Back in September, I sailed on the Carnival Horizon from Miami to the Southern Caribbean. This was my second Vista class ship so I was familiar with the layout but there were a few differences from Vista.
This is just part one of what might be two or three parts. In Part one, I want to discuss the design and layout plus my stateroom.
Design and Layout
As I mentioned, the Horizon is a Vista Class ship and I sailed on the Vista a few years ago so I was familiar with the class. The difference between this class and the others, with the exception of Mardi Gras, is really the atrium. Carnival is know for the towering atrium when you walk on board rising about eight or nine decks. The Vista Class features a atrium that rises three decks but features this amazing dreamscape in the middle of the lobby bar. Throughout the cruise you will see video, pictures and different colors including the American Flag displayed on it. They even feature drawings from kids at St Jude Children's Hospital to celebrate their partnership with the hospital. For sure its eye catching and fun to watch.
One of my favorite designs of this ship, you will also see on the Dream Class, is the lanai on the Promenade Deck. The Lanai runs the length of the ship on both sides and features seating some with tables and some loungers. Its a great place to come for a little quiet and listen to the ocean. On this cruise, if not on my balcony, I would grab a cup of coffee in the morning and sit out there a read. I also loved to eat breakfast out there off of the Ocean Plaza where they would have a breakfast buffet.
Also along the Lanai you will find outdoor dining for some of the specialty restaurants on board including the steakhouse Fahrenheit 555, Bonsai Sushi, Guys Pig & Anchor Smokehouse and even Cherry on Top. Dining alfresco makes sense on a cruise.
Another area that is unique to the Vista class is the location of the Casino. Carnival has always placed the casino right in the middle of the promenade deck but on the Vista Class, its located below the Promenade on deck 4, Lower Promenade. In the casino there is another dreamscape that comes up from the area that used to be a bar. Recently Carnival removed the bars from the casino on select ships and replaced it with more slots. It has helped with the smoke smell. Now the dreamscape does rise up to deck 5 promenade but there is a glass partition separating the decks so the smoke does not rise up to the that deck but you can still see down into the casino.
My Balcony Stateroom
My stateroom was a balcony stateroom on deck 8 in the af end of the ship. I chose to be behind the aft elevators because I found on my last cruise, there was less foot traffic there compared to being mid ship. Being located between staterooms and no venues above or below me was great for sound as well. Being on deck 8, I only had two decks up for Lido and Lido Marketplace so food was easy and three decks down to deck 5 Promenade. The only issue I would say about the location is the long walk to Serenity Deck which I used a lot on this cruise.
As most people would, I loved having a balcony I could sit on anytime of day and enjoy the ocean without being disturbed. The balcony had two chairs and they were uniquie, something I had not seen on a Carnival ship, at least in a standard balcony. The chairs reclined a full 90 degrees. Now the balcony is not that wide so only one person could really do this at a time but I was on my own so it worked great.
Storage was plenty for me and would be for two or three people. Three cabines contained hanging sections in all, one had three drawers and one had shelves with a safe. The vanity area had couple drawers but also had the three shelves on each side of the mirror. I use those to organize items I might need like sunscreen, medications etc.
The bathroom was the typical cruise ship bathroom with a lot of storage. One thing I like about cruise ship bathrooms is the clothes line they have in the shower. Bring towel clips with you and you can use it to hang wet items to dry. Don't tell anyone but I did use the clips to set my swimsuit on the balcony, which really is not allowed.
The room itself was plenty big enough and had a very comfortable bed, which i usually expect with Carnival The only thing I would change is having a connecting stateroom. My neighbors were not loud but having that door, the noise does come through so I would suggest not getting a connecting stateroom unless you need it.
There is so much to the Carnival Horizon, indoors from the Ocean Plaza to the theatre and outdoors from Serenity to the Tides Pool. in later parts coming soon, I will review those areas along with the entertainment and of course the food.
Be sure you follow me on Facebook and Twitter for future post.
Share the knowledge
I have a passion for travel and believe travel is about experiences. Experiences create memories and are the stories we tell to friends and family - even with a little fudging on the facts.