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10 Reasons To Book A Carnival Horizon Family Cruise

By Nancy Schretter, Editor

Family vacations are more fun when everyone gets together at sea. Today’s families are choosing vacations with more excitement, more adventure, more entertainment and more fun. To meet the expectations of families and multigenerational groups, top cruise ships are offering a wide variety of great programs, amenities and attractions.

Carnival Cruise Line understands family vacations well. The cruise line carries an industry‑leading 800,000 children each year and has been a family favorite for decades. Carnival’s newest ship, Carnival Horizon, caters to families and multigenerational travelers perfectly. Its wide variety of activities makes it a favorite choice for multigenerational groups and families with kids of all ages.

Here are ten reasons why Carnival Horizon is a hit with families and multigenerational groups:

1.  Massive Dr. Seuss WaterWorks Water Park.  Great pools and water parks are a vacation necessity for both kids and fun-loving adults. Carnival Cruise Line has expanded this notion even further on Carnival Horizon, combining the fun of a major water park with the iconic Dr. Seuss brand. Carnival Horizon’s top-deck Dr. Seuss WaterWorks water park features The Cat in the Hat twisting 455-feet-long slide and The Fun Things 300-feet-long enclosed slide with polka dots and special lighting effects. Little ones love Carnival’s kiddie SplashZone water play area with 40 water spray toy features and a 300-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket designed to look like The Cat’s hat.

2.  Awesome Family Accommodations.  As we all know, parents and kids crave a bit more family room to spread out on vacation. Carnival Horizon’s Family Harbor area is well-designed to fit this need. These accommodations include a number of family suites for five with two bathrooms, a must-have for vacation harmony in some families. Lovely aft-view extended balcony staterooms are a special new attraction in Carnival Horizon’s Family Harbor area. All guests staying in Family Harbor have exclusive access to the Family Harbor Lounge, a cool hangout with large screen televisions, board games, and free breakfast and snacks. A family concierge caters exclusively to Family Harbor guests, providing assistance with dining and shore excursion reservations, youth program activities, and age-specific recommendations for attractions in ports of call and onboard the ship. Family Harbor rooms come with special amenities such as free meals for children under age 12 in specialty restaurants, one free evening in the late night Night Owls kids program at Camp Ocean, and ‘round the clock access to the Family Harbor Lounge. Kids staying in Family Harbor also receive a free copy of Carnival Cruise Line & Friends On The Horizon, a cool illustrated children’s book created exclusively for Carnival Horizon guests. Carnival Horizon also offers a broad array of staterooms and suite options to fit all family vacation budgets, including plenty of connecting rooms for families and multigenerational groups.

3.  Cool Play Areas for Kids and Teens.  Families will be thrilled with Carnival Horizon's 5,575-square-foot Camp Ocean play zone featuring Carnival's award-winning programs and engaging activities for children ages 2-11. Older kids can have their own brand of fun on Carnival Horizon in the fully supervised Circle “C” club for 12-14 year-olds and Club O2 for 15-17 year-old guests. Families enjoying Carnival Horizon's Dr. Seuss WaterWorks will also have many chances to meet Seuss characters onboard the ship. Carnival Cruise Line’s fleetwide program, Seuss at Sea, has been a major hit with families. This fun program includes the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends, easily the best value character breakfast on land or at sea. Kids love the Seuss-a-Palooza Parade and Story Time and Dr. Seuss Bookville, Carnival Horizon’s colorful family reading and play area that’s loaded with Dr. Seuss books and features.

4.  Wide Array of Dining Options.  Families will have plenty of choices on Carnival Horizon. With more than fifteen different dining venues onboard, this ship caters to all tastes and dining styles. Two of Carnival Horizon’s specialty restaurants are new to the Carnival fleet. Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse l Brewhouse earned a spot as one of my top dining places on any ship at sea. The smoked meats, appetizers and side dishes at this eatery are superb. While dinners are a la carte, lunches here on embarkation day and sea days are free. Carnival’s new Bonsai Teppanyaki is a hit with guests, serving entertaining multi-course meals prepared by talented chefs. Seating is very limited, so make dinner reservations well in advance or try it for lunch. Carnival Horizon’s Seafood Shack, an indoor–outdoor eatery, features seafood favorites such as steamed lobster and lobster rolls, fresh fish, fried shrimp and more. Fahrenheit 555, Carnival’s signature specialty steakhouse, is another of my favorite restaurants anywhere at sea. In addition to these spots, there’s a wide array of other dining options onboard Carnival Horizon including the popular Guy’s Burger Joint, Cucina del Capitano, Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, The Chef’s Table, the Reflections and Meridian main dining rooms, Bonsai Sushi, Pizzeria del Capitano, Carnival Deli, BlueIguana Cantina and the casual Lido Marketplace buffet. Java Blue Café and the Shake Spot are great places to grab your favorite coffee or shake and don’t miss Cherry On Top for ice cream treats.

