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552 Carnival Barcelona Cruise Reviews

It appears to be a trend in the cruise industry today. Build bigger ships to increase passenger capacity, However, there has been an often overlooked design flaw with the ships main auditoriums. They haven't grown in size to meet ... Read More
It appears to be a trend in the cruise industry today. Build bigger ships to increase passenger capacity, However, there has been an often overlooked design flaw with the ships main auditoriums. They haven't grown in size to meet the demands of the larger ships. I don't know what Carnival advertises as the seating capacity of the Vista, but it doesn't matter. It's WAY too small. They decided to divert from the traditional long bench type seating for individual chairs in the center of the auditorium. Unfortunately, they placed too many chairs in the space creating poor viewing and uncomfortable seating. My knees were literally resting against the back of the chair in front of me. Once seated, you were stuck because you couldn't get passed the people beside you. The bar service was limited because the wait staff was unable to get to the customers. Anyone in an individual seat was forced to hold their drink in their lap during the entire performance as there were no place to put your drink. Some of the tiered seats had a small area that was possibly a place to hold a drink, but was positioned next to your shoulder so it wasn't functional. To make matters worse, they built a huge bar in the back of the first level, further reducing the capacity of the auditorium. To add to the frustration, they emptied out the center portion of the auditorium one night for a show that had the performers dancing out on the floor. There was a lot of grumbling about the auditorium. There were a couple of minor flaws that will probably work themselves out. 1. The waitstaff seemed a little unseasoned for dinner service (pardon the pun). They would forget salad forks or bring two courses at once, but they were at least trying their best to make our dinner a pleasurable one. 2. There was no milk dispensers for breakfast cereals at the buffets.. You had to obtain a box of milk and punch a hole in it and then squirt the milk onto your cereal. The boxes must have been made of bullet-proof cardboard because you couldn't tear the little buggers open like the ones the kids get in school. I asked for milk one night at dinner and the waiter literally was squirting the milk from the box into the glass. 3. Had to ask after the third day for ice in the cabin. It was eventually corrected, but then I had to ask for tongs for the ice bucket. 4. The Kleenex dispenser in the bathroom made it impossible to get a tissue without ripping the paper. I finally gave up and just got an extra box and left it on top of the vanity. Since this was a re-positioning cruise, I am expecting that most of the minor flaws that popped up will resolve itself once it starts operating out of Miami on a regular basis. The entertainment was excellent. The main shows at night were really nice as the entertainers could both sing and dance very well. It wasn't the usual yelling or yodeling that you get from a lot of other shows, with the exception of one night where there was a zombie looking dude wandering around the entire performance. Not sure what he represented but is was a little distracting. As always, the water park was great and the best part of the outside sports venues was the Skyride. I highly recommend it as it was a blast. I did miss the large indoor promenade that is on most of the other Carnival ships. We always could find a spot near the casino and play cards or domino's and watch the world go by while having your favorite bar service person stop by to keep you sufficiently quenched, but unfortunately, this feature was missing. There were many other locations to do it on the Vista, but most were outside so if it was windy or raining or cold, finding a spot indoors could be a challenge. Seating at the buffets during peak times were always a challenge on other ships, but the Vista made the required adjustments and we always were able to find a seat without a problem. They have gotten really crazy on some of the verbiage for their daily activity sheets that you receive every night in the room. Shore tours and shopping seminars are now called Enrichment Activities. Why can't you just go back to calling them Shore Excursion Tour Talk or Shopping Seminar? I also found it odd that there were no hot tubs in the public spaces. They were only located in "private" sections of the ship like the Serenity or Havana sections. They have gone digital on their photographs which was extremely efficient. You no longer have to go searching for your pictures as you now can access them from your room television or mobile device. However, there were a couple of issues that need resolving. 1. You no longer have the option of buying a 5" x 7". It now comes with 4 wallet size photos so the 5" x 7" now cost as much as an 8" x 10". 