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Tragedy At Sea As Carnival Cruiser Falls To Her Death

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A ripple of sadness washed over the cruise community tonight as news spread that a passenger aboard the Carnival Elation had fallen from her balcony and to her death. Although some at first hoped it might prove to be a rumor, the news was sadly confirmed by Carnival Cruise Line late Friday evening.

Little Is Known At This Point

Carnival spokeswoman Christine de la Huerta confirmed the tragic news in a statement. “A guest fell from her balcony to several decks below,” it read in part. “The ship’s medical team responded immediately, but, unfortunately, she passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased and her family.”

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The statement from Carnival also indicated that all proper authorities had been contacted and that support was being offered to both the family of the woman as well as any traumatized passengers on board.

The Carnival Elation had departed Jacksonville, Florida — where it is presently based — on a four-day sailing to the Bahamas on Thursday.

The victim’s personal information was not released as of Friday night. But as details become available, it’s important to keep in mind that a life was cut tragically short. In the days to come, questions will arise regarding the circumstances. People will ask how this happened, and some will look to assign blame, whether to the cruise line or the woman whose vacation turned into a nightmare for her friends and loved ones. As we send our thoughts and prayers to everyone involved, we also hope that our fellow cruisers will keep the woman’s family in their hearts and minds even as they discuss the incident.

 

 

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Carnival Horizon Makes Inaugural Call in Canadian Port

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Carnival Cruise Line’s brand new Vista-class ship Carnival Horizon made her first-ever call in Halifax, Nova Scotia yesterday.

The day was a welcome change for cruise passengers; it was the first port stop after six days at sea crossing the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean. Ship officers as well as local officials held a traditional plaque ceremony in the Library onboard, where a plaque was given to the ship by the Port of Halifax and other tokens were exchanged, including a model of the ship given to the port by Carnival Cruise Line.

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Carnival Horizon is the sister-ship to Carnival Vista, which pioneered a number of new concepts for Carnival including the SkyRide bicycling attraction and the Dreamscape LED sculpture in the atrium. Some of Horizon’s unique new features include a sit-down barbecue smokehouse and brewery as well as a Cat in the Hat themed WaterWorks water park.

Click here for a video of the ship headed into the Port of Halifax.

Click here for our article on all of the free food found aboard Carnival Horizon.

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Everything Carnival Horizon, Part 10: Before You Disembark

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Hard as it is to believe, our time together exploring Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ships is coming to an end. But before that can happen, we need to take one last spin around the Carnival Horizon… just to make sure you aren’t missing anything!

How Do You Spend That Final Day?

Nobody likes to think about disembarkation, yet that seems to be what the mind winds up focusing on during those final 24 hours of any cruise. You’re not even off the ship yet, but the mind begins wandering to the work that will be waiting on your desk or the unmowed lawn waiting to be tended. Our best advise: Given that you are on a Carnival ship, do as they advise and Choose Fun for as long as you possibly can.

Sure, you’ll have to pack your suitcase eventually… but the last day of your vacation is when you should slow down enough to soak it all in. Give yourself a little extra time to sit in a quiet spot, staring out at the sea and taking mental photographs. Have a long, leisurely brunch (during which you allow yourself to have a second, and maybe even a third, Bloody Mary. Head to Cherry on Top and get one more of those amazing ice cream sandwiches, which you know you’re going to have cravings for once you get back home.

Choose your cookie. Choose your ice cream. Choose your toppings. Eat. Could anything be simpler?

One thing we’d definitely recommend you do in advance: If you have a specialty restaurant you want to enjoy that final dinner-at-sea in, make a reservation. For many people, dining at the Steakhouse, for example, is a perfect capper to their cruise. Tomorrow, they’ll be back to making their own dinner and clearing their own tables, so why not have one final high-end meal?

Go ahead, live a little… it’s the last night of your cruise!

Another thing you definitely want to make sure to do on that final evening is head to the casino to cash in any winnings you might have! One of our favorite ways to make sure we go home with a little money? Cashing out whenever we have a decent win on a slot machine, putting a fresh $20 bill in the game… and sticking those tickets into the safe in our stateroom and not touching them until the week is over. When it’s time to head upstairs on the final night and pack our bags, we grab those tickets and cash them out.

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One way we fight the melancholy that can often set in on the final day is by booking another trip, which on the Carnival Horizon can be done by visiting the future cruise desk on deck 10. Then, having put it off as long as we possibly could, we finally head back to the room and pack. After spending a fair amount of time deciding what to bring and what to leave behind during the days building up to the cruise, the packing-to-disembark process is a lot quicker and easier. You know the drill: Throw everything into the suitcase, don’t even bother folding it, taking as little time as possible.

The saddest thing ever? Seeing all the suitcases lining the hallways, waiting to be collected on that final night.

If you need any information at all about the disembarkaton process, make sure to check the Fun Times or ask at Guest Services. But don’t leave this until the last morning… trust us, the staff will have their hands full trying to get everyone off the ship so that a whole new group of passengers can board and begin their vacations! In fact, if you have anything at all you need to deal with Guest Services about, try not to wait until that last evening, because the place can become a bit of a zoo!

