Hav-an-a great time

Carnival Horizon Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 29

Overall rating:

4.6 out of 5
Carnival Horizon

8 Night Southern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 02, 2019

Ship: Carnival Horizon

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 8469

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

We had a wonderful time. Everything went perfectly. Carnival provided everything a cruiseline should. The food was good. The staff provided friendly service. The ship was sparkling clean. Everything happened the way it should and on time. Yet not all the credit goes to Carnival. We know what we value when we cruise and are willing to pay extra to have it. Of the upmost importance to us is a relaxing atmosphere. For us that means paying for, at the very least, the privacy and quiet of a balcony room, and on the Horizon, a Havana experience. We also value to perks of FTTF. I'm not sure the experience would have been the 10/10 that it was if we didn't have those extras. There are two other things that really made the cruise wonderful, the weather and our dinner companions. Perfect weather except for about 5 minutes of rain one afternoon. Carnival seated us at a table of 8 - 3 other couples and us. It turned out to be just the right mix and we all looked forward to each other's company at meal time.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
We arrived around 10:45 am and had FTTF, so embarkment was lightning fast.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
We ate in the dining room every night, so I can't comment on the specialty restaurants. Everyone at our table of 8 enjoyed the food except for the few occasions when someone's steak was overcooked. The lobster was the best I've had on a cruise ship, tender and sweet. We tried all the options for lunch and breakfast. Least favorite - the buffet. The food was okay, even good at times, and the redundancy of stations keeps the lines shorter, but it's so loud in the dining area. Not a nice vibe.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
This is subjective, so I want to explain. We enjoyed at sea-days to the upmost. We did a variety of activities - brewery tour, sky ride, trivia, shows, a little gambling, played board games in the library, and relaxed in the Havana area a good bit. After dinner, the picking are slim. We're not inclined to go to variety shows or the dance clubs. We like the comedy club. All the comedians were funny.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The comedy was good. We enjoyed the Morning Show. We didn't think the musicians were great but they weren't awful.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Without exception, the staff was friendly, cheerful, and competent. I think our room steward was William. He did an excellent job.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Clean! Everything, even the most often-used restrooms. I like the layout of the ship, it's easy to remember.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Extend, Aft balcony. The bed was so comfortable, I wish I could have bought it and shipped it home. We really enjoyed the extended balcony when it wasn't too hot. The good thing about aft is no wind, but the bad thing is you bake out there.

Ship tip

If you want to tailor your experience for upmost convenience and privacy, pay for the FTTF and get a balcony room. If it's a ship with Havana access, get it.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

5 out of 5

Grand Turk Island

4 out of 5
It's a great port for those who want easy, free access to the beach. We walked down the beach until there were no people (or umbrellas), walked into the water and snorkeled undisturbed for as long as we wanted to.

La Romana, Dominican Republic

4 out of 5
We took the 17.00 choo-choo train ride. It was surprisingly a good value. It only took about 45 minutes to circle the city, so there was time to shop or go do something else afterward.

Willemstad, Curacao

5 out of 5
It was our first time there. We booked a snorkel/dive excursion for just the two of us. The dive shop - Dive Lodge- we booked with was profession but laid back. The driver who picked us up was almost as good as a tour guide.

Oranjestad, Aruba

5 out of 5
Wow, this is a place I want to go back to! Did a 6-hour tour with Esther from ToursbyLocals. The highlight of our cruise. We toured, snorkeled (saw tons of fish right off the beach), at fresh fish for lunch, and just had a beautiful day.

Disembarkation

3 out of 5
Everything was wonderful until we got to baggage claim. We were in zone 3. Two bags were waiting for us when we entered the baggage claim. It was 45 minutes before the other bag popped up. After that, everything went quickly. With the face recognition they use, the lines move fast.
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