC! Overall ship A+ Public spaces and décor A+ Cabin A+ Activities A Food B Entertainment B Muster drill D Arrived at NYC terminal for the quickest Carnival check-in ... Read More
Was so happy a new ship was coming to NYC! Overall ship A+ Public spaces and décor A+ Cabin A+ Activities A Food B Entertainment B Muster drill D Arrived at NYC terminal for the quickest Carnival check-in ever—i-padlike devices before you go through Security. (if you’ve cruised on Anthem of the Seas—similar set up to the one at Cape Liberty). We then went to the back area where plat/diamond area was. Shortly after we sat down we were able to board this new ship. Cabin. Lovely and pleasant décor. Love that the coffee table has a shelf for storage. Usual closet/cabinets with safe. Plenty of hangers. Fridge was warm and ended up getting replaced. Nice new bed with very comfy mattresses, pretty linens that have leaf embossing on them. Balcony had 2 chairs (one reclines)and a table. Still in perfect condition. Bathroom good size but please stop using those curtains! Sufficient storage shelves. Toilet is now more like a bucket—no “shelf”. That was the best description I could come up with. Nice soft new towels. Use your key card to power the room. They need to fix balcony doors so they don’t slam shut as it's annoying to feel the bang of these doors. Large tv on wall in front of the bed. It was cute how it said "Welcome [our names]" and then at the end said "Ciao [our names]. You can view your account, several views from cameras (bridge, port, starboard, and aft!) which we liked. Getting to your account was a little tricky with when to choose “OK” vs. the fwd arrow. How it showed our onboard credit was odd. Also, if you have a joint account it shows up inconsistently between the tv and on the Carnival Hub app. We went to GS and it was explained to us well by Jing, but it wasn’t intuitive. I do not like being asked if I want cabin service in the morning or evening. Other cruise lines service twice per day as a given. I would have liked towels refreshed in the evening but felt bad because I figure Carnival has cut staff and given the cabin stewards more cabins to clean. Yet they have not decreased the daily service charge. Guest Services needs to have more staff available when the line gets long. Below us were Havana balcony cabins. Looked nice but I don’t like that everyone can look down on part of your “balcony” and also ahead of you is a glass wall much higher than a balcony wall. We looked in one of the Havana cabins on our deck and the décor is 4-poster bed and what seemed to be larger and bulkier dark furniture. There are “secret” stairways to take you to the Havana bar to the private Havana area, which although very nice, was small. 2 hot tubs and a very small pool. Comfy chairs and loungers and its own bar at the back of Havana club which is open to all guests after 7pm. It is a very nice area. The lobby has this very cool 3 story “funnel” that has various colors and patterns that change. Lobby area is larger than some other Carnival ships we’ve sailed, so that was good. It is a very pretty area. There's also a cool colorful funnel in the casino area. Spa. Listened to some of their treatment options but did not yield to their pressure to buy. Personally, being on a ship is my Bliss (Norwegian stole my term and named a ship after it!) so I don’t need any“youthing” treatments while on a cruise. The spa area was nice with 2 types of steam rooms, 1 dry, and 1 infrared room. Those tile heated lounge things looked cool and the mineral pool looked pristine. Gym looked very good too since everything was new. They offer organized classes—some include in fare, some not. Library is very nice on this ship, with lots of books and games. I wish I remembered to bring my own already-read books to leave onboard. Piano bar looks larger than other ships and is very pretty. Steakhouse is also right in this area, along with Teppanyaki and Bonsai. Alchemy bar too which did not disappoint. Pictures are all done on screens now. You select the pkg and can have them printed or digital. Continuing along this deck toward the stern is Java Café, and the Ocean Plaza, a very nice multi-purpose space. Bar there too where I had an Aperol Spritz or 2 or 3. Outdoor seating and eating spaces are on this deck and are nicely setup. If you’ve been on Norwegian’s newer ships—think the Oceanfront area. Very similar. Launderettes had very nice Speed Queen machines. You use your cruise card for payment. We had your time dining (or whatever Carnival calls it). Checked in on deck 5 mid-ship and both times immediately received our table # and got seated. First time