Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
April42749

Horizon 6/5-6/13

Recommended Posts

Just back from another great sailing! This won't be a full blown review, but rather some of my observations and experiences. I'll be comparing it with the NCL Breakaway, since they are both large ships and depart from the same terminal. I've been on the BA 5 times.

 

 

Embarkation....absolutely simple. You give someone your passport, they swipe it and then you get on the ship. No more lines to get your Sign & Sail card; it will be waiting for you at the cabin.

 

 

 

Disembarkation....100% different than the BA. No lines....just walk off. (We tried all times on the BA...early, middle, late...and no matter what, it was always chaos).

 

 

The pool....my husband thought I brought him to the kiddie pool, it's so small! But they had shaded seating and benches around the pool, so you could get your feet wet without ever going in all the way. I enjoyed it; DH felt like a sardine.

 

 

 

Chair hogs....I'm sure there were some, but we never had a problem finding seats.

 

 

The theatre...OK....whoever designed this theatre never took "Theatre Design 101". Besides being too small for 4000 people, there were maybe 10 good seats. And if you get someone with a big hairdo or a hat (yes, one woman was wearing one of those Princess Kate styles) that will be your view.

 

 

The theatre productions....excellent and it's a shame that the venue is so bad.

 

 

Toilets...lack of public toilets and lack of signs indicating where they are. For example...outside the theatre, on the woman's side...3 booths. One night only 2 were working. In the gym/spa....one regular toilet and one for the handicapped.

 

The gym.....brand new modern equipment and it was never crowded.

 

Food:

Buffet....not nearly as much selection as NCL, but for the most part a decent variety. Also, we never had a problem finding a table. I requested and received almond milk daily.

CAKE...I put it in caps because the cakes (buffet at lunch) were delicious. One of them was seriously the best I ever had (and I'm a connoisseur of chocolate cake).

MDR...bleh. I eat out at home almost daily and I found the food "pretend fancy". Went once, that was enuf

Brunch....bleh also. The staff was ultra busy so food was not served in the correct order. I prefer "doing it myself" in the buffet.

Gelato....yes, they had it. I wasn't impressed. I liked the NCL ice cream better...more choices.

 

 

Credit....there was a medical emergency so we had to reroute and ended up skipping Grand Turk. Carnival is giving us a 20% credit which I found very generous. NCL never compensated me for missing a port.

 

 

 

The casino....this is a gambler's casino, not a player's casino. I never lost so much so fast.

 

 

Elevators....a great improvement. No more stopping on every floor.

 

 

Cabin....we had one of those 4Js, in the front of the ship. It's considered an interior but has a large window. The cabin was big and roomy with plenty of storage space. Eyeballing it, the cabin seemed bigger than the balcony (not counting the actual balcony). However, one night at about 3am it started shaking. I assumed we had rough seas. Then, the last sea day it was shaking again. The seas weren't really bad and the shaking was more of a mechanical motion that wave motion. I guess whatever was causing that was fixed as there was wave motion later on but no more shaking.

 

 

 

I cannot think of anything else right now but if you have a question, please ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a 20% credit based on the fare (excluding taxes/port charges) you paid for the cruise.....good for your next cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's a 20% credit based on the fare (excluding taxes/port charges) you paid for the cruise.....good for your next cruise.

 

Ah. Not as good as I hoped. Turks and Cacios is the ONE port I'm really looking forward to. I'd be really disappointed if I missed it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen so many bad reviews of the Horizon. Makes me very nervous. We are booked for December for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and I would hate to be so disappointed :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have seen so many bad reviews of the Horizon. Makes me very nervous. We are booked for December for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and I would hate to be so disappointed :(

 

We're right behind you in January. I've been watching the reviews too. Seems like biggest complaints are the elevators (which always got complaints from other ships with old system) and MDR food which can be personal preference. Crowding at main pool is standard complaint on any ship as is chair hogging. Spa is small and despite what some may have called it, it's NOT a thalasso pool. Just indoor hot tub.

