Horizon though beautiful with some good features, is not our favorite Carnival ship. Stick to the classics.
5 out of 5
Carnival's new process where you basically show them you passport and they take a picture and send you to the ship is so much better than the long lines of the past.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
Same food tasted better on the Horizon than other ships. Lido Buffet is setup to serve many guests without a line (big improvement over other ships). Main Dining Rooms have some areas that are more isolated and feel like a smaller more private restaurant. Everything is tastefully decorated with a modern design. Gets 4 stars instead of 5 because the cuts of protein are lessor quality than past cruises.
4 out of 5
We tried the waterslides (better than other ships), skyride (a bit of a challenge in strong winds), ropes course (also scary in strong winds), and mini golf (more challenging than other ships). Still not fans of kids in lido aft pool and hot tubs!!
3 out of 5
Entertainment was more artsy and lacked a broad appeal. Most nights we scratched our heads trying to understand what we had seen. Singers were better than other ships. Theater has a near unusable balcony because you can't see over the person in front of you. Props were also in the way. Comedians (Chris Wiles and Manny Oliveira) were more vulgar and less funny than most. Shows are repeated because the Punchliner club is too small resulting is less unique shows.
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
The service was on par with other ships. They did seem to genuinely care about their guests. Guest Services was really no help on the few things we mentioned to them.
4 out of 5
The ship is beautiful with a modern design. Elevators are completely pathetic! We consistently waited longer and rode longer than any ship in the past (our 10th cruise). We were on the Carnival Magic right before this and it was completely different. By the end of the week most guests grabbed the first elevator to open and hoped it would get them close to the floor they wanted. Theater design is the worse of any ship we have been on. Punchliner is too small, IMAX just gets in the way. Everything seemed clean but I did leave the ship with the flu.
Cabin / Stateroom
2 out of 5
Room is a 1A with 2 twins that can't be pushed together but does have a porthole. The problem was that even in modest seas there are EXTREMELY LOUD BANGS that kept us up at night even with a loud fan trying to drown them out.
I prefer the smaller classic Carnival ships. Seems like the focus of the Horizon design is on those activities that cost extra (like the IMAX instead of the theater).
Excursion to Blue Hole was cancelled so just a beach day at Ocho Rios Bay Beach. Cost is $3 per person plus additional for chair and umbrella rental. Not the nicest beach but not bad. Locals will continue to ask if you want a beer or smoke (marijuana). We were friendly and said no thanks to both.
Weather cancelled Stingray excursions, so we took a taxi ($8 pp) to Seven Mile Beach Club Calico Jacks. Free wifi $5 chair rental. We played sand volleyball but there were also public volleyball courts. Normally we take the public bus from George Town but our ship had to tender at Spotts instead and we weren't sure about the bus schedule from there.
We really like Cozumel and Paradise Beach. $4-$5 pp for a shared taxi (you have to request "shared" or you pay double). $3 pp entry fee along with a recommended $10 pp food/drink purchase includes chairs, umbrellas, hammocks, pool and beach. Separate charges for watersports (and climb on toys) also there is an all inclusive option.
4 out of 5
We were delayed by port authorities in getting started but they use facial recognition so you don't have long lines for customs. Instead it recognizes you, your grab your lugage and walk out.
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