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SnowWhiteNYC

Just off the Horizon - 4/20 - 4/28

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We're off our Horizon cruise for just under a week and wanted to take the time to give a brief review.  Overall we loved the ship and had a fantastic time.  It was packed and we knew that going into the cruise as it was Spring Break/Easter week but that didn't impact our experience more than a little bit.  It was my husband and I (26 CCL cruises) and our 13yo son.  We booked an interior cabin, Deck 10.  Having the third bed as a pullman v. a trundle made a big difference in the comfort of our room for us.  We don't spend much time in the room so interior is usually fine for us but not having the extra bed take up floor space was a big plus for us.  The location was great for us as we could hit the Lido deck with ease and we never heard any noise from the public areas of the ship at all. Service overall was excellent.  We did notice that the drink servers were virtually none existent  on the decks other than in the main Lido area mid ship.  We had assigned early dining and had a great wait staff serving us.  The assistant maitre'd took note that I had ordered the Indian Vegetarian entree the first two nights and stopped by our table near the end of our second dinner.  She asked if I was vegan/vegetarian and when I said that I wasn't and that I just loved Indian cuisine she offered to get me a non-vegetarian Indian entree each night if I would like from the crew dining room.  Sure enough, each night I was able to get both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian offering if I wanted.  She stopped by our table each night to check on us.  She explained that this is an option on every CCL ship as long as the guest requests.  With all of our cruises and all of my research this is something I never knew! 

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Our ports of call were Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts and St. Martin. We opted to stay on the ship in Grand Turk - we always pick one port to stay on board and enjoy the ship and we'd just been to Grand Turk on our last cruise.  So while most of the ship go off to explore we rode the Sky Ride, did the Sky Course, enjoyed the pools and the splash zone and slides, played mini golf and pool and ping pong... We had a great day and were glad we did it this way.  In San Juan we just got off the ship at leisure and headed up to El Morro with a kite we'd brought with us.  Spent a few hours enjoying the scenery up at the fort and flying our kite.  We've been to San Juan many times and didn't need to do much else.  In St. Kitts we booked a private tour with Thenford Gray and toured the island with several stops and about 2 hours at the beach.  Would highly rec.!  We'd been to St. Martin on our very first cruise in 2002 but hadn't been back since.  We rented a car from the port area and drove around the island stopping at several beaches and lookouts as well as for a bite to eat in Grand Case and a brief stop in Marigot.  All in all another great day.  It's a relatively easy island to navigate on your own.

 

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Sea days were very crowded up on the decks but that's too be expected.  Pools are very small and don't really handle the big sea day crowds well so we tend to avoid them and only really used them on emabarkation day, Grand Turk day and our last sea day (when we got out relatively early).  The hot tubs were a bit of a disappointment.  We used all of them at some point including the two in the Havana area (after 7p open access).  They were never "hot" more like "warm" and the jets weren't powerful by any stretch of the imagination.  Because they weren't really hot, once people got in them, they tended to stay in them for hours without ever leaving.  This was one of the few negatives of the cruise for us.  Not a deal breaker but definitely something I mentioned in my review-survey. 

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We were on board for Easter Sunday.  They had a morning, non-denominational service in the Limelight Lounge.  It was packed.  Beautifully done.  One of the best experiences I have ever had on a cruise.  So moving.  Each guest attending received a beautiful pin.  They also had an Easter Egg hunt.  Eggs were hidden all over the ship and clues were given.  Everyone who found all 12 was given a special prize.  My son did it and loved it. 

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Overall the entertainment was great.  The musical acts on board were top notch and extremely enjoyable.  We spent quite a bit of time in the different venues enjoying them.  We went to all 4 playlist productions.  We did not enjoy them despite the talented cast and the amazing scenery.  Typically we thoroughly enjoy the shows on our cruises.  Not this time.  We watched several of the Dive In movies up on Lido and watch one movie, Captain Marvel, in the IMax theater.  We really enjoyed this feature.  We attended several of the Atrium "parties" with the cruise director and had a blast.  We also did the adult only quest one evening and that was a riot!  Would definitely suggest trying it!  Loved the Punch Liner Comedy club and went to several of the shows throughout the cruise.  We had so much fun - this was a really great time. 

