April 2018 marks the maiden voyage for Carnival's newest addition to the fleet. Carnival Horizon is taking the lead on new culinary frontiers with a brand new expansion on the popular Bonsai Sushi restaurant, as well as taking voyagers beyond the horizon with a stunning onboard IMAX theater. Stay tuned for more information on this upcoming ship.
|Cruise Line||Carnival Cruise Lines|
|Passenger/Crew Ratio||1 : 0.4 (#216 of 358)|
|Passenger/Space Ratio||1 : 33.8 (#232 of 262)|
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Carnival Horizon Overview
One of Carnival’s newest ships, Carnival Horizon is a larger-than-life modern resort-style ship designed with families in mind. From staterooms capable of accommodating multiple people to the line’s popular partnership with Dr. Seuss, active families love this cruise ship for its fun flair and bold design. Pools are boisterous fun zones with water slides and lots of blue pool loungers (though they do tend to fill up fast), while the SkyRide (a pair of pedal-powered open-air capsules suspended on a track 800 feet above the deck) and the SkyCourse ropes course are geared for those seeking action and adrenaline.
Entertainment onboard is excellent, with a bevy of Broadway-caliber theater productions and interactive game shows in the ship’s multilevel Liquid Lounge theater. Trivia geeks will find their niche on Carnival Horizon as well, as the ship runs several rounds of trivia every day on myriad topics, from Harry Potter to sports. Those looking for immersive experiences on sea days can find them in the stunning IMAX theater onboard, which shows current blockbusters for a nominal fee.
Carnival Horizon’s capacity clocks in at just under 4,000 passengers, making it massive without feeling unmanageable. Carnival Horizon is a ship where the sun never sets, thanks to extensive activities and entertainment programming, and is perfect for cruisers looking to let loose, have fun, and leave their everyday worries far behind them.
Carnival Horizon is Best For Families, Active Cruisers, and First Timers
Youth programs aboard Carnival Horizon are excellent and complimentary, making this ship a great option for families. The ship also boasts a whole cabin class dedicated to families, and the plethora of fun activities and entertainment onboard geared toward all ages makes this budget ship feel like a theme park at sea. Kids programs are characterized by the whimsy of Dr. Seuss, from character encounters on the ship to a Green Eggs and Ham breakfast, as well as the exciting WaterWorks, the Seussian centerpiece of the ship.
The Horizon appeals to active cruisers with its myriad outdoor recreation activities and sports offerings. The SkyCourse, a ropes course offering a choice of easy or challenging paths, is a great way to get your heart pumping and get a healthy dose of friendly competition. The SkyRide also allows for races or more leisurely laps - the difference is that on the SkyRide, you’re pedaling your own open-air capsule hundreds of feet above the deck.
As a general rule, Carnival Cruise Line is a great option for first time cruisers, and Horizon is no exception. The ship’s sunny, beachy Caribbean itineraries offer an excellent introduction to mainstream cruising, while the jam-packed activity dockets and exciting shore excursions offered are enough to entice even the most tight-laced traveler to let their hair down. Carnival Horizon may not be ideal for those seeking serenity and quiet contemplation on their cruise vacation, but if it’s fun you’re after, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better choice.
Carnival Horizon Prices
|Max price drop this week||-32%|
|Best time to book in advance...|
|...Interior Cabin||47-51 weeks in advance|
|...Oceanview Cabin||73 weeks in advance|
|...Balcony Cabin||73 weeks in advance|
|...Suite||73 weeks in advance|
|Average price per person per night...|
|...Interior Cabin||$88 (#33 out of 178 ships)|
|...Oceanview Cabin||$115 (#45 out of 286 ships)|
|...Balcony Cabin||$154 (#58 out of 242 ships)|
|...Suite||$268 (#89 out of 326 ships)|
|Max saving potential with Cruisewatch...|
|...Interior Cabin||62% from the initial price|
|...Oceanview Cabin||59% from the initial price|
|...Balcony Cabin||56% from the initial price|
|...Suite||45% from the initial price|
How to Save More On Carnival Horizon
Carnival’s budget fares make it super appealing for those looking for cheap cruise vacations - but what if we told you there was a way to save even more? It’s true! Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to save based on where and how you book your Carnival Horizon cruise. See if you can spot the difference:
|Ask your local travel agent||Use an online travel agency||Use free Cruisewatch tools (price alerts, price prediction)|
|3% on average||5% on average||Up to 62%|
How much does a typical Carnival Horizon cruise cost?
