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Carnival Horizon Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
388 Reviews

Disappointing compared to previous Carnival cruises

Carnival Horizon Cruise Review by swiegner

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2019
  • Destination: the Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Havana Premium Vista Balcony

This was our fourth Carnival cruise. The embarkation experience was wonderful. The best we've ever had. We were originally upset because we wanted to purchase Faster to the Fun and it sold out before we could purchase it. It was not needed for this cruise at all. When we entered our cabin we found leftover food from the previous occupants in the room. When we went to the balcony we found old/used water bottles, cherry stems and hair ties from previous cruisers. The room was much smaller than anticipated and the layout made the room feel cramped. There wasn't enough room to store your luggage and walk through the room. We had been on previous cruises where the vista balcony rooms were suites. On this cruise they are not. We knew this but did not expect the room to be so small. The Lido deck is one deck above so you constantly hear all of the noise of the Lido deck all night long. For example, the staff use carts to move items throughout the night and we were continually woken up by the rumbling of the carts above us. The extra large balcony is nice but it is really much larger than needed for two people. Some of the balcony space would have been much better utilized to enlarge the room. The ventilation in the room is horrible. We called guest services multiple times throughout the cruise because the room stayed so warm. Each time we were told the room was within ship standards. We spent every night sweating and ended up taking turns sleeping outside on balcony just so we could have some air circulation. The stench of cigarette smoke from the Casino is horrible. We were not able to enjoy the Casino due to the overwhelming cigarette smoke.

We chose this cruise for the ports. We had never been to 3 of the 4 ports before. We were also excited to be cruising on a newer ship. We had mixed feelings on the ports. We had previously visited Grand Turk and new what to expect there. We enjoyed getting off the ship and walking around the port. We chose not to do a scheduled excursion in Grand Turk this trip. The Dominican Republic is a location we never need to visit again. It is absolutely filthy. We chose zip lining as the excursion. The zip lining park was about an hour bus drive from the port. The park was nice and the zip lining was fun. We enjoyed the excursion but felt like we could have done this excursion anywhere. Our favorite port was Curacao. It is absolutely gorgeous. We did a boat ride with snorkeling for our excursion. This did not disappoint at all. The service on the boat was great and the overall experience was outstanding. The final port was Aruba. Aruba is also beautiful. We chose to do a segway tour followed by time on the beach. The segway portion of the tour was phenomenal and did not disappoint. We felt that the excursion could have had a much better beach experience. If you wanted an umbrella or chairs for the beach they needed to be rented from a separate entity. The cost is not included in the cost of the excursion. When we arrived they were out of chairs and umbrellas so we weren't even able to rent them. Unless you brought your own towels or blanket you could only sit on the sand in the sun. Nothing else was available. When we returned to Miami we signed up for the Airboat tour with a transfer to the airport. This excursion was a lot of fun. They started disembarking the ship at 7:00 am and our flight was not until 4:00 pm so this was a perfect way to spend our day. We were excited for this cruise and the opportunity to visit these ports and to sail on a newer ship.

Overall the ship was clean, although our cabin was not. We were extremely disappointed in our cabin and our service throughout the ship. My husband had ordered the anniversary package with champagne as well as chocolate covered strawberries to be set up in our room prior to our arrival. When we entered our room the anniversary signs were hung but the champagne was not on ice like my husband was told it would be and the strawberries were not there. We never ended up drinking the champagne on the ship so we never opened the champagne glasses. When we got home we found that the stems of the glasses were broken. The overall customer service on this ship did not positively compare to the customer service on previous Carnival cruises and was very disappointing. Many other cruisers we spoke with on the Horizon who had been on Carnival before felt the same way too. The entertainment on the Lido deck was minimal and not as enjoyable as it had been in previous Carnival cruises. The food on the ship was good. There was nothing spectacular about it but there was nothing bad about it either. The ship provides lots of activities, especially if you are traveling with children, which we were not. They take photos while you are on the cruise and you can view them via their mobile app while on the cruise. However once the cruise docks at the end, the pictures are no longer accessible. So if you don't buy them during the cruise you can't purchase pictures which is very disappointing. The Carnival Hub mobile app is great while on the cruise. The experience on this ship will not prevent us from cruising with Carnival again but we definitely would not do this ship again.


swiegner's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Havana Premium Vista Balcony

When we entered our cabin we found leftover food from the previous occupants in the room. When we went to the balcony we found old/used water bottles, cherry stems and hair ties from previous cruisers. The room was much smaller than anticipated and the layout made the room feel cramped. There wasn't enough room to store your luggage and walk through the room. We had been on previous cruises where the vista balcony rooms were suites. On this cruise they are not. We knew this but did not expect the room to be so small. The Lido deck is one deck above so you constantly hear all of the noise of the Lido deck all night long. For example, the staff use carts to move items throughout the night and we were continually woken up by the rumbling of the carts above us. The extra large balcony is nice but it is really much larger than needed for two people. Some of the balcony space would have been much better utilized to enlarge the room. The ventilation in the room is horrible. We called guest services multiple times throughout the cruise because the room stayed so warm. Each time we were told the room was within ship standards. We spent every night sweating and ended up taking turns sleeping outside on balcony just so we could have some air circulation.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

The segway tour was super fun and enjoyable. The beach portion was disappointing. Beach umbrellas and chairs were not included in the cost of the exucrsion and needed to be rented from a separate entity. Unfortunately none were available. We passed many gorgeous beaches while traveling to and from the excursion and felt a different beach should have been utilized for the beach portion of the exucrsion.

View All undefined undefined Reviews
Scuba Diving

This excursion was excellent. We were greeted with cold beverages (non- alcoholic). We took a boat to a snokeling spot and then snorkled. The staff on this excursion were wonderful. On the return trip burgers and beverages (to inlcude alcoholic) were provided.

View All 13 Scuba Diving Reviews
Zip-Lining

The Dominican Republic was filthy and not a port I would recommend. The zip lining itself was a lot of fun. It was about an hour drive from the port. The zip lining park was clean and the staff were very nice. We just felt like we could have zip lined anywhere and had the same experience without having to do it in the Dominican Republic.

View All 14 Zip-Lining Reviews
Grand Turk

We had previously visited Grank Turk so we did not feel the need to select an excursion. We enjoyed relaxing walking around the port on our own.

Everglades Tour

The evergaldes tour was a lot of fun and a great way to spend our time after getting off the ship. The ship disenbarked at 7:00 am and our flight was not until 4:00 pm. A bus took us to the excursion and then dropped us at the airport. It was all around a positive experience.

View All 129 Everglades Tour Reviews

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swiegner
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