Return to Cruising Ship Guide: Carnival Horizon

Carnival Horizon - Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

When is Carnival Horizon slated to resume operations?

Carnival Horizon resumed sailing from PortMiami on July 5, 2021. The ship is currently sailing eight-night Caribbean itineraries stopping at Oranjestad (Aruba), Willemstad (Curacao), La Romana (Dominican Republic), and Amber Cove (Dominican Republic).

According to Carnival Cruise Line’s ‘Be Safe. Have Fun’ protocol, for all cruises through February 2022, 95% of guests will have had to have received their final COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to sailing, and will be required to present proof of vaccination at the time of check-in. There is an exemption process from Carnival to accommodate a small number of guests who are unable or ineligible to be vaccinated (which includes children under 12 and other exceptions as required by federal law). 

Effective with sailings as of September 13, 2021, the CDC requires pre-cruise testing for all guests, regardless of vaccination status, to be taken within two days prior to the sailing date. If the sailing is on Saturday, the test may be taken on Thursday and Friday, and as late as Saturday, if you are guaranteed to receive your results in time for check-in.

Cruising on Carnival Horizon? Here’s our guide to everything you need to know before you board. 

About the Ship: Carnival Horizon offers an exhilarating array of activities and entertainment for families and budget-conscious cruisers looking for a modern mega-ship cruise experience. Horizon is among one of the newest ships from Carnival, so travelers can expect cutting-edge amenities. At full capacity (prior to COVID-19 restrictions), the ship can accommodate up to 5,101 passengers and includes 1,987 total cabins. 

Carnival Horizon Expert Review 

Activities + Entertainment: The Carnival Cruise Line brand has grown to be synonymous with fun, and there’s no exception to this with the design of Horizon. There are a number of activities and entertainment options, guaranteed to satisfy travelers of all ages. Ship features include: SkyRide suspended bike course, the SportsSquare Athletic area, and IMAX theatre, the Serenity adults retreat area, Cloud 9 Spa, kids and teens clubs, three swimming pools and six whirlpools, and the Dr. Seuss Waterworks play area. 

At night, adults can enjoy tropical-inspired cocktails at any of the vessel’s seven onboard bars and lounges or try their luck at the onboard casino. Want to take in a show? Check out one of Playlist Productions’ themed musical extravaganzas or take in a show at the Punchliner Comedy Club. 

Explore All Activities on Carnival Horizon

Dining: A major benefit to sailing on a ship as large as Carnival Horizon is there’s no shortage of dining options. You can expect to find an eclectic array of restaurants, including many Carnival Cruise Line dining staples. Included options include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que, BlueIguana Cantina, Bonsai Sushi and Teppanyaki, Guy’s Burger Joint, JavaBlue Cafe, Seafood Shack, the Lido Marketplace, and the Shake Spot. For an extra fee, cruisers can treat themselves to a more formal dinner at the Italian venue Cucina del Capitano, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, JiJi Asian Kitchen, or the Chef’s Table exclusive dining experience. 

Read Carnival Horizon Dining Reviews

Pricing: Sailings are filling up quickly with the return of Carnival to the Caribbean, and prices seem to be changing regularly. Right now you can expect to pay about $70 per person per night for entry-level accommodations on Carnival Horizon. We recommend booking NOW if you find a price you like - chances are it won’t last long! 

Find a Deal on a Carnival Horizon Sailing

What to Expect at Embarkation & Onboard Protocols  

Every guest cruising with Carnival will undergo enhanced pre-embarkation health screenings. The line will refer anyone with signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or who are identified at-risk, for additional medical screening before allowing them to board. For those guests who are unvaccinated, a negative PCR COVID-19 test is required 72-hours prior to board and again at the pier. Guests will also receive an antigen test at embarkation which Carnival will provide. Guests under two are exempt from these testing requirements. Additionally, unvaccinated guests will be required to provide proof of travel insurance at check-in. Insurance coverage requires a minimum of $10,000 USD per person in medical expense coverage and $30,000 USD for emergency medical evacuation and no COVID-19 exclusions. Cruisers can purchase a policy from a company of their own choosing or directly from Carnival.

Guests who are vaccinated may purchase a Carnival tour or engage in independent sightseeing. In most destinations, unvaccinated guests will not be allowed to participate in independent travel. These guests will be offered the option to purchase Carnival-approved tours. In the event guests choose not to purchase a bubble tour, bubble tours are sold out, or canceled due to weather, unvaccinated guests will have to remain on board.

Carnival Cruise Line will require passengers on all voyages through October 31, regardless of vaccination status, to produce a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 3 days of their embarkation date. Effective August 7, Carnival has instituted an onboard mask policy that includes the following: 

  • The line strongly encourages all guests to wear face masks when indoors, particularly guests who are unvaccinated including children under the age of 12 who should wear masks in public areas, except when eating or drinking.
  • All guests age 2 and older will be required to wear face masks in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail shops, and in the casino, except when eating or drinking.
  • Guests will be required to wear face masks prior to being seated in our main dining rooms and in the Lido Buffet area and occasionally in other designated areas where larger number of guests may congregate.  
  • Masks are required during embarkation and debarkation in the terminal, and masks should also be worn during the debarkation process on board.

All health and safety protocols are constantly evolving and Carnival will be sharing additional measures with guests prior to sailings or refer to requirements outlined on their website.

Tips from Our Community Members:

We have always liked cruising with Carnival and will continue to do so. We enjoyed the Carnival Horizon and look forward to cruising on the newer ships. - Nazrool

We really enjoyed our cruise and will go again. There is so much to do onboard and ports are nice and good times. - paceman199

We have been on multiple cruises on Carnival and this was the best ship we have been on and the most relaxing cruise we have taken. - kelleybc

Shore Excursions

With so much to see and do in the Caribbean ports Carnival Horizon visits, be sure to book shore excursions as early as possible. Top-rated excursions by port include: 

Amber Cove (Puerto Playa), Dominican Republic - Damajagua Waterfalls Trip, Playa Dorada Beach Day, Waterfall Hiking Adventure

See All Puerto Playa Excursions

La Romana, Dominican Republic - History Tour, Shopping Adventure

See All La Romana Excursions

Oranjestad, Aruba - Private Island Tour, Wine Tour, Champagne and Brunch Sail, ATV Tour

See All Oranjestad Excursions

Willemstad, Curacao - Island and Beach Tour, Kayak and Snorkeling Adventure, Island and Seaquarium Tour

See All Willemstad Excursions

Want to Cruise on Carnival Horizon in 2021? Explore All Sailings

Booked on Carnival Horizon? Sign up for a Roll Call

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Packing for a Post Covid-19 Cruise

Latest Update: October 13, 2021

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Have you ever cruised on the Carnival Horizon?

1 Comment

Posted by Cruisingtoddler

My granddaughter (who will be 15 months) will be cruising with us in February. Are we seriously relegated to doing bubble tours because vaccines are not available for children that young? Her parents, grandparents and aunt and uncle are all vaccinated. The Shore Excursions are not very well labeled as to which ones are available in the three ports.

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