This is a review of my Celebrity Horizon 11 night cruise of 2/16/98. This was our 13th cruise overall, 10th with Celebrity, and 4th time on the Horizon. I booked this trip cruise only, got my own airfare, hotel and rental car. We flew from Portland Me. to Miami on U S Airways and rented a car from Hertz. We spent 3 nights at the Fontainebleau Hilton Miami Beach before, and after the cruise. I picked up the car at the Miami airport and returned it to Ft Lauderdale. Hertz shuttled us to the pier.
The Hertz bus dropped us off at the pier about 12:30 pm. Embarkation had not yet begun and the waiting room at the pier was already packed. We elected to wait outside along with a few other cruisers. Boarding started about 1 pm and we proceeded into the terminal. The staff member at the door handed me a # 7 ticket and I said "Capts. Club." He said we could board now, just show your Capts Club card. The line moved swiftly and we were checked in and shown to our cabin within ten minutes. We then went to the Coral Seas Cafe for the buffet lunch which was good. Our luggage had already arrived at our cabin when we returned, we unpacked and went up to the pool deck, had a drink and it was time for lifeboat drill. After the drill we went back to the pool deck for more drinks and sail away activities. The Horizon sailed at 4:30 pm as scheduled.
We had a cat 3 cabin # 1082 all the way aft on the starboard side. All the cabins, excluding suites, are alike and are 172 sq ft. Most have 2 twin beds convertible to king, some have double beds. The cat 3 cabins also have a pull out sofa bed and a minibar. The cabins are very nice with plenty of drawer and closet space. All cabins have a safe and hairdryer. There is interactive TV, and 3 different music channels. The bathrooms and showers are also of adequate size and Celebrity provides some toiletries. Our Cabin Stewardess, Gabriella from Poland, did and excellent job. We also had coffee delivered to the cabin each morning at 7 am. It was not the best coffee but it was ok.
Coral Seas Cafe:
This area on deck 11 aft is where the buffet lines, coffee and juice machines, pasta ala-minute, frozen yogurt machine, etc are all located. Also outside there is The Grill where you can get hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries etc during lunch. Most days I got my lunch from the grill and it was good. Two days I chose to have the pasta and it was also good. I didn't have any breakfast or lunch buffets. Dottie got fruit from the buffets on many occasions.
We only went to the restaurant for dinner. We had a table for eight, late seating. The service at our table was excellent! The waiter, Atila from Turkey and busboy Mario from Guatemala, were both highly professional and personable. It was a pleasure to be served dinner by them each night. We had previously had our excellent Matre'd, Mostaffa from Morocco, on the Meridian last February and he had served us dinner at the Capts table. He remembered us right off and usually made at least two visits to the table each meal. I have ordered from the Celebrity menus many times. I couldn't see that there have been many changes if any to the menu. Maybe a few things have changed but it is the typical Celebrity fare. In my opinion the food was good to excellent. I love the breads and the soups, and it shows. The presentation of the food was excellent. I thought the coffee was lousy and I told them so a few times. All in all I would say things are unchanged in the Starlight Restaurant. The Restaurant Manager, Gerhardt from Germany, also brought out the Horizon new. He has been manager on all four of our Horizon cruises and he also remembered us.
We didn't go to any of the shows so I can't report on that. The duet in the Rendezvous Lounge was super. The Opus band on deck and in the Zodiac Lounge are excellent, I would have to rate them the second best band we have heard on ships, first place going to the Onyx band we heard on Horizon in 1995. Opus can play any kind of music from reggae to country to big band, I really enjoyed them.
Bars / Waiter/ess Service:
I thought both of these categories were excellent. They weren't pushy if you know what I mean. The quality of the drinks was great and the servers remembered my name and cabin number and it was nice not having to keep handing over the card.
Disembarkation was the easiest to date. Capts Club members met in the Americas Cup Lounge with a number 2 ticket. We were to meet there at 8:30 am. Before 9 am they called our number. Down the gangway, hand over customs declaration, past a Customs Officer with dog, down the escalator, got the baggage and a porter and we were out the door in minutes. I didn't see anyone or their belongings being searched. It was so easy. The porter took me to where the Hertz bus stops and within 5 minutes it arrived.
This was a great cruise for us. I feel I definitely got my moneys worth. Would I do the same cruise again? Of course, it was excellent! I liked it so much, the day we got home I booked the Zenith for a 15 night cruise leaving from Acapulco on April 10th and arriving in NYC on the 25th. Since the merger with Royal Caribbean I have spent 13 nights on the Zenith and this cruise 11 nights on the Horizon. I could not see that anything has changed, well except maybe the coffee. It appears to me that Celebrity Cruises is just as it was before.