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This is not our first rodeo with Carnival. We keep telling ourselves that "it will get better." That is why we decided to book a spring break cruise on their newest and largest ship: the Horizon. Now we can honestly say that the bigger the ship, the worse the service and amenities get. I do have to say that with a ship of this size and about 4,500 fellow passengers, I thought we would have felt somewhat crowded, but honestly we did not. There was never an issue finding a chair by the pool, a wait for a table in the dining room, waiting for service at the bar, etc. The pools were not crowded and activities still felt intimate. The only time you realized how many people were actually sailing with you was when the deck parties happened. Carnival if known for FUN and they did not disappoint in this area. If you are unable to find something to do on a Carnival ship then you are NOT on a Carnival ship. The most memorable part of this cruise and what will probably keep making me come back to the brand is the FUN concept. Our cruise director on this sailing was Schwartz and he was AMAZING!!!! Carnival picked a winner when they brought him on board. Our room was your typical balcony stateroom. The only complaint I had with the room itself is that your key card is what turns on the power in the room. This is fine, but I was quick to realize that when I left the room, all power went out. Nothing could charge, including my phone, camera, etc. while I was gone because I took my key with me. The second complaint is that there is no power outlet next to the bed, but we made do. Ohhh... and the beds must have changed. They were not comfortable at all and you could feel the seam. I don't know if Carnival intended to skimp on the stateroom service, but they did skimp indeed. Granted, we did sleep in until 10 or 11 every day and maybe this is the reason, but our room was only serviced once a day if we were lucky. A few times, not at all. We had to call for towels and toilet paper. Also, I had to call room service for ice after 10:00pm and was charged. However, when our room WAS serviced, an outstanding job was done. Lets talk food... Your best bet is the "for fee" dining. We were only able to eat at the Italian place and the Sushi place because of availability, but neither disappointed. Actually, it was some of the best sushi I have ever had; anywhere. The Main dining room had the same outstanding service and the food was good and nothing was wrong with it, but it just wasn't memorable. I don't care for barbecue so my review of the Pig and Anchor wouldn't be a fair one. Both Guy's burgers and the Taco place are outstanding. If you are able to get a table for lunch for either Ji Ji's or the Italian place, do so. It's free. Some really great looking salads came from the Serinity pool deck for lunch too. Beware of the Lido Buffet for any meal. It is disgusting and there is no variety for any meal. What you have on day one will be what you have days two through eight. The only good item here is the made to order omelets in the morning that you have to wait a hour for because they have one crew member preparing them for 2,000 people. The pizza place is mediocre and you will stand I line here for approximately 30 minutes for 2 slices of pizza. Up to an hour after 11:00pm. Room service, although delicious, is a joke. Everything is ala carte. This can add up. Other lines charge you a flat rate which is acceptable, but Carnival has you reaching deep into your pockets if you don't wait in the hour line for those 2 slices of bland pizza. All of the shows were amazing. The even premiered a brand new show on our sailing and it was a treat. The layout of the auditorium, however, is that of a very poor design. Get there early to get a seat on the main floor, close to the stage, with no pillar. Pools were great. More whirlpools/hot tubs needed. Waterpark was a favorite with the kiddos. All other outdoor activities kept everyone busy during the day. Though my son was upset that they closed the basketball courts during dinner hours. No complaints with the kids clubs. Spa was wonderful. Shops could have carried a few more personal items and apparel. Elevators, though aggravating at first, made perfect sense after a few days. All in all it was a pretty good cruise. I think I like Carnivals smaller ships better. This big ship was, well, Forgettable in some ways. For me anyway. You may think different.

A Forgetable Cruise...

Carnival Horizon Cruise Review by joie_de_vivre77

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This is not our first rodeo with Carnival. We keep telling ourselves that "it will get better." That is why we decided to book a spring break cruise on their newest and largest ship: the Horizon. Now we can honestly say that the bigger the ship, the worse the service and amenities get.

I do have to say that with a ship of this size and about 4,500 fellow passengers, I thought we would have felt somewhat crowded, but honestly we did not. There was never an issue finding a chair by the pool, a wait for a table in the dining room, waiting for service at the bar, etc. The pools were not crowded and activities still felt intimate. The only time you realized how many people were actually sailing with you was when the deck parties happened.

Carnival if known for FUN and they did not disappoint in this area. If you are unable to find something to do on a Carnival ship then you are NOT on a Carnival ship. The most memorable part of this cruise and what will probably keep making me come back to the brand is the FUN concept. Our cruise director on this sailing was Schwartz and he was AMAZING!!!! Carnival picked a winner when they brought him on board.

Our room was your typical balcony stateroom. The only complaint I had with the room itself is that your key card is what turns on the power in the room. This is fine, but I was quick to realize that when I left the room, all power went out. Nothing could charge, including my phone, camera, etc. while I was gone because I took my key with me. The second complaint is that there is no power outlet next to the bed, but we made do. Ohhh... and the beds must have changed. They were not comfortable at all and you could feel the seam.

I don't know if Carnival intended to skimp on the stateroom service, but they did skimp indeed. Granted, we did sleep in until 10 or 11 every day and maybe this is the reason, but our room was only serviced once a day if we were lucky. A few times, not at all. We had to call for towels and toilet paper. Also, I had to call room service for ice after 10:00pm and was charged. However, when our room WAS serviced, an outstanding job was done.

Lets talk food... Your best bet is the "for fee" dining. We were only able to eat at the Italian place and the Sushi place because of availability, but neither disappointed. Actually, it was some of the best sushi I have ever had; anywhere. The Main dining room had the same outstanding service and the food was good and nothing was wrong with it, but it just wasn't memorable. I don't care for barbecue so my review of the Pig and Anchor wouldn't be a fair one. Both Guy's burgers and the Taco place are outstanding. If you are able to get a table for lunch for either Ji Ji's or the Italian place, do so. It's free. Some really great looking salads came from the Serinity pool deck for lunch too.

Beware of the Lido Buffet for any meal. It is disgusting and there is no variety for any meal. What you have on day one will be what you have days two through eight. The only good item here is the made to order omelets in the morning that you have to wait a hour for because they have one crew member preparing them for 2,000 people. The pizza place is mediocre and you will stand I line here for approximately 30 minutes for 2 slices of pizza. Up to an hour after 11:00pm. Room service, although delicious, is a joke. Everything is ala carte. This can add up. Other lines charge you a flat rate which is acceptable, but Carnival has you reaching deep into your pockets if you don't wait in the hour line for those 2 slices of bland pizza.

All of the shows were amazing. The even premiered a brand new show on our sailing and it was a treat. The layout of the auditorium, however, is that of a very poor design. Get there early to get a seat on the main floor, close to the stage, with no pillar.

Pools were great. More whirlpools/hot tubs needed. Waterpark was a favorite with the kiddos. All other outdoor activities kept everyone busy during the day. Though my son was upset that they closed the basketball courts during dinner hours. No complaints with the kids clubs. Spa was wonderful. Shops could have carried a few more personal items and apparel. Elevators, though aggravating at first, made perfect sense after a few days.

All in all it was a pretty good cruise. I think I like Carnivals smaller ships better. This big ship was, well, Forgettable in some ways. For me anyway. You may think different.
joie_de_vivre77’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
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Ages 10 to 12
Ages 16+
Service
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Grand Turk
    Our favorite port this cruise. Grand Turk is amazing. I hear that the snorkeling is outstanding here but we chose to stay at the pristine pool and beaches of Margarittaville. It's 5:00 somewhere, right?
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  • Rainforest
    We booked the VIP rainforest drive and beach getaway...
    It was just ok. The rainforest was beautiful. There were 3 stops in the rainforest after a 45 minute drive. Lookout tower, waterfall and swimming hole.
    The excursion stated easy but the last stop, the swimmig hole, was quite the hike down a streuous path for some(about a 15-20 minute hike one way.) All uphill on the way back.
    The beach/shopping stop at the end was sketchy. Do NOT swim at the beach. You will drift off to sea forever.
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  • St. Kitts (Port Zante)
    Same old shopping at port. Locals were very friendly though. Went back to the ship after 30 minutes. Teenager refused to get off.
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  • St. Maartan Airport Tour
    This was a great excursion. The water was VERY choppy the day we went so did not get in the water, but did sit on deck with feet in the water.
    Water was very clear and refressing. Lots of people swimming havig fun with provided noodles, floaties, snorkel gear.
    Do not expect to see much marine life here.
    Staff was amazing. Announced every plane. Even the small ones. We saw at least 20 that day. Great once in a lifetime experiece.
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