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Carnival Horizon Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
387 reviews
Carnival Horizon (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Meridian Restaurant on Carnival Horizon (Photo: Cruise Critic)
The Family Harbor Suite on Carnival Horizon (Photo: Cruise Critic)
The Beach Pool on Carnival Horizon (Photo: Cruise Critic)
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Editor Rating
Very Good
Colleen McDaniel
Cruise Critic Editor-In-Chief

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.


Activity-packed ship with plenty to do without massive upcharges


Finding a spot for some peace and quiet is tricky

Bottom Line

Great value, perfect for families


Passengers : 3954
Crew : 1,450
Passenger to Crew : 2.73:1
Launched : 2018
Shore Excursions : 286

Sails From

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.)

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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.


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.

Find a Carnival Horizon Cruise from $389

More about Carnival Horizon

Where does Carnival Horizon sail from?

Carnival Horizon departs from Miami

How much does it cost to go on Carnival Horizon?

Cruises on Carnival Horizon start from $389 per person.
Carnival Horizon Cruiser Reviews

Excellent Cruise on one of Carnival's largest ships!

Mike P was our CD and this was going to be his last 6 day Horizon cruise as he was promoted to a Carnival Corporate job. Let me tell you there was NO short timers disease with him.... Read More
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6-10 Cruises

Age 50s

Carnival Horizon Feb 2020

Cruise - We chose the Horizon because the dates of the cruise and the destinations were what we were looking for and we have never tried another cruise line as we have always been pleased with Carnival... Read More
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6-10 Cruises

Age 60s

Food better than I remembered but less atmosphere than I remembered!

I will probably do a cruise with Carnival again in the future, like the new Mardi Gras for example. Very pleasant and different Alchemy bar! *Translated using Google Translate... Read More
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10+ Cruises

Age 20s


Overall would not rush to go on horizon again. Not bad just not great and only have so much vacation time.... Read More
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10+ Cruises

Age 50s

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