Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
willdra

Willdra’s Hyperactive Carnival Horizon April 15-22 Cruise

Recommended Posts

We were staying in Paris

To get away from your parents

You look so proud standing there with a frown and a cigarette, posting pictures of yourself on the internet **Paris-The Chainsmokers**

(This song has absolutely nothing to do with anything, it was just stuck in my head the whole time we were in Paris!)

Welcome to Willdra’s Hyperactive Carnival Horizon April 15-22 Cruise Review!

 

TLDR Version (Too Long Didn’t Read): We had a great time, loved the Horizon, and we would do it all over again, twice if we could!

 

P.S. Horizon pictures will follow the Paris portion.

 

Still here? Sweet!!!

 

My husband W and I took this journey as a part of a group cruise that our daughter (A) and her fiancé (Z) take every year. We've sailed with their group before, and we were thrilled that it worked out for us to join them again, especially on the brand new Horizon. It all started out as just the cruise with maybe a couple of days at the end in Barcelona. Somewhere along the way, it morphed into a pre-cruise stay in Paris, then the Horizon Cruise, followed by a post-cruise piece of Barcelona, and a short after party in Paris. Too much? Yep, that's why it's Hyperactive!

 

So A and Z play a super nerdy card game, that you've prolly never heard of, called Magic the Gathering. They also belong to a "Magic Cruise Group" on FB, which is a group of peeps who sail together annually, to play….Magic the Gathering. Woooohooooo!!! This is actually the group's 10th cruise together, so it's become a tradition for them. I’ve never played MTG before, since you have to be smart, and you know, remember things. #toohard

W has played tho and he seems to enjoy it. When he wins. Which isn't that often.

 

After over a year of agonizing, waiting, and planning (I did all of the planning, everyone else just waited), travel day finally arrived! I had an all-day meeting on travel day, so I technically “worked” until 4 (worked=sat in my seat daydreaming and faking attentiveness, which I’m great at).

 

My friend AC, and her friend V, were joining us this time too. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 10:15 pm. We drove over to AC’s, which is closer to the airport, at around 6:15, to leave our car. Then my brother picked us all up and took us to Hartsfield-Jackson International. It would prolly cost an arm, leg, and 3 baby teeth to park our car somewhere for the 15 days that we would be gone, so we were blessed to have other options.

 

When we got to the airport, the first thing we noticed was how many bags AC had. Not only did she have one over sized, overweight check in, but she had the audacity to have 2 AND 2 carry-ons. She was basically carrying around the weight of a medium sized human in luggage. Oh and I forgot to mention that when we got there, she handed me a gift bag containing a big heavy loaf of banana bread that she’d baked that morning, accompanied by a chunk of cheese! Banana Bread. And. Cheese. Now don't get me wrong. Normally, I would've done the Electric Slide at the sight of the cheese, but we were going to France, where we would have access to some of the most exquisite bread and cheese known to man, so she packs her own to carry??? In this bag???? Nice. Well, the way my luggage is setup, I have zero room for this! So I carry it in my hand. I look like I don’t have the good sense that God gave a groundhog, but ok it made her happy. This trip is already starting out weird, or normal for us, depending on how you look at it.

 

 

We were flying on British Airways to Heathrow, then from Heathrow to Paris. We'd purchased round trip tickets from ATL to CDG for around $500 total per person. Then we chose another round trip from CDG to BCN. For this we paid $150 per person. Kayak.com and skyscanner.com were my BFF’s for reals. I high key stalked them for months to get good deals, and it really paid off!

 

After AC forked over her extra baggage fare (which was almost as much as her airfare), we went to security. There was no line in security, but I still managed to impede progress by pushing all of the trays containing my crap on the floor. Everything went flying because the tables were uneven, I wasn’t really looking, and I was just trying to get through. Passports, shoes, Chapstick, dental floss, and some embarrassing personal items, all spilled on the floor. Aye Dios Mio! AC and I scrambled to pick everything up quickly to stave off any further shame. W was long gone. He wanted no parts of my foolishness. Can’t blame him. I would've left me too.

 

When we got past the security incident we ate some overpriced mediocre food, and started the slow wait to board. W went to check the rate to purchase Euros from Travelex while we were waiting, and he liked what he saw, so he got our Euros there. We had the option of getting them from our bank at a better rate beforehand, but we didn't cuz that was too much like right, so we started looking when we got to the airport.

