A great cruise with only a few small hiccups

Carnival Vista Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 36

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Carnival Vista

8 Night Southern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 13, 2018

Ship: Carnival Vista

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 7388

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Overall a great vacation!!! Be smart, don't rush yourself. Come in the day before. Leave the day after. Account for the inevitable SNAFUs and be kind to others. Your vacation will be a better memory if you are not always in conflict.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Embarkation took less than 30 minutes all the way to the cabin!!!

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The main dining room was great but the "your time" dining could use improvement. The process is not as smooth as it should be. Maybe if the did a call in line for seating arrangements it could at least eliminate the line snaking down the ship. The specialty restaurants are flawless and fabulous!!! The best food I have ever eaten!!! The only time I do anything on the buffet is very early morning for some pastries and coffee for mom.

Redfrog Rum Bar

1 out of 5

If you buy bottomless bubbles AVOID THIS BAR AT ALL COSTS!!! They spot the sticker on your card and actively work to avoid giving you service!!! I had several bartenders look directly at me and take an order from someone else!!! So disrespectful!!! I was able to get served only 14 sodas on my 8 day cruise and only 1 from this bar which was the one closest to my cabin!!! I got a refund but I am still pissed that they were so unethical.

Taste Bar

1 out of 5

The taste bad is NO MORE!!!! I was not happy to discover they have discontinued the Taste Bar on all Carnival ships. :( This was one of my favorite foodie review spots. The portions were tiny enough to allow me to try all offers and still eat anything I wanted and more at dinner.

Guy's Burger Joint

5 out of 5

I love this place!!! So much less crowded than the buffet when you first get aboard. Don't be scared off by a long line. The guys at Guy's get it done fast! When I got there the line had doubled back to the sliding doors and I was served in less than 10 minutes! I ate here 4 or 5 times during our cruise.

Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse

5 out of 5

Absolutely fabulous!!! The service was outstanding! The food has no equal anywhere! I would love to say it is also a once in a lifetime experience but it has become a cruise kick off tradition for me.

Sports Bar

1 out of 5

If you have problems with cigarette smoke don't even go near this place. I choked every time I came by here.

Redfrog Pub and Brewery

5 out of 5

Best bar on the ship by far!!!!! No comparison in service or fun (Karaoke is here too)! They did not mind getting my prepaid sodas here and they got additional tips for the service!!!

Pizzeria Del Capitano

5 out of 5

Great for a quick bite or if you are too early for the buffet. I loved the multiple cheeses pizza (#4) with lots of bacon bits atop.

Cucina Del Capitano

4 out of 5

This was a fun experience. Only $15 per head also. The food seemed very good and the portions were huge. We did this on the last night and may have been a little burnt out. It was still much better than anything at home!!!

JiJi Asian Kitchen

5 out of 5

JiJi Asian Kitchen is a fabulous dining experience!!! The servers tell you about the origin and history of the foods and places they come from. This is really a cool and once in a lifetime experience! Only $15 a head!

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
I played the mini golf, walked the track, and walked the stairs a lot for exercise. Best views in the world! We were unable to use the sky course, sky ride, and water slide, mainly because other things had priority. My sister and I did regret not getting pictures of each other doing these fun things on our first family only vacation in over 30 years.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
We watched a comedian and a stage show. I was surprised at the quality of the stage show. It was great! A trip through the music of my life! We watched "The Last Jedi" on IMAX. It was incredible. It reminded me of seeing the first Star Wars when it was new.

Liquid Lounge

4 out of 5

This was where the stage show was. We were there at start time but the place was packed. I wound up getting mom a seat in the nose bleed section with me sitting 1 row behind her. Our fault that we did not plan better. We both still enjoyed the show completely. Plan what show you want to see and arrive the hour before to get a good seat.

