181 Carnival Horizon Family Cruise Reviews

9 day cruise UGH. Let’s start by saying every vacation has a few bumps, and I have been on many cruise vacations and land vacations. I will list the pros and cons, to be fair. Pros, - getting on and off the boat was a positive ... Read More
9 day cruise UGH. Let’s start by saying every vacation has a few bumps, and I have been on many cruise vacations and land vacations. I will list the pros and cons, to be fair. Pros, - getting on and off the boat was a positive experience. It was relatively quick and one of the easiest, compared to other cruise lines. The hamburgers were very good. The buffets at the pig and anchor and the Italian resterants, very good and no charge. Pizza was good if you like waiting on lines Piano bar player Eden Parker was the real deal. Great time. Comedians were pretty good That’s about it on the pros, CONS- The boat is way overcrowded 5000 people and does not look NEW. I have been on Oasis and Allure of the seas Big boats 5000 people and did not feel like I was in a herd of cattle. The boat is not easy to navigate. The elevators are a nightmare, new system new technology, it sucks be prepared to walk and take the stairs. The room was extremely small with no storage. Yes, I get an inside cabin and my kids also had their own cabin. I always get the inside cabin because we are hardly in the room. These were the smallest rooms of any cruise ship I have been on. The A/c in my cabin was poor at best 74-75, complained twice but never fixed. My kids room the ac worked well. The pools, if that’s what you can call them are ridiculous. Two of the smallest pools you will ever see on any cruise line- 5000 people two small tiny pools. You might as well call them cesspools. A joke. One pool was closed two days, yes someone pooped in the pool two days in a row. I can’t blame the cruise line, but whatever. The food in the dinning room is edible, but very forgettable, nothing special bland. The service was poor. I can’t blame the server though. Overworked, not enough staff, wrong food given out, bread sporadically given and drinks forget it. I walked out to the bar after the second day to get drinks for the table. Yes I would walk to the bar 2 to 3 times during dinner to get drinks. Never had to do that before. I actually felt bad for the guys making pizza, way overworked like sweatshop workers, people yelling at them because of long wait times. I tipped them 20.00 just because I felt bad for them. 9 day cruise 3 ports with short visit times 7am to 2, on two ports, and were late into both with no extension time. I hated the cruise director, but that is descretionary, I thought he was annoying at best. Just an FYI I purchased two drink packages 850+ 2 soda packages 100+ and two internet packages 175+ Good luck with your choice Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
SUMMARY We normally cruise on Royal Caribbean and have done Norwegian several times as well. We booked this cruise because leaving from NYC is convenient for us, and we were comfortable trying Carnival for the first time because Horizon ... Read More
SUMMARY We normally cruise on Royal Caribbean and have done Norwegian several times as well. We booked this cruise because leaving from NYC is convenient for us, and we were comfortable trying Carnival for the first time because Horizon is a brand new ship. As of this writing, the ratings are just about evenly distributed between Excellent, Very Good, Average and Poor. There are a total of 50 Average and Poor ratings, and 48 Excellent and Very Good. I had a lot of anxiety about going on this cruise after I read the many negative reviews. But I have to say, all my fears were completely unfounded. I had a fantastic time! Now, having said that, let me explain my rating and this review. I never give anything a "5" because I feel that implies perfection and there is no such thing. I wanted to give this a "3" only because it is not quite as good as some Royal Caribbean cruises I have been on, where I have given a "4". But the hating on this ship seems ridiculous to me and I think Horizon deserves to see its overall rating improve. Any negative or snarky comments should not detract from my overall positive feelings about the ship but are instead designed to (a) provide some suggestions for future cruisers (on how to optimize your experience, and in some cases how to properly behave); (b) provide suggestions for improvement to Carnival management, assuming they read these reviews; and (c) reflect my love-hate relationship with cruises in general, in some cases not even specific to this ship. None of my negative comments below should dissuade you from taking this cruise. My whole family and I (there were 11 of us - six adults and five children) were all very happy. OK, now on to the details... FOOD Food quality overall was very good. I have reasonable expectations about food on cruises. I consider myself to be somewhat of a "foodie" and dine out frequently, often at upscale restaurants. I don't expect the food on a cruise to compete with the best restaurants. They are making massive amounts of food at one time, how good can you possibly expect it to be? Quality is always going to suffer in favor of quantity. I thought every meal was pretty decent and encountered no problems with cold food, botched orders or anything like that. We had the early seating in the Meridian every night except one. Our wait staff was absolutely phenomenal - Piotr, Pedro and Igedde (sp?). They remembered all 11 of our family’s names after the first night. Those of us that drank soda had cans waiting for them at the table when we arrived. The team worked well together, were very attentive and took time out to talk to and entertain the youngest children in our family. One night we ate at the Italian specialty restaurant. The food quality here was excellent, but the service not quite what we would expect. It did get a bit old sitting anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours in the Meridian seven out of eight nights, so I would recommend trying a few more of the specialty restaurants to vary things a bit. A side benefit of the specialty restaurants is that you’ll avoid getting interrupted by photographers while you’re eating. One negative in the main dining room was that they did not have the same wine that we enjoyed in the Italian restaurant, and we were unable to get it without a separate charge for the whole bottle, even though two of us had the drink package. Also, we were never proactively asked if we wanted coffee or tea with dessert, although of course if we asked it was served. There weren’t a ton of healthy choices. There were no explicit healthy selections on the Meridian dinner menu but there were some wise choices available. For quicker breakfast or lunchtime meals, I was hoping for offerings like those in the Solarium on Royal Caribbean, but there was no equivalent; the salad bar in the Serenity Lounge was fairly limited. Please don’t let there ever be a law that requires putting calories on the menus like in some parts of the U.S. As far as the specialty places: The java cafe on 5 had good coffee - nice that this is included in the drink package - but their nitro cold brew machine was out of service most of the cruise. The pizza place on deck 10 aft was good but I only had it once so can't really comment on the wait time so many other reiewers complained about. I can tell you the wait at the Seafood Shack was long, even though I was the only one ordering. I ordered a few things to share with the family: the lobster BLT had too much mayonnaise in the lobster; the steamed shrimp could have been healthy, if topped only with Old Bay seasoning, but instead was obviously immersed in butter; and the fried shrimp had an oily heavy batter instead of a thin, dry, crispy crust. However, the clam strips were very good - I actually enjoyed them more than the ones I had recently eaten at Legal Seafood in Boston. Guy's burgers poolside were very good and never a long wait; I visited there about three times during the cruise. I would say they taste most like burgers at the Five Guys chain (not the same “Guy”). The Pig & Anchor is hyped up by some professional cruise bloggers. We only went for lunch, and the lunch offering does not include baby back ribs. The brisket and pulled pork were good, but I've had better at local chains such as Mission Grill here in Philadelphia. You go up to the servers and they put what you request on your plate; I wasn't getting any sides so figured they would be a little more generous with the meat, but they were actually quite stingy so I walked away with a lot of open real estate on my plate. I didn’t eat in the Lido Marketplace except to grab early-morning coffee or maybe a mini Danish or croissant. But my father-in-law had a couple of sandwiches made in the deli section and made it a point to say he really enjoyed them. There was a small breakfast buffet in Ocean Plaza, deck 5 aft, which had fruit, pastries, scrambled eggs, bacon, oatmeal, and a few other things; this area was much less crowded than the Lido Marketplace and was a nice alternative to that or to the breakfast burritos that I had three of the mornings. Speaking of breakfast burritos, they are excellent as were the lunch burritos, all from the Blue Iguana on the pool deck. They also have tacos at lunch but only soft shells; I prefer crunchy shells. DRINKS The poolside Rum Bar and Tequila Bar were both good. I liked that they had these two separate themes instead of just generic bars, and the drink concoctions were interesting. The only problem is that they could get quite crowded at times. Other than these poolside bars, there were no outdoor bars where you could sit at a bar alongside the ocean and be served a drink. There is physically a bar just outside the Ocean Plaza, but it was closed all week; you could get yourself a drink at the indoor Ocean Plaza bar and take it outside, and of course you could always take a drink outside from various other places. The Alchemy Bar was hyped in some cruise blogs. I am somewhat of a cocktail aficionado and an amateur mixologist / home bartender, so I was looking forward to trying the Alchemy. But I was disappointed with their cocktail