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bingomamma19

Just off Horizon....

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We just got back from our 8 day eastern on the Horizon.   March 23-31st.

Just wanted to give some thoughts on this cruise and the good and bad from our experiences. 

 

We have been on 10 Carnival cruises..starting in 2009 on the Fascination, then the Dream a few times, the Freedom, the Splendor, the Breeze 3x, the Legend and now the Horizon.

 

We chose the Horizon because of a Premier cruise offer and the fact that it was the newest ship.

 

We flew in the day before and stayed at the Embassy suites in Miami.   We fly Southwest so we always fly in and out of Ft Lauderdale.   We usually stay at the Embassy suites due to the free great buffet for breakfast and the free cocktail hour (2 hr) everynight.   We were not thrilled with this Embassy Suites at all.  Its not near any stores and the hotel area is very run down..the pool was not as nice as others with Embassy suites.    I love the Ft Lauderdale location and it is right near so many stores and restaurants.   The pool area is beautiful also.   Lesson learned...always stay at the Ft  Lauderdale location--whether we are sailing from Miami or Ft Lauderdale. 

 

We got to the Horizon at 11:45am--earlier than we like, but the latest shuttle was leaving around 11:15am from the hotel, so we took it.   I was amazed at how well the embarkation was on this ship.   We are platinum and were on the Premier casino cruise, we walked up, they took our picture before we even scanned our luggage, then walked right on the ship.   Literally less than 5 minutes from shuttle drop off to walking on board.   That was amazing!! 

 

We went right up to our room 11274..our keys were on our mailbox and we went in.   Very nice balcony room.   We were just 4 doors off the 11th floor doors to the lido deck area.   WE LOVED THAT.   The convenience of that was unbelievable.

 

Skipping all the details of our cruise...these are the things we loved and things we didn't love...

 

LOVED

Room location and size of the room/closets

Guys Burgers

Our CD Schwartz

Movies on the LIDO deck every night

The flow of the new buffet set up (didn't think I would, but it really works -never a line)

Gerry, one of the entertainment staff that ran the trivia games....funny guy and great to talk to

The Italian restaurant and the Pizza place

Sitting on our balcony and having the privacy, but still able to hear from the LIDO what was happening there.

The comedy club

The Dr suess waterpark area

The gifts from the premiere players cruise that came every day to the cabin (like Christmas every day)  LOL

The parties were great--Lido dance parties. 80s parties, white party  etc.

 

DIDNT LOVE

The MDR--our waiter was non existent and neither was any bar service...worst MDR we have ever had--didn't go back after day 2

The elevators--HATE the new system.   I have never had to wait so long for any elevator on any ship.

The Atrium.   There are no glass elevators, and the space seems smaller.  There is a ceiling after the 3rd level of the atrium.   We have always loved sitting there and watching the musical performers and the glass elevators.   It is not that elegant space anymore.

The Theater....very small compared to the other ships and the seating in the main floor middle area is just chairs..not booths.

The casino...there was no non smoking separate area like other carnival ships...it was smaller overall and the bar is just a round bar in the middle of the casino...no extra chairs and tables.

The hot tubs.   There were only 2 for the general passengers--in the Tides pool area.   For a ship of 4700-4900 that's crazy...it was so overcrowed, people were standing in the middle of it while the others were sitting.   It was like a giant soup bowl of people :)  On the other ships we have been on, there are at least 4 whirlpools for the general cruisers.  I like the ones that hang over the sides on Deck 5 of the Dream class ships.

The size of the Lido pool area is the same as the size of smaller ships.  So you have even less chairs to choose from.  My mom was up at 6am every day and she said all the chairs were already taken by towels by then.   She said it has never been this bad on our other cruises.

The stores are very small...way smaller than any other carnival ship.

 

One more thing I didn't care for...and maybe this has been like this on other cruises, but I hadn't noticed....the activities on the funtimes seem to be geared towards selling you things, services, products now..instead of entertaining you.    Lots of ...how to tone your skin..flatten your stomach...end puffy eyes...shopping for the best jewelry etc.    Not a deal breaker, but just seemed odd that so many of the activities were geared towards the shops and spa services.

