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2,537 Carnival Southern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We selected this cruise for the ports. The ship was very small and old. The cabin was clean but cramped. The bathroom smelled of urine constantly. The food quality in the buffet and dining room was terrible, the worst of any cruise ... Read More
We selected this cruise for the ports. The ship was very small and old. The cabin was clean but cramped. The bathroom smelled of urine constantly. The food quality in the buffet and dining room was terrible, the worst of any cruise yet. The cruise catered to the Hispanic guests, especially the entertainment. The burger joint, pizza and cantina were the only food of any quality. My prime rib was 1/4 inch thick as was the filet mignon which was over cooked. Dining Staff seemed unhappy, while the entertainment staff acted like celebrities. They were constantly running out of tea and lemonade. Overall it was my most disappointing cruise to date, I do not recommend this ship at all. The cruise director was the bright spot and the Monopop band was awesome. Jerome and Nairi Saenz were great comedians, the adult shows were great! We did appreciate the party for the platinum and diamond members. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My daughter chose this cruise for her wedding and was truly disappointed her honey moon was ruined.. We were suppose to go to Amber Cove and Turk but on the second day of a 5 day cruise we were told that because of of hurricane Jerry we ... Read More
My daughter chose this cruise for her wedding and was truly disappointed her honey moon was ruined.. We were suppose to go to Amber Cove and Turk but on the second day of a 5 day cruise we were told that because of of hurricane Jerry we would not be making our destination which is understandable but later that day we were given a memo saying it was because the ship wasn't working correctly. We were then told we would be going to to the Bahamas which most of us ( there was 45 of us) had already been to. There were limited excursion choices since we weren't expected at this port leaving limited things to do in port. We spent 4 out of 5 days at sea. The bathroom in our cabin smelled like sewer the food was not the greatest. The only good thing was our stateroom steward Sheila she was great and so was our waiter in the dining room can't remember his name but we sat at table 420. The people who did the entertainment like Chris the cruise director tried to make everyone's time at sea the best they could did an excellent job but unfortunately the experience has turned us all off with this cruise line . I am not even sure I will use the 50% off they offered for the next cruise not sure it will be worth it Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband and I took this cruise with family to celebrate a couple of birthdays all together. This cruise was the absolute worst experience I have ever had. Leaving out the fact that there is nothing to do on the ship besides drinking or ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise with family to celebrate a couple of birthdays all together. This cruise was the absolute worst experience I have ever had. Leaving out the fact that there is nothing to do on the ship besides drinking or waiting in line for over an hour just to get seats to watch a 30 minute comedian or showtime, the whole thing is just a scam. Even if you add the gratuities into your payments before the cruise, you still have to constantly tip your stewards and servers in order to ensure you have at least decent service. The servers will not bring half of the food you order and they won't remember to refill your water. All of the food was bland and flavorless. They had "filet mignon" on one of the formal nights and it was definitely not filet mignon. They got a cheap cut similar to a sirloin and shaped it to look like filet mignon. All the excursions are way over priced, and most of them are not as advertised. All in all, worst vacation ever. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We've cruised various cruise lines but 3 years ago found carnival and loved it. Sadly magic has some serious issues with ship and entertainment which did not make for a good cruise. Air conditioning does not work properly across ... Read More
We've cruised various cruise lines but 3 years ago found carnival and loved it. Sadly magic has some serious issues with ship and entertainment which did not make for a good cruise. Air conditioning does not work properly across the ship, barely working at all in some areas, when we made complaints we were told there wasn't a problem, lots of other passengers noted the same, as well as staff commenting it was warm onboard. We've never been on a ship where they place heavy duty fans around the ship! They even have some people fans for their room (but there wasn't a problem!) During the night we were convinced they turned off the air con in our room completely, it was really hot in our room overnight, maybe carnival are trying to save money by turning off the Aircon! The ship is due a dry dock, carpets tatty, air con ducts with mould, ceiling tiles coming off. Overall the ship was not in a good way. The entertainment 'fun squad' were anything but fun, often delivered trivia etc with utter disinterest and sometimes could hardly bother to smile let alone speak. The good- piano bar player probably the best we've seen on any ship. Red frog - bar staff and guitar player fantastic! Overall we were quite disappointed with this cruise, not up to previous standard and I'm glad this wasn't our first cruise otherwise I'd doubt we would do another one! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First, I was to be front, and advise that I prefer RCCL, over Carnival. However, I had an incredible Players Club casino offer, eight nights for $373, interior cabin. The interior cabin was standard accommodations. Very roomy for a solo ... Read More
First, I was to be front, and advise that I prefer RCCL, over Carnival. However, I had an incredible Players Club casino offer, eight nights for $373, interior cabin. The interior cabin was standard accommodations. Very roomy for a solo traveler. My cabin steward, Randy was very attentive and promptly filled my requests. FOOD: The Lido buffet on deck 10 had standard fare, adequate but not great. There is an Italian restaurant above the buffet, that served a complimentary lunch. It has several pastas to select along with several entrees. I was excellent food and service. Food in the main dining room was good, but I feel RCCL's MDR, has better for and offerings. However, in the MDR of the Carnival Magic was exceptional. ENTERTAINMENT: Production show and audience participation games shows, entertaining but not great The Punchliner comedy club had excellent comedians. POOLS: The main pool is really small for a ship that carries 3500 passengers, The rear adults only pool is also small, but mainly has people that "dip" and get out. As a casino player, the casino has sufficient slots and tables for the gamblers, the casino staff was very cordial. NOW MY COMPLAINT: The Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle never happened. It was originally scheduled for September 17 at 1 p.m. in the Starlight Lounge, when I arrived, I was told it was rescheduled for September 21 at 1 p.m., at the appointed time I arrived and there no staff. I called Guest Services and the representative tried to tell me that it was held on the 17th, I told her it was not and there was a Carnival staff trying to upsell cosmetics. She put me on hold and another person got on the phone to tell me they has no record of the event being scheduled or rescheduled. That was a lie as I had the original Carnival cruise line invitation. All in all I think guest services really suck! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which did not disappoint at all! The service in the Cucina restaurant (special thanks to Nikoleta and Milicia who were wonderful) was top notch as was the food. We ate there 3x it was so good as was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which did not disappoint at all! The service in the Cucina restaurant (special thanks to Nikoleta and Milicia who were wonderful) was top notch as was the food. We ate there 3x it was so good as was the steakhouse (1x). The Blue Iguana tequila bar had excellent service as well (Maryann, Borko and Richard are the best bartenders on the ship!). What disappointed was the smell of must and sewage that permeated areas of the ship. It was awful. The service by the waiters in the anytime dining restaurant was lacking except for Hristijan one evening. Breakfast service was terrible and we always had errors with our orders. Having done the Glory a few years ago we found this ships cruise director a bit disappointing. I am giving the service and dining five stars to not take credit away from the Cucina, Steakhouse or Blue Iguana Bar. Met wonderful new friends and did have a great cruise Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Loved this ship design, loved the itinerary. But the service varied from excellent, to adequate, to poor. First time on one of Carnival's big ships. Plenty to do every day. Cabin service was excellent, some of the best I ever had. ... Read More
Loved this ship design, loved the itinerary. But the service varied from excellent, to adequate, to poor. First time on one of Carnival's big ships. Plenty to do every day. Cabin service was excellent, some of the best I ever had. Entertainment ran the gamut, some very good music groups, I thought the show performers were quite average (the Cuba show was great), bar service was overall fine, but the dining service was poor. Slow, inattentive, and often wrong. The restaurant management did try to address it, but it never got solved. The comedy club is too small. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early for the adult shows to make sure you get a seat. The main theater is oddly designed. I'd guess at least half of the seats have some level of obstructed views due to odd seating angles, a flat main seating area, and metal posts. Loved the itinerary with plenty to do in all ports Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had a great time on the Carnival Horizon. The kids enjoyed the water park and activities. The movie theaters were great and Antonette was always so kind and happy to help. On the last 2 days of our journey, we were in the middle of ... Read More