menu, which was just about entirely filled with sweet drinks (a problem at most of the onboard bars) and no classic cocktail derivations. Zoron runs this bar and will make you up something interesting if you tell him what you like. He is a very knowledgeable bartender that also works at the Rum Bar, but he is very soft-spoken so between that and his accent it was sometimes difficult to understand what he was saying. I really enjoyed the bar at the Pig & Anchor - Milos is a great guy, but my understanding is that he is getting a promotion which I assume will take him out from behind the bar - and the Smoked Rosemary Boulevardiere was a revelation - I have never seen a drink actually infused with smoke from burning herbs. The Liquid Lounge should stop serving drinks that have to be made with a blender. These concoctions cause a bottleneck when people are trying to get their drinks and get situated just before the show starts. The noise of the blender interrupted the comic juggler’s act and he made a joke out of the intrusive sound. My father-in-law got the soda package and was disappointed to find out that he could only use it to get a soda at a bar or restaurant, not at venues such as the deck 5 coffee shop. There were also no soda machines in the Lido Marketplace, such as Royal Caribbean has in its equivalent Windjammer. My wife and I had the ultimate drink package, which also includes bottled water, specialty coffees, etc. Well worth it for us, but you’ll have to do your own math on it. STATEROOM I wiped everything down myself and found a stray hair here and there. A few times we found a stray hair on our towels. That kind of stuff freaks me out. Despite this, the room was clean overall. Our cabin attendant was friendly enough, but three separate times I asked for extra towels and only got them once. As others have commented, it would be so much nicer if the shower had a door instead of a curtain; the ship is still pretty new right now, but those curtains are going to quickly get raunchy, and nothing is more disturbing than having a gross shower curtain rub against you while you are trying to get clean. Unlike on other ships, we received housekeeping only once per day. There was no evening turn-down service or replenishment of towels. It was only later we realized that there was an option we could have selected for once daily or twice daily service, but our cabin steward had only asked us if we wanted service in the morning OR in the evening. THE SHIP ITSELF – LAYOUT, AESTHETICS, LOGISTICS, ETC. Check-in was smooth. We arrived at the terminal early and were called for boarding earlier than scheduled. My wife had done all the check-in work online so we didn’t have to wait on any lines in the terminal. We did the walk-off disembarkation, which went as well as could be expected. I thought the muster drill was somewhat disorganized. There did not seem to be enough crew members around to direct people to their muster stations, and the crew members responsible for our muster station arrived after the scheduled start. I joked with my family that in the event of an incident, we would all be on our own, every man for himself! The ship is beautiful and clean, with colorful, contemporary and decorative venues, as one would expect with a brand new vessel. It was a little confusing navigating around sometimes because, rather than a straight “spine” down the middle such as the Royal Caribbean Oasis class promenade, you would sometimes come to a dead-end and have to turn left or right to an outer corridor to continue walking fore or aft. But it’s no big deal once you get the hang of it. One day, I needed to get quickly from the pool to our chairs on a lower deck in the forward portion of the ship. I learned that there is no way to do this without going inside, having to walk barefoot on the elevators and get blasted with cold air conditioning while soaking wet. For all I know this could be the case on just about every ship, but it’s something I just happened to notice on this cruise. I liked the fact that there were forward-looking views from the bow on several decks, including lower decks such as 5, 6 and 7; I have been on ships where there were no such vantage points. I also enjoy the view aft, watching the wake of the boat trail into the distance, but from what I could tell the only place to do this was deck 10; I wish there was a lower deck with this view, closer to the water. Lots of reviews included complaints about the elevators. I thought the system of selecting a deck and being directed to a specific car worked fine; I don’t think the wait times were any shorter or longer than on ships with a “normal” elevator system. Sometimes the waits were frustrating, but that has been the case on just about every ship I’ve ever been on. The pool area was pretty loud. A cruise should recreate the experience of an island resort, not a NYC club. How about some reggae or steel drum music instead of this loud club music? Some people should just stay home in NYC if they want to go clubbing. We like shade, and there is a shady deck just above and overlooking the pool deck, but it was just too loud there. We found a quiet and shady spot on deck 5, but it was not particularly convenient to venues for coffee, food or drinks. The Serenity Lounge is the adults-only area. It has no covered / shady areas and no pool of its own; Royal Caribbean’s Solarium on Oasis, Allure and Anthem (and perhaps others) has it all over Carnival Horizon’s Serenity Lounge. The Liquid Lounge is the “main” theater but it is not a large, impressive traditional theater like on other ships. As the name implies, it is more of a lounge and the seating is not as comfortable as in a “real” theater. Deck 10 aft was a nice area with some shady tables near the Seafood Shack and the pizza place, as well as lounge chairs out in the sun around a small pool and hot tub. They almost always had cruise-appropriate reggae music playing in this area. ENTERTAINMENT There is no signature “Broadway-quality” production. The same troupe performs in several different shows in the Liquid Lounge. We went to the Vintage Pop show (which was a “Roaring 20s” type of thing), which I enjoyed because I’ve always been interested in that era, and Celestial Strings, which was OK when they were doing some of the rock numbers but less interesting with the slower ballads (not to mention it was hard to follow the storyline, if there even was one). We also saw a comedic juggler in the Liquid Lounge. I liked the fact that the shows were generally 45 minutes instead of an hour and a half; I was able to get through them without falling asleep, and it left more time in the evening to do other things. There was a band in the Ocean Plaza just about every night, with a variety of different sets – jazz, pop, 50’s, etc. Most ships have either a jazz club or a blues club, but Horizon has neither. There is, however, a piano bar. We sat in there a few times and it was relaxing but a little stuffy, more like we were watching a piano recital and afraid to talk, rather than it being background music to a more lively bar scene. It was probably different later at night when they had sing-alongs but we did not go to any of those. There were no bands in the pool area, unlike on other cruises where they will often feature reggae, steel drum or calypso music so that you feel like you’re at an island resort. Across from the piano bar is the Library Bar, which is a room filled with books and board games, including classics like Monopoly, Connect Four and Battleship. I was amazed to see Rock-Em Sock-Em Robots too, but unfortunately, it was broken. There is also a self-serve wine dispenser. The kids enjoyed this room – they spent some time in there alone, and some with us. There were two different PG-rated comedy shows. And they really were PG-rated, there was nothing that pushed the envelope for our youngest like on the supposedly family-friendly comedy show we went to on Norwegian Breakaway a couple of years ago. One of the comedians, Cee-Jay Jones, was particularly enjoyable because he actually addressed the kids with humor about how lucky they were to be on a cruise. He drew the kids into his routine with jokes about family dynamics between kids and adults, which was funny for both generations while also teaching the kids somewhat of a lesson. On the way out, I even heard my wife admonishing my son over something he was doing, with the line “Didn’t you hear what the comedian said?” There were seemingly nonstop opportunities to engage in trivia games in an endless variety of topical areas, and we had a few winners in our group, although my in-laws were disappointed there was no 50’s music triva. FITNESS The gym sucks. If you do anything other than run on a treadmill, or aren’t lucky enough to snag one of the two rowing machines, forget about a decent weight training workout, there just isn’t enough room (although there are heavy dumbbells available). The running track is way too small – 7 laps are required just to complete a mile – and you’ll have to dodge people walking with flip-flops holding cups of coffee. It is also on the opposite end of the ship from the fitness center, so if you have any intentions of putting together a circuit that includes running and weightlifting you’re out of luck unless you use the treadmill. I like ships that have a dedicated track on a lower deck, shaded by the deck above and padded with running track substrate. They have some useless machines on the deck near the running track that mimic certain weightlifting machines using bodyweight only; it looked more like an adult playground than any serious fitness equipment. I saw a picture on Carnival’s website about a heavy bag and brought my gloves with me but there was none; (the Carnival website featured the brand name they use for this area, Sky Zone, but it is not the same on every ship). They did have a pull-up bar (although it was way too thick to sustain a grip for more than a few reps) and dip bars, so I was able to put together a circuit of running, pull-ups, dips and push-ups. The spa had a drink case that had protein drinks on the first and last days but was empty in between. PORTS OF CALL Not my favorite part of any cruise. If you really want