Friday 26 August 2016

My Two Cents on the Carnival Vista

Cruising is my vice. I was first introduced to cruising in 2011 by the boyfriend and his family, you can read about my cruising history here in this super old post. Before my first cruise, I always thought cruising was for older folks, but boy, was I ever wrong! My very first cruise was on the Carnival Valor. Carnival is known as the family fun ship, and they really do live up to their reputation. I've been hooked ever since, searching for new ships with the newest features and new ports abroad.

I wanted to write this entry to share my final thoughts. I really enjoyed being the Vista, and knowing we were the third sailing on this brand new ship was a very special and privileged feeling. We booked this cruise quite early, about 15 months out, based on the European ports of call. With that being said, since we were the third sailing, there are a few tiny hiccups we noticed early on. However, it did not affect our overall positive cruise.

Let's jump right into the goodies the ship has to offer, the Vista had a noticeably smaller theatre compared to the other Carnival ships we've been on. My guess is that they were trying to be combine the nightclub and theatre into one space, but it took out a lot of seats. Every night, the theatre was full - and this was because the cast was fantastic! The performers were full of energy and very interactive with the audience. They all gave their best performances, and you can really tell by the genuine smiles on their faces.

We also made it to the comedy club every night. We love a good laugh, and the performers on the Vista were hilarious. The comedy club, on the other hand, was very spacious and we were always able to find seats, even if we came in late.

We gave the SkyRide a try one day after an early return from port. It was nearly an hour wait, but we enjoyed our little race around the aft of the ship. It was a thrilling experience, and the view is incredible. Unfortunately, we didn't have a chance to make use of the waterslides. We're Caribbean cruisers and the European breeze was too cold for us! We did want to relax on the deck on our sea day but the deck was completely full. Actually, most deck chairs were always taken, we never once did find any free chairs. But during our walks in search of a chair, we did notice the pools were also smaller than the previous ships we'd been on so it was pretty crowded.

We also visited the spa on our sea day. You can read about it here, but overall, a very relaxing experience.

We have no serious complaints about the food - hey, as long as I don't have to cook, I'm happy! I do have a few notes to point out. There was a lack of variety on the menu, because as you know, I ended up having fish every night and I don't even like fish all that much. There were also some nights where I whined about overcooked fish but looking back, it did not affect my overall, positive experience in the dining room. They do have a different entree dedicated to every port of call every day, and the boyfriend ended up trying the featured entree a couple times. The nightly serenades were also a nice touch - although I am not sure if they did this every sailing. And no, the lack of tablecloths did not bother us - we actually didn't notice until someone mentioned it.

We chose late dining at 8:15 due to the long port days, but I found that the shows were poorly coordinated with this dining time. As I previously mentioned in another entry: The early show at 7:30 PM would cause us to be late for dinner, so we always had to leave the show early. The late showing at 9:30 PM started too early because we finished dinner between 9:45 - 10 PM. Unfortunately, we never watched a performance from beginning to end.

We ate at the Lido buffet quite a few times, and we were pleased with the food. It was busy during lunchtime! We didn't do any specialty dining, but we enjoyed the complimentary Guy's Burger Joint!

We booked a deluxe ocean view stateroom (Category 6M). We chose this cabin because it has two bathrooms (but one toilet)! We enjoyed the double bathrooms in our cabin. This type of cabin was a new discovery for us. The boyfriend and I always fought over mirror space, so it was perfect for us. We also thought we were being smart by choosing the last cabin on the deck. We were on deck 3, where Guest Services, the Shore Excursion Desk, the Atrium Bar and the Dining Room were all located. It was always busy and buzzing out on the floor, and we thought it was a great idea to be away from the noise. Well, we didn't account for the Liquid Lounge above us. Every night, I was woken up thanks to rehearsals, you can hear every chair being dragged and every step taken across the stage. Every morning, I was woken up by the vibrations of the ship pulling into the dock. I am a heavy sleeper so I was able to fall right back asleep, but I do not recommend this cabin for light sleepers!

Our stateroom attendant always eluded us. We rarely saw him, but when we did, he always greeted us by name and when we asked for something (soap, extra towel), he always came through.

We got a glimpse of the Family Harbour Lounge, and boy, were we jealous! The families staying in these staterooms have everything at their doorstep! I think the new Havana cabins and the Family Harbour Suites will be a big draw on the Vista. It's new, it's convenient and it's unique. Carnival is catering towards the right demographic.

Ports of Call
This was the big draw for us. It allowed us to explore Europe on a budget. Carnival had the best lineup of ports on our sailing. We also booked all our shore excursions with Carnival, because we didn't want to miss the ship due to a late excursion! While I wasn't a huge fan of the Top 10 excursions (too rushed), I enjoyed every excursion, and some of the tour companies Carnival chose had amazing tour guides. Needless to say, we had a very memorable time on land.

What's Next
Would I cruise on the Vista again? Probably not. But that is not because I didn't like the ship. I personally love exploring the ships, and I can't wait to cruise on a Carnival ship I haven't been on... It's never the same ship twice for me!

Oh and... Surprise! We're going to be on another Carnival cruise this coming September. I can't wait to write all about it. Stay tuned for the trip report, and please follow me on Instagram for live updates!

If you have any questions about our Vista cruise, feel free to ask me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading along, and thank you for the comments on Facebook, it keeps me motivated to blog. I wish you all the best in your upcoming cruises... Happy Cruising!

Want to start from the beginning? Navigate through our trip here: 

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