Our First Ever Cruise as Passengers

By Lesleigh Ross, Clean Cruising

After working on board Carnival Cruise lines for 5 years my husband and I actually took a cruise for the first time as passengers. We were lucky enough to book one of the first inaugural cruises on the newest ship of the Carnival Fleet, the Carnival Horizon out of Barcelona on a ten night cruise going to Italy, Croatia and Greece. We love Carnival Cruise Lines as they are all about “looking good and feeling good” while having FUN!

My husband & I finally passengers aboard Carnival

My husband & I were passengers for the first time ever!

We were also lucky enough to be one of the first passengers in the new Barcelona Cruise Terminal – a state of the art, technologically impressive new terminal that was amazing from door to door. In all the check in process may have been a total of 10 minutes – an amazing accomplishment and unbelievable start to the cruise. It is one of the nicest terminals to embark a ship I have ever seen.

From the moment we stepped onboard where the live music and enthusiastic crew members were friendly and greeting us in the ships main atrium which is built around LED funnel called  the Dreamscape. We were so happy to be on this ship and experience the new ship vibe.

Carnival Horizon - Dreamscape

Dreamscape in the ship’s atrium

We were lucky enough to experience a balcony on deck 7 towards the back of the ship. The balcony cabins are a great size including a sofa lounge giving the room some space to get ready prior to starting your day. Having the balcony was a great benefit to us as we liked having the option to get some fresh air and to watch the ship sail into and out these amazing ports of calls. Families and couples will love this ship as its offers a huge variety of cabins for multiple passengers and larger group sizes.

Our Cabin on Deck 7

Our Balcony Cabin on Deck 7

After working on Carnival for a few years we became great friends with the Captain of the ship Luigi De Angelis and the Hotel Director Pierre Camilleri. We were lucky enough to be invited onto the bridge to watch sail away from Dubrovnik. This was one of the highlights of the cruise as most passengers will never get the opportunity to see the bridge – and we were able to watch the maneuvering and the sail into the sunset. Watching sailaway from all the ports is something that I never missed – while a crew member or as a guest.

Sailaway from the Bridge

Sailaway was absolutely breathtaking

Carnival Horizon’s onboard dining spots offer palate pleasing choices from casual to fancy for everyone to enjoy. The ship features some new unique attractions such as Bonsai Teppanyaki & Guy Fieri’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse/Bew house. The Smokehouse is the first restaurant at sea to have a full on smoker! Fieri’s lip-smacking dishes are perfectly paired with a selection of distinctive beers produced right on the ship. Specialty Dining options from Bonsai Sushi, Cucina del Capitano, Fahrenheit 555, Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, Seafood Shack and the Chef’s table. Complimentary Dining includes Guy’s Burger Joint, Blue Iguana Cantina, Guy’s Pig and Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, main dining rooms, Pizza and Cherry on Top. All of these options will make you not want to leave.

Bonsai Teppanyaki

Bonsai Teppanyaki

We tried every specialty dining option they had to offer and we can’t fault one. We thoroughly enjoyed eating at all of them.

After working across five cruise lines we still both believe the Fahrenheit 555 (Steakhouse) on Carnival Cruise Lines is the best and one NOT to be missed. We booked this twice during our cruise as we love it as the food is amazing! They have recently added deconstructed desert. This is where the chef comes to the table to explain and create your desert in front of your eyes. It was amazing – definitely a Masterchef moment that is a vacation memory that I will talk about for the rest of my life. If you’re on Carnival I highly recommend it!

Steakhouse special surprise

Steakhouse special surprise

Carnival Horizon features Skyride, sports square, Havana Pool and Bar, an IMAX theatre, a waterpark and Carnival’s Seuss at sea program. One Slide, Two Slide, Fast Slide, Fun Slide! Everyone’s shouting woo-hoo! How much more fun can this Fun ship get? Racing slides loops twist down from the sky. With wacky characters and lots to do, Dr. Suess waterworks is the place for you! They also offer Dr Suess breakfast of green eggs and ham!

Lido Deck

Lido Deck

Looking for some retail therapy while you’re at sea. Then this is the ship for you. The Fun shops have a wide range of different shops including Victoria Secret, latest name brands in jewelry, watches, cosmetics, handbags, spirits and more. The Fun shops are a destination you won’t want to miss. I walked away with a Michael Kors handbag along with some jewelry.

Carnival Horizon entertainment includes stage shows to game shows and everything in between, offering an amazing array of entertainment choices. Entertainment options are endless some of the options being Punchliner comedy club, Hasbro the game show, Lip Sync Battle and Carnival Bingo. You should check out the Havana Bar – with cuban music and décor, it was packed every night and the dancing will keep you up all night.

Why not relax by the pool

Why not relax by the pool

If you want time for a time out to relax and recharge check out the Cloud 9 spa. It includes an adult only area. The top deck is an oasis which you can drift away in a swaying hammock or relax in a couples lounge to read a book.  Located on deck 12 the spa offers a sophisticated menu of therapies, massages, body wraps, medi-spa, men’s services and more. You can find a new fitness routine in the gym with classes such as Pilates and yoga.

Such a beautiful spot to read a book

Such a beautiful spot to read a book

Carnival Cruise lines are all about the fun ships. With the itinerary we chose we were lucky enough to visit Livorno and Rome. On these days we did Carnival Shore excursion with the Carnival cruise lines. These were great as they took great care of us while we just focused on enjoying our day and taking photos. Corfu is one of our favorite ports of call. We walked in old town area where they offer a range of different restaurants and shops. If you go to Corfu check out the old town. Feeling like something new you could even experience a fish pedicure! One of the ports of call was Messina. This was the first time I was ever there and this is a port to definitely try the real cannoli’s! This is where the cannoli’s were invented trust me and buy one….or more!

By Lesleigh Ross , Clean Cruising

For further information, please call Lesleigh on 1800 007 987, she would love to hear from you!