And remember that there is no room service available on that final morning, so if you want to grab one last free meal, you’ll have to actually leave the room… or at least convince one of your traveling companions to do so! Again, consulting the Fun Times will tell you where you can go for that final meal, whether it’s a sit-down breakfast or just grabbing some coffee to get yourself going!

Sadly, it is here that we, too, must part ways. Here’s hoping that you’ve enjoyed our special, in-depth look at the Carnival Horizon. Keep checking back for more information on not only this ship but the upcoming Carnival Panorama, which we’re already excited to explore!

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Everything Carnival Horizon, Part 9: Sea Days

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Whether you think cruising is about the destination or the journey, when it comes to voyages on the Carnival Horizon, you’ll almost inevitably find yourself with a sea day or two to enjoy. If you’re on a port-intensive trip, you might be tempted to take this as an opportunity to kick back and relax on your balcony or catch up on our sleep, but they’re also the perfect time to really experience everything that this amazing ship has to offer.

Sea Day Brunch

Regular readers of Cruise Radio know that one of our favorite things about sea days on Carnival cruise ships is the amazing Sea Day Brunch. Held in the Meredian dining room, the complimentary brunch offers a wide variety of options, several of which you won’t find anywhere else on board.

READ MORE: 5 Reasons To Try Carnival’s Seaday Brunch

Another great reason to hit the brunch is to build up your energy.. all the better to enjoy the various activities going on all around the ship. At the main pool on the lido deck, things tend to get a bit loud (and, it’s worth noting, crowded… if you’re looking for a quieter poolside experience, we recommend heading to the aft-facing Tides pool). This is where, weather permitting, they’ll hold the Lip Sync Battle auditions. (A “Meet The Finalists” session, as well as the ultimate battle, will generally take place on the final day of your trip, in the Liquid Lounge.)

The Cat In The Hat and his pals have an entire water park to keep you entertained.

Want to hit the waterslides at Dr. Seuss WaterWorks? Your best bet on a sea day is to do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon. You’ll also find things like volleyball and basketball tournaments taking place in the SportsSquare complex, times for which will be listed in the Fun Times.

The Gathering You’ll Never Forget

Also taking place on a sea day is the Military Appreciation Gathering, usually held in the Liquid Lounge. This incredible, emotional event, held on all Carnival ships across the fleet, is designed to pay tribute to active and retired military personnel and their families. It’s a nice reminder that the people who sacrifice so much — whether by serving time in the various military branches or allowing their loved ones to do so — in order to keep us safe aren’t random, faceless strangers. Find out, via the Fun Times, when the gathering is being held and attend. You’ll walk away glad that you did.

Another sea day happening that many people never experience is the Towel Animal invasion. Wake up early for a walk around the ship, and you just might discover that the pool deck has been taken over by those same adorable creatures who usually can be found sneaking into our staterooms (with the help of a cabin steward).

This guy and a whole lot of his friends take over the lido deck while guests are still sleeping!

And while you won’t see the Towel Animal Invasion listed in the Fun Times, you will be able to find out when you can attend a fun session during which you’ll learn to make some of the critters. Imagine how fun it’ll be the next time you have visitors and can leave an elephant made of your guest towels for them to discover?

Speaking of fluffy, friendly critters, there’s usually a Build A Bear Workshop offered at Camp Ocean on sea days. The final product makes a great souvenir, although parents should be aware that there’s a fee associated with the activity. Kids (and their parental units) will also enjoy taking part in the Dr. Seuss parade through Ocean Plaza, which is then followed by the Seuss-A-Palooza storytime.

Elsewhere Around the Ship…

Fully aware that they have a ship filled to the brim with passengers who have nowhere to go and time to kill, the Fun Shops often have big sales going on and the casino ramps up the activities designed to draw you in. (“Come for the Slots Tournament, stay to spend more money!”) Want to take in a movie (especially if it happens to be a particularly gloomy day? You’ll usually find special daytime features being run in the IMAX theater.

If you were unable to get a dinner reservation at one of the specialty restaurants onboard, it’s always worth checking to see if you can score a lunchtime table on a sea day. Even Bonsai Teppanyaki, the current hottest ticket, will occasionally have a sea day opening.

One of the things we love about Bonsai Sushi on the Carnival Horizon is that you can eat outside!

If you’re either not traveling with kids or are taking a break from them on the Serenity deck, make sure to check out the complimentary Fresh Creations salad bar that’s set up on sea days. It’s a great place to grab a light, healthy salad. You can choose from Our Way selections like Serenity Now (Boston lettuce, hopped tomatoes with cilantro, toasted coconut, watermelon, ice berg, steamed shrimp and Fresh Creations dressing) or Romaine Calm (Sliced romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mint, toasted chickpeas, chili, cilantro, pita chips and a Moroccan vinaigrette) or Your Way, where you chose from a variety of vegetables, fruits, proteins, and other toppings.

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Fresh Creations allows you to have a light, healthy salad without having to leave the comfort of the Serenity deck.

Obviously, sea days offer a whole lot of options. and truth be told, we’ve only just scratched the surface! But at this point, we’re just stalling… because next up is the final entry in our 10-part series, and it’s all about saying farewell to not only your vacation but also the Carnival Horizon. So when you’re ready, we’ll tackle that toughest of moments, disembarkation!

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