We had a great time on the Carnival Horizon. The kids enjoyed the water park and activities. The movie theaters were great and Antonette was always so kind and happy to help. On the last 2 days of our journey, we were in the middle of Hurricane Dorian. The captain did a awesome job in keeping us informed about the situation and how he will continue the sailing. The captain definitely went above and beyond to make us feel safe. The show were great and all the restaurant server, cabin steward, bar staff were wonderful. One thing that can you use improvement is the customer service area. There was always a line if you go after 10:00am. One day, I waited almost an hour just to ask about my card. If you have kids, this will be the perfect cruise to keep them entertained. Overall, great service and great cruise. Will definitely book it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Getting on an off the ship was very time consuming. Overall the cruise itself was an amazing experience. The islands were beautiful, and more than enough time to get off and explore them. The ship had SO many fun activities. There were so ... Read More
Getting on an off the ship was very time consuming. Overall the cruise itself was an amazing experience. The islands were beautiful, and more than enough time to get off and explore them. The ship had SO many fun activities. There were so many things to do every hour it’s impossible to be bored. The food was great! I will certainly miss not having to cook all day. The crew were AMAZING. From the cleaning workers, food workers, etc. they stop whatever they’re doing to talk to you and say hello with the biggest smiles on their faces. I had my 9 month old son and everyone stopped to give him attention also. The people at guest services though not so much. I lost a bag from one of the islands going through security and they did NOTHING to help me whatsoever. When I let guest services know I had lost my items, they basically told me there was nothing they would do but check everyday and hope someone turns it in. No friendly announcements to please check your items after coming off the ship and to turn in anything you might have grabbed that isn’t yours, no checking to see who came in after me, nothing. With as much money as I spent to be there it would have been nice for them to at least try to help me even if it was a lost cause. They are also not friendly as the other crew members are. There are no changing tables in any bathrooms. They need special elevators for people with scooters/strollers as people who don’t need to use elevators will use them, as well as cut in front of people with said needs. So 7 times out of 10 you’ll wait at least 10 to 15 minutes for an elevator. Sometimes with a screaming infant this is no fun at all for me, him, or anyone else. Expect to spend loads more money on the ship. The shops were crazy expensive. Pringles for instance that I can get for $1.50 a can at home were about $7 on board. I get the whole people will buy it because they don’t have it, but that’s a little crazy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Ship: MS Carnival Magic Cruise: 17-25 August 2019 Itinerary: 17: Depart Ft. Lauderdale 18: Half Moon Cay, Nassau – pretty small island with not much to do unless you want to lay out on the beach all day. I took a jitney tour ... Read More
Ship: MS Carnival Magic Cruise: 17-25 August 2019 Itinerary: 17: Depart Ft. Lauderdale 18: Half Moon Cay, Nassau – pretty small island with not much to do unless you want to lay out on the beach all day. I took a jitney tour which lasted about an hour and a half. But they showed us the flora and fauna and we got to see where the island staff live. 19: Grand Turk Isle – great bus and boat tour, the guides were lively and funny and I got some great souvenirs 20: At sea – balcony time and watching movies 21: Aruba 22: Curacao 23-24: At sea 25: Arrive Ft. Lauderdale Departure Air: PHL – FTL – Spirit Airlines – godawful airline with cramped seats and no internet access and with some of the homeliest flight attendants ever. Yes, I am that shallow. We left an hour behind schedule because of rain in Florida. Stay away from Spirit Airlines at all costs. The Yugo of airlines. Hotel: Red Carpet Inn, Ft. Lauderdale – nice, reasonably priced hotel. I was only there to sleep, and while the desk staff was nice, the other staff were indifferent and rude. But the beds were quite comfortable. I also forgot my medications for my blood pressure and painkillers for my arthritic neck. I was able to get my doctors to get an eight-day supply of meds at the local CVS. So, I wasn’t really able to relax once I got to my hotel – frenzied phone calls to my insurance carrier and my CVS in Philadelphia. Totally my fault, but this isn’t the way one wants to start off one’s vacation. Return Air: FTL – PHL – American Airlines – leagues above Spirit with free snacks and soda. Bypassed the Wi-Fi packages because it was $14 for a two-hour flight. Still, it was nice to know it was available. Cabin: #2289 Cove Balcony. I bit the bullet and paid single supplement, but didn’t mind because I got a good price and I loved being close to the water. Carnival is for extroverts, but I was able to deprogram on my balcony, using it several times during the day to just chill, listen to music, and nap. My aunt and uncle were so worried that they contacted Guest Services to make sure I was okay because I wasn’t answering my door or phone because I was voiding out on my balcony. Just marvelous. The balcony needs a paint job – the rust was quite evident and my cabin carpet was worn in spots, but it’s to be expected on a huge ship like the MAGIC that carries thousands of passengers on a weekly basis. I loved the shower gel they had, but couldn’t find out who made it. Plenty of closet and drawer space for one person. Food: Carnival has really improved their game in this regard. More choice, higher quality food. Can’t understand why Berlitz always dings Carnival for their food. Lido Marketplace: my go-to place for breakfast and lunch. Lots of salad fixings (much better than on CARNIVAL VICTORY voyage to Canada in 2001). I’d like to see more cheese selections, but everything else was spot-on in terms of taste, quality and variety, especially the desserts Southern Lights Dining Room (late seating): Adi, Aisys and Sendian were our servers, they work extremely hard to provide decent service. My aunt only drinks bottled water and they kept her glass filled. I don’t drink, so they gave me extra ginger ale. Beef tenderloin was tender, as was the braised ox tongue. Did not care for the braised rabbit in puff pastry – too gamy. Still, Carnival is to be commended for taking more risks with their cuisine than they have in the past. And of course, I had the chocolate melting cake for dessert twice. Cucina del Capitano: Uncle treated us to dinner here on the fourth day. Loved it! Ordered a pappardelle pasta dish with huge shrimp and pancetta slices. We got so full we skipped dessert. Guy’s Burger Bar: Only ate here once because there was always a line. But glad I got a chance to try it after we got back from our Aruba tour and most people were still ashore. Good quality ground beef and great fixings. Blue Iguana: Got a breakfast burrito here before we embarked on our Grand Turk Island tour. Decent size and quite tasty. Again, this place was always crowded. Prime Steakhouse: Truly a dining event for our last night at sea. Thanks again Uncle Bob!! I got the NY Strip, mushroom risotto, mashed potatoes w/wasabi (yes potatoes, no wasabi!). The dinner at the Prime Steakhouse was superb, especially the dessert, which was appropriately called Dessert Art. The chef used a white board to “paint” it with fruit compote, jelled candies, custards, chocolate wafers and a huge ball of white chocolate filled with more chocolates and he added ice cream to it after breaking it open. I had to videotape it. It was very good. Caution - the food here is delicious, but quite rich. I got a bit of the agita (sp?) when we went to bed. Pros: Nice, showy décor, good food (superb at times), excellent cabin service (Kadek, thanks again, you are awesome), great itinerary, amazing massage at Cloud 9 Spa, great gym. The Sea Monkeys put on an excellent show at various venues. We also loved the ladies who played the violins in the main atrium lounge – really good music and I loved sitting there with my family, catching up, as well as striking up conversations with complete strangers. We enjoyed great tours of Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Aruba and Curacao. The Bonita Beach Club in Willemstad is so nice and they make great frites cooked in truffle oil and served with parmesan and flavored mayo. Service was great. And finally, the cruise director, Simon and his assistants were brilliant and wickedly funny. Simon is right out of Central Casting. The comedians were funny too at the Spotlight Lounge. Cons: Aruba visit too long (0830-2300), Curacao visit too short (0830-1530); the latter is the nicer port, so maybe Carnival can switch it around. Canceled acupuncture consultation because they kept me waiting for 45 minutes, inappropriate behavior of some younger passengers on Lido deck – doing a disgusting dance, rubbing up against each other in front of children and old people. The DJ actually stopped playing music to admonish them for their vulgarity. Yes, I know, I am older – and GET OFF MY LAWN. Carnival’s Achilles Heel IMO is still the level of clientele that they attract. And the nickel-and-diming, endemic to the cruise industry, needs to stop. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our 10th Cruise and 7th with Carnival. I have to admit we were skeptical based on reviews and our very last Carnival Cruise. Last August we cruised with Disney and was worried Carnival would fall way short based on Disney’s ... Read More
