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Horizon Review - 10/19 - 10/27

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19 minutes ago, WashCoCruisers said:

"While can certainly do "your time dining", we do not prefer this as we like to have the same table, with the same wait staff every night."   You can certainly have the same table with the same waitstaff when using Your TIme Dining.  We loved our waitstaff the first night and requested them every night when we checked in for dinner!  

We were on the Horizon in March/April.  We loved the ever-changing funnels!  

Our Muster Drill was in various locations thru out the ship.  Personally, ours was at the Alchemy Bar. 

The part about the Stupid people "trying" to use the elevators, is spot on!!  The elevators were great if they were used correctly!!  

 

I heard someone else say that about "your time dining"..they requested the same waitstaff.  Maybe we will do that next cruise, who knows.

 

My wife got a picture of every new tornado lol

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2 hours ago, ishap said:

 

I heard someone else say that about "your time dining"..they requested the same waitstaff.  Maybe we will do that next cruise, who knows.

 

My wife got a picture of every new tornado lol

We did exactly that on our last cruise. We requested the same table and wait staff every night on YTD.

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So lets get into port of call.  I will share my take on the various ports and post a few pics.

 

First stop is Grand Turk.  For those that have never been here, Grand Turk is either a beach day, or an excursion day.  We have done snorkeling excursions here but any more we just go to the beach.  If we are feeling up for a walk, Jack Shack is the place to go.  If not, right off the pier.  For this particular trip we decided to just go to the beach right off the pier.  After reading Sids review, we were worried about the line to get back in the ship, so we headed out to the beach after a leisurely breakfast and hit the beach for about an hour.  We headed back to the ship and low and behold, a line.  We were early back but yet waited about 20 minutes to get back on the ship.  While we were waiting the line doubled in size, and I heard afterwards that it only got worse.  So if you do get off in Grand Turk, beware of the line.  Waiting in the sun sucks.

 

 

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Dominican Republic was the next port of call, but there isn't much I can say about this port as we didn't get off the ship.  We used it as a day to spend at the Havana pool.  I do know there is a small port area, sort of like at Grand Turk except smaller.

 

 

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Curacao was our next stop.  We didn't plan an excursion for here and instead just decided to walk around the city.  Unlike some of the other islands, both Curacao and Aruba were super friendly and we didn't worry at all about being out and about.

 

When you get off the ship here there are some shops right on the pier but the main shopping area is a bit of walk downtown.  It's pretty easy to find...you just follow the paved path to the fort, walk through the fort, continue on the paved path, cross the floating bridge, and there you go.  Shopping district.  There was a ton of people walking around so we browsed some shops and bought some souvenirs.  There are also a ton of restaurants all over if you want to eat off the ship.

 

The streets seem very small here and drivers are crazy, however they do watch out for pedestrians.  We did stop for a drink at an outdoor cafe and there was a "rowdy" bunch of people watching soccer and going crazy lol.  Singing songs and cheering...was fun to watch.  There are also a bunch of places that have free wifi, so if you don't purchase the internet connection on the ship (we don't), then this is a perfect port to catch up with those at home.

 

Everyone in Curacao speaks English.  Their native language is a mixture of English, Spanish, and Dutch.  Some of the people we talked to in the Havana area went on the Cocktails by Night excursion through Carnival and said it was a blast.  I think next time we go here we may do an excursion on the water.

 

Just a side note, if you are thinking about buying some curacao (liqueur), find a shop that gives tastings.  I was on the wall about buying some but when we were browsing around a shop, one of the ladies working there offered us a tasting of any, and as many, as we wanted.  The original blue is very tasty, but the wife liked the chocolate, so we bought two bottles.  As a side note to this side note, when we boarded the ship with our two bottles, security said: "Just two bottles of alcohol?", we said yes, then that was that.  The entrance we went in had no one collecting alcohol so we ended up taking ours back to our room.  First time that's happened.

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Edited by ishap

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One more thing on Curacao, if you are a beer drinker, try their local brew.  It comes in golden and red.  The golden was light and refreshing and was perfect as it was a hot day there.  I didn't try the red but from the description it is much more bitter.

 

 

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Here are a few shots of Curacao at night.  I've also included one of the people waiting to reboard the ship.

 

 

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Funny side note...there was a drunk dude who was was in line to get back on the ship...waited the 30-45 minutes to reboard, got the security, and they told him he was trying to get on the wrong ship!!!  He had to run back down the pier so he didn't miss his ship which was parked behind us lol.  His friends suck!

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Do you know anymore about the Curacao Cocktail Tour?  I have it booked, but Curacao might be my favorite place ever, so I go back and forth between keeping it and canceling it and having more time to explore on my own.  

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5 minutes ago, purplephenom said:

Do you know anymore about the Curacao Cocktail Tour?  I have it booked, but Curacao might be my favorite place ever, so I go back and forth between keeping it and canceling it and having more time to explore on my own.  

 

I know you will have time for both.  The tour doesn't meet till like 6-6:30pm and we docked just after 1pm.  I know we had time to go out into town, walk around and explore, then get back to the ship with plenty of time to shower before our 6pm dinner, so if the tour starts then you can do both.

