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After reading countless negative reviews of the Carnival Horizon, I feel the need to clear the air. This was my 29th cruise, and one of my top few. I traveled with my octogenarian, but very active father. He's a lifelong Bostonian, and I live in Albuquerque. We sailed an 8 day cruise to Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten on 10/6/18. My Dad stayed for a few nights before the cruise at the Fountainbleu Hotel on Miami Beach. I can't speak to it personally, but he really enjoyed it, and has stayed there multiple times. The ship was one of the major draws for us, as we like all the cool things you can do on the Horizon. We were quite disappointed when we got an email a few days prior to sailing stating that the Sky Ride would be down for the duration of our cruise. We were lucky that they got it up and running on the fourth day, but more on that later. The bottom line is that the ship did not disappoint. She is a beautiful ship that was very well maintained. The activities on the ship were many. If you happened to read my Splendor review from June, you'd know that besides one ping pong tournament, there were no organized sports activities. I wasn't sure if this was a trend for Carnival, but I'm happy to report that there were several different sports tournaments: ping pong once, dodgeball scheduled three times but played twice due to rain one day, volleyball twice, soccer once I believe, and basketball knockout twice. I think there were also pool games one day. Besides the staff run tournaments, there were plenty of other activities. The aforementioned Sky Ride was a thrill. The lines could get long, so I'd suggest either going early or on a port day. The Sky Course was also a lot of fun. My Dad and I did each several times. The wait for the Sky Course ranged from 0-5 minutes. I'd recommend doing the course without grabbing your harness for support. Most people did the course while holding their own harness, and it defeats the purpose of the obstacles. The mini golf course was one of the best at sea. They also had cornhole, foosball, ping pong, billiards, and soccer billiards (that will be a new one to most, as it was to us). I also played several rounds of trivia of various subjects. The staff did an excellent job hosting these events. Service onboard was excellent. Our room steward was very capable. We had My Time Dining, and ate at around 6:45 most nights (which I'd consider around the peak time). We only waited on one night for about 15 minutes (the first formal night). All other nights we were assigned a table right away. All of our waiters (and we had different ones each night) were exceptional. Food was delivered quickly and our orders were always correct. Food was not always piping hot, but that is to be expected given the circumstances of serving several thousand guests. Speaking of dining, the food was really great. Horizon shines at lunch time. One negative thing that I read about before sailing was that the wait times at lunch venues was intolerable. I can tell you that for my sailing, we hardly waited at all, and we tried all of the lunch options. Our faves were probably Guy's BBQ and Guy's Burgers, but there isn't a bad choice in the bunch. I love the menu options in the main dining room - there are so many good choices that I ate way too much! I'm a lover of Royal Caribbean as well, and I have to say that Carnival far exceeds Royal in the MDR. Royal only has a few selections of each category, while Carnival has double the options. They even have special menu items based on the port you were in each day. Oh - check out the buffet at lunch, even if you eat elsewhere. They have 5-6 awesome cakes and a couple types of gelato, all of which are different each day. We stayed in an interior cabin on the 8th deck in the center of the ship. This was a very quiet area and we were easily able to get to the Lido deck only two floors up and the entertainment decks just a few decks down. The cabin was simple but very functional with two desktops and two 110v plugs, two USB plugs, and a European outlet. The fridge in the room was empty (as it was on Splendor), so you don't have to mess with freeing space for your own stuff. The beds were very comfortable. The entertainment on this ship is arguably the best in the Carnival fleet. I'd still say that Royal holds an edge here on Oasis Class ships, but Carnival's singer/dancer shows were extraordinary. I read reviews that said the show venue is too small and has poor sightlines. This is true, but if you arrive 20-30 minutes before the show starts, you will get great seats. The performers frequently come into the audience to perform, and it results in a really great show - as long as you get there early. The same goes for the comedy shows. For the late night performances, you definitely need to get there at least 15 minutes early to get a seat. The earlier shows do not fill up, so you can arrive just before showtime. I do love how Carnival offers so many comedy shows on their ships. We had late flights heading out of town, so we booked the Carnival Everglades trip with airport drop off. This was a great trip at a very fair price. The only negative is that you have to meet to get off the ship at 7:45am. I wish they offered a later option for people with really late flights like us. We were at the airport around 12:30pm, about five hours prior to our flights. All in all, we had an excellent trip at a great value. I look forward to cruising the Horizon or a sister ship in the future.

One of the Best Cruises Ever!!!

Carnival Horizon Cruise Review by VegasMark

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
After reading countless negative reviews of the Carnival Horizon, I feel the need to clear the air. This was my 29th cruise, and one of my top few. I traveled with my octogenarian, but very active father. He's a lifelong Bostonian, and I live in Albuquerque. We sailed an 8 day cruise to Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten on 10/6/18.

