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Found 5,212 results

  1. We are sailing on the Horizon September 15. Received an e mail last night that the SkyRide would remain closed through September 29. Apparently the "enhancements" are taking longer than expected. No big deal for us, we'll have a great time anyway.
  2. This cruise was a gift from my husband to celebrate my birthday which had occurred earlier this year. It was my 14th cruise and my husband's 13th. Most of our cruises have been on Princess and Celebrity and we selected this cruise based on the itinerary and date. This was our first time leaving from a port outside of the US, and since the ship was leaving from Southampton, England, this was also an opportunity to see some European ports we had never visited plus spend some time pre-cruise with our dear friends, Teresa and Steve, who live in the English Midlands. Overall, it was a wonderful and memorable trip. We flew from Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey overnight on Friday, April 12 and arrived in Heathrow around 10AM on the 13th. The flight was uneventful and we even managed to sleep through most of the night, arriving fairly refreshed and ready for our adventures. The only snag was the long lines to clear Customs/Border Protection; as it was the Saturday before Palm Sunday, there were a lot of families travelling, and it took about 2 hours before we were able to leave the Customs area. We have flown to Europe a number of times and had never seen such delays on our previous trips. In fact, by the time we were processed, our flight number was no longer on the board in baggage claim and we had to hunt around to find where our bags had been placed. Finally, we located our luggage and went to meet our friends who were waiting in the Arrivals area. And so the adventure began! PRE-CRUISE: It is always a treat to spend time with Teresa and her husband, Steve, and it was a perfect way to start our vacation. By way of background-- Teresa and I had been pen pals decades ago when we were young teens and she was living in Glasgow, Scotland while I was in Northern New Jersey. In those days, communication was by air mail which sometimes took weeks to arrive. Unfortunately, we lost touch after writing for a few years, but never forgot each other. Then in January, 2013, Teresa happened to see a television program about Superstorm Sandy, remembered I lived in New Jersey, and through the magic of Google, was able to find my office's website and send me a message. We started writing again, this time by email, and in October, 2014, Teresa and Steve came to New York, and she and I were able to meet in person for the first time in our lives. In September, 2016, it was our turn to visit them in the Midlands. While Teresa and I now communicate several times a week on Facetime and through email, when I saw that the ship was leaving from Southampton, I knew it would be a great opportunity to see our friends in person again. On the way to our hotels in Southampton, we stopped at Stonehenge, which I highly recommend. After parking the car, we decided to take the 1.7 mile walk to the stones rather than take the bus which costs about 20 pounds per person. A lot of other visitors were doing the same thing, and although it was a bit chilly and windy, the walk was very pleasant and finally seeing the stone formation in person was well worth the effort it took to get there. In Southampton, my husband and I stayed at the Novotel on West Quay Road, just a short distance from the cruise ship terminal. (Our friends were at the Holiday Inn about a 15 minute drive away.) The Novotel location is perfect for anyone cruising out of Southampton. The hotel is clean and the staff pleasant and helpful. Although a breakfast package is offered for an extra charge, we decided to take advantage of the proximity of the McDonald's just at the end of the hotel parking lot. It seems that a lot of the Novotel guests and the people staying at the other nearby hotels were doing the same thing as the place was always crowded. At check-in, the desk clerk was kind enough to let us know that there was going to be a boxing match at the hotel that evening, and she apologized in advance for the noise. It turned out not to be a problem; even though our room was on the first floor, we didn't hear anything out of the ordinary and it was actually fun to watch the people attending the match come in all dressed up for the evening's event. It was very different from the more casual attire worn by the boxing match spectators in the US. That evening was Teresa's birthday and the four of us celebrated with a dinner at Bill's, a restaurant not far from the Novotel. It was a bit difficult to find as the website listed the address as West Quay South, but after a bit of driving around in circles, we saw it at the bottom level of the West Quay Shopping Center. In fact, it was within walking distance from the Novotel! It was definitely worth the trouble finding the place. We all enjoyed our delicious meal in a relaxed setting and spent a few hours catching up, then it was back to our hotels to rest up for the busy days ahead. The next few days flew by. The weather at time continued to be windy and chilly, but none of us minded much as there was so much to see and so much catching up to do. Always the willing driver, Steve took us all around: On Sunday, to Bournemouth and to Poole where we walked along the beach and picked up shells, to Church Knowle in Dorset where we spent time in the pub in the New Inn and later took some great photos of the more than 1000-year-old Corfe Castle, then to a ghost village, Tyneham Village which had been evacuated by the government during World War II, and finally we ended our day with a traditional Sunday meal at a pub in Poole. (Can’t recall the name but the food was delicious.) On Monday, we had originally considered taking the ferry to the Isle of Wight, but the weather was still a bit windy and cold, so instead we went to Portsmouth where we did some sightseeing and then had lunch at the Ship and Castle. We returned to Southampton later that afternoon and spent a few hours on the self-guided tour of the Southampton Walls. I believe that guided tours are also available, but we did very well on our own and were able to go along at our own pace. The walls and the surrounding area are full of interesting sights and we were all glad we took the time to explore Southampton. Our last evening before the cruise was spent in The Duke of Wellington Pub and the Titanic Pub, both not far from the Novotel. The next morning, April 16, my husband and I treated ourselves to breakfast at Bill's and soon it was time to leave for the ship. Since unfortunately Southampton did not offer the Princess Bon Voyage Experience which would have allowed us to take our friends aboard before the ship left, we instead stopped at Mayflower Park on the way to the ship to show them the Sapphire Princess as she was docked at the pier a short distance away. (I understand that Princess has now discontinued BVE in the US as well.) THE CRUISE: This was our sixth cruise with Princess and our first as Platinum members. After our friends dropped us off at the ship, we breezed through embarkation and were able to get into our balcony stateroom on Baja deck right away. We find that Princess’ cabins on Baja in the midship area are a perfect location, allowing us quick access to Horizon Court and bars on Lido, two decks above, and the amenities on Promenade deck and in the Piazza (decks 7, 6 and 5.) We had previously cruised to the Mexican Riviera on the Sapphire in 2008, so we were familiar with the ship. Although the Sapphire is an older ship and parts of the decor are dated, it was clean, and overall we were pleased with the 11 days we spent on board. Our cabin attendant, John, was quiet but very efficient and he kept our cabin organized and spotless. Wherever we went, the ship’s crew were friendly and helpful and made our stay even more enjoyable. The weather when we left Southampton was still quite cold and windy, so for the first few days, the outdoor areas of the ship were not at all crowded. Many passengers spent time at the covered pool, while those venturing outside