6 Carnival Horizon Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Bermuda

We did this cruise because we had to cancel another cruise; boy was I glad we got to take this cruise. It was the last cruise on this ship out of New York, and they did it New York way! Getting on the ship was fine, as long as you show ... Read More
We did this cruise because we had to cancel another cruise; boy was I glad we got to take this cruise. It was the last cruise on this ship out of New York, and they did it New York way! Getting on the ship was fine, as long as you show up on your designated time on your boarding pass, otherwise you have to go into another line. I have cruised many carnival ships before, but this cruise ranked #2 on all my cruises. We had the best cruise director ever. Ryan and his staff kept us quite entertained. Never had a boring day. The comedians were fantastic, Mike Davis and Jeffery Jene kept us in stitches. The food was good, the ship was clean. I would recommend eating at the 55 steakhouse. It was such a great experience. The service was more personal because you have less people to attend to unlike the main dining room. The dining room service was fast, I am not sure why people are complaining, but on our cruise we did not have to wait for dinner. One tip is that you can eat at the Pig and Anchor for free on the first day of the cruise until 3:30pm. Drop your bags off, and go there, you will not be disappointed. All and all a good time was had by all. Florence ruin our beach day in Bermuda, because the waves on the beach were large and we had red flag warning. I will be cruising again in January with Carnival and I hope Ryan is our cruise director. I also stayed in a spa cabin which was a first, but would do it again. Like having access to the spa and its amenities it had to offer. Also the celestial show was amazing. You can only see this show on the Horizon. Book your cruise on Horizon, you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The Horizon makes the occasional attempt at sophistication. There’s still a cruise formal night, where guests are expected to dress up for dinner in the main dining rooms. A library bar. Expensive suites and spa services. Diamond jewelry ... Read More
The Horizon makes the occasional attempt at sophistication. There’s still a cruise formal night, where guests are expected to dress up for dinner in the main dining rooms. A library bar. Expensive suites and spa services. Diamond jewelry for sale. Wild boar and escargot on menu for dinner. And, most successfully, there’s a really good new show in the theater – Celestial Strings – set all in white and with a live string trio providing some of the music. But if you’re looking for class and elegance you’re on the wrong cruise line. Carnival is home of the FUN ships – capital F. U. N. – and simple (some may call it low-brow) dining and entertainment is what they do best. The very hairy chest competition. The “Love and Marriage Show” version of the classic Newlywed Game. A group of (very drunk) friends singing Karaoke in lounge. PG-13 and R rated comedy and games. Not one, but two restaurants by Guy Fieri (burgers and BBQ). 24 hour pizza and ice cream. If you’re going on a cruise to have fun – and don’t have snobbish expectations – then you’ll do well on the Horizon. ---------- Cheers and Jeers – what good and what needs improvement on the Carnival Horizon Cheers! – for living up to the standards of being Carnival’s flagship cruise boat, with the best selection of activities, restaurants, and cabins in the fleet. Everything was new, clean, and working properly. Cheers! – for all the great technology on the boat. The free Carnival Hub app works great anywhere on the ship and lets you see maps, activity times, and even make dinner reservations from your own cell phone. The audio-visual tech on the boat is equally impressive – watching as the entire cast from the stage show leaves the theater and enters the atrium for an encore – and having the audio move seamlessly along with them – is impressive. The tablets used by some of the crew were also pretty cool. Jeers – for charging $5 to use the chat function on the app. This would have been convenient, but it should be free. Cheers – to our Cruise Director Mike. On a boat with over 1400 crew members, it’s amazing how much the charisma and enthusiasm of one guy makes such a difference. Mike was friendly, full of non-stop energy, and made everyone on the boat feel like he was their friend (all 5000 of us!). Cheers! – for trying something new with the elevator systems. Floors are select in advance, BEFORE boarding. Waiting for an elevator isn’t fun, and this should have helped. Jeers! – for poorly implementing the new elevator system. There aren’t enough signs explaining it, so everyone spent the first two days of the cruise confused and angry. Elevators were often over full, stopped at every floor, or stopped at floors were no one got on and off. In addition to more signage, the systems needs the ability to specify how many people are boarding, the ability to