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lensonlife

More on our 6/29-7/7 Horizon cruise- review

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Posted (edited)

As previously posted, our flight out of Worcester did not go as planned and we ended up flying out of Boston the next day. Jet Blue will reimburse us half of what they initially had lead us to believe, but we'll take it (we didn't have insurance) and are just glad to have finally made it to the ship on time. Others didn't- we later found out that some were boarding in Grand Turk! I don't know if it was from the same snafu, but obviously it happens- and I do know that Jet Blue didn't extend the same courtesy to others (like complementary Lyft rides to Boston) as they did our family) because I met up with them in Boston. And the airline representatives wanted to know what happened- "did you all miss your flight?". On our way back home, Jet Blue was once again twice delayed- but less of an urgency there (and at least not cancelled). 

 

I booked our cruise on the Horizon in February 2018- prior to sailing, and was excited to sail the mega ship. But then started to worry after reading reviews of there simply being too few amenities (pools) or space (liquid lounge) to accommodate the sheer number of passengers, and was second guessing our commitment. I actually started to feel this doom right up until a few weeks before sailing when I just started to focus more on the ports and less on the ship itself. 

 

So much fuss about nothing!!!! 

 

The Horizon is a beautiful ship. I had no issues at full capacity during a holiday week. I thought I would have to get up at 5:00 every morning to get a deck chair. And the first day out, I did! After that, I way did not and I never had a problem finding a chair. Also, I never had an issue getting into a pool- in fact, I spent quite a bit of time in the pools (which is SOOOOO unlike me), but it was really nice! I have actually never done that on a cruise and now I am sold on wading in the shallow sections on those pool sides. I really like the Tides area- maybe there were more chairs there than over in the crazy Lido section. I also accessed the Havana section one night and that was very relaxing (there really truly is, nobody there- I highly recommend it). 

 

Entertainment:

 

We saw the Love & Marriage show in the Liquid Lounge and yes- those pillars are a real problem. I had done some homework from reading reviews here and we went in and went straight to the left and sat in the back, but still had to maneuver a little. My husband is 6' 6", so we don't want to block anyone's view, or be blocked- and, the show before us hardly emptied which created a bit of a problem for guest coming in. That said, Love & Marriage is hysterical!!! And NAUGHTY! HAHAHA! There was a couple whom I believe was married for like 56 years and THEY WERE THE BEST!!! CD Mike, was and is ridiculously funny (and so energetic).

 

Adult Comedy in the Punchliner was so funny, we went back. My daughter and her partner went for a 3rd show and they said he was even funnier than the first guy (which is hard to believe because I was about to pee myself). 

 

The white party and 90's party were great fun!

 

We did a lot of other things... trivia (just a relaxing family activity), danced my face off in the night clubs, and listened to some live music (great duo in Pig & Anchor). 

 

Dining:

 

We ate in the MDR 3 times, and I was VERY pleased with our service every night. We never shared a table, and never sat in the same place (we ate on both floors) and once by the windows at sunset which felt like a privilege. Our orders were taken very quickly, came quickly, and met expectations! We ordered more than one of lots of things every night and they were very happy to give us everything we wanted. My son is very picky, and one night he asked for only 2 sides of the baked mac and cheese. Our server thought that was very funny and brought him FIVE! And my son was very grateful! We had YTD, and were always seated within 10-15 minutes- I don't think we ever ate before 7:30 and one night at 8:45. 

 

We ate at Cucina Del Capitano on our last night, and it stole my heart. I loved the atmosphere as much as the food. And the servers. I would have eaten there at least 3 or 4 times had I known it was so sweet! 

 

Pizzeria Del Capitano is still just as good as ever! I never had to wait long and it was always hot out of the oven. I ate at the Blue Iguana 3 times, 2 x's for breakfast burritos and 1x for a taco salad. The burritos were good. The taco shell was stale- I think the air got to it 😥. My family was disappointed with Guys- said they were "okay", but not worth waiting in the long lines for. We loved the Seafood Shack. Wished they had tartar sauce, but like that buffalo sauce!