2. In the past, Carnival would offer benefits for those who purchased numerous photos. You typically received some type of prize (i.e. luggage tag, USB drive, etc) for reaching a specific number of photo purchases, but this was only offered during select days on the Vista. We were unaware of this and ended up not receiving any of the gifts because it was on a day that this benefit wasn't offered. You would have thought after dropping about $600 on photos, they would have made an exception and ponied up a luggage tag or something, but they didn't. Lesson learned. Would I go again on the Vista? Probably as soon as it starts the Miami run to see if my observations were just a fluke. However, Carnival REALLY needs to increase the capacity of their main auditorium. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I'm retired military and have crossed the ocean many times, flying, but this was my first ship crossing. Embarkation , slow painfully slow. Even with new set your time, it was a mess. I think some of it had to do with the amount ... Read More
I'm retired military and have crossed the ocean many times, flying, but this was my first ship crossing. Embarkation , slow painfully slow. Even with new set your time, it was a mess. I think some of it had to do with the amount of Diamond and Platinum cruisers and the 1400 back to back on this cruise. We were late leaving the port, Barcelona, but had plenty of time to get to Gibraltar. Ship sailed very smoothly until the third day when the winds howled. They had to move the furniture off some of the lower balcony cabins because of the waves and wind. They also closed the storm shutters on these lower decks. The ship handled it well but, it was rough. Easy disembark at Gibraltar, it was Sunday and almost everything was closed. Next stop was the Azores, a nice stop in the middle of the Atlantic. Very close to the town and shopping. After a four day sail we were in Bermuda, an overnight stop at Kings Wharf. A lot of history in the near-by military museums. A small amount of shopping in the clock tower "mall". Another days sail and into New York Harbor. We arrived about three A.M. but, that didn't seem to stop a lot of people from coming up on the decks to take pictures and sightsee. Now the ship, the bike ride was veery cool and fun, the ropes were a challenge but, also fun. I did both and I am nearly 71. Putt-putt was good, it was on two levels, very challenging for putt-putt. My interior room and all other interior rooms including ocean view have only one closet to hang things in. It was a shock when we opened the door to see this and a surprise. The TV was very large maybe a 40" model. They ran the news channels, a couple of cartoon channels, and Discovery Channel. Also, on demand, had new older movies, some were free and other, newer ones, were $4.95. The main dinning room, without table clothes, seemed a little under dressed. Service hasn't changed much, still slow as if you were fine dinning. The food was good, not as many options and a little less on your plate. I'm not saying that as a bad thing. The Liquid Lounge, this place is really a disappointment to all who tried to watch a show there or came to the Diamond and Platinum party. There is no room for wait staff to bring you drinks and if/or when you get a drink, there's no place to set it down. The shows, as a frequent cruiser on Carnival, I have become bored with the Carnival "Playlist" entertainment, loud music sung with mediocre talent. The laundry service, free for platinum and diamond cruisers, but, at your own risk. The first two loads were no problem. The next one must have been cleaned at the pond with two rocks. The white socks were very gray. The golf shirts looked like they were folded while damp and a tinge off color. It's the reason I carry so many large suitcases, I learned from past experiences, however, I gave them another chance. Over all, it was a nice cruise if you avoided the trouble spots, the specialty restaurants seemed well received and everyone who used them were happy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because there were a lot of people on it that we have cruised with before. That is always a plus. Now, I would like to compare the ship and crew with the first TA on the Dream. Well, there is no comparison. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because there were a lot of people on it that we have cruised with before. That is always a plus. Now, I would like to compare the ship and crew with the first TA on the Dream. Well, there is no comparison. The restaurants on the Vista were great. The cabin stewards were awesome. The layout of the ship wasn't as confusing. The only downside was the stage area. There were a lot of visual obstacles to see around. The rooms were of good size. The ports were great. We saw Athens, Rhodes, Malta, Pisa, Florence, Pompeii, Sicily, Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Southern France, Barcelona, Montserrat, Gibraltar, the Azores and Bermuda. A few places that we've been to and a lot that we haven't. It for the most part was great. Now, for things that could have been better: Not much. The hand washing stations were different. I do miss the happy happy washy washy people. But on the upside they did have a few really interesting hand washing stations that were automatic. After about 12 seconds all you had to do was dry your hands. Now, why do I prefer the old way? Simple. Some people do NOT wash their hands after going to the restroom. I've gotten Norro before and I never want to get it again. The other downside was the bulkhead doors slamming all day and night in rough seas. The needs to tie them down. Back to the pros part. I love soft serve ice cream. Don't go for those little tiny cups. Get a big bowl and fill it up. They also offer a really nice brunch with steak and eggs. It was great. And if you like that you will love the banana cream pie. It was by far the best tasting banana cream pie I've ever eaten. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We were first time Carnival passengers and found some good quality and some not so good quality. We had an inside cabin which was comfortable and great service from the cabin steward. We thought not printing all photos and having ... Read More
We were first time Carnival passengers and found some good quality and some not so good quality. We had an inside cabin which was comfortable and great service from the cabin steward. We thought not printing all photos and having passengers choose what they wanted and print only those was very cost saving. What we did not enjoy was the theater which was used for entertainment and activities. The seats were all the same height and you could not see the stage from the 5th deck. The entertainers were very good except the shows selected were not appropriate for a cruise. We did not appreciate the performer having his hands in his crotch area - that belongs in the streets and not on stage. A number of the areas for activities were very small and always crowded. This is the first cruise where we could not take games out of the library and there was only 1 table to use. Having a bar in the library made no sense to us. We will have to really consider the itinerary that Carnival offers before we will sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We cruised on this ship from Athens to Barcelona, and then on to New York on the Vista’s maiden Trans-Atlantic. For the most part public areas where kept clean and tidy with staff often to be seen cleaning. This was especially so on ... Read More
We cruised on this ship from Athens to Barcelona, and then on to New York on the Vista’s maiden Trans-Atlantic. For the most part public areas where kept clean and tidy with staff often to be seen cleaning. This was especially so on the leg from Athens to Barcelona when apparently some cases of the norovirus where on-board. However, there did not appear to be enough bar staff, leading to tables not being cleared and people having to go to the bar to order, but they still had the cheek to charge the 15% gratuity on each drink. We were in cabin 2274 which is a nice cove balcony in a good location near the front elevators, with plenty of storage space and was big enough for 2 people, but would have been a bit crowded with the 3 it could take. There were noise issues however, firstly from inconsiderate guests talking loudly in the corridor or next door cabins, and for some reason they seemed to take delight in slamming their balcony doors every time they used them. Also on the 2 days from Gibraltar to the Azores the ship encountered some rough and windy weather. We were warned about this before leaving Gibraltar and the storm doors where put up on all the balcony cabins on deck 2. Due to the ships movement for the first 24 hours the noise from our balcony was horrendous, sounding like someone constantly hitting the metal with a hammer. When we complained to guest services they said all the balcony’s where the same and there was nothing we could do. However, we found out later that some people had taken a recording of the noise to guest services and the problem had been fixed. We did have other issues with cupboard door hinges and noise for the air condition grill, but these where sorted very quickly. All the staff where friendly and helpful and appeared to be happy. The facilities and entertainment where very good. We especially loved the Sky-Train, the production shows, the Shipsies live band, the string trio, and the occasionally watching a film on deck in the evening. Jamie and then Matt are excellent cruise directors who kept the fun going helping to create a good atmosphere. However, I can’t understand that on a new ship why the swimming pools are so small, and also a lot of the time not heated. Overall the food was good, but the choices for lunch and dinner in the buffet where limited, and tended to become a bit samey. On port days the buffet was very busy and chaotic with queues building up at the serving stations. Service in the main dining room was very inconsistent, with dining times ranging from 1 hour to 2 hours, although on most evenings we didn’t have a problem getting a table for 2 if we wanted one. To sum up we enjoyed the ship, but we like the Carnival Legend and the atmosphere on her more. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have cruised with Carnival 4 times previously and as UK residents took advantage of the Vista departing a European port prior to being assigned to it's home port of Miami. Normally to experience a Carnival cruise we have to ... Read More