were bundled up. However, nearly all the passengers were out on deck as we left Southampton, enjoying the Great British Sail Away party, complete with British music from several decades, British-themed drinks, and miniature Union Jack flags for all. Over 90% of the passengers were from the UK, so many of the activities and events over the 11 day cruise had a distinctly British touch which we very much enjoyed. Although we were in the familiar surroundings of a Princess cruise, this provided us with an opportunity to “get away” without even leaving the ship. As Platinum members, we each received 250 minutes of complimentary internet access to be used over the 11 days. The sign-up was a bit confusing at first and service was sometimes slow depending on the ship’s location, but overall we were able to use my iPad and my husband’s iPhone without too much of an interruption. I was even able to reach Teresa for some Facetime sessions and show her parts of the ship. Food and drink: We had breakfast each morning at the Horizon Court, arriving shortly after it opened, so we did not find it crowded at all. I agree that the Sapphire’s Horizon Court is smaller than the buffets on other ships, but we found the selections to be adequate and since we were there early for breakfast, we were able to make our selections without dealing with crowds. We always managed to find a table in the back section on the port side and found the staff there to be was very efficient and very entertaining as they went about their duties. For the times we were on board for lunch, we would go either to the Horizon Court, Alfredo’s Pizzeria near the Piazza, or when the weather improved as we were closer to Spain and Portugal, Prego Pizzeria or the Trident Grill near the pool. We found the food to be similar to that on our other Princess cruises, generally nothing unusual on the menu but nonetheless highly satisfactory and meeting our expectations for casual cruise ship dining. For dinner, we initially tried the Savoy, Vivaldi and Pacific Moon on the first 3 days, and for most of the cruise, went to the Savoy which we enjoyed the most. The menu was the same in each restaurant, and the staff was all polite and hard-working, but overall, we thought the service at the Savoy was the best of the three. One of the reasons we first decided many years ago to sail on Princess was the option for Anytime Dining, and on this cruise, like most of the others, we were able to find a table for two each evening without much of a wait. One evening, we went to the Crab Shack which was set up as a separate section for that evening in the aft part of the Horizon Court. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary which fell during the cruise and decided to treat ourselves to a special meal. We had gone to the Crab Shack on the Grand a few years earlier and really enjoyed the seafood, so when we saw that the Sapphire was offering the Crab Shack one evening, we immediately made a reservation. The $29 per person cover charge was definitely worth it; we were served a starter of popcorn shrimp, hush puppies, and clam chowder, then our entrees (a choice of King crab legs, a crawfish boil, mussels and clams, or a mixed steamer pot) with potatoes, sausage, corn on the cob and other sides, depending on the entrée selected. Finally, we were offered a choice of cake or pastry for dessert. In our experience, the Crab Shack is scheduled for only one night on each cruise and reservations are limited, so I would recommend that seafood fans look out for this offering and reserve a slot as soon as possible. We did not patronize either of the specialty restaurants as their menus did not offer anything much different than the restaurants near our home in Northern New Jersey. We did frequent the International Café on deck 5 for coffee, tea and snacks, as we have done on all of our other Princess sailings. The staff at the International Café was efficient and always smiling and we could always count on something delicious to tide us over until out next meal. A few days before Easter, a display of large elaborately-decorated chocolate eggs was set up outside International Café. It was a nice display and really drew a lot of attention, although unfortunately the eggs were not edible, likely for sanitary/health reasons since people tended to touch them despite the clearly-posted signs not to touch. We went to most of the bars on the ship during the course of the cruise, although some of the outdoor bars were closed during the colder days. We especially enjoyed the Wheelhouse and spent some time chatting with Dominique who was frequently working behind the bar and always made us feel welcome. We also loved Crooners, although it was often difficult to get a seat at any time of the day, and Vines, the Wine Bar, which was also crowded much of the time with people just sitting, reading and not ordering wine. When we booked the cruise, Princess happened to be running a Sip and Sail offer, so we each received a free Premier Beverage Package entitling us to unlimited free non-alcoholic beverages, tea and specialty coffees, as well as limited free alcoholic drinks (I believe 15 per day). We were aware of the beverage packages from previous cruises but had never purchased them because at $59.99 plus 18% gratuity per day for the Premier Package, we knew we would never consume enough to make the cost worthwhile. As it was automatically part of our reservation and at no cost to us this time, we used the package. We found it convenient to show our cruise cards and not have to wait and sign a receipt for each drink order, but it certainly would not have been worth the cost if we had to pay for the package. My husband has been a big fan of the coffee cards on our other Princess cruises and will be purchasing the coffee plans on future cruises, but for the other beverages, we will continue to pay as we go unless free Sip and Sail is offered on a future voyage. Activities and shows: The cruise director’s staff was small, but very busy and they had a lot of interesting and fun programs available. There was not enough time to see and do everything, but for those times we were aboard and looking for something to do, there was no shortage of options. Among the events we attended were the Marriage Match Game Show (even though we had seen versions on almost all of our other cruises, it is always a lot of fun); various versions of music, television and movie trivia (some entertaining and some not); the Princess Pop Star karaoke contest (although there were only a few contestants, most were very good); and the Passenger Talent Show (again, only a few participants, but all talented nonetheless, and in one instance, we were treated to a rather unique music video.) We especially enjoyed the “Oh So British” trivia event, in which the audience was divided into two large teams to compete in several types of games involving British history, music and popular culture. This event drew a huge crowd in the Explorer’s Lounge. On the final night of the cruise, Last Night of the Proms, another British-themed event, was held in the Piazza, complete with the national anthems and flags of the various constituent countries of the UK, lots of British music, and a balloon drop. We also attended the comedy shows of Rikki Jay and Paul Boardman, who both appeared in the Explorer’s Lounge on different nights. We were not familiar with either comedian, but they both appeared to be popular with the crowd and we found them both to be entertaining. Another night, Maggie Morrison, a very talented member of the Cruise Director’s staff, performed a cabaret act. We only attended two shows in the Princess Theatre: British singer and X-Factor finalist Ben Mills, and London’s West End entertainer Phillip Browne. As a huge lifelong fan of Broadway, I particularly enjoyed Phillip Browne’s performance and it was clear from the audience’s reaction that he is very popular in the UK. We did not have the time to attend the production shows but it seemed that the theatre was always packed for the live performances. There were also a few lectures on history and pop culture held in the theatre on sea days, as well as talks on the ports we were slated to visit. We did not attend