to experience a Caribbean island, go there for vacation, which is my general preference. I’m not interested in being part of a cattle call for an excursion that provides some sanitized island experience that does little or nothing to show the true character, culture or feel of the island. Of course, nothing is stopping you from exploring the island on your own, but there usually isn’t enough time, especially with the risk of not making it back to the ship for its departure. For these reasons, I generally prefer to stay on the ship during the cruise; it’s your floating resort, and it’s nice when the crowds are gone. If you get off the ship and don’t take any excursions, here is what your port experiences will be: - Grand Turk: scramble to get off the ship early enough in the morning to secure a lounge chair on the nearby beach, haggling with one or more competitive lounge chair guys after you have safely navigated through their dogs running freely on the beach, and then enjoy a view of the Horizon about 100 yards in front of you while swimming in a mix of water, seaweed and diesel discharge from the cruise ship and the other watercraft buzzing to and from the beach on both sides of you. We did do some snorkeling here and saw some cool stuff including a school of squid but hardly an optimal snorkeling opportunity. - San Juan: walk around Old San Juan. It was nice to get the essence of the area with its narrow cobblestone streets and colorful building but you won’t want to do this long in the heat. - Amber Cove: go to Carnival’s own area featuring a pool, water slides, bar, and restaurant!!! What? They have these on the ship already? Oh… But at Amber Cove I get to pay for my drinks because the drink package doesn’t work here! But seriously, I did leave out one good part, and that was the zip line - $20 for as many rides as you want – I did have a lot of fun doing this with my son and nephew. Note the age requirement is 14 and up, which disappointed my daughter after she had made the trek up the hill. By the way, the water slides were closed for renovation, and apparently this was the third week of the shutdown. MISCELLANEOUS The app is definitely helpful and the ability to text your family or friends that are onboard is certainly worth $5 for the cruise (unnecessary if everyone in your group has the internet package). But the app is somewhat temperamental; for whatever reason I would have to frequently sign back in. There were also texts that did not go through. If you really want to make sure someone sees your text, ask them to confirm receipt. I got the premium Internet package. It worked fine and the speeds were good. The only issue was, as noted above, finding that I had gotten kicked off and had to sign back in. Also note that if you have the Internet package you need the app to access it. I’ve seen reviews indicating that the crew was not friendly. I did not find this to be the case. Everyone was generally as friendly as on any other ship, and all interactions were favorable. Chris, the cruise director, was a force of nature running around the ship in his kilt. The guy is a performer in his own right and can seriously sing; he’s a one-man show of his own. Don’t try to take a nap at around noon or you’ll be awoken by an announcement that it’s noon, followed by a “gong” sound. Is this really necessary? Some passengers need to learn how to act or stay home. Several groups of teenagers were walking around with boom boxes – is there not enough music for you to choose from on this ship? What gives you the right to decide what everybody around you is going to listen to, especially in areas where people went to get some peace and quiet? You grown-ups that play music or videos on your phones within earshot of other people are no better. The worst were the people in the cabin next to my sister-in-law’s family, running up and down the halls and making noise in their room at 4:30am; security had to be called. This just seems to be the type of crowd that finds its way onto cruises, particularly when they leave from NYC. But people like this are, fortunately, the exception not the rule. We saw an IMAX movie on National Parks. There were technical difficulties when we were supposed to see it so we had to reschedule, but we were given an extra free show for the trouble, which was nice. We chose one of the 4D thrill features, which was OK but the second of the three segments was blurry. I liked the 8-day itinerary. A 7-day cruise doesn’t feel like a full week, because the departure day is not a full day. With an 8-day cruise, you get a full week in addition to that first half-day. I also liked how the itinerary was bookended by two sea days at either end, with three port days in the middle. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We enjoyed NYC the night before the cruise. It made for an easy embarkation onto the ship the next day. Carnival's Horizon is a beautiful brand new ship. Our balcony stateroom on the Lido Deck couldn't have been in a better ... Read More
We enjoyed NYC the night before the cruise. It made for an easy embarkation onto the ship the next day. Carnival's Horizon is a beautiful brand new ship. Our balcony stateroom on the Lido Deck couldn't have been in a better location. We had great shows each night to entertain us, great food in their buffets and in their main dining room all week, and the crew couldn't have been more accommodating. We've been on over 25 cruises and this one did not disappoint us. We loved every minute of it. Carnival offers so many activities for singles and families. You can not be bored. My family and I are sad that it's over. The eight day cruise just flew by. Carnival made getting off the ship just as easy as getting on and there were over 4000 cruise passengers. We're are looking to sailing Carnival next year. This cruise celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary with five stars. Thank you Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
better than I expected. not as nice as Disney but enjoyed it. the cruise director was fabulous. the entertainment was great. the Canadian comedian was hilarious. the food was better than expected. food not very hot in the ... Read More
better than I expected. not as nice as Disney but enjoyed it. the cruise director was fabulous. the entertainment was great. the Canadian comedian was hilarious. the food was better than expected. food not very hot in the restaurant. the buffet was good. blue iguana was excellent. burgers were excellent. pools were small. embarking and disembarking were easy. drink prices could have been a little cheaper. too many extra charges the seafood shack should be included. cabins clean. staff very friendly. charged for imax movie most ships movies are included. the ports were nice easy on and off. could have better picture packages. pictures a little pricey. desserts very good. not as classy as other cruise lines but was nice. very family oriented. pools crowded on sea days. overall nice cruise no real complaints. this was my first carnival cruise. was what i expected. no real complaints would recommend for families Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We just returned from the July 3 sailing to Caribbean. I have been on Carnival many times before as well as several other cruise lines and I was looking forward to the new ship. We had a party of 13 and we all had a great time. ... Read More
We just returned from the July 3 sailing to Caribbean. I have been on Carnival many times before as well as several other cruise lines and I was looking forward to the new ship. We had a party of 13 and we all had a great time. Water park was outstanding. I have never seen such a nice and fun set up for kids, young and old on a ship. Loads of fun. Our cabins, deck 8 balcony were very nice. Typical size but clean and new. Bed was super comfortable. Entertainment was excellent. Deck and atrium parties were great fun. Our CD The Flying Scotsman was one of the best CD's I have ever had. Don't miss his show.....he can really sing! Loved Celestial Strings, very beautiful. Quest was great, a do not miss! I heard good things about the Havana Bar, but we didn't get there. Piano Bar was a great evening hang out after dinner. Service I felt was excellent. Our room steward was outstanding. Yes, there were lines every now and then for Guy's burgers or a drink at the bar but I never felt anyone on the staff did not work hard to accommodate. A little patience goes a long way and you are on vacation, relax! Also, it never hurts to give a buck or two here and there, appreciate their hard work. Elevators, I still can't figure out what so many people are complaining about. It was just fine, I don't think I waited longer than 2 minutes for an elevator. Yes, different concept but not a big issue for us. Pools were very crowded, as expected with so many passengers. I do wish they had been larger. Tides pool was a bit quieter and had two hot tubs vs the resort pool mid-ship. Serenity was nice, would have been better with an adults only pool but it was extremely windy. There is a nice salad bar in Serenity if you want to opt for something more "healthy" for lunch. No kids allowed though! Our favorite place to lounge was deck 11 as the whole deck is in shade with nice comfortable chairs and couches. Just get there early as they go quickly. Ports were okay. I have been to all of the islands before so I didn't do any excursions, just went out ourselves. Turks had a pretty nice beach area as well as the pool if you wish. Puerto Rico, my family only went into Old San Juan and did some shopping to try to help boost their economy as so much of the island is still devastated from the hurricane. Amber Cove was probably the best. Their set up with the pool was very nice and they had a small zip line you could ride unlimited for $20.00 per person. Not enough time in each port to really explore but many people did excursions. Food was probably the one area that could use improvement. We are not big buffet people but for breakfast I would have really liked to see a better variety, especially fruit. So please Carnival, get some fruit! Main dining room was good, not great. I did feel this is where the service did lack. Not because the waiters weren't trying, they just need to be better trained. In all fairness however our party was 13 people and they had other tables to attend to as well. I think our waiters were a bit overwhelmed at times. But we had two gluten free in our party and they were VERY well taken care of. They bring the menu at the end of the meal for the next evening so they could pick what they wanted. Even will make the melting cake gluten free. GF options were plentiful, you just have to ask. Pizza, the deli in the buffet has GF bread, Guys has GF buns, and my daughter got some GF cake somewhere. We did eat at Bonzai and that was very good. Also the Italian restaurant was excellent. Not too crazy about Mongolian Wok, we waited a long time for the table and the food was bland. Guy's burgers, Blue Iguana and pizza are good lunch options if you are relaxing on deck. Didn't try Pig and Anchor, really ran out of time. Steakhouse looked nice but you can get a nicer cut of beef at the main dining room for a lesser charge. Advice to Carnival, please introduce a non-alcoholic drink package, more than soft drinks. My daughter is under age but she loves virgin fruity drinks. It's a hefty price to pay for each drink. RCI offers that package, it's time Carnival did. All in all, we had a great time. We would definitely sail again on Horizon. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We cruised July 3 - 11. This was our 9th cruise with Carnival so I have a lot to compare to and I may have expected too much having cruise on older boats. In general of course we enjoyed the cruise and the vacation. Lots to do, my teen was ... Read More
We cruised July 3 - 11. This was our 9th cruise with Carnival so I have a lot to compare to and I may have expected too much having cruise on older boats. In general of course we enjoyed the cruise and the vacation. Lots to do, my teen was happy and occupied and the food is plentiful. The observations is about various minor things or simply because it’s different than other boats which doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad - only different. Carnival Hub - a phone application. Yes - do download it. Was mostly handy to see what’s happening on the ship, your account and you could reserve a table for your time dinner. Instead of going to deck 5 and getting a beeper or a slip. This feature wasn’t available the first day or 2, I think. Later on that’s how we reserved a table for dinner. We got the Social plan for “internet” and I was able to communicate with my daughter constantly via WhatsApp or iMessage. She was super happy because she could use Instagram, Facebook and snapchat. Decor - in comparison to Carnival’s other ships is way toned down. More modern. My husband says it looks like a shopping mall with Ikea furniture or a hotel look. The electronic center columns have changing designs, yet even that doesn’t give much of a wow factor. No interior glass elevators etc. Nothing wrong with this, it’s just so much different than other Carnival ships I’ve been on. Haven't been on the sister ship Vista - so I can’t compare to that. Pools are small but so are the pools on other ships. Jacuzzis are always full. It was disappointing because it was full of kids and no staff was policing the rule. Serenity the adult only area is fine if you can get a deck chair or “cabana”. We learned that the best time is around lunch time 1:30 - 2:00 PM when you can snag a place. I was disappointment from the the Spa/Cloud 9 area. I went with my husband looking for the whirlpool, sauna and showers like other Carnival ships have. I asked at the front desk where to go but I made a wrong turn and went in after someone to a really nice area with a whirlpool, 3 different saunas, mosaic covered lounging beds and refrigerated cooled towels. It was both for men and women. Was lovely but my husband never showed up there. I later found out that it’s an area that you can go into only with extra pay. I accidentally walked into it just after someone swiped in. From there I went looking for the showers as other ships have. To my surprise there are 2 showers only (one for handicapped) and a toilet in the women’s area. A very small dry sauna which you have to turn on and wasn’t turning on. This is the free for all area and the sauna they offer! Elevators - These are the new elevators that you press the deck you want outside and it tells you what elevator to go to wait by. It’s computerized and is supposed to be faster. You get used to them though sometimes there are long waits and the elevator didn’t stop where I asked it to stop. First day or two it’s a mess and people are confused. You may prefer to just use the stairs at those times. There is an iMax movie theater that costs $9.95 a movie. Great theater and huge screen. They had Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Costs much more on land for these new movies. There are free movies at night on the Lido deck (some of those that are on demand paid movies in the staterooms TV). Get a blanket or towel from the towel station, popcorn and a deck chair on that floor or above. Stores - they are on 2 levels and they seem to be smaller than other ships and had less to offer. I’m not talking about watches and jewelry. Less apparel, toiletries, hats and souvenirs. Just high end stuff. We needed flip flops but they had none (someone stole my husband’s flip flops from the water slide area). The Cherry on Top is bigger. There is a Victoria's Secret as well. Casino also seems a little smaller than other ships. There is no Art Gallery/Auction area like on other ships. Personally I’m happy for that. As an artist I don’t appreciate the type of art they are peddling. Instead the photo Pixel area is larger and has tablet areas where you can look up your photos (you an also do that on the phone Hub app). They sell art photos printed on metal instead of the paintings Liquid Lounge where the main stage shows are at is smallish compared to other ships but we didn’t find the columns a problem as other people did. There are some places you definitely can’t see because of them but that’s to be expected. The chairs at the center floor are arranged and changed for each performance. They are not fixed chairs and tables so that may reduce the amount of seating but it also helps the shows and the performers can walk between the audience that way. The shows are good and the troop is professional! Punchliner comedy club which they call the Limelight I think is also smaller. Freezing in there...we had great comedians. Chris Williams “The flying Scotsman” (the cruise director) is outstanding. The best cruise director we ever had. Energetic, fun and talented. He knows how to make people party and happy. Dining and food - There are plenty of options. Whoever complained just didn’t explore. Lunch time is not limited to the Lido Marketplace buffet. There is Guy’s Burger, Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse (free at lunch time, paid restaurant at dinner). Guy's Pig & Anchor also has its own brewery! 24 hour Pizza, a deli (line could be long), Mongolian & Cucina del Capitano (deck 11) free at lunch. BlueIguana Cantina, Breakfast/Brunch until 1:30 I think sea days. You can go to Serenity and make your own salad. Food is fine some better (burgers) some less (buffet at times). You can buy beer from an automatic vending station at the Marketplace. By the way - The Library/Game room has a buy a wine by the glass or by the bottle automatic dispenser. Dining room - we had your time plan and the first 2 days there was a long wait. Beepers given. Afterwards it got better and we used the Hub app as I already mentioned. The food was mostly good. Here and there some misses. Fillet mignon was rare when we asked for Medium well. Carnival melting cake wasn’t as good as other ships. It was over cooked and therefore not melting. Finally I asked the waiter to request one that isn’t overcooked and that worked. Some dishes had no salt at all. Still it’s so much nicer in our opinion than the Lido Marketplace. Don’t forget that you can have as many dishes as you want. 2, 3 appetizers and main courses and desserts though I don’t know who has room for all that. The disappointment was with the service and servers. Not consistent. Some servers were wonderfully friendly and attentive others cold, seemed harassed and distracted. We had spoons and butter on our breakfast table only once out of all the days we went there. I was surprised that there were no tablecloths during dinner or breakfast. Only at tea time (which very few people know about or bother to go and it’s only a few tables). Do try it, it’s a nice thing with cucumber sandwiches and some sweets. There is a midnight snack - always the same but very nice. Great mozzarella & tomato sandwiches, grilled ham and cheese, meatball sandwich, soup, bowtie pasta and cookies. There is a good magician who walks around and does small shows of card, coins and string tricks at the tables. Adds some fun. If I compare to other cruises there were less staff shows during dinners and the ones they had waned in comparison to other ships. So that coupled with the no tablecloths made it a little less festive and elegant than other ships I was on. We ate at one speciality restaurant - at the Bonsai Teppanyaki. The meal was very good. A 7 course meal. The cost is $25 or $30 per person depending on what you order. Two couples we talked to who ate at the Chef's Table said it was a great experience and unbelievable food. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth, the fastest and easiest compared to previous cruises. They streamlined the process. Only thing to note that you should pay attention to if you want your luggage taken at night. Is that you have to pick up the zone luggage tags yourself. There is an early and late time slots and you have to take the luggage zone tags from deck 10 forward. The zone tage are not delivered to the room. They put them out from around 12:45 PM at deck 10 forward. I didn’t bother to read the flyer they left in the room about disembarkation and only did so at 2 PM. By the time I got upstairs all the early zone tags were taken. I took the last zone (zone 30) and we were called last at around 10:30 AM. That was fine for us. We wanted to have breakfast the last day and sit in the sun to prolong our vacation just a little more and to avoid the Manhattan rush hour! This is a lovely ship and a great vacation. I hope Carnival will work out the staff issues and ease off from nickel and diming for things that are free on other ships. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Enjoyed cruise, staff friendly and helpful. Dining room ( Merieden) was under staffed ,although the staff worked extremely hard, it was not as smooth an experience as on previous cruises. Entertainment was good in Liquid lounge. Also ... Read More