Limelight Lounge

4 out of 5

This was the venue for the comedy club. I love watching comedians! I got to see one. If you want to do this allow at least 45 minutes for standing in the line.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Most of the Staff are very attentive and will do anything within their power to make your vacation great!!! Gaudioso (Gaudi for short), our stateroom steward was wonderful!!! We could tell he takes great pride in doing a great job.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
There are a few design issues that make some things difficult. That may be part of being a floating city. The entire ship is very clean and there are motion activated Purel dispensers everywhere. I was concerned because the flu is killing people and the enclosed areas of a ship make sickness hard to control. I took medicines before departure to prevent me getting ill. I only saw 1 sick employee and it may have been early in her sickness accounting for her still being at work. You know, they work 7 days a week through their contract. It is in their own best interest to keep a clean, safe environment also. I think they do a great job.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
My first time in a suite! I was very impressed! The closet which we intended to use as a changing room to give my sister and myself privacy when dressing has no door so that part was difficult but it was plenty big enough for all of us to have most of our stuff in it. I slept on the couch so I can't review the bed which my sister told me about several times while I was on the couch. I can say this . . . that couch is more comfortable than my bed at home! The full size bathroom is nice but we all wished we had opted for a shower. Mom was unable to use the tub. The TV is huge! We only watched about 2 hours tv all week. The balcony was roomy and it was nice to be able to step out there without everyone having to stand to make room. I have always been told (and experienced) 1 electrical outlet per stateroom. We had more!!! Still, take an EU plug adapter and use it with your USB charging hub to make life much easier for everyone.

Ship tip

Use underneath your bed for additional storage. All walls will hold magnets (I use magnetic hooks for hanging items like jackets and lanyards). Use pop up laundry hampers for dirty clothes (you can get them at dollar tree). EU plug adapters, USB charging hub, and wrinkle relaxer. Come to town the day before. Leave the day after. You will be happier!

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

3 out of 5
I really did not like Miami. I will avoid it in the future if possible. I don't like most big cities though. Personal preference.

Grand Turk Island

5 out of 5
I loved it!!! Sis and I did a zipline, horseback riding, and ATV excursion. More exercise than I have done in a decade!!! Lots of hurricane damage still. Lots of blue tarps. Lots of homes that just crumbled.

La Romana, Dominican Republic

2 out of 5
I was very disappointed here. Carnival staff encouraged excursions here and said the city was not safe for tourists. I think this was a business ploy. The city looks like any other from the top of Carnival Vista. Also, if it was dangerous, why did they take us there? We could have gone to any of the Virgin Islands and had a great time. Any place that wants to attract a cruise ship can throw up 30 tents and find a hundred people who want to sell crafts and foods. I intended to stay on the boat and only ventured into the "port" for a few souvenirs. The arrival point amounted to several canopy tents covering vendors, several food vendors, and an aluminum building style flea market shopping area. One of the vendors tried to be aggressive with me and I told him I would not buy anything from him at any price. No more problems after that. Don't give people the idea that they can push you around and they will not try.

Willemstad, Curacao

5 out of 5
I loved Curacao! The excursion, not so much. We did the beach break with sunset. The boat ride was not so nice and the pilot was opinionated and a bit prejudiced. The beach was okay but the equipment was poorly maintained. I went for a walk as I often do to see what I could see. Not much to see there. The most interesting thing to me was a type of vehicle I had never seen before. I would not recommend this excursion. When we returned my sister and myself headed in to see what shopping we could do and to find a place to pee. It does not make sense to me for us to be at a port until late at night if there will be nothing to do. It was like the vendors said "the sun is gone and so are we." Only those right at the cruise terminal continued to be open. I had to rush to get my souvenir magnet and obligatory bottle of Blue Curacao. If I had it to do again, I would do a sightseeing tour in town.

Oranjestad, Aruba

5 out of 5
No excursion here! The reviews all said this was the best place to just go walking, so we did!!! Aruba is VERY NICE!!! We walked for miles and hours and when we met up we ate lunch and took off again! My sister got some really good deals on products she had been researching. You know the ones they say on the boat are the cheapest there. Don't believe it!!! Price shop Aruba first!!!

Disembarkation

3 out of 5
I know many people are bashing Carnival and the other cruise lines for the failures in the process last weekend. The government shutdown was not their fault and the TSA's choice to understaff the cruise terminal is not the fault of the cruise lines. Carnival Vista obviously did not have a plan and the turnaround is a crazy tight schedule on a perfect day so I have to lay some blame on Carnival. They should have done a better job of having plans in place for when things go wrong. The first problem was passengers do not follow directions. They go where they are told not to go at times they are told not to be in the way. They clog the stairwells and elevators. It is much worse than standing room only. It is uncomfortable and can be dangerous to those with medical problems. The second problem was the officers made a bad choice when they halted debarkation and restarted going by deck from lowest to highest. I am sure the idea was to clear the clog of people but it ignored the status many have earned and/or paid for. I was separated from my mother for over an hour when they stopped the debarkation. I was on the next deck up. We communicated with our phones on the hub which began working again after 15 minutes or so. I saw someone holding a diamond sail & sign card yelling at one of the officers. Shortly after that they stopped the debarkation process again and started with the priority debarkation guests which included suite guests. I am sure they will have a better plan in 3 weeks when it happens again.
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