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Found 9,070 results

  1. It was the best of times... It was the worst of times... Shortly after my return from the Norwegian Breakaway in February, I found out that I would have to find a new place to live in the next couple of months. I had just started a new job, that wasn't quite going so well, and now this... I had no future cruises booked, which further compounded my bleak outlook on life. I needed to get a countdown going to ease my frustration. I began poking around online, and was close to pulling the trigger on a 7 day Vista sailing out of Galveston... I looked around some more, and came across an 8 day sailing on Carnival's newest ship, the Horizon. It ended up being only a few hundred dollars more, and it was a Southern Caribbean itinerary, to all new ports to me, and I just held my breath and clicked the "book now" button... My countdown was 196 days, and my 50th birthday would fall smack dab in the middle of the cruise. Now, at least I had something to look forward to in my life... It did take the sting out of the depression I was feeling, not knowing where I would even be living in the near future. I had already started packing my stuff, as the move was inevitable. ***Disclaimer: If you're not really interested in the whole "pre-cruise" hoopla and rigmarole, please feel free to wait until Friday for the "real time" travel day and cruise edition... My reviews tend to be verbose, bordering on boring, so you've been warned. If backstories, planning, side stories, and digressions interest you, then pour yourself a drink, and continue reading... One of the goals with my "Reviews" is to inform, but for the most part they're meant to entertain... Please don't take anything I say or do too seriously. If you're easily offended, or lack a good sense of humor, you may want to employ the use of your comfort animal, or locate the shortest route to your "safe space"... I encourage you to chime in along the way with your comments. I'm going to be traveling by myself, so I could use some "virtual company" along the way. If you're still with me, prepare yourself for a journey of dinosauric proportions... I want to make it seem like you're right there with me, whether it be on the ship, in the back of a cab, or walking around in strange and far away places... I'll attempt to convey the sights, sounds, and yes, even the scents and tastes of my adventure. Oftentimes, I may go off on a tangent that strays far from the main story. That'll be half the fun of it. Even I have no idea where this is going... Whatever happens, that'll be the story. Nothing more... Nothing less... ***Photo below stolen from the internet...
  2. We're veterans of 20 something Princess cruises including 15 on Grand class ships (Grand, Golden, Star, CB & Ruby) 3x on Coral and a few on other vessels. We booked back to back Mexico itineraries on the Royal departing September 29th. We were in L107 with a forward Club Class mini with the giant balcony - I'll post separately regarding the cabin. We had read a lot about the Royal prior to booking and had some concerns, we like the prom deck and worried that we'd miss it. We were concerned about the size and passenger load. The negative comments go on and on, but loved the itinerary and especially the ability to reach the ship from our central valley home without air travel. Having completed 15 days we came off with very few nits and a very high level of satisfaction overall. Highs: + We loved this crazy cabin (again, more on a separate thread), we tend to like "strange" cabins - we love the Window Suites on Grand/Golden/Caribbean and will be very sad to see them go. It's possible we found our Royal class oddball cabin to replace them. + Medallion. Our first Medallion experience, and it was good overall. + The ship just sparkles, yes it's newer than anything else we've sailed by many years, but it's also a big step up in decor and 'glitz'. We enjoyed it. + The Horizon Court / Horizon Bistro were fantastic. My wife HATES buffets but you're forced on port days if staying on board, even she agreed this is the best buffet in memory. Crowds - few. Variety - immense. Seemingly something for everyone. We've never seen anything on Princess that compares. + Staff, with the exception of Crooners (below), were uniformly terrific. + As we mentioned we sailed back-to-back with our turnaround on October 4th. It was our first B2B and it couldn't have been easier, the B2B group was about 75 escorted off at 10:10AM and back on by 10:45AM. The only glitch came when they asked us to come forward for re-boarding, an elite with 4 pieces of luggage sprinted ahead of the group, was taken aside by the should waving his Elite B boarding card all the while - there's always one right? + Club Class dining was very good though the space is divided into two sections one of which is shared one table to the next with ATD which seemed a bit odd. + Coffee (regular old coffee, not latte's cappuccino's or anything special) was really quite acceptable. Not sure what I'll do with my minibar in the future - don't need a coffee card on this ship! Lows: - Our embarkation on September 29th was the worst we've ever experienced. The ship had left Vancouver late on the prior coastal and this was widely cited onboard as the excuse for late boarding BUT the ship arrived at