Enjoyed cruise, staff friendly and helpful. Dining room ( Merieden) was under staffed ,although the staff worked extremely hard, it was not as smooth an experience as on previous cruises. Entertainment was good in Liquid lounge. Also enjoyed The Brass Boys and Crushed Velvet in the Ocean Plaza. Only did one excursion and it was the the Traditional one in the Dominican Republic and had an excellent guide - “Chooky” and we thoroughly enjoyed the visit and learning something about the country. Grand Turk was disappointing as didn’t get into town and the shops at the port was mostly the diamond ones. Enjoyed visiting SAN Juan in Peurto Rico. Walked to the fort and did some shopping and finished up in a fun pub. Days at sea passed quickly as there were plenty to do. Sunbathing or joining in some quizzes. The younger members of our party enjoyed the Sky ride. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We're regular Carnival cruisers and liked being able to drive to the NYC port for an 8-day cruise. I titled this review "Accidental" Horizon cabin because when we booked last year, our cabin wasn't a Havana cabin. It ... Read More
We're regular Carnival cruisers and liked being able to drive to the NYC port for an 8-day cruise. I titled this review "Accidental" Horizon cabin because when we booked last year, our cabin wasn't a Havana cabin. It became one while fitting out in Italy. We weren't planning on being in Havana, but it really was a plus for our cruise - the pool was wonderful and never crowded. My description of Havana is "Serenity, only more limited." Our cabin itself was okay - it was an aft wrap, but I liked the aft wraps on Victory and Glory better. They were larger and had nicer balconies.The real benefit to this cabin was Havana access. Entertainment was very good. The comedians' shows were good (although I don't like the Limelight Lounge very much - the sight lines are awful). All of the music was very good and there were lots of venues to enjoy. I saw a couple of shows in the Liquid Lounge and while the shows were good, the Lounge tsself is not great - like Limelight Lounge, poor sight lines. All of our food was good, We had al dinners in the main dining room, early seating. Great wait staff. we ended up not having any dinners at the specialty restaraunts. However, we enjoyed lunch at the Mongolian wok one day and I had the Seafood Shack's fried clams another. We also tried the BBQ buffet one day and enjoyed it, and I had a Guy's burger twice. My choice is a Plain Jane with cheese and then topped with bacon and mushrooms fro the toppings bar. Sons spent a lot of tie on the sports deck; both did the Sky Ride and enjoyed it. I love the outer areas available on this class of ship - if I wanted to be somewhere other than our balcony or in the Havana area, you could usualy find me outside on deck 5, the Lanai. I'd sal Horizon in a heartbeat. Despite the number of passengers I never felt crowded and never had to wait in line for the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Chose this cruise because it was out of NYC, no flights, it was a brand new ship and expected adequate good staffing and food,etc. We were disappointed. Embarkation was fine, we drove to the port and parked at the port, and were boarded ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was out of NYC, no flights, it was a brand new ship and expected adequate good staffing and food,etc. We were disappointed. Embarkation was fine, we drove to the port and parked at the port, and were boarded quickly because our cousins are platinum level carnival cruisers. The room was a nice inside cabin, ample room in bathroom and room, with limited shelve space for two. The steward, Arturo was great. The brand new ship still had backups and broken sink drains in the bathroom. The adult pool has been changed to an everyone pool, and the plethora of kids were quite unruly in the pools. They also commandeered the hot tubs. There were constant occurrences of chair hogging, with people claiming chairs and not returning for well over 3-4 hours. They need to police this better. The pool was also dirty on the bottom. Lunch presented with poor choices as regards healthy options. Roasted chicken only appeared once, most dishes were saucy, spicy and breaded. Breakfast was OK. No lox on the buffet. I need to emphasize that I did not go on vacation to stand on lines for the breakfast, lunch, guys burgers, pizza, tacos, the comedy clubs, etc. I am on vacation. The waiter, Roderick, was excellent. Food was mediocre at best. I guess food is an easy way to cut quality and save money. so charge a little more and upgrade the quality of the menus.. The stops were not very good. Very short in port times. Turks was mobbed with two ships in, San Juan empty with only one ship in, and Amber Cove basically a private island stop.. Overall, I would not recommend carnival. It might be good for the kids and families as the water park, Dr Suess themed looked good. There were only two good bands/entertainment. The 3 strings and the mambo band in Havana. The others all were off key, etc. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted a ship that would work for a 4 year old and a 1 1/2 year old. First off embarkation was complete chaos. Once we were on the ship we had to deal with the new type of elevators. I had to wait 40 ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a ship that would work for a 4 year old and a 1 1/2 year old. First off embarkation was complete chaos. Once we were on the ship we had to deal with the new type of elevators. I had to wait 40 minutes till I could get on an elevator. The only reason I didn't take the stairs is because I had a stroller. The buffet lunch and breakfast were terrible. We had just been on the Anthem of the Seas twice and their buffet was 100 times better. On the Horizon there was no variety at any of the stations they all had the same items. To get Pizza, Burritos, Deli or Hamburgers you had to wait at least a half hour in line. The food in the dining room was just OK with the escargot being the worst I have ever had. On the plus side we had a balcony cabin and it was nice enough and the room steward was great. But the long lines, fighting for seats on the deck and the horrible food buffets was enough for us to not recommend this ship. One more thing they say is that it is wonderful for families but then have no little splash place for someone who is not toilet trained. Even the Anthem had a delegated splash spot for a little one. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We just got off the Horizon - 9 days cruising from NYC.. The check-in was a breeze, Do not arrive earlier than your assigned check-in time. Try to plan to arrive right on time. We had a 1:30 p.m. check-in time, arrived at 1:20 and we ... Read More
We just got off the Horizon - 9 days cruising from NYC.. The check-in was a breeze, Do not arrive earlier than your assigned check-in time. Try to plan to arrive right on time. We had a 1:30 p.m. check-in time, arrived at 1:20 and we were on the ship by 1:50 p.m. make sure you do all your check in online. We could not believe with all the ppl checking in how organized they were. We got our bags in two hours to our room with no issues. The steward was right there when we came to our cabin and was so nice. Food was available the minute we got on board on the 10th floor, which was packed from the moment we got on. Our first night was spent in Meridian Resturant - we were a large group and we had any time dining on our card from 5:30 -9:30 when we arrived at the host stand at 7 pm. We were told we didn't have our table any longer we had to go one floor up and check in and wait for a table. THIS WAS very annoying the line was down the hall, and very unexpected.. the last thing you want to do on vacation was wait to be seated for an hour for dinner. Somehow we were able to get two tables b/c I complained and everyone sort of seemed confused that worked at the host and it worked in my favor. The food was ok in the Meridian, the service was good, except I ordered a btl of wine and was told they were out of that wine. That night when I was playing with my carnival app I was charged for four BTLS of the wine they were out of... which was $199 on my account.. which made them put another hold on my credit card right away. Guest services were VERY helpful with this overcharge and removed the wine that night from my account. The pool deck - let me just say if you like to lay and relax by a pool this cruise is not for you! There are NOT nearly enough lounge chairs for 200 people and the boat holds 3950 guests! It is packed, nowhere to sit nowhere to put your stuff just people everywhere near the pools, it is ANNOYING!! Carnival will put a sticker on your chair if you are up for 40 minutes they will remove your stuff from your chair, and let other guests sit. The pools are TINY like the smallest I have ever seen on a cruise ship, and if you think you can't get a pool chair good luck getting a little spot to cool off in the pool, it is packed!! The pools on every level are packed, water park packed.. just trust me it is VERY annoying to relax on this ship!!! We did find some quiet napping time on deck 5, which no one seemed to know about.. this floor is great during the afternoon for a glass of wine and a quiet hour. Dinners- book the restaurants that cost extra.. they were delish. It is annoying b/c you spend more $$ but worth it. We only ate the Meridian only 3 nights the rest at the paid locations. Make your reservations before you sail, you can always adjust the times once on the ship. Do the cheers package if you like to