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Carnival Horizon Cruise Ship Review

Carnival Horizon Cruise Ship Review

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Horizon

Carnival Cruise Line
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Overview

With improved decor and style, and a number of technological advancements, Carnival Horizon is one of the coolest new ships sailing today. vacation has to be one size fits all. When she floated out for the first time in 2018, many expected a similar ship to her sister Carnival Vista, which debuted in 2016. However, the 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon is anything but a carbon copy of her sister.

The sheer number of activities, dining choices, and stateroom options make Carnival Horizon a ship cruisers will love. A partnership with Dr. Seuss offers plenty of fun activities for kids, and the spa services on board rival any you’ll find at sea. Carnival’s casual nature is evident all over the ship and it’s easy for passengers to curate their own vacation at their own pace. 

3.7/5

Porthole Cruise and Travel Ship Rating: 3.7 out of 5

It’s impossible to talk about the food on board Carnival cruise ships without mentioning the Mayor of Flavortown, the man with the frosted tips, Mr. Guy Fieri, whose Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse is a must-visit. From pulled pork sandwiches to a mountain-sized pile of nachos, this BBQ joint embodies Carnival Horizon’s laid-back atmosphere and commitment to satisfaction. Lunch is included, but there is a small charge at dinnertime. Another Guy Fieri speciality on board Carnival Horizon is Guy’s Burger Joint, where guests can craft their own specialty burgers from a huge list of toppings. It can get crowded at lunch, the only time the establishment is serving up burgers. 

What’s great about dining on board Carnival Horizon is the options, whether included or those with a fee. The two main dining rooms, Meridian and Reflections, are stylish and modern and offer a wide variety of menu items. Meridian is the place for breakfast or lunch, while Reflections is only open for dinner and requires assigned dining at fixed times. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, a meal at Bonsai Teppanyaki, where skilled chefs sear up your meal on a hibachi grill right in front of you, is the perfect spot. Start with an appetizer of shrimp, pork belly, or spicy tuna with miso soup before diving into your choice of protein like lobster, salmon, tofu, or filet mignon served with stir-fried rice and vegetables. There is an additional charge for dining at Bonsai Teppanyaki. Keeping with traditional Asian cuisine, Bonsai Sushi is the best place for rolls, bento boxes, and sake on board the ship. 

It makes sense that a cruise ship would have some great seafood options, and the Seafood Shack is no exception. Imagine a traditional New England fish and clam shack where you can get any number of fish or crustaceans served up just how you like it. Lobster BLT, anyone? 

Cruise ships dining options are traditionally thought of as fancy and high end. Amidst all the casual eateries on Carnival Horizon, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse is the place for a proper romantic evening or any special occasion. Steak, lamb, lobster—you name it and Fahrenheit 555 can grill it. Start off with melt in your mouth escargot in herb butter before moving on to a classic Caesar salad and a spice-rubbed prime 18-oz. ribeye steak. Our favorite: the surf and turf—you can’t go wrong! 

Other popular dining options include: 

  • The Chef’s Table
  • JiJi Asian Kitchen
  • Cucina Del Capitano 
  • BlueIguana Cantina 
  • Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast
  • Fresh Creations
  • Pizzeria Del Capitano 
  • The Carnival Deli 

You don’t get the moniker “The Fun Ships” without having plenty of features and activities to enjoy. Carnival Horizon includes everything that made Carnival Vista so popular, including the amazing SkyRide aerial attraction, the ropes course, and an entire fun square filled with outdoor sports activities and family-friendly games. 

With its alternating red-and-white waterslides and playful splash park, the onboard water park on the top deck of the ship takes on a more whimsical tone. The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch preside over the new Dr. Seuss WaterWorks, the latest innovation in Carnival’s longstanding relationship with Dr. Seuss Enterprises that includes the Dr. Seuss Bookville play area for kids and the wonderfully entertaining Seuss At Sea parade that lets kids march through the ship to the main theater, where Dr. Seuss story time awaits.

Other onboard Carnival Horizon features include: 

  • Two movie theaters, including an IMAX
  • Horizon Casino
  • 3 Pools 
  • SkyRide track
  • SportsSquare
  • SkyCourt
  • Club O2 for Teens
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop

Cabins are located on all of Silver Moon’s public decks, in the center and forward sections of the ship (on all decks the aft third is dedicated to dining and other services).  Veranda Suites make up more than 80 percent of the ship’s compliment of accommodations.  Measuring 323 square feet (plus balcony), they are among the most generously sized “standard” cabins at sea.  Throughout, the suites feature a marble bathroom with bathtub and separate shower, walk-in wardrobe with storage sufficient for long journeys and lots of smaller shelves, table that can be configured for in-room dining, ample outlets for charging, and balcony.  A dozen similarly-sized oceanview suites are available (no balcony) and three of them are configured for accessibility.  Butler service, Bulgari bath amenities and a stocked minibar are found throughout.

The 34 Silver Suites are the next category up, and are wider, measuring 657 square feet, so double the size of Veranda Suites.  The living area has a sofa that can be converted to a bed for a third guest, and there’s a dedicated dining area.  Other features here (and in higher categories) include Illy espresso machines, Bose sound system with Bluetooth connectivity, complimentary laundry, and daily canape service.  Silver Suites, along with the larger Royal, Grand and Owner’s suites, can all be connected with a standard suite to create a two-bedroom unit.

Known for fantastic entertainment that’s constantly evolving, Carnival Horizon stays true to the line’s commitment to lively entertainment. One of the newest entertainment features on board is Lip Sync Battle, where cruisers battle against one another throughout the cruise to see who is crowned the best at lip-syncing at sea. Another fun option is Hasbro, the Game Show, where all your favorite board games turn into larger than life versions of themselves! 

Piano Bar 88 has been given a brand-new look, complete with crimson red décor and a wall partition that opens to allow diners in the adjacent Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse to enjoy both music and pre-dinner cocktails before heading next door. Non-stop trivia, nightly production shows, and Carnival’s fantastic Punchliner Comedy performances (in PG and R-rated versions) keep things entertaining, as do the deck parties, atrium get-togethers, and the ship’s lively casino and SkyBox Sports Bar.

Other fun entertainment options include: 

  • CLUE: The Murder Mystery
  • Playlist Productions
  • Stage Shows
  • The Thrill Theater 
  • Dive-in Movies by the pool
  • Live music and karaoke
  • Nightclubs and sports bars
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Evan Gove is the SEO & Content Manager for Porthole Cruise and Travel's digital department. He covers cruise industry news and writes ship reviews for porthole.com. You can also catch him as a guest on the YouTube series Cruise Control with Bill Panoff. Follow his tweets and posts about the cruise industry from Porthole Cruise and Travel's social media accounts.