This was our 10th Cruise and 7th with Carnival. I have to admit we were skeptical based on reviews and our very last Carnival Cruise. Last August we cruised with Disney and was worried Carnival would fall way short based on Disney’s level of quality and service. To be honest we were 100% pleasantly surprised. I felt the ship was maintained well and generally very clean. I did feel our balcony cabin was OK and could have been a little cleaner in the corners. The bedding was tremendously more comfortable that other Carnival cruises. The last Carnival Cruise was miserable for sleep quality - this Cruise we slept very comfortably. One exception is we could hear EVERY in the adjoining stateroom with connecting doors (doors remained lock). There was an infant that woke us up in the adjoining room every morning at 6:00 and then we listened to their family morning conversations. We felt this ship had the most activities and places to spend time than any other Carnival ship. The sports area was great, trivia was great, on board music options was good. There was a trio of violinist who were amazing. The nightly shows were an improvement from prior cruises. They kept us entertained, but realize Carnival is not the go to ship if you are looking for theater production. Food in the dining room was very good with real top rate service. People comment the portions are small - WHAT? I can seriously eat and did not feel that way. If you must - order multiple entrees. The one complaint I would have is the lines at buffets, pizza or burritos area was long. However I believe the root cause is people hoarding and eating mass quantities of food. I watched a person eat 3 cheeseburgers, fries and a pizza in one sitting??? I actually found some people’s eating and hoarding food as being very grotesque. I am not a health snob and could lose a little weight myself. I enjoy Carnival for their lively activities. If you want a slower paced and less party atmosphere don’t cruise on Carnival. Between the price point of the cruise and the party atmosphere it does attract a different crowd. My point is don’t pay the cheapest price for a cruise and the expect the same service as the most expensive cruise. I personally would rather go on 2 or 3 Carnival Cruises than 1 Disney Cruise for the same price. However, I realize there is a service and quality difference.’ Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We decided to go with Carnival Horizon because we had previously been on it’s sister ship the Vista which was amazing. We expect the same level of service and cleanliness from the Horizon. Everywhere you walked the floor was wet, not ... Read More
We decided to go with Carnival Horizon because we had previously been on it’s sister ship the Vista which was amazing. We expect the same level of service and cleanliness from the Horizon. Everywhere you walked the floor was wet, not from people walking after coming from the pool but there were leaks everywhere. The entrance to the Havana area always had a foul smell specially in the early mornings. The Havana bar offered espresso however you couldn’t order one until 10am which I found a little late..The staff was attentive, I just think upper management didn’t schedule them correctly. Sometimes you’d have a bar full of patrons and only one bar tender, it was the same for the specialty restaurants. We did one of the carnival excursions on Grand Turk with Mark (Marky Mark), he was a great captain made the trip fun and always made sure all guests were comfortable during our snorkeling trip. Our trip was truly made by our room attendant Myat, his friendly smile everyday was just so warm and welcoming. He always accommodated our every request and left all the lovely towel animals. Thank you Myat!! You’re the best! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This ship was beautiful, decor, clean, several restaurant, all great. The staff, crew and service was top notch. Food was great everywhere we ate. The elevator system on the other hand is nightmare. If you push the button like 10 ... Read More
This ship was beautiful, decor, clean, several restaurant, all great. The staff, crew and service was top notch. Food was great everywhere we ate. The elevator system on the other hand is nightmare. If you push the button like 10 times it thinks there's more people so it comes quicker. But overall the engineer that designed that system needs a new job! Our cabin was an ocean view and very comfortable. The entertainment was great...and our cruise director Mike was awesome! Go to the Quest...it's late night, but ton's of fun. If you are easily offended not a good choice, but if you like to have some adult fun...take advantage of this event. Visit the wonderful IMAX Theater, they have a great selection of movies, a variety of show times and super nice theater. Also take advantage of the ships two floors of shops. I found several good deals with great choices. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
New ship, new destinations. Pre-Cruise: We decided to fly into Ft Lauderdale from NYC, instead of Miami, and arrived on Thursday giving us a full one-day buffer in case of travel delays. We stayed at the Embassy Suites on the 17th ... Read More
New ship, new destinations. Pre-Cruise: We decided to fly into Ft Lauderdale from NYC, instead of Miami, and arrived on Thursday giving us a full one-day buffer in case of travel delays. We stayed at the Embassy Suites on the 17th Street Causeway, just a few minutes from the airport by cab. We have stayed at this hotel numerous times, and it’s fine for our needs. Included in the room rate is complimentary breakfast and a Manager’s Happy Hour in the evening. Because your rate will be dependent on a few variables, I won’t quote our pricing, but we thought it was reasonable. We booked transfers from the hotel to Port of Miami with QLS (limo service) and they were great. Transfers each way were $145 including gratuity (which we added to with cash for the drivers) for four adults with 11 pieces of luggage. The large private SUV was plenty big enough and the drivers were on time, professional and courteous. The ride from the hotel to Miami at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday took about 45 minutes, and by 10:00 a.m. our bags were checked with a porter at the terminal, and we were inside. The scene outside the terminal was a little hectic as arriving and departing passengers were on hand, but no drama at all. There were two or three other ships in port too, but really no traffic to speak off and the Horizon is impossible to miss. The terminal: It was nice; we didn’t plan on spending too much time there, and we didn’t. We quickly got through security checkpoints, used the washrooms to refresh, and we were on the ship by about 10:45. To be honest, the whole process was so smooth, I don’t really remember anything remarkable about it. The Ship: quick summary We all liked it a lot. This is our first Carnival cruise, and the third for our traveling companions; they had trepidations as their first two cruises on older ships were not great experiences. Within one hour of being on the ship they immediately commented on how “this was different, and Carnival seems to have gotten their act together”. I can see why. Overall, having been on over 15 cruises, I can say that the quality of food services was better on this ship than any other, and the service of the staff was on par with the best we have seen. As far as the ship itself, overall we loved it; sure there are some areas that could be improved upon, but taken on a whole, this boat is great. Our initial experience: Upon boarding, we were immediately directed to the Lido Deck, 10, where the buffet is located. We had pre-booked dining, but bought the dining package that saved us $8 bucks per head off the rack rate for the steakhouse, Italian restaurant and Asian fusion venues (combined). We didn’t purchase beverage or spa packages. We did a walkabout to get acclimated, and paid a visit to guest services which was surprisingly quiet; the folks there were very helpful. We were able to get into our staterooms and our luggage was in the process of being delivered, so we decided it was a good time to have lunch at the buffet, then returned to the staterooms to unpack. The stateroom: We had a balcony stateroom, nearer to the rear elevators, on deck 8. This ended up being perfect for us, and if I’m on this class ship again, I’d pick the same stateroom. The bed was large and comfortable, plenty of storage for folks that tend to over-pack, and the bathroom was sufficient to make showering and refreshing a pleasure. You can get room lay-outs and dimensions on the Carnival website, along with pictures. The room has a hair dryer, and the shower has those gel dispensers for soap and shampoo. No conditioner. That was fine for me (shaved head), but my wife prefers her own toiletries. Plenty of towels, TP, and tissues, and the bathroom has a vanity mirror. It’s fine. The balcony itself does not have sliders, but instead has a heavy-duty single door that swings out; it is heavy, slams with a thud, and in windy conditions can cause a “whistling” sound, heard inside the stateroom. The balcony was of ample space with two chairs and a small table. We used the balcony for pre-breakfast coffee and for drinks in the evening; we tried our best not to have laundry on the balcony, but on a few port days we did have bathing suits out there to dry. The nice thing about this location is that it’s a few steps from the stairs (more on that later) which we used a lot, and two decks below Lido with buffet, Italian and Asian restaurants and a few decks above the MDR, shops, and the Havana Bar. The theatres, two specialty restaurants and other points of interest tend to be mid-ship and forward there is some walking required. Our stateroom attendant Lawrence was great; rooms are made up once per day, and he gave us a choice (mornings or evenings); we chose mornings. He was very helpful with information about the ports and the ship, and made our stay very enjoyable. Always had clean towels and a daily planner. Oh, and the TV. Flat screen with very poor programing choices; perfect for us, we are on vacation and