Horizon 1/26 to 2/1 8 day cruise.
I don’t normally do reviews, but I felt I had a lot of information this time that may be helpful to other people. Being an engineer, this review my end up being a little less about my opinions and more about the design issues. This cruise was with my DW and mother in-law. We had booked a balcony cabin on deck 6. Less than 2 days before the cruise the up-sell fairy called and offered us an upgrade to a family harbor suite for $600, which we accepted. My wife and I are both platinum and close to diamond so this is not our first Carnival cruise. It is our first Vista class ship.
First off, the good news:
The service, food and entertainment were excellent. Some of the best we have had.
Having the family harbor suite was nice. The extra ½ bath came in handy and the lounge is very nice to have. I do wish they had food earlier and later than they offer it.
JiJi – excellent food, well worth the extra change
Cucina de Capitano – food was good, but we were disappointed that hey did not sing as they normally do. This is always one of our favorite restaurants on the ship.
Bonsai Teppanyaki – very good, way too much food. Make sure you are hungry. The up charge may seem high but includes any entry including filet and lobster tail.
Guys pig & anchor BBQ – One night we did not like what was on the dinner menu so we did this on a whim. I am glad we did. The food is very good, live entertainment, craft beer. A nice alternative if you find yourself in a similar situation. Their sampler platter “the whole smoker” says it feeds 2 but it will easily feed 3 or 4 people.
Now the not so good news:
This may be our only trip on a Vista class ship. Some how the Carnival ship designers decided that when you add more cabins and a lot more people, you should then make all the public spaces smaller. Yes, I said smaller. The Alchemy bar, piano bar, show lounge, spa, lobby. You name it, it is smaller. Why?
We have been on fantasy class ships, we have been on the Sunshine, we have been on just about every other class of ship Carnival has and this is the first time I really felt crowded. It seems like everywhere we went there were crowds. The only thing not crowded was the high end shops they added.
Now before you go off thinking I am a hater, the truth is I am more of a Carnival cheerleader. But this ship design makes no sense to me. I truly think this class of ship was designed by accountants to maximize the front end take (shop leases, cabins). They probably assume that if a person wants a drink a the Alchemy bar they will still buy one even if they are waiting 3 people deep most of the night.
Ok, off my soapbox. The one other thing I will mention is the noise from the galley above our deck 2 family suite was noticeable. It was enough to wake you up, but was not constant. It is something to consider if that kind of stuff bothers you.