was at the stern and it was very warm, and next time was more forward in the dining room and it was very cold. So dress appropriately for dining—I will bring a wrap or jacket next time just in case. We had lobster as featured one night and It was good although the sizes of the tails varied greatly. Service was a bit slow, but we dinnered with 3 very nice and fun ladies so it was fine. The second time we were given a two top between other two-tops and we were very close together but it was ok. Strip loin was just ok, the short rib was fabulous. Beef lasagna and the spaghetti carbonara were very good. We also had sea day brunch in Meridian, the aft dining room which was where we had dinner. No popovers! The chicken diavolo did not disappoint. I had to have the froot loop french toast too. Drinks (used our free drink coupon) took over 30 minutes and by that time were watered down. Mongolian Grill is now a sit-down restaurant called Ji-Ji above the Lido Marketplace. Included in fare for lunch and upcharge for dinner. You sit down and fill out a paper to select your food and then it gets made for you. I made the mistake of choosing noodles with my long list of veggies, and the bowl that came out was 90% noodles. Next time I will choose veg only. AND it’s under the basketball court and yes we heard basketballs bouncing. Not sure that would be pleasant at a long meal. Didn't try the Italian place but the menu looked good. Pizza. Finally after many long long lines there, on the last sea day they had two people working the stand and made lots of pizzas, so the line built up but then moved quickly as the ready-made pizza was served. There has got to be a better system. I remember when the pizza was ready and there were rarely lines there. Seafood Shack is also at the stern. Sometimes had a line, sometimes not. We tried the lobster roll on Victory and I didn’t wish to bother againpaying for something that was just ok. Lido Marketplace. Buffet is now in two sections. There are islands that all contain bins of the same food on each island. A salad bar is separate, as is the sandwich station (Deli) which was always under-manned and had lines. That moved very slowly. Why do they have those beautiful and tasty chocolate cookies at this station! They should be more easily accessible. Dessert station is separate. Chocolate extravaganza is nothing like it was in past years. The chocolate cakes were good though (at the Lido Marketplace) and rivaled the one you pay $2.25 a slice for at the Java Café. Didn’t eat at Guy’s burger or Blue iguana but why do they close at 6? Guy’s Pig & Anchor was not open embarkation day for lunch, but we ate there the first sea day. It’s set up outside and as a buffet with a line from either side. It was very good food. We found a table outside on one of the little half moons that stick out of the deck. This restaurant/bar had a lot of whisky choices. We did a beer flight which was good, as was their seasonal beer. There was food at the Ocean Plaza area too. Trivia was held here too which is a nice large space. Tea Time was offered on both sea days. I went just to see if they offered any unique or at least different than the Lipton black and Bigelow green tea in the buffet. Nope. Same 2. So I left. I did see cuke sandwiches being served, andalso a cart with desserts on it. Outdoor movie screen had movies, but we didn’t get to any on this short cruise. I love outdoor movies on ships. We rode the Sky Ride and it was fun. There was a line but it moved rather quickly and the ride itself was fun. The wind helped push me along a lot of the time. We went to the Cruise Next location but apparently the Carnival staff did not have it on their schedule, so by the time the person showed up we only got to hear a little before leaving for our next event—a 3D movie. Too bad as I enjoy hearing about new itineraries and ships. She started out w/ talk about their credit card instead of ship info, so we didn’t get to hear much other than which ships are based in which US ports. We went to the Imax theater to see the National Parks 3D. It was $5.50 per person. Excellent film. Showed various films during the trip. Lots of sundecks and attractive seating areas all around the ship. Serenity adults-only area is at the front of the ship and was very nice. Away from the loudness of the pool area. Lots of decks have forward open space, including deck 5 Promenade deck. Loved being outside at the front of the ship. You cannot go all the way around though as Havana pool and private area is at the stern on this deck. Liquid Lounge is attractively decorated but seems small for a ship this size. And the top level was freezing