The latest ship in the Carnival fleet offers more of the cruise line’s signature fun-filled attractions – with some interesting new additions
Carnival Horizon is packed with action and energy and, as the newest flagship of the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, it effortlessly grooves to the lively beat that Carnival is famous for.
More floating fun factory than cruise ship, it is poles apart from the traditional style of cruising and, as a result, appeals to a young buzzing crowd of mainly couples and families.
Like its sister ship Carnival Vista, which launched in 2016, Horizon has many of the same attractions; most notably the novel aerial cycling SkyRide, known as the “bike ride in the sky” and an impressive Imax Theatre for 3D film screenings.
These are in addition to its sports court, al fresco movie screen and top-deck ropes course that are virtually de rigeur on today’s larger resort-style ships, but Horizon has ramped up the fun factor even further with a clutch of new attractions.
The 3,934-passenger ship debuted earlier this month (April) with the first Dr Seuss WaterWorks park at sea, complete with waterslides that whizz riders into a kiddie splash zone of colourful fountains, water sprays and soak-inducing 300-gallon tipping bucket.
Those who don’t fancy getting wet can dive into the ship’s enlarged shopping area containing the first Victoria’s Secret store at sea along with designer brands including Michael Kors, Hublot and Kate Spade.
Dining options have been given added flavour with Carnival’s first Japanese teppanyaki restaurant, Bonsai Teppanyaki, along with a new pub called Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse which reflects its partnership with US celebrity chef Guy Fieri and serves a range of his lip-smacking hallmark barbecue dishes.
Beer fans aren’t left out as Carnival Horizon even has its own onboard brewery which produces four ParchedPig ales.
Aside from the two main restaurants, there is the Lido Marketplace buffet, Italian, Mexican and burger-themed lunch outlets, plus the excellent Mongolian Wok where chefs beautifully stir fry combinations to order – and all for no extra charge.
Among speciality options, which include the Italian Cucina del Capitano and Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, both costing $35; Ji Ji Asian Kitchen stands out for succulent dishes that include sweet and sour fragrant shrimp and slow-braised pork belly, and all for a supplement of just $15pp.
With 13 bars and entertainment venues, Carnival Horizon is no shrinking violet. Aside from the main theatre, revellers can sashay to the Latin-themed Havana bar with its sultry salsa beat, sing their hearts out in the Piano Bar or cheer on their favourite team in the Sports Bar.
Comedians raise laughs in the Punchliner Comedy Club, while the Limelight Lounge plays host to night owls wanting to dance into the early hours.
There’s lots for kids too, with a programme of activities based around the children’s Camp Ocean clubs, while adults can sneak off to the extensive Cloud 9 Spa and fitness centre or relax on one of the tempting Balinese day beds on the adult-only Serenity Deck.
Onboard décor is bright and breezy, with a tropical feel that carries into the comfortable accommodation where particular favourites are Family Harbor cabins that have access to a dedicated lounge, and an expanded number of Havana Club staterooms which have their own private deck area and pool.
By building on the favourite features of the Carnival fleet and adding its own new attractions, Carnival Horizon is taking fun to a whole new level.
A six-day round trip Western Caribbean sailing from Miami departing on November 25, starts at £949pp with flights. Calls include Ocho Rios, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. (0808 2340680, carnival.co.uk)