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30 minutes ago, SnowWhiteNYC said:

She explained that this is an option on every CCL ship as long as the guest requests.  With all of our cruises and all of my research this is something I never knew! 

Nor did I, that's so cool! I'm looking forward to the rest of your review! I loved the Carnival Horizon, the best ship so far!

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We really did love her too!  And we love the 8 day itinerary!  Just booked the Mardi Gras for 2021.  Still deciding on 2020's cruise - leaning toward the Sunrise out of NYC.

 

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6 minutes ago, SnowWhiteNYC said:

We really did love her too!  And we love the 8 day itinerary!  Just booked the Mardi Gras for 2021.  Still deciding on 2020's cruise - leaning toward the Sunrise out of NYC.

 

You should consider an 8 day again out of Miami to the Southern Caribbean! That's what I am leaning to for 2020!

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For us, the convenience of sailing out of NYC may win out.  Curious to see the reviews of the Sunrise though!

 

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18 minutes ago, SnowWhiteNYC said:

For us, the convenience of sailing out of NYC may win out.  Curious to see the reviews of the Sunrise though!

 

I understand the convenience, having sailed out six times now. I just get tired of seeing THE SAME Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower, and Verrazano Narrows Bridge! First World Problems, IKR 🙄! That's why I am exploring newer ports, though I understand where you are coming from! New York is a fantastic state!

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We've done NY as well several times but we actually drove to Miami and home for this last cruise because of the air fare costs and it being Spring Break...long drive and we did it non-stop on the way home because I had to go to work the next day!

 

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1 minute ago, SnowWhiteNYC said:

We've done NY as well several times but we actually drove to Miami and home for this last cruise because of the air fare costs and it being Spring Break...long drive and we did it non-stop on the way home because I had to go to work the next day!

 

18 HOURS OMG!

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We were in the car by 8a and pulled into our driveway at 4:55a the next morning.  I left for work at 5:30a!  

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2 minutes ago, SnowWhiteNYC said:

We were in the car by 8a and pulled into our driveway at 4:55a the next morning.  I left for work at 5:30a!  

I am assuming that you weren't driving, and got some rest hopefully!

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We're in the process of boarding the Horizon now for our 8 day cruise to the southern Caribbean. Thanks for your review and we drove from Iowa down to Miami. 25ish hrs total in travel time. 19hrs the first day 😂

 

Can't wait to see how she compares to the Dream from last year and the Vista the year before that. 

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We loved her, really!  Liquid Lounge seating tip: enter the left door and go left immediately to the back.  Bar stools on end are elevated and give a great view of the whole stage with no heads blocking you.  Those seats were available every night until we took them about 15 minutes before the shows started.

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2 hours ago, SnowWhiteNYC said:

We loved her, really!  Liquid Lounge seating tip: enter the left door and go left immediately to the back.  Bar stools on end are elevated and give a great view of the whole stage with no heads blocking you.  Those seats were available every night until we took them about 15 minutes before the shows started.

Thanks for this tip.  I have been reading about the downsides of the lounge so am looking for anything that would help.  

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2 hours ago, BIGREDIOWAN said:

We're in the process of boarding the Horizon now for our 8 day cruise to the southern Caribbean. Thanks for your review and we drove from Iowa down to Miami. 25ish hrs total in travel time. 19hrs the first day 😂

 

Can't wait to see how she compares to the Dream from last year and the Vista the year before that. 

 

50 hours round trip 😶 You have way more patience than I do!

 

Thanks for the tip on the indian dish. I just tried to for the first time a few days ago and loved it. If only I knew I could get meat too!

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12 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

 

50 hours round trip 😶 You have way more patience than I do!

 

Thanks for the tip on the indian dish. I just tried to for the first time a few days ago and loved it. If only I knew I could get meat too!

