Given that one of the things we love most about cruising is eating, we probably should have made this Part 1 of our 10-part series. But we showed at least enough restraint to make it to Part 2. And our reward for having done so? Getting to talk about all the amazing tasty treats found around the Carnival Horizon. And we’re not talking about stuff you have to pay for — we’ll do that in Part 3 — but the free eats.
Some Great Lunch Options
If you never shelled out a dime for food on the Carnival Horizon, you’d still be able to eat a whole lot of amazing food… and this is especially true at lunch time. Why? Because some of the specialty restaurants which charge a fee at dinnertime offer a selection of complimentary items in the afternoon! And before you even ask, because we know you’re going to, yes, that includes Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse/Brewhouse. One caveat, however: Make sure to check the Fun Times newsletter, because the newest hot spot has limited hours, and usually only on sea days.
Of course, sea days are also when Carnival Horizon has another of our very favorite free meals: The sea day brunch, which features items like Flaming Tomato Soup and Funnest French Toast (which is coated in breakfast cereal), and the complete menu for which can be found here.
Hopefully, your cruise will have at least two sea days, allowing you to hit both these venues. Although you’ll need yet another sea day — or a really big appetite — with which to enjoy the Fresh Creations salad bar that is set up on the Serenity deck. Oh, and another sea day option is the mini buffet set up down in Ocean Plaza. (Are you starting to get why we said that even if you never set foot in a for-fee restaurant, you’d never go hungry on this ship?)
Like on most Carnival ships, if you’re hanging by the pool and don’t want to wander too far for some sustenance you can wander over to the BlueIguana Cantina for breakfast or lunch burritos, not to mention Guy’s Burger Joint, which has been a huge hit with Carnival cruisers since it first debuted.
And remember, we haven’t even mentioned the Lido Marketplace (read: buffet), which offers a pretty fantastic array of options for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The Carnival Deli — located at the rear of the Marketplace — features pretty much exactly what you’d expect, and stays open later than many other spots, making it a great alternative to Pizzeria del Capitano (although if you’re one of those folks who feels like munching on something at 4 a.m., the pizza place is open 24 hours a day so… have at it!)
About The Main Dining Rooms
There are a few things you need to know about the Main Dining Rooms on Carnival Horizon, of which there are two. First up is Meridian, which is at the back of the ship and spans decks 3 and 4. If you want to be waited on at breakfast time, this is the place to go. It is also here that they serve the Sea Day brunch we raved about earlier. (Seriously… you really need to hit this up at least once.) Reflections, which is located midship on Deck 3, is only open for dinner.
Which of these dining venues you hit for dinner will depend on whether you’ve opted for assigned seating or the more flexible “Your Time” option. Reflections handles the 6:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. pre-assigned seatings, while Meridian plays host to everyone else. The fact that Meridian is so large is a real testament to just how many cruisers prefer to skip the regimented dining routine in favor of being able to eat on their own schedule. (Despite the large space, it’s worth noting that at times, you might still wind up having to wait a bit for a table… especially if you head to the dining room during rush hour.)
It’s worth noting that we still haven’t touched on all the free food available on this ship. As with everything, the Fun Times newsletter and the Carnival Hub app are a great guide to when you can eat what… although one of our favorite things to do, especially in the afternoon, is simply wander around and see what we stumble across!
Next up: We continue talking about food (hey, it’s one of our favorite subjects) by exploring some of the specialty restaurants you’ll find aboard Carnival Horizon.