The first thing that blew my mind when I stepped onto the Carnival Horizon was how massive this new ship is; the second was its decor. As you walk into the ship’s 3-story Atrium, your eyes immediately go to the circular bar. Perched right in the middle of the room, there’s a cone-shaped LED installation that stretches from the floor to the ceiling, showcasing vibrant digital designs in every color you can imagine. All around it, the Atrium is lined with candy and liquor stores, and designer shops; a glass staircase takes shoppers from the bottom to the top, while wavy-blue carpet and red “pop” chairs anchor an otherwise simple scheme of white, glass and silver accents.
On the cabin decks, the design is much more demure. There are 11 room options total on Horizon, ranging from interior rooms to Grand Suites and Family Harbor Suites. The latter of the bunch are most unique; they hold up to five guests and come with a night of free babysitting, exclusive lounges and kids’ dining areas, plus the option to add connecting rooms.
“On Carnival Horizon, travelers can decide what kind of trip they want to have,” says Vicki Tomasino, regional v.p., Western region for Carnival Cruise Line. “The entertainment is great, you’ve got a variety of special restaurants to choose from, the waterslides and Family Harbor staterooms are perfect for kids, the spa is fantastic and there’s live music everywhere. There are so many ports to go to, yes, but the ship is entertainment in itself.”
On board the Horizon, the fun starts on the ship’s outer decks, which have three pools, multiple jacuzzis and throngs of lounge chairs. I particularly loved the adults-only Serenity deck, which had a cocktail bar, a jacuzzi, shaded beds and loungers with chairside service, and unobstructed ocean views from its spot on the top deck.
Perfect for sunseekers of all ages, there’s a poolside movie screen and an open-air recreation area with a ropes course, mini golf, a basketball court, a jogging track, ping pong, and even foosball and pool tables. Dr. Seuss WaterWorks, an onboard water park, offers fun for young travelers with a 300-gallon The Cat in the Hat tipping bucket, a kiddie splash zone and two waterslides. Guests who want to see all the outdoor activities before they decide can hop on the SkyRide, which lets cyclists hang in mid-air as they pedal
on a track that hovers over and around its top deck.
And in Carnival Horizon’s interior areas, the fun continues. An IMAX Theatre plays films currently in theaters. A full-service spa offers everything from beauty treatments to massages. There’s a casino, a gym, and an evening lineup of musical performances. Every night, award-winning comedians put on both adults-only and family-friendly acts at The Punchliner Comedy Club. Likewise, the ship’s main stage, in Liquid Lounge, comes alive with nightly game shows and performances by professionals singers, dancers, electric violinists and video special effects. Ask any adult who chose fun on board, and they’ll vouch for the ship’s lively bar scene. Day drinkers can get margaritas by the pool at the Mexican-themed BlueIguana Tequila Bar or sip on frozen rum drinks at RedFrog Rum Bar. At night, friends and family can order creative cocktails at the vintage-themed Alchemy Bar, pour a glass of wine from The Library Bar’s enomatic wine system, or drink Cuban cocktails at Havana Bar. My personal favorite was Piano Bar, where I and other music lovers closed down the bar nightly with a funny pianist who belted everything from showtunes to Billy Joel.
There’s no shortage of cafes, eateries and restaurants to choose from. Along with casual coffee and snack stands and buffet rooms, diners can head to JiJi Asian Kitchen for modern cuisine from the Far East, Cucina del Capitano for homestyle Italian, Seafood Shack for New England-inspired seafood, Fahrenheit 555 for a classic American steakhouse, Pizzeria del Capitano for pizza or Bonsai Teppanyaki for a hibachi dinner. Guy’s Burger Joint, a poolside burger bar, serves acclaimed chef and Food Network star Guy Fieri’s famous burgers, while his Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse serves BBQ favorites and craft beers brewed at the ship’s onboard brewery.
Carnival Horizon will conduct 6- and 8-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises out of PortMiami to places like Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts and St. Maarten.
Carnival Cruise Line: carnival.com