 

Eventually people started lining up because that’s what people do, but we sat and waited for the official boarding call. Welp the announcement was soon made that we would NOT be boarding yet due to a malfunctioning door. I guess you kinda need the door to close securely on the plane in order to have a safe flight. Who would've thought? We were told that the next announcement would be in 20 minutes. No problem. After about 18 minutes people started lining up again but we were told that the technician needed another 15 minutes to fix the door. Groans ensued from the line as it dispersed. Again. We got the real boarding announcement promptly 15 minutes after that. We all got up, but I guess people were skeptical now because the line didn't really form again, and we ended up first in our Zone.

The plane was a large 777 and W and I had a middle row of 4 seats to ourselves. Score!

W and I all ready to go!! He's so happy he's not driving!

41963350461_f323ff770f_z.jpg

 

 

Since we were behind schedule leaving we were concerned about making our connection at Heathrow. Turns out the Captain had a nice tailwind that got us back on track. We didn't have a ton of time to spare, but we would be ok. After a long uneventful flight, where the door closed, and didn't blow off, our plane basically landed in an airplane parking lot at Heathrow. In order to get to the terminal, we had to debark down some stairs then hop on a bus. The bus was packed full, and it was a long way to the terminal. A.Long.Way! I was glad that my bladder wasn’t tripping, cuz we would've had a “situation” if it was.

 

While we were in the air, I received a text from British Airways saying that they would check our carry-ons for free, but we had to go to a specific location to drop them off. Once we got to the airport, nothing made sense. Nothing. We had to ask to find out where we needed to go. I must say tho, everyone that we spoke with was very nice. I was sorta disappointed that I didn't see Harry Potter in the few minutes that I spent in London. I was really looking for him too. Bummer. Maybe next time.

 

We waited 15-20 minutes in the waiting area, and it was time to board again. I had plans to eat some of AC’s banana bread since I brought it all this way, but I fell asleep as soon as I fastened my seatbelt. I woke up when we started to land in Paris, and W nudged me saying he could see the Eiffel Tower. The flight was so quick that the flight attendants didn't even finish food service. We got there in about an hour and a half. Deplaning was quicker this time and soon we were claiming our baggage. We were also supposed to meet AC’s friend V at CDG since she got there before us. She was in another terminal tho, so AC went to hook up with her, and we told her we would see them at the hotel. Paris was calling me, and I had to answer ASAP!

 

When we were ready to leave, I ordered the Uber to the hotel. It was so easy! Almost as soon as I hit confirm, he appeared. Our driver was very nice too. He brought our bags all the way into the hotel, and made sure we got checked in ok. We were staying at Hotel Scarlett which is a fairly new, but small boutique hotel located in the Belleville area.

 

Here are some pictures of Hotel Scarlett. The rooms are smaller than American Hotel rooms. I guess the French are so tiny, that they don’t need much space. Must be nice!

 

39850114380_38240e3e62_z.jpg

 

41598954302_64188fd2cb_z.jpg

 

41582553602_d3ac055053_z.jpg

 

41622539661_76e2eb63c0_z.jpg

 

 

27753822388_30529cc57c_z.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After we got settled in and showered, A and Z came over. They got to Paris the Saturday before cuz they wanted a full week there. We decided on a restaurant that was 2 doors down from the hotel called Le Baratin, and we walked over.There were people inside talking, and they gave us a strange look similar to the stink face when we walked in. When A asked in French if we could be seated, they told her they didn't open until 7:30. Why was the front door wide open tho? Shady.

 

Determined not to let anything upset us this quickly on our fabulous vacay, we walked up to a City grocery store that was really close to the hotel. At the grocery store, we bought 1 of every bottle of water that they sold, so that we could take them back to the hotel and taste test them to see which one we liked best. The Volvic won. It was almost like purified water. Almost. But not really. Next, we let AC and V know that we would meet for dinner at 7:30 so when AC got there we left. This time we walked in, A spoke with the host in French again, they scoffed, then moved some tables around, and we were shown to a makeshift table for 6. The menu was totally in French, and A started translating as best she could. She was in Paris last year on business, and she has a good friend who lives there, so she’s learned a lot of conversational French. We were all very grateful, cuz the only French the rest of us knew, derived from watching Pepe Le Pew on The Bugs Bunny Show. A few minutes later, the waitress brought the big chalkboard menu to our table and translated every dish for us. There were also a few guests there helping us as well. We felt very "American" at this point. After we ordered, a couple of guys seated by us asked us how we got in there with such a large party. We told them we just walked in twice, and they were amazed. Apparently this restaurant is a primo Michelen restaurant that’s really hard to get into. That explained the looks on the staff’s faces when we asked to be seated! After all of that, it was a delicious dinner and everyone enjoyed their food.

