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Carnival Vista Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 27

Overall rating:

4 out of 5
Verified Review
Carnival Vista

8 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 24, 2018

Ship: Carnival Vista

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 1388

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Overall, for my first cruise, it was fun. There were things that I really enjoyed on the ship and there were things that were not so much fun. The things I liked were the ports of call, the trivia and games and the bars. The thing I didn't like was the sound systems were way too loud, the food was rather bland on most dishes and the boat seemed rather crowded overall. For my next cruise, I will probably look at other boats or cruise lines, but that is mainly because this was my first cruise and I would like to see others. The Carnival Vista is a great family ship if you are traveling with the kids. I would definitely take my kids on this ship. The ports of call were great. I would definitely go back to Grand Turk, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. I enjoyed San Juan, but not enough to make we want to go running back. Most of that is personal preference, as San Juan is more for the history, architecture and shopping.

Embarkation

3 out of 5
The embarkation experience was a little hectic. Getting in the cruise port and through security seemed very disorganized to me, or at least disorganized compared to airport security. Once we were on the boat, everything was good. They had lunch ready at the buffet and had our staterooms ready on time.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The food and drink is a category that I am split on. On the good side, the food in the specialty restaurants was superb! We ate at Ji Ji's for dinner and it was excellent. Guy's Burgers was definitely the food highlight as those burgers were great! On the flip side, the buffet and main dining room food was very bland. Most dishes were not seasoned properly and had no taste. I was expecting delicious buffet food and dining room food, but what I got was fancy sounding food with little taste. When you read the menu, the dish and ingredients sound like premium delicacies, but what you get is just no real flavor to the dish.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

Horizons Restaurant

2 out of 5

Service was so-so, depending on your waiter. Some nights, we had a good waiter that was on the ball and some nights it took forever to get anything. Food was bland. We ate in the dining room several nights and for brunch twice. There were just a couple of dishes that I really enjoyed, overall most were just bland and tasteless.

JiJi Asian Kitchen

4 out of 5

I was impressed by the food at Ji Ji's. It was some of the most flavorful food of what I had on the boat. My wife is Chinese, so she enjoyed the food as it reminded her of home. The dishes were fairly traditional, so if you are expecting deep fried everything, maybe look at another venue as this one is not for you. This is traditional Chinese food, so eat with an open mind and enjoy!

Redfrog Pub and Brewery

5 out of 5

Probably my favorite place on the ship! The bar food was excellent, some of the best I had on the ship and a good value at $3.33 per dish! The Red Frog beers are excellent too.

Pizzeria Del Capitano

3 out of 5

I had a couple of pizza from the Pizzeria. The pizzas are good, but not the best thing ever. You can watch them make your pizza and it is impressive to watch. The menu choices are okay, they will make you 1 of 5 different combinations. Flavor is good and they are hand tossed pizzas.

Guy's Burger Joint

5 out of 5

Best place to eat on the ship! The burgers were great and the condiment bar was huge! The only drawback is the lines, as it is a popular place to eat on the ship.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
I enjoyed the onboard activities. There were plenty of different activities to keep the whole family interested and engaged. I went to several of the trivia contests in the Ocean plaza and had a lot of fun. I didn't use the pools or hot tubs. I was surprised at how small the pools were, as I was expecting a lot bigger pools. The outdoor Sky-Ride was neat, but I didn't go on it due to the long lines. These activities look fun, but be prepared for a long line.

Whirlpool

2 out of 5

The hot tubs were always crowded... Too many kids in the hot tubs made it where I didn't really want to even get in. The hot tubs didn't seem the cleanest either.

Vista Casino

4 out of 5

Overall, a nice casino. Slots paid out okay and there are plenty of table games. The minimums on the table games and slots were a little higher than I would have liked, but great for some. It is smoky in the casino though, as it is one of the few places on the ship that you can smoke. If you are bothered by smoke, avoid the casino. You can't get by the casino on deck 4 without going through it, stick to deck 5 if you want to avoid the smoke.

Beach Pool

2 out of 5

Small. Dirty. I stayed out of the pool because it always had a funky greenish tint to the water. It was a lot smaller pool than I was expecting. I was pretty much disappointed.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The shows were fun and engaging! I went to a few of the music shows and enjoyed the show. I enjoyed some of the comedy shows, but those are all about personal preference. They do have PG and R/+18 shows, so you can take the kids to the PG shows. Depending on the comedian, the PG shows might push the limit just a bit, but overall pretty funny.

Lower Promenade

5 out of 5

One of my favorite places on the ship was the promenade deck! Lots of lounge chairs and scenic views! The shady side of the ship seemed to be far less crowded than the sunny side where everyone is sunbathing.

Video Arcade

3 out of 5

Not the best video arcade... I was expecting more video games. There are really only about 5 video games and the rest are "prize ticket" games. I was rather disappointed in that. Basically, it was made to be more of a "casino" for kids to loose there money trying to earn tickets for cheap prizes. There should have been more video games and less prize ticket games.

Ocean Plaza

4 out of 5

Great place to chill and hang out. I played trivia here several times and they have a mini lunch buffet. Close to the Red Frog Pub, so you can get a drink close by.

Children's Programs

Didn't bring the kids!

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The room steward was great! I was impressed at how well he remembered our names and always acknowledged us by name! The towel animals are pretty neat too. Overall, nearly every interaction that I had with the ship staff was very pleasant and helpful.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ships layout was actually pretty good in my opinion. It was fairly easy to get around and find what you were looking for. My only complaint, finding a bathroom was rather hard... The bathrooms were not well marked and seemed like they were in inconspicuous places.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Since this was my first cruise, I wasn't expecting much going into the cabin. To my surprise, it was rather well laid out and seemed spacious. I never really felt cramped or confined. Décor was pleasant and not dated. Overall, the cabin was one of my best surprises on the boat.

Ship tip

My biggest complaint of the Vista would be the sound systems are WAY too loud everywhere on the boat. If you like the quiet, bring some earplugs.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida Did not visit port

Just traveling through, we didn't see any sights in Miami.

Grand Turk Island

4 out of 5
We didn't do an excursion here, but we did enjoy the cruise center. The ocean here was crystal clear. Bring a snorkel and fins if you have them and you can snorkel in the swimming area at the cruise center.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

3 out of 5
Old San Juan is a neat place for the architecture. Lots of shops and bars within easy walking distance from the cruise pier. We visited the old fort and that was well worth the visit.

Basseterre, St. Kitts

4 out of 5
We did a snorkeling excursion at St. Kitts. It was well worth the money and it was a great time. The shopping in St. Kitts is pretty good too.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

4 out of 5
Lots of small shops and bars here! You can walk from the cruise port to the beach, but it is a fairly long walk. We did the Flying Dutchman zipline here as well. It was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed it.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
The disembarkation was a lot smoother that I was expecting. Carnival has "Zone Tags" for your luggage and they call your number when you can get off the boat. Everything went much smoother than I was expecting, but we did get off the boat fairly late in the morning.
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