Lunch is free at the Pig & Anchor on embarkation day (and on sea days). So while everyone else is wandering around, getting acquainted with the ship, head to this fantastic restaurant and get some great grub. If you decide to swing by on a sea day, when they serve the free lunch from noon until 2:30 p.m., consider avoiding the rush by coming later. Chances are good that at 2 p.m., you’ll be able to walk right up as opposed to waiting in a line stretching halfway down the promenade. Watch a video review of Pig and Anchor Smokehouse here.
They might seem intimidating at first, but trust me: The new elevator system is your friend and actually saves you time (no matter how many people tell you differently). The only guests who hate it are the ones who don’t pay attention. They’ll jump into the first elevator that opens and then wonder how the heck they’re supposed to get to where they want to go, given that there aren’t any buttons inside the actual elevator car. It’s worth noting that just like with regular elevators, yes, there will be times when a whole lot of people are trying to go somewhere, and an elevator may be full. That’s okay. Go back to the panel and order another.
Unlike on some of the other cruise lines, it’s relatively inexpensive to order bottled water on Carnival. You can get a 12-pack for $4.50, and while you can get the same deal once on board the ship, by ordering in advance it’s one less thing you have to worry about. Bottles of water are included in the beverage packages, but if you’re like me, you like having bottles in your room, too. I like knowing there’s a bottle of water available if I get up in the night, or a couple in the fridge that I can take with me on a shore excursion. So whether or not I purchase a beverage package, I still always order water for my stateroom.
This dining venue is new, it’s popular and it has very limited seating. So if it’s a must-do for you and your party, make sure to book it as soon as possible. While this is particularly true for Bonsai Teppanyaki, we also recommend advance reservations as a good idea overall. Better to have reservations which you later cancel than to not make any, and find yourself missing out on places you’d hoped to hit… especially if you prefer to dine during peak hours. READ MORE: Review of Carnival Horizon’s Bonsai Teppanyaki
The brewmaster offers tours of his home turf on a couple of the sea days (depending on how long your voyage is). For $24.95, guests get a behind-the-scenes look at the beer brewing process, a souvenir glass and plenty of beer samples. Check the Fun Times for details, or ask the bartenders at the Pig & Anchor, who can also sign you up if spaces are available.
The unlimited beverage package is a great deal… and it’s an even better one if you buy it in advance. Once you get on board, it’s going to cost you a little extra. The price to purchase the package before your cruise is $51.95 per day, but if you wait until you’re on board, you will pay $5 more at $56.95 per day. (In both cases, a 15% gratuity will be added to your total.) Read More: Pros and Cons of CHEERS! Beverage Program
There are two main dining rooms aboard the Carnival Horizon. One features set dining times, and the other is reserved for those on the My Time dining system. As a general rule, you’ll find that things move at a faster pace with set dining times… which of course makes sense, as they are dealing with everyone’s meals on the same schedule. Plus, if you have the early dining time, they need to get guests served and out of the dining room before the second seating. Another reason you might want to consider sticking with the set dining time? It makes it easier to catch the signature performances done in the main dining room.
The Limelight Lounge has obstructed views and fills up pretty quickly, so we strongly suggest that you get there 30 minutes or so before the late show starts if you want to snag a good seat. It’s worth noting that it’s a lot easier to get a good seat during the earlier shows.
Speaking of obstructed views, the Liquid Lounge aboard the Horizon has a lot of the same issues as the venue had on her sister ship, the Carnival Vista. If there is a show you’re really dying to see, get there early. It’s worth waiting at the door until it opens, trust me. If you don’t care where you sit, or if having a seat with a partially-obstructed view, isn’t a big deal to you, by all means, feel free to walk in right before showtime. The theater never really fills up, it’s just that the best seats get taken quickly. Read More: 39 Carnival Cruise Tips
Want to go somewhere on deck 4, but avoid the smokers hanging out in the casino? Truth be told the smoke filtration system in the casino, located on deck four of the Carnival Horizon, seems to work pretty well. However, if you really want to completely avoid the casino (for this or any other reason), you can do so by taking deck five to where you’d like to go. The forward stairwell will drop you off by the main atrium, and the midship stairs will take you just aft of the casino, near the sports bar and Limelight Theater.