 

Overall we had a great time, but definitely would not book the Horizon or similar style (no glass elevators, small theater etc).    If they go back to making those spaces larger on a newer ship, we will try, but for now...we will stick to the Breeze, Magic etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by bingomamma19

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Thanks for your review.  My husband and I were considering the Horizon for our next cruise, but chose the Magic because the Horizon seemed too similar to the Vista.  We did not like the Vista, especially the theater.  Worst theater of any cruise we have taken.  We still had fun, but will not choose the Vista again.  I appreciate your review of the good and bad on the Horizon.

Edited by TNcruising02

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I agree with the theatre, there are too many obstructed seats.

 

The elevators would work great if everyone used them correctly, unfortunately many passengers don't take a minute to learn the system. 

 

Not in the general area, but there are 2 more hot tubs in Serenity that I found wouldn't get jam packed like it the Tides area. Even if it was full, people would be coming and going so spots would open up. Possible option if you're not traveling with someone under 21.

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22 minutes ago, mdin said:

I agree with the theatre, there are too many obstructed seats.

 

The elevators would work great if everyone used them correctly, unfortunately many passengers don't take a minute to learn the system. 

 

Not in the general area, but there are 2 more hot tubs in Serenity that I found wouldn't get jam packed like it the Tides area. Even if it was full, people would be coming and going so spots would open up. Possible option if you're not traveling with someone under 21.

That was the problem...I also have my 13 year old that likes to go in the hot tub.   So that left us with the 2 on the Tides area.   We never did get in the hot tub.   My mom, however did use the serenity area ones (they have 2) and said they were very nice.

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37 minutes ago, TNcruising02 said:

Thanks for your review.  My husband and I were considering the Horizon for our next cruise, but chose the Magic because the Horizon seemed too similar to the Vista.  We did not like the Vista, especially the theater.  Worst theater of any cruise we have taken.  We still had fun, but will not choose the Vista again.  I appreciate your review of the good and bad on the Horizon.

I think the Vista and the Horizon are the same class, so are very similar.

 

The other problem with the seats...many are directly behind each other...no lift to them so you are mostly looking at the back of someones head.   Just a terrible design.  

 

We usually go to all the shows...we only went to 1 this time.

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2 minutes ago, bingomamma19 said:

I think the Vista and the Horizon are the same class, so are very similar.

 

The other problem with the seats...many are directly behind each other...no lift to them so you are mostly looking at the back of someones head.   Just a terrible design.  

 

We usually go to all the shows...we only went to 1 this time.

Yes, we experienced that same issue.  We thought the theater was something they would have on one of their first ships, not on their newest ships.  The layout is terrible.  We went to all of the shows, but we made sure to stand in line super early and hope for the best.  Still, it was annoying and we are usually go with the flow type of people.

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Thanks for the well written review.  I didn't realize the casino didn't have any tables or chairs around the bar, we like to hang out on other ships there.  Did they not put the hot tubs on deck 5 like the breeze has?  I have made speciality dining reservations for my Horizon cruise since many have complained about the MDR.  I will try it a few nights and hopefully enjoy it.  I always bring a drink with me to dinner.  Lately drink staff has been hard to find in the MDR.

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6 minutes ago, JaniceB said:

Thanks for the well written review.  I didn't realize the casino didn't have any tables or chairs around the bar, we like to hang out on other ships there.  Did they not put the hot tubs on deck 5 like the breeze has?  I have made speciality dining reservations for my Horizon cruise since many have complained about the MDR.  I will try it a few nights and hopefully enjoy it.  I always bring a drink with me to dinner.  Lately drink staff has been hard to find in the MDR.

There were no hot tubs on deck 5.   I really missed those as I love those on the Breeze also.

 

I wish I had thought of bringing a drink with us to dinner.   I just couldn't believe that nobody asked us if we wanted a drink.   Even the waiter that fills the water didn't come around to refill.    That lack of service is why we never went back after the 2nd night.

 

I did eat in the Pig and Anchor a few nights.   Very good and loved it, although it does cost extra...at least I got a drink order with my meal.

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Thanks for your input. I find that when people list their "cons," it's very helpful. We'll be going on Horizon next March. Not my choice for our next cruise, but I didn't have a say this time. I have been curious about what it's like on the Vista class ships, but I don't look forward to more people. Especially when more people are put in spaces that are the same size, or smaller, than older/smaller ships. I get it, passengers are the bread & butter, so they love packing as many cabins in as they can. But dang, they make these mega-ships and some of the public areas don't grow with the ship. Granted, there are a lot of new things on these bigger ships, like more bars and eateries, IMAX/Thrill Theater, private areas like Havana, things like that. But it dumbfounds me that the Lido pool area, one of the most popular areas on every single ship, pretty much stays the same size. Give up a few cabins, for crying out loud, and make these popular areas a little bigger.