cold. After freezing in seats in the top level at the Welcome Aboard show, we chose lower level seats for the Vintage show which was interesting. The music was very good. Comedy. Seems the thing to do these days is turn on the house lights and wander the audience talking to and picking on people. This happened twice. When it started at the second show we went to, we left. The Disco trivia and party was going on in the lobby at the same time and we should have just gone to that as it was very fun and entertaining. Muster Drill. Carnival please get it together. Longest muster ever and quite disorganized. First piece of advice: look on the back of your cabin door to see where your muster station is. We heard employees being asked and some just didn’t know which muster was where. Fortunately we knew we were on deck 3 Meridian dining room. FunTimes said 3pm so people started assembling, we arrived around 3:15 but it was then 3:30 and nothing was happening yet. I think we started at 3:45, but it was waiting and waiting. Apparently people were not checked in (cruise card get scanned). Carnival, you know who they are so make them attend the make-up one and don’t keep us sitting there for so long. PLEASE work on this. Send employees on other cruise lines like Norwegian and RC and see how expeditious and efficient theirs are 99% of the time. Smoking on balconies. Sigh. Now this is mentioned during muster: “Fire at sea”. . . “no smoking in staterooms or on balconies.” This is not sufficient. At the Welcome Aboard show the CD said 48% were first time Carnival cruisers, so maybe some did not hear this at muster. It was either Norwegian or Royal Caribbean in the last year where the announcer said “let me repeat that” and said no smoking in cabins or balconies again for emphasis. Which is a great idea. But we could not fully enjoy our balcony due to cigarette smoke that happened way more often that I could comfortably tolerate. The last sea day it was constant unfortunately. Although I did leave a note for the cabin steward that there was smoking on balconies nearby, if I could pinpoint where it was coming from I would have reported it to Guest Services. There are cameras everywhere so I’m surprised they don’t notice puffs of smoke from balconies. I do think some people just don’t know smoking is prohibited, but I realize that some do know and do it anyway. Surprised that Carnival doesn’t do more about this considering they had a fire on a balcony from a flicked cigarette on Sunshine in 2016 (on a cruise right before we got on). Other lines take this seriously; on Royal Caribbean you get a notice on your door immediately. People other than me need to speak up if smoke is bothering you while on your balcony; I cannot be the only person who did not enjoy the smoke on this cruise. New elevator system. Ugh. Not working well. You choose your floor from a screen and the screen tells you which elevator to wait at. And wait. And wait. We ended up doing a lot of stairs—which is not a bad thing—but not easy with a cocktail or tea in your hand. Many passengers were quite frustrated by the elevators. Sailing out of NYC port is always great as the ride down the Hudson is lovely. Platinum gift was headphones. Bermuda is beautiful and the water was so calm it was shiny. We seemed to do a very slow 180 degree turn to dock. This was the first time Horizon was porting there. Tug “Faithful” was standing by to assist. I don’t know where her sister “Powerful” was. (those who’ve been to Bermuda know these are the 2 tugboats). Seemed to be a very long time to get cleared to debark, and as a result, there were long line in the stairwells. Continued on our way and we took the $7shuttle to Horseshoe beach. This time I actually could see the pink sand which I guess I just never noticed before. Fabulous warm and sunny day. 2 chairs and an umbrella cost $45 to rent here. Headed back to the ship mid-afternoon on a shuttle bus. Wandered around the port area a bit. You can get wifi at many places there. The last day at sea had a mix of weather but it was enjoyable anyway(minus the cig smoke). We stopped at the channel outside NY harbor for the pilot to board just after 3:30am. We were at the dock with lines tied by 6:15 or so. Went to the appointed location for platinum/diamond for debarkation. Interesting system where you line up your luggage in order of your arrival and then go sit down. We waited till around 6:45 and then lined up with our luggage and walked off after swiping our card for the last time. Fort those who may not know, there is a lot of walking involved at the NYC port. You debark forward but walk to the end of the terminal to go in, down an elevator or escalator and then walk forward again for customs/immigration, then exit. It was quick and easy to get to the taxi line. No more customs cards unless you’re over the allowance. The ship is really beautiful. If you’re going on Horizon, ENJOY!!! Notes to Carnival in case you read this: 1. Please fix balcony doors not to slam. 2. Please get the muster drill together better. 3. Please do more to ensure smoking is truly prohibited on the balcony. 4. New elevator system not so great--needs more instructions. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