cancel reservations, and some way to know when an elevator is out of service (boarding was especially chaotic, as some elevators were being used for luggage, and no one had yet figured out how the system worked). Cheers! – for having a lot of great options for lunch. Guy’s burgers is a favorite for a reason, and Mexican at Blue Iguana is also very good. The key to both restaurants is freshness. Burgers, tacos, and burritos are all made fresh to order, and there’s a topping bar at each location full of fresh ingredients as well. Guy’s BBQ is great new addition to Carnival. It’s not the best BBQ I’ve ever had, but it’s still amazing to get real smoked BBQ on a ship, and it’s free at lunch. There were lots of other places we didn’t get to try as well –a Mongolian Wok, make your own pasta bar, deli, and more. Lunch is the best meal of the day on the Horizon. Unfortunately, lunch is the meal your most likely to miss because of port days. Jeers – for a kind of sad Afternoon tea. It was free, but if you wanted any tea better than Lipton you had to pay extra. Cheers! – for having an amazing and well trained staff. There are over 1400 people working on the boat from over 60 countries, and everyone we met was professional, friendly, and hard working. Many of the staff took the time to learn our names and greeted us when we passed by. Jeers! – for all the ways you can get ripped-off on the ship. In general, the more heavily something was promoted the worse of a deal it was. This includes: spa services, quasi-medical services (foot care and wellness treatments, etc), photo packages (some of which ran into the hundreds of dollars), shore excursions (almost always pricier on the boat than but directly on land), drink packages (either alcohol or soda), shopping (especially jewelry), and of course outright gambling (either Bingo or in the Casino). You could easily double the price of your cruise with these extras, most of which would be cheaper on land. Cheers! – for Carnival’s Cove Balcony cabins. These semi-enclosed balconies are available on the 2nd deck of the boat. They get less sun than balconies on higher decks, but otherwise are perfect. They are a great choice if you enjoy privacy (no one can look into the balcony from above) and being close to the water. Cheers and Jeers – for dinner in the main dining hall. Reflections (fixed time) and Meridian (flex time) are basically the same, although Meridian is larger and has two levels. The dining rooms are simply and modernly decorated but also somewhat generic looking and fall somewhat short of feeling luxurious. The menu generally looked good but execution was more mixed. Some dishes were pretty good (especially appetizers), where steaks and other main entrees were generally fair at best. Service in the restaurants, like everyone else on the boat, was generally excellent, however. Cheers! – for Celestial Strings. This is Carnival’s latest show and will be exclusively on the Horizon for about a year. Like Carnival’s other shows, it’s still basically just a musical revue (the cast sings and dances to a selection of popular songs; there’s no acting or dialogue) – but this new show is beautiful, the cast was top notch, and the live music (three musicians playing strings were part of the cast) was a nice addition. You’ll need to get to this show early to get seats, but there’s a pre-show performance to keep you entertained while you wait. Cheers! – for smooth and efficient embarkation, debarkation, and muster drills. Carnival puts a lot of effort into making sure everything runs efficiently and it shows. Our ship was at full capacity and yet we had no problems either in Bermuda or NYC. Cheers! – for never feeling too crowded, despite being at full capacity. With so many people on board it could have felt like a mob scene, but the boat rarely felt crowded. Lines were generally reasonable (except for peak times at Guy’s Burgers) – and there were always quiet spots on the ship to enjoy. ---------- For those that have read all this way, here are some “secrets” that we discovered while cruise. These are things that most guests on the boat, especially first time cruises, weren’t aware of. First, the highlight of our cruise was Carnival’s “Behind the Fun Tour”. This very limited tour isn’t promoted by Carnival, and you can only sign up for it on board at the Shore Excursions desk. Spots fill up quickly, so it’s best to sign as soon as you get on board. It’s not cheap ($95), but this 3-4 hour walking tour gets you access to things you’d otherwise never normally get to see and includes several nice bonus items as well (several photos, including one with the captain on the bridge, some snacks from the kitchen, a string backpack, wristband, and baseball cap). Highlights of our tour included the kitchens, crew recreation and dining areas, engine control room, bridge, and backstage of the main theater. We got a chance not only to see these restricted areas but also do talk to the crew that worked in them. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re interested in what it takes to make a ship like this run this tour is highly recommended. A free option to see a less crowded area of the ship is to explore the very front of the boat. Most of this area is not shown on the deck plans, and you’ll often need to walk through cabin hallways and out unmarked doors to access these areas. If I remember correctly, decks 4-7 are accessible, as well as decks 9-14. Deck 9 is above the bridge, and you can walk out above the “wings” on the sides of the bridge to see a great view down the side of the boat. There’s also a small seating area on Deck 14 with great views. The views from the front of the boat are amazing, but you will have to deal with the wind, which can be pretty intense. There is a key car slot near the door that's needed to turn on the lights in your cabin. Be aware that when you take out your card the outlets in the room will turn off as well; this is bad if you need to recharge batteries. As a work around, use a business card (ask your room steward for one) will work and let you leave the outlets on while you're out. The water slides and sky ride bikes can get crowded – these have some of the longest lines. The best time to enjoy these are as soon as you get on the boat. (As a bonus, you’ll have great views of NYC from the upper decks where these rides are located). Sign up for the earliest boarding possible, and you’ll have the ship nearly to yourself for a few hours. This is also a great time to enjoy the pools. Food tips: Most regular cruisers may already know this, but you are always free to order multiple items from the dinner menu in the main restaurants. Want seafood and steak? Just order both entrees. This goes for appetizers and desserts as well. We did this nearly every night and it made the meal a lot more enjoyable. Also, mixing and matching from the food choices on the Lido deck is a great idea. Guy’s burgers has a suggestion to try salsa from Blue Iguana as a burger topping, but don’t stop there. My wife’s favorite was soft serve ice-cream from the Lido Marketplace topped with bacon from Guy’s burger bar. ---------- Conclusion: This was our first time on a cruise and we had a lot of fun. Cruising out of NYC made things so much easier and more relaxing. The Horizon isn’t the biggest or the fanciest boat out there, but it might be the most fun. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was my first and Last cruise with Carnival. My wife and I booked a 4 day cruise with Carnival Horizon from NYC to Bermuda. The check in process took a very long time. Once we finally got to our cabin, I noticed how tiny it was....only ... Read More
This was my first and Last cruise with Carnival. My wife and I booked a 4 day cruise with Carnival Horizon from NYC to Bermuda. The check in process took a very long time. Once we finally got to our cabin, I noticed how tiny it was....only one single bed and a couch (in which my wife had to sleep on). The buffet area was always very crowded, many passengers were rude trying to cut in line bumping into us. The food at the buffet was very limited on any given day. On most days there were a couple pasta dishes, a seafood dish, and only once they had boneless chicken (which I had to wait a few minutes for it to be refilled). There was a lot of available seating, but still tough to find a free table at times. Also, the floor area in the buffet area was EXTREMELY slippery and dangerous! The Lido Deck was also a terrible mess. Hundreds of people, and two overcrowded bars including the Red Frog and Blue Iguanna where it took my wife over 15 min just to get a drink. There were way too many passengers and not enough staff at the Lido Deck bars to handle the massive crowds of people. There were two small swimming pools, yet about 4,000 people on our cruise ship so do the math. It was basically impossible to find available seating near the pools and very little room to even take a dip in the pools filled with mostly kids splashing around. Later during our cruise, we found out there was another adult pool near the Havanna Bar on Deck 5, but only open for a couple of hours after 7PM. How much sense does that make?? Now a few positives, aside from the Buffet Staff and Lido Deck Bar staff, the other workers were very friendly. We loved our housekeeper who did an amazing job keeping everything very clean for us. The Dining Room staff, especially the waiters were also amazing! They had a great system in which you grab a reservation ticket on Deck 5 first, then you proceed to the Dining Room on either Deck 3 or 4 and present your ticket for a free 3 Course meal. I will really miss that food and great hospitality. Also, the Comedy Shows were hilarious and a lot of fun. However, make sure you arrive at least 30 min early if you want a seat. There was also some good nightly entertainment including free movies under the stars on the Lido Deck, 80's music event, accoustic guitar performances at the Atrium Bar, Live Latin Music at Havanna Bar, and my favorite was the country music duo band at Guys Pig Anchor Bar (which didn't attract too many people