5.  Aerial Cycling on SkyRide.  Carnival uses every available inch of its newest ship to deliver a family vacation that matches its “Choose Fun” motto – including the sky. Carnival Horizon’s exciting SkyRide attraction lets guests cruise along an elevated 800-foot-long track at speeds up to 18 miles per hour, affording beautiful 360-degree vistas of the sea while being suspended 150 feet above Carnival Horizon’s deck. Carnival understands that part of enjoying a family vacation is not worrying about constantly mounting extra charges, so there is no additional cost for SkyRide. Parents, grandparents, children and others are free to ride this cool attraction to their hearts’ content.

6.  Family Fun at the Movies.  Carnival Horizon lets families enjoy a broad array of cool activities, both day and night. Carnival Horizon features an amazing IMAX Theatre as part of its Carnival Multiplex. Parents, grandparents and kids can watch IMAX classic movies and documentaries together along with recent Hollywood blockbusters and family favorites. The Carnival Thrill Theater, a popular Carnival guest favorite, is also located in this area. Kids love being totally immersed in their Thrill Theater movie experience as their seats move back and forth, bubbles appear and they’re sprayed with water. Families also have fun watching nightly Dive-In movies together at Carnival Horizon’s Seaside Theatre with its massive LED flat screen overlooking the pool. These shows feature both family–oriented and action themes and they’re very popular with families and multigenerational groups.

7.  SportSquare Recreation Thrills.  Carnival Horizon’s SportSquare is a fun outdoor and indoor recreation area located at the very top of the ship. Families flock here to experience SkyRide and Carnival Horizon’s suspended ropes course at sea. Guests are strapped into a safety harness and then head out to traverse the aerial course. The ClubHouse at SportsSquare has indoor activities like mini bowling, sports video games and arcade–type basketball. Soccer, volleyball, a basketball court, an outdoor fitness area, a two-level 9-hole mini golf area, a jogging track and more are in SportSquare as well.

8.  Great Family–Friendly Entertainment.  One of the many reasons Carnival Horizon works so well for families and multigenerational groups is the ship’s incredible array of activities and entertainment. There are so many events and programs taking place simultaneously on Carnival Horizon in a wide range of venues. For families who love competitions and winning prizes, Hasbro, The Game Show is the place to be. Hasbro, The Game Show is a TV–quality, larger–than–life show, offering families plenty of opportunities to compete and win. Families also enjoy family–friendly comedy shows at the Punchliner Comedy Club and playing video and arcade games at The Warehouse. Families can also watch four Playlist Productions shows on Carnival Horizon, three of which are brand new and exclusive to this ship. These entertaining multi-media performances are outstanding.

9.  Awesome Areas Just for Adults.  Adults have a fantastic time on Carnival Horizon. The ship has a number of great areas and entertainment features designed solely for adults such as the huge adults–only Serenity outdoor lounging area, the world-class Cloud 9 Spa and Fitness Center, adults–only performances at the Punchliner Comedy Club, the awesome Alchemy Bar, the Piano Bar, and a wide variety of other spots including Carnival Horizon’s popular Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse l Brewhouse featuring its own signature brewery at sea. While the kids are enjoying their own activities, adults can have drinks and dance the night away at the Havana Bar, go to a deck party, or check out the many other bars and adult attractions available onboard the ship. While the Havana Retreat is solely available to guests staying in the Havana staterooms before 7 p.m., head there after that hour to relax and enjoy the sunset.

10.  Super-Fast Wi-Fi.  Let’s face it – families want to get away from it all, but they still want to stay connected on their cruise vacations. Carnival Horizon makes it easy. The ship has the fastest Internet connection of any ship in the Carnival fleet. In addition, Carnival Cruise Line offers a variety of Internet packages. Discounts are available to those purchasing a Wi-Fi package before embarkation. Download the Carnival Hub app before boarding as well. The Hub app makes it simple for families to check the daily planner, make dining reservations, view photos and more. For a one-time charge of $5, families and friends can also stay in touch with each other using the Carnival Hub app for the entire cruise. This feature is limited to guests ages 13 and older, although parents and guardians can give their consent for younger children to use the feature if they wish.

If You Go:

  • For more information on Carnival Cruise Line cruises and Carnival Horizon, visit: carnival.com.

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