Carnival Horizon: The Inaugural US Sailing

After a quick start-up season in Europe, the Carnival Horizon made its transatlantic voyage over to the United States, stopping a few times before settling into its homeport of New York City for the summer of 2018. On May 24, 2018 the Carnival Horizon departed from the United States for the first time. The voyage was a four day Bermuada trip, which I was lucky to experience.

Ship Highlights:

The Design. For a while now, Carnival has gone in a new direction with the design of their ships, but the Carnival Horizon takes the prize. This ship is designed so eloquently, it’s perfect for anyone’s taste. Words don’t do it justice. Look at the pictures below, or view more here.

The Elevators. Carnival Horizon’s elevators are unlike any hotel, let alone cruise ship. The elevators are smart; you enter the floor number you wish to go to on a machine by the elevator bank and it directs you to an elevator. The elevator is supposed to take you to your desired floor in the most efficient way possible, with the least amount of stops. There are no buttons within the actual elevators, which can be a little scary. While I missed the glass elevators that are typically found on all of Carnival’s ships, these did seem to work well for crowd control and speed.

The Activities. By far, my favorite activity was the sky course. I was a little nervous while I was waiting in line, but it was an awesome experience! You are biking 14 stories above the ocean (at some parts), with the best view of the ocean or port around you. It is a true adrenaline rush, where you can choose what speed you go by peddling faster or using the hand breaks. At different points, each of the tracks dip down and you zoom around the corners. I wish I could have gone on the sky course more, but the lines were just too long. The ship also had a Ropes Course, but it was quite windy on our voyage.

While I have sailed on many of Carnival’s newer ships, this was the first time that I tried the Thrill Theater. The Thrill Theater is a ride in itself. You sit in nice movie theater seating, about 32 people per showing. The seats move forwards and backwards, spray you with water, and poke you so that you feel like you are a part of the movie on screen. Think Universal Studios’ The Simpsons simulation ride, but remember you are in the middle of the ocean, which adds a “cool factor”.

While the ship had the typical Carnival activities, I found the SportSquare and Clubhouse to be extra enticing. Along the track there were many excersicing machines, and within the Sportsquare there was minature golf, foosball, and much more. My favorite addition was a Twister board! There was also a life-size pool table that was made as a platform off of the ground. All in all, lots of fun. Click on the images below to enlarge them.

The Havana Pool. While this pool is exclusively for Havana Suite guests during the day, around 7pm on, the pool is open to all. The pool extends to the end of the ship where there is a clear fence, allowing swimmers and bystanders to look out at the horizon… on the Horizon (ha). This view can not be beat at sunset, and the music right inside is also great.

The Shows. Carnival has really stepped up their Playlist Productions in the past few years. The shows that were playing on our 4-day voyage were Celestial Strings and Vintage Pop. The latter mixed today’s new pop songs with a vintage flare. The Horizon cast seems to perform a few other shows, which also look very good! If you haven’t seen their Carnival Horizon promo video, click here. Click on the images below to enlarge them.

View the Carnival Horizon in Photos

Inaugural Voyage

Cruise Director Mike Pack emphasized that this voyage was a first for the Horizon, right when we left New York City. While first-time cruisers may not have understood the meaning behind it all, it was a magical feeling for me. I had been tracking the development of this ship since it was announced!  Carnival Corporation’s CEO, Micky Arison, and Carnival Cruise Line’s President, Christine Duffy, were both in attendance for this momentous occasion. While they stayed under the radar to most people, the cruise addict in me saw them and “fan-girled” hard! On the second night of the cruise, every passenger received a letter from Duffy, as well as a beautiful Carnival Horizon keychain.

Check back for more soon:

Horizon for a Handle:A teenager in Virgina had the Snapchat handle @CarnivalCruise. Carnival traded the teen a sailing on the inagural Horizon sailing and personalized his trip to make it extremely special.

The Naming:Carnival held a giant press day on May 23 in NYC for invited guests to participate in the naming of the ship with God Mother, Queen Latifah.

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