drink.. it is worth the money even if you don't drink the 15 dinks per day. The entertainment was good but almost too much! Every 30 minutes something is going on after 7 p.m. and you see people running to each location to make the shows and get a seat. The ship is PACKED and very crowded so not much time for downtime, just keep that in mind. I came back exhausted which should not be the case on a cruise! Overall we were impressed with how clean the ship was, you put your empty glass down it is cleaned in 2 minutes, the rooms were always clean and no issues at all. Leaving the ship - super organized and easy! Just choose the early time to leave, you get off the same time as the last time but it goes fast. We were off the ship by 10:15 and at our UBER by 10:30. If you have kids - Camp Ocean is the way to go! My kids wouldn't go as much as I would have liked b/c they were in two separate groups - BUT we were super impressed by how great the staff were! The camp was super organized and clean! Excursions - you are at the port for a VERY short time, it is very disappointing - Grand Turk - the beach was NOT great off the ship. We felt super unsafe and I wasn't going to pay to go to a beach for 3 hours, it was very disappointing. PR - NOTHING to do and was boring ( and you are at this port the longest) Amber Cove - Do the Dolphins that was worth your money. Pros of the Ship: very clean, good wine selections for the cheers program, cocktails were on point. Cabin stewards were great! Cruise Director and his staff were great! Cons: Super packed and not enough space for everyone. Long food lines, I never even tried a burger from Guys burger place b/c the line was always SO SO LONG! If you like to cruise this boat is, for you, it is a long 8 days!!! Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose this cruise because I had never been to these destinations. The crew was great although in the fine dining a hostess yelled at my daughter saying you caused me to make a mistake!! I was very unhappy with that.The food selection on ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had never been to these destinations. The crew was great although in the fine dining a hostess yelled at my daughter saying you caused me to make a mistake!! I was very unhappy with that.The food selection on the buffet was exotic foods the majority of the time which if you are a picky eater I do not recommend you go on this ship. Guys burger joint was absolutely my favorite place to eat. The cabins were decent the room attendants were great. I enjoyed the entertainment liked the cruise director Chris very energetic. It was 9 of us altogether ages ranging from 4-52 different activities for every age that's always a plus. My grandson loved the Dr. Suess water works. One thing I did not like is a few of us bought the soda package and you have to go to the bars to get a soda and it always took forever so for 69.99 if you aren't gonna use it and wait I wouldn't purchase it. ports were lovely waters nice. Overall we did have a decent time not sure we would go on this ship again we enjoy the smaller ships. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had wanted a family orient cruise, appealing to a variety of all ages and interests. I feel carnival did an excellent job meeting all of my expectations. The embarkation process was the easiest ever, cabins and all ship areas were ... Read More
We had wanted a family orient cruise, appealing to a variety of all ages and interests. I feel carnival did an excellent job meeting all of my expectations. The embarkation process was the easiest ever, cabins and all ship areas were clean, and the food was plentiful and high quality. The comedians were particularly good on the ship, as was the cruise director Chris and his staff. After reading other bad reviews on line, I was initially hesitant about going on the cruise, but Carnival Horizon's staff made me wonder if those people had sailed on the same ship that I was on. The fun started from the first minutes on board and did not stop. Everyone was helpful and facilitating, whether it was guest services, crew. Our cabin steward, Ruel, was excellent. Wait staff in the restaurants were extremely helpful, as were the bar staff. I never experienced any bad meals on board, and my family and I are quite picky when it comes to food choice. The ship decor, while very modern, was classy, which was a pleasant surprise to me. Having been on NCL, RCCL and Carnival, I feel that Carnival is just as good if not better than the other two. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The Ship - The brand new Carnival flagship was big and shiny and spotless. Overall the décor was tasteful, but perhaps a bit subdued compared to other Carnival ships. Cabins were well appointed and nicely decorated, but were otherwise ... Read More
The Ship - The brand new Carnival flagship was big and shiny and spotless. Overall the décor was tasteful, but perhaps a bit subdued compared to other Carnival ships. Cabins were well appointed and nicely decorated, but were otherwise pretty standard. The many specialty dining options were mostly clustered around a central area that made them feel a bit more like a food court than an intimate restaurant. However, the meal we had at there was great. The Marketplace restaurant was divided into many separate areas with most tables offering a lovely view. This really helped make it less like a vast cafeteria. We never found it difficult to find a place to sit, which was surprising given how crowded it felt in other parts of the ship. The show and performance venues were poorly designed (which is a shame because the shows were great!) Lighting and sound systems were clearly state-of-the-art, but the effort to create multi-use spaces of both the main show room (the Liquid Lounge) and the secondary space (Limelight/Punchliner) backfired. The sad result are spaces with poor sight lines and inadequate seating for the crowds on board. People routinely lined up well before the doors opened and waited 45 minutes or more just for a seat (often with a lousy view). We had heard comments about this before we boarded, but were still surprised at how bad it was. Pools and pool deck were mobbed each time we checked them out. We were in a Havana cabin and loved having access to the Havana deck was heaven, with the added bonus of avoiding the crowds on the Lido. Perhaps it’s because we tended to head that way mid-day and meal times, but the main pool seemed chaotic, and the Tides pool was also jam packed. The sports deck was a highlight with lots of options for the kiddos and sportos. While the line for the SkyRide could be long, it was unavoidable. Embarkation/Debarkation - Boarding was smooth and easy. We arrived much too early (having left time for traffic delays that didn’t happen) and were quickly moved through the “standby line”. After about 15 minutes, they called out group and we headed aboard. No fuss at all. Debarkation was not so smooth. After calling the first few decks for self-assist debarkation, the progress halted for about 45 minutes – with no additional groups being called. Then, slowly, a few additional decks were called. After nearly two hours the self-assist folks had cleared the ship and the rest of the groups were called. In all, we waited about three hours to debark. On the upside, customs was breeze. Dining - We had traditional dining in the main dining room, which was modern and elegant. We had heard comments about a more informal style with no tablecloths, but we found the space to be lovely. The menu might not have been the most creative, but we never left hungry or disappointed. Our wait staff on this cruise was exceptional, and made us really glad to have scored traditional, late seating. That being said, we didn’t notice much of a line up or wait for Your Time Dining with one notable exception. On the first ‘elegant night’, the line to check in for My Time stretched half the length of the ship. We lunched in the Lido and found each of the specialty offering to be great – pizza, burgers, tacos, deli. But the line for pizza was outrageous, as promised. Deli line only slightly better. Carnival really needs to address this. Shows & Entertainment - First of all, we had a great cruise director. We were a bit disappointed that Mike Peck left just before we sailed. But then we met the Flying Scotsman, Chris Williams and his 9 kilts. He and his staff were energetic, engaging and always “on”. You really felt like they were going the extra mile – whether at trivia, in the main show room, or at an Atrium party. High marks all around for Chris and his team. Comedy shows were consistently good. We had kiddos with us, so only did the PG shows, but all the comics did a nice job of making it fun for grown ups as well as kids. Crowds were tough, especially at the early 5:30 show. We learned to arrive 30-40 minutes in advance if we wanted decent seats. And were turned away when we arrived just under 20 minutes before show time. Production shows were also in high demand and with good reason. The overall production quality was very high, and live music had a big impact. We enjoyed every show, although some were a bit more to our taste than others. But the theater wasn’t large enough for a ship of this size, and the design made it even more difficult to find a decent seat – or a seat at all. Folks lined up 45 minutes to an hour ahead of show time and when the doors opened, there was a mad dash to find a seat that wasn’t behind a pole or a speaker or lighting equipment. It’s a shame the space is so bad, because the performers and the productions were very, very strong. Piano bar was our one big disappointment. Musician was great, but we were unaware that the Piano Bar is adult only during the sing-along times. Normally, our teenagers really enjoy this and they were very disappointed when we were booted out. Music around the ship was, in general, quite good. The strings and guitarist in the Atrium were excellent and the Latin band in the Havana bar was outstanding. So, overall, high marks for the quality of the entertainment. Ports -We knew this sailing wasn’t about the ports, especially with relatively short stays on most of our port days. In Grand Turk, we headed way down the beach to Jack’s Shack where the crowds were thinner and the beer cheaper. It was a short, but enjoyable day. In San Juan, we met some family and spent the day at a great beach just outside San Juan. And then had an absolutely fabulous meal at a local beach side dive. And then, Amber Cove, which gets a failing grade. First, our day was short since we sailed at 2:30. Excursions were overpriced and a long bus ride each way for an hour for only a few hours of beach or snorkeling time. If you didn’t book a pricey excursion, there was no beach, with swimming only in the pool that was much to small to accommodate the crowds. Beach chairs were free, but you had to pay for everything else, including shade. Water slide wasn’t operating and our kids weren’t old enough to zip line. We felt trapped in a place too small for the number of passengers. We usually love the “private island” day, but this was a waste of time and money. Next time, we’ll stay on the ship or avoid Amber Cove altogether. Big, big thumbs down. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
