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We recently returned from an 8 day cruise on the Carnival Horizon. It was the first since the start of the pandemic and I feel the importance of sharing some differences since last being on-board.  First off, I was highly disappointed in the seating arrangements in the dining area.  While I have in the past been seated with guest  other than my traveling partners, I was highly disappointed with the new way of doing this.  In fact, after the second day we opted out of eating in the dining room.  The reservation system sucks and the closeness between parties is a disaster waiting to happen. The seating arrangements are entirely too close. While being on vacation, I should not feel obligated to talk to strangers because we are forced to sit together.  Also, the number of children literally running loose was a definite safety hazard. I was also very much surprised to step out of my cabin into the hallway and smell Marijuana permeating the air. What happened to the no-smoking policy. While I do enjoy the cruise experience, I feel Carnival needs to consider all of these things in order to provide a pleasurable experience for all of their guests.

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@FunintheSunThese are some great things to note. I haven't cruised with Carnival Cruise Line since the shut-down. I noticed this on another cruise line! I was not able to dine with others like in past cruise experiences. I actually miss dining with other cruise guests; it was a great way to get to know others onboard. I have made lots of friends in the past by sitting with others in the MDR.

Did you ask the hostess crew if they could accommodate you further away from others to comfortably socially distance? Usually Carnival Cruise Line is really accommodating to special requests in regards to health of its guests. I'm not surprised by the amount of children onboard CCL. That cruise line is notorious for families and lots of children. I think other cruise lines offer a more adult-geared experience, if that's what you are looking for.

I'm pretty sure drug use isn't allowed onboard, but maybe it was for medical purposes. I'm not quite sure if that type of smoking is allowed.

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I did not inquire about different seating arrangements and in the past I too was comfortable with getting to know others that we'd dine with.  However, the seating arrangements this time were quite different.  I have tried to plan trips during times that I would think would have fewer children on-board the ship but this has been to no avail.  I recently found about the serenity deck and will most likely seek it out on the next go-round. As for the Marijuana use, I am pretty sure that it is prohibited including for medical use. 

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@FunintheSun Thanks for sharing your feedback. I would say talking to the hostess staff could have certainly helped in accommodating you with a situation you could have felt more comfortable with! That's a smart idea to try and book your cruise when kids may be "in school session," avoiding large amounts of young children. Most of the time you will see children onboard a cruise ship when they are out of school, but this doesn't account for those traveling from other countries. For instance, Peru's summer season is actually our winter season! It's truly a more secure option to look for an adult-only cruise line that would eliminate any unruly youth from being present on your cruise vacation. Virgin Voyages is a safe bet for an adult-only cruise experience. Have you cruised with Virgin Voyages in the past?

The Serenity Deck feature on some Carnival Cruise Line ships would be another great option! Carnival Cruise Line offers an adult-only serenity adult retreat. This could be a really helpful way to book and still experience all of the other Carnival Cruise Line amenities you enjoy! https://www.carnival.com/onboard/serenity

Edited by Kendall James-Vargas
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@FunintheSun That's a great idea. I think cruising with the serenity adult retreat package could be a perfect solution to some of the circumstances you faced recently on Carnival Horizon. Carnival Cruise Line is usually pretty good about accommodating all walks of life. This adults package is certainly one of the ways CCL caters to everyone! Do you know if there is an additional cost to book on the serenity deck?

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@Cruising Caribbean The Serenity area is free to any adult, I believe 21 or older. It's an area of the ship, not something you can book, as far as I have seen. Has lounges and hot tubs, bar service and so on.

The Havana Section of some of the Carnival ships is an exclusive area with its own pools and bars. Only passengers booked in that area can go there and you have to wear a bracelet. Havana is a premium and it's, I believe, 12 and over. 

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@KeithG Thanks for this clarification! I also was under the impression it was a booking package. Is this the pool area deck on the top level of many ships?

I remember seeing this area as a child but not allowed there. I also remember there being a "topless" sunbathing area on some ships. I think this area may still exist on some Costa Cruises' ships like it did back in the day. 

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@Kendall James-Vargas I believe the newest ships Mardi Gras, Jubilee, etc have a pool in Serenity. The Serenity areas that I have been in have hot tubs but no pool and were top deck, forward. 

The Havana area that I've stayed in was Deck 5 aft...I think it may have had cabins on 6 and 7 also. Newer ships Havana is, I believe, Deck 8 Forward. 

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@KeithG That's really a nice offering for guests who want to spend some time away from the kids. I didn't realize not all serenity decks offered a pool. It would be good for @FunintheSun to look into booking on a ship that has a pool in it's serenity space! Hot tubs are usually so crowded, I would imagine this deck is less congested. Thanks for sharing what deck the serenity area is on. I bet the views are amazing in this space too! 

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