Return to Cruising Ship Guide: Carnival Horizon
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, 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 time of check-in. Guests will be asked to confirm their status as fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination in advance of boarding.
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). According to the line, the current standard to meet the CDC’s criteria for a fully vaccinated cruise (under which guests can sail without a mask and other restrictions) is that at least 95% of all guests onboard are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated guests will be required to adhere to specific protocols and testing. A travel insurance requirement will be mandatory for unvaccinated guests sailing on Florida-based sailings starting on or after July 31, 2021.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Carnival strongly recommends that unvaccinated guests wear masks on board. However, all unvaccinated guests must wear masks at any indoor activity with children under 12, including unvaccinated adults in the same area (i.e., the arcade, Build-A-Bear, Family Harbor, Sky Zone), medical center, in spa areas (including treatment rooms) and Piano Bar. Children under two are not required to wear a mask. All guests, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks during the entire embarkation and debarkation process, during water shuttle operations, on Carnival-approved shore excursions, and while on any transportation.
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.
Secondary screenings (and health checks throughout the cruise) will be performed when necessary. Contact tracing is planned for every cruise. 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
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:
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