Trust me it's rough, but I'm motivated by the money saved by driving compared to flying out of Des Moines. Pretty expensive to fly out of there. The last few hours to our destination I get pretty restless. Lol

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Driving down there was no problem - other than 3 states with tornado warnings.  We were excited about starting our vacation.  The trip home?  Ugh.  But there was no choice - flights were more than we paid for the cruise itself!

 

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4 hours ago, SnowWhiteNYC said:

Overall the entertainment was great.  The musical acts on board were top notch and extremely enjoyable.  We spent quite a bit of time in the different venues enjoying them.  We went to all 4 playlist productions.  We did not enjoy them despite the talented cast and the amazing scenery.  Typically we thoroughly enjoy the shows on our cruises.  Not this time.  We watched several of the Dive In movies up on Lido and watch one movie, Captain Marvel, in the IMax theater.  We really enjoyed this feature.  We attended several of the Atrium "parties" with the cruise director and had a blast.  We also did the adult only quest one evening and that was a riot!  Would definitely suggest trying it!  Loved the Punch Liner Comedy club and went to several of the shows throughout the cruise.  We had so much fun - this was a really great time. 

Why didn't you enjoy the Playlist Productions since you said the cast was talented  and the scenery was amazing? 

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The themes for each show were basically good.  The song choice and the flow of the individual shows was odd.  There was no one song or moment that just pulled you in, the audience was never electrified or ever really in to the show or the moment or the songs.  There was, at best, polite clapping.  We've always enjoyed the on board productions.  They've always been fun and entertaining.  These four shows were just, meh... even though the sets and scenery were well done and the cast had obvious talent.  We actually left the last of the shows early.  We went each night thinking, this is the one that's going to grab us and wow us but it never happened.  If we sail the Horizon again we won't go to the playlist productions.  There was so much other great entertainment around the ship that we will be fine without going to these.

 

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On 5/4/2019 at 9:41 AM, SnowWhiteNYC said:

Overall the entertainment was great.  The musical acts on board were top notch and extremely enjoyable.  We spent quite a bit of time in the different venues enjoying them.  We went to all 4 playlist productions.  We did not enjoy them despite the talented cast and the amazing scenery.  Typically we thoroughly enjoy the shows on our cruises.  Not this time.  We watched several of the Dive In movies up on Lido and watch one movie, Captain Marvel, in the IMax theater.  We really enjoyed this feature.  We attended several of the Atrium "parties" with the cruise director and had a blast.  We also did the adult only quest one evening and that was a riot!  Would definitely suggest trying it!  Loved the Punch Liner Comedy club and went to several of the shows throughout the cruise.  We had so much fun - this was a really great time. 

 

What movies did they show for the "dive in" movies?

I'm going on the Horizon next week and I was wondering how new the movies will be.

 

Thanks.

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On 5/4/2019 at 1:54 PM, SnowWhiteNYC said:

The themes for each show were basically good.  The song choice and the flow of the individual shows was odd.  There was no one song or moment that just pulled you in, the audience was never electrified or ever really in to the show or the moment or the songs.  There was, at best, polite clapping.  We've always enjoyed the on board productions.  They've always been fun and entertaining.  These four shows were just, meh... even though the sets and scenery were well done and the cast had obvious talent.  We actually left the last of the shows early.  We went each night thinking, this is the one that's going to grab us and wow us but it never happened.  If we sail the Horizon again we won't go to the playlist productions.  There was so much other great entertainment around the ship that we will be fine without going to these.

 

Loved the Horizon and Cruise Director Mike Pack, but it was the 1st time that I didn't really enjoy the Carnival stage shows.  I was really looking forward to them since they were all new to me.  I think Spellbound was the best.  

 

But, there's plenty more to do.  Next time I'm on the Horizon I'll do the comedy shows and dive-in movies and some of the smaller lounge shows.  Still had lots of fun!

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They showed: Bohemian Rhapsody, Mary Poppins Returns, Ralph Breaks the Internet, A Star Is Born, Hellboy, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Venom, Creed II, Aquaman, Mama Mia, Green Book, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Gindelwald, Bumblebee, Glass, Instant Family and Crazy Rich Asians.  We also saw Captain Marvel in the Imax as well as Dumbo.

 

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