7 Carnival Horizon Bermuda Cruise Reviews

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
Carnival Horizon Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.5

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