didn’t book a cruise to watch TV. I know, there are going to be times when you are in the stateroom and want to check the stock market, get news events, check a baseball score, or watch I Love Lucy. My suggestion is to get the internet package. BTW, after 8 days with little or no contact with the outside world, we found that the world didn’t miss us, and I didn’t miss it. The ship’s layout: You can get from here to there! Unlike many retrofitted ships that have broken up deck plans to squeeze in restaurants and attractions, this new build has very walkable decks both in the private areas (e.g., hallways to staterooms) and public areas. You can check out the deck plans on the Carnival website for specifics, but you can basically get stem to stern on public decks 5 and 10; and I had a similar experience on deck 8 where our stateroom was located. There may be a few exceptions, and because I didn’t do a Lewis and Clark type mapping, I don’t know what they would be. Just know that you won’t be wandering around the ship wondering how you can get to something. We also liked the placement of the serenity area and the spa/gym at the front of the ship. More on that later. Overall we found that things made sense, and were where they were supposed to be. Except the elevators. The elevators: This topic is probably covered the most often in reviews; many times from the perspective that people don’t know how to use the system. While that may be true, it’s not the sole cause of the issues folks are having. In the NY metro area many large office buildings, hotels and hospitals have gone to a similar system, in which the elevators have no passenger accessible floor buttons; my experience is that this can work effectively. Typically, a passenger selects the floor they wish to visit in the vestibule on a touch screen, and that same screen tells you which elevator to board by number or letter designation. The elevator will take you and other passengers to your pre-selected floor(s). Carnival’s system also asks that you make a deck selection for each passenger, so if four of you are traveling from deck 3 to deck 10, you must enter the selection four times. That seems to bug people; the idea behind this is that the elevator assigned should know how many people it has on it already, and how many are expected to enter/leave on each deck. The system overall doesn’t work well. The wait time for elevators even during non-peak periods can be very long. Frequently elevators show up full (because people jump on “any” elevator); also folks call for elevators, get impatient and leave (taking the stairs). Finally, it could be that the programing for the system is not effective; if that’s the case then a software upgrade is in order. My advice: take the stairs, or give yourself plenty of time. And if you book far enough in advance and can swing it, get a mid-level deck stateroom which limits the amount of decks you need to traverse. Finally, the elevator situation wouldn’t affect my decision to book this ship or others in its class. It really is not that big a deal to me, because I don’t mind walking, but I do get the point that the elevators should work better, and for people with mobility limitations, etc. this is a major consideration. The Spa/gym: I walked past the spa; looks nice, very clean. People in white coats stand around ready to help; sort of like a sanitarium. I did use the gym; not too crowded in the early hours (6:00 am), and it was empty on one mid-day visit while at sea. Has the requisite fitness stuff; it’s not going to replace the major fitness chains, but the treadmills, stationary bikes, etc. are more than enough for most of us. If your work-out routine is more demanding, you will likely be disappointed. The Track: Seven laps to a mile, located on deck 12 aft; near other activity centers including mini-golf, basketball, outdoor fitness equipment, etc. Get there early when the serious folks are training; after the “sleep-ins” wake up they will continually turn the track into an obstacle course, and refuse to heed the signs pointing out the direction to run/walk. The track provides a good view of the smoking area in the aft of the ship; here you will witness the effects of nicotine, caffeine and sedentary lifestyles. The Ride Thingy: It doesn’t work. It didn’t work. It never works. It won’t work in the future. Thankfully, the pedals don’t power the ship. The pools and deck chairs: What can I say. The pools and the whirlpools were in a word “overcrowded”, but hey, that’s not very different than other ships I’ve been on, although the issue here seems to be worse. Simply put, the pools are not big enough given the size of the ship and passenger count. Even though the pools were crowded, I found the fellow passengers to be polite and respectful of each other. The whirlpools are never hot enough for me, and Horizon’s are no exception. They were warm at best, which some passengers thought was fine. There were plenty of deck chairs, including claim shell lounges in which you become the baked clam. After a few days of relentless sunshine, shade was at a premium. The clam shells throughout the ship get taken up quickly, and the lounge chairs near the pools, especially those with some shade or umbrellas go fast too. There were always some chairs available in the direct sun, especially on deck 11, which is a few stair steps away from the mid-ship pool. We did find two spots on the ship that were not very crowded and provided shaded areas and lounge chairs. • On deck five in the forward areas there are cushioned lounges under an overhang (deck 6) that are peaceful and shaded. You won’t be near a pool or whirlpool, but you can cuddle up and relax. These are limited, but very few people go to this area. • On deck eleven aft, there is limited seating facing the tides pool (on deck 10) and a good deal of lounge chair seating on the port and starboard sides of the ship outside JiJi’s and Cucina Restaurants. This area is under the sports track on deck twelve and provides a good amount of shade. It’s also near enough to the tides pool, so you can go for a dip. Entertainment: There are many things to do on this ship, and we only scratched the surface, but here are a few thoughts: • The opening night showcase that features the comedians and production show cast is worth attending, although many folks may be tired from all the first day activities. We enjoyed the performers and performances, and it gave us a good idea as to what we would try to see later on. We absolutely loved Cruise Director Mike Pack, who is fun, entertaining and visible throughout the cruise. • The punch-liner comedy shows/venue is fabulous, as was our host Leo!! We went to the shows geared for both families and the adult only shows, and we never laughed so hard. Now the comedians rotate so your experience can will be different than ours. The venue is small, so we arrived 30 minutes before showtime and we had a selection of seats that could host four adults. The bar is open during shows, and there are drink specials. • The Liquid Lounge is the main theatrical venue; I liked it. Bingo, production shows, information seminars and the quest happen here. Some folks complained about poor sight lines (they have a point), limited seating (I saw that some seats were available for each event I attended), and movable seating on the stage level to support multi-functions; meh. It was all fine, just needed to get there a little early. o Soulbound was the first production show on the rotation; Jesus couldn’t save this show. It’s a mess from the word go, and I would avoid it at all costs. The folks from Motown should be suing Carnival. o Celestial Strings was not as bad as Soulbound, but it was close. Thankfully the folks sitting behind us wouldn’t stop talking during the show, and that provided ample distraction from the lunacy of the performance, an un-cohesive jumble of I don’t know what. The three string players who appeared at a number of venues throughout the ship are very talented, but their talents are wasted here. o We were too afraid to see Vintage Pop after seeing the first two shows. o The Carnival Quest. Clearly and far & above the best quest game we have ever seen. Not for the faint of heart, but it was hilarious and good fun. o Bingo with Lucky Linsey was a nice distraction during slow times • Imax Theatre. We saw two movies, also during slow times on sea days and enjoyed the experience. We didn’t do the thrill ride thingy. • The sky ride thingy: not operational on our cruise; an idea who’s time may have passed. • We didn’t do the poolside activities, so no comment there. Food and beverage: this was a hi-light!! • The buffet on Lido: we are not buffet people, but we actually did have a few meals here and they were fine. Firstly, there is a lot of seating in the buffet area, and it runs about half the length of the ship. For that reason there is less space for serving areas, and they are divided into two sections, often having different foods. We liked that coffee and ice tea/lemonade was available throughout, and juices were available in the mornings. The omelette station made eggs to order, the deli made sandwiches which could be custom tailored (e.g., no tomato), plenty of hot and cold food for self-service. We liked that salads and fresh fruit were available. No complaints. • The Specialty restaurants: We loved them!! Cucina is Italian food and it was excellent. Try the pappardelle pasta with shrimp. Also opens with limited menu on sea days and is complimentary!!!! JiJi. What can I say; I’ll call this Asian fusion. I had no idea what to order so we asked and the hostess made suggestions which were all great. You share appetizers, and of course we shared main courses which were plentiful! Also complimentary on sea days!! Fahrenheit: Great steakhouse, and our favorite bar! They will paint your desert! Just go! Bonsai Teppanyaki: Another "just go"!! I had the lobster; wow! Look, I’m not going to get into detail on the four specialty restaurants because everyone has a different idea of quality, choice and presentation. All I can say is that after 15 cruises with all the major lines on all the newer ships, this is the best set of specialty restaurants