 

I love the terraced feel of the Lido area on Conquest class ships. You can go up to higher levels and still have a nice view of the pool area. It also makes for a great space with lots of loungers to watch the Dive-In movies. It doesn't make you feel like you're deep in a hole.

 

I'm dreading the Liquid Lounge. I've definitely heard more bad than good. I have heard that you're better off getting a seat on the upper level. I don't want to have to show up crazy early for every show, so I don't know what will happen. This is also the second time, at least, I've read bad things about the Horizon MDR. We've always loved our MDR experience. We'll be so disappointed if it's gone downhill on this ship.

Edited by Organized Chaos

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You didn't miss anything in the Hot Tubs at the Tides area!!  They weren't "hot", and always were full of kids!  I thought they were kiddie pools!!!  The Lifeguard had to constantly patrol the hot tubs!!  

I loved the funnels and the constant changing!  

The Theater was not well thought out!  Especially when all all of the ADA people and their translators were in there!  

I was on this same cruise.  

The elevators would work well, if people used them as instructed.

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Thank you for your review!! I have a group going on the Horizon in May 2020 so it's nice to see others pros and cons of the ship.  Some make me cringe, but it is what it is and I'm sure we'll have a great cruise regardless! Thanks again for sharing

 

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16 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

Thanks for your input. I find that when people list their "cons," it's very helpful. We'll be going on Horizon next March. Not my choice for our next cruise, but I didn't have a say this time. I have been curious about what it's like on the Vista class ships, but I don't look forward to more people. Especially when more people are put in spaces that are the same size, or smaller, than older/smaller ships. I get it, passengers are the bread & butter, so they love packing as many cabins in as they can. But dang, they make these mega-ships and some of the public areas don't grow with the ship. Granted, there are a lot of new things on these bigger ships, like more bars and eateries, IMAX/Thrill Theater, private areas like Havana, things like that. But it dumbfounds me that the Lido pool area, one of the most popular areas on every single ship, pretty much stays the same size. Give up a few cabins, for crying out loud, and make these popular areas a little bigger.

 

I love the terraced feel of the Lido area on Conquest class ships. You can go up to higher levels and still have a nice view of the pool area. It also makes for a great space with lots of loungers to watch the Dive-In movies. It doesn't make you feel like you're deep in a hole.

 

I'm dreading the Liquid Lounge. I've definitely heard more bad than good. I have heard that you're better off getting a seat on the upper level. I don't want to have to show up crazy early for every show, so I don't know what will happen. This is also the second time, at least, I've read bad things about the Horizon MDR. We've always loved our MDR experience. We'll be so disappointed if it's gone downhill on this ship.

oh yeah..i forgot we did the IMAX...that was definitely cool.   We watched the superhero dogs film.     I recommend this if you like something they are showing in there.

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15 minutes ago, pmoniz said:

Thank you for your review!! I have a group going on the Horizon in May 2020 so it's nice to see others pros and cons of the ship.  Some make me cringe, but it is what it is and I'm sure we'll have a great cruise regardless! Thanks again for sharing

 

You will have a great time.   It has a lot of  great things there and we did enjoy ourselves...just not a ship I would go on again, since I do like the space designs on the Breeze type of ship much better.    

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I was on the same cruise and agree with most of your post, especially your comment about the elevators. The one thing that was vastly different was our experience in the MDR. We had a great team waiting on us and their service couldn’t have been better. 

 

I also agree Gerry was great running trivia. I spent a lot of time in Ocean Plaza playing trivia and went home with 6 ships on a stick to my wife’s dismay. I was not impressed the few times other Fun Squad members hosted trivia. 

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Thank you for the review! This is EXACTLY why I booked Havana for the Panorama. Now I know I made the right decision. 

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When on a casino premier or ultra cruise, we would usually get a beverage in the casino while waiting for a drawing or giveaway at 8PM, and then bring that beverage to the late seating MDR.  When we sailed the Horizon repo from NY, it wasn't a casino cruise, so I told the waiter I wanted San Pellegrino every night, and it was there on our table when we arrived.

