Horizon tips

If you’re a Carnival stockholder, you can get free onboard credit

It’s a little-known perk for investors. If you own at least 100 shares of Carnival’s stock, then you are eligible for free onboard credit. Your benefit is $50 for cruises fewer than 7 days and $100 for trips of 7 to 13 days. Take a cruise 14 days or longer, then you’ll get $250 in free onboard credit. Learn how to take advantage here. Just know that it’s not without risk. Shares of Carnival have been all over the map following the health crisis.

New Technology and Services

Carnival Horizon uses technology and a bit of smarts to remedy some of passengers’ complaints on older Carnival ships. For example, the ship features smart elevators, which were a first-of-its-kind tech when the ship debuted. The smart elevators allow you to pick your deck before you board, and then they direct you to the appropriate elevator option out of a handful. The result? Fewer crowded elevators and a faster ride to your destination. Another big complaint on other Carnival ships is the lack of self-service laundry facilities, but the ship actually has a few of these scattered across the vessel. The Carnival cruise ship also has the most expansive shopping experience in the fleet with dedicated stores including the Victoria Secret store, watches, and more.

Other Ways to Have Fun

Of course, other ways to have fun outdoors abound. The ropes course provides similar big-time views, but from the safety of a harness, as you test your climbing and flying skills. A Dr. Seuss-themed waterpark is perfect for the kids. Adults will love the quiet oasis that is Serenity, with its hammocks, cocktails and great views. The main pool is on Deck 10 and is surrounded by loungers. Another pool is on Deck 10 at the rear of the ship, with two hot tubs. The Havana Pool is open to Havana cabin passengers only, and is likewise open to those ages 12 and up only. Unfortunately, there’s not technically a kids-only pool, but there is the kid-centric waterpark. Also Read: 17 Things to Do on a Carnival Glory Cruise

New Outdoor Entertainment Options

Of course, when you have such brand-new outdoor entertainment options on a cruise ship, you can’t miss a chance to try them out. We’re primarily talking about the SkyRide experience on Carnival Horizon, which first premiered on Carnival Vista, to rave reviews.

Bars and Lounges

As you can expect on any Carnival ship, the bars and lounges are extensive and each selection offers you a different experience. There’s the horizon Atrium Bar, right in the middle of everything and serving up all your favorite cocktails along with a healthy helping of regular live music; Limelight Lounge offers comedy shows, karaoke, and other interactive events alongside your drinks; the SkyBox Sports Bar is a typical sports bar setting with lots of televisions; the Piano Bar gives you live piano music and cocktails; and Alchemy Bar is a newer option on Carnival ships, serving up craft cocktails. A brewhouse is connected to Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse. You can find four brews that are actually made onboard, at the ship’s brewery (but you can also find your favorites from around the world, of course). The Havana Bar also blends nicely with the ship’s new Havana-inspired suites, with its Cuban theming, Cuban coffee, and Cuban-style cocktails. While not exactly new, there are the Carnival staples, the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar, onboard the ship as well. Other watering holes are located next to the theater, in the casino, by the pool, in the adults-only Serenity area and in the library (which features a self-serve wine machine!).

Other For-a-Fee Dining Options

There are other for-a-fee dining options, of course, and not all of them are the average Carnival offerings. While you will find some of the Carnival dining staples — Cucina del Capitano, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi and The Chef’s Table — you’ll also find a few new options that you may not be familiar with if you’ve yet to sail on any of Carnival’s newer ships. One of these is the pool-side Seafood Shack, serving New England-style seafood, like clam chowder and lobster rolls, while the other is the JiJi Asian Kitchen, which offers a mix of Asian cuisines, from Indonesian to Chinese.

Dining Options Exclusive to Horizon

If you do decide to splurge on a little for-a-fee dining, you’ll want to certainly check out the new dining options that are exclusive to the vessel. Bonsai Teppanyaki is an off-shoot of the already familiar Carnival Bonsai Sushi. The hibachi-style eatery offers social dining experiences in a lively atmosphere. Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse Brewhouse isn’t necessarily exclusive to Carnival Horizon, but when it premiered on the ship, it was the first of its kind. Like celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Guy’s Burger Joint, this restaurant is another collaboration with the Food Network star, providing casual eats in a fun, family-friendly environment. This time, he’s serving up barbecue and Southern-style side dishes, along some mouthwatering desserts.

What’s Included

Before heading out on any cruise, you want to know what’s included in the cost of your cruise fare. When you’re aboard, you’ll enjoy a plethora of complementary experiences. Guests enjoy meals in the two main dining rooms, as well as at the buffet, but then also at the pizza shop, BlueIguana Cantina, Mongolian Wok, The Pasta Bar, Fresh Creations and Guy’s Burger Joint, so you can enjoy some of the classic Carnival favorites without splurging. There are even some room service menu items that you can get for free. Your cruise fare also includes shows at the main theater, comedy shows, live music and attendance at the deck parties. You’ll also get access to most of the outdoor entertainment options, like the ropes course and the waterpark. Adults will enjoy complimentary access to the adults-only Serenity deck, as well as the spa’s fitness center, while kids enjoy the complimentary access to children’s programming up until 10 p.m. at night.

Early Disembarkation is Quick

Look, nobody wants their cruise to end… but when it does, you want to get off the ship with as little hassle as is humanly possible. I have taken three trips on the Carnival Horizon as of this writing (go ahead, spend a few seconds hating on me… I’ll wait) and each time, I’ve made it from ship to curb in less than 15 minutes. Heck, twice I was at the curb in less than 10 minutes. Read More: Your Guide to Disembarkation The secret? Opt for early self-assist disembarkation if you can. Obviously, not everyone is able to take advantage of this, as you have to be able to get yourself and all your luggage off the ship without assistance. But my routine on that final morning is to get up early, head to a forward deck to watch sail-in, grab breakfast as soon as the dining room opens at 6:30 a.m., then pick up my luggage and stroll off the ship while most folks are still waking up. Make sure that if you’re taking a shuttle or some other form of transportation after disembarking, you’ve made arrangements with them. Otherwise, you’ll get off the ship and have nowhere to go.

Suites

Among the suite options, there are the newer Havana Cabana Suites and Family Harbor Suites. These are two special types of suites that first appeared in the Vista class, that offer a few fun, new features. The Havana Cabana suites sleep up to four guests and are all decorated in a Cuban style. The private outdoor lounge offers deck chairs and a hammock, but you also have access to the Havana Pool area. Inside, the suites offer rain showers and walk-in closets. In terms of space, this suite truly delivers. The Family Harbor suite is a good option for both families and traveling groups of friends. The suites sleep up to five guests and offer connecting rooms, and separate washrooms allow for some family members to take care of their business while others may need to take a shower. Family Harbor guests enjoy additional access to a private Family Harbor lounge. Of course, you also have the ocean, grand, junior and Cloud 9 spa suites, that are all similar to what you might find across the family of Carnival cruise ships.