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kbklcamp

Horizon best of our eight cruises

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My husband and I cruised on the April 15 Horizon voyage from Barcelona and it was our best cruise of any line.

 

Embarkation was fantastic. We had to get to Drassanes, the metro stop closest to the cruise port shuttle by 10:30 before our three day metro pass expired. We were at the stop by 9, giving us plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful, cool morning, and me a chance to walk up Las Ramblas a block and buy a Gaudi tee shirt I'd seen the day before. We went on to the shuttle knowing we would have a long wait outside at the terminal as we were sure people were still disembarking from the very first horizon cruise, but we didn't want to wait in long lines for the shuttle later in the day. Our check in time wasn't till 1:30, which was worrisome as we difinitely wanted Guy's Pig and Anchor bbq and mac and cheese for lunch.

 

We only waited ten minutes, and while waiting, we met the trombone player from the Havana lounge. He was telling a group of young women about the Horizon and he helped get them through the steps of check in and even asked one of the employees welcoming guests on board to be sure their cabins were ready early.

 

The shuttle was a big, comfortable bus, and as Rick Steves said, no one should try to walk to the terminal in Barcelona. We were on the bus about 20 minutes and traveled a busy road. The employees at the terminal were so helpful and cheerful and had our two bags marked and gone in a minute and us in the terminal. Straight through security, and as we'd done all online check in, we waited just long enough to quickly check out the gift shop and then our boarding group wa called. from shuttle stop the to the friendliest of greetings in the atrium was 45 minutes. It was exciting.

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We dashed straight to the Pig and Anchor dreading the long, hot lines we had encountered on the Vista in November, but there were no people in line. What? So wonderful, plus, the Horizon crew had a drink station set up outside, something sorely missed on the Vista. The nicest crew served our delicious food and we took it inside to the new Pig and Anchor restaurant, the converted Red Frog from the Vista. The decor is just as cute and well done as the Red Frog and has an enormous brass pig statue added. We were the only guests. Just wild. Of course we got seconds and people were eating outside by then, but plenty of room and still no others ate inside.

 

We checked out the Marketplace, and though it was very busy, we could easily walk through, which was all we wanted to do. Way too full to eat. We were just so pleased we'd actually gotten on the ship so early and had had a great lunch. All the sofas on the pool deck were empty, another fantastic surprise. We got one in the shade facing the big screen, propped up our feet on the ottomans and relaxed. In the breeze and and shade, we napped and took pictures, texted and read all afternoon. Never has embarkation day been like a sea day, but this was truly like a sea day.

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Great information. Thank you.

I am also boarding next Wednesday.

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I will be on the Horizon on 05/09. Very excited

 

 

 

I’m excited for you. We never felt crowded and we liked the new elevators.

 

 

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I wish I could post pictures. Idk how anymore.

 

 

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Sail away was so much fun with the incredibly energetic Mike Pack. He grabbed people from the crowds on the rail and deck and got them participating, reminding everyone this was our cruise, not his. He's funny and personable and really likes people. We were sad to leave our sofa from which we comfortably watched the screen if onlookers stood in front of us, but we wanted to see our spa cabin and get ready for dinner.

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We'd booked an inside cabin about a year and a half ago using reward points from our credit card. I called Carnival one time months ago because I'd seen a price drop, but the rep said there was not a price drop for our cabin category, however, was I aware we'd been upgraded to a spa cabin? No, I was not, but I was very happy to hear it, and wanted the details. So, hooray, we'd now have the spa robes, slippers and package, a $250 value. Not only did we have the best embarkation day we'd ever had, we had the best room location. We walked in from the comfy couch on the 11th deck to our beautiful room just a few doors down. Love the aqua and blue. The closet was half the size of the one in our interior on deck two on the Vista because this closet had the ac in it. That was not a problem, though, we still had plenty of room.

 

As we walked past rooms with open doors, I noticed the Horizon book in them. Our room didn't. Later, I asked our steward about it and he said he was getting one for us as soon as more came up. He did, and we also got a note saying the book was ours to keep. I was so happy. I don't know if that has been true on other ships or if this was an inaugural season gift.

 

We have never had anytime dining but because our itinerary was so intense with several 12 hour port days, i requested it long ago. We went to the Java Blue Cafe on the fifth deck and saw a big line at 6:00. The line was mostly one big group and we were quickly given our slip of paper and checked in, then the waiting started on the third deck outside the Meridian dining room. You'll be able to make MDR reservations on the Hub app once the ship gets to NY.

 

We probably waited close to an hour. Finally, I asked the sweet greeter at the door if there was no place for two people. I saw many empty tables and guess they didn't have wait staff to serve them. She was surprised we had not been called and got a waiter to seat us. Service was quick after that, the food delicious and we never waited another night, but just walked in.

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All the menus were wonderful except one night. I have all the Funtimes and will plan to scan them. We just didn't see anything we wanted one night so we went to the Marketplace where the crowds were no problem. We didn't need much because we ate Guy's burgers before they closed at six, but we were surprised at the lack of variety. Just didn't see the tons of options we've always seen. But, and this is good, there is hand scooped gelato every day in the Marketplace in the afternoon. Loved it and the huge toppings bar. I don't know if this is new on every ship, but the cakes were awesome. Gorgeous cakes of a dozen flavors a day were in glass bakery cases. On other ships, slices would be three or four dollars apiece at specialty cafes, but absolutely free in the main eating area.

 

Another great thing on a Carnival ship is the specialty restaurants up the stairs from the Marketplace. It's just fun to eat lunch in a restaurant and look at the port or water. We ate at the Captain's pasta bar twice. We love their grilled shrimp and alfredo sauce, and even though I ate a bowl of that each time, I also stopped by the Blue Iguana and got shrimp taco and carried them upstairs as a wonderful side.

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I adored the spa. I’ve got more to put in my review but I’m not home right now. So happy you’ve got a spa room. You’ll love it.

 

 

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Following,I am going to have an interior spa room in November What did you think of the spa?

 

 

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I adored the spa. I’ve got more to put in my review but I’m not home right now. So happy you’ve got a spa room. You’ll love it.

 

 

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DW loves the spa and we went with a spa cabin on the Vista last year. Very disappointed. Spa facilities are smaller than Dream, Magic or Breeze. Men's locker, steam and shower rooms were smaller than those on the Valor or Sunshine, which didn't have spas. There's no Thalassopool. The whirlpool was small and always crowded. the water looked grungy. Spa Balcony was okay. But we visited folks in a regular balcony and it looked much nicer.

 

Glad that kbklcamp enjoyed the spa on the Horizon. A lot of people liked the Vista spa too. And if you use the spa frequently, it's probably worth the extra $ over regular interior.

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We were also on the April 15th sailing on the Horizon and I concur, it was the best cruise we ever had. The ship is amazing and the ports were amazing and I don't know how Carnival arranged it, but the weather was outstanding! I literally cried on the last day during disembarkation.

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Was your embarkation day lunch at the Smokehouse self serve buffet style or did they serve you like they do at dinner time with the a la carte menu? Thanks.

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It was served buffet style outside on deck 5.

 

 

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It was served buffet style outside on deck 5.

 

 

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