the pier in San Pedro on time so I'm not buying that. I think the problem may have been the fact that Coral was doing a turnaround that same day and perhaps the two good sized ships attempting to get turnover overwhelmed Princess personnel. No matter the cause boarding didn't start for Elites until 12:20 the terminal was shoulder to shoulder by then. Princess had made not one single announcement since we arrived about 10:50 and folks were, let's say grumpy. - The primary entertainment group was a very good troupe of Mariachi's. For the record I LIKE mariachi music and I do recognize these were cruises to Mexico. However, the group played in the Piazza 13 of our 15 evenings on board at the cocktail hour (7:00PM) and they were amplified to maximum volume everywhere in the Piazza. Want a glass of champagne at Bellini's - better find a menu and point - they can't hear you. Want a glass of wine in Vines - point and use hand signals for how many. A martini in Crooners - scream at the top of your lungs into the servers ear. Like to chat with your friends - impossible wait for dinner or head back to Wheelhouse which was always standing room only. Really this is my only substantial disappointment. - We're huge fans of the Sanctuary and the space is beautiful on Royal. The ship was obviously built with this in mind (it's an afterthought on all other classes) it's a lovely space but it was very hot for these Mexico sailings. The gaps around the glass that exist on Grand class ships are replaced by fixed glass on Royal - probably great in Alaska but the absence of even a hint of breeze made most of the space unusable for much of the day. Most folks who paid for Sanctuary ended up huddled in the large gazebo most of the day, not unpleasant, but not what you paid for either. A bit of shade, some fans for air movement or some ventilation would make the space more pleasant. - As I wrote, service was uniformly good with the exception of Crooners. In this lounge the 3 staff assigned were clearly miserable with their assignment. Their attitudes were, to put it very generously, very poor. Service was slow, no matter the day or time, the fact that all 3 behaved the same made me think something awful had happened - they were like whipped puppies. More positively the drinks were well made and always well chilled. Very refreshing. - Access to Club Class dining. As I wrote above CC is in one of the main dining rooms - as always. In this case though the entrance was also shared with the MDR which created huge lines the first several nights. Eventually we were recognized on sight deep in the line and pulled aside. The CC host said "just pass them by" but doing so wasn't easy and felt rude. The solution could have been very simple - Club Class to one size, ATD to the other, but this wasn't the way it was done. Ultimately we just pushed our dinner time back closer to 8:00 by which time the crowd had usually died down. - Medallion. Worked reliably for access and egress. Absolutely didn't work for the wait staff. Every cocktail person asked for "cabin number please". Some bartenders had tablets which showed them who was at the bar - they'd just verify your name. Shops sometimes had you scan your medallion, sometimes just looked at the tablet to confirm who you were. There's so much potential here - but it just isn't being used. On the whole we LOVED the Royal and would book her again anytime. Is she our new favorite - probably not - the Sanctuary issues are a biggie for us and would hold us back except for the coldest itineraries. But would I book her and look forward to her again - absolutely.
  3. Is there a specialty dining pkg and if so, how much is it? I have only read of a test package for $60 for 3 meals, is this still available? If so, what else is for fee in the specialty locations, grats/drinks? Asking specifically about the Horizon. Thanks
  4. Yes, it is available, only on horizon. Request it in John healds Facebook page. Includes the steakhouse, la cucina, and I think the hibachi. You still need to make your reservations on your own. Vouchers are charged to your account and will be in your state room.
  5. We decided to let the crowd clear before heading to our room. The sail and sign cards were waiting in our mailboxes outside the rooms. By the time I was able to snap a pic, the Hubster grabbed the envelope. He smiled, opened the envelope, then frown. "How come you have a gold card?" he asked. That's becasue I'm gold!!!!!!! I was so excited to finally change colors. Then my smile turned upside down as I knew the path to platinum was 46 days away. This has become my vacation goal!! I booked two OV rooms on deck 3 again. I love the 6M categories and feel they are worth more than balconies. I recommend that cabin type to families sailing because not many know it has two bathrooms. Yes, two bathrooms. I booked 3212 and 3210. These cabin types are located on the Vista, Magic, Dream, Breeze, and Horizon. I think the Panorama as well but I will double check. Pics of the room: Entrance: Bathroom 1: Bathroom 2: safe that use a 4 digit pin: Crib with my son in it: TV; Hair dryer was in the dresser above the mirror: Mini Fridge that took 12 hours to cool a bottle of water: Outlets: We found that the closet was perfect storage for the carseat and we were able to fit the stroller, and 3 large suitcases under the bed.