First cruise to Bermuda out of Jacksonville. 8 days of heaven. Grand deck G36 was a fabulous cabin, quiet and we had a sofa !!!!!! The Elation has been updated and was very clean and comfortable. We participated in the Chefs ... Read More
First cruise to Bermuda out of Jacksonville. 8 days of heaven. Grand deck G36 was a fabulous cabin, quiet and we had a sofa !!!!!! The Elation has been updated and was very clean and comfortable. We participated in the Chefs Table for the first time and enjoyed it very much. The overall dining menu was large but most food was average. I have had much better food on other ships. (the shrimp should be bigger than the batter) Cabin service was perfect, thanks to Mary Ann. Bermuda was beautiful and Half Moon Cay is the most wonderful port. The biggest problem was the casino air filtration system and the people causing the problem. PLEASE stop smoking now, it was miserable. I took more money home than ever. I just could not stay in there long :( Otherwise I LOVE TO CRUISE and am thankful I was able to go ! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
we have been on the carnival pride before, and we like the size; not too-too big(but still managed to get lost from time to time). cruise was smooth. even tho waves were high a few times. we had an extended balcony 7199 on deck 7. ... Read More
we have been on the carnival pride before, and we like the size; not too-too big(but still managed to get lost from time to time). cruise was smooth. even tho waves were high a few times. we had an extended balcony 7199 on deck 7. good central location for going down to dinner on deck 3, up to buffet/lounging on decks 9 and 10. sat at late dining at table for 8 all new to each other. what a great group; not sure how carnival arranges it, but was real nice. all left as friends, exchanging emails. food in dining was very good, served by waiters dedy and alit who were good, and fun. I had a few slices from the pirate pizza. they are made individually to choice and were very good. played a bunch of trivia games, always fun with good groups (who knows these things?) embarkation was crazy late and confused, apparently because the ship got back late previously due to fog. once on ship and over the big delay all was good. disembarkation on this cruise seemed to be scheduled later that others we have been on. we were called to get off and collect or luggage abt 11. went to david's steakhouse one night; super. besides the late start at embarking, I think the only con of the cruise was the time we were at sit-down for bfast and we seemed to be right under the dr. suess bfast above that blasted kid's music(we had 'heads, shoulders, knees..etc on our brains for a while after). in Bermuda we did on-day bus/ferry all over for $19ea. good way to see island, played golf at port royal one day. $90 each from golfnow. $30 taxi each way. overall great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We live in Western PA - almost to Ohio. This is our second time cruising out of Baltimore. Last time was the late debarkation when Hurricane Irene hit Baltimore head on in 2011. We drove down the night before and stayed at the Hyatt ... Read More
We live in Western PA - almost to Ohio. This is our second time cruising out of Baltimore. Last time was the late debarkation when Hurricane Irene hit Baltimore head on in 2011. We drove down the night before and stayed at the Hyatt right inside the Inner Harbor. The Inner Harbor is nice, but if you've never been, just keep your wits about you. There are panhandlers, beggars and others that don't make you feel safe. I'm not 100% sure what could be done to make it better, but just a pre-warning to keep your wits about you. Finally, the morning of debarkation. Made a trip to the local Wal Mart to pick up a few things and then figured we'd take the leisurely drive to the ship and park and be off (last time, it was the smoothest experience EVER). This time, turned what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation into an anxiety induced, blood pressure raising