2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
3 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This cruise was a Christmas gift from my parents for my family and my sister's family. There were 11 of us ages 10-72. We have all cruised many times before, and have been on most all of the major cruise lines, including Disney. ... Read More
This cruise was a Christmas gift from my parents for my family and my sister's family. There were 11 of us ages 10-72. We have all cruised many times before, and have been on most all of the major cruise lines, including Disney. My mom choose this ship because it was new and leaving out of NYC, something none of us had done before. We all enjoyed having some sightseeing time in the city the day before the cruise started. We all arrived at the Manhattan Cruise port via Uber from our different hotels. (My parents arrived a bit earlier than we did and when Carnival noted my dad was walking with a cane and having a bit of trouble they got him a wheelchair and they put them in the Zone 1 Boarding group. This was a huge help and they were on the ship eating lunch by 11:30.) We had 12-12:30 boarding time and we arrived at 11:50. We dropped off our luggage and then proceeded upstairs to check in. This was by far the FASTEST and Easiest check in ever!! We literally never stopped moving the entire time from security, check in to boarding. I texted my mom at 12:07 that we were walking on the ship! We had our first lunch at Guys. This was a great way to start the trip. It wasn't hectic or busy like the min buffet can be at that first lunch. We got our food, easily got a nice outside table and started relaxing! After lunch we looked around the rest of deck 5 and then headed up to the Lido deck to meet the rest of the family. The kids all had their suits and so they went to get changed to enjoy the pools and slides for awhile. After the mandatory safety drill we got ready for our early dinner seating and then headed up deck 11 to watch the ship leave NY Harbor. What a great view of both the city and the Statue of Liberty. It was a lovely day and so we got some great pictures! We were initially given AnyTime Seating and were waitlisted for Early seating. I emailed the maître D before the sailing (as suggested by others on this site) and requested early seating for the family. About 3 days prior to leaving I received and email that said we would be given early seating time and that specifics would be on our sail and sign card when we got on Board. Just as they said we were given an assigned time. I was initially a bit confused because I noted on the card that it said we were in the Meridian Dining room which I knew was the Anytime dining room. But that was correct. We were give 5:30 time at table in that dining room. I wasn't thrilled at first with the 5:30 slot but it ended up being a perfect time!! (We did have a hard time getting there right at 5:30 but most nights made it by 5:40). We had a table all the way at the back of the room so we had a great window seat looking out the back of the ship. Plus with that early time we were finished with dinner most nights by 7-7:15 so were able to pick and choose from all the evening activities on the ship each night. We all enjoyed the food in the main dining room. My dad and sister noted that they thought the portions were a bit smaller for main course but for most of us they were just the right size, particularly as we enjoyed getting 2 appetizers and sometimes 2 desserts many nights so it was just the right amount not to feel completely stuffed at the end of the meal. The ships slides, sky ride, rope course and other on deck games and activities were enjoyed by all in our group. The slide line was never terribly long and we all used the slides each day. The sky ride line after the first day was also fine. We tended to wait 20-45 minutes for a ride but it was worth it and several in our group enjoyed multiple rides over the week. (Make sure you put on closed toed shoes, no flip flops or sandals of any sort, even those with buckles are allowed). The Dive-In theater on Deck had many good movies throughout the week. I think we watched at least 4. The thing we all loved was that they had blankets at the towel stand!! Just like checking out a towel during the day you could go over and get a blanket to keep you cozy while watching the movies. The first few nights when we were further north it was cooler on deck at night so the blankets just made it perfect to enjoy a movie on deck. We also watched 3 movies in the Imax theater. There was a fee for those (Perfect use of onboard credit). My husband said it was one of the best 3-D theaters he has ever been too! We bought the tickets ahead of time at the kiosk outside the theater. If there is a movie you for sure want to see and at a certain time I would suggest doing this early as 2 of the movies we saw had full theaters so we were glad we had gotten them ahead of time. At the start of the cruise you can see all of the movies and show times for the week. You can purchase them at that time thereby reserving your spots. We were supposed to stop at 3 ports but due to a medical emergency for a passenger the ship had to turn around mid-way and so we were not able to go to our first port, Grand Turk. This was a huge disappointment for all of us as we had booked a private snorkel excursion there. The company I booked with had said they would refund deposit if the ship did not come in to port so we did not lose our money but were disappointed nonetheless. When we booked this cruise I was not