  6. This is not a new topic. I just want to write about what I was feeling. I just came off the Carnival Horizon Oct 5-13. There were many things that took place during this time. First I miss my flight with Southwest and had to find another flight. AA wanted to charge us 1300 for 2 people one way that is not including baggage. WE found a nonstop flight with Delta that would get us there in time to get on the boat. Thanks Delta. We finally get to the boat at 1:55 to find out that the people that normally take our luggage doesn't take luggage after 2.. So my husband and I had to carry our own luggage through security. I put my back pack on the conveyor belt and left it when I walked off. As I was going to get on the escalator my luggage was too heavy for me and my luggage tumble to the ground, my shoe went the other way. Security came to help. When I reach the top of the escalator I realize my back pack was left and my hubby realize that he had lost the slip that security gave him. I went back to get my back pack to find that the security officer had my back pack in the lost and found but then he tried to come on to me. I retrieve my back pack from him. I left to join the Mr then he had to go back to get the slip that he lost so we could continue through security. Once we get to the next security he lost the slip again after searching he found the slip stuck to the back of his cell phone. After this I told my husband lets go back in prayer again so we prayed. After all this we were glad to be on the Carnival Horizon. While on the ship for the week a lot of unfortunately things took place. MY husband met a couple on the 11 deck and later we found out that her husband was taken off the ship because he had died. Also a fight broke out that included about 25 people and they were put off the ship in Curaco. I didn't see the fight. But I did see a little boy got burn with hot chocolate and on the first floor I witness two young boys in handcuff laying face down on the floor screaming "I am going to sue yall." I met a mother that daughter left her medication and she share with me that her daughter had to pay the doctor 100 to see him and pay 100 for the shot that she needed every day. I shared all of this to say After all I been through I still have my joy!!! And after all the mistake mishap having COOKIE as our cruise director made it all right. COOKIE you were AMAZING. MY cruise would not have been a success if it weren't for you, not only are you amazing you are AWESOME. Carnival should allow you to TRAIN ALL the cruise director on all the Carnival fleet except for MATT. YOU & MATT is a force to be reckon with. Canival please pay attention to your Customer. WE Need people like Cookie & Matt that are gifted for this job as a CD. . Who wants a boring CD. NOT me. I will go on a cruise just because MAtt & Cookie is there please take heave. Someone please show this to Cookie & Matt. I want them to know how VAUABLE they are. From Lady Garrett, North Carolina.
  7. I'm just curious about something, and thought I would ask those of you who have been on the Horizon since it has come out. I thought someone said there were not very many windows to look or view out at the ocean, etc. while cruising, where you could sit and relax. Is this true on the Horizon? I have done many ships, and probably for the last 10 years Carnival ships. I know on at least a couple decks "inside" where you could relax or read, they always had plenty of windows where you could look out as well.
  8. I like strange cabins. Really. Love the Window Suites on the older Grand class ships. Love cabins at the end of dead end companionways. Anything other than a rectangular box, I'll try. We couldn't resist booking on of these odd duck cabins on Lido deck with the giant balcony at the very front of the ship. I've seen many question, a fair number of photo's but still thought I'd add my thoughts having spent 15 days in one of these on Royal. Positives: + We LOVED the shape of the cabin. It's an 'L' shape with a long entry hall with closets on one side, the bathroom on the other. There's a small sitting room and around the corner is the sleeping area. + That bedroom area is huge. How huge? Well we stored all of our luggage in the corner on the floor and never stepped over it at any point over two weeks. I don't know the square footage but there's no doubt that OV cabins we've stayed in were smaller than the bedroom alone. + That huge deck, well it really is huge. You see the same view as the captain for sail ins / sail outs. What could be better? + It's (obviously) at the end of the ship. So quiet, quiet, quiet. Never heard a soul during our trip. + It's on Lido deck. It's a fair walk to Horizon Court but, no stairs, no elevators. + It's dark when the lights go out. Perched out front like this they took care to limit ambient light which could interfere with the bridge. The sleeping room was pitch black once the lights went out - we looked at the stars from our bed several nights (be sure to close the curtain though because the sun comes up early up there on deck 16!). Negatives: - Well, that huge balcony really can't be used most times when the ship is in motion. There was one day when the prevailing wind was from the stern when it was marginally usable. There were many days when the wind over the rail was probably 45mph, yeah, some of it is deflected up but still . . . - L107/L108 have no shade whatsoever. It's quite warm out there anytime the sun is beating down on the metal deck. I suspect M107/M108 are superior given the fact that they are substantially covered by the Lido deck cabins. - The sitting room is small, there's a loveseat with a pull out. If pulled out the bed ends about 9 inches from the far side of the room. It's sufficient space for two but would feel quite tight with more. Net take away. We've decided we love these cabins and would book one again anytime. I'm happy to take any specific questions you might have about these oddball cabins.