We have cruised with Carnival 4 times previously and as UK residents took advantage of the Vista departing a European port prior to being assigned to it's home port of Miami. Normally to experience a Carnival cruise we have to first fly to the USA so this was a great opportunity to go transatlantic and from Europe. The ship is great I loved it, Carnival have departed from the "Versace on speed" look and the set out of the vessel is easy to navigate and has a good feel throughout. As mentioned by every man and his dog the main theatre (liquid lounge) is of a poor design with bad views to the stage 'nuff said so let's just leave it at that, I just hope Carnival learn their lesson for the new class of ship currently under design. Food in the main dining area's we found to be well improved from previous Carnival cruises good choices and plentiful - no problems at all. In the "pay extra" venues the steakhouse has exactly the same menu as other Carnival ships but the service has been throttled back. Previously you would get your server preparing your salad at the table and a somelier was on hand to recommend wine - small touches that made the meal an "experience" these have sadly gone. Cucina del Capiano was good, as was Ji Ji Asian - extra payments but we thought well worth it. We did visit Cucina del Capiano for lunch (no extra payment at lunchtime but limited menu) and I ordered a bottle of chianti ($26) when the waiter brought it he attempted to pour the wine into two plastic soft drink "glasses" when I requested wine glasses he said they weren't available - they clearly were on the next table as people were drinking from them! Only when I told him to take the wine away did he go and source two proper wine glasses....small things but they impact your overall impression? The main "reflections" dining room was a nice venue, I disagree with some of the reviewers on the thread, I found the mood lighting was good and the tables were well presented and the whole place was spotless. The staff from Ken the singing Maitre D to Frank our server and his team were hard working, friendly and efficient - well done to them. Sadly the same can't be said for the seaday brunch in the Horizons venue, we and another 6 guests waited for an hour and three quarters and still 4 of us had not received all of our brunch items, at this point my wife (who was still waiting for her main order) and I decided to leave. As we left I mentioned to what appeared to be the head waitress / Maitre D that a 90 minute wait and still no meal was pretty poor, her reply was "the average wait in this restaurant is one hour" I was grateful for the statistical analysis but frankly expected an apology or an explanation. When I explained that there were still 4 people waiting for their order and she should go and maybe hurry the service along she apologised (through gritted teeth) and said she would inform the manager - we stuck to the lido for breakfast after this experience. Similarly before our visit to the steakhouse we decided to try a cocktail at the Alchemy bar which is situated adjacent to the steakhouse, we ordered our cocktails and waited.....and waited.....and waited - 20 minutes later I approached the bar and enquired where our drinks were? The bartender then disengaged herself from the guests seated at the bar whom she'd been talking to and asked me for the second time what I would like.....outta there was what I liked - went to the red frog 10 yards down the hall and got served right away....Alchem - y very clique - y.....no thanks, poor service. Havana bar great - does what it says on the tin...cocktails, good service and you can't beat a bit of Latin music before dinner. Red Frog pub was a winner and for me the best bar on the ship - Great beer brewed in front of you - The Red Frog "Red" is a proper decent pint with a nice toffee finish (I'm English so I'm used to flat, bad beer) this was a knockout pint - highly recommended. The guitarist during our cruise was a guy called Ed Deane - very talented and made the pub experience special - well done to the Red Frogs - top drawer. We were in a balcony stateroom, deck 6 midship which was very nice, storage OK, TV good and Duncan our steward was a top bloke - no issues at all. I think my only criticism of the Vista is regarding the staffing, there just seemed to be less professional in parts and there were longer waits whether at bars, guest services or dining rooms. The dining staff appeared to be under much more pressure, therefore efficiency and customer interaction suffer. A senior staff member confided in us that the staffing numbers had been cut and that subsequently service was being impacted - this is a shame because for me, it kicks the Vista from excellent to very good. Overall would I cruise Carnival again - yes - on the Vista - yes but I'm told by many people on board to try the Breeze next so we'll see. Hope this post has been helpful. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was the first Transatlantic cruise for my husband and I, and we were not disappointed. We spent 3 days in Barcelona pre-cruise; what a fantastic city to explore. The highlight there was definitely La Sagrada Familia -- a church ... Read More
