Celebrity Cruise Lines - Cruisemates Reader's Cruise Reviews
Celebrity Cruises

Horizon
by MIPI@aol.com
Caribbean
March, 2000

The Horizon was our seventh cruise on as many cruise lines. We like to change from line to line to experience them all as time allows. So this was our first trip with Celebrity.

I won't bore you with a day by day recitation of our activities, but I will pass along some of the smaller details overlooked by everyone else except myself. Probably details no one cares about except me.

Food:
Excellent and well presented. We opt for early seating and a two top table as we like to chat between ourselves. Two seater tables are far and few between, but the Horizon has them. Service was excellent and of course the last evening aboard was our waiter's birthday. Amazing that on three out of seven cruises we managed to have a waiter who's birthday fell on tip night. I always tip over the minimum suggested and this waiter and busboy were well worth the money. For those who collect liner menus like I do, Celebrity uses the same menus on all of their ships and none bear ship names or dates like in the old days when ships had on board printing facilities. A packet containing miniatures of all the menus used is available at the Customer's Service desk for $4.95. For the collectors of ship's china like myself, Celebrity is one of the last lines to have their X logo on each piece. The china is white, the logo a medium blue and each plate is set exactly on each table so that the logo is precisely at the top of each dish. The china is manufactured by Bauscher, a German firm. It should be noted that each night the napkins are folded in a different manner which is quite delightful considering this cruise covered eleven nights. Silverware aboard the Horizon is not logoed and is heavy and comfortable, a popular Oneida pattern. The Starlight dining room seats 880 at a time. If you want wine look for the Sommeliers in maroon vests. Anything stronger, watch for the whiskey merchants in silver vests. We always ate breakfast and lunch in the Coral Seas Cafe, bright and airy with waiters only to eager to help you with your tray to a table. Constantly in attendance in both the dining room and the cafe was the Matre d'Hotel Gintaris. This man was everywhere yet always had time to talk and see to passenger's whims.

Cabin:
We were located in what are commonly known as the cheap seats. Although we did have an outside with a view. Cabin was perfect, no problems what so ever. Great cabin steward. There are two extra pillows in the closet and one extra blanket and the steward supplied more upon request. Plenty of room the the bathroom, an excellent shower complete with shower hose which I enjoy for rinsing. The in house shampoo was very good and the cabin always had ice and a pitcher of fresh water. For those so inclined, the small vacuums one saw in use all over the ship to great effect are Hoovers.

Past Cruisers:
Like most ships the Horizon holds a Captain's cocktail party for past cruisers with Celebrity. Actually they have no way of checking so if you chose to say you shipped out with Celebrity in the past, you're invited to free drinks. You get to shake hands with the Captain ( a wet fish handshake) and some female officer and last, but not least, the Cruise Director. For some unknown reason Cruise Directors remind me of used car salesmen and I've found they seem to take up a great deal of time making the paying customers make fools of themselves on videos which then are sold to other paying customers who are foolish enough to buy them.

Coffee:
All coffee on the Horizon appears to be liquid, instant coffee provided by the Vitality Company who also supplies the on board fruit juices. I arise early and like a coffee at 5am which is impossible on the Horizon as they don't turn on the instant machines until 6:30am which leaves a bunch of old guys stumbling around outside the Cafe grumbling. Two ways to overcome this obstacle. One is to carry a small thermos and fill it in the Coral Seas Cafe before you go to bed. Second is, when no one is looking, open the door on the front of the coffee machine, it's not locked, and flick the red off/on switch to on and you're in business. Just blame it on an officer who "just passed by". I like a drink of ice water from time to time during the day and found that there is only one drinking fountain aboard on Deck 12 aft. Also found a nice niche there for photography.

Disembarkation:
Usually the worse part of any cruise, was not all that bad this trip. As we drive, we are always last to be let off the ship so we always wait in a public bar on the top deck. This works on any ship. When your color is called, the elevator at the top floor is always empty. If you're mid way down, it's almost always jammed full. The usual Customs search was done by dogs long before the first passenger was let off and when we, in the last group came along, a Celebrity employee took our declaration forms and we never saw a Customs Agent. This was not a bad disembarkation at all. The fastest ever was from the Disney's Magic. On that ship you go to breakfast and go ashore when you finish eating at your leisure. No colors, no tags. Six minutes from gangway to vehicle, buy then Disney is in the business of moving large numbers of people.

Parking:
Parking is not provided by Celebrity, but is available for $12.00 a day in a parking facility that is under construction. We waited for a shuttle bus to take us the two miles to the ship and when it didn't come we flagged a cab for a $3.00 ride. My brand new vehicle was safe and sound eleven days later and upon returning, the Horizon tied up right by the garage.

Summary:
Great cruise, great ship and great employees.