by far. • Main Dining room: We had four dinners here, using my time dining and the hub app, never had more then a one minute wait, and that was during peak periods. Food was very good, but not memorable. I did have rabbit for the first time. Better for dinner than breakfast. On sea days the MDR has brunch, and limited choices for traditional breakfast foods; when they served a full breakfast, it was hit and miss. The pancakes, waffles and breads tasted like they were pre-made and kept warm under heat lamps (chewy); the eggs and things that needed to be cooked and ready to serve were fine. Very good coffee btw, and the best grits I’ve ever tasted, and the granola was very good too. Fresh fruits always available and good; you needed to ask for pastry assortments for the table. Look, we worked around the food in the MDR that was so-so, and focused in on ordering things they seemed to excel on. And we supplemented by using room service and the buffet. We didn’t go hungry! • Other venues: Pizza: No, not so good. Sure, kids will eat anything. Burgers: The best, but you will die young. We did it once, as I prefer to live longer. Seafood shack: excellent and worth the up-charge. BBQ: Complimentary on sea days, yummy! Try the collard greens baby!! Others: we didn’t try others. • Adult beverages: o Havana bar is a favorite, but it does get loud, so conversations aren’t really possible. Get doubles for a small up-charge, and dance the night away. Pool open after 7:00 pm to everyone. o Piano Bar. Sure, and it’s adjacent to the steakhouse. We did like the steak house bar better. o Library bar. More of a library with books and games; bartenders come and go o Plaza bar and Alchemy bar didn’t attract us, nor did the bars on Lido deck. • Finally, the ship itself is very stable, although we did have fair seas and winds. We were able to dock at all four ports (Turks, DR, Curacao, and Aruba). We did some tours, but those are very personal experiences, and there are many choices; we enjoyed ours. Dis-embarkments and embarkments went smoothly; we always brought the “card” and photo ID. We really enjoyed our first Carnival Cruise and are now planning to book Mardi Gras. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our fourth cruise, the third one with Carnival. During embarkation, the baggage screener threw out my empty water bottle, while she allowed water bottles for all the other 5 family members with me. That started off my cruise on ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise, the third one with Carnival. During embarkation, the baggage screener threw out my empty water bottle, while she allowed water bottles for all the other 5 family members with me. That started off my cruise on the wrong footing. Guest Services: There was always a long line at guest services. I had to wait more than an hour. For the most part, they had only two people at the desk, at times only one, especially on the first day of the cruise when they would be expecting more guests at the guest services desk. Carnival Hub App: The app is great if it works. I paid extra for the ability to use the Chat feature to be able to communicate with the rest of my family. The chat did not work couple of times. When reported to the guest services, all they could say was that they have made a note of it. How difficult would it be for the technical staff to keep a tab on something as simple as an app and ensure that it is working at all times especially when guests depend on it to communicate Cabin: Cabin was great and the housekeeping crew did a good job. However if the lid on the toilet was kept open it would stink like urine all the time. Dining: The food variety on the Lido deck was mediocre, especially the desserts. The Sensation room dining staff seems to be overworked or busy to interact with guests. Some wait staff were simply rude or uninterested,, whereas others were great.So it was a mixed bag. Entertainment : Entertainment was so-so. The cast and performances lacked quality. Considering the ethnic diversity in the demographics of the guest, the main entertainment cast lacked diversity. Some of the fun staff were rude and acted more like celebrities than fun staff. Port and Shore excursions: The saving grace for us was the number of ports on this itinerary and the shore excursions which were good. Overall, other than the ports and excursions it was a very mediocre experience. We had cruised last year on a different cruise liner to Alaska. We did not feel like leaving that cruise ship, but on this one we were so looking forward to go back home. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was a 70th birthday celebration cruise. I don't eat of any reason why this cruise other than the great stops. This was a great cruise! Boat was kind of old fashioned compared to my other cruises on Norwegian. Boat needs to be ... Read More
This was a 70th birthday celebration cruise. I don't eat of any reason why this cruise other than the great stops. This was a great cruise! Boat was kind of old fashioned compared to my other cruises on Norwegian. Boat needs to be retired. Our cruise director Mel was the best compared to other cruises. Her energy was awesome, we look to see where she was gonna be and followed her around. She was that good. Mel interacted with everyone one. We have never seen a cruise director like Mel. Mel and our cabin Stewart made our cruise an awesome one. Dining Staff at table 311 was awesome with Candy, one of our waitress was exceptionally awesome. We look forward to seeing her each night. Even when someone did not like what they ordered, Candy never showed an unhappy face she went up and beyond to make everyone happy. Candy made us all take part in the dining room entertainment, she just have that spirit to make everyone happy. My 6yr old loved camp Ocean and cried even when we got back to New York. Ms Thunder made his time there at camp ocean unforgettable. On another note there was not enough for my 16yr old according to him. He loved the karaoke but got upset when he had to leave at 9:30 , for him that was too early, Carnival Fascintion cruise was an awesome one because of all the people I mentioned in my review Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I just came of a 8 day cruise on the Carnival Horizon and it was the worst experience I have ever had on a Carnival ship. I will start by saying that the boarding process was fine. Once on board we went to the Lido deck while waiting ... Read More
I just came of a 8 day cruise on the Carnival Horizon and it was the worst experience I have ever had on a Carnival ship. I will start by saying that the boarding process was fine. Once on board we went to the Lido deck while waiting for the cabins to be ready. When we did go to our cabin #6445, we found that the cabin was nice, but we found that there were not any bathrobes in the cabin which your advertising states that there should be. I will say that the cabin steward Muh was very good and did a good job throughout the week. My party had the any time dining and on the first night we went to dinner and were seated at the back of the dining room walking past numerous empty tables. We ordered our dinners and appetizers and then waited for them to be served. The appetizers came and some were good and others were inedible. When the main course arrived not all of my parties meals arrived at the same time and when they did they were either warm or cold. We all agreed that it might just be because it was the first night. The next morning was a sea day and we all met for breakfast for the sea day brunch. We we were seated it wasn’t very busy yet. We again ordered our meals and the same issues occurred. The food was not brought out at the same time. One of my party order the Seafood tower and the bagel that came with it was so hard it was inedible. We constantly had to keep asking for coffee to be refilled instead of the wait staff offering to do it. We also had to refill our own water. One morning my wife tried the 12 hour French toast and it came out and it was raw inside. That afternoon and every day we went to the Lido deck for lunch and I will tell you that the only thing in our opinion that was good was either the Deli which you had wait in a very long line or Guy’s Burgers which also had long lines. In my opinion that was due to the poor quality of the food on the buffet. That evening we again met for dinner and we we again escorted to the very back of the dining room past many empty tables. We were put in a secondary dining area that was so dark you would not have be able to see the food when served. At this point I went to the hostess to complain and the Maitre D heard me and I explained the situation to him. He did arrange for us to have a table closer to the from and also gave us a very good waitress named Healene who we had for the remainder of the trip. Unfortunately the quality of the food never improved for the remainder of the trip. We were constantly having to asked for something else to eat or just not finishing our food. We went to several shows in the lounges and found them to be of very poor quality and actually walked out of several of them. The one that we looked forward to called the Celestial Strings was a huge disappointment. They also offered one that was Music that was from the Big Band time that was ruined by interjecting modern music into it. I know that this is a new and bigger ship, but I found it to be not a easy ship to get around in. In my opinion, to get to certain areas of the ship you have to either go up or down a deck to get to them. Even though I found the dining experience to be bad, there was one thing that surpassed that and that is the elevator system. I have never heard so many complaints by so many people about the elevators in all my years of cruising. It has to be the most idiotic system I have ever seen. You press a button and you are assigned to an elevator and you have no idea when that elevator will arrive because you don’t see what floor it is on. Many a time after waiting several minutes we would end up taking the stairs. This is not a big deal when it is one or two flights, but is very annoying when you are on deck four and you want to go to deck 10. The ship has a Serenity area that is just for adults, but it is beyond my understanding how you don’t have a pool on that same area. We did use the pool at the stern of the ship but found it to be overcrowded and felt like sardines when in it. We also went into the hot tubs on several occasions and they were just warm and the jets were very weak. No air in the jets for the relaxing feel. My wife and I both enjoy going to the casino when we cruise and I will tell you that we found the casino staff all very nice. The only complaint I have is that the cigarette smoke and smell is so bad that being non smokers it is very hard to stay for very long. You would think that this being a new ship they would have done a better job on recirculating the air in the casino to remove the smell. Even when the casino was closed when in port if you had to walk thru it, it stunk. I have been a frequent cruiser on Carnival and have never had a bad experience until now Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose Carnival because it seemed to be the cruise line that appealed to our family in the past. Things have changed in the last 5 years on Carnival. We chose the Horizon because of the timing and because it was a newer ship. The Pros - ... Read More