This was the first Transatlantic cruise for my husband and I, and we were not disappointed. We spent 3 days in Barcelona pre-cruise; what a fantastic city to explore. The highlight there was definitely La Sagrada Familia -- a church still being built, unlike any other. We signed up for 10:30 embarkation, using the new staggered embarkation system. It doesn't seem to have done much good. We still waited in line for over an hour! Of course, we are only gold members; the platinum and diamonds were moving quicker. The ship was wonderful. With a total of 8 1/2 sea days, I was a little worried about getting bored. That was never a problem. I had been reading all about the ship for the 9 months prior to our sailing, so I had so many things I wanted to check out and do, In a nutshell, the food in the MDR was great (we had early dining). We loved our waiters, and we got to really enjoy our table-mates. My only complaint here was our table. We were at #600 on deck 4 of the Horizons dining room. It was right behind a wall seperating us from the desk, and right in front of an opaque, decorative wall of wine bottles. We all remarked how we felt isolated from the rest of the dining room. We couldn't even see other diners! We loved our cabin, a balcony, #8265. Plenty of room and our cabin steward, Mangcu from Bali, was delightful. We had a problem the second day with wet carpeting; I think the A/C was leaking. Someone came and fixed it right away and no further problems. And Mangu did follow up and ask if we were having any more problems with it. We enjoyed most of the shows, except maybe the comedians. They just weren't our cup of tea. We did enjoy the magicians and the hypnotist. The production shows were great, but the Liquid Lounge was very disappointing: There are several large pillars throughout the seating areas which obstruct the views in many, many seats. We always sat on the upper floor; the people on the lower floor were all on an even level, so you couldn't see over the head in front of you, if you were lucky enough not to have a pillar in your way! We loved the Imax theater, and were able to see "Sully" and "inferno" and really enjoyed those. We also enjoyed the Dive In movies, except maybe the day it rained! We did have a couple of days of rough seas, and though we were never sick, it was a little scary for me, but only the first night; when I saw in the daylight that the waves were not as violent as they sounded, I was fine. As I read beforehand, for the 4,000 guests on board, it never really felt crowded. We could always find a little nook to hunker down in and play a few games or read -- our preferred ways to relax. We took a ship excursion in each port, and on the whole were very pleased with those. We did have a problem with our tour leader in Gibraltar, Elena. On the bus she would not use the mike, even after some of us told her we could not hear. And when we got off the bus to tour the cave and the Siege Tunnels, she said to go inside and she would meet us there, and she never did. So we did not get the narration we had hoped for. Other groups said their guides gave them all sorts of information, which we just never got; that was disappointing. But our guides in Porta del Gada (Sandy I think), and Bermuda (Jevon Thomas) were fantastic. I even told Jevon he should think about teaching. He is very organized and articulate and enthusiastic about imparting his knowledge to visitors! I had wanted to try all the lunch-time venues (that didn't cost extra), and we were able to do all but one (the Mongolian Wok). All were good. We loved the Salad Creations on the 15th deck, but there was never anywhere to sit at a table up there; we had to balance our bowls on our laps, and that got to be a little tricky. Disembarkation was simple for us; we had no plane to catch; someone was meeting us in NYC. But I guess there was a long delay before the first group of people was let off the ship; something to do with the ship clearing customs, I think. In summary, we are glad we took this cruise, and we would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
A little over a year ago we discovered the plans for the Carnival Vista's transatlantic cruise embarking from Barcelona. We chose this cruise for a variety of reasons, which included a chance to be on a brand new ship, a chance to go ... Read More