particularly excited to have 4 sea days and now this made 5! I will say however that even though we were still bummed to miss Grand Turk, this ship had such great activities that the 5th sea day ended up being just fine. Our 2 stops then were Puerto Rico and Amber Cove. We use "Free Walking Tours" for a walking tour of Old San Juan and then visited Fort Morro and shopped a but before heading back to the ship. In Amber Cove we did the 27 Waterfalls. If you want to do this excursion do it ON YOUR OWN! The ship charges $110/person and you only get to do the smallest portion of the falls. We did this on our own for just $31/person ($15/person for private transport with RV Tours, and then $16/person for entry to falls) and did all 27 falls. We got off the ship as soon as it was cleared and made it to the falls ahead of the cruise groups. We were in a small group, 8 of us and then 8 others they put us with. About 3/4 of the way back down in the falls we met up with a group from the ship. There were 30+ people in that group and they didn't get near the experience we did. This was our first cruise ever to enjoy Breakfast in the sit-down dining room every morning instead of going to Buffet. This was a great way to start our day each morning. We also rarely got anything for lunch from the Buffets, another first. Guys Burger Joint and the Blue Cantina were both so great we got lunch from one of those places most every day. Most in the group did get ice Cream multiple times a day and several had Pizza late at night. There was quite a wait most times for the pizza. I think each time we went up after 11 the wait was 20-30 minutes. We preferred the pool at the back of the ship. Each day we got sun chairs on deck 11 on one of the sides of the ship towards the back and when we wanted to go swim would walk back there. We did tend to go up and set our stuff on a few chairs in the morning to save some spots until we could get up there after breakfast. We did so with the attitude that if someone came along when we weren't there and moved our stuff we would be OK with it and tried never to leave the chairs with no one there for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. On Day 3 we did note that chairs, particularly in the main pool area that were seen to have no one in them by the staff were getting stickers placed on them.. The sticker noted the time the sticker was placed and then gave another time and said if they were not back by that time their stuff would be take to towel hut. The back pool was never over crowded. There always seemed to be space for people to swim, sit on the sides or lounge on the edges. The same appeared to be true of the main pool. Lots of people were enjoying it but it wasn't so full that you felt you were on top of others. My son and husband enjoyed many of the trivia games during the day. In the evenings we also enjoyed a variety of activities including the comedians, main theater shows, and deck parties. The cruise Director Mike Pack was just terrific. Our Balcony Cabin on Deck 9 was the perfect location! 9277. I would highly recommend this location on one close to it. Getting off the ship at the end of the cruise was also very simple. You could go and pick a luggage tag for the earlier or later assigned disembark time (last day at sea) or walk off the ship with your own luggage once your floor was called. They started self disembark at 7:15 am, top floor to bottom floor. We got up and ate breakfast, again enjoyable sit down in the Meridiad at 7:45. Then went back to the room by 8:30 picked up our suitcases and headed to the elevators. I was a bit worried about being on the 9th floor with 5 suitcases to get off but there was no issue. We pressed deck 3, 6- 7times (one time for each of us and extras because we had suitcases) We had to wait for maybe 6 minutes or so but an empty elevator arrived and then took us directly to deck 5). Again from that point we never really stopped moving until we were out on the street looking for Uber. Before we went on this trip I read a lot of negative reviews and complaints about the Vista and then this new ship. The experience on this ship was different from some other cruises but it was still great in its own way. Don't go expecting it to be just like a previous cruises, things are changing on board many cruise lines but that doesn't mean they are now "bad or lesser" experiences. Go expecting to enjoy yourself and enjoy what this ship has to offer and don't spend your week comparing it to past cruises. That is what my family did and we had a great time. If you do that I assure you that you will enjoy this cruise ship as well. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Read several other reviews of this ship and I am not sure theses people were on the same ship I was. I noticed a lot were in lower cabins (i.e. going on the cheap) and therefore expected things to be entitled to them. This was our 4th ... Read More