Let’s put these savings to work with the following example of a typical cruise on Carnival Horizon.
You and your partner decide to take a 7 night cruise calling at Cozumel, Mexico, and book an oceanview room, a drinks package, a couple of exciting shore excursions, a couple meals at specialty restaurants, and a spa treatment each. Here’s what you could expect to pay:
|Carnival Horizon Experience||Cost $|
|Cheers! Drinks Package||$399|
|Zip line; snorkel; beach day||$90|
|Dolphin swim w/food & drinks||$125|
|1 meal at Steakhouse||$38|
|1 meal at Teppanyaki||$32|
|1 Cloud 9 Swedish massage (50 min)||$129|
|TOTAL COST PER PERSON||$1,618|
Now, let’s rewind time and imagine that you set up a free price alert for the sailing with Cruisewatch and took advantage of our unparalleled price prediction to book at just the right time, saving you up to a whopping 70% [highest saving potential] off the price of your oceanview room. Even if every other aspect of your cruise stayed the same, you’d end your unforgettable cruise vacation with an additional $564 in your pocket. That’s the power of Cruisewatch.
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Top Carnival Horizon Destinations and Departure Ports
This cruise ship currently sails exclusively in the Caribbean, calling at ports in the Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean, as well as Mexico. It homeports and departs from Miami and cruises typically last 6 to 9 days.
Departure Port: Miami, Florida
A world-renowned cultural and commercial center and the largest urban metropolis in Florida, Miami offers plenty to do and see before and after your cruise. Carnival Horizon departs from Port Miami, the busiest cruise port in the world, which sees over 4 million cruise passengers pass through every year. The port is connected to the bustling and brightly colored Downtown Miami by Port Boulevard, and the city’s iconic Latin American and Cuban influence is ineffable and ubiquitous. For the best Carnival Horizon cruise experience, budget a couple of extra days before or after the cruise to explore Miami’s extensive art scene, museums, international music festivals like Calle Ocho, and fabulous food.
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
The Eastern Caribbean is a popular cruise destination for many different cruise lines, cruise styles, and cruises for various budgets. This region boasts stunningly beautiful bright blue waters, white sand beaches, friendly and fascinating wildlife, and lush forests. Some of the island nations are extremely popular among cruise enthusiasts, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Many cruises also call at less well-known locales like St. Maarten or St. Martin, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. Carnival Horizon calls primarily at larger ports (like Key West and San Juan) due to its large size.
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cruises to the Western Caribbean call at such island ports as Ocho Rios and Montego Bay in Jamaica, and Grand Cayman Island. Central American ports such as Belize City, Belize, and Amapala, Honduras, also factor into many Western Caribbean itineraries, as do some southern Mexican destinations like Cozumel and Costa Maya. Excursions in this cruise region focus on the lush and at times rugged landscape of the islands and ports visited, including zip line adventures, hikes, walking and bus tours, as well as aquatic outings like snorkeling and SCUBA diving. Carnival Horizon typically calls at larger, more popular Western Caribbean ports like Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, and Cozumel.
Destination: Southern Caribbean
If you’re looking for a Carnival Horizon cruise that’s slightly off the beaten path, opt for a Southern Caribbean itinerary. These cruise ports include Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, and La Romana, which are some of the most frequently visited ports by Horizon. Other notable destinations in the Southern Caribbean include St. Lucia, Martinique, St. Barts, Dominica, and Grenada. Because many of these ports are tougher to get to and require longer cruise lengths, they’re far less crowded than their Eastern or Western counterparts, and may increase the number of sea days on your vacation. With everything there is to do aboard Carnival Horizon, however, that’s not exactly a problem.