A little over a year ago we discovered the plans for the Carnival Vista's transatlantic cruise embarking from Barcelona. We chose this cruise for a variety of reasons, which included a chance to be on a brand new ship, a chance to go to Barcelona for a few days, and for the rebates offers we received from our travel company at Cruises.com. All of these together were our reasons for taking this particular cruise. We are long time Carnival cruisers, we are Platinum level almost at Diamond and have sailed on 7 different Carnival ships, to Alaska, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. We have enjoyed our experiences on the Spirit Class ships, both for size and decor, so we really were a little unsure of what to expect on this vessel, because the decor looked to be so different and because of the size/number of people that would be on the ship. Embarkation in Barcelona was somewhat unorganized and certainly we did not receive any priority boarding as a Platinum member should have. However it was tolerable and once on the ship we were able to go right to our room and deposit our luggage. The decor of the ship is certainly different than any other however I loved it. The Promenade deck was especially inviting featuring many places on the outside areas to rest and relax, We loved that many of the interior shops and bars also had an outside access on the deck, certainly unique compared to other ships we have been on. We had an aft balcony room cabin 6460, and Paul and his helper were our room stewards, both were very friendly and helpful, our every need was anticipated and filled. Our balcony patio area overlooked the Havana Cabins -only one floor below. I will make a comment here about those cabins, I know that they cost more than a regular cabin and in the pictures look to be lovely, however I am very happy now that we did not get one of them. From our balcony we could look directly down and watch anyone on their patio, in addition the folks in those rooms did not have any dividers between their patios on either the left of right sides and the fronts of their balcony were open walking area for others on that deck getting to "daytime pool area" The other note about these rooms is that they are backed up to the Havana Bar, which is a lovely bar area featuring Latin music nightly, We were able to block out the noise of the music as it played on into the late night, but those right on the same level and those in the back of the ship directly above the bar could not. Because of what we were able to see about these Havana Rooms, we would never consider one of these for any future Vista Cruise. Husband and I ate, as always our meals in the Lido restaurant, we have found over several cruises that the menu on the Lido is basically the same as in the Restaurant. Food was good but not on a par with some of our other cruises, also we found that the offering was the same a few nights in a row, as in they seemed to be using up leftovers. Guy's burgers and the seafood shack were great alternatives and at lunch the 5th floor BBQ was awesome. There was a variety of entertainment on the ship, from music venues to comedy clubs to variety shows in the Liquid Lounge. The comedy was weak and just not funny, we tried a few times and decided to forego any others. The shows were spectacular. However the Liquid Lounge is positively the worse place in the world to view any type of show. Whoever designed this venue should be fired. Big columns block the view. there is a lack of stadium seating and protection panels on the second floor balcony additionally obstruct the view. This was a big negative for us. The pools areas were lovely, there were only very few kids on the ship so they were basically "adult only" on this particular cruise, I went to the adult serenity area, but was not impressed for myself as when I sit in the sun I want access to the pool to cool off. I wish the pools had been heated, we had some chilly days when I thought it should have been turned on. We only booked one excursion through Carnival for this cruise and it was in Gibraltor, Carnival did a nice job for our tour. We found the Azores to be lackluster, and in Bermuda we found our own way around as we have been there many times before and knew where to go and what to do. All in all we enjoyed our trip on this ship and we are happy we had this experience, however, being long time Carnival travelers, we will probably not go on this ship again but will return to our smaller Spirit class ships, a better choice for Seniors. I want to give special praise to Matt the Cruise Director, he was the best I have encountered, he actually enjoys his job and displays a wonderful sense of humor all day long. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Just completed our sailing on the Vista TransAtlantic cruise. I would like to start by saying we had a terrific time. This cruise was absolutely fabulous and special and It had everything to do with the crew and the reason we return to ... Read More
Just completed our sailing on the Vista TransAtlantic cruise. I would like to start by saying we had a terrific time. This cruise was absolutely fabulous and special and It had everything to do with the crew and the reason we return to Carnival cruise after cruise. From the Captain and all his officers brilliant handling of the ship during difficult weather while we headed to the Azores to the staff who delivered our food and beverages who continue to deliver with a cheerful smile and awesome professional service. Regarding the Vista ship on the plus side the Havana Bar area, The Sky Ride, the Lobster Shack, and the amazing IMAX theater really are great additions and we look forward to using them again on our next Vista cruise. The Vista does have some downsides however. This main theater is the worst we have ever experienced including the Sunshine which at least has decent site lines from the balcony. Carnival took a bad design from the Sunshine and made