Carnival Horizon’s contemporary design features comfort and grace

I recently joined about 20 other travel writers and a boatload of travel agents for a two-day inaugural sailing from Port Miami to Nassau and back. The big and beautiful Carnival Horizon had come into Port for a year-long schedule of six- and eight-week cruises to the Caribbean. The large, (133,500 gross tons,) and lovely vessel is a Vista Class ship. She is designed to carry just under 4,000 passengers and is 14 decks high. Restaurants include …

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Carnival celebrates the Carnival Horizon arriving in her new home port of Miami

MIAMI-When Carnival throws a party, they go big. And that was definitely the case when their newest and biggest ship, Carnival Horizon, arrived in her new home port of Miami Sept. 20. High overhead was the big “Choose Fun” airship, which has been circling the Southeast for several weeks promoting the brand. Onboard to welcome guests, travel agents and media were many of Carnival’s top execs, including its president, Christine Duffy, and its Chief Fun Officer, NBA …

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Carnival Victory Cruise: Nightly shows feature top-notch talents

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY: I didn’t know what to expect when I went to my first night’s show in the Carnival Victory theater. On a previous cruise, the nightly entertainment was more audience participation and that got tiresome after a while. I’m sure it was enjoyable for the many passengers who raised their hands and rushed the stage for a chance to perform or chat or be part of a game show with the entertainers. And I’ll …

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Carnival Victory Cruise: ‘American Table’ dining room offers tasty menu choices

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY – I remember the first time it happened to me. I had enjoyed clam chowder many times, particularly when I lived near Cape Cod and worked at a Massachusetts newspaper. But on a long-ago cruise when I ordered clam chowder, I received a big white bowl with some chopped clams in the bottom. Mighty skimpy. Then the dining room waiter poured a small pitcher of clam chowder over the clams. That’s more like …

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Carnival Victory 8: Key West museum for richest treasure hunter in world

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY – In 1969, Mel Fisher began searching for the Atocha, a Spanish treasure galleon that sank off the coast of the Florida Keys in 1622. Every morning, Fisher would exhort, “Today’s the day.” And 33 years ago, it was. After a 16-year adventure that included financial hardship, tragic loss, and triumph, Fisher and his treasure hunters found the Atocha on July 20, 1985. Estimated at half a billion dollars, the shipwreck made Mel Fisher the richest …

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Carnival Victory Cruise: Hemingway’s cats known for unusual six toes

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY – The words on the sign are very clear: “Please do not sit on furniture.” And yet there he was. Sprawled on his back with his feet propped against the brocaded fabric, he was snoozing away on the antique settee. Or maybe the offender was a she. Whatever, the napping cat doesn’t have to read the signs or pay attention to them. These are the Hemingway cats and they are pretty much allowed …

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Carnival Victory 6: Whimsical sculptures a popular photo stop in Key West

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY – The last time I was in Key West, a gigantic statue of a man and woman twirling to some unseen music was in front of the city’s Customs House Art and History Museum.  It’s no longer there. “They come and they go,” said the museum guide. “We have new ones instead.” Such is life. Now I had to wait my turn to take photos of the new statues when visitors weren’t snapping …

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Carnival, that most American of cruise lines, won’t return to Europe any time soon

Remembering occasional cultural clashes, naked Russians, buying beer by the bucket at the movies, caught by security with a kitchen knife The new Carnival Horizon, which left Europe in May for New York and will move to Miami in September, may be the last Carnival Cruise Line ship to offer European voyages, at least for quite some time. President Christine Duffy says Carnival has no plans to cruise in Europe. Carnival Horizon was built in Italy and …

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Carnival Victory Cruise: Key West chickens, roosters protected

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY: He strutted down the street like he was cock of the walk. “He’s beautiful and he knows it,” a woman said, watching me try to take a photo of the confident rooster. I think she was right. Perhaps this preening critter knew that he was a popular sight and that he could come and go as he pleased – protected by the laws of Key West. Where else do chickens have such legal …

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Carnival Victory Cruise 4. – How the Conch Republic got its name

ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VICTORY – It might have been the shortest naval battle in history. “We declared war on the United States and threw stale Cuban bread at Navy officers,” guide Bob Lutz said. “It lasted for about a minute. Then we surrendered and asked for $1 billion in foreign aid to rebuild. We’re still waiting for that $1 billion.” When the Carnival Victory docked for the day in Key West, many of us climbed aboard a …

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