A tradition in our family is to take a cruise for celebrations. This cruise was to celebrate our sons graduation with his masters degree. We typically sail out of Galveston but wanted a new ship out of a different port. The Carnival ... Read More
A tradition in our family is to take a cruise for celebrations. This cruise was to celebrate our sons graduation with his masters degree. We typically sail out of Galveston but wanted a new ship out of a different port. The Carnival Horizon did not disappoint! The entertainment was the best we have experienced. Celestial Strings was by far the best show we have seen on Carnival. Chris, the Flying Scotsman was the Cruise Director and provided stellar atrium shows and mega deck parties. Accompanying Chris was his talented fun squad, including Kyndall Fire, Joey, and Erin (Bingo Flamingo). Just a top notch team. The Walk the Plank for St. Jude was humbling, and truly showed the value Carnival and its staff place on the importance of contributing to this amazing charity. By far, the entertainment was the highlight! Other good points were the food, the service, the appearance and cleanliness of the ship. Not a huge fan of the layout, but nothing that would prohibit my visiting this ship again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Horrible cruise and ship!!! Our room on deck 1 had a fishy smell, and our intercom in our room did not work so when the cruise host came on to give the cruisers daily info we could hear any of it. The high tech elevators leave you waiting ... Read More
Horrible cruise and ship!!! Our room on deck 1 had a fishy smell, and our intercom in our room did not work so when the cruise host came on to give the cruisers daily info we could hear any of it. The high tech elevators leave you waiting for 10 to 15 minutes on most occasions. Don’t even think about getting a taco, burrito, or taco bowl unless you have an hour to wait in line. Think you want a pizza well carnival had one employee forming dough, making the pizzas, baking the pizzas and waiting on cruisers, so the wait for pizza is at least 45 minutes. On the lido deck in the buffet area it is like an ice skating rink walking. Peoples feet sliding out from under them. Almost slipped and fell many times. Reported to staff and was told they were aware of it. At breakfast water was dripping from the ceiling in the seating area in the buffet and had to move tables twice and seen many other families moving there seats as well. Was told it was condensation!!! And for the wow factor of a new cruise ship the atrium (lobby) area looked unfinished with white plastic looking stone walls. Not impressed at all and will think twice before cruising with Carnival again!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I have been a long time cruiser on Carnival and many other cruise ships. I have always enjoyed myself on each of the cruises booked.I have always found trips relaxing and a great value This time I CANNOT say that I had a satisfying time. ... Read More
I have been a long time cruiser on Carnival and many other cruise ships. I have always enjoyed myself on each of the cruises booked.I have always found trips relaxing and a great value This time I CANNOT say that I had a satisfying time. The Horizon was overcrowded to the point of being very uncomfortable. The Lido and Serenity decks pools and hot tubs were ridiculously crowded and one was not functioning properly. The highlight of the ship, the sky ride, was not operating at all.The Food on the lunch buffet was not appetizing at all. After awhile, i found myself just walking away because lines were way too long. The pizza was the only option that was reasonable in wait time depending on the time of day. The shows did not live up to my expectations of Carnival's entertainment. I am fully aware that this is a vacation business but Carnival used to have a way of making vacationers feel that their satisfying experience was the first priority. They used to have an art of presentong food in an awesome way. However now they have no problem presenting upcharges ,overpriced excursions and overcrowded facilities. On a positive note our servers in the Meridian Restaurant were outstanding and our cabin was kept clean by hard working staff who earn every penny. When I called after disembarking they said SORRY.Well I am sorry... My Family and friends will be looking to other cruise lines for future bookings. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Upon embarkation and going into the cabin, my son found a huge smashed cockroach on one of the magazines in the room. Housekeeping was notified. Guest Services were overwhelmed. They never, ever answered the phone, no matter the time of ... Read More
Upon embarkation and going into the cabin, my son found a huge smashed cockroach on one of the magazines in the room. Housekeeping was notified. Guest Services were overwhelmed. They never, ever answered the phone, no matter the time of day. The phone kept on ringing, no pickup by anyone. Excessively long lines and waits of over half an hour to speak to someone at Guest Services. Ditto the bizarre elevator system, the use of which was not explained, leaving disabled people, children, non English speakers, and those adults not technologically savvy standing in front of elevator cars for excessive time periods just to get on, and then the car doesn’t stop on their floor! Food was mediocre at breakfast, the same thing all four days of the cruise. Lunch slightly better. Dinner was at least the highlight of the day. Kids all over the place, yelling and screaming and clogging up the pool, not to mention excessively long waits at the water slides. The bicycle around the ship was out of commission for the whole cruise. We were four adults and four children. The movie theatre cost us $88 just to see Jurassic Park. The candy shop is a rip off. The popcorn machine was out of commission, so we went into the candy store onboard. Four small sandwich size bags of gummy bears came to $46!!l On the outside they’d probably be about $10 total. My son accidentally left a medical device on board, and instead of trying to assist us in getting it at NYC, they put it in lost and found onboard and sent it to their facility in Miami to be shipped to us, in NYC, within 30 days!!! The Carnival agent, in Miami, didn't seem to be making an effort to Contact Carnival in NYC to put the medical device aside so we could pick it up in NYC. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My 2 sisters and I decided to take my mom on a cruise. We decide to get a nice suite. Not only was there no wheel chair elevators for disabled people, but the lines for the Buffet was insane! The line to get onto the boat took over 35 ... Read More
My 2 sisters and I decided to take my mom on a cruise. We decide to get a nice suite. Not only was there no wheel chair elevators for disabled people, but the lines for the Buffet was insane! The line to get onto the boat took over 35 minutes due to rude people not allowing a disabled lady in a wheel chair go first. Then the 10th floor buffet was gross! Lines that took way over 45 minutes. Also to get to the buffet the floors around the pools were so slick and wet we couldn't chance one of us pushing my mother to fall! Someone is seriously going to get injured. As to the restaurants thankfully they were delicious. Liked the steak house very much. The one thing I had was a great time laughing. ONLY THING. Way too crowed. 5000 people on one ship. UM no. And to have no wheel chair elevator is not smart! And they don't just have where you push the floor you want to be on. Nope. They make you wait and advise when that elevator will be ready. Again by this time rude ignorant people jump in front of my mother in a wheelchair. Lastly being on a floor with a suite, we had our own bar and pool. Loved that. BUT.....the pool was only for us till 7pm. Then it was open to the entire boat. I didn't spend thousands of dollars for rude ignorant people to be allowed on our floor's pool! Oh and best part? There was a bachelor party on this floor. LOUD, RUDE, AND didn't want to go back to the suite pool as all the guys were drunk the entire time. Shocked no one kicked them back to their suite. Would I go back? Nope. For the amount of money I spent I could of went to Ireland. Waste of money. Don't do it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
A family member chose the cruise; we sail Carnival annually, but do not do so in the summer months and we have never sailed out of NY. Our family member was in Havana and were on the 10th Fl w/balcony. Neither of us understood what the ... Read More