Activities and Entertainment On Carnival Horizon
As with most Carnival cruise ships, Carnival Horizon packs a punch when it comes to onboard entertainment and activities, both during sea days and while in port. The SkyCourse ropes course is a fan favorite, as is the SkyRide (though it’s perhaps best enjoyed while in port, in part due to long lines and in part due to the ship being stationary). Sports enthusiasts can enjoy a game or two of basketball, volleyball, or soccer in the SkyCourt or take in a game at the SkyBox Sports Bar over a draft beer.
There’s plenty of poolside activity as well, from simply splashing around to indulging your inner kid at the Dr. Seuss-themed WaterWorks in the center of the ship. This onboard water park features a 450-foot water slide as well as other wild and whimsical additions all designed to soak passengers (think dump buckets and sprinklers).
Inside, adult guests can relax in the Cloud 9 Spa or indulge in some ‘me’ time on the adult-only Serenity Deck (complete with its own Serenity Bar). Take part in trivia at one of the many game venues onboard (usually lounges or bars), participate in Hasbro, The Game Show or The Love and Marriage Show, try your luck in the Carnival Horizon Casino, or stay shipshape in the fitness center.
There’s also abundant entertainment on Carnival Horizon, from the Liquid Lounge (which puts on Playlist Productions performances and light shows after dark, and game shows and trivia during the day), to the IMAX theater or Thrill Theater. Plenty of live music can be found throughout the ship, as can street performer-style entertainers, from magicians to musicians.
Drinking and Dining On Carnival Horizon
When it comes to dining and drinking, Carnival Horizon adopts a noticeably casual approach, offering lots of laid-back options and buffets during the day, with dressier (but still unpretentious) dinners in the evening. Drinks flow throughout the ship, hand-delivered to you wherever you are, from the pool to the pub to your cabin. While gourmet fare may be tougher to come by on this fun ship, there’s no denying that Horizon pulls out all the stops when it comes to variety.
Carnival Horizon Restaurants & Dining
Many return Carnival cruisers will feel right at home on Horizon thanks to its reprisal of many mainstay restaurants and eateries, including fan favorites like Guy’s Burger Joint (by hall of famer Guy Fieri) and BlueIguana Cantina (both complimentary). Other delectable dishes range from lobster rolls at Bonsai Sushi to perfect pulled pork creations at Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse | Brewhouse.
Other free dining venues include the Reflections and Meridian Restaurants, Horizon’s two main dining rooms, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner (as well as brunch and a bloody mary bar on sea days). The Lido Marketplace is the ship’s official buffet, though there is a delightful second buffet near the Ocean Plaza on Deck 5 that’s also worth a visit. Some free alternative restaurants include the Mongolian Wok (stir fry and Asian dishes), Pizzeria del Capitano (pizza), The Pasta Bar (pasta - lunch only), and Fresh Creations (sea day salads on the Serenity Deck). Room service is also complimentary, except when ordered between 10pm and 6am.
Carnival Horizon also boasts several delectable for-fee restaurants worth trying. The Chef’s Table experience is a great option for foodies, and is the most expensive at $95 per person. Picky eaters may want to give this experience a pass, as it’s definitely designed for gourmands. Other specialty restaurants include
Bonsai Sushi (sushi; $5+ for rolls, $7+ for bowls; a la carte)
Bonsai Teppanyaki (hibachi-grilled seafood; $25-30 per person; Horizon exclusive)
Fahrenheit 555 (steakhouse; $38 for adults, $12 for kids)
Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse / Brewhouse (barbecue meats; $8+ for entrees; a la carte)
Seafood Shack (fried and steamed seafood; $6+; a la carte)
Cucina del Capitano (Italian; $15 for adults, $5 for kids; dinner only)
JiJi Asian Kitchen (Pan-Asian; $15 for adults, $5 for kids)
Bars & Clubs on Carnival Horizon
One of the areas where Carnival really shines is in its vast array of bars and clubs offered. Horizon is no exception, offering everything from the Limelight Lounge, which hosts the Punchliner Comedy Club in the evenings and seminars during the day, to the Alchemy Lounge for mixologist-made cocktails. Horizon also offers nightclubs for guests looking to dance the night away, and the Havana Bar in particular is a popular place to meet, drink, and dance.