We chose Carnival because it seemed to be the cruise line that appealed to our family in the past. Things have changed in the last 5 years on Carnival. We chose the Horizon because of the timing and because it was a newer ship. The Pros - New Ship and very clean, the embarkation and debarkation were excellent, Never tried Your Time Dining before and was leary but we would up being ok with it. The Cons - My family hated the elevator system (I used the stairs so it did not effect me often), the food in in dining room was not as tastey, varied, and as plentiful as it used to be, the entertainment was not appealing to us, and the comedians onboard that week were awful. We never paid to eat in one of the extra $ dining rooms, but we did try the Mongolian Wok and Guys Pig and Anchor at lunch when they offered free meals. We liked the Mongolian Wok, but were disappointed in the BBQ options (except for the pulled pork, it was good) The excursions we chose were great. We did an ATV ride in Grand Turk, Dunebuggies and Monkeyland in Dominican Republic (these two excursions were the best we have ever done on any cruise), no excursion in Curacao only walked around town, and De Palm Island in Aruba (this was very nice). The excursion for my husband and son in the Domincan Republic was late getting back to the ship, but as promised the cruise line waited for the group to return (there were only 8 of them on this dune buggy excursion) and did not leave them! The overall experience was a good one, but we were bored a lot of the time while on the ship. Maybe it's because our children are now in their 20s and we have cruised about 9 times. It could just be getting old for us. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are a family of five who have cruised Carnival, RCL, and Disney. We have no particular allegiance to any line, and I wanted to comment on a few things from our trip. When I read reviews, I tend to disregard the ones that say ... Read More
We are a family of five who have cruised Carnival, RCL, and Disney. We have no particular allegiance to any line, and I wanted to comment on a few things from our trip. When I read reviews, I tend to disregard the ones that say everything was perfect and also the ones that complain about everything. I was particularly motivated to write this after reading someone say that their location in the dining room was so dark they couldn't see their food! So, here's some perspective... EMBARKATION: The assigned boarding time was new to us, and we pondered just going earlier, but travel plans actually ended up getting us there about our time. We saw people who tried to line up prior to their time and were put in a line/waiting area for their time. As disappointed as they were, it is for a reason. This was the fastest we have ever boarded a ship. Curb to atrium in less than fifteen minutes. You essentially get all of your "paperwork" and id pictures done with a representative using a tablet-device. The result is a very speedy process. What slows it down is people who don't respect the boarding time window (and then they are the ones who complain!) We got onboard around 1:30pm and our room was ready. Major improvement, Carnival! SHIP: We have been on the Dream class vessels several times and chose the Horizon to see the upgrades and the also were attracted by itinerary. The ship itself is beautiful, clean, and has several upgrades from the Dream class that are great. It is a little more muted in terms of decor throughout the ship...think classy, not glitzy....classy, but not stuffy. The LED sculpture is nice, but we missed the soaring atrium and glass elevators. Speaking of, the elevator system is not as bad as the reviews indicate. The key is using them properly, and many people simply did not listen to the instructions given at the beginning of the cruise (during muster drill, the cruise director explained how to best use them). If you think about it, in a normal system, if you just get on the first elevator that opens, and press button and go, you are the mercy of everyone else in that elevator and where they are going, as well as people on successive floors. With this system, it tells you which elevator to go to, avoiding all that potential. Good in theory, as long as people understand how to use them and listen the first time. We got used to them very quickly and rarely had a problem. CABIN: Standard balcony. Similar to other cabins on other ships. Comfortable and clean. DINING: Overall, we almost never had to wait in a line for food. Once or twice, Guy's had a line, but not bad at all. The buffet area was well apportioned, with so many stations that there was never a wait. The buffet was food was very good...the quality and variety was impressive considering the amount of food they are producing. We did anytime dining. You can reserve a table on the app, which is very easy, or go to a kiosk and reserve. The drawback to the app is that you are assigned whatever table and cannot request location or waiter, but you can make requests at the kiosk. So, it's a tradeoff. We did the app the first few nights and then found a waiter we really liked and then ended up doing the kiosk the remaining. We were able to get seated with him and by a window. We did not eat in the pay per eat rooms, but so much variety onboard for those who did. ENTERTAINMENT: As far as the main entertainment, it's mainly production shows (dancing/singing) or comedians. The production shows were ok, but they were essentially the same format (song, dance, and LED backdrop that jazzes up the shows). The dedicated comedy area was nice, and comedians were hit or miss. No complaints, but just some are better than others. They did have a couple of other shows (Quest, love and marriage, etc) in the Liquid Lounge (which is not nearly as bad as has been described...there are a few poles that block sightlines, but we were always able to find a non-blocked seat), but not enough variety. We wished though there was more variety in the theater...magicians, jugglers, etc instead of all the production. CRUISE STAFF: Mike, the cruise director, was incredible. Many a cruise director come across as holier than thou and disappear when not on stage. Not true with him...you saw him everywhere. He was so energetic and friendly. His staff was very good. Almost everyone was very friendly, with a few exceptions, but isn't true at any office on land? ACTIVITIES: Always something to do. A cruise is what you make of it. You can get involved in everything or not do anything in relax. Anyone who says they couldn't find something to do...well, that is ludicrous! We thought the IMAX/thrill theater would be a novelty/gimmick for the new ship and wouldn't be using it much. What a great add...we went several times throughout the week. PORTS: Again, ports are what you make of them. We did not get off in La Romana, as just looking from the dock, it wasn't appealing to even get off and look around. Turks, Aruba, and Curacao were awesome though. DISEMBARKATION: Self assist or zones...if you want to do zones, make sure you go early to pick up your tags when they start offering them, as the first numbers are gone quickly. Dismebarkation itself was quick and smooth, but the terminal itself in Miami was a train wreck. The luggage comes out on carousels instead of being placed in areas on the floor. Complete chaos and we waited 45 minutes for bags to come around despite getting off at the correct zone number. Room for improvement. OVERALL: Wonderful cruise, the Horizon and crew are just great. We would certainly sail it again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The reason was the new ship, the ports and the cost. It wa a perfect time and the staff was wonderful and always called me by my name. Our steward NATAN was the best I have ever had. The casino waiter also the best I ever had he had my ... Read More