A family member chose the cruise; we sail Carnival annually, but do not do so in the summer months and we have never sailed out of NY. Our family member was in Havana and were on the 10th Fl w/balcony. Neither of us understood what the Havana rooms meant until we got on board. It is essentially a private section of the boat for those peope with Havana rooms only. What a waste - that pool was never used - while the 2 small pools on 10 were overcrowded. the ship was new and beautiful. On this ship it would be easier to list what i did like instead of what i didn't- The rooms were nice slightly smaller, - j ust like everything else on board - SMALLER - the theatre 1/2 size, wasted space, lines winding around the ship to wait and see if you could get a seat 1/2 hour before showtime; 2 small pools for 4900 people and 1/2 the poolside chairs; very hard to find shade; a serenity deck to get away from all the kids with no way to cool off and wasted space;music blaring to suit only the NY guests - YUCH; did not seem to see many staff roaming and interacting like they "usually" do; lots of activities - always at the same time as dinner or another popular activity; no appropriate place to play bingo; and food - with lots of dining options; the food was good except in the dining room - no flavor and seemed like the meats were recycled. and lines everywhere! The social director was their 1 saving grace. too much $ spent on looks and electronics; so disappointed. In all fairness - Carnival seemed to try to appeal to the Generation Z crowd and in spite of Carnival's best attempts to appeal AND circumvent human nature - in spite of itsself, i have never seen such waste and selfish behavior from fellow passengers. i felt badly for the ship's staff at times. Seemed more like a party ship - the 'old' carnival image. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Cruise carnival a lot, was excited to be on a brand new ship. Since the port was in NY and we live in NJ it was nice to not have to fly. I would like to state that for a brand new ship, there are many things that are missing. The ... Read More
Cruise carnival a lot, was excited to be on a brand new ship. Since the port was in NY and we live in NJ it was nice to not have to fly. I would like to state that for a brand new ship, there are many things that are missing. The elevators, although I see what they were trying to do when you pick your deck outside the elevator, it really made no difference in wait time. I can say we didn’t have to fight to get on an elevator with a double stroller but the wait times were no different. We had a lot of issues with our cabin, the noise level was at a plus 10 in the middle of the night, I’ve never experienced this on any other carnival ship. I contacted guest services and I have to say they were more than accommodating. Not sure why they wouldn’t sound proof a room directly under the galley kitchen. As far as the kids club, I have a 23 month old who was only able to to go a very specific and limited times throughout the cruise to the babysitting service. Or they had a night owl option from 10pm-1am every night. While my husband I would have loved to use this service it would been more even beneficial for us if it was offered during the day. It would have been nice to relax by the pool for 2 hours during the day. I also have a 5 year old who went to club ocean one day during our sea day. My husband went to check on him twice and was told he was fine, yet when he asked to see him, he was upset and said he was scared the whole time. He never went back. Now we were on the legend in Alaska last August and they provided us with cell phones to contact us if our child wanted to leave. Not sure how the Horizon missed this with all the new technology on board but it is quite important to me as a parent. The ship is quite beautiful but it is lacking staff and some of the staff is lacking personality. You can tell they are overworked and understaffed. We had a great experience with our my time dining waiter and requested him every night. The sky ride was closed about an hour after it opened for the remainder of our 8 day cruise due to unknown technical issues yet we never saw anyone working on it the whole cruise. I also noticed the staff on the sport deck on their cell phones instead of paying attention to the guests. I used to cruise to be able to get away from all of this. I won’t let this discourage us from cruising carnival again but i think for a brand new ship, it’s lacking quite a bit. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had planned this Family Trip for 2 years. New York for 3 days playing tourists and then board the brand new ship, the Carnival Horizon, for an 8 day cruise to the Caribbean. We are all Platinum Members and were really looking forward to ... Read More
We had planned this Family Trip for 2 years. New York for 3 days playing tourists and then board the brand new ship, the Carnival Horizon, for an 8 day cruise to the Caribbean. We are all Platinum Members and were really looking forward to the Horizon and all the new EVERYTHING! NEW YORK WAS AMAZING AND VISITING THE CITY REALLY MADE MY TRIP! The Horizon was just an ordinary ship. Nothing to WOW over. Food was fair at best. Limited selections. Cucina Del Capitano and the Steakhouse were just okay. That was a bummer....Elevators were a mess. This ship was the dirtiest ship we had ever been on, which is not to say everyone wasn't working hard. It appeared they were severely understaffed. Cruise Director did not seem at home but did his best. I am already booked on 2 more Carnival Cruises so it wasn't THAT bad. Just disappointing... Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This ship is beautiful! If you are thinking of booking this ship I implore you to look into the Havana rooms. I am so spoiled now! Jorge and Cassandra were amazing to me and my friends/family all week and took good care of us. Never had ... Read More
This ship is beautiful! If you are thinking of booking this ship I implore you to look into the Havana rooms. I am so spoiled now! Jorge and Cassandra were amazing to me and my friends/family all week and took good care of us. Never had trouble finding a spot at the Havana pool and it wasn't overcrowded. We went up to use the water slides a few times and the main pool looked like a nightmare! The Havana is well worth the cost. My only complaint was that they sometimes hosted karaoke in the lounge and piped it in over the loudspeakers at the pool. Not very relaxing! Spent a lot of time at Ocean Plaza and Alchemy Bar. I'm not sure why, maybe it was because it opens to the deck on either side, but Ocean Plaza always felt a bit warm. Alchemy Bar was my favorite bar on the ship. Ask for Annamaria. She'll take good care of you! Cucina, Bonsai, and Farenheit 555 were all excellent. We only ate in the main dining room one night but we had a good experience - no complaints here. Buffet is always a zoo except at dinner so we mostly stayed away. Overall it was a fantastic cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Carnival has always given us awesome vacations. This time the Carnival Horizon's officers had a somewhat snobbish attitude when asked questions or had little time to spend with the passengers. The cruise director, Chris Williams is ... Read More
Carnival has always given us awesome vacations. This time the Carnival Horizon's officers had a somewhat snobbish attitude when asked questions or had little time to spend with the passengers. The cruise director, Chris Williams is excellent! He does a tremendous job of entertaining and informing the passengers. An area of concern is the amount of kids running into the Liquid Lounge attempting to save seats with no regard to the older/elderly couples trying to see the show. They save 3 to 5 seats at the same time for a full 30 minutes. I saw several verbal arguments take place because those people wouldn't show up until the show started. I informed the entertainment staff about this, but he seemed unwilling to help. I hope that nobody gets hurt by these kids and then lawsuits occur. Please monitor and address this matter as soon as possible. Carnival is an excellent cruise line and will cruise with them again. Great dining experience and selection of food. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We specifically sought out the Horizon for its fun and new features, i.e. imax, sky ride, on board brewery and smokehouse. Debarking from NYC was just gravy but it made our trip that much more special. We arrived the day before and were ... Read More
We specifically sought out the Horizon for its fun and new features, i.e. imax, sky ride, on board brewery and smokehouse. Debarking from NYC was just gravy but it made our trip that much more special. We arrived the day before and were able to take a pedicab tour through Central Park, visit MoMa, Ellis Island and take a train from Grand Central Terminal to a Yankees game all before we even got in the ship! There was very little wait in boarding. The food is fantastic. If Guy’s Fierri offered his burgers and barbecue in my town, they would be my new go to places to eat. Pizza was terrific. There is a wait, but usually no more than 15 minutes in line at any point in the day. Maybe the Lido l buffets aren’t Vegas style grabs buffets with unlimited choices but they have good food and it is always ready and easily accessible with little to no waiting. The main dining is really good. Some waiters try harder than others and you can tell the incentive for excellent service isn’t there due to them not getting direct tips. Still, that’s just nitpicking because we had some waiters that were very. attentive. I imagine it’s a very hard job with the long hours and number of guests but we still always felt taken care of. The entertainment is great. Funny comedians, great shows, good movies and plenty for the kids to do. Plenty of bars around and I never had to wait too long for a drink anywhere on the ship at anytime. The main pool does get over crowded but we didn’t hang out there too often. Our room steward was great and always had our room in perfect order. The ports were great on Grabd Turk, I would recommend the private beach home tour. Puerto Rico is awesome. You don’t need to book an excursion as you can find sage and much cheaper transportation to the Yunque rainforest and Old San Juan. Fantastic place to visit. In Amber Cove, we did the swim with the dolphins tour. I highly recommend this as it was the highlight of the trip. Pay extra for the video package. Overall we had an amazing trip full of fun and relaxation. Perfect trip for families. Read Less
Sail Date June 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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