Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Carnival Horizon, was officially named on May 23 by godmother Queen Latifah in a christening ceremony held at the New York Cruise Ship Terminal in Manhattan. On May 24, the ship began offering her summer schedule of four-day Bermuda and eight-day Caribbean sailings from New York. Starting September 22, she will reposition to Miami to offer six and eight-day Caribbean cruises year-round. As the second Vista class ship in the Carnival fleet, the Carnival Horizon brings new innovations and firsts.
Naming Ceremony and Events
After godmother Queen Latifah christened the ship, some fun events followed the ceremonies. Latifah did the Lip Sync Battle: Horizon, in which she squared off against Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl champion Jake Elliott. Elliott had performed Whitesnake’s arena anthem, “Here I Go Again,” while Latifah did an incredible interpretation of the Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men.” These were performed with back-up dancers from the Carnival Horizon’s Playlist Productions and held in the Liquid Lounge, which was packed.
Another part of the ceremony was a check presentation to St. Jude’s Research Hospital. The $100,000 donation from Carnival Cruise Line was raised through different onboard and onshore fundraising events. Carnival Cruise Line has been providing ongoing support to the hospital through a partnership created in 2010.
Another tie with St. Jude’s is actually part of the ship’s atrium. The special artwork that adorns Dreamscape, a stunning, three-deck-high LED sculpture in the atrium of the Carnival Horizon, was actually done by talented young artists from St. Jude’s.
New on the Carnival Horizon
The first ever Dr. Seuss WaterPark expands on Carnival’s partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises. One of the many fun features is a giant, red-and-white-striped water dumping bucket that drenches those who get underneath. And yes, it’s shaped like the Cat’s hat.
Bonsai Teppanyaki is the line’s first teppanyaki restaurant. Another first is Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse/Brewhouse, created by Food Network star Guy Fieri. Guests can enjoy “real deal” barbecue favorites as well as four new craft beers brewed onboard. The beers were developed by Colin Presby, Carnival’s expert brewmaster. The meat is cooked on a pair of custom-made smokers. A complimentary barbecue buffet is offered at lunch during embarkation and on days at sea; a la carte pricing applies during the evening.
More Innovations and Enhancements
Also onboard are SkyRide, the bike-in-the-sky aerial attraction, and the IMAX Theatre. The Havana section features tropics-inspired staterooms and its own pool. More food and beverage options entice guests – Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi and Library Bar. Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse ($35 per-person surcharge, reservations required) has an enhanced menu. There’s a piano bar right next door and during dining hours, the wall between these two venues is opened up, so guests can enjoy music while dining.
Reflection Restaurant, the main dining room, is open nightly for dinner. It provides sit-down waiter service, with assigned dining at 6 and 8:15 p.m. The Meridian Restaurant has open-seating brunch on sea days from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on port days has open-seating breakfast from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. It’s also open each night for dinner and has “Your Time” open seating from 5:45 to 9:30 p.m with sit-down waiter service.
The Lido Marketplace has been enhanced, with more casual dining options. Hot and cold buffet along with specialty stations are available for breakfast and lunch. During lunch guests can also enjoy other options – salad bar, Chef’s Choice (featuring a different international cuisine each day), Carnival Deli, the Comfort Kitchen, and desserts and Swirls (self-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt.) During dinner time and late night, guests can enjoy Good Eats, a buffet-style array of pastas, stir-fry and carving stations, along with Carnival Deli, Swirls and late-night snacks.
The Liquid Lounge and Night Club as well as the Main Show Lounge are both located on the Mezzanine Deck 4 and provide diverse options for entertainment. The Main Show Lounge has special productions (done by Playlist Productions) along with dance classes, the Lip Sync Battle, talks and seminars, with audience participation games. The SKYBOX Bar, a Sports Bar, features big-screen TVs showing live sports events. The Limelight Lounge has live music, late-night shows, karaoke and Punchliner Comedy Club. Entertainment options also include three new live shows – “Soulbound,” “Celestial Strings” and “Vintage Pop.”
A Top Group Choice
Accommodating 3,960 guests and at 135,000 gross registered tons, the Carnival Horizon is Carnival’s 26th ship, the second in its Vista class. A third Vista class ship under construction, the Carnival Panorama, is set to debut in December 2019 in Long Beach, California.
With diverse itinerary choices, first sailing out of New York and then repositioning to Miami in the fall, the Carnival Horizon provides great options for your group.