My Dad stayed for a few nights before the cruise at the Fountainbleu Hotel on Miami Beach. I can't speak to it personally, but he really enjoyed it, and has stayed there multiple times.

The ship was one of the major draws for us, as we like all the cool things you can do on the Horizon. We were quite disappointed when we got an email a few days prior to sailing stating that the Sky Ride would be down for the duration of our cruise. We were lucky that they got it up and running on the fourth day, but more on that later. The bottom line is that the ship did not disappoint. She is a beautiful ship that was very well maintained.

The activities on the ship were many. If you happened to read my Splendor review from June, you'd know that besides one ping pong tournament, there were no organized sports activities. I wasn't sure if this was a trend for Carnival, but I'm happy to report that there were several different sports tournaments: ping pong once, dodgeball scheduled three times but played twice due to rain one day, volleyball twice, soccer once I believe, and basketball knockout twice. I think there were also pool games one day. Besides the staff run tournaments, there were plenty of other activities. The aforementioned Sky Ride was a thrill. The lines could get long, so I'd suggest either going early or on a port day. The Sky Course was also a lot of fun. My Dad and I did each several times. The wait for the Sky Course ranged from 0-5 minutes. I'd recommend doing the course without grabbing your harness for support. Most people did the course while holding their own harness, and it defeats the purpose of the obstacles. The mini golf course was one of the best at sea. They also had cornhole, foosball, ping pong, billiards, and soccer billiards (that will be a new one to most, as it was to us). I also played several rounds of trivia of various subjects. The staff did an excellent job hosting these events.

Service onboard was excellent. Our room steward was very capable. We had My Time Dining, and ate at around 6:45 most nights (which I'd consider around the peak time). We only waited on one night for about 15 minutes (the first formal night). All other nights we were assigned a table right away. All of our waiters (and we had different ones each night) were exceptional. Food was delivered quickly and our orders were always correct. Food was not always piping hot, but that is to be expected given the circumstances of serving several thousand guests.

Speaking of dining, the food was really great. Horizon shines at lunch time. One negative thing that I read about before sailing was that the wait times at lunch venues was intolerable. I can tell you that for my sailing, we hardly waited at all, and we tried all of the lunch options. Our faves were probably Guy's BBQ and Guy's Burgers, but there isn't a bad choice in the bunch. I love the menu options in the main dining room - there are so many good choices that I ate way too much! I'm a lover of Royal Caribbean as well, and I have to say that Carnival far exceeds Royal in the MDR. Royal only has a few selections of each category, while Carnival has double the options. They even have special menu items based on the port you were in each day. Oh - check out the buffet at lunch, even if you eat elsewhere. They have 5-6 awesome cakes and a couple types of gelato, all of which are different each day.

We stayed in an interior cabin on the 8th deck in the center of the ship. This was a very quiet area and we were easily able to get to the Lido deck only two floors up and the entertainment decks just a few decks down. The cabin was simple but very functional with two desktops and two 110v plugs, two USB plugs, and a European outlet. The fridge in the room was empty (as it was on Splendor), so you don't have to mess with freeing space for your own stuff. The beds were very comfortable.

The entertainment on this ship is arguably the best in the Carnival fleet. I'd still say that Royal holds an edge here on Oasis Class ships, but Carnival's singer/dancer shows were extraordinary. I read reviews that said the show venue is too small and has poor sightlines. This is true, but if you arrive 20-30 minutes before the show starts, you will get great seats. The performers frequently come into the audience to perform, and it results in a really great show - as long as you get there early. The same goes for the comedy shows. For the late night performances, you definitely need to get there at least 15 minutes early to get a seat. The earlier shows do not fill up, so you can arrive just before showtime. I do love how Carnival offers so many comedy shows on their ships.

We had late flights heading out of town, so we booked the Carnival Everglades trip with airport drop off. This was a great trip at a very fair price. The only negative is that you have to meet to get off the ship at 7:45am. I wish they offered a later option for people with really late flights like us. We were at the airport around 12:30pm, about five hours prior to our flights.

All in all, we had an excellent trip at a great value. I look forward to cruising the Horizon or a sister ship in the future.
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4G 8329
We stayed in an interior cabin on the 8th deck in the center of the ship. This was a very quiet area and we were easily able to get to the Lido deck only two floors up and the entertainment decks just a few decks down. The cabin was simple but very functional with two desktops and two 110v plugs, two USB plugs, and a European outlet. The fridge in the room was empty (as it was on Splendor), so you don't have to mess with freeing space for your own stuff. The beds were very comfortable.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins