S Caribbean on the Carnival Horizon 7/27/19

Carnival Horizon Cruise Review

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 58

Overall rating:

4.3 out of 5
Carnival Horizon

8 Night Southern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: July 27, 2019

Ship: Carnival Horizon

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 6480

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

We had so much fun on this cruise. We enjoyed many of the activities and didn’t get to do it all. We sampled many of the eateries and liked each one. The boat is one of the newest ships and it’s very clean and new looking. The colors and artwork all beautiful. Mike was our CD. He was a lot of fun. We liked all the ports we visited and know exactly what we want to do if we go back to them. We would definitely sail on the Horizon again.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
We got to the port a little early so we had to wait in an air conditioned waiting area for about an hour. Was not bad at all. I didn’t have the FTTF pass. When it was our turn to go it probably was about 20 minutes to get on the boat and have a drink in hand by the pool 🍹

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5

Bonsai Sushi

5 out of 5

Always a good meal or snack here. Very fresh and fun to watch the chef make your sushi rolls. This venue has a small up charge. My favorite is the shrimp tempura roll and the fried ice-cream.

Seafood Shack

3 out of 5

This is a small set up where you place an order and you’re given s beeper when your food is ready. We ordered raw oysters and steamed crab legs. The oysters were a lot smaller than the ones on display. They were tasty. Avoid the cocktail sauce. It tasted like watery ketchup. Crab legs were nice and sweet and they pre-cracked them open. Served with melted butter. This venue has an up charge. I’d eat here at off peak times as lines do get long and service isn’t quick.

Reflection Restaurant

3 out of 5

The food is ok. You often feel rushed. I was not happy with my assigned table. There were 4 of us crammed at a too small table in a corner where they stacked piles of dirty dishes. I didn’t complain as I knew I wouldn’t be there every night. Our waiter was very good.

Lido Marketplace

4 out of 5

Very limited with dinner and lunch selections. Breakfast pretty basic but very good. Salad bar is good. Dessert table is good. Has 24 hour soft serve ice-cream. The deli is great for sandwiches. They have juices, coffee, tea, iced tea, lemonade and water all free at self serve station. Also there is a self serve beer tap that has an up charge. Seating is plenty. Staff is quick to clean up.

JavaBlue Cafe

5 out of 5

White chocolate frappe! 😋 With a chocolate edible straw! 🤪👍 This venue has a small up-charge and offers a punch card getting you your 7th coffee drink, tea, or milkshake free!

Guy's Pig & Anchor BBQ Smokehouse Brewhouse

4 out of 5

I tried this for lunch on a sea day. It was very good with different options to try. Meats were tender with a nice smokey flavor. The home made sausage was great. Not a fan of the slaw. Too much mayo and no flavor. This venue is free for sea day lunch or up charge for dinner.

Cucina del Capitano

5 out of 5

Delicious! This was my second time at this restaurant and can’t wait to go back! Try the beef short rib 😋 This venue has a $15 up charge. So worth it!

Guy's Burger Joint

5 out of 5

Rumor has it that it’s the best burger at sea. I’d have to agree! Comparable to Five Guys. The fries, not so much, but still good. All the burger toppings you could want. Go at off peak meal times as the lines can get long!This is a free venue.

Ocean Plaza

4 out of 5

This is a nice hidden spot where you can get breakfast. Not a very big buffet selection but no crowds!

BlueIguana Cantina

5 out of 5

Best breakfast burrito here with a short line compared to the buffet lines. Tacos, salads and burritos all good. I like the chicken best. All the toppings and sauces are fresh and so yummy! This is a free venue.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Pools get crowded quick. We stayed in Havana section. So much less crowded, but not necessarily quieter. The Skyrider was closed halfway through the cruise and we didn’t get to do it. Mini golf is always fun. I’m sorry I didn’t get to check out the IMAX theater. There’s just so much going on it can get overwhelming. Lots of fun wherever you are on the ship.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
There is always something going on. This trip I didn’t get to see the main attraction shows. I did hear some of the different music acts throughout the ship. Everything sounded good. Other people in my party really enjoyed the shows they saw.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Our room attendant was not around much. He did service our room daily and it was neat, but we hardly crossed paths. Two days we didn’t have a towel animal. Not a big deal but something I look forward too. I wish bar soap was replaced at least once. The bartenders in the Havana Bar were awesome. Very friendly and knowledgeable especially Jose. He gave us excellent info on the ports we were stopping at. Waiters were nice in the MDR. I wasn’t happy with our assigned seats or dining room but didn’t complain. Food was good. Service good. I prefer late dining time. We had 4 out of the 8 dinners in the MDR. Marven was our lead waiter and very, very nice.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Ship layout was pretty easy to navigate by the second day. Elevators took some time to get used too. Once figured out it was easy. Stairs are always quicker if you can do them however. Ship was clean. The only messes I really noticed were the room service leftovers people left in the hallways.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Room was a good size. Door opening very narrow. This room had 3 closets with plenty of hangers. Two bathrobes and one pair of slippers. Room was missing drinking glasses and ice bucket. Preordered water and soda were already in the room when we arrived. The fridge didn’t get very cold. Bed was comfy as were the pillows. The AC worked well. Hot water was hot. Came with sample size toiletries and a bar of soap which were not replaced once used. Shower has shampoo and body wash dispenser if you forget your own. Overall a very nice room.

Ship tip

Talk to Jose in the Havana Bar for excellent info on places to see and things to do in Port.

Ports of call

Grand Turk Island

4 out of 5
Grand Turk is one of my favorite stops. It’s a good start and end to any cruise. I prefer going to the quieter end of the beach away from the craziness of Margaritaville. Just floating in the perfectly blue water. If you are uncomfortable with stray dogs it’s best to stay away from this end of the beach. Though they are friendly, some are sad to see. Food and drinks always good at Jack’s Shack. Pool use is free at Margaritaville. It’s a loud party atmosphere. Food and drinks also good but can get pricey.

Willemstad, Curacao

4 out of 5
We didn’t do an excursion here as we were told this city is very walkable. As soon as your off the boat you are in the middle of shops and places to eat. Kept walking the path and crossed over a floating bridge into the colorful downtown area. More shops, more places to eat. Spent a few hours here before taking a taxi to Mambo Beach where there is more shops and places to eat! Beach was crowded. You had to pay admission and pay for chairs. Make sure to only pay the beach attendant. There were people trying to collect your money that should not have been. Very lovely. As the sun sets the colors change. Just so beautiful here.

Miami, Florida

5 out of 5
Port of Miami is easy and quick to get through. It’s one of my favorite Ports. There are plenty of restaurants and things to do in the area, most in walking distance. I flew into Ft Lauderdale the day before the cruise and used SAS Transport ($15pp one way) to take my family to the Holiday Inn Port of Miami ($180) Had a lovely view of the ships coming in from our room. The hotel arranged a shuttle from the hotel to the ship at $6pp. I totally recommend this Port, the transportation service and the hotel I used.

Oranjestad, Aruba

5 out of 5
We did the Top 10 of Aruba tour booked through Carnival. Worth every penny. Learned so much. Saw a lot. Frequent stops at major sites for photos, restroom use (for a fee) and refreshments. I’m glad to have done the tour so I know what I’d do next visit. The beaches are absolutely beautiful. Water is a bit wavy and the wind is fierce here. Defiantly need a hair scarf and a beach cover up when sitting on sand. Getting whipped with your hair and sand hurts! Each side of the island is so different. You must see both coasts.

La Romana, Dominican Republic

3 out of 5
We did the 10 Best of LaRomana excursion through Carnival. It was a bad weather day. Lots of on and off rain, hot and humid. Flooding in the streets was terrible so I was glad we were on a bus. The immediate area of LaRomana isn’t pretty to see. It’s a depressed looking city. It was scary driving through the city as it seemed there were no rules on the road. Many mopeds and motorcycles going every which way. I learned that these motorbikes were actually taxis. Seemed very unsafe for other motorists and pedestrians. The tour was ok. It probably would’ve been nicer if weather was good. The area of the Chavon River is stunning. Lots of vendors at the port. Some can be very pushy.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Was quick and easy. We were off the boat by 830am. Had our luggage by 9 and back at Ft Lauderdale airport by 10. I did not have the FTTF pass and honestly on this trip I didn’t miss having it.
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