Carnival Cruise Line
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Carnival Horizon Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line
Save
Carnival Horizon Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line
Save
Carnival Horizon Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line
Save
Carnival Horizon Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line
Save
Carnival Horizon Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line
Save
Carnival Horizon Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Horizon

Exuberant and affordable, Carnival’s newest ship continues in the vein of its sister ship, Carnival Vista. With some excellent dining options, an eye-popping water park, and upgraded lodging that brings another dose of modernity and style to Carnival’s fleet, all of the Vista-class ships—and Carnival Horizon in in particular—break the strictly cheap-and-cheerful mold that’s come to typify the world’s largest cruise line. Here’s what we saw on a recent stay on Carnival Horizon

What We Love

A Water Park Built for Maximum Fun: Carnival is known for its water parks and slides, but the Dr. Seuss-themed park on Horizon—the first in the fleet—is particularly well-executed. With two large slides for kids of all ages, Dr. Seuss WaterWorks feels whimsical and fun without having to resort to roller-coaster-style death-drops or other gimmicks. A splash pad, dump buckets, racing slides, and fountains round out the offerings and promise to keep kids (and their parents) soundly entertained.
 
Burgers and Barbecue Courtesy of Guy Fieri: Guy’s Burgers is featured on many a Carnival ship but it warrants another mention for sheer quality, especially because it doesn’t require an extra charge. The same can be said for Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse | Brewhouse, a retooled version of a similar restaurant on Carnival Vista. On Carnival Horizon, the beer is brewed and the meat is smoked onboard, and the results are impressive. These restaurants, created in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri, are among our favorite eats not just on this ship, but at sea. Another notable difference between this iteration of Pig & Anchor and the one on Carnival Vista is that on Horizon, it’s complimentary at lunch but requires a surcharge at dinner. On Vista, it’s only open for lunch and there is no surcharge. 
 
An Onboard Taste of Havana: The Havana pool, staterooms, and bar—all of which bring a sense of Cuba’s vibrant culture onboard—are a highlight on Carnival Horizon, as they were on Vista. With the feel of an upscale Caribbean resort, these areas offer a respite from the more crowded central pool area, and for good reason. The Havana pool is closed to everyone but Havana stateroom guests until early evening. If you’re looking for a quieter side of a very active ship, you’ll find it here. 
 
Plenty of Cabin Options: The ship’s cabins are done in three distinct themes—for families (Family Harbor), spa lovers (Cloud 9), and those seeking solace and grownup ambiance (Havana). There are also large sections of bright, cleanly decorated, non-themed cabins. This means you have lots of options. Family Harbor rooms come with access to a family lounge, plus kids in these cabins stay and eat for free in all specialty restaurants. A night of free babysitting is also included. Havana feels like a stylish members-only club, while the Cloud 9 staterooms give guests priority access to spa appointments, complimentary thermal suite access, and spa robes and slippers.  

Best Known For

Affordability: With rates for six-night Caribbean itineraries starting south of $500, the prices on Carnival Horizon are simply some of the most affordable at sea in 2018 . We also love that even the upgraded options—balconies for $775, for example, on the same sailing—are still exceptionally well-priced.  
 
Conquering the Caribbean: Horizon will homeport in New York City and will sail to the Caribbean and Bermuda through 2018, and there’s no better place for it. With a breezy ambiance that brings the outside in thanks to outdoor dining and a massive central pool area, it’s a great place for a sun- and fun-filled getaway.  
 
Great Bars: Guy’s Pig & Anchor is reminiscent of a comfortable, casual country smokehouse, while Alchemy Bar, with its fun, apothecary-themed decor, serves excellent cocktails. (Both require an additional charge.) We also enjoyed the elegant Havana Bar, and the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and Blue Iguana Tequila Bar. Both of these venues channel a fun island aesthetic, although we suspect the bartenders spend more time than strictly necessary directing guests between them, depending on their orders. (The rum bar does not make any tequila drinks, and vice versa.) These bars, plus Havana Bar, do not quire an extra charge.   
 
The SkyRide: Running along a two-lane suspended track, the SkyRide returns on Horizon and gives you the sense of flying above the ship's decks. Read our review of this pedal-powered activity on Carnival Vista. This activity does not require an extra charge. 
 
Lip Sync Battle: Play along with your fellow guests in this live version of the TV series. One guest per cruise will be crowned winner, and if you make it into the finals, you’ll perform with sets, costumes, and props. You’ll even work with a choreographer. We got to see a star-studded version of this during the ship’s inaugural festivities that featured Queen Latifah, the ship’s godmother. Even if you’re not onstage, this event makes for a fun, if raucous, evening.    
 
3-D and IMAX Movies: Carnival Horizon has side-by-side movie theaters—an IMAX theater and a second theater showing movies in 3-D.  

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Who It's Best For

Young Families: Horizon is a paradise for kids and tweens—and activities like the SkyRide, Dr. Seuss WaterWorks, and Lip Sync Battle are as much fun for grownups as they are for the younger set. Plus, the low cruise fare means that an entire family can enjoy time together without earth-shattering expense.
 
Groups of Friends Traveling Together: Carnival is known for its for its appeal to young groups of friends traveling together, and Horizon continues in this vein. Free-flowing alcohol, abundant and fuss-free food, and lots of sun and sand are key ingredients for any girlfriend getaway or bachelor weekend. You’ll find all of it here.  

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Included Dining Can Be So-So: While the specialty restaurants here shine, the food quality in the main dining room and at the buffet is a bit of a tossup. 
 
This Is a Budget-Focused Experience: We don’t have expectations of high luxury here, naturally, but some of the finishes on Horizon—unsightly blue plastic in the bathrooms, shower curtains instead of doors—underline how Carnival keeps its cruises ultra-affordable.  
Laura Motta

Laura Motta is a New York City-based writer for ShermansCruise and the director of publishing for ShermansTravel Media.

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Carnival Horizon at a Glance
  • Line: Carnival Cruise Line
  • Class: Vista Class
  • Number of Passengers: 3960
  • Ship Size: Mega
  • Launch Date: 2018
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