though). They also had karaoke one night next to Internet Cafe, but the wait time to sing was 1 hour and 15 min. They allowed several people to sing twice, without giving newbies a chance. Very poor organization. When we arrived at Bermuda, surprisingly there were no announcements. We only realized it was ok to to exit the boat once we realized how quiet the boat was. At first it took a while to get a public transit bus to take us to Horseshoe Bay Beach, which was gorgeous but extremely packed! We managed to enjoy a few hours at the beach. We also walked around Hamilton, but really nothing worth seeing there. Once we got back to nyc, departing the boat was a nightmare. It took us two hours to get off the boat and go through customs. Lines and more lines while carrying our luggage. Never again! Overall, it was not worth the money we spent to be on an overcrowded boat without being able to do some things because they pack 4,000 people on a boat and not enough staff. No more cruises for me! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
It started when they couldn't control the crowd lining up to get on the ship. People were annoyed they were in line for 2 hours so they started just throwing their luggage into any open bin and walking on to the next huge line. Once ... Read More
It started when they couldn't control the crowd lining up to get on the ship. People were annoyed they were in line for 2 hours so they started just throwing their luggage into any open bin and walking on to the next huge line. Once you finished line 2 you were permitted to enter the boat. All of the elevators were being used to bring luggage up to rooms, but there were no signs posted to let you know that. After waiting 2 hours in line you had to walk up (6 decks in my case). Once you get to your room you notice there is no electricity!. Fortunately I saw on a blog that I had to stick my sign and sail card (room key) in a slot near the door and leave it in the slot or you didn't get any power. The rooms are clean and very nice. They leave you cards to fill out with your room service breakfast requests. There is only one problem... They do not put any pens or pencils in the rooms. If you are looking for an ice bucket for the one liter of wine that the website states you can bring per person, you are out of luck. No wine buckets no ice but don't worry cause they confiscate your wine and dump it out anyway. They do leave you a lovely note in your suitcase letting you know that they trashed it. Apparently they changed their policy but forgot to tell anyone. There were no shows onboard except for explicit comedy shows. Probably a good thing though considering the boat was packed with over 5,000 people and about 1300 crew members so everyone was on top of each other and lines to even be able to eat were outrageous. There are 4 beautiful pools but good luck getting in any of them. The food was just ok. Nothing special. But if you wanted special you could get it for an additional charge! Unlimited soda was also not unlimited. You had to have a 5 minute wait between beverages and my husband was not permitted to get himself and me a beverage at the same time. Problem was there was no where to sit so when we found a seat anywhere I would guard the seats and he would get the drinks, or should I say drink? We had to share. The staff was amazing and polite and helpful and they always seemed happy. (Perhaps they were drinking all the confiscated wine?) I will be going to an all inclusive resort next time. Oh one more note. We had pictures taken and for only $1,999.99 We could have taken 30 of them home! Not kidding that was the price for an album with 30 pictures! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Debarkation Day... and I feel like I should write this review after hearing so many negative people on the ship and on the reviews. First of all, embarkation was a breeze. Waiting 30 minutes in line but you know what, they got ... Read More
Debarkation Day... and I feel like I should write this review after hearing so many negative people on the ship and on the reviews. First of all, embarkation was a breeze. Waiting 30 minutes in line but you know what, they got everything right and were thorough with security. I don’t mind waiting. We went to Guy’s Pig and Anchor after embarking. It was free guys!!! Waited maybe 10 minutes in line, best food we had all week! Only free on embarkation day. Overall cleaniless was great! Employees were constantly cleaning, mopping the wet floors. Food: buffet for breakfast was good. Burritos were delicious! some commentors say ‘breakfast couldve been better’. Where i’m from eggs, toast and bacon is breakfast. So not sure what ya’ll were expecting? Rib eye? Guy’s Pig and Anchor was phenomenal! We went a second time for $27 we got ribs, corn, cornbread, trascan nachos. It was more than I could eat and absolutely delicious! We ate at the Meridian all week, again top notch! We even got offered a second plate of lobster one night which was surprising and very welcoming! Staff: were all friendly! Our