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Great review.  I cruised in a Havana on this ship in May.  It is a very different cruising experience.  I mainly stayed on deck 5 and below, rarely visited the Lido.  It was a more intimate cruise experience.  I have decided to try a Havana inside on my next Horizon cruise.  We rarely used the cabana area because we could always find a seat in the pool area.  I absolutely loved it.

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42 minutes ago, JaniceB said:

Great review.  I cruised in a Havana on this ship in May.  It is a very different cruising experience.  I mainly stayed on deck 5 and below, rarely visited the Lido.  It was a more intimate cruise experience.  I have decided to try a Havana inside on my next Horizon cruise.  We rarely used the cabana area because we could always find a seat in the pool area.  I absolutely loved it.

 

That seems to be the general concensus of those who stay in Havana...stay on deck 5.  I don't know if I would do an inside cabin, even Havana.  While I see your point, I hate not having a window and natural light in the cabin.  I did spend some time on the porch swing just relaxing and reading, so I did utilize it.

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Now time for Aruba...

 

We LOVED Aruba!  We did our only excursion here, but I arranged it outside of Carnival.  I HIGHLY recommend Trikes Aruba if you want to see the island.  I ride motorcycle so this was right up my alley, but most of those who did the tour had no experience riding.  It didn't really matter as the trikes are almost impossible to tip over.  We basically saw 95% of the island and weren't stuck on a hot, stuffy bus while seeing it.  They took us to some amazing spots and didn't stick to just highways.  Went went through some of the little towns, neighborhoods, and even through a ritzier housing development.  Amazing views!

 

Everyone on Aruba was super friendly and they were happy to talk about their culture and island.  This is one island I would go back to outside of cruising. 

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We did stop at this restaurant after the tour for some lunch.  It was across the street from the pier.  The blackened grouper tacos were fantastic!  I also tried the local beer...tasted a lot like a Heineken.

 

 

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They did do a Halloween costume contest on this ship and these two girls had the best costume!  (in my opinion)

 

 

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That about wraps up my review.  I am going to end it with some elevator tips to try and help people before they board, and a few random pics from the ship.

 

Using the smart elevators:

  • You choose your floor outside the elevator
  • Choose the floor you want x the number of people in your party.  If there are 4 of you going to Lido, choose the 10th floor FOUR TIMES.  This lets the elevator know how many people are getting on in order to calculate space.
  • Please don't:
    • Choose the floor once and then have 5 people hop on
    • Not choose a floor and just hop on any elevator that arrives 
    • Call an elevator then walk away
  • All of those don'ts are going to cause massive elevator delays and frustrate you for the entire cruise.  

Thankfully we only had to use an elevator rarely as we just used the stairs to go to the restaurant and most things we did were within 2 floors of our cabin.

 

Please feel free to ask any specific questions about the ship or ports.  

 

Thank you all for following along!  This was my first long review and hopefully it was helpful!

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On 10/29/2019 at 9:19 AM, MamaBraz said:

I am enjoying reading your review; however, there are parts of it that give me added stress.  My husband and I are both school teachers.  It is impossible for us to fly out the day before.  We have a very early flight on the day of the cruise.  We have done it before without any incident, but when I read some of your warnings...I do have a bit of anxiety.  I am trying to be calm about it.  We fly out and sail on March 21st.  We have a direct flight from Indianapolis to FLL.

Do what works for you. Everyone travels differently. If it will ease your anxiety, buy trip insurance. 

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1 hour ago, ishap said:

 

That seems to be the general concensus of those who stay in Havana...stay on deck 5.  I don't know if I would do an inside cabin, even Havana.  While I see your point, I hate not having a window and natural light in the cabin.  I did spend some time on the porch swing just relaxing and reading, so I did utilize it.

I have never stayed in on either so we shall see if I miss the natural light.   I would rather spend my money on the specialty restaurants and drink package this time.  

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15 minutes ago, JaniceB said:

I have never stayed in on either so we shall see if I miss the natural light.   I would rather spend my money on the specialty restaurants and drink package this time.  

 

I did an inside cabin once, on my last cruise, I hated it, therefore I will never stay in an inside cabin again if I have a choice.

 

We didn't do the specialty restaurants, but I talked to some people who did the steakhouse, and they all raved about it. 

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We have always done balconies, but it looks like maybe the Havanna may be the next one.  Looks spectacular.

 

DR was my second favorite port (also behind Aruba) - we did a river tour with lunch and playing in the water.  It was amazing and I would go back again and again!

 

Thank you for your review - great information!

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So enjoyed reading to the end of your review and great pictures.  I had mentioned earlier that in my 19 cruises, I had never gone in a day early, until the 8 of us are planning on doing it next year, mainly because my son (others had mentioned the same thing) works for the school district, and he cannot afford to take an additional day off.  I want to say THANK YOU for taking time to tell us the main areas where the food is FREE. 🙂

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What an amazing review! Thank you ishap! Great narrative and great pics! I would love to do the  same cruise/itinerary.

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