Read several other reviews of this ship and I am not sure theses people were on the same ship I was. I noticed a lot were in lower cabins (i.e. going on the cheap) and therefore expected things to be entitled to them. This was our 4th cruise together on CCL and my 6th, going all the way back to Mardi Gras. Both my Wife and I are Gold Status. First off, the embarkation in NYC is very easy. We were dropped at the curb by a family member, gave our bags to a porter and inside we went. Met by CCL staff and handed a card with a number, this was boarding number, we were #21. Up to meet a guy who was very friendly who checked our Passports and Boarding Passes. He scanned the Passport, which became our photo on the S&S Card. Through the metal detector, like in the airport and then into a waiting area with plenty of seating. They were calling #10 when we got there, but within 25 mins our number was called. We walked to the Gangway, handed them our card and one more scan of the Boarding Pass and on we went. Total time 40 mins or less. The ship brand new and smells it. Someone said the ship has an odor. They obviously haven't been at sea a lot and on ships. I used to work in the marine coatings industry and I immediately recognized that smell as fresh paint, like the "new car smell". Entering the lobby at first I was unimpressed till we walked in further and the "mushroom" was all lit up in front of us. WOW! We walked up a deck and grabbed an elevator to the Lido deck. The elevators can be confusing at first and a little slow, but they easy to use once you understood how to use them. Lunch on the Lido was typical embarkation day Carnival fare. I had the roast turkey which was good. We met a family behind us on their first cruise and chatted with them a while. Then off to explore the ship and we were able to get to our cabin at 1:30 as CCL said we could. Our Steward, Putu was a great guy very friendly. We had a Balcony cabin on Deck 8 Aft - 8438. Room again, was similar to what we had on Triumph and Conquest in size and amenities. For the Inaugural Year Carnival has been putting a special book in your cabin about the Horizon. A Facebook group we are on someone mentioned it. I didn't see one in our cabin, so I asked Putu and said "I'll be right back" 3 mins later we had a book. At 3 we went up to the Tides Pool bar to do a Meet and Greet with the Facebook Group we have been part of for this cruise. It was really great to see and put names and faces together. It helped all week as we would see each other around the ship and we met some really nice people. 4 PM Muster Drill,which was super easy. Our station was in the Meridian Restaurant. Drill over by 4:30 and on deck for the Sail A Way party. The Entertainment Staff and CD , Mike Pack do an awesome job! They kept things moving all week and it was non-stop with Mike. If you cruise with him, be prepared, I swear he has Energizer batteries under his shirt..he keeps going and going and going. As we unpacked I realized I left my pants home. I had my suit pants and some nice pairs of shorts. First night in the dining room ( late seating Reflection Rest) I stopped to ask the Maitre'D if I could wear shorts, telling them of my issue. to my relief they said it was no problem on none formal nights. Turns out I wasn't the only one. Some comments about the Restaurant and Food. First off, we had amazing waiters who went out of their way to make sure meals were special. James and Alan were great and everything came out as we ordered it. We also got a chance to talk to them and learn about their families back home. Some people complained about cold food. Never experienced that at all. Closest I had was one night I ordered salmon and it came out, not as hot as I would have preferred, but it wasn't cold. They said the last night of the cruise they serve 15,000 meals a day, so having my meal come out as I ordered, I am impressed. The Lido food was no the best selection for lunch, but there are so many places to eat on board, you can find something, somewhere. We only did one specialty restaurant for dinner- JiJi Asian Kitchen and it was excellent. We did the Seafood Shack one day for lunch ( charge involved) and also thought it was good. Also did Pig& Anchor for lunch one day ( it's free for lunch, charge for dinner) and I wasn't that impressed. I heard dinner was so much better. Someone already mentioned that we had a emergency Evac at sea on the 2nd day. I have never seen that and it was interesting. We heard it was a case of appendicitis and the person needed surgery within 24 hours. The previous person also made a comment about they felt the ship could have sped up and we could have made Grand Turk instead of having to miss the port. This was NOT the case, we went off course about 200nm and back NW towards the mainland. There was no way making Grand Turk was possibility, but they can dream. The 3rd sea day was welcomed by us, as it gave us another day to chill. I would be just as happy with all sea days and one port day. That night we got back to our cabin, found an apology letter which included the 20% off our next trip. Already thinking of ways we can use it! San Juan was our first port stop and we did the Barcardi Tour on our own. After exciting the terminal go left and walk to the ferry terminal. The cost is $1 pp round trip and the ride across the bay was 10 mins. Once on the other side we found a taxi van to share with a family for $3 each $6 for both of us. I gave him a $10 and said keep the change. Barcardi wasn't open yet, so they dropped us in front. We waited outside maybe 15 mins when a guard came and let us in. Told us to walk along the side walk to the pavilion. Once there they were ready for us. Fee was $15pp and included a free drink of our choice from 4 or 5 and a souvenir glass. The tour was interesting and took about 2 hours. On the way back we took another van back to the ferry with the same family. Again another $10. Total cost for the 2 of us was $52. The ship tour which stopped there was $79.99 pp. After getting off the ferry, we walked around Old San Juan for about 2 hours and then back to the ship. We left at 5. Next day was Amber Cove, a new port for both of us. It's similar