 

Sad if service is going downhill since then.  I would have complained to the Maitre'D if I wasn't happy with the service.  In fact, I did exactly that on my last Conquest casino cruise in February.  We switched tables after the second night, and enjoyed the rest of our dinners in the MDR except for 1 meal in the Steakhouse.

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49 minutes ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

I also agree Gerry was great running trivia. I spent a lot of time in Ocean Plaza playing trivia and went home with 6 ships on a stick to my wife’s dismay. I was not impressed the few times other Fun Squad members hosted trivia. 

 

What's your secret? I love doing the trivia, but all the cheating has made me feel like it isn't even worth my time anymore, and that's disappointing because I do enjoy it a lot. Last year I didn't even bother the last couple days. I'm no genius, but I do have a lot of random, sometimes useless knowledge rolling around in my head. But it never fails, someone always has one more right answer than anyone else. Sometimes it's just me, I just don't have the answers. But a majority of the times I've played, I see people on their phones looking up answers and always see people writing in answers after the host reads them off. And those two types of players are usually the ones who "win." I just wished the Fun Squad hosts would pay more attention to that kind of thing. I know it's just a dumb plastic trophy. It's not even that, really; although, it'd be nice to win one after all of my repeated efforts. But it's more so that the cheating really hurts the experience for honest players who enjoy trivia.

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35 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

What's your secret? I love doing the trivia, but all the cheating has made me feel like it isn't even worth my time anymore, and that's disappointing because I do enjoy it a lot. Last year I didn't even bother the last couple days. I'm no genius, but I do have a lot of random, sometimes useless knowledge rolling around in my head. But it never fails, someone always has one more right answer than anyone else. Sometimes it's just me, I just don't have the answers. But a majority of the times I've played, I see people on their phones looking up answers and always see people writing in answers after the host reads them off. And those two types of players are usually the ones who "win." I just wished the Fun Squad hosts would pay more attention to that kind of thing. I know it's just a dumb plastic trophy. It's not even that, really; although, it'd be nice to win one after all of my repeated efforts. But it's more so that the cheating really hurts the experience for honest players who enjoy trivia.

 

I usually only play trivia for topics I know a lot about, especially sports. I avoid trivia like Harry Potter because there is always going to be some 12 year old who knows way more than I will ever know. 

 

Gerry who hosted most of the trivia my last cruise announced before every game that anyone seen using a phone would not be eligible for the fantastic ship on a stick. He also had everyone swap answer sheets when scoring them, so that at least eliminated people writing in answers afterwards. 

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27 minutes ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

 

I usually only play trivia for topics I know a lot about, especially sports. I avoid trivia like Harry Potter because there is always going to be some 12 year old who knows way more than I will ever know. 

 

Gerry who hosted most of the trivia my last cruise announced before every game that anyone seen using a phone would not be eligible for the fantastic ship on a stick. He also had everyone swap answer sheets when scoring them, so that at least eliminated people writing in answers afterwards. 

 

I do the same, only go to topics I know. And yes, avoid the Harry Potter trivia like the plague. The only think I know about Harry Potter is that there's kid named Harry Potter in it. I've heard doing trivia while in port is easier since most people are off the ship, but we've always been off, too.

 

You see, making the no phone announcement and swapping answer sheets are great ways to stop the cheating I've seen. Two simple things, and yet they have never done either of them when I played. It's good to see he takes steps to curb cheating. Hopefully he's still there next March and still hosting trivia.

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Thanks for your review. Which ship did your 13 year old prefer?  I was wondering how the kids like the clubhouse at the SportsSquare. It seems like a nice addition but I wondered if it was usually too crowded because Horizon has more people than Breeze. 

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That is awesome that you had a room so close to Lido. I love the higher rooms!

 

It's a shame that they messed up a few of the public areas on the Vista class. Could have been a near perfect class.

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Totally agree with your comments on ship layout. WE cruised on her sister ship (Vista)....and we were disappointed with the flow, atrium , shops, etc. Dream class (Breeze) has best layout in my opinion!  If it wasn't for staying in a Havana cabin and having our own less crowded pool/bar area...I would never consider cruising on this class ship again. Havana cabin?? Maybe

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