  9. This is not a new topic. I just want to write about what I was feeling. I just came off the Carnival Horizon Oct 5-13. There were many things that took place during this time. First I miss my flight with Southwest and had to find another flight. AA wanted to charge us 1300 for 2 people one way that is not including baggage. WE found a nonstop flight with Delta that would get us there in time to get on the boat. Thanks Delta. We finally get to the boat at 1:55 to find out that the people that normally take our luggage doesn't take luggage after 2.. So my husband and I had to carry our own luggage through security. I put my back pack on the conveyor belt and left it when I walked off. As I was going to get on the escalator my luggage was too heavy for me and my luggage tumble to the ground, my shoe went the other way. Security came to help. When I reach the top of the escalator I realize my back pack was left and my hubby realize that he had lost the slip that security gave him. I went back to get my back pack to find that the security officer had my back pack in the lost and found but then he tried to come on to me. I retrieve my back pack from him. I left to join the Mr then he had to go back to get the slip that he lost so we could continue through security. Once we get to the next security he lost the slip again after searching he found the slip stuck to the back of his cell phone. After this I told my husband lets go back in prayer again so we prayed. After all this we were glad to be on the Carnival Horizon. While on the ship for the week a lot of unfortunately things took place. MY husband met a couple on the 11 deck and later we found out that her husband was taken off the ship because he had died. Also a fight broke out that included about 25 people and they were put off the ship in Curaco. I didn't see the fight. But I did see a little boy got burn with hot chocolate and on the first floor I witness two young boys in handcuff laying face down on the floor screaming "I am going to sue yall." I met a mother that daughter left her medication and she share with me that her daughter had to pay the doctor 100 to see him and pay 100 for the shot that she needed every day. I shared all of this to say After all I been through I still have my joy!!! And after all the mistake mishap having COOKIE as our cruise director made it all right. COOKIE you were AMAZING. MY cruise would not have been a success if it weren't for you, not only are you amazing you are AWESOME. Carnival should allow you to TRAIN ALL the cruise director on all the Carnival fleet except for MATT. YOU & MATT is a force to be reckon with. Canival please pay attention to your Customer. WE Need people like Cookie & Matt that are gifted for this job as a CD. . Who wants a boring CD. NOT me. I will go on a cruise just because MAtt & Cookie is there please take heave. Someone please show this to Cookie & Matt. I want them to know how VAUABLE they are. From Lady Garrett, North Carolina.
  10. We are trying to decide between an 8 day Aruba/Curacao/DR on Horizon or 9 day RC Adventure to Bermuda/Labadee/St MAarten. We have cruised Disney, NCL, MSC and Carnival before and enjoyed all of them. Aside from itinerary we really like to focus on things to do as a family with teens/young adult kids on the ship. Are these 2 ships comparable as it relates to activities on the ship? Also, is there a list of such activities like escape rooms/bowling/waterslides etc? Thx!
  11. Is “The Lucky Bowl” available on Horizon?
  12. We are trying to decide between a 9 day RC Adventure to Bermuda/Labadee/St MAarten or an 8 day Aruba/Curacao/DR on Carnival Horizon. We have cruised Disney, NCL, MSC and Carnival before. Aside from itinerary we really like to focus on things to do as a family with teens/young adult kids on the ship. Are these 2 ships comparable as it relates to activities on the ship? Also, is there a list of such activities like escape rooms/bowling/waterslides etc? Thx!