Other bars and clubs include:
Horizon Atrium Bar (Deck 3): an ideal bar and lounge for socializing, dominated by a massive light funnel in the center
SkyBox Sports Bar (Deck 4): a haven for sports enthusiasts looking to watch a game, play a round of poker, or prove their trivial prowess with sports trivia
Casino Bar (Deck 4): order a cool cocktail and woo Lady Luck at the slot machines and game tables
Piano Bar 88 (Deck 5): live music and nonstop requests, this venue is particularly fun after dark when the doors to nearby Fahrenheit 555 close and it gets more intimate
The Library Bar (Deck 5): a perfect spot to curl up with a book or puzzle and a glass of wine poured from the self-service wine machine
Serenity Bar (Deck 15): an oasis of quiet and calm amidst an often rambunctious crowd of fun- and sun-seekers
Youth Programs on Carnival Horizon
Carnival Horizon’s kids’ and teen programs are broken down by age group into distinct clubs featuring their own unique flair and age-appropriate activities. These youth programs are included in the fare, and are a welcome opportunity for kids to be kids (and for parents and guardians to indulge in some ‘me’ time elsewhere).
Camp Ocean for Kids 2-11
Carnival Horizon’s kids club is Camp Ocean, which comes with trained and compassionate counselors to supervise and facilitate activities. Activities run the gamut from Play-Doh playdates for younger kids to scavenger hunts and tournaments for the older set. The club also offers kid-only dinners each night except the first night, hosted in the Lido Marketplace and offering a menu of kid-friendly favorites. The space itself is colorful and kid-sized, with lots of toys and board games for individual and group activities, as well as extra space for coordinated programming.
Camp Ocean is further divided into sub-age groups in order to provide more tailored activities and entertainment:
Penguins: ages 2-5
Stingrays: ages 6-8
Sharks: ages 9-11
Video games, movie nights, dance parties, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, sports tournaments...these are just some of the myriad activities awaiting tweens and teens in Carnival Horizon’s dedicated clubs. The teen clubs are exclusive to two age groups:
Circle C: ages 12-14
Club O2: ages 15-17
While Circle C offers plenty of unstructured time, there are still some dedicated activities and supervision. Club O2, while still supervised, is more relaxed, allowing teens to come and go as they please, and offering more social activities like theme parties, dress-up or costume nights, lip sync battles, as well as their own nightclub.
Carnival Horizon Dress Code
Contrary to popular belief, there is a dress code on Carnival Horizon: Cruise Casual. The cruise ship admittedly takes a fairly laissez-faire approach to the dress code, and almost anything goes. However, some rules do apply: swimsuits are relegated to outdoor areas, and shirts with sleeves must be worn in the main dining rooms.
Generally speaking, the attire onboard is casual and unfussy, even on formal nights at times, though passengers are encouraged to (and do) dress up for these traditional promenades. Everything from evening gowns and suits to sun dresses or dressy shorts and collared shirts are welcome, though for formal nights you should probably leave your flip flops and tees in your stateroom.
Carnival Horizon Cabins
The cabins or staterooms aboard Carnival Horizon are comfortable, and reasonably appointed for the price. Suites are not particularly huge, but they’re well designed, and even standard rooms sleep 2-3 people comfortably. Duvet covers, pillows, and sheets are high-quality throughout, and mattresses are quite good. Additionally, if you’re worried about seasickness, you can put your fears to rest - thanks to Carnival’s pod propulsion system, there’s very little vibration in any of the cabins.
|Size Range (sq ft)||161.4 - 344.4|
|Single Occupancy Cabins||0|
|Wheelchair Accessible Cabins||35|
Havana Staterooms & Suites on Carnival Horizon
The Havana-class staterooms, suites, and “Cabanas” (suites with accompanying patio area open to the Havana Bar & Pool area) are some of the best accommodation Carnival has to offer. While they feature fairly simple design and accoutrements reminiscent of the port city for which they’re named (in terracotta orange, faded lime green, teal, cream, and dark brown), they are larger and have exclusive access to the Havana Pool and Bar until 7pm, when it transforms into a club. These rooms are best for people who like to party.