The reason was the new ship, the ports and the cost. It wa a perfect time and the staff was wonderful and always called me by my name. Our steward NATAN was the best I have ever had. The casino waiter also the best I ever had he had my name down and drink of choice everytime without me asking. THank the VIFP club for the free appreciation drin, And of course the Casino, had a gret time. The Quest show was one of the funiest nights ever! The White nights and 80's were alot of fun and great msic. We ate in the speciality restaurants compliments of the casion it was fantasic Teppanyaki. Also ate at Guys Pig and Anchor great service for dinner and so much foo and great prices. Also thank the Casino Host he was wonderful and even got a T-shirt which made it more special. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because we live in the Caribbean, and wanted an opportunity to explore other islands, and this was by far the most affordable option. We live in Barbados, and this particular cruise makes a round trip to and from the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we live in the Caribbean, and wanted an opportunity to explore other islands, and this was by far the most affordable option. We live in Barbados, and this particular cruise makes a round trip to and from the island, eliminating the need for a flight. Getting on and off the ship was a painless experience, and both the Carnival staff and the customs and immigration officers who work at the port are pleasant, efficient and professional. Beware of San Juan though - the immigration process was a lengthy wait. THE SHIP Being first time cruisers, we didn’t know what to expect, but it only took us a few hours to acclimatise to the new surroundings and get our sea legs. The Carnival staff were helpful, wearing “ask me” shirts for the entirety of the first day to ensure all the guests could ask their questions without feeling awkward approaching about staff members. The ship itself is on the smaller side, only made abundantly clear when we were docked next to another cruise liner, but this meant it was more manageable to navigate! The decor was a bit outdated, but the public areas were always clean and inviting. They have so many activities going on at the same time, and they make do with the space they have, so don’t be surprised when you’re walking in the hallway and have to make your way through a crowd of people listening to a band playing IN the walkway itself. CABIN We selected a twin bed cabin with an ocean view and it was the perfect size for two people. The layout of the room maximized the space and it did not feel cramped at all. There was plenty of storage space and the bed was very comfortable; a welcome sight after a long day exploring. The windows were clean and with minimal sea salt on the outside, so we could take a picture of the sunrise or sunset or port of call through the window without seeing any little smears. (Perfect for when you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to leave your bed). The towel creations were cute and the steward assigned to us was awesome at making the room feel like a fresh new start every day. Before we even met him, he knew our names and throughout the cruise would make a point to greet us if we saw him out and about. Very friendly and pleasant. ENTERTAINMENT and SHORE EXCURSIONS Our cruise director on board the Fascination was Mel, who was a young lady with boundless energy - the definition of hype. She was part of the fun team, and did a great job at making sure all the entertainment was engaging and enjoyable. Every day, a “fun times” package is slipped under your door with the activities planned for the following day, and there is something for everyone. Art auctions. Bingo. Karaoke. Dance parties. Trivia. Casino. Comedy nights. Board games. And these are the planned events. There are many more things to do just by walking around the ship - giant chess, pool, spa, mini golf, water slides and even a small library if you want a quiet moment to read. But as much as there is to do ON the ship, we booked this cruise to experience the islands, and there was something exciting on every island that we visited. So many options of shore excursions to appeal to people of all ages and particularities. You want to ATV across the island? Check. Take a bus tour? Check. Lie on a beach? Check. Swim with turtles or dolphins or rays? Check. Zip line? Check. Shop? You bet. We enjoyed all of our ports of call, and while it’s out of Carnival’s control, the guide really does make a huge difference re: the quality of the tour. The shore excursions are locally operated and the companies work with the cruise line, so while Carnival makes the connection for you, they don’t have control over the individual who takes you on the tour. It’s the luck of the draw who takes you out to visit the island, so cross your fingers for a good guide! Because we embarked in Barbados, the shore excursions did not show up on the carnival website when we booked, so do not be alarmed if this is the case for you. When you board, you can book on the ship, with low chance of the tours being filled. Also, because we boarded in Barbados, the carnival app did not work throughout our entire trip - “technical difficulties”. Hopefully they fix this soon. DINING There are several dining options included in the ticket price - both casual and slightly more upscale. The buffet, pizza, deli, burger and taco options (on the Lido deck) are all exactly what you would expect quality wise, so we were not disappointed. We enjoyed everything that we ate in the MDR for both breakfast and dinner. At dinner there is an option for “rare finds” for the more adventurous diner, and we had the opportunity to try some cuisine that we wouldn’t usually try (eg: frog legs). If you like sushi, Bonzai Express had some delicious options. You have to pay extra, $5-7.50US per roll, but it was worth it! We definitely gained our obligatory 5lbs over this trip! SERVICE One of things I enjoyed about this experience, was that on every employees’ name tag they listed the country where they were born. There are people from ALL over the world working on this ship - Philippines, Indonesia, South Africa, Mexico, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Myanmar, Columbia Serbia, and this list goes on. When you take this into account, you can be a bit more understanding when a staff member speaks to you in absolute earnest, but in broken English. I myself can speak only one language, and I think it’s awesome that they are expanding their horizons and learning a new language while they work! I would not be able to do it! Everyone on board was either cordial, pleasant, friendly, or outgoing. I received no bad service at all. Because we did not plan to spend the entire day on board, we did not buy a Cheers drink package, opting to just buy a drink here or there throughout the evening. If you have no intention of drinking alcohol while on this ship, be aware that the staff who work as roving bartenders are like Liam Nesson. They will find you, and do whatever they can to encourage you to have a few drinks. If you ARE looking to drink and have a good time, you will be well taken care of. OVERALL In essence, we were looking for a hotel that could move us around the Caribbean while we explored new islands, feed us along the way, and give us some entertainment options during the afternoon/evenings while we were on board. That is exactly what we got. 7 days was the perfect amount of time to spend on board, as towards the end we were starting to feel burnt out (as we went on excursions every day). We loved this cruise so much that we are looking to book our next one to visit more places. We had a lovely vacation and we hope you do too! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We left Fort Lauderdale and sailed to Half Moon Cay, then Grand Turk, then Aruba, then Curacao...weather was exceptional the whole time! It was our family reunion cruise and this was the perfect itinerary! We left Fort Lauderdale and ... Read More
We left Fort Lauderdale and sailed to Half Moon Cay, then Grand Turk, then Aruba, then Curacao...weather was exceptional the whole time! It was our family reunion cruise and this was the perfect itinerary! We left Fort Lauderdale and sailed to Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. Carnival owns this island. This was the only tendered stop. Nice. We walked around for about an hour and returned to the ship. We then sailed to Grand Turk where we rented golf carts and road all over the entire island which is only 7 miles. We found a place called Jacks Shack and ate jerk chicken and fed all the poor dogs we could. We loved Grand Turk. Then we sailed to Aruba where all we did was shop for very nice jewelry. Aruba is beautiful. Our final destination was Curacao...weather was exceptional the whole time! We went to an ostrich farm where they had tons of baby ostriches, emus, parrots, peacocks and Japanese potbelly pigs and piglets. So wonderful!!! When I spend a lot of money to vacation, I expect to vacation way above the level of which I live day to day! The food was passable...specialty restaurants were EXCELLENT because there were added fees collected for them. The ship is overdue for renovations...rust and dust everywhere. The balcony was just nasty and I had to ask the room steward to spray the curtains which is where I assumed the musty odor was emanating from...sigh...just so that I could sleep comfortably...yes it was the curtains. The bathroom was very nice thank heavens. Entertainment on the ship was -meh- I enjoyed trivia, I enjoyed the casino. The shows were okay. Customer Service was wonderful -- EVERYWHERE!!! Very happy I experienced Carnival, but it's just a bit to "wild party side" for me. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our twelfth cruise on Carnival. We were on an 8-day Southern Caribbean itinerary during the week of July 20-28, 2019. Our ports were Half-moon Cay, Grand Turk, Aruba, Curacao. We left from Fort Lauderdale. Getting there: ... Read More