 

We also enjoyed lunch at Mongolian Wok and it was good. We waited an hour and a half for a lunch "reservation". They closed at 2:30, but honored everyone who was waiting. The poor hostess was so taxed, she was probably the most overwhelmed I'd seen of all the Carnival Horizon staff. Not rude, but clearly ready to cry and lose it. It was so obvious to everyone there. I hope they get that worked out. Service and food was quick once we were seated. 

 

Beverages: 

 

We did not purchase Cheers or Bubbles. We did not bring anything on board except for wine and I only drank one bottle (my husband doesn't drink wine). Our bar tab totaled around $400. I went back and forth about Cheers and obviously am glad we didn't do that. That said, I brought plenty enough money- I didn't plan to restrict our beverage budget in any way. But in the end we didn't come close to spending what I thought we might. The heat just is not conducive to heavy drinking every single day (I did indulge one night, then sipped, and went a couple days without any). The kids drank water, lemonade, and ordered a few soda/milkshakes with their own spending money that we gave them ($100 each). 

 

Excursions/Ports: 

 

In Curacao, we paid for the Willemstad walking day tour. We liked it very much and I really love Curacao- a lot of beautiful local art. In Grand Turk, we walked to Jacks Shack and rented chairs/umbrellas (maybe $10 each) and enjoyed the beach and water. It was a peaceful day and a favorite (my kids loved all the dogs- so many of them). In Aruba, we took a taxi to and from Eagle Beach and rented two beach chairs and an umbrella ($40). I wanted to rent three chairs, but they would not allow me to do that- seems they only rent them in pairs of two. My two kids and I also ended up separated from my older daughter and her partner who they set up further down the beach. The bartender was very nice- the people setting up the chairs, not so much. But none of that mattered. I could have sat in the sand- that's what I was there for anyway- sun, sand and sea. Aruba was my favorite beach. Taxi's were $15/party each way. 

 

Other things: 

 

This has been mentioned a lot I know. I grew up in a household of smokers (and they all still smoke). I do not dislike smokers. But walking through that casino takes me right back to my childhood when I riding in a car with the windows up. 

 

My daughter who turned 14 two days ago figured the elevators out in about 5 minutes. Took me a day (or two). They were NOT bad at all. I think people have them figured out (probably in thanks to these boards!). The only time I saw a problem was when they were closed down, or a lot of people moving at once- forcing people to take the stairs. And that's really only a problem for people with bad knees or disabilities. 

 

There was some significant motion on this cruise- to the point where one night, I had to hold the walls walking back to the cabin because I thought I was going to fall down. And I was sober! My daughters partner thought he too was going to fall down, but he was not sober LOL! I had felt the motion for several days- it was only really bad for 1-2 days. What made it worse was that our inside cabin was CREAKING! And it was loud and hard to sleep through. I thought it might have something to do with the motion of the ship and asked about it when our steward came to clean our room. He reported to it guest services who responded very quickly. We weren't complaining- just asking about it! They too, observed the noise and sent maintenance who informed us that this had happened on a prior cruise in the same stateroom and that the motion in the ship causes it to creak. He reported that they tried to fix it once, but obviously it didn't work and they can't do it when the room is being occupied because the ceiling, etc. needs to be dismantled. We completely understood. Guest services credited us back for an excursion and paid for our Cucina Del Capitano meal for six. We were very appreciative. Ear plugs and Benadryl helped to get us through (thank God I brought the Benadryl). I was also taking, and continued to take at home some Ginger, and some Nux Vomica stuff. I felt that ships movement 3 days after vacation ended! 

 

My husband and son "like" Lido Marketplace. I do not. I am often seeking fresh ingredients to make a salad and am disappointed. I get that it may meet the expectations of others, but I do not eat a lot of meat and I just find it lacking. I heard the sandwiches were really good, but the lines were always REALLY long- especially at night. And that floor. I was so fearful for myself and EVERY SINGLE PERSON who ever walked on it. I see them mopping it, but is there not a better flooring material? It's like an ice skating rink. It's incredibly dangerous- regardless of your chosen shoe wear. 