it worse. The Ocean Plaza area is nice but frankly this area is way overused especially in the morning. The breakfast area really should be used just for a continental breakfast. Using this for a hot breakfast interferes with everything else they are trying to do here from Crafts to Trivia to Bingo and seriously Yoga should not be held there. It really makes it uncomfortable for the participants and the people eating. I really believe they should use the Limelight lounge for many of the activities. On this cruise the Arts and Crafts was extremely popular and when people are trying to eat at the same time it made it nearly impossible. ALL in All though another great cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Not a big fan of Carnival but was blown away with this recent Transatlantic : Barcelona to NY cruise on Carnival Vista. Been on 108 cruises and lately very disappointed with the poorer production and entertainment evening shows. Not ... Read More
Not a big fan of Carnival but was blown away with this recent Transatlantic : Barcelona to NY cruise on Carnival Vista. Been on 108 cruises and lately very disappointed with the poorer production and entertainment evening shows. Not this one! Production shows were fabulous and other entertainment was very good. Excellent water park; all crew extremely friendly; even with 4000 passengers and not hot sunny weather so more than normal people inside; never felt crowded inside ; extremely clean; fabulous stabilizers on one rough day; food as good as other cruise lines these days. Would certainly go on Vista again. Negatives: inside cabins only had one closet; small sewage smell on deck 3 but they made it up to us in drink coupons; never saw or did any officers attend meet and great; no lectures on computers, ipads, etc. There were so many platinum people on this cruise; embarkation for those people was terrible I was told; spa packages to use steam room was very expensive; no cover pool which would have been nice on Transatlantic Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The Carnival Vista is a beautiful ship. Serenity area was most comfortable and relaxing. Enjoyed the Morning Show with Matt & Cookie each sea day. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed Cookie's enthusiasm and personality. He ... Read More
The Carnival Vista is a beautiful ship. Serenity area was most comfortable and relaxing. Enjoyed the Morning Show with Matt & Cookie each sea day. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed Cookie's enthusiasm and personality. He assisted the cruise director and was a major contribution to onboard entertainment. He has a natural gift for being on-stage - he possesses self-confidence and has an incredible sense of humor. Excellent dancer and entertainer. He is very quick to respond with some off-the-wall humor. His quick thinking and reactions are priceless! Kudos to Carnival for hiring such a motivated individual who tries to ensure all passengers are enjoying their well-deserved vacations and holidays. Cookie is an asset to Carnival Cruise Line!!! Not sure I'd recommend the same Liquid Lounge seating arrangement to be designed for the Carnival Horizon. Hopefully, the contractors can create something different to allow more passengers clear visibility to view the stage area. Enjoyed the music played throughout the decks; and, would welcome more "oldies" and rock-n-roll - especially in the Marketplace on Lido Deck 10. Enjoyed the selection of the fresh salad bar - especially when they offered multiple varieties of vegetables. Many thanks to the buffet servers who put the extra effort into preparing all those fresh-cut delicious items; and, ensuring all the dishes were kept filled. Thank you Carnival was a wonderful journey. See you soon!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I chose this TA cruise, even though I hadn't really like the experience 8 years ago, because of the ports, disembarkation port & the fact that it was a new ship with lots to do on the sea days. There was also a very large & ... Read More
I chose this TA cruise, even though I hadn't really like the experience 8 years ago, because of the ports, disembarkation port & the fact that it was a new ship with lots to do on the sea days. There was also a very large & fun roll call group with lots of activities planned.The embarkation in Barcelona went well, didn't have to wait long to board the ship. I was surprised that my luggage was waiting for me when I got to my cabin! That was a 1st, even faster than when I'd had FTTF. With so many restaurants to try on this ship I decided on Cucina for lunch the first day & was not disappointed. The food was hot, tasty & free. During the 13 days I tried most of the choices for lunch & enjoyed them all. The homemade ice cream at the Sweet Spot on Lido at lunch was a nice addition to the desserts. The lobster rolls (2) with fries for $12 at the Seafood Shack were very yummy.. Of course Guy's Burgers & his new Pig & Anchor were really good. I also was lucky enough to do the Chef's Table which was fabulous & a nightly occurrence. If you like gourmet food, special attention & wine, do this for a great experience. It's worth the money