This was our twelfth cruise on Carnival. We were on an 8-day Southern Caribbean itinerary during the week of July 20-28, 2019. Our ports were Half-moon Cay, Grand Turk, Aruba, Curacao. We left from Fort Lauderdale. Getting there: We flew into FLL the day before on Delta and stayed at the Spring Hill Suites by Marriott. Breakfast included. Uber to port the next day---best way to go at best price. (Note: Cannot Uber out of port on debarkation day---Ubers will not come into port area) Check-in: was a breeze. We are platinum and were part of the first group to board the ship. We carried on our luggage and we all set and in out cabin by 11:45am Buffet: Standard Carnival buffet set up. My complaint is always the same----many people do not use sanitizer although it is right there. Pizza: On this ship, is not as good as the ships with an actual stone oven. They have an oven with a moving chain----like Costco. Not the same as an authentic stone oven like the Sunshine or the Vista. Carnival pizza is authentic Italian thin crust pizza made with double zero flour. If you are expecting American style pizza------then think New York style not Chicago and not big Chain store pizza. Ice Cream: For Sundaes, go to the dessert buffets get a small bowl and use the things that are there to make a Sundae-----Vanilla sauce, cookies, fruit compotes------put crushed snicker-doodles and brownies on a bowl of ice cream Guy's Burgers: Always complimentary. Guy's is Excellent. BBQ: This was excellent. Chicken, beef brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and various salads. On deck 5 but first day and seadays only. The Blue Iguana was also excellent. Very fresh ingredients. You must be willing to wait because orders are made as you go. Excellent shrimp taco bowl salad that they build to order. Perfect for lunch if you do not want to eat heavy. Sea Day Brunch: Excellent food with a different menu from the dining room. Great selection. Loved the steak and eggs. No pastries brought in a basket anymore you must ask or they will not offer. Lido Deck, Pools: The pools are too small as they are on all ships. On the Magic there is a water park and bucket and slides. So, pools are less important. The slides were a blast when open. (Remember that they close slides and rope course due to high winds. Southern Caribbean cruises are notorious for high winds---so be prepared to have these facilities closed. Mini golf, basketball, jogging track are all as usual. Main Dining Room: The food was excellent as always. Our servers however took 3 days to bring things up to normal speed, even though the dining room was never crowded. Also asked for coffee and didn’t get it the first two nights---nor was it offered. After speaking to the Maître D, things turned around quickly. Cabin: We had connecting cabins on deck two 2276and 2280. The location was excellent. Cabin Steward Maynor was excellent and attentive. Entertainment: Live band and live shows were very good. We had excellent dancers and great lead singers. “Flick” was excellent as was the “America Rocks” show both incorporated live music. Teatime: The cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon and sweets are as expected. The desserts here are superior and worth a visit. Cruise Director and Staff: Excellent. The best in a long time. London, David, JoJo, KoKo. This was a Dr.E ship and these guys are continuing the tradition. Photo Gallery: Bought nothing. Packages are too expensive. They have gone digital but are still printing and charging for prints. No one was buying---even staff was sitting around doing nothing because people weren’t buying. Passengers were not even bothering to pose. I had never quite seen this before. Guest Services: Excellent. Darwin was wonderful. When approached at the desk they were always helpful and polite. Casino: Nothing out of the ordinary. Remember to achieve free drinks you must play 1500 points at $2.50 a point. That means you could easily lose $500plus to get free drinks with poor service in a smoke-filled environment. Ports: Caveat Emptor: Always be careful when buying anywhere. Jewelry----in particular! Beware----know what you are buying or buy at home. Know your prices before you go. Many items I saw were more than back home. Beware the tax-free pitch. You can only bring so much back home with you and often the prices are the same. Lastly don’t hesitate to look something up on Amazon or Costco there are always hotspots with free Wi-Fi. Those are the prices that they must beat on the islands----not the ship. Halfmoon Cay: Literally the best beach ever! We had a Villa on the beach. They are $599 for a party of 10 or less. We were given priority debarkation and driven to the Villa once on the island. The villa has washroom, shower, hot tub, dining area with AC, balconies, snorkel equipment, and soft drinks and water plus snacks delivered. We were two families and had a blast. Lunch is included on the island and in at a very short distance. We had Villa C. I would choose D or E just to be a little farther away. Grand Turk: Walked around the shops. The green umbrellas are free if you want beach as well as clam shells on the rock side. Jack’s Shack is also down the beach on the left when facing the port. Check out the many videos on all these ports on you tube. Aruba: Took the Carnival Beach tour. Bus was not AC. $20 per person 3hrs at beach. At beach you pay for umbrella and chairs. $25 dollars umbrella and $10 chair. Washroom $1 across the street at Eagle beach. You could just take a cab yourself. Note if you are planning to shop the stores close at 6pm or earlier. Curacao: Took the glass bottom boat excursion and tour. We loved it---but pricey. After that we walked around downtown---shopping here has improved. Debarkation: Was delayed by about an hour port issues with Gangways----everyone walked off on deck 0. Interesting but no big deal. Conclusion: We had an awesome cruise on the Magic. This was our second time on the Magic, and I would not hesitate to recommend this ship to friends. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
f you want to be overwhelmed by inefficiency, and get a good laugh to keep your sanity, and be extremely frustrated at the same time, the elevator system on the Horizon will invoke all sorts of feelings I did not meet one passenger that ... Read More
f you want to be overwhelmed by inefficiency, and get a good laugh to keep your sanity, and be extremely frustrated at the same time, the elevator system on the Horizon will invoke all sorts of feelings I did not meet one passenger that did not criticize the elevator system. Even crew members laughed at it’s inefficiency. People walked multiple decks, constantly, because they could not bear the wait for an elevator. Guess Carnival installed a system for passengers to keep weight down. Go luck if you are handicapped or a senior. Disembarkation was a nightmare. There were other negatives in addition to the elevators. On the plus side my wife made a small amount of money in the casino. Just so you don’t think these comments are from a new cruiser—this was my 91st cruise on 9 different cruise lines on over 30 different ships. I would place this Horizon cruise amongst the 5 worst. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We sailed on the "New" Carnival Horizon in July 2019. A family of four (2 adults and two teenagers) who have all cruised before on Carnival and Royal. We get two adjoining ocean front rooms. What we liked - In each room we ... Read More
We sailed on the "New" Carnival Horizon in July 2019. A family of four (2 adults and two teenagers) who have all cruised before on Carnival and Royal. We get two adjoining ocean front rooms. What we liked - In each room we had two bathrooms - one is a shower, toilet and sink and the other is a tub/shower and sink. We found this very useful for getting ready so all of could shower at the same time. Guys Burger Joint - great food as always Reflections Dining Room - great dinner service and awesome staff; attention to detail Punchliner - they had three different comedians and each did family or late night comedy - lots of variety Pig & Anchor - this was like a hidden gem - BBQ food for lunch was free and was good Getting on and off the boat was very easy and quick - no issues at all. Room - size was good (standard), had enough room to unpack comfortably. Comfortable beds. What we did like - Sea Day Brunch - same menu every day and very limited; extremely slow service Entertainment - the evening shows (with the exception of lip sync battle) were really not good. Themes were very limited. Show times - their timing did not match up with the dining times - was so annoying. Times every night were 7:30 or 9:30. So with the 8:15 dining time, we either had to show up late to watch a 7:30 show or rush through to make it to the 9:30 show. Seating was very bad in the main theater. Too many poles blocking view and very small theater for the size of ship. Chargers/Plugs - Need more places to charge/plug in. They only had a spot near the vanity mirror - very annoying since I like my phone near the bed and this was not achievable. There should be a plug or two near the bed area. Bring an extension cord. Teen Clubs - The way they break up the age was terrible - my daughter is in HS yet they had her lumped in with 12-14 year olds. She was a month out from 15. They would make no exception so they did not use this as my kids wanted to hang together. Lido Buffet - they were never fully equipped. We had multiple occasions where the buffet was still open for an hour yet they were closing it down. With only 1 section open, the lines were horrible. When they ran our of something we were told they have nothing else and we had to chose from what was in the buffet. Food at the buffets was not good. Salad stuff looked like it was about 5 days past expiring. Nothing looked fresh and did not taste it either. Deli - they had 1 or two people here and that was simply not enough. The line was sooooo long every day no matter what time you went. Since the buffet was often out of stuff or had long lines, many went to the deli. Very frustrating. Pizza - was just ok. It would be better if this was located someplace away from buffet so you could avoid having to walk through that mess to get to pizza. On Royal - it is nice that their food places are located in different spots so everyone does not congregate in one location. Elevators - this new system where you enter a floor number then wait for your elevator to arrive was awful. Many times there would not be enough room; if you made a mistake you were stuck, waited so long for elevators. Terrible system. Overall, we had good ports. Was not thrilled with LaRomana but Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk were good. Grand Turk - you can walk right off boat to the beach and there is also a large pool there. Plenty of drinks, music, etc. Water had a lot of seaweed which made for not wanting to get in much but we walked to pool and jumped in to cool off. Umbrellas and chairs for rent - there is no set price so just negotiate. Overall, for a ship that was so new, the only new thing we noticed was the sky ride (which was fun). Need better shows and timing. This was probably our last Carnival cruise for a while. Have been enjoying Royal much better. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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