 

The Water War

41582550022_cf6d578a87_z.jpg

26754303147_fd9905be02_z.jpg

 

 

The Winner?

41919122952_517ce79521_m.jpg

 

Figuring Out The Food

41622375221_01786214ee_z.jpg

 

 

When we were done, we walked back down to the grocery store, and I got wine that we took back to the hotel to drink in the cool sitting area. Wine is dirt cheap in France, and I paid maybe 4 Euros for the bottle. As we were walking back to our hotel, someone looked up, and noticed that we could see the Eiffel Tower at the end of our street. Later we set our alarm, and walked back out on the hour to see it sparkle. This is when I truly felt like I was in Paris!

 

 

41051440304_f6b60b1f86_z.jpg

 

 

A and Z wanted to show us how to use the Metro, and take us to a bar called “Experimental Cocktails”. A was also anxious to show us where she spent her time when she was in Paris last July. We changed shoes and set out. It was amazing seeing the sights of Paris at night! The bar was cool but really dark and kinda creepy. I kept feeling like vampires were gonna come out after midnight, cuz it reminded me of something from the movie Blade. We had drinks and chatted it up until about 12:30. The Metro stops running at 1, so we had to be on our way. The Hotel Scarlett was in a really good spot. It is between 2 Metro Stations with easy access. Back at the hotel, W was hot, so he went down to the front desk to inquire about the air conditioning. You could set the controls on the thermostat, but it wouldn't come on. We thought that maybe it was disabled, but it was worth a try to ask. Sure enough, the hotel doesn't turn the AC on until "summer". No worries, we opened the windows to let the nice cool breeze in, and put in our earplugs. Problem solved! Sidenote: it got really cool at night.

 

 

Before I fell asleep, I said a prayer thanking God that we got out of that club before the vampires showed up, and that our hotel was nice, and wouldn't give me nightmares. It’s so hard to tell online sometimes. Some of those places looked like you could wake up and find out that one of your vital organs like your lungs or liver, was stolen and sold! Yikes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Off to a great start. Really anxious to read all about your travels as the Horizon looks like it may be on my agenda in the very near future.

 

Thanks for sharing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love the review so far. Taste testing the water--sounds like something we would do too. Some are just better than others!

 

And lucky you got 2 empty seats on a trans-Atlantic flight! We were just in Europe crammed in to trans-Atlantic flights with no empty seats and so very uncomfortable.

 

We're on Horizon soon!

 

Waiting for more . . . (but enjoying the trip too!) Thank you!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been waiting for your review. I like your sense of humor & your writing style. Can't wait to read the rest!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha ha! Love your writing! Can’t wait for more. Thank you for sharing!!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woohoo I was just thinking about your reviews the other day and now here you are! Time to start reading

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so excited to read another wild adventure from such a sweet crazy lady! And to think you were in Paris!! How exciting!! I've got my eye on the Horizon and can't wait to see it through your gorgeous eyes!!

So what....they didn't have any sweet tea in Paris???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another Wildra review to enjoy, can't wait for the rest!

 

 

 

Thank you for chillin with me!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been waiting for your review. I like your sense of humor & your writing style. Can't wait to read the rest!

 

 

 

Thanks a million!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Love your reviews and looks like this will be no exception! Can’t wait for more!

 

 

Thanks for the love! I really appreciate it!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ha ha! Love your writing! Can’t wait for more. Thank you for sharing!!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

 

Thank you for the ❤️❤️❤️!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So excited!!! I love your reviews and as usual, you do not disappoint :) Can't wait to read more!!

 

 

Thank you!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great review! Can't wait to read more!

 

 

Thank you!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Woohoo I was just thinking about your reviews the other day and now here you are! Time to start reading

 

 

That was so sweet!!!

3e6817500d2e85e365399ed315af1090.jpg

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yaaaaaay, another Willdra review! I will be stalking this thread for updates! :D

 

 

 

LOL thanks!! I’ll be looking out for your next review too!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm so excited to read another wild adventure from such a sweet crazy lady! And to think you were in Paris!! How exciting!! I've got my eye on the Horizon and can't wait to see it through your gorgeous eyes!!

So what....they didn't have any sweet tea in Paris???

 

 

 

Glad to have you onboard!! Paris is spectacular, then adding the Horizon was out of this world!!! I’m still crushing on both.❤️❤️

 

I’m kinda afraid of what they would’ve tried to pass off as “sweet tea” there, so I left it alone.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...