the live lectures and talks but were able to view them afterward on our stateroom television. It was refreshing to see that the port lectures did not include an emphasis on shopping as had been our experience on past cruises on Princess and other lines. Another featured speaker was Irish sports journalist, David Walsh, best known for uncovering the doping scandal that resulting in Lance Armstrong being stripped of his Tour de France titles. Mr. Walsh spoke twice during the cruise, once in the Piazza and then in the theatre. Both events were well-attended. As on other Princess cruises, movies and concert videos were scheduled on the large outdoor screen, Movies Under the Stars (MUTS). Unfortunately, the inclement weather precluded some of the outdoor shows during the cruise. Films were also shown in the theatre and on stateroom television. The stateroom television itself provided a large variety of entertainment and information: movies, television shows, sporting events, news and game show programs, replays of live lectures and events on the ship, interactive maps of the cruise, and, of course, the always popular “Front of the Ship” channel, i.e. the live feed of the webcam located at the front of the ship. Every day, we enjoyed watching the morning show (filmed the night before, of course) with the Cruise Director, Paul, usually accompanied by his Assistant CD, Aaron (who reminded me of a young Neil Patrick Harris), discussing the events of the day and reading passenger comments and questions. We saw The Drop (the party band) in several venues and found their performance to be average but enthusiastic. The violinists, Sunshine String Duo, were very talented and performed several times daily in the Piazza. Some of the other musical acts playing in venues about the ship, we saw in passing. In short, there were many opportunities to be entertained during the cruise. At the same time, on many sea days, we were content to find a quiet place (usually Skywalker’s Nightclub) to read and listen to our personal music devices. In addition to dance and exercise classes, the ship also offered group ukulele lessons. Instruments were provided to the students for use during the cruise, and although my husband and I did not participate, we had a chance to watch one of the lessons held in the Wheelhouse Bar. It seems like everyone was having a good time with this different and fun activity. Passengers also had the chance to participate in the Princess Pop Choir, and after several rehearsals, the Choir gave a short concert in the Piazza during one of the sea days. We had seen other Pop Choir performances on other cruises and every time, the Choir and the audience enjoyed themselves. Only one drawback was that the music selections were the same every time. I’m sure the cruise line had to obtain permission to use the accompaniment recordings and musical arrangements, but perhaps Princess could consider obtaining other songs to give some variety on future cruises. Another enjoyable activity to watch was a competition among passengers who signed up in advance and were given a few days to create a device to protect a raw egg which would be dropped from one of the upper levels of the Piazza. The final event drew a large crowd and some of the "inventions" were really quite clever. The shops on board were similar to those on other Princess ships and it was fun to look through the merchandise. We didn’t buy anything except for a few boxes of British chocolates, some t-shirts and a pair of replacement reading glasses. As we were flying back to the US at the end of the cruise, there was a limit to what we could bring back in our already full luggage. Many of the shops had promotions and events, including the Effy store which seemed to have something going on every day and was very popular. We both enjoyed the activities aboard the ship as well as the opportunities to sit back and relax. Although the ship holds about 3000 passengers, for the most part, it did not feel crowded. However, one comment I have made in the surveys on past Princess cruises, and would repeat for this cruise—It always seems that certain popular events, such as comedy shows and audience participation game shows (Marriage Match, Liars’ Club, etc.) are scheduled in the Explorers’ Lounge which does not have enough space for the audience. Even arriving an hour early does not guarantee a seat or even a place to stand. At the Oh So British trivia event, the place was overflowing into the corridor, with many people (some elderly) standing on the steps and in the aisles. I understand that perhaps a larger venue, such as the Theatre or even Club Fusion may not always be available for these popular events, but perhaps if the other venues aren’t available, there is a way to televise the shows live to other parts of the ship so everyone isn’t crammed into Explorers’ Lounge. During the cruise, there were apparently two major medical emergencies which were handled very well, with minimal disruptions to the passengers. If I recall correctly, the first occurred the night after our first port stop. We were awakened around 1AM by a very loud noise which we originally thought was related to some sort of storm as it also appeared to be raining. The next day was a sea day, and around 11AM, we were relaxing in Skywalker’s when the Captain made the announcement that overnight someone had to be evacuated by helicopter to Lisbon for medical treatment. For safety reasons, some of the passengers had to be relocated from their cabins temporarily for a while. Later in the week, we were sitting at dinner near a couple who had been among those moved that night, and they felt that the situation was handled appropriately and with minimal disruption. The second emergency occurred on our way back to Southampton. This time the ship stopped at the port in Vigo, Spain and the patient was taken off there. Again the situation was handled appropriately and the passengers were informed in advance of the unscheduled stop. THE PORTS: Vigo, Spain: A big factor in our decision to take this cruise was the stop in Vigo, the birthplace of my paternal grandfather, who left there to come to the US about 100 years ago. I had never visited Vigo before and was looking forward to the opportunity to see it. It was a great decision and I thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent there. Vigo is on the side of a mountain, Monte del Castro and we left the ship as early as we could to wind through the steep streets, looking at the shops and churches along the way and also pausing at times to take in the views of the beautiful harbor and islands beyond. We made our way to Castro Park at the top of the mountain and walked among the remnants of Castle Castro and the gardens. It was definitely worth the climb. We then made our way down toward the harbor and found an excellent restaurant for lunch, O Porton, located on Calle Pescaderia. I was looking forward to one of my favorite dishes, Galician-style octopus (made with olive oil and paprika) and O Porton did not disappoint. My husband, who is not a fan of octopus, had a dish of clams in a tomato sauce and we each had a glass of the local Albarino wine. Although Pescaderia and the neighboring Ostras streets are considered “touristy,” I would recommend trying O Porton or one of the other restaurants there for a meal when visiting Vigo. As we arrived in Vigo on a religious holiday, Holy Thursday, a number of the shops were closed, although some were open, likely due to the fact that at least one cruise ship was in port. We did look into some of the open shops and my husband ended up purchasing a shirt for the local football (what we call soccer in the US) team. As we went through security to go back to the ship, we visited a shop in the ship’s terminal and purchased some locally-made cookies and sweets to take home. Madeira, Portugal: We arrived here on our 28th wedding anniversary and were looking forward to exploring another new place for us. The ship docked just outside the capital, Funchal, just a 20 minute walk to the city center. Princess had shuttle service available for $8, but it was a beautiful day, a bit cloudy but not too warm, so we and others from the ship decided to take the walk into town. On the way, we passed the CR7 Museum honoring professional footballer and Madeira native, Cristiano Ronaldo, who is known in the US for an Altice commercial from a few years ago in which he is locked out of his hotel room wearing only his underwear and his video goes viral. The museum is quite a popular attraction, although we decided to skip it and spend our day walking around Funchal. Not far from the Ronaldo museum was a Tourist Information booth and we picked up a very helpful local map. Another popular attraction we skipped was the 12,000 foot cable car ride up the mountain to the village of Monte and the ride down on the wicker toboggans pushed by local guides. While it seemed interesting and we read many online posts that the rides up and down were safe, we did not want to risk injury, especially on our anniversary. Back on the ship, we heard that a number of passengers tried the cable car/toboggan rides and had a great time. With the assistance of our map, we walked through town, looking at the buildings, beautiful gardens and shops, and stopping for lunch at Regional Flavours located on Rua Carreira. The food and service were both excellent. I had octopus again (couldn’t resist), this time in a Portuguese style, while my husband had cod. We each enjoyed a glass of 10 year old Madeira wine and agreed that we had made another good choice for our meal. While in Funchal, we walked through the beautiful municipal gardens where a craft market was taking place, and we bought some inexpensive jewelry and other trinkets made from cork as gifts for family members. We also walked through the municipal market which was very crowded with both tourists and local residents. We ended our visit to Funchal with a trip to a local supermarket, something we often do in new places. We enjoy looking at the different types of food for sale and comparing prices and the variety of products with what we have at home. It is always an interesting experience, even if we don’t buy anything. (Sometimes we do make a purchase or two at a big savings from the prices for similar items charged in souvenir shops.) We were in Funchal the day before Easter and the shop was bustling with local residents purchasing ingredients for their meals the next day. As we left the supermarket, it began to rain a bit, so we decided to go back to the ship and had another pleasant walk. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands: The following day we were docked in Tenerife. We took a short walk to the city center and found the nearest tram stop where we saw some fellow passengers. From there, it was a 30-40 minute ride through the city to San Cristobal de La Laguna, the former capital of the island, which had been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. As it was Easter, most of the restaurants and shops were closed, but we were still able to walk around and take photographs of the lovely historic buildings. We wandered around for a few hours, taking in the sights. We saw an Easter procession, complete with a marching band, and went into what was probably the most beautiful Starbucks we had ever seen. The courtyard alone was worth the visit. We then took the tram back to city center and found a small restaurant on one of the side streets near Iglesia de San Francisco. On the way, we saw another, more elaborate procession. The restaurant offered free WiFi so we were able to contact our family and friends and wish them a Happy Easter. The weather was rather hot, so we opted to take the ship’s free shuttle back from city center. Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands: The following day, we were docked at Las Palmas, which is the ninth largest city in Spain. It took a little bit of time to find the city bus (called guagua); even though the main bus station was located under the plaza right where the ship was docked, we couldn’t find a schedule or a place to purchase tickets. We went back to the plaza and a helpful young woman at the information booth directed us across the road to Catalina Park where we purchased our tickets and took a 15 minute ride to Vegueta (Old Town.) We toured the Mercado (market) and Casa de Colon (Christopher Columbus’ house), and walked along the cobblestone streets looking at all the interesting buildings. My husband, a dog lover, especially enjoyed the dog statues at La Plaza de Santa Ana. (The Canary Islands are named from the Latin word for dogs, not for the birds.) After a few hours, we took the bus back to the plaza, did a little shopping and tried to decide on a place for lunch. There were a number of options in the area, but it was also very warm, so we went into a large shopping mall, El Muelle, near the ship. We figured that the mall would be air conditioned and would offer some dining options. Unfortunately, about one-third to one-half of the shops and restaurants in the mall had closed, and we were not interested in the fast food chains which seemed to be the only places left to eat. We did walk around the shopping center a little bit to cool off and found mostly the usual clothing, jewelry, footwear, etc. shops similar to those we have at home. The mall did have a supermarket, HiperDino, so we were able to look around just like we had done in Funchal. We then noticed an outdoor bar/café on the mall terrace and enjoyed a light lunch of sandwiches and cold beer before going back to the ship. Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands: Unfortunately, our stop at this port, which would have been our final stop before our return to Southampton, was cancelled. The Captain was concerned about gale force winds and very heavy seas resulting from expected weather coming across the North Atlantic, and wanted to speed up to get ahead of the storm system. We of course were disappointed as we were looking forward to seeing Lanzarote for the first time, but this also enabled us to enjoy an extra sea day instead, which is never a bad thing. RETURN TO SOUTHAMPTON AND DISEMBARKATION: The trip back to Southampton was smooth and we actually arrived 12 hours early. Unfortunately, we were unable to get off the ship at Southampton that evening. It would have been nice to have another evening in the city we enjoyed before we left, but apparently the port was unprepared staff-wise to handle an early stop. We were fine staying on the ship, looking out at the city and preparing for disembarkation the next morning. As Platinum members, we were able to wait in the Platinum/Elite Lounge (i.e. Club Fusion) and shortly thereafter, our number was called, we left the ship, picked up our luggage in the terminal and boarded the Princess bus for Heathrow. We had purchased the Princess ship-to-airport transfer as we had done on other cruises and were pleased with the service provided. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time for a little duty-free shopping and a nice lunch at London’s Pride, a Fuller’s brewpub in Terminal 2. While waiting for the time to go to the gate, I was able to Facetime with my friend, Teresa and it was nice to be able to chat with both of us in the same time zone for a change. My husband and I then boarded our plane and had an uneventful flight back to Newark. We made much better time going through US Customs than we had two weeks earlier and were soon home. With our 3 pre-cruise days in the Southampton area and our 11 nights on the ship, we were away for 2 full weeks. It took me about a month afterward to catch up with my work at the office, but it was all well-worth it. We both enjoyed our trip, saw a lot of new and interesting things and places, and had plenty of time to relax. As noted in this review, some things did not always go as expected, but we have been cruising and travelling long enough to take things in stride and be thankful that we are able to enjoy time away together and have a good time no matter what happens. I believe that Princess only offers this itinerary once or twice a year, so when it comes along, I would recommend it for anyone looking for something new and different. I know this review is long, but I still may have missed something. I will be happy to answer anyone’s questions about our adventures, or hear from others who were also on this cruise.