cabin steward Daniel was real nice. Always called us by our first names and chatted with us. Debarkation process also went well! My only two negatives are: an adult only pool would’ve been nice or even just for a few hours. The pools are small and bombarded with kids, but hey I guess we shouldve went to an adult only if we wanted. The meradian, unless you have the app you have to go up a floor to reserve a spot then walk down to your table. I see this being s nuisance for families with kids and people with disabilities. We used the app on the second day once we knew about it and it works flawlessly. In all great trip, great ship! Carnivals reputation for a party ship was not seem on this ship. Oh and the comedy shows were amazing! Caroline and Tommy Drake were hilarious and had us in tears all 5 shows we attended. The brass boys and crushed velvet were a great jazz band we listened to every night!!! We love them!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was a cruise I was very disappointed with. I will keep it short. I have 37 cruises under my belt, 7 with Carnival, and each year, the quality seems to be going down hill, This cruise was clearly better than NCL and RCL. The Bad ... Read More
This was a cruise I was very disappointed with. I will keep it short. I have 37 cruises under my belt, 7 with Carnival, and each year, the quality seems to be going down hill, This cruise was clearly better than NCL and RCL. The Bad The elevators took for "Ever" to come. The technology is really bad that they are using. Carnival should have looked in to queuing theory before they ordered the worst technology known in the 20th century. Queuing Theory has been around for 70 years and they do not use it. The crew, knew nothing. Giving wrong directions, wrong floors etc. They would send you to the other end of the ship, wrong floor, make you very late for a show, The shows, this is where they have cut costs. They are unprofessional, and the theaters are so small, can not fit anywhere half of the 3,900 passengers that are on the ship. Get there very early, or you will not get a seat! The Ship is Dirty, things are missing, holes are everywhere. This should not be the case for a New Ship. The drink plan, you have to wait 10 min between drinks, but the staff does not show up for a long time. So, plan on not being able to get drunk on the drink plan. Your bill will not be correct. Expect double charges on your credit card. Split charges from shops. And holds on your credit card, for which you can not find what the charges are from. CHECK YOUR BILL!!! before you leave the ship!!!! Drinks are not consistent, Some drinks have too little spirit, some are too sweet and some will get you drunk on 1 drink. The décor is clearly on a low budget. Not what I would expect compared to the older ships. Very plane, not the elaborate décor of Carnival ships that I have taken in the past. And clearly not the technology that RCL has implemented. Carnival should take note of the adult activities that RCL offers. ie FlowRider, IFly etc. The activity lines were long, and very slow The comedy was very poor. The comics did not have depth of material. Very amateurish, and their background that they stated was not true. The entrainment was clearly a D-. But get there early, or you will not get a seat. I mean when doors open. The seating is a big miss on this ship. How can they make such a big mistake!!! The Tea, WHY CAN THEY NOT BREW THE TEA? and make it drinkable? Shore Excursions, Just say NO. The Good The food actually was the best compared to RCL,NCL, and Princess. I was presently surprised, and the service was good, for the low passenger to crew ratio. Carnival has really cut back. The server staff was very overworked. The key is to get there very early, so the food is fresh. Make sure you get a burger, taco and pizza on the ship. The best I have ever had on a ship. The BBQ place, well it is over smoked, and I really like heavy smoked food, under seasoned and too lean. The bacon macaroni was notable, and I don't like Mac and cheese and the first time great, the other times, the cheese was granular. Really no complaints about the Cabin. Again, the cabin staff was very over worked, due to short staff. I was surprised, that the curtains and other fixtures showed worn-out with just a new ship. The attendant was very good, about the best I have seen from any ship in the last few years. The cruise director was great on the Cruise. All in all, Carnival has a lot of work to do to live up to their past level of quality. Compared to RCL, NCL and Princess, it was a better experience. But Carnival really badly designed this ship. I prefer the older ships in the fleet, as long as they did not refurbish them to a lower standard then they were. Be prepared to be squeezed for every dollar you have. And if it seems to good to be true, it is not true, even if you are on vacation Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Carnival Horizon Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.5

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