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Progress Report: Carnival Horizon Construction [Photos]



With less than a year to go until the Carnival Horizon makes her debut, cruisers are learning the hard way that Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers were right when they sang that the waiting is the hardest part. But new photos from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy give us at least a glimpse into how things are going as construction on the 133,500-ton ship gets ever closer to completion.

What We Can Tell

carnival horizon

Want to get a Carnival cruiser excited? Show them a pic of the instantly recognizable red, white and blue “whale’s tail” funnel. (Fun fact: The infamous design made its debut on the Carnival Tropicale, which was the first ship specifically built for the line, back in 1982!) Coincidentally, one of the crane’s at the shipyard shares the color scheme!

The second pic offers a view of the mechanics which will hold in place the poolside LED screen which will anchor the 270 square-foot Seaside Theater. Look closely, and you can also make out what sure looks to be part of the SkyRide track. For those who may not know, the SkyRide — basically a suspended bike lane allowing you to get a great view while pedaling around high up in the air — was introduced on Horizon’s sister ship, the Carnival Vista and has proven wildly popular.

But it’s the third picture that really gives you an idea of just how far along Horizon is. Heck, if we didn’t know better, we’d think she was only a few weeks away from completion. But of course, there’s much more to be done… and that’s not including all the exterior features which have to be constructed!

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When She’ll Set Sail

If you’re looking to book one of Horizon’s maiden voyages, you’ll want to set aside a little time in April of 2018. Her first cruise will be a 13-day Mediterranean sailing out of Barcelona. Following four round-trip sailings out of that port, she’ll make the long voyage to New York City, with that 14-day transatlantic taking place from May 9-23rd of 2018. Horizon will then spend the summer sailing four-day trips to Bermuda and 8-day journeys to the Caribbean from the Big Apple.

Read More: Carnival Horizon Deck Plans

In the fall of 2018, Horizon will — like many snowbirds — ditch New York City and head for warmer climates. As of late September, she’ll begin ferrying passengers from Miami to the Caribbean on 6- or 8-day trips. (Want to enjoy a special one-time-only 2-day trip? She’ll sail from Miami to Nassau on September 20, 2018!)

What Will Be On Board

The ship — which will be helmed by Captain Luigi De Angelis, a 22-year veteran of Carnival Cruise Lines — will feature many of the attractions and venues which have made Carnival Vista such a hit, including a slew of indoor and outdoor dining options and entertainment venues. The ship will also have a huge Dr. Seuss Waterworks, the Havana Bar, an Imax theater and more. Want to explore the ship more? Check out our detailed Carnival Horizon deck plans!

Are you sailing on Carnival Horizon? 

Photos: Carnival Cruise Line

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Carnival Raises Faster to the Fun Price



The good news: When sailing on most Carnival Cruise Line ships, you can still purchase the Faster To The Fun package. The bad news? On many of those ships, taking the happiness highway’s express lane is gonna cost you a little extra.

How Much Faster To The Fun Went Up

Carnival quietly boosted the price earlier this week, although news of the change spread quickly across social media. Some proclaimed that they didn’t mind paying the extra fee for the program — which offers numerous benefits, including priority embarkation — while others thought there were better ways in which they could spend the money.

So how much did the price go up? Previously, the cost — which is per cabin, not per person — ran between $49,95 to $79.95, depending on the ship and the length of the sailing. The price has now gone up to between $69.95 and $99.95.

The Breakdown


Screenshot via Carnival.


  • The program will cost $69.95 on 5-day sailings, except on the Sensation, where the price is $59.95.
  • For 4-day cruises on Carnival Conquest, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Valor and Carnival Vista is $69.95.
  • For 6- and 7-day sailings, Faster To The Fun will cost $89.95.
  • On sailings lasting 8 days or longer, the package will now cost $99.95.

When Carnival first rolled Faster to the Fun out in 2012, it was $49.95 per stateroom across the fleet. In 2016, the line switched to the tiered pricing system which remains in effect to this day.

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What does Faster to the Fun include? 