  13. I hope Freedom goes to a port in Florida. I am bummed they are moving both Breeze and Victory (Radiance) from Florida. Florida already has enough Fantasy class ships. Hopefully Carnival will keep both Horizon and Magic in Florida, even after both new ships (Mardi Gras) come here. Over the last several years it has been great having so many Carnival ships to choose from in Florida. I would hate to see that change in the future. Of course this is my biased hope based on living in Florida. I am positive Carnival knows what they are doing and has numbers/statistics to back up decisions on where to home port their ships.
  14. Regarding kids in the Haven.....We were on the Bliss last week and first of all we were surprised at the number of children on this cruise due to the time of year but for the most part they were all well behaved. I thought most were in school during this time of year...🙂 Several times during different days we walked from the Haven lounge forward to the Horizon lounge and the Haven pool area was nothing but kids. One day we saw what looked to be a three to four year old boy get out of the spa/hot tub that was full of kids and get into the pool. Not an adult around plus he had no flotation devices on. I was surprised that a parent would allow this and better yet why the cruise line does not require an adult be present. I have no problem with families or kids in the Haven as there is room for everyone but I do think that NCL needs to tighten up the rules regarding an adult being present with kids under a certain age. Overall we enjoyed the Haven but our stateroom was all the way aft. I think if we were to book the Haven again I would trade in the very large aft balcony to be closer to the actual Haven.
  15. Since the Horizon is a new build, this is probably a new feature. This is not a feature on older Carnival ships
  16. Yay! Horizon to New York again! Maybe send Horizon to the West Coast, and Panorama to New York! Or better yet send Mardi Gras up to New York. Who knows?
  17. I'm not a techie so not sure what RFID is but on the Horizon, to unlock your cabin door, all you had to do was touch your card to the lock.
  18. For our last cruise on the Horizon, we were Platinum. I went online at roughly 3 am the first day I could check in. I was not given a choice of check in times. It only had 12:30-1:00. I just figured that because we were Platinum that they had assigned a random time slot for us, knowing that we could check in any time.
  19. Just curious what the best suite on Horizon is. When I do a pretend booking for our dates all I see is the Ocean Suite in the family harbor. Do they have captains suites or the like ? I’m guessing for our dates everything is just sold out. My husband thinks they may holding inventory back because it seems like so much is sold out.
  20. They know. If the Panorama sails discounted, she will not last on the west coast, but the Horizon will not go there.
  21. 2022 will bring the 2nd Excel class ship (Mardi Gras sister ship) to Miami which theoretically could free up the Horizon or Magic to New York.
  22. Unless you are on the pool deck, I always had stellar star gazing on every ship I have been on. I am sure the lights from the ship impact some of it but I live in a very populated area so we don't really see too many stars. Always love cruising for that reason. Some of the best planetary can be seen on the horizon. Once on the Sky we had an aft suite with glass sliding doors towards the back. I was not even purposely star gazing but was laying on the bed very early right before daybreak. The stuff I saw at the horizon was incredible and this was me just laying on the bed looking out through the doors towards the horizon.
  23. I agree. I was on Grand Princess last month and there was a world of difference in the buffet between now and when I sailed on the ship 4 years ago. Both were cruises to Alaska. Breakfast was fine, but I thought the selections for lunch were disappointing. We had dinner one night in the Horizon and it wasn't much better than lunch. I did enjoy the food in the MDR and the IC and Alfredo's were great.
  24. The staff can range from very strict to pretty laid back. You have to keep in mind the staff on a ship is constantly changing, so there is no general rule that says ship X is strict while ship Y isn’t strict. The worst case I have seen first hand is a guy on Horizon who had his Cheers package revoked for the entire cruise on day one of the cruise (it was an 8 day cruise). Unfortunately for this guy he didn’t realize the beverage manager was behind the bar and he was caught red handed. Losing 7 plus days of Cheers is not a good way to start a cruise. I have also seen passengers not only lose Cheers, but lose the ability to buy any alcohol on a cruise several times. But these all involved passengers who drank way too much.
  25. Hi, I need to book a hotel for 2 nights from 28th February 2020 preferably in south beach. Can you let me know when it is best to book and also hotel recommendation. Thanks
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