to Grand Turk in that it's a Carnival built port with shops, a restaurant and pool. We originally had a tour here, but cancelled it. Since we skipped GT, the excursion desk waived the cancellation fee. We did some shopping here and then went to the pool for about 2 hours, had lunch in the restaurant and then some final shopping for gifts for those back home and back to the ship. Mike Pack was there welcoming us all back. Next 2 days at sea were great and we saw 2 shows. The "Celestial Strings" show was very good. Each night we also saw the comedians who were very funny and yes, in the later very explicit :) We also spent time chilling in the Havana bar one night and another night in the Piano Bar. Debarkation sadly came and it was again very easy and simple. NYC port was easy to get through and made the ending of trip stress free. Only things bad we can say about the ship was there were times when we felt more staff was needed in certain area- The already mentioned in other reviews pizza place was one of them, but this is easily solved by adding ore staff . There were times we felt the crowds, but Carnival Horizon is a big ship and there are plenty of places to go to get away from them. The Starboard side Lanai was a excellent place for a quiet spot to read, sleep or just watch the waves go by. If you want to stay busy no problem there. I was able to do the Skyride, the Sky Course, a ropes course that can be challenging, We played mini golf in the Sportsquare and walked on the track to keep in shape. I also did both water slides in the Dr. Seuss Waterpark. "The Cat's Hat" (the red one) you sit on a tube and gives a great ride. "Fun Things" (the blue one) is surprisingly fast and gives a great ride. We also did massages in the Spa, but didn't take advantage of the other facilities there. Overall, Carnival Horizon was great trip. We knew what to expect from Carnival and were disappointed, in fact in cases pleasantly surprised. Would definitely recommend a trip on board her. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This was my birthday cruise. Living in NYC meant we did not need to fly. Experienced cruiser with at least 15 cruises on different lines THE GOOD Food quality: in included and specialty restaurants. Steakhouse was great. ... Read More
This was my birthday cruise. Living in NYC meant we did not need to fly. Experienced cruiser with at least 15 cruises on different lines THE GOOD Food quality: in included and specialty restaurants. Steakhouse was great. Clean ship, I like new ships. Awesome shows, especially Spellbound Nightly movies outside with popcorn. Finally got to see Blackpanther. THE BAD Elevators: I think it’s a software issue. Could be very frustrating at dinner time. Liquid Loung (main theater): way too small, get there early. Some seats are blocked by columns on the upper level. Buffet : I have never seen such a poor variety. Pizza and Deli are very understaffed. Cheers drinking package: starts on day 2 (8 day cruise) when you leave out of NYC. Although it’s more generous then some other cruise lines the cost is for 7 days but bars are closed on disembarkation. Lack of seating poolside. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
suitable for children new cruise ship. taken several carnival cruises before. staff bend over backwards to be helpful mike the cruise director was entertainment on his own!! a great asset to carnival. fun squad always cheerful and ... Read More
suitable for children new cruise ship. taken several carnival cruises before. staff bend over backwards to be helpful mike the cruise director was entertainment on his own!! a great asset to carnival. fun squad always cheerful and hard working. restaurant staff were very helpful and caring for our vegetarian grand daughter. the waiter Goran and assistant Nemanaja and Gabor were great. extra bath and sink in family harbor rooms are very useful our group of 2 adults and 2 grand children. we dont mind paying $5 pp for the IMAX cinema and our grand children loved choosing sweets and candy in cherry on top. the children looked forward every evening to the photographers attention and posing in the very many backdrops. we bought a photo package in advance of the cruise which was very reasonable. overall we had a great week and look forward to carnival returning to europe in the near future. overall, anything we asked for or wanted was made possible by the ever helpful staff. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Bring new ship exactly the same as the vista slightly wider lobby area but apart from the same. The entertainment wasn’t brilliant -hypnotist , magic shows , and cheesy games shows with qvc Mike. The stage crew did a scary Motown show ... Read More
Bring new ship exactly the same as the vista slightly wider lobby area but apart from the same. The entertainment wasn’t brilliant -hypnotist , magic shows , and cheesy games shows with qvc Mike. The stage crew did a scary Motown show which was well directed. Sky ride people were really friendly. Shelby in the kids clubs was amazing -always a smimey face. The food wasn’t well match with sides so bit of mismatching going on. The lido moved the cups out so you had to take your boiling hot coffe over the other side of the deck for milk Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
First off let me say the itinerary was awesome and the best I have ever experienced as a Platinum Cruiser with Carnival. The staff was warm and friendly with very few exceptions and tried very hard to adjust anything that had not quite got ... Read More
