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Carnival Horizon 8 day Southern Caribbean Cruise Review

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Cherry on Top.




Looking down towards the lobby.




I don't have photos of the fun shops (other than Cherry on Top) but they span decks 4 and 5 instead of being contained to just deck 5. Most of the additional shops are high end expensive items.


My favorite addition starting with the Dream class is the wraparound Lanai. It does not quite go all the way around on Horizon because of the Havana area. Starting in the back I peek into the Havana area.



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I remember thinking with the weather as bad as it was that outside seating at the steakhouse would be difficult. Looks like they thought of that too.






Guy's BBQ.







And then we reach the end before the Havana blockade.



I'm gonna end here for now and pick up with deck 6 tomorrow. Thanks for reading along!

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20 hours ago, Joe817 said:

Loving your review and the pics! Well done! 👍




18 hours ago, Sagittarius traveler said:

Yeahh you posted the hidden spot the Lanai lol


I found another hidden spot so hidden I never once saw anyone there. I never found the same spot on Vista. Very secluded and nearly impossible to find unless you are just wandering around like I was. Now if I could just find a ship coin even once!

Edited by jam19872016
bad spalling
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Picking up the ship tour where I last left off.


Deck 6 is mostly cabins.




This is also where the arcade is located.






Circle C.





My photo of the Imax came out blurry. The theater lobby is up and over these stairs opposite the arcade.



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On 1/26/2020 at 3:50 PM, jam19872016 said:


I know I am in the minority, but I prefer Pepsi over coke. I agree it tastes different than Coke, and in my opinion, better. 


I do not have a background in the bar and hospitality industry, but I have worked retail my entire adult life. Although Coke seems to be what more people prefer, Pepsi far outsells Coke at every place I have ever worked (in the south where Coke is probably even more prominent). Then their is Mountain Dew which also outsells Coke. Then their is their overall portfolio of beverages which is far more diverse and better selling. 


Those who think Carnival made a long term bad business decision, I can assure you they did not. More people may prefer Coke products, but more people PURCHASE Pepsi products. Either way, I am used to most establishments serving Coke and I can always drink whatever is available just fine. I was a little sad to see Vitamin Water gone but immediately got over it when I saw how much cheaper Gatorade was to buy. 



Had to laugh when I read this.  I have also seen all the people upset by the coke pepsi thing.  In our area, Pepsi way out sells Coke.  It isn't even close.  Also used to waitress.  It would surprise these people how often drinks are mixed with pepsi not coke and no one notices.  Even those who swear they would. 

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7 hours ago, sprint180 said:

Had to laugh when I read this.  I have also seen all the people upset by the coke pepsi thing.  In our area, Pepsi way out sells Coke.  It isn't even close.  Also used to waitress.  It would surprise these people how often drinks are mixed with pepsi not coke and no one notices.  Even those who swear they would. 

Hehe. I suspect in time people will settle down, change is hard. Those die hard coke fans will carry on and life will continue. But yea, the reaction was a bit surprising and I have always wondered why Pepsi sells so much better in stores but most restaurants carry Coke products and most people (at least here in the south) claim to prefer Coke. 🤔 It's a mystery.

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Day Four:


La Romana


Today we were in La Romana. This is my second time here. Part of the adventure of cruising is sometimes you have experiences that are not very pleasant. There are a few ports that are bad enough I really have no desire to go there. Freeport and Belize City come to mind. Then there are two ports where my experience was bad enough, I won't get off the ship. One is Jamaica which I recounted my tale in my Vista review. The other is La Romana. I enjoy telling the story because it was quite a scary experience (for a pretty novice cruiser) but I have no need for any more stories like this to tell. This was back before I wrote reviews, but I did try my hand at a review of this cruise but never finished or published it. 