  3. Here is a link to the story. First it was the Vista and now the Horizon has the same issues. https://www.cruisehive.com/second-vista-class-carnival-cruise-ship-closes-skyride-feature/33490
  4. Hello all, I need some help. We are going on Carnival Horizon in a month. This is our 6th Carnival cruise and it's really important for us to have our 6 p.m. dinner time, same table, same wait staff. We booked our cruise 9 months ahead, couldn't confirm early dining and no option for a wait list. We've always gotten our dining arrangements done before we get on the ship so this one is a bit different. Does Horizon's dining work differently than the other ships? I know we can go to the dining area to make arrangements when we board but is there anything else I can do in advance? Thank you!
  5. Hey everybody! We are sailing in 2 weeks on the Horizon on the 8 day southern Caribbean cruise! We were wondering if anybody knew if they were doing the white party or the 80s party! Would love to actually be prepared with outfits this cruise! Thanks in advance!
  6. Well hello everyone! I'm back! I know a lot of people have been probably wondering where I have been...it's been a hectic and complicated year for me. So many things have happened this year and I just needed a break. I deactivated all my social media, removed myself from the internet and computer (other than turning in homework assignments and tests) and completely changed life up as it was known around August. Everyone knows I've been in school for a while to get my bachelors, but I have been slacking on my classes over the year(s). Well, I put my mind to it that I was going to get my butt in gear and finish. Last year I only took 1 class in the spring and decided to take the summer off (because it's the only semester they will allow you to take off and not be penalized). Well, I enjoyed it so much that I also took the winter off...which meant come this year, I had to reapply to my school and that meant lots of paperwork. I took my spring classes, summer classes and just finished up my winter classes. I have 1 more class to go and I'M DONE! Finito, adios school, completed. This last class I just finished lasted from August until the week of my cruise...nutrition! Uh! I have been avoiding it like the plague. I'm the most un-nutritionalist (is that a word?) you will meet. LOL It consisted of anywhere from 5-12 quizzes weekly and 1 test weekly. Then there was 2 "mid-term" tests and a horrible 2-hour final. Whew! I'm proud to say I passed with a 96% and it's all behind me. My youngest son just bought a house (I'm such a proud momma but I'm missing him terribly since he's been gone), my oldest son just had another baby (that makes 7 for me now-I'm getting old), we sold one of our businesses (the skate/bike shop) and have been doing a complete remodel on our kitchen. It has been hectic! I'm sure there's a lot more but I'm jet-lagged and can't think at the moment. Anyhow, we normally take a November cruise (which actually used to be a December family cruise but we stopped doing that a few years back because it was one of the busiest times of the year for our store and the hubby complained about missing out on all the sales during the Christmas season that we pushed it back to November) but with my hectic class schedule, we decided not to go this time. Then, of course, out of the blue, Kendra starts talking about a Christmas cruise instead. We started scouring the internet and booked last minute (less than 30 days before the cruise) on the Carnival Horizon. I liked the ports we would be going to (all repeats for me but 3 new for Kendra) and a new ship! I didn't have much time to get myself too excited or research ports but we managed to pull it all together quickly. Since Kenny had just had a baby Dec 10 (was due Thanksgiving, but she decided to cook a little longer), he wasn't able to go. Since Kolin had just put a large down payment on a house, he wasn't able to go. That meant it was just us and Kendra and family. The day we were leaving on the plane, Kendra's fiance backed out. His dad has been in bad shape the last 2 years, but has progressively become worse. They put him on hospice the week before and didn't expect him to make it to Christmas. I'm glad to report he's still with us at this time. However, Billy didn't want to be away on a cruise if something was to happen. This meant that Kendra was now cruising with TWO kids...on her OWN! If any of you are thinking this scenario through...you know this can't be a good thing. LOL I'll jump ahead and report that when Kendra's plane landed last night, she didn't even make it home before dropping both kids off with their Aunt Chrissy (who was the one who cruised with us one year to Bermuda). Kendra said she's now on vacation! So, this is the beginning of our cruise. This was an 8-day cruise sailing out of Miami to Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Curacao, and Aruba!
  7. So, I'll be on the Horizon on Sept 7. I'm going solo. I was looking at pics of the Steakhouse and noticed they have a bar with stools. May I eat at the bar in the steakhouse?
  8. My family and I just returned from an amazing trip on the August 10th sailing of the Horizon. We sailed to La Romana, Grand Turk, Curacao and Aruba. This was our 3rd time doing this itinerary but we still found something new to enjoy. The reviews for the Horizon in the months leading up to this trip were not very positive with many complaints about overcrowding and poor food quality. We did not experience any of this. Our only small issue was temperature. Our cabin (Spa cabin 12218) was very warm but I was prepared with 2 small fans which helped circulate the air in our cabin. We had faster to the fun and arrived at the port around noon. Check in was fast and we were in our room within 15 minutes. The longest part was walking up the gangway, it felt like it went on forever. This was our first spa cabin and while we didn’t really use the spa facilities we though the cabin seemed bigger than the regular balcony cabins. We also loved the location. We had the 1st cabin nearest the door to deck 12 waterworks. Our hallway was empty except for people staying in one of the cabins near us. During the day you could hear banging from kids running around outside but with the exception of 1 night it was quiet. We did not eat any of our meals at the Lido buffet, so I can’t comment on that. We had reservations for the steakhouse 2 nights and we were never disappointed. I had risotto and lobster both nights while my son and husband got the filet mignion. For appetizer my husband had the lobster bisque which he said was good and the bone marrow which he thought was outstanding. We also had JiJi’s 2 nights and as always the food was good and way more than we could eat. The other nights we ate in the main dining room. We had YTD and used the Hub app to make our reservations. No matter what time we ate a table was ready before we could even walk there from our cabin. No complaints on the food or service. For our first stop La Romona in the Dominican Republic we did a Carnival excursion Catalina Island Beach Break. With all of the trouble in the DR lately we thought it best to stick with a Carnival excursion and we brought a cooler with us filled with water. I filled 2 zip lock bags with ice and that kept our drinks cold during the day. We had use of free chairs and an umbrella and the beach was very clean with crystal clear water. There were the usually vendors selling shirts and other souvenirs but they weren’t pushy. In Grand Turk we did the Carnival excursion Underwater Power Scooter, Beach Break and Lunch. We did this last year and had so much fun we decided to do it again this year. While it was still fun we just didn’t enjoy it as much, maybe the novelty of the power scooter wore off. Next year we will try something new but if you haven’t done the power scooters I highly recommend you give them a try. Up next was Curacao. This is our favorite stop and the 3rd time we are visiting here. Since we knew what we wanted to do here we rented a car from Advance Carrental for $75 which included all insurance, unlimited mileage, GPS and a phone if we got lost or wanted to return the car early. We picked up our car right outside the port gate and set off for our favorite beach Playa Jeremi. This is small local beach with no amenities but some of the clearest water with great snorkeling and no crowds. We spent a few hours in the water before deciding to head back to the ship. On our way back we decided to stop and check out another beach Playa Porto Mari. This beach had chairs, umbrellas and a restaurant with food and drinks but the best part was the wild pigs that wandered the beach. Since I can’t resist the change to pet some pigs we stopped here for another hour before finally getting back on board the ship at 7:30. After such an active day we decided to spend a relaxing day at the beach in Aruba. We took a taxi to Palm Beach this year after visiting Eagle Beach the last 2 times. It was nice but I think we will stick with Eagle beach just because it is closer to the ship. We rented 3 chairs and a small umbrella for $55 dollars and set up to relax. Unfortunately it rained most of the time we were there and since we were still tired from the last 3 days of activity we decided to just head back to the ship and relax there. We spent our last 2 days relaxing on deck 11 overlooking the main pool. Overall, the Horizon was our favorite ship.
  9. I know there are several Pay restaurants on the Horizon ship. Did I read that there are only "two", one for MDR, and one for My Time Dining restaurants on this ship? The reason I ask, I have been on several ships where they had pay restaurants, as well as the My Time Dining, but always had two MDR's too.
  10. That's what I think about. Amusement parks employ some very specialized engineers & mechanics to maintain and repair their roller coasters. Granted, Bolt is on a much smaller scale, but it'll still need expert attention. I'm not absolutely convinced Carnival would provide the regular care from experts that it'll require. They struggle to keep a peddle-bike ride up & running...the Bolt ups the level of complication bigtime. We won't be on Horizon for another 6 months, so hoping they get all these maintenance issues/enhancements (whatever they're calling it this week) figured out by then, because I'd like to try it. If not, oh well.
  11. Does any one know the smoking areas other than the Casino & balcony's Thanks
  12. Review (Continued) Ship Regent claims that the Explorer is "the most luxurious ship ever built." I cannot confirm or deny this claim. However, if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I can say that as I walk around the ship, my eye beholds beauty throughout. I must add, however, that some consider the decor to be somewhat on the gaudy side. Different strokes. Compass Rose on deck 4 of the Explorer has a very different look to it than it does on the other ships. Some find the blue chandelier to be a bit much, I like it quite a lot. I should note here that those who still have nightmares about the hideous blue cast that in the past was a problem in food photographs from CR in the other ships needn't worry, not a problem here. Leaving Compass Rose you enter the exquisite atrium area. The displays in the cases are, for me, museum quality. On either side of the atrium are Explorer Lounge, and the Casino (have never set foot in there) At the opposite end of deck 4 is the Constellation Theater. If memory serves, (and it may not), the sight lines here are not quite as good as it is in the theater of the other ships. Please note that the ramp has some steps in it (again, I do not think the other ships have this). Please watch your step. On deck 5 is reception, destination services, There is a lovely lounge space here. There is also the Meridian Lounge and the coffee connection, (which for some reason, on this ship is called the Cafe and the Coffee Bar. Pacific Rim and the Canyon Ranch spa is here. The Horizon Lounge found on the Voyager and Mariner is lacking here, rather there is an small infinity pool. Decks 6-9 are only notable for the Fitness Center on Deck 6, which I have found to be the best equipped fitness center that I have seen on a cruise ship. (This is not quite the rave as it may appear, as I must confess that I often resist the siren call of fitness centers while sailing) On Deck 10 is Chartreuse and Prime 7. Prime 7 has some interesting artwork in the bar area. Deck 11 has La Veranda/ Sette Mari. The pool deck has a feature that I wish all cruise ships had, namely a "cage" for the smokers. Forward is the Observation Lounge Also the Culinary Arts Center, Library, and Connoisseur Club (I wouldn't even open the door to it) Deck 12 is the Sports Deck, featuring golf (driving net and putting) bocce, shuffleboard (what would a cruise ship be without shuffleboard?), and a paddle tennis court. While I won't provide any photos, even the restrooms on this ship carry through the elegant theme, they are marble clad, and sparking clean. It is a pleasure to go in them. Sorry. There is one major downside to this ship, and it a significant one, for some a deal breaker. There is no forward facing outdoor area (unless, I assume, one has a forward facing suite. I only assume as I have never been in one.) So if one wants a direct front facing view, that is only found in the Observation Lounge. For photographers, this is a worst case scenario. My Stateroom We always sail in the Deluxe Veranda Suites on the other ships, the equivalent here is called "Superior Suite" . It is similar in size to the Deluxe Veranda suites on the other ships, the Mariner being quite a bit smaller. (And purely for the purpose of confusing us, there are also rooms called "Deluxe Veranda Suite" on this ship, but are smaller.) It is laid out differently, the equivalent suites on the other ships having an oblong configuration, this one being more square. Also, the bed faces the window, not the wall. Here is what I love about this suite: I find it a bright, cheerful environment to hang out in. The storage space is cavernous, I think I could move in here. (Which makes one wonder- how is it that a cruise line has planners when in designing their new ships know that people actually want places in which to store their stuff, but in redesigning their older ships actually remove storage space??? One of life's great mysteries.) With apologies to Bill Murray in "What About Bob", there are 2 types of people in this world: those who like bathtubs and those that don't. My wife is a member of the former group, I of the latter. Fortunately, this is a room in which both types can happily co-exist, there is a tub that you can get lost in, and a very nice shower. Dual sinks make co-existence even easier. Here is what I do not love so much: A minor quibble- the corridor from the living/sleeping area to the closet/ bathroom area is very narrow, one way traffic only. So if people are entering simultaneously from opposite directions, it can be reminiscent of Robin Hood and Little John crossing the bridge. The window is divided into a sliding door and fixed window, divided by a wall, which limits the view. I'm sure the designers had a good reason for doing this, but I cannot fathom what it was. This I really hate- you have to put your keycard in here to make the lights go on. Had I not have been traveling with someone who is swift enough to remind me to take it every time I leave the room, I would probably have set a world record for visits to reception to let me in. I know, you can put a credit card it here, frankly, I'm not crazy about the idea of leaving a credit card around either. But all in all, a very livable room.  
  13. Ahoy Everybody! My son Ryan and I have just returned from our yearly father and son cruise. This year we sailed on a five day cruise aboard the Carnival Ecstasy from Jacksonville to Princess Cays and Nassau, with sea days on both ends. I will not be doing a full blown out picture review of this cruise. Frankly, I just don’t have enough time. In three weeks Patti and I will be doing a B2B on the Carnival Sunrise from New York to Bermuda and New England / Canada, so our focus now is to prepare for those cruises. I did however, take plenty of pictures. I also have the Fun Times and other stuff to scan and share with you. Once I get that done, I will upload them to my photo hosting site, then come back and provide you with a link if you want to see them. The Carnival Ecstasy. We love cruising on the Fantasy Class ships from time to time, as they give you a more intimate cruise experience. Yes, they don’t have all the bells and whistles of the newer ships, but they never feel crowded, and it’s great to get to know most of your fellow passengers and crew members. More than one crew member told me that after working on the Vista and Horizon, they couldn’t wait to come back to a Fantasy Class ship. These ships are great for the shorter Bahamas, Western Caribbean, and Baja California runs, especially when a tender port is involved. Would you rather tender ashore with two thousand of your fellow passengers, or with the four thousand plus passengers that the bigger ships carry? Yes, I know that the tenders are now called water shuttles, but screw that, I’ve been cruising since 1985 so they will always be tenders to me! The Carnival Ecstasy. I have only cruised on her one time before, and that was twenty eight years ago in 1991 when she was brand new. She is exactly as I remembered her, a Joe Farcus acid induced design with enough glitz and nonsense to cause a sensory overload. I love it! Many people today will say she is outdated, garish, and just plain ugly and outlandish. I say it’s nostalgic and it brings me back to my cruising roots, however the ships that I first sailed on with Carnival are long gone. She will going in for a short dry dock in October which will only involve some cosmetic stuff, sprucing up, and the usual hull work. To tell you the truth, I didn’t see anything major that needed attention, nor did I smell any funky smells. To me, she seems to be in pretty good shape. We booked this cruise with a Hot Streak casino promotion. This gave us a great casino rate for an inside cabin, DOU for both of us, and $500 OBC (not free play!). We also purchased the Cheers program for those out of the casino moments, and besides, we had to spend that OBC somewhere! We knocked it out of the park with Cheers. We maxed out every day, plus had plenty of coffees and sodas. Looking back, it turns out that only 30% of our drinks came from the DOU cards, and the rest were covered by Cheers. We drove down from New Jersey the day before the cruise, and as is our custom, we stayed at the Country Inn & Suites in Kingsland Georgia, which is off of Exit 3 on I-95. From here it is about a thirty minute drive to Jaxport. The next morning, after enjoying the hotel’s free breakfast, we arrived at Jaxport at 10 am. I immediately noticed two major changes from when we were here last year. First, the parking lot is now to the right on the opposite side of the terminal from where it used to be. This now puts the parking even closer to the terminal itself, which is a good thing. Parking is still $17/day or $85 for the five day cruise. The second thing is that they have built a ramp so that you now embark into the Atrium Lobby on Empress Deck 7, instead of boarding on Deck 3 forward. Great job Jaxport! Check in was a breeze, and after a short wait in the Captain’s Lounge we were the first to board the ship after a pretty large wedding party. I know that we were on before 11 am. We were in cabin E85 which was just a short trip down the hall from the Lobby. Our Sail & Sign cards were waiting for us, wedged behind the cabin number plate. There aren’t any mailboxes on Fantasy Class ships. The cabins are outdated, but they are clean, the beds are comfortable, and everything worked. There are no mini fridges, and the cabin safe was the keypad type. One other thing to note. If you are an early or light sleeper, this location would not be good for you. Even though they close the heavy doors at 9 pm to cut down the sound of the music and buzz from the Atrium, it can still be heard pretty far down the hall. Here are some notes about our cruise, as much as my alcohol infused brain will allow me to remember. Ryan and I never saw the dining room. We ate all of our meals on the Lido, even though we had been comped steakhouse selections from the casino one night. Other than to take pictures, I never went to the Blue Sapphire Lounge, which is the main show lounge on the ship. For those that want to know, the Playlist Production Shows are Motor City and America Rocks. Ryan and I did go to some of the comedy shows which are held in the Starlight Lounge, which is the aft lounge on Promenade Deck 9. The two comedians on this cruise were Derrick Eason and Steve Burr and they were very good. They performed the first night and on the two sea days. On port days, in the evening, they showed movies, since there are no Dive In Movie screens on the Fantasy Class ships. The night we left Nassau, Carnival Quest was held back there at 10:30 pm. What happens at the Quest stays at the Quest, but it was great as usual. The Diamond Event (12 Diamonds), and the VIFP Party (around 60 D/P) were also held in the Starlight Lounge. Both were a lot of fun! I won the blackjack tournament and frankly, it was like taking candy from a baby. As is usual for these types of cruises, there were a lot of newbies on board. For our final table it was me and six newbies that had never played in this type of tournament before, including this gentleman who had never played “jack black” in his life. After two hands I knew what these players were trying to do, so I just bet the minimum, sat back, and watched the carnage. After five hands, four of them had busted out and the other two had $500 or less remaining. I was sitting with the $2000 I started with. Game over. BTW, Mr. “jackblack” came in second! They all were a great bunch of guys, and I think most of them learned something tonight. Both sea days were sunny and hot. There were plenty of adults in the pool, and kids in the hot tubs. Walking by, If I had wanted to find a lounger it wouldn’t have been a problem. When we arrived at Princess Cays, they were experiencing severe thunderstorms. I thought at first that the Captain would be skipping this stop, but he simply waited for the storm to pass. Tendering started about an hour late. It rained until mid-morning, but even after it stopped, it remained cloudy all day. Ryan and I had never been here before, so around noon we took the tender over to check it out. We walked around taking pictures, had the BBQ lunch, had some beers at the different bars, and then went back to the ship. It looks like a nice fun place, but I still like HMC better. In Nassau we had no plans to leave the ship, which was a good thing since it rained all day until just before sail away. I felt bad for those who booked this cruise for the ports, and hope the rain didn’t “dampen” their spirits! The people that cruise from Jacksonville are some of the nicest people you want to meet. What a diverse group. Everyone was polite, friendly, respectful, and just plain fun. All I saw were smiling faces! As I said there were a lot of blue and red cards on board, I think Carnival has won them over! I can’t say enough about the crew on board the Ecstasy. All were friendly, smiling, energetic, and true assets for Carnival. I wish I could name them all, but my two standouts were Catherine (Cat) from the Atrium Bar, who would serve my 15th every evening, and William at the Red Frog Rum Bar who started my every day by pouring me a Red Frog Wheat to go with my breakfast burrito. Kudos to all the casino staff, and the bar waiters there, who would never keep us waiting for a drink. Thank you all so much. Debarkation was also a breeze. We were in our car and on our way back to New Jersey at 7:55 am. I think that’s it for now. If I think of anything else I’ll add on. I guess the million dollar question is would you sail on the Ecstasy again? The answer is a resounding “YES”. If you have any questions I’ll be sure to answer them. For now, may you all have calm seas and clear skies!