 

A couple side notes about Lido: they will make you put something over your bathing suit when getting food- I saw them ask a lady in a bathing suit to put something on and she was not happy. And they were not allowing those who were getting soft serve to access toppings from gelato- per my daughter. I tried the iced tea and it was THE WORST iced tea I have ever had in my life 😂! And I like unsweetened tea (or sweetened). I'm a tea drinker! I just couldn't put my finger on it. Maybe it was the day, but after that- it was all water for me. Though I tried the lemonade and it was good. 

 

We last cruised in November 2015. The swimsuits have changed significantly since then! There is almost no backside 😂

 

I didn't bring a bottle opener and both onboard and in port, when we purchased buckets of beer we were stuck. On Eagle Beach in Aruba I noticed that the family sitting next to us had some Reef sandals and I asked the grandfather if I could borrow his shoes to open my beer. That might be a first (and a last for me). We all laughed about it! The grandfather said I could borrow his shoes anytime 😂!!! 

 

The night before we went to bed we went down to pick up our purchased pictures. I had ordered them that morning and was told to come back after 8pm. The lines were HORRENDOUS. I waited in the horrendous line only to be told that the canvas' we ordered needed another 10-20 minutes. So we went and had a drink, listened to a band and came back an hour later- waiting in the line again. They were ready. The next day, I accidentally threw the pictures away (I think I did, but it's possible that they also fell out of my file folder in the airport). Either way, I lost 6 of the physical 8x10 images. I do have the canvas' AND the USB so I can reprint the ones I lost. Thankfully. If you don't have photos taken near the end of the cruise (like we did), don't wait until the last day to order and pick up. 

 

The HUB app is amazing! We loved it for communicating with each other, seeing what was going on, where we could eat, checking in for dinner, etc. 

 

WIFI- worked perfectly, but my two teens fought over the one package I purchased. And God forbid I want to use it. Something to think about... 

 

We did a load of laundry. We were just a few doors down from it so it seemed easy enough and we wanted to re-wear a few of our favorite things. That said, we did not NEED to. We WAY over packed. I mean, probably 75 pounds of clothing too much over packed. Gah. I'll know better next time. I was in my swimsuit a lot, and was able to re-wear some clothes simply because I didn't have them on that long. Anyway- one of the dryers didn't work well and the wet stuff got backed up. People got really annoyed with this because some with little children really DID need the clothing washed ("no clothes"). So it started to get a little grumpy in there. 

 

We paid for everything in cash- zero issues. Guest services was easily accessible- though lines were long the last night (understandably). We used the ATM in casino twice. 

 

I feel like I was able to navigate our vacation so much easier having accessed the posts here! Thank you! Look forward to more sunrises, sunsets, and cruising! 

 

 

 

Edited by lensonlife

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Regarding Eagle Beach, I wanted to add that when the beach chairs (or rather, loungers) ran out, they started to rent those plastic Adirondack chairs for the same price of $20. Then when people vacated the loungers for the day, others who had the Adirondack chairs asked the people who rented them the chair if they could switch for a lounger and they said no! The people were so mad! And then watched them re-rent the lounger to the new person. 

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Glad to see y'all made it onboard! JetBlue did the right thing, and that is precisely why I patronize them. 

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On 7/13/2019 at 9:22 PM, jbethel11 said:

Glad to see y'all made it onboard! JetBlue did the right thing, and that is precisely why I patronize them. 

Reimbursement hit my account today! 🙂

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We are going on this cruise in 2 weeks.  Did you notice is there a port that you can get your hair braided?  Was it on the beach?  If so what beach?   TIA

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5 hours ago, NW2sun said:

We are going on this cruise in 2 weeks.  Did you notice is there a port that you can get your hair braided?  Was it on the beach?  If so what beach?   TIA

Yes- I saw them offering at Grand Turk for sure and since we walked from the ship to Jacks Shack, it had to of been very near port. Pretty sure I saw it at another port too, but definitely Grand Turk. 

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1 hour ago, lensonlife said:

Yes- I saw them offering at Grand Turk for sure and since we walked from the ship to Jacks Shack, it had to of been very near port. Pretty sure I saw it at another port too, but definitely Grand Turk. 

 

 

Also, the Grand Turk port area- before you get outside of the fenced in area- has hair braiding as well.  

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