A limited number of Faster To The Fun passes are sold, which is one of the reasons many believe it to be worth the price, as it allows for faster boarding thanks to separate security screening lanes and an express boarding lane upon embarkation. Those who purchase FTTF also have immediate access to their staterooms, which generally are not available immediately upon boarding. The perk also includes priority luggage handling, access to priority tendering in ports where applicable, a choice of disembarkation times and priority dinner-time assignments.

Do you generally purchase Faster To The Fun? Will the change in price impact your decision to do so in the future? 

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Queen Latifah Named Carnival Horizon’s Godmother



The newest ship to join the Carnival Cruise Line fleet also just became the coolest with the news that Queen Latifah has been named the Carnival Horizon’s godmother.

When The Queen Will Reign

Carnival Ho

Photo: Carnival

Beloved by millions, the actress/singer/author/businesswoman said it was “an honor” to be selected, especially given the line’s longtime association with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, “a cause that is very near and dear to my heart.”

Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, said that “with her fun-loving spirit and positive, can-do attitude, Queen Latifah embodies our brand and knows how to Choose Fun in everything she does. Knowing that she is a long-time supporter of St. Jude and has performed on and won Lip Sync Battle made her the ideal candidate to serve as godmother on our newest ship.”

READ MORE: Sneak Peek At The Carnival Horizon [Photos]

Latifah will officially assume her duties at the naming ceremony, which is set to take place during an invitation-only overnight gala being held on the Carnival Horizon in New York City on Wednesday, May 23. During the ceremony, St. Jude will be presented with a check representing funds raised at various Carnival events, both on ships and on shore. The atrium-grounding Dreamescape funnel will also feature artwork created by dozens of St. Jude patients.

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The gala will also see Latifah taking part in a special event titled Lip Sync Battle: Horizon which will showcase the ship’s authentic reproduction of the hit TV series.

Over the past few years, Latifah has… well, pretty much done it all. She’s won awards from groups as diverse as the Teen Choice Awards and the Screen Actors Guild, not to mention a Grammy, an Oscar nomination and two NAACP Image Awards. She was also the first hip-hop artist to be honored with a star on the world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, and now runs a production company — Flavor Unit Entertainment — which produces a wide variety of programming.

After The Gala

Following the naming ceremony and Gala on May 23, the Carnival Horizon will spend the summer sailing out of New York City before relocating in September to Miami, where she’ll sail year-round cruises to the Caribbean.

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Carnival to Offer New Cuba Cruises in 2019



Carnival Cruise Line will be offering 17 new sailings to Cuba aboard Carnival Sensation in 2019. The five-day voyages will be the line’s first to operate round-trip from Miami and feature a day-long call in Havana as well as stops in other popular ports.

The voyages complement a series of sailings to Cuba departing from Tampa aboard Carnival Paradise taking place in 2018 and 2019. Sensation‘s Cuba schedule includes:

  • four 5-day sailings to Havana and Grand Turk departing May 20, Sept. 9, Nov. 18 and Dec. 16, 2019
  • five 5-day voyages featuring Havana, Nassau and Half Moon Cay departing June 17, July 15, Aug. 12, Sept. 23, and Nov. 4, 2019
  • a 5-day cruise to Havana, Nassau and Princess Cays departing April 22, 2019
  • seven 5-day cruises to Havana and Grand Cayman departing May 6, June 3, July 1 and 29, Aug. 26, Oct. 7 and Dec. 2, 2019

A Cuban taxi driver, piloting a vintage car, pulls up to the El Morro Castle while the Carnival Paradise cruise ship is docked in Havana, Cuba. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

The 2,052-guest Carnival Sensation underwent a massive dry dock last year and a variety of venues were added, including Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, BlueIguana Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, Alchemy Bar, and Cherry on Top. Already onboard was a Serenity adults-only area, 24-hour pizza, the WaterWorks aqua park, and the Seuss at Sea program.

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Guests sailing on Carnival’s cruises to Cuba can choose from almost 20 shore excursions that showcase the island’s culture, beauty, and architectural landmarks. There will also be Cuba-themed parties, games, and activities onboard. To learn more, visit

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