Posted on 02/20/2019
If you absolutely hate cruises, Carnival’s latest creation, dubbed Horizon, is the ship for you.
Just a little over a month ago, I swore off cruises forever as my best friend and I discussed our dream travel destinations over a meticulously brewed dark roast.
“I will never willingly go on a cruise ship ever again,” I declared, splashing hazelnut cream into my Happy Days mug as a distinct voice in the back of my mind nagged that I should be less stubborn and more adventurous. “You’re stuck on a boat for three days with only your vomit to keep you warm at night.”
A few days later, I received a text from my aunt, owner of Tatian’s Travel, asking if I wanted to join her on a complementary cruise to the Bahamas. We’d be flying from LA to Miami, where Horizon was docked after returning from her inaugural cruise in Europe. Tatian’s Travel had been invited on the cruise to check out the new ship.
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Although hesitant as I remembered the remnants of my motion sickness on the first and last cruise I’d sailed on, I said yes. I was both unwilling to refuse my aunt and forcefully dragging myself out of my comfortable, anxiety-ridden bubble in Glendale, California.
My last airplane ride having been more than a decade ago, I was overcome with flight jitters as waves of catastrophic thoughts, including my plane crashing, me being eaten alive by sharks in the Atlantic, and our plane — or ship — getting warped up in a hurricane clashed against each other.
Not in the least bit dramatic, I visited my grandparents before taking off in case I never saw them again and deliberated over breaking my diet to eat chicken tenders.
“This diet will be useless if you’re shark food,” I told myself.
Needless to say, the red-eye flight from LAX to Miami International Airport was uneventful. After hailing a cab at MIA, it was a brief, ten-minute drive to Horizon. Popping a Dramamine to avoid getting sick this time around — essential for anyone who suffers from motion sickness — my aunt and I climbed aboard, still taken aback by the sheer monstrosity of the ship.
Carnival’s second vista-class vessel, Horizon weighs 133,500 tons and carries up to 3,954 passengers. Stepping onto the main floor, I was pleasantly surprised by the tasteful echoes of a luxury hotel in the ship’s interior design. Throughout the two-day trip, I repeatedly told my aunt that I felt as if I was in a hotel, rather than on a ship.
With a number of dining options, an inclusive buffet, various bars and lounges, and an onboard movie theater, there is no shortage of entertainment. Kids and adults can enjoy Dr. Seuss-themed water slides, as well as SkyRide, a cycling experience that allows passengers to pedal high atop the boat and over the ocean. There is also SkyCourse, a ropes course with an ocean view. Although open for individuals of all ages, height and weight restrictions apply. Participants are also safely strapped in to avoid accidents.
Make sure to stop by the Pig & Anchor Smokehouse and Brewhouse, world-renowned restaurateur Guy Fieri’s culinary project with Carnival. Enjoy a variety of smokehouse dishes, including brisket, baby back ribs, salmon, sausage, and dry-rub chicken, along with craft beers brewed on the ship.
For passengers who aren’t into the party or pub scene and would rather enjoy a quiet night to themselves, grab a book or tune into your Netflix account at The Library Bar on Deck 5. Although a bar, it’s designed more like a study, with shelves of books and comfy chairs.
On both of the nights that I stopped by, less than three couples dropped in, checked it out for a few minutes, and left — perfect for introverts who need alone time on a vessel packed with people.
By 8 am the next morning, we’d arrived at Nassau, Bahamas. Leaving the boat around 12, my aunt and I walked down the crowded streets and explored the alleyways full of shops. A number of local, handmade souvenirs are scattered across the stores, although there are plenty of more commercial items available in different stores. However, I recommend purchasing products unique to the island — not only are you supporting local businesses and sellers, but you are also taking back an authentic piece of the island with you.
Strolling through the humid streets, you’ll see the island’s colonial history etched onto almost every corner, from street names like “Parliament” to a sizable statue of a majestic Queen Victoria, sitting atop her stone throne as she overlooks the city.
After checking out the main strips of Nassau, my aunt and I hailed a cab to the famed Atlantis Paradise Island resort. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, make sure to visit this island staple.
The resort includes Aquaventure, a water park with “Atlantean-themed towers housing high-speed water slides, a mile-long river ride with rolling rapids, and wave surges, 20 swimming areas, a spectacular kids water-play fort, and 11 refreshing swilling pools.”
Through the resort, you’ll also have access to the island’s renowned turquoise waters. As the domineering sun scorches your skill cells, you’ll be more than tempted to jump into the clear, cool waters.
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Although our stay at Nassau was brief, we still had plenty of time to see the city, walking a total of 15,000 steps. Once we boarded the ship, we went to Horizon’s Seafood Shack, where we ordered a platter of fried shrimp, calamari, cod, and oysters, enjoying our afternoon meal with a nice cold beer and blended Strawberry Daiquiri as we watched the Bahamas island slowly disappear from view.
If you’re interested in booking a cabin onboard Carnival’s Horizon or other cruise lines, contact Tatian’s Travel at 818. 550. 8790. You can also reach us on Facebook and Instagram! Follow us for our latest posts, promotions, and travel packages!
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