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Carnival Horizon Review

Carnival Horizon (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Carnival Horizon (Photo: Cruise Critic)

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Carnival Horizon
4.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Pros

Activity-packed ship with plenty to do without massive upcharges

Cons

Finding a spot for some peace and quiet is tricky

Bottom Line

Great value, perfect for families


About

Passengers 3954
Crew 1,450
Passenger to Crew 2.73:1
Launched 2018
Shore Excursions 282
Colleen McDaniel
Cruise Critic Editor-In-Chief

Carnival Horizon Overview

Carnival Horizon is a bold, beautiful ship jam-packed with activities, dining options, and bars and lounges galore. The cruise ship is sophisticated and modern, though with Carnival's take on those concepts, which includes bold colors, bright spaces and a heavy dose of fun.

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The scene is set from the moment you step onboard, where live music and enthusiastic crew members greet you in the ship's main atrium, which is built around a brilliant LED funnel called the Dreamscape. The digital sculpture changes often throughout the day, and it's simply mesmerizing.

Families will adore Carnival Horizon, which boasts a huge variety of cabins for multiple passengers and larger groups, nighttime babysitting, a flashy splash park, outdoor and indoor activities, and great kids clubs. Dining rooms feature kids menus and some of the specialty restaurants include reduced prices for kids under 12.

The ship makes great use of outdoor space, thanks in large part to a wraparound promenade on Deck 5, which during the day is great for relaxing while at night it becomes additional seating for the restaurants and bars adjacent to them indoors. We also love the outdoor bar at the Havana Club, which features a pool, two hot tubs, colorful deck chairs and Latin music.

Carnival Horizon also debuted some new technology, including a smart elevator concept, designed to help with crowd control and to move people along faster -- which it does with mostly success. It's also got an upgraded version of Carnival's Hub App, which on Horizon allows passengers to do things like make restaurant reservations using their devices. (You can see the menus for each of the restaurants using the app, too, which helps with decision making.)

Service on our sailing was hit and miss. Restaurant and cabin crew members were terrifically friendly and efficient, while bar service ranged from slow to apathetic. We had long wait times poolside for service, and visited bars listed in the daily schedule as "open" only to find they were closed.

Overall, Carnival Horizon does what Carnival does best: Provides a fun vacation with endless options for passengers of all kinds. It does it with tongue-in-cheek signage and programming, a terrific partnership with Dr. Seuss and a range of great dining venues and entertaining bars and lounges.


Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • All meals in the two main dining rooms, Lido Marketplace buffet, pizzeria, Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina and select room service items
  • All shows in the main theatre, as well as Punchliner Comedy performances, nightly live music sessions and deck parties
  • Use of the water park, ropes course, sports square, sports court and mini-golf
  • Use of the fitness center in the Cloud 9 Spa, excluding classes or training sessions
  • Most daily activities onboard unless noted below
  • Use of the adults-only Serenity area
  • Movies at the poolside Seaside Theatre
  • Use of Carnival’s Camp Ocean kids club until 10 p.m., for children aged 2 to 17

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Gratuities ($13.99 per person, per day for standard staterooms; $15.99 per person, per day for those staying in suites)
  • Automatic gratuities of 18 percent added to beverages (including packages) and spa and salon treatments
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks with the exception of water, tea, coffee and juices in the buffet
  • Movies in the IMAX Theater and Thrill Theater
  • Meals in most specialty restaurants
  • Use of the Thermal Suite and Thalassotherapy Pool in the Cloud 9 Spa
  • All treatments in the Cloud 9 Spa, along with fitness classes and training sessions
  • Specialty Coffees, including cappuccino and espresso
  • All shore excursions
  • Internet packages
  • Selected activities like tasting events, the Build-a-Bear workshop, certain arts and crafts classes, arcade games and bingo
  • Photos or artwork from their respective galleries
  • Purchases from onboard shops, including Cherry On Top
  • After-hours babysitting in the Camp Ocean Kids Club

Fellow Passengers

Carnival Horizon passengers tend to be a fun-loving group hailing from all over the world -- but especially the United States. The ship's multiple cabin options and myriad activities appeal to families, and you'll see all kinds of kids onboard especially during the summer and over the holidays. Couples across all age ranges are common, as are large groups sailing together.


Carnival Horizon Dress Code

Daytime: During the day, relaxed and casual is the name of the game. Virtually anything goes, though swimsuit attire is restricted to the outdoor spaces and men are required to wear shirts with sleeves to the main dining room.

Evening: In the evening, Carnival Horizon adheres to what the line calls a Cruise Casual dress code. For women, that means beachy dresses, casual skirts, pants or capris, jeans or dressy shorts with blouses. Men are requested to wear items such as sport slacks, khakis, jeans, long dress shorts and collared shirts.

On formal or elegant night, main dining room attire is fancier, with men wearing suits or dress pants with dress shirts and sport coats. Tuxedos are rare but not unwelcome. Women wear cocktail dresses, pantsuits, evening gowns or elegant skirts with blouses. Not all passengers participate in formal night; passengers who wish to skip it can dine at the Lido Restaurant wearing casual clothing instead. Still, you're likely to see a few passengers wearing more casual clothing in the main dining room on formal nights. Carnival Horizon sailings of two to five nights have one cruise elegant evening; sailings of six nights or longer have two.

Not permitted: Shorts (including cutoff jeans), T-shirts, flip-flops, bathing suits, caps and men's sleeveless shirts are never permitted in the main dining room or specialty restaurants during dinner.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Carnival.


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Deck:
Deck 1
Deck 2
Lobby Deck
Mezzanine Deck
Promenade Deck
Deck 6
Deck 7
Deck 8
Deck 9
Lido Deck
Deck 11
Spa & Sports Deck
Deck 14
Serenity Deck

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Carnival Horizon Member Reviews

Carnival Horizon
shannas
Sail Date: Jan 2020
I just returned from a cruise on the Carnival Horizon and had an amazing time! It absolutely exceeded my expectations and I can't wait to book another!...Read More
Carnival Horizon
Oregon Cruiser1976
Sail Date: Sep 2019
As a comparison, we sailed on the Allure of the Seas last November, and we both preferred the Carnival Horizon. The bed on the Horizon was so comfy!...Read More
Carnival Horizon
MrsCollier
Sail Date: Nov 2019
This was my 2nd sailing on Carnival Horizon....Read More
Carnival Horizon
deanman02
Sail Date: May 2019
We loved our Carnival Horizon adventure....Read More

Carnival Cruise Line Fleet