After taking a tour of the newest member of the Carnival fleet in New York Harbor last week, Travel Market Report — and many of our readers who were onboard — came away loving the new colors, the fresh feel, and the upscale and family-friendly new touches.
Here are some of the takeaways about the best of what the new 4,000-passenger Carnival flagship, the “sista to the Vista,” has to offer.
Guy Fieri times two
Guests can get their napkins ready and grab a burger by the pool at Guy’s Burger Joint or step into the new Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse/Brewhouse, two eateries developed by the host of the Food Network’s popular series Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives, Guy Fieri.
The Burger Joint offers five different burgers: the Plain Jane basic cheeseburger; the Ringer cheeseburger that includes an onion ring; the Straight Up that includes special sauce, lettuce, and tomato; the Piggy Patty that features a second patty made of bacon; and the Chillius Maximus, with the works.
Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse/Brewhouse.
At the Smokehouse, guests can try one of the four Parched pig craft beers designed specifically for the ship. The restaurant also offers custom cocktails and smoked dishes cooked with signature rubs and spices, and for dinner, it includes a la carte menus. On embarkation day and sea days, it offers a free-of-charge, self-service BBQ buffet for lunch.
Expanded Havana section
The ship offers more Horizon’s tropics-inspired Havana section staterooms than any other Carnival ship, some of which feature big private balconies with hammocks to sway in and access to the ship’s Havana area that includes a private Cuban-themed bar and pool.
The Havana Bar and pool, located aft on the ship’s fifth deck, is reserved for guests staying in the Havana section until 7:00 p.m. when it will open to all guests. All Havana guests must be a minimum of 12 years old, unless they are in the Family Harbor section.
The colorful new Dr. Seuss Waterworks, a first on any Carnival ship, features a 300-gallon tipping bucket and two waterslides. The first slide, called the Cat in the Hat, is an enclosed raft slide that spans 450 feet; its outside is emblazoned with the famous red and white pattern of The Cat in the Hat. The second slide, the polka-dotted Fun Things, is named after Thing 1 and Thing 2; it features 213 feet of all-ages fun.
Horizon's Dr. Seuss Waterworks.
And the super-fun Green Eggs and Ham breakfast ($5 per person) offers kids a chance to shake hands and take pictures with the Cat in the Hat himself. Staterooms in the Family Harbor section of the ship share their own lounge, concierge, breakfast, movies and games, and babysitting services; and young guests there get a free night of babysitting and eat free in most of the restaurants.
A night at Bonsai Teppanyaki, Carnival’s first restaurant of the kind, can be lots of fun. Chefs mix a dollop of entertainment into Asian-flavored filet mignon, shrimp, chicken, fish or tofu as they cook up dinner for guest at two eight-person tables. The option is available for an additional cost and is open for lunch on sea days and dinner every night. Entrees range from $18 to $30.
Bonsai Teppanyaki is located alongside the Bonsai Sushi restaurant on the ship’s promenade deck.
At 133,500 gross tons and a capacity of 3,960 guests, the ship is about the same size as its sister, Carnival Vista. That extra space allotted Carnival some room to play with, including an expanded two-floor shopping area. Set up like a department store, there is a handbag area that carries brands like Michael Kors and Rebecca Minkoff, a watch display, and a Victoria’s Secrets corner. On the all-new Skyride, guests can cycle on a pedal-powered bike high above the deck or challenge themselves on the ropes course.
Horizon's Victoria Secrets corrner.