nightmare. When they give you a check in time, I figured that we'd hit it right on the nose. 1:30 - 2:00. We had passed the ship 3 times on our way from the Hyatt to points East (went to JC Penney before previously mentioned trip to Wal Mart), then back past it to Wal Mart and then back to park. So, we know the ship was there by lets say 11:30 - Noon (someone said it was late coming in?) Anyhow, we sat in NIGHTMARE, not moving bumper to bumper traffic for almost TWO HOURS. Pro-Tip - don't stay in the right lane - I think that was our biggest mistake. FINALLY we make it to the lot. The last time here, you paid, then parked, then took your luggage to be checked in (if I'm not mistaken). Now, you wait and wait and wait, then drop your bags, then pay, then park. Just be prepared for the experience because it was just beyond nerve wracking. Finally, we go through security which was surprisingly efficient but then you are herded like cattle (for another hour - at least) to finally get your cards, etc. Then onto the ship. The people in Baltimore are awesome, but MY LORD the traffic. Not sure that being dropped off (not parking there would have been better, unless you wanted to walk for probably about 2 miles). It's just a huge bottleneck. Anyhow, needed a drink badly by now, so we had pre-ordered the Drink Package so we got our drinks (you have to pay tax on drinks while in Port - Baltimore at least, just FYI). Then we went to our room and not only was it ready, but our luggage was there already. What the WHATTT??!? Spoke to Cabin Steward, Christopher who was ok, but we rarely saw. I gave him a decent tip at the end of the cruise because I think he did the best he could (we don't have a set or predictable schedule). Almost immediately was the muster station drill. Then, time to go look at the new upgrades to the ship. They didn't have Guys, etc. in 2011 so it was cool to see the additions. We went and did some walking and drinking while we departed and just explored the ship, getting reacquainted with it until Dinner (we had asked our Travel Agent for Our Time, but they had us down for Late Seating) so we just messed around till 8:30. We got a table for two anyhow, but asked to be changed to our time. We ALWAYS do the SteakHouse the first night for the free bottle of wine, but they've extended this to the first sea day too, more on that later. We ate and caught one of the comedy shows, which were funny, but some areas of the ship are awkward because of the posts that block the views. First world problems.... We managed. The next two days at sea were decent, the weather wasn't always great and it was a bit chilly. There were amazingly few kids on board (actual kids, not adults that think they are kids...haha) Just kidding actually, probably one of the best group of people we've been on. Average age was probably 40 at the oldest. We chose this cruise so there were fewer kids and we were right. Nothing stands out on the way there, just typical sea days, it depends on what you are into. Sleep all day, gamble yourself into even deeper debt, play Bingo, trivia or drink yourself into a stupor, pass out, wash, rinse repeat. If you are bored, you are probably a boring, uppity and aren't able to be pleased, so can't help ya there, Princess. We did the SteakHouse on the first formal night (Monday) and got surf and turf (myself) and the wife got the lamb chops. Both were very good and no wine tastes better than free wine. Wednesday morning, we arrived in Bermuda as scheduled and the weather was overcast mostly. We had purchased the Best of Bermuda package from Carnival. Why overpay you may ask? We had Chef's Table the first port day and didn't want to jeopardize missing it, plus Carnival usually has pretty decent excursions, in our experience. We weren't disappointed. I'll likely do a video review on this on You Tube if you are interested, look it up (probably by December of 2017 - will title if: BEST OF BERMUDA ISLAND TOUR with LOU). That was the name of our guide. Just to give the highlights in a sentence or two - you get to see the entire island in a 5 - 6 hour period. Is it 100% perfect, no but if you've never been here (we had not) then it'll give you ideas for the rest of your time here. We got back to the ship and did some pool time then got ready and did the Chef's Table. If you've never done this, you must try it. This is our third time and we'll always do it, just for the experience and it's nice to feel like a King / Queen - if only for a couple hours. Sadly, our table-mates seem to be stuffy and not very friendly - almost like they either ARE the Upper Class of Society and we're the peasants (we're not loud