First off let me say the itinerary was awesome and the best I have ever experienced as a Platinum Cruiser with Carnival. The staff was warm and friendly with very few exceptions and tried very hard to adjust anything that had not quite got all the tweaks just right for a new ship on its Maiden Voyage. Almost all the excursions ran smoothly and seem to try hard to get the passengers the best for their money. Some need a bit of improving her and their but again they tried hard to make it work or at least make the errors in timing or traffic as fun as possible. But you expect a bit of that and for a first cruise a bit more, Having said all that I must say that the healthy food and nutrition which has become more prevalent for anyone who is either trying to maintain a reasonably healthy diet, has allergies or is one of 11 to 13 % of the global population and growing ... the dreaded Vegetarians. Ranging from the strictest Vegans to the various other Vegetarians, “BE WARE” Every year your ability to feed yourself a healthy well balanced diet wanes as the cost goes up. If case someone thinks this a big “Boo Hoo Feast” let me point out that we all pay the same amount to be fed the “Included” food. The included food should be base diet that at the very least should be healthy. What few options may be available should be clearly posted and simple steps can be taken to make sure that all passengers are made welcome and fed well. And years have been invested in all the correct steps of contacting customer service, meetings with the on board chiefs and the like but to no avail. Sadly, the launching of the Horizon was the worst to date and the corporate office that I have been told by the executive chiefs dictates the food available could care less. I personally have volunteered to work for them on a consulting basis to help them make very minor tweak to remedy many of the simply thoughtless, choices that could be easily remedied. These issues of sustaining a healthy diet, especially on a long voyage affect our children, the elderly and a growing number of adults that simply wish to avoid morbid obesity and all the risk to heart and health, Type II Diabetes, an array of digestive aliments that seem to be exploding, and the 10 percent of the worlds population that are vegetarians. Many Non Vegetarian practice a semi vegetarian diet as well. Most of us do not expect the same level of choices but we do pay the same amount and not to have the same opportunity or to be able to find a well-balanced options at any include facility on the ship, especially the Ledo deck where the majority of your meals take place is not acceptable. One green vegetable appeared at some but not all the meals and it was in a small container, placed at the back so it was hard to reach, and well over 80% of the time, it had bacon or some other item mixed in making unavailable to consume. The protein choices for those at least able to eat cheese, was equally as poor. Even places like Guys Burger bar have a veggie Pattie that they will take to the back and cook on a clean grill but nowhere do they post that. Do you know that you can get Soy milk? Yup it’s there but you have to chase someone down to get it. And again, no listing to make you aware that it is even available. And it comes in small containers that tjat can just as easily be put out as all the other forms of milk. If you drink the healthier alternative of Almond milk, forget it. Better buy it and drag it on board yourself. Hope you have time to go shopping. But you can chase someone down to go get you Soy milk. The blow off answer is to tell you to eat all your meals in the main dining room and if you tell the staff 24 hours ahead of time they will get you what you want. Again, we all pay the same amount to be able to get a healthy bite on our fun day at sea if at the pool or having to be up very early for an excursion and the only option is the Ledo deck or room service that is very sweet and kind but has yet to any order that is not on the menu correct. Sadly the Horizon either didn’t receive the order for basic healthy food or corporate has reached an all-time low on providing the needs of all within reason. I personally have watch the healthy choices for adilts and our children alike vanish when it is completely unnessesary and to offer a healthier choice can be more cost effective. But two week on a boat without proper protein and food choices that maintain a healthy diet for the money we spend is dangerous to the guest and very poor corporate choses when it effects up to 13% of their market. So the ship was beautiful, the staff was warm and friendly, many who went out of their way to help make sure where Horizon dropped the ball or didn’t care about our health … took what they had to help, the itinerary was awesome and I was fed beautifully off the ship as wer my more restricted passengers by kitchen who had so much less to work with, the chiefs Table which of course cost us over a hundred dollars each was magnificent and the $100.00 inaugural keychain gifts were nice but I’d rather be able to eat well and enjoy my trip without having to scavenge for basic food. FYI ….. My ideas on how to fix allot of the problem are still open to Corporate and can make Carnival the leader not only in fun and safe travel but staying healthy and fit for all as well. FYI … for all the high cost meats and animal proteins we are not consuming a basic healthy diet is not much to ask. Read Less
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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