Carnival Horizon Family Cruise: It’s Time To Cruise Again

It’s official, the little cruise countdown thingy on Carnival Cruise Line’s website say’s “4 Days to cruising”. We are booked aboard the Carnival Horizon on a six night sailing which will sail this Sunday from Port Miami. This will be a family cruise and Instagram tells me it’s been 102 weeks since our last cruise together aboard the Carnival Breeze. And what a long 102 weeks it has been! We are very much looking forward to getting back onboard Carnival Cruise Line and enjoying family time together. 

Carnival Horizon is presently the only Carnival ship sailing from our home in Florida. She was christened in 2018, Carnival Horizon is a large ship at 133,500 GRT with a capacity of 3,960 guests. I expect the drive to take around 3.5hrs or possibly less since it will be a Sunday morning drive. Then again, you never can predict Miami traffic. Many of our trusted cruise parking businesses are not yet available. So we may be parking at the terminal or I may drop-off our bags and park nearby in a long term garage and then use a rideshare service to return to the terminal. Parking at PortMiami is currently $22 per night and you can often get off-port parking for $10 per night or even less. I will let you know what we ended up doing in our cruise report. 

The whole family is excited to get back to cruising and appreciate the many little things that make this type of vacation extra special to us. We could easily call this the “Stop and Smell The Roses Cruise” because I think it will be what we do. After such a long pause in cruising, I will surely be slowing myself down to stop and appreciate how lucky we are to be able to be healthy and cruise together again. I am thankful for so many things and I am glad to be able to be one of the first to get back onboard to support the restart of cruising in the United States. 

Our cabin will be a balcony cabin the four of us will be able to share comfortably. This is another thing Carnival does better than most other lines. Our cabin is conveniently located near the main pools and buffet. Once you have a cabin located here it’s hard to not want another. This central location makes getting to the pool, buffet or other activities easier. 

Our Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 – Leave Port Miami

Day 2 – Sea day

Day 3 – Amber Cove, Dominican Republic

Day 4 – Sea day

Day 5 – Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas

Day 6 – Bimini, The Bahamas

Day 7 – Return to Port Miami

Self-Service Buffets open
Self-Service Buffets open

A Family Cruise Favorite

My family loves Carnival Cruise Line. It is a fun and enjoyable experience. We are happy the current protocols in place will allow our entire family to get back to cruising and things will be almost as they were on our last cruise. Some things that we are looking forward too:

  • Self-Service Ice Cream Machines open
  • Self-Service Buffets open
  • Production shows not being limited by capacity or seating assignments
  • No Masks need to be worn by any of us once onboard. (*)
  • No Covid-19 Tests needed before, during or after our cruise. (*)
  • Most things will be as they were before and not limited or restricted. 

(*) Note: Some unvaccinated and/or vaccinated cruisers will need to wear masks under certain situations or conditions.  

New Additions, New Experiences

As with all things cruising, things do change often. I am looking forward to checking out the expanded functionality Carnival Cruise Line added to their HUB App. This includes enhanced food and beverage features, spa and shore excursion booking capabilities, virtual queuing for onboard venues, and more. I have already heard great reviews of guests being able to complete their muster check-in on board via the app. 

Carnival Horizon Family Cruise: It's Time To Cruise Again | 11
We have this booked during our cruise to celebrate our daughter Meagan’s 13th Birthday.

More Things We’re Looking Forward To

  • Guy Fieri’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse and Brewhouse – This will be our first visit to this venue and we are looking forward to the new foodie options available at night (for a fee). You can also eat here during Sea Days for no charge.  
  • Bonsai Teppanyaki – This is another first for our foodie family. We have this booked during our cruise to celebrate our daughter Meagan’s 13th Birthday. Our whole family loves teppanyaki style cooking and Asian food as a whole. So how can we go wrong? Stay tuned as we report back. 
  • Cucina del Capitano – Want to know where we eat our first meal onboard a Carnival cruise? Cucina del Capitano of course. They have a wonderful complimentary lunch. My favorite dish is the Linguine and clam sauce. It’s the best I have ever had. You can also enjoy many other custom creations as well as bread, lasagna and Cesar salad. 

Excursions Planned

This cruises itinerary changed some of the port stops due it being one of the first cruises to resume. However, We are lucked out and our cruise is stopping in some wonderful places. I took this opportunity to try some things have not done in the past. First, We booked a Cabana in Half Moon Cay. We are looking forward to having this extra luxury at one of our favorite beaches anywhere.

Secondly, We booked the La Casa En la Playa – A Select Retreat excursion during our visit to Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. This beach day had some of the best reviews I have ever read. It offered lunch, open bar and amenities for the whole family in what appears to be an exclusive retreat. How could we not try this? Our last visit we only spent the day at in Pool Area near the ship. We really enjoyed this but, wanted to experience something new. We are all looking forward to seeing more of the Dominican Republic.

For our last port stop in Bimini, The Bahamas we don’t have anything planned at the time of this writing. I am not planning any beach activities this day due to our other two ports being intensive beach days. So we may rent a golf cart or something similar and try to explore this island and brand new cruise port on our own. I’m looking forward to seeing what it has to offer.

Follow Our Cruise Adventure

Stay tuned and follow us on Cruise Addicts social media channels. I will to do regular live streams and post often throughout the cruise. You can also look forward to more in-depth coverage upon our return. If you have any questions or comment about the Carnival Horizon, please leave a comment below.

John Shallo
John Shallo
John Shallo is the founder and editor of Cruise Addicts. Since 1999 it has been a leading destination for cruise travelers and self professed Cruise Addicts looking for the latest news, ship reviews and travel tips.

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