people - we adapt to our surroundings) or they think they are and don't want to be bothered with even just light conversation. No matter! The food is great and they are great hard working people. Anastasia was amazingly attentive and you could just tell that she was giving it 150%. The Head Sous Chef (forget his name) was great also. The next day, we went to Horseshoe Beach - took a $7 / person bus there and back. I always worry that we'll be scammed by deals like this - but there are no scammers, homeless and panhandlers ANYWHERE on the Island - except Hamilton but I think the dude just drank himself into a early afternoon slumber. The people aren't like they are in Nassau and some of the other Caribbean locations - even at the port. The Port is clean and orderly, albeit, not much to do and we never felt threatened at all. Horseshoe Beach is crowded, but they have great amenities. It was overcast, only about 75 and the surf was VERY choppy so we didn't spend much time here. We don't like just laying on the beach - we like getting in the water and this wasn't going to happen. So, we were only here for like 1 1/2 hours. Back to the ship. It takes a long time to drive back because of the roads. I don't know if we'd suggest renting scooters because these people drive like maniacs and we saw an accident on the way back. The roads are obscenely narrow and I know that we wouldn't have felt safe. To each their own though. We got some pink sand to bring back (didn't have any issues with this, by the way). It's not pink like Pink Panther if that's what you are picturing, but it has these little shards in it (you can Google why it's pink if you need an explanation - I'll screw it up). I don't know how anyone would be able to do anything the third day unless you are a very early riser. I'm sure we missed 98% of the island even though we saw almost all of it. Would we go back ? Yes, but probably not on a cruise. It's very expensive too, as I'm sure you've read elsewhere. Anyhow, then we sailed away and spent the remaining sea days doing our thing. I have to say that the blackjack almost felt rigged - have never lost so badly. Usually $100 can last an hour or more at a $6 table. I was down and out in 15 minutes. I'm not a heavy gambler as I'm a pretty sore loser, but knock yourself out, Carnival would love your money. Debarkation wasn't horrible, we did self assist and getting out of the Port was much easier than getting in. We left our cabin at 9 AM and were in the car by 10:15 AM. Best Custom's experience EVER. You don't even have to fill out those stupid forms telling them that you stole a bottle of sand from the beach and bought a magnet and a little $8 souvenir anymore. SWEET ! I hope this review was helpful. This itinerary has intrigued me for years. I only wish we had gone a little sooner - or probably even better yet, in early May (if they even offer it). The water temp. was doable and I'm a snob - I don't like cold water. But the surf ruined what I envisioned as an 8 hour day at the beach with a good sunburn that would last until at least Christmas. No such luck. One last thing - we got an obstructed view outside cable (4189) and it's like having a balcony stateroom without a balcony (WAY cheaper). Only drawback is all you can see is a lifeboat. We'd do that again for the savings. We never used the balcony anyhow. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I would recommend this destination to anyone wanting a change in venue. Bermuda was a nice change from island hopping! It was nice to see the nightlife for a change. Thanks to Ricky's Island Tours we saw everything of interest on ... Read More
I would recommend this destination to anyone wanting a change in venue. Bermuda was a nice change from island hopping! It was nice to see the nightlife for a change. Thanks to Ricky's Island Tours we saw everything of interest on the island and learned a great deal about the culture and history and it was half the price that Carnival wanted for an island tour. Embarkation was a bit distressing but the smoothness of debarkation made up for it. The service was excellent, most especially our wait staff. I will also say that the onboard activities could use a change. After a number of cruises there is only so much bingo/trivia contests/diamond sales/scam seminars one can take. My only other complaint is with regard to the smoking areas on the ship; there are not enough and guests should be allowed to smoke on balconies. Although I am not a smoker, my husband is. We have always booked a balcony so that he could smoke there. I feel that Carnival has placed too much importance on other "social groups" and given the smokers a raw deal. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
