The Carnival Horizon ships have only been sailing for a few weeks now, but we’re already finding a few useful tips for those of you heading on your first cruise. Today’s trip took us down the eastern coast of Florida, from Miami through to Titusville. While we were only there for a couple hours, it was a great way to see a bit of the area we’ll be cruising through, without spending too much time in port. The weather was perfect and we even saw dolphins!
The Carnival Horizon cruise ship is a fantastic looking ship, and the best part is that it’s not even new. Carnival purchased the Horizon (formerly the Holiday Majesty) in 2012, and it has since been refurbished at Carnival’s own cost. As a result, the Horizon is in excellent condition. When it comes to cruising, it is rare that a cruise line takes its ship to the next level, upgrading it to a newness-that-never-dies. Carnival did just that with the Horizon.
The Carnival Horizon is a fully-manned floating hotel that cruises the Caribbean Sea for four days at a time, making it the perfect ship for anyone looking to relax, be pampered, or just have a great time in the sun. We got to enjoy some of the amenities that the Horizon has to offer on our first sea day, and here’s what we saw.. Read more about carnival cruise news and let us know what you think.
While the following was written during the Carnival Horizon sailing on July 18, it took some time to go through the hundreds of pictures I collected and decide which ones to use for this unusual type of trip report.
I have to confess that I consider myself very lucky to have gone on three cruises in four weeks. That was my first thought this morning when I awoke, looking forward to a day at sea.
It’s difficult not to feel that way when you go out on the deck and see the sea extending out in front of you, apparently forever, with the sun just rising.
There are two types of cruisers (and I guess this is true of people in general): those that leap out of bed eager to see what the day has in store for them, and others who, particularly on holiday, pull the covers over their heads and frown at the morning folks.
I am unmistakably a morning person. Maybe it’s because I’m not the most outgoing person on the planet, and mornings allow me to visit places that will be busy later in the day while having them largely to myself.
Being on a cruise ship’s pool deck, which is typically one of the busiest places, while it’s empty is a surreal experience for me.
As the ship wakes up a few hours later, that same region begins to slowly fill up. I’m almost done with the Lido Deck by the time the loungers start filling up. I’ve never been one to hang out by the pool (much alone swim in it). Waterslides? Maybe. But what about the pool? Rarely.
Have you ever gone up and down the halls on decks with mainly cabins simply to look at the door decorations? I may be incorrect, but I believe Carnival ships have more door decorations than other cruise lines.
This morning, I saw this… what seems to be a list of the residents of this stateroom’s previous trips. What an amazing list this is!
While I’m trying to make my trip report more about the photos than the writing, I did want to speak about how effectively the HUB app worked for me when it came to making reservations.
Given that it was a sea day, you can bet I was going to brunch. The way it works is that you open the app on your phone and search for the event or restaurant that you want to go to. It was the sea day breakfast in this instance. At 8:31 a.m., I requested a table for two, and it stated right away, as you can see in the image below, that the wait would be under 10 minutes.
My table was ready in about two minutes, according to the app. Not only that, but it also showed me precisely where we’d be seated and offered me the choice of either informing them that we were on our way or canceling if we’d changed our minds.
They hold your table for 10 minutes after you’ve been informed that it’s ready, allowing you time to go to the restaurant.
We were seated in no time, had placed our orders, and I was happily chowing down. Actually, now that I think about it, sea days tend to include a lot of food in my opinion. Because a few hours after breakfast (which, admittedly, we arrived at quite early),…
For lunch, we went to Bonsai Teppanyaki. On many cruise ships, the Teppanyaki restaurant is only open for night, so I like that it is also open for lunch on Horizon.
If you’ve been to one hibachi restaurant, you’ve pretty much been to all of them. When you sit down at the table, you know precisely what you’re going to get: food and a performance. Lunch and a performance, in this instance.
The amount of fun you have will be determined by two factors: how amusing the guy behind the grill is, and how invested the folks you’re sitting with are in his act. Today we were fortunate in that both the cook and our other diners were in excellent shape.
I wish I could accomplish what these guys do; it’s like culinary magic. But I’m afraid I’d only get about two components in before chopping off a finger. “Folks, there’s nothing to see here; it’s all part of the show!”
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The middle of the sea day may be a bit of a haze, as it often is. Have you ever had it happen to you? When you go back over your photos at the end of the day, you remember, “Oh, yeah, we stopped for a drink in the atrium!” (Does anybody else like gazing at the DreamScape funnels and find themselves wasting time doing so?)
As the evening progressed, people started to flock to the Lido Deck for the Dive-In movie. I don’t attend to many concerts because I become fidgety, and the same logic applies here. They might be playing my all-time favorite film, and after 15 minutes, my toes would start tapping and I’d begin searching for a way out.
Yes, they did sell the much-discussed $3 popcorn. People were muttering about it, and you could hear them. When a man grumbled about them wanting to charge for popcorn, his wife said, “You don’t even like popcorn, Marcus!” You’re simply whining so that you can hear yourself whining!” (To protect the guilty, the name has been altered.)
I walked away from the Lido Deck and the soon-to-start movie to see what I truly wanted to see: the sun sinking over the ocean with the sound of the wake washing over my ears.
When people ask me what I like about cruising, I simply want them to experience this moment, this sensation, since it’s impossible to describe. It’s as if they say, “You either get it or you don’t.” It’s understood by other cruisers. I’m guessing you’re visualizing that right now… because you understand it.
There was still time for one more supper, this time in the main dining area. Then there’s the surf and turf, followed by almost everyone’s favorite dessert…
After that, it was back to the cabin, where I was greeted by this cheerful fellow…
We’ll arrive at Amber Cove tomorrow, where I’ve booked one of those oceanfront cabanas. I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes.
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