Great Family Cruise and Family Harbor Description

Carnival Horizon Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 13

Overall rating:

4.1 out of 5
Carnival Horizon

6 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: May 12, 2019

Ship: Carnival Horizon

Cabin number: 2429

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Overall this was a great cruise. I highly recommend the family harbor area. I like being around other families and there are a lot of people on the ship partying and getting drunk. My kids didn't have to experience any of that. The family harbor area has board games and video games. The breakfasts included things like bacon, sausage, grits, oatmeal, cereal, fruit, waffles, toast, juice, muffins, coffee, just about everything your kids would want. We did the Dr. Seuss breakfast which was very cute, particularly if you have kids 9 and younger. This was our family's first cruise and it was almost perfect.


5 out of 5
The embarkation process was easy. I was traveling with 3 children and had faster to the fun but my parents who did not have faster to the fun also had a great experience.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The main dining room food was probably my favorite food on the ship. Lots of different options. It is nice to eat things I don't normally eat. Sometimes the food was really good sometimes it was just okay, but nothing was bad. I visited the Italian and Asian restaurants during lunch when they were free. I found those options to be okay. Maybe they would be better at night. The buffet food was good, but it wasn't great. There are better places to eat on the ship. I usually got gelato and cake there though. The gelato was especially good. I had a room in the family harbor area which I LOVED. My 3 kids must have eaten about 50 soft served ice cream cones. They almost always had breakfast there because it was just easier. I had a cappuccino from the machine there every morning. This was much better than getting everyone ready at the same time, then heading to the buffet. Each kid basically ate when they were ready. The afternoon snacks were also a life saver. It was kind of like having a refrigerator at home. You don't always want a whole meal. I loved having access to ice water all day. The family harbor does close at 9pm and there were times I wish it was open a little longer just so I could get ice water from the machine there. Guy's burgers was on the ship and the burgers were good, but they are burgers. They weren't life changing for me. However, my 16 and 13 year olds ate there almost every day after swimming or an afternoon in port. They did this in addition to the meals we ate in the dining room around 730. So if you have teens that eat a lot, you may appreciate this option. I had great food from the Blue Iguana Cantina as well. Very good breakfast burrito and chicken, pork, or fish tacos.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
The pools were often busy, but the tides pool was less busy and definitely had less kids. My family did the sky ride. This place is packed on sea days, but on port days you can just walk on. I really liked it, but it is scary. Younger kids may not want to try it. There is a slight incline that is similar to riding a bike uphill. A kid of about 8 years old got stuck there and had to be coached for several minutes from the ground. I'm sure he was terrified. We did about half of the mini golf course too and that was nice when we were there because the sun was setting and it wasn't very hot. I couldn't imaging doing this in the heat of the day. My 13 year old son spent quite a bit of time at the basketball court but it was packed and most of the players were much older than him. I wish they would reserve some time for younger kids on the court. He also went to the sports bar to watch the Bucks in the playoffs. At first I was concerned about him in the sports bar, but someone likened it to BW3's which it was. I felt comfortable leaving him there to watch the game.

Carnival WaterWorks

4 out of 5

Great slides and waterworks area. Walking barefoot to get to the slides was horrible. The deck is extremely hot. The views are spectacular.


4 out of 5
I really enjoyed the piano bar, comedians, and my family really enjoyed the final lip sinc battle. I went to the Soulbound production/show. The singers were exceptional but the story line was weak. I would do it again, but not more than once on the cruise. The DJ's were great, but there was always a crowd and I don't particularly like the party vibe so I usually headed to the piano bar for a more relaxing vibe. Those who do will probably love it.

Carnival Seaside Theater

5 out of 5

It is really too hot to enjoy this venue during the day on a Caribbean cruise, but at night this place is magical. The pool area has a lifeguard, so I felt comfortable watching the movie while my children swam. The selection of movies was also very good.

Carnival Multiplex

4 out of 5

My teens did the level 2 Thrill theater and thought it was lame. I did the Level 1 Thrill theater with my 9 year old and my mother and we all enjoyed it. It was worth the $5.50 per person. I wish I had had time to enjoy the IMAX theater.

Children's Programs

4 out of 5
My 9 year old daughter spent time in camp ocean, especially on sea days. She was a little hesitant at first, but enjoyed it. She mostly did crafts, video games, and practiced for the lip sinc battle. There was a very popular Game of Thrones Trivia and I enjoyed the Harry Potter Trivia. I could not get my 13 year old or 16 year old to do the kids clubs although we did check out Circle C. They have lots of video games but not Fortnite. My son wouldn't go back. My 16 year old spent her afternoons doing homework and didn't make it to Club O2.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
I never had a problem and they were very friendly. I complained about some late night noise in my state room and although the noise could not be controlled completely, guest services did give me the option of an onboard experience for my trouble. I appreciated the gesture and got a massage for my trouble.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Beautiful Ship

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Perfectly fine for 3 people. The four of us were a little cramped. I wish there was one more shelf. The family harbor rooms are under the main dining room. This usually wasn't an issue for us, but they must have been fixing something in the galley one night when I was there. The banging was so loud that it woke me up at 3am and continued for most of the night. Fortunately, guest services took care of the issue as best as they could and I was satisfied.

Ship tip

Sea days are crazy on the "Serenity" deck. I went up there the first sea day and there were people everywhere. Every seat was being used and it was even difficult navigating through there. I never went back, there are so many empty places on the ship that are more relaxing.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

3 out of 5
I did nothing but stop here before and after the cruise. I'm sure Miami is fine, but it wasn't a priority for my family.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

3 out of 5
We only went to Margaritaville, but my kids loved it. I really wish the people there didn't hassle us so much when shopping or just walking through.

George Town, Grand Cayman

5 out of 5
I did do an excursion this day to Stingray City. Everything was organized and the staff were so friendly. It is a beautiful place and I could shop in peace. Things at the stores had prices!

Cozumel, Mexico

4 out of 5
We didn't do an excursion but took a taxi to Paradise Beach. The beach itself wasn't paradise (swim shoes are a must) but the overall pool/resort was great. Shopping at the port was okay. Some stores had clearly marked prices, others expected you to haggle. I hate that. A bracelet that we had custom made at Paradise Beach was $7. At the port they tried to sell me a standard one for $25. I eventually agreed to a price of $10. My son lost it that very same day....


3 out of 5
A couple of people got arrested in customs on our way off the ship. This slowed down disembarkation for about an hour. This is not the fault of the ship. People were still on board trying to get off the ship well after 11am.

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