Fantastic ship!

Carnival Vista Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 25

Overall rating:

4.8 out of 5
Carnival Vista

8 Night Southern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 18, 2017

Ship: Carnival Vista

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 8479

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

We had a great time and are seriously considering taking the 6 day cruise on the Vista next time! Highly recommend this ship and the itinerary (although 8 days was almost too much for us).

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Miami terminal is crazy no matter what but Carnival was great.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Embarkation buffet was a little lackluster in our minds because we were expecting more but the rest of the cruise it was very good. For breakfast, if you just want a simple eggs and bacon kind of meal, the Taste Bar in the Ocean Plaza is very convenient when you swing by JavaBlue for your latte and then wanna sit outside and eat. Not crowded and very relaxing.

Guy's Burger Joint

5 out of 5

Oh my goodness! If you’ve been out all day and can’t wait for dinner, Guy’s Burger Joint almost spoiled my dinner! It was so good! Burger was great and the plate of fries was amazing.

Serenity Bar

2 out of 5

Ok. This is the only Adults Only area so you’d think the bar would be open in the evening. Nope. It’s a lovely peaceful area but the salad bar was only open on seadays and the drink bar only open for like 4 hours a Day. It was very hot or miss. I feel like my hubby and I could have lived up there had they had more to offer.

Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse

3 out of 5

The food was good but not as awesome as I was expecting. The chocolate sphere was fun for dessert though. It was $35/person and just fine but not amazing. We wanted amazing. We were able to get a reservation once onboard.

JiJi Asian Kitchen

5 out of 5

This was an amazing meal with fantastic presentation and the kicker is it’s only $15/person! It was so worth it but make reservations before you get on the ship!

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
We stood in line for the SkyRide for an hour because we waited until the last Seaday. Big mistake but we had tried earlier but it was too windy on that day and the ride was closed. But it was definitely an experience to try! Glad we waited in line.

Cloud 9 Spa

5 out of 5

Went to the Spa raffle on the first day and won a $100 credit!! So of course I used it for a fantastic hot stone massage from Natasha. She’s awesome! Very knowledgeable and professional. I came back for a Detox soak which was amazing! The way that the soak tub is setup it looks out over the horizon so you get to sit back in this wonderful jacuzzi bath looking out over the ocean. Amazing! I then came back for a Reflexology foot massage because...well, I could. So that was awesome too. All treatments by Natasha, who is the only one trained in reflexology in the spa. Such a great experience for sure.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
We only got around to seeing Love and Marriage with Matt. It was very funny and entertaining. We also did several days of Trivia with DJ Flipp. He is great as well. They all do a good job with the entertainment on this ship.

IMAX Theater

5 out of 5

We were so excited to be able to see a first run movie while on the ship. Squeezing a movie into a busy day to day schedule can be challenging but when on vacation, it’s a little easier. Plus, there are just some movies that need to be seen on the Big Screen, ie Action Hero movies. We saw Justice League!

Carnival's Seaside Theatre

4 out of 5

This was a fun activity but we struggled to find seating as it rained one night. Still a fun thing to do!

Children's Programs

Adult children

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Our room steward was great! We had Our Time Dining so we never had the same waiters. But they were all good. Warning: don’t get shots from the strolling Shot Guy because they are NOT included in the Cheers package. He doesn’t exactly tell you that when he’s hawking them. We got a round for the table. Beware! I suggest if you do Our Time Dining that when you check in each night that you tell them where you want to sit, ie window, not next to kitchen, etc.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
This is a great ship. It had larger areas for big groups but smaller more intimate spaces to get away from the crowds. We loved it. It was hard to remember that there were so many people on board until it came time to get back onboard after an excursion. Then you saw how many people there actually were. So many different places to eat and sit and enjoy.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
This was our first time getting an inside cabin and it was much bigger and better than expected. Everything was well-appointed and thought out. We brought an extension cord though because there are never enough outlets for everything. The bathroom was great and plenty of space. We had a bag for toiletries we hung on one of the 3 hooks on the bathroom door. Our room steward, Kriengkrai, was fast and efficient and very pleasant and attentive. We did have someone try to deliver room service (that we didn’t order) at 3am the first night. But after that. No problems.

Ship tip

Make reservations for JiJi and the Italian restaurant (which we couldn’t get into because we didn’t) before you board.

Ports of call

Grand Turk Island

5 out of 5
You don’t have to purchase an excursion for this port unless you want an activity to do. The beach is right there at the port and there are plenty of free beach chairs to use. The water was crystal clear and beautiful. Try the local beer sold at the little beach shack-$2! (Go for a bucket if you’ve got a group) There is also Margaritaville and it’s free pool.

La Romana, Dominican Republic

3 out of 5
We paid for a Santo Domingo tour which was ok. Our guide, Albierto was good but he left us in the souvenir shop for far too long but rushed us through other areas. Also so much walking in ‘hotter than Hades’ heat. Be prepared for that. It’s a pretty city but the street vendors are overwhelming. Glad we did it but I wouldn’t again. Would have rather stayed on the ship and relaxed.

Willemstad, Curacao

4 out of 5
We picked the wrong excursion-Beach Day. Just don’t. The beaches are beautiful and we got to snorkel (because we brought our own) but because there are no reefs there wasn’t much to see. Also the tour operator was awful. The ship was late into port so I guess that completely threw them off. We only had a limited time to be at the beach and it took them an hour to get us to the beach that was only about 20 mins away because we had to wait for taxis. Then the beach resort area we went to was terrible. The one bathroom we were told we could use was being renovated. And when I say renovated, I mean there was a workman in the Ladies Room working away not in the least interested to leave when women came in to use the facilities. He just kept working. So of the four stalls available, he was retiling two of them and the other two had about an inch of standing water in them. I made the unfortunate mistake of not wearing my swimsuit and needed to change. After quite a bit of awkward acrobatics, I was able to change. Then we finally enjoyed ourselves until it began to get dark. Even though we had time left there, there were a large group of us ready to get back. I mean dark beach day is less than fun. So again, we waited. And waited for another 45 minutes for he operators’ taxis to take us back to the port. Now the port was very charming and I wish we had done a city tour in Willemstad instead of the beach day.

Oranjestad, Aruba

5 out of 5
We loved Aruba! We thought we would be smart and buy city bus passes for $5/each (there were 4 of us) and go to Eagle Beach. The beach was fantastic. Since we saved money not buying an excursion, we rented chairs and an umbrella for $40 for the day. It was great. We got a bucket of beer. Try the local one. It was a great day. Our only issue was getting back to the ship. We missed the bus back and kept waiting for another one when we finally gave up and shared a taxi with another couple for only $12 for all of us. Ugh. We should have just done that in the first place! All in all though, my fav day.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
We had a great disembark experience. We had 5 liters of alcohol to bring back (there was a Black Friday sale, don’t judge) and I went to all the trouble to fill out the customs form. My husband and I had four heavy bags between us and 4 carryons (we may have overpacked, yes). So when we got into the terminal, we grabbed a porter who loaded our bags and then pushed us and them through the lines (sorry if we cut line in front of you) but he was hustling us through. The customs guy barely glanced at our paperwork or IDs and suddenly we were being dropped at the curb! Called a Lyft and we were gone. Easy Peasy. Tipped the porter $15 which was totally worth it. It would have been a deal at $25! Our adult kids traveling with us spent another 25 minutes in line after us and marveled at how quickly we were done and waiting.
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