After a few routes in Europe, a transatlantic, and a stopover in Halifax, the Carnival Horizon arrived in New York last Wednesday, where the port will be its home for the summer. PAX joined in on the celebrations and festivities on board the newest member of the Vista Class.
A colourful debut
The first evening was an opportunity to show nearly 1,000 guests, mostly travel agents, how the festive atmosphere spreads very quickly on board the ships of the company.
The christening ceremony, led by Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy, and John Heald, cruise director and ambassador for CCL, concluded with the traditional champagne bottle, poured on an inaugural bell by the ship's godmother, American singer and actress Queen Latifah.
Afterwards, guests were invited to a "Lip Sync Battle", featuring Queen Latifah and NFL athlete Jake Elliott. Unsurprisingly, Queen Latifah won the contest with flying colours.
A delicious dinner was held at the Meridien restaurant, an outdoor dance party, on a warm New York evening with a fireworks show over the Hudson.
Guests were able to try different restaurants, bars and activities, such as the famous Skyride and the SkyCourse, and watch shows until the end of the night, illuminated by the buildings of Manhattan.
The Carnival Horizon is the second ship of the Vista class, with the Carnival Vista. At the end of 2019 the Carnival Panorama will follow, in every respect similar to the Horizon.
Here are a few key figures on the Horizon:
- 1,967 cabins
- 3,934 passengers, in normal capacity (double occupancy)
- 4,977 passengers, maximum capacity
- 1,450 crew members
- 15 bridges
Comparatively, the Vista's figures are a bit different:
- The gigantic water park is under the theme of Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat, a first for a Carnival ship;
- The Bonsai Teppanyaki Restaurant is the first Teppanyaki in the fleet;
- Guy Fieri's "Guy's Pig and Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse restaurant, star of the BBQ on The Food Network and partner on many of Carnival's ships, returns with a new concept, embellished for the first time by four beers brewed from the ship by the brewer Colin Presby.
- The Havana section, which includes a private swimming pool and bar, as well as cabins with large terrace, has been expanded because it is very popular with the clientele.
- The number of shops, on two bridges, has been increased, with the first Victoria's Secret at sea.
- Elevators are on the cutting edge of technology. Passengers select the desired deck / floor and are directed to the scheduled lift for their destination, saving guests time by up to 40 per cent.
Itineraries from New York to Miami
Until mid-September, Carnival Horizon will be home in New York and will offer:
- Five four-day routes to Bermuda (departures May 24, June 21, July 19, August 16 and September 13)
- Eight-day itineraries for the Caribbean, with Grand Turk, San Juan and Amber Cove (Dominican Republic) on the program. "This is a great opportunity for families in Quebec and Ontario. They can drive to New York in eight hours, enjoy the city one day, and then take part in a cruise on our new ship, "says Lynne St-Jean, business development representative for Eastern Canada at Carnival.
As of September 22, the Horizon will reposition itself in Miami, its long-term home port. It will then offer six and eight day itineraries to the Caribbean.
The six-day departure on Sunday will include stops at Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The eight-day departure on Saturday will include either stops at Grand Turk, La Romana, Curacao and Aruba; Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts and St. Martin.