It was 2016 and I was on only my fifth cruise (carrying a gold card for the first time). The CD was Josh "Big Sexy" Waitzman and he strongly advised only taking a Carnival sponsored excursion because a lot of areas were unsafe for tourists. A pretty bold statement from a representative of a company taking you there. I chalked it up to fear mongering to sell more tours. I had been to Belize and Freeport by this point and had seen poor dirty islands, but nothing I would say was bad enough to warrant such a strong disclaimer. After today, I would be a believer. Here is what I wrote in my unfinished review back in August 2016:


We took a while to get ready and it was around noon when I set foot in the Dominican Republic for the first time.




We did not have anything planned for today (if you have not picked up on it yet, we are just kinda go with the flow people at ports). We found some shuttles available for various places and decided to choose the one that went downtown. I had told M there was really nothing to do in La Romana and that you needed to have an excursion planned it was really not a "wing it" kind of port. She did not listen and I was not interested enough in any of the listed excursions to insist on one, so wing it is what we did. My mistake.


The bus we rode in on was very nice. The seats were comfortable and the AC worked VERY well. Most people were complaining it was cold, but I love love love the cold air so I was happy. We did seem to be waiting for a long time, the shuttles were advertised as picking us up "every 15 minutes" but I am not sure how as this one was not leaving after at least 20 minutes of us being on it and no telling how long it had been waiting before we got on. Finally a large group boarded and the driver decided we were full enough to leave, I mean that it had been 15 minutes and we could leave.


Traffic was insane. It reminded me of the level of traffic you see in movies that take place in India or some other extreme high density populated place. Most islands in the Caribbean that I have been to have very little traffic or if they seem to, it is because their is little to no infrastructure in place to accommodate motor vehicles. 


It was a very congested and broken down area the entire ride over. No problem, I enjoy the opportunity to experience different cultures and be pushed out of my comfort zone a little. It would never make a list of the prettiest places I have been to, but at this point it was still something I was glad to have the chance to experience.


We arrived at the drop off spot downtown and the vendors were practically mobbing the bus. As we exited, to the left was the vendor area. No thank you, we went to go to the right and the driver stopped us. This way was blocked off and we were told for safety we had to turn left. Safety? Maybe it was because we would have to cross the street going this way instead of having a sidewalk, but I was pretty sure it was BS to force us to walk past the mob of vendors.


So we turned left and we got past them pretty quickly as they mainly hovered on the ones who did not know to run through there quickly! Then we reached the intersection. We had been on the outside of the vendor space, turn right and we would go through it, so we took a left crossing the street the driver told us not to cross.


We were doing our normal thing, just kinda walking along and see where it would lead us. Notice how the traffic is bumper to bumper, this was the traffic everywhere you looked. Also if you look close, you will see a police car parked at the intersection.



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We continue walking along, we are approaching the intersection and suddenly the police officer yells out at us. He speaks very little English (and i speak very little Spanish) but from I can understand he says we are not allowed to go any further. He points down ahead and says "no insurance no safe for you go down there muy peligroso(very dangerous)". I was a little surprised by this and a little upset, how dare you tell me I am not allowed to go down a public street. I also knew better than to argue with a police officer in a foreign country so we turned around in defeat. 


After we started walking back, we heard the officer shout very loudly so we turned back to see what was up. There in broad daylight, being forced to turn back around back into the "no safe" area, were two men on a motorcycle each carrying BIG ASS MACHINE GUNS the kind you see in war movies taking place in Africa! This was unlike anything I have ever seen or expected to see in person with my own two eyes. 


Suddenly I realized the bus driver really did mean that it was not safe to go the other way and the cop was not just treating me like a child when he said I could not go in there. At first I thought maybe he was there to direct traffic because I could see him just parked there as I approached, but I guess his job is to keep tourists out and people open carrying machine guns in. I wonder though, as he was obviously outgunned, what would the officer have done if the men did not turn back around when he told them to?


When I got home I asked Uncle Google about gun laws in DR and found that hand guns are very easy to get a permit for, yet most are unregistered (illegal) and nobody really enforces the gun laws. Machine guns on the other hand are only issued to the Military Police (scary concept) but if those men were police they were not in any kind of uniform indicating that they were police.