  14. Hi myself and my husband have done 10 cruises a mixture of both Mediterranean and Caribbean and on Royal but primarily Carnival. This July we took Carnival Horizon from Miami. We enjoyed the cruise but think we have out grown Carnival I just found the crowd a bit too boisterous this year and wanted something a bit more low key. We are from Ireland so we are a bit more reserved than our American Cousins 😁 so I have been looking at Caribbean Princess for next July. It is our 50th birthdays so we want something nice. We enjoy live music good food trivia and the piano bar and of course the casino. How different is Princess to Carnival? I want a bit more low key but enough to keep up entertained.
  15. We’re Denise and John from Half Moon Bay and Folsom California. We booked this on July 5th, but have been busy on other roll calls, so just read up and joining this one. We also did the Horizon Inaugural Transatlantic and had a great time. We’re seasoned cruisers, usually Celebrity, numerous Transatlantic's but this is our third Carnival Cruise. Had a great time on Horzon, so here we are again. We’re in planning stages for a tour in England prior, and thanks for some great info on transportation etc etc. Were in a Balcony #11347, your time dining
  16. I will sailing on Grandeur of the Seas Aug. 31 thru. Sept 5 to Bermuda Please tell me if any storms on on the horizon
  17. I feel badly for those who missed out on Juneau. As for scenic viewing, between our balcony, the aft deck behind Horizon Court, and Deck 17 above the pool, I never lacked an awesome view. In fact, I was able to see Marjorie Glacier from the bar stools 20-30 ft from the railing so didn’t even need to fight the crowds! I have done this cruise numerous times and didn’t need as much scenic viewing as others, but I would still very much recommend this ship to others.
  18. It’s amazing how many problems they haven’t had with the SkyRide on Horizon and Vista. I think similar problems will happen with Bolt on Mardi Gras.
  19. Does anyone know what nexts weeks I max movies are on the Horizon? or any way to find out
  20. On the Horizon, we ordered one photo right at the Photo Gallery and had to go back the following day to pick it up.
  21. I know Carnival Horizon is a large ship, and we plan to take it in March. Since it is a large ship, is there any deck outside that will go through from one end to the other? If there is no deck outside, how about deck inside the ship going from one end to the other? As you can guess, I like to walk! We will be on deck 6, room 6205 at the end of the ship, which is an obstructed window. If you have been in that room (there is a video out on it, and I liked what I saw), I believe it has the deck right next to it. My question, if we open the curtain to look out, I know we can see out, but can people see us in our room as well? I believe someone mentioned about a secret deck on the Horizon. Which deck is it? Yes, I know once you let me know, it won't be a secret anymore. 🙂
  22. I know Carnival Horizon is a large ship, and we plan to take it in March. Since it is a large ship, is there any deck outside that will go through from one end to the other? If there is no deck outside, how about deck inside the ship going from one end to the other? As you can guess, I like to walk! We will be on deck 6, room 6205 at the end of the ship, which is an obstructed window. If you have been in that room (there is a video out on it, and I liked what I saw), I believe it has the deck right next to it. My question, if we open the curtain to look out, I know we can see out, but can people see us in our room as well? I believe someone mentioned about a secret deck on the Horizon. Which deck is it? Yes, I know once you let me know, it won't be a secret anymore. 🙂
  23. What dining room on the horizon is your time dining? also, I’ve read that you can now check in via the app. If you check in for 2 on the app, does that mean a table for two or do you need to go to hostess table to request table for two? thanks
  24. A user in another thread got the email and it said it'd be down while their team "completes an enhancement plan for the ride." They didn't say if they were going to be on Horizon or Vista. That's a new excuse. All the other emails that people have reported said something about maintenance. Now I'm curious as to what their "enhancement plan" is.
  25. I'm baaaaaaaaack 🙂 ((Not from my cruise. I got back from my cruise months ago. But I'm back on CC! Hi friends!!!!!)) If we haven't crossed paths on this board or...onboard...HI! I'm Nicole. I live in Chicago. And I love cruises. They're my absolute favorite way to travel and see the world. I don't even know if I could put into words why. But every year since my freshman year of college, my family and I have taken at least one cruise (sometimes two...or three!). And even though my sister (Stephanie) and I are all grown up, we still try to cruise with our Mom every year. It's kind of our family tradition. And I've been posting reviews on here for nearly that entire time (holy cow -- I've been posting reviews here for, like, fourteen years ). See, I went to college to be a writer. And then I got a fancy journalism degree...and promptly went in to a career in digital marketing and merchandising and did nothing with it. So writing these reviews fills that piece of me that needs some creative outlet. And they serve as a pay-it-forward for all of the reviews I read before we visit new places or cruise on new ships. Obligatory family photo of us on the Vista a couple of years ago: So if you haven't read one of my reviews before, let me lay it out for you: these are long. Really long. And they have a ton of pictures. I've been writing this particular review and posting it on my blog for the past six months or so. I wasn't sure if I was going to cross-post it over here because the Horizon isn't in Europe anymore, but then Carnival announced new Europe and Mediterranean itineraries for its new ship and I figured some of you might it useful. Or, at least, I hope some of you find it entertaining! I write these in journal form because that's mostly what they are: my cruise journal (which also lets me re-live my trips when I share them with all of you!). And if you're not into long reviews but you're seeking Horizon and/or Mediterranean cruising info, I have the Carnival Horizon menus posted here, the 13-day Fun Times posted here and a ship walk through here. But I do hope some of you will follow along because talking about cruising is so much of the fun in writing these, and if you are following along, drop me a note below and let me know! And with that...let's go back onto the Horizon!
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