 

In all sounds like some improvements over the Vista we sailed on 18 months ago but in many ways the same. So go with an open mind, try everything you want to try. And then decide for yourself if the ship sux or if you had a good time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have seen so many bad reviews of the Horizon. Makes me very nervous. We are booked for December for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and I would hate to be so disappointed :(

 

I haven't sailed the Horizon yet. I'll be posting my thoughts after I do. However, I see a lot of the NCL Breakaway in this ship. I've sailed the Breakaway twice in the past and I wager a lot of the annoyances from that ship apply to the Horizon. I mitigated some of the most egregious ones (like the pool being too small and the lido area being too crowded during at-sea days) by booking a Havana Cabana. Nevertheless, I wouldn't say those issues are insurmountable. It depends what you're looking for from the ship. If you're a pool/hot-tub person, you might be disappointed unless you get a Havana room. If you like water slides, the sky-ride, the Dr. Seuss themed stuff for the kids, etc. you'll be happy. If you just care about the shows and entertainment, you may be annoyed by the lack of good seats. This is a problem for all these newer ships that try to squeeze a lot of different "stuff" on the ship so when a lot of people want to do the SAME thing at the SAME time, they get overcrowding. (I don't know how RCL handles this. They've been in the monstrous ship business for longer than Carnival and NCL. I'll see how that works NEXT year. :D) One of my favorite NCL ships is the Gem. It's in the "Goldilocks zone" for size to passenger ratio. It doesn't have a lot of the cool stuff the newer ships have, but you certainly have a lot of elbow room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We're right behind you in January. I've been watching the reviews too. Seems like biggest complaints are the elevators (which always got complaints from other ships with old system) and MDR food which can be personal preference. Crowding at main pool is standard complaint on any ship as is chair hogging. Spa is small and despite what some may have called it, it's NOT a thalasso pool. Just indoor hot tub.

 

In all sounds like some improvements over the Vista we sailed on 18 months ago but in many ways the same. So go with an open mind, try everything you want to try. And then decide for yourself if the ship sux or if you had a good time.

 

 

I agree, having sailed the Vista 2016 Thanksgiving repo and now just off the Horizon Memorial Day sailing. I've read numerous negative reviews of both, yet found both ships to be vast improvements over Carnival's previous builds.

 

I attribute the initial negative reviews of any new ship to the normal reluctance for people to accept change and the desire to critique a new ship with a usually higher fare and not sound like a cheerleader. After a few months, the reviews seem to shift and tend to be more positive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is so funny how different people on the exact same cruise could have such different opinions. In the review section of this website someone that was on the same cruise as you just posted a horrible review of the exact same sailing. Some people have a good time regardless of any small issues, and some people let a handful of small issues ruin their good time.

 

 

https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=622875

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I haven't sailed the Horizon yet. I'll be posting my thoughts after I do. However, I see a lot of the NCL Breakaway in this ship. I've sailed the Breakaway twice in the past and I wager a lot of the annoyances from that ship apply to the Horizon. I mitigated some of the most egregious ones (like the pool being too small and the lido area being too crowded during at-sea days) by booking a Havana Cabana. Nevertheless, I wouldn't say those issues are insurmountable. It depends what you're looking for from the ship. If you're a pool/hot-tub person, you might be disappointed unless you get a Havana room. If you like water slides, the sky-ride, the Dr. Seuss themed stuff for the kids, etc. you'll be happy. If you just care about the shows and entertainment, you may be annoyed by the lack of good seats. This is a problem for all these newer ships that try to squeeze a lot of different "stuff" on the ship so when a lot of people want to do the SAME thing at the SAME time, they get overcrowding. (I don't know how RCL handles this. They've been in the monstrous ship business for longer than Carnival and NCL. I'll see how that works NEXT year. :D) One of my favorite NCL ships is the Gem. It's in the "Goldilocks zone" for size to passenger ratio. It doesn't have a lot of the cool stuff the newer ships have, but you certainly have a lot of elbow room.