I put my camera away after that so there are no more pictures. We walked back the correct way but we were both a little freaked out. We stopped at a restaurant for a bite to eat. The fresh juice was amazing. We shared some epenaditas which I thought were great, but M did not care for them as she said they had a slightly fishy taste like Haitian food. M does not like fish, I didn't even notice it until she mentioned it, it was very light. 


While we were dining we saw a waitress running a kid out who was begging customers for money. He was probably around seven or eight years old. He did not come back in, but I was sitting next to an opening in the wall and he stood by it for the rest of my meal asking me for money. He never did switch sides so that M could see him and beg her for money, I am not sure why he thought to ask me and only me, I did not think I was giving off any "hey easy money over here" signals. She did not even know he was there! Lucky.


We made the short walk back to be picked up. M said "lets at least check out whats for sale" We went in to the vendor area and they were like sharks! We had people circling us from every direction trying to lead us to their shop. There was literally not a single second we did not have someone in our face. When we said no to one someone else would ask. How can anyone buy anything when you will not leave them alone for even one single second to look around? We got out of there pretty quick but then we had the swarm of them waiting by the buses. 


Thankfully we were just in time to catch a bus as it was pulling up and not have to wait by these vultures any longer. Or so I thought, they started pounding on the bus windows to get our attention STILL TRYING TO SELL STUFF. As I sat there I witnessed a guy buy a beer for $3. He handed the man a $5 and was told he could not make change thanks for the tip. The man said no problem, how bout sell me two beers then. The man said nope and walked away, the man had to snatch his money back from the guy and give him the beer back. One lady on the bus said a lady snatched a hat off her head and tried to sell it back to her. 


When you read about pushy vendors at ports, the two I see most commonly are Bahamas and Jamaica. I have not been to Jamaica but let me tell you, La Romana makes Nassau look like the Girl Scouts trying to sell you some thin mints! 


There are ports that I have been to that are dumpy but I would never say I would absolutely not get off at port. Freeport and Belize are two that come to mind, but unless I had an excursion I can now say, I will absolutely not get off at La Romana. It is a dreadful place and I cannot imagine what people who take cruises not expecting to see anything but what they see in brochures thought of this place."

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Fast forward to 2019, and although he worded it more carefully, Mike the CD still cautioned people about La Romana. I seriously wonder why we even stop here especially with Carnival's development of Amber Cove.


Despite my insistence of not getting off at this port again I did not want to freak my mom out and plus I know she doesn't generally wander past the port area whereas M and I went downtown. Still to be safe, I did not bring my camera today just my phone.


Before heading off today I stopped at the dining room and ordered an omelette for breakfast. For some reason I did not take a picture but I'm sure you all know what an omelette looks like 😄 


Welcome to La Romana.




Colorful camel.





I think due to how close it was to the cigarette shop it was the smoking camel but I still thought it was cool looking.


We walked around the shops for a bit and then the storm clouds started rolling in. We started to make our way back but before we could get through the giant duty free shop the sky started pouring so we hung out for a few minutes and then it cleared up and we were on our way back to the ship.



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For lunch today we went to the Mongolian Wok. Please don't be the person who eats here three days in a row, complains that there are no veggies in her dish, and then when it arrives proceeds to actually take inventory of how many of each type of vegetable is in her dish. Seriously, that is what my mom did. But wait, it gets worse. She brought up those door signs for cruise critic and said she was gonna go on there and complain about how she can't get any vegetables in her lunch. Luckily she does not know how to use the internet, but if you see someone making their first post to complain about her lack of veggies at Mongolian Wok, be kind that's my mom lol.


My lunch.






I forgot to inventory my veggies but I was happy with the quantity. The food was good also. It took quite a while and like the pasta bar I would not return due to the long wait.


Next I went downstairs and got some empenadas.




These were very good and not salty today. I also got some dessert and relaxed in the room for the remainder of the afternoon.

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