First Time Cruisers


A little over a month ago, the fam boarded the brand spanking new Carnival Horizon and cruised over to Bermuda and back. This was our first cruise, a different kind of travel experience for us, the largest vessel I’ve ever set foot on…and well, we had a blast.  

So, I figured I’d do my best to do a quick rundown/breakdown of the trip. It was a big boat. There’s lots of fun to be had on a big boat.

All aboard. Here we go…

• We sailed in and out of New York, which turned out to be a huge perk, seeing I haven’t been to New York in over 15 years. We basically got a Hudson river tour of the Manhattan skyline (I might’ve watched this while drinking some champagne on our patio) and we also got to see the Statue of Liberty, which is something I’d never seen in person. So yeah, the NYC part was cool.

• The Horizon’s rooftop SportsSquare was one of our favorite places to hang out as a fam. There was putt putt, ping pong, pool, a little outdoor gym, a basketball court and even a ropes course. Yes. Ropes course. The ship was big. Very big.

• Our room was a little haven in itself. We had a stateroom with a patio super close to the water line – and just sitting out there staring at nothing but the ocean was quite therapeutic. We’d watch the sunset, then the moon and stars at night, then the fog and storms. Or, we’d just time the waves and predict when the boat would rock.

• We, of course, made friends with the Barista at the coffee shop. Her name was Donna and she made me a latte with a puppy drawn in the foam. She also made a mean Irish coffee which hit the spot every day at 3:30 pm.

• In terms of activities, I loved the goofy games and trivia that were always going on (speak out, the one where you have to wear a dental mouthpiece and say weird phrases – I laughed until I cried at times), and my husband thoroughly enjoyed the sports trivia game in the sports bar every day at 5pm.  He even won a trophy. What a shock.

• Did I mention the ship was big? Well, there was also an IMAX theater on board, which might’ve been one of my favorite parts of the ship. Mainly because I LOVE IMAX movies – and well, we don’t have a movie theater where we live. So it was pretty sweet just walking out of our room, around the corner, and seeing a movie as a fam. We actually saw our first movie as a family – It was Called National Parks Adventures, and it was Narrated by Robert Redford. Levi was in Awe, and I cried through most of it. It was phenomenal. So here’s a fun fact: we saw our first movie together as a family, on The Carnival Horizon, somewhere between Bermuda and NYC.

• There was a spa on the of the ship (the Cloud 9 spa), and I got a deep tissue massage, which was a bit trippy to feel the boat rocking while this tiny gal from New Zealand was digging into my back with her elbow (which felt amazing by the way).


• There’s also free childcare (Camp Ocean) which allowed both my husband and I to get massages, and I got to go back to IMAX for a double feature…all while Levi had a total blast. He keeps asking when he’s going back to Camp.

What else? I feel like I’m just scratching the surface.

Oh yeah, food.

• I thought the food was delicious, and there were super healthy options at all times (I made up some great veggie bowls at the salad bar) as well as REALLY delicious breakfast burritos and brick oven pizzas. Our favorite spot to eat was Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse & Brewhouse. Yup. there was a brewery on board too. That place was oh so tasty.

• There’s a bright and airy fitness center at the very top front of the ship, and some genius put a rowing machine front and center of it. Which was brilliant. So, I did a lot of rowing – which made me feel like I was making the Horizon go faster.


• There was also a waterpark – Levi was obsessed with the kiddo water slide and splash pad. I was rather entertained by the big inner tube waterslide. My husband was thoroughly amused watching us throughout it all. I also loved how the DJ happened to be playing his Bob Marley set at the pool below.

What else?

Oh yes, Bermuda. Our day in Bermuda was nothing short of postcard-worthy eye candy. We scored amazing weather for the time we were there and booked a catamaran cruise that took us over to Deep Bay beach. This is worthy of its’ own post (coming soon), so just know we booked the Restless Native cruise. And I definitely recommend it.


And last but not least, final thoughts…

I honestly never knew you could have so much to do on one big ship. My mind gets a little blown thinking of all the logistics, engineering and infrastructure it takes to run this thing. But what was really cool about this trip, and the Horizon, was the quality time we got to spend as a fam, just doing stuff we don’t normally get to do. And everything was set up so you could have as much fun, with as little effort as possible. From the looks of all the other people just out and about having a blast, being present, and living it up, the feeling was pretty mutual.

Plus we were where I love to be, on the ocean, the entire time.

Thanks to Carnival for an amazing trip. The Horizon is such a beauty, and all it had to offer was just what we needed.

• This post was sponsored by Carnival Cruise line and was also created for Carnival’s Away We Go blog. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s the only way I know how to write. Thanks Carnival, and thank you all for supporting companies who support Goldfish Kiss.


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