The Carnival Horizon embarked on her maiden voyage on April 2, 2018 from Barcelona. With a Gross Tonnage of 133,596, a length of 1,055 feet, a beam (width) of 122 feet, and a cruising speed of 18 Knots, she has a guest capacity of 3,960 passengers and a staff of 1,450. Equipped with a miniature golf course, a waterpark, a fitness center, a half-mile outdoor wraparound promenade deck, swimming pools, Jacuzzis and several shops and restaurants (including our favorites, Guys Burger Joint, Pig & Anchor Smokehouse, and Blue Iguana Cantina), with 15 decks, it is a floating city.
Grand Turk Island is dotted with the remains of salt ponds and windmills from the island’s sea salt industry that was prevalent from the 17th to 20th century. Upon our arrival, we hire a driver to take us around the island and make a stop at the Grand Turk Lighthouse. Perched upon a rocky bluff in the north, it was built in 1852 because of the many shipwrecks that occurred off the northern coast. Although no longer operational, it is the most famous landmark on the island. We also visit St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, the island’s oldest church.
The Dominican Republic is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with Haiti. Christopher Columbus explored and claimed the island, landing here on his first voyage in 1492.
Upon our arrival, we hire a driver to take us around the island. First, we stop in San Pedro de Macorís, a municipality that is among the 10 largest cities of the Dominican Republic. There, we visit the Cathedral St. Peter the Apostle, built in 1910 and the home of the largest and most valuable stained glass in the country. Next, we drive to Salvaleón de Higüey, where we visit the Basílica Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, which is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of Altagracia, patroness of the nation. Our final stop is the home of explorer Juan Ponce de León, where he lived before heading out into the seas to conquer neighboring Puerto Rico and later heading to Florida, where he discovered the “Fountain of Youth.”
Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island, is known for its beaches tucked into coves and its expansive coral reefs rich with marine life. The capital, Willemstad, has pastel-colored colonial architecture and the floating Queen Emma Bridge. It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Together with Aruba and Bonaire, it forms the ABC Islands.
Upon our arrival, we hire a drive to take us around the island. The facades of the houses are so colorful, including the churches, such as the Church of St. Willibrordus, located close to the west coast. After making a loop of the island, we return to the Handelskade Waterfront Strip, which is a historic and vibrant reminder of the island’s Dutch heritage. The strip consists of a collection of houses and 18th century buildings that are reminiscent of the Amsterdam Canals with the exception of being brightly colored.
Endlessly sunny weather and equally warm and friendly locals have earned Aruba the nickname the “One Happy Island.” It is an island and a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands about 18 miles north of Venezuela.
Upon our arrival, we hire a driver to take us around the island. First, we visit Eagle Beach, where we see the famous Divi Divi Trees. These are Aruba’s natural compass, always pointing in a southwestern direction due to the trade winds that blow across the island from the northeast. Next, we visit the California Lighthouse, named for the steamship California which was wrecked nearby in 1891. We then visit the Alto Vista Chapel, a small Catholic chapel before hiking through the Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations and Bushiribana Ruins, remnants of a once thriving 19th-century gold mill. We also stop at the Natural Bridge, which was formed naturally out of coral limestone.
Floyd Schleyhahn Photography www.floydandjodi.com