David's steakhouse is the best! Room Steward (Domingo) was awesome! The Pride sailing to Bermuda, what could be better-our favorite ship sailing to our favorite island!!!!!! We loved the Max to the 80's show-WOW, great ... Read More
David's steakhouse is the best! Room Steward (Domingo) was awesome! The Pride sailing to Bermuda, what could be better-our favorite ship sailing to our favorite island!!!!!! We loved the Max to the 80's show-WOW, great entertainment. Coffee bar is awesome, day and night. Would definitely like the tablecloths back on the tables EVERY NIGHT. We don't like our silver ware to be placed directly on a table that has been cleaned with a rag that just cleaned several other tables without disinfecting the rag. Bermuda is our favorite island because of the people. They are so kind and respectful. If you have never gone-Please you must! Beautiful island! The food and menu onboard has definitely gone down in quality since Carnival did the "American Table". We are not a fan of the menu, at all. Two of the seven nights, I had to ask for my food to be warmed back up because it was ice cold. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Cruised with a group of 6 friends/family. Because I consider Carnival cheap and cheerful, I had realistic expectations. There's lots of fun to be had, plenty of activities (good cruise director and staff), and while the ship does ... Read More
Cruised with a group of 6 friends/family. Because I consider Carnival cheap and cheerful, I had realistic expectations. There's lots of fun to be had, plenty of activities (good cruise director and staff), and while the ship does hold more people than it probably should, it is a big ship, so one can find peace if you know where to look. We did not dine in the MDR but booked specialty dining every night. Jiji was the absolute winner. In addition to Carnival, I've cruised on RCI, NCL, Cunard and Windstar, and Jiji is the best food I've had at sea. The steakhouse was very good; the Italian restaurant very good as well. We dined at Jiji twice -- just amazing. Do not miss it. Many reviewers remark on the crowds, but if you do your homework you'll know how to avoid them. One of the best tips I learned from other reviews was taking your tray from the Marketplace and walking to the back through the Havana Bar. Plenty of seating, plus beautiful views. Re breakfast -- you can bypass the Marketplace all together, go straight to the Havana Bar, and you'll find the omelette station as well as beverages. The Marketplace food was fine -- simple and good, and healthy choices as well. Get the Carnival HUB app -- it's free and very informative, particularly regarding places to eat -- it tells you every place serving food / drinks at any given time. The only time the lines were a bit much was when everyone returned from port (Bermuda). The lines at Guy's and the pizza place were really long. I went to my cabin, ordered room service, and had a peaceful lunch. Remember, there are lots of smaller places to eat -- check the HUB app. We went off on our own in Bermuda and had a beautiful day. Great gym, wonderful spa. My friends bought the day pass for the spa and loved every minute. The casino is a riot of fun, as it should be. Live bands, nightclubs all good. One plus was good placement of the teen / kids areas -- far from where the adults were. Barely saw them, bless their hearts. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Everything was nice about this cruise except the comedy shows. They only had a PG show the first day. Everyday after that they were all R or X rated. 4 times a day, even at 7:15. We are not prudes, but we don't like hearing ... Read More
Everything was nice about this cruise except the comedy shows. They only had a PG show the first day. Everyday after that they were all R or X rated. 4 times a day, even at 7:15. We are not prudes, but we don't like hearing the F word a 100 times, and distasteful material. What happened to the funny shows? The main shows were good, Also we played some trivia games which were fun. There were many choices of food everywhere. Had your time dining, and getting a ticket on deck 5 was a snap. Also let us have a booth for just the 2 of us. Going to Bermuda was so much better than the short cruises that have gone up to Canada in the past. We stopped going on the short ones because we couldn't take Canada anymore. Tired of being chilly. So except for the complaint about the comedy, we enjoyed this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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