Family Harbor Staterooms & Suites on Carnival Horizon
Family Harbor staterooms and suites are larger and designed with families in mind. They come with some family-friendly perks, like free meals for kids in most specialty restaurants, and easy access to the Family Harbor Lounge, which hosts plenty of fun family activities and games throughout the day, as well as exclusive breakfast and snack options during the day. The rooms are narrow, but brightly upholstered in primary colors that hearken back to nautical themes and patterns.
Cloud 9 Spa Staterooms & Suites on Carnival Horizon
These rooms (which range from interior cabins to full suites) boast a decidedly serene design in yellows, greens, and off-whites, and feature Cloud 9 Spa toiletries. They also come with plenty of relaxing perks, including free fitness classes, priority spa reservations, and discounted spa services.
Interior Staterooms on Carnival Horizon
The most affordable cabin class aboard Carnival Horizon, interior cabins typically measure 185 sq ft (though some, featuring either obstructed picture windows or porthole windows, measure 220 sq ft). They feature simple but quality bed linens and towels, and adjoin other interior rooms, making them a great option for large family groups. In most rooms, beds are twin-sized and can be pushed together to make one king bed.
Oceanview Staterooms on Carnival Horizon
If you prefer your cruise with plenty of ocean views, these staterooms are a great value option, as they feature picture windows overlooking the horizon. Standard oceanview cabins measure 185 to 220 sq ft, while Deluxe Ocean View cabins are slightly larger, at 230 sq ft, and add on an extra bathroom. All oceanview cabins boast 3 closets (an upgrade from the typical 2), and can comfortably sleep 2-3 people (or 4 in Deluxe Ocean View rooms).
Balcony Staterooms on Carnival Horizon
Carnival Horizon’s balcony cabins measure 185 sq ft and at least 35 sq ft of balcony, complete with two chairs and a small table for drinks. Cove balcony cabins on Deck 2 offer slightly larger balconies, at 45 sq ft, while the largest balconies are attached to Premium balcony cabins (75 sq ft). Many connecting balcony rooms have balcony dividers that can be removed to create one long outdoor area, and most Premium balcony rooms have this option.
Suites on Carnival Horizon
Carnival Horizon offers three additional suite classes. All suite passengers enjoy priority embarkation and debarkation, as well as a complimentary bag of laundry per cruise, and other perks.
Junior Suites measure 275 sq ft with 35 sq ft balconies. Carnival Horizon has two such suites onboard, each of which can comfortably sleep three guests.
Ocean Suites measure 275 sq ft with 65 sq ft balconies. These suites feature built-in entertainment centers, comfortable seating, and plenty of closet space. One of these suites on Carnival Horizon is wheelchair accessible, and measures 450 sq ft with 100 sq ft balcony to accommodate a chair.
Grand Suites measure 345 sq ft with a (surprisingly narrow) 85 sq ft balcony. There are 8 Grand Suites aboard Carnival Horizon, and they feature a comfortable, sectional sofa appointed seating area, walk-in dressing area with vanities, a bathroom with dual sinks and bidet, and a jetted tub/shower combo.
What’s Included On Carnival Horizon?
Accommodation with nightly turndown service
Shows and entertainment
Pools, hot tubs, waterslides
Dr Seuss WaterWorks
Kids programs (ages 2-17)
Meals in Main Dining Room and Lido Restaurant
Meals at Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, Mongolian Wok, Ol’ Fashioned BBQ
24-hour pizza and soft-serve ice cream
Tap water, lemonade, iced tea, hot chocolate, and non-specialty coffees and teas
What’s NOT Included on Carnival Horizon?
Flights, hotels, transfers
Specialty restaurants and ‘Steakhouse Selections’ in the Main Dining Room
24-hour room service
Thrill Theater & IMAX Theater
Horizon Casino and arcade
Spa treatments & some fitness classes
Drinks & dining packages
WiFi & smartphone use
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