 

We had 5 beautiful sea days and the lido never seemed crowded. On the BA, one would wander around for several minutes looking for a spot and ending up sharing a table with people if lucky. On the Horizon there were always tons of seats available....breakfast, lunch & dinner. We always got seats by the pool (various) times of day. On the BA...the atrium was "where it happened" and was always crowded. Not so on the Horizon. Actually, the ship didn't feel crowded at all.

 

No ship has a pool "for swimming"...it's just a spot to "get wet". What I liked about the Horizon's pool is that there were benches and shaded areas "in the pool" with ankle deep water. It got really hot sitting on the deck and those "in pool" areas" were always available.

 

The elevators....the same as when you get a new phone/tablet/computer etc. It takes a little while to get used to it....but once you adapt you see how much better it is. We never once got a "full elevator" based on the number of people in it.

 

The BA has "unlimited options" in the buffet. This ship has limited options but enough choices and the food was good. We were on the Sunshine last year and I had trouble finding what I could eat (I eat mostly fish and vegetables).

 

There were over 700 children but they must have been in the Seuss area because they were never a problem for us.

 

"Up above" there was the sports area that had some exercise equipment as well as a jogging track. This is a really good ship for those who want gym/exercise facilities. And above that was the skyride (which I didn't do). That looked like a lot of fun.

 

My only real issue was the theatre. We got there early (45 minutes before showtime) and DH rushed to get decent seats. It's disappointing because the entertainment was so good.

 

 

Most people don't care about "lack of toilets"....but if you do, make sure you know where they are, as they are not clearly labeled and not abundant.

 

On our last BA trip we had an inside guarantee....and ended up with a family inside. It was the smallest cabin I ever had with just about no shelving or drawers. Our cabin on this ship was the 4J...and our specific cabin was about 250 sq ft. But, peeking in to "regular insides" they were much roomier than the BA insides.

 

 

If I had to choose between the BA and the Horizon, I'd pick the Horizon. More to do, less crowded, better CAKE!

 

I had read the reviews before our trip and was getting nervous....but we were very happy with the trip. To those that are reading the bad reviews....don't worry. As long as you don't need a mint on your pillow, you'll love the ship!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is so funny how different people on the exact same cruise could have such different opinions. In the review section of this website someone that was on the same cruise as you just posted a horrible review of the exact same sailing. Some people have a good time regardless of any small issues, and some people let a handful of small issues ruin their good time.

 

 

https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=622875

 

I just read that review...lol. First of all, I'm 69 and DH is 83. We were "very old" for this sailing. The average age was 25-35. DH and I are in very good condition (did I mention that I loved the gym). The person who had to be evacuated was a 33 year old woman (friend on land read the report while it was happening).

 

Instead of Grand Turk, we had a beautiful (weather wise) day at sea. And my credit would have been enough to cover "additional expenses" if I had any.

 

 

Our steward was friendly and kept the room clean. Even if he wasn't friendly....who cares? I found all the staff friendly. As I said in my original post, our wait staff for the brunch seemed overworked and our food came out in the wrong order. Again...who cares? It's a Carnival cruise....not fine dining in a Zagat rated restaurant and you're not paying extra.

 

I can understand "old people" having trouble with the "technology of the elevator"....but considering that this reviewer had such trouble and is young...she must be "technology challenged". Even my "old" husband, who constantly asks me "how to" when it comes to his smart phone thought the elevators were a great improvement to the "old system".

 

 

I think her problem had more to do with dealing with an autistic child.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your review, I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I just booked the Horizon and bringing along a friend who has never cruised and it made me feel like I made the right choice. I did book a Havana because I was afraid of the crowds at the pool and I know she will spend a lot of time at the pool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have seen so many bad reviews of the Horizon. Makes me very nervous. We are booked for December for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and I would hate to be so disappointed :(

Sailing next week on the 4-day Bermuda trip for our 30th Anniversary. Super excited and so far what I've read isn't stuff that bothers wife and I. Looking forward to this new ship and a great few days underway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One additional thought.....about Guys Burgers and Mexican place (I forget the name).

 

 

One day there were really long lines for both of them.....like they were giving away gold or something.

 

 

 

However, after that, even at peak times (1pm or so) no line, no wait. Now, I didn't check it every day, but it seemed that once the thrill wore off, it was smooth sailing for these stations.

 

 

 

I had one of the burgers and it was delicious. I'm not really much of a meat eater but I have a burger every cruise. I liked it better than on the BA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank You for your review. Did you utilize the front outside secret deck? I’m looking for pictures or videos of the deck outside of the windows. Im going to be on deck 9, and it looks like they now have lounge chairs out there instead of just that wooden bench. Can you please confirm if this is true? Thank You.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank You for your review. Did you utilize the front outside secret deck? I’m looking for pictures or videos of the deck outside of the windows. Im going to be on deck 9, and it looks like they now have lounge chairs out there instead of just that wooden bench. Can you please confirm if this is true? Thank You.

 

The good news is that there were lounge chairs. The bad news is that they were tied up. It was very windy...too windy for me to sit out there. Other people did....but I didn't see anyone utilizing the lounge chairs. I did see one woman sitting on a regular chair; I guess she brought it from somewhere (there were no regular chairs there when we boarded).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The good news is that there were lounge chairs. The bad news is that they were tied up. It was very windy...too windy for me to sit out there. Other people did....but I didn't see anyone utilizing the lounge chairs. I did see one woman sitting on a regular chair; I guess she brought it from somewhere (there were no regular chairs there when we boarded).

Thank You. I saw a video of my cabin, and there were lounge chairs stacked beside the window. I wondered if the wind could blow them overboard. I hope I do get to sit out there at least once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have seen so many bad reviews of the Horizon. Makes me very nervous. We are booked for December for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and I would hate to be so disappointed :(

 

Where are you seeing the reviews? I feel like there are hardly any on here and most of the ones I’ve seen only complain about the theater and the elevators. I want to know what else I should be prepared to try not to let bother me. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank You. I saw a video of my cabin, and there were lounge chairs stacked beside the window. I wondered if the wind could blow them overboard. I hope I do get to sit out there at least once.

 

We were in 9203 (I saw that video) and there were chairs stacked outside, just as in the video. They were tied down and the wind definitely would have blown them over. You could probably use them on port days without any problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Where are you seeing the reviews? I feel like there are hardly any on here and most of the ones I’ve seen only complain about the theater and the elevators. I want to know what else I should be prepared to try not to let bother me. :D

 

Theater is bad. Elevators are good and expedite the flow. My only other "issue" was lack of public toilets and not marking them. I overheard more than one person complaining they had to go back to the cabin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank You for your review. Did you utilize the front outside secret deck? I’m looking for pictures or videos of the deck outside of the windows. Im going to be on deck 9, and it looks like they now have lounge chairs out there instead of just that wooden bench. Can you please confirm if this is true? Thank You.
There is a YouTube video of a secret deck on 14 forward in front of the spa that has access from two doorways and seems to be in a somewhat enclosed area with seating. On my phone now so I can't provide you with the direct link, but a simple Google search should provide it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is a YouTube video of a secret deck on 14 forward in front of the spa that has access from two doorways and seems to be in a somewhat enclosed area with seating. On my phone now so I can't provide you with the direct link, but a simple Google search should provide it.

Thank You so much. I saw that one, but that deck does not go all the way across the entire front of the ship. I’m thinking it’s not wide enough in front of the cabins to safely walk on that entire deck. I do like the furniture out there.

 

On deck 9 it is a wide deck. Since it is above the bridge it also extends further out to the sides, just as the bridge does. You’re able to walk from one side to the other.

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
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • 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...