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I chose this cruise as the best entertainment option for my family. My kids are 12 and 3 years old, and our last cruise proved to be a great way to entertain them both. Carnival seemed to be a great option for more kids attractions so we have it a try. It was a disaster from the moment we walked on the ship. We entered on the 3rd floor/atrium, which felt tiny as the crowds of people flooded through the doors. At this point, and throughout the rest of the cruise, the silence of the staff was infuriating. They have this way of just allowing you to be lost and confused...they don’t anticipate needs, address questions clearly, provide clarity or direction...instead they seemed just as lost and confused as everyone else. You have to ask questions, no one will use cues to proactively address your needs. The hours of the attractions were confusing and inconsistent. Some days the teen room was 24 hours and others it didn’t open til 7 pm. Some days there were 4 buffets open in Lido, other days there were one. The layout of the common areas is impractical and there was constant congestion in the halls, elevators, and pool decks. Elevator wait times were also incredibly long - there were several times we just carried our toddler’s stroller up and down the stairs so we could move on with our day. For days I attempted to take my daughter to the toddler pool in the Dr. Seuss area on deck 12, and each time there were adults laying in the ankle deep water just sunbathing. Granted, the resort pool was always so crowded that they probably just wanted some space to refresh, but there was no regulation of the space to ensure kids had a designated space to play. This caused a chaotic spillover of children in adult spaces (and vice versa) so there was just no peace. The main dining room food was disgusting, either fried completely dry by heating lamps or just bland and underwhelming. The serving utensils were left under the lights and were usually so hot that you needed to wrap a napkin around the handle to use them. Food layout wasn’t thoughtful, and again no direction when it came to the lines at the buffet so there were long periods of congestion and confusion from people who entered at the wrong end or that didn’t know the selection was the same on both sides. It was usually other passengers that ended up explaining it and organizing the line, while staff looked on silently. At the other included outlets the lines were long and staff was passive and unfriendly. We patronized Meridian restaurant and were greeted by confused hostesses that didn’t know If they wanted you to wait in line, sit, or come back later - even with a confirmed table from MyTime Dining checkin. Wait staff in Meridian we’re not thoughtful, ignoring our feedback to make corny jokes - clearly a taught tactic. It was impersonal and insincere and an infuriating disregard for our experience. There were rules listed but not enforced, like dripping wet bikini-clad cruisers in the dining spaces contrary to signage, or rows of seats saved during the deck movie. There was no curfew for minors - all night, children could be found wandering through the casino and pool decks. Security had no control at all, and cleaning staff ignored them as they ran by and disrupted other passengers. Not one person said “no running” or asked where their guardians were...and many of these kids looked as young as 9 or 10. These kids also wrecked the self service ice cream spaces, leaving it on the counters and all over the floor, and staff were not attentive to the mess. On the promenade it was like walking through a flea market - every 5 steps someone is shoving items in your face trying to persuade you to buy another useless thing. Perfume, jewelry, shot glasses, scarves....everything. It was irritating and invasive. At the ports, loudspeaker announcements directed passengers to level 0 to disembark; when the elevator doors opened, another silent staff member standing there waiting for you to ASK if you should go left or right (there was no signage, and clearly multiple exits). Another lost opportunity to anticipate a common need and streamline my guest experience. The beds were rock hard, so much so that my kids even complained of back and shoulder pain. The shower drain didn’t work the first 2 days and my bathroom flooded constantly. It wasn’t fixed until I waited out my room attendant to ask her about it - who until then I had never physically seen. She admitted to noticing the pile of wet towels the prior day, but obviously never cleaned the shower or bothered to follow up on the flooding. My room attendant also accidentally tossed out my toddlers binkie while cleaning and didn’t admit it until I asked about it (after tearing the room apart). I was left with an inconsolable kid in an uncomfortable bed, every night for the rest of the trip. She also left the dirty cups and dishes in the room every time. If you are the type of traveler with any level of service expectations, this isn’t your ship. This ship is for low expectations, and people who are ok with paying $4K to still be left to find and figure things out yourself. NEVER AGAIN, Carnival!

Not for the discerning traveler!

Carnival Horizon Cruise Review by ShawFamily16

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I chose this cruise as the best entertainment option for my family. My kids are 12 and 3 years old, and our last cruise proved to be a great way to entertain them both. Carnival seemed to be a great option for more kids attractions so we have it a try.

It was a disaster from the moment we walked on the ship. We entered on the 3rd floor/atrium, which felt tiny as the crowds of people flooded through the doors. At this point, and throughout the rest of the cruise, the silence of the staff was infuriating. They have this way of just allowing you to be lost and confused...they don’t anticipate needs, address questions clearly, provide clarity or direction...instead they seemed just as lost and confused as everyone else. You have to ask questions, no one will use cues to proactively address your needs.

The hours of the attractions were confusing and inconsistent. Some days the teen room was 24 hours and others it didn’t open til 7 pm. Some days there were 4 buffets open in Lido, other days there were one. The layout of the common areas is impractical and there was constant congestion in the halls, elevators, and pool decks. Elevator wait times were also incredibly long - there were several times we just carried our toddler’s stroller up and down the stairs so we could move on with our day.

For days I attempted to take my daughter to the toddler pool in the Dr. Seuss area on deck 12, and each time there were adults laying in the ankle deep water just sunbathing. Granted, the resort pool was always so crowded that they probably just wanted some space to refresh, but there was no regulation of the space to ensure kids had a designated space to play. This caused a chaotic spillover of children in adult spaces (and vice versa) so there was just no peace.

The main dining room food was disgusting, either fried completely dry by heating lamps or just bland and underwhelming. The serving utensils were left under the lights and were usually so hot that you needed to wrap a napkin around the handle to use them. Food layout wasn’t thoughtful, and again no direction when it came to the lines at the buffet so there were long periods of congestion and confusion from people who entered at the wrong end or that didn’t know the selection was the same on both sides. It was usually other passengers that ended up explaining it and organizing the line, while staff looked on silently. At the other included outlets the lines were long and staff was passive and unfriendly. We patronized Meridian restaurant and were greeted by confused hostesses that didn’t know If they wanted you to wait in line, sit, or come back later - even with a confirmed table from MyTime Dining checkin. Wait staff in Meridian we’re not thoughtful, ignoring our feedback to make corny jokes - clearly a taught tactic. It was impersonal and insincere and an infuriating disregard for our experience.

There were rules listed but not enforced, like dripping wet bikini-clad cruisers in the dining spaces contrary to signage, or rows of seats saved during the deck movie. There was no curfew for minors - all night, children could be found wandering through the casino and pool decks. Security had no control at all, and cleaning staff ignored them as they ran by and disrupted other passengers. Not one person said “no running” or asked where their guardians were...and many of these kids looked as young as 9 or 10. These kids also wrecked the self service ice cream spaces, leaving it on the counters and all over the floor, and staff were not attentive to the mess.

On the promenade it was like walking through a flea market - every 5 steps someone is shoving items in your face trying to persuade you to buy another useless thing. Perfume, jewelry, shot glasses, scarves....everything. It was irritating and invasive.

At the ports, loudspeaker announcements directed passengers to level 0 to disembark; when the elevator doors opened, another silent staff member standing there waiting for you to ASK if you should go left or right (there was no signage, and clearly multiple exits). Another lost opportunity to anticipate a common need and streamline my guest experience.

The beds were rock hard, so much so that my kids even complained of back and shoulder pain. The shower drain didn’t work the first 2 days and my bathroom flooded constantly. It wasn’t fixed until I waited out my room attendant to ask her about it - who until then I had never physically seen. She admitted to noticing the pile of wet towels the prior day, but obviously never cleaned the shower or bothered to follow up on the flooding. My room attendant also accidentally tossed out my toddlers binkie while cleaning and didn’t admit it until I asked about it (after tearing the room apart). I was left with an inconsolable kid in an uncomfortable bed, every night for the rest of the trip. She also left the dirty cups and dishes in the room every time.

If you are the type of traveler with any level of service expectations, this isn’t your ship. This ship is for low expectations, and people who are ok with paying $4K to still be left to find and figure things out yourself.

NEVER AGAIN, Carnival!
ShawFamily16’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Dining
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Entertainment
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Ages Under 3
Ages 10 to 12
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View
Cabin 6M 6248
Horrible beds. Would have been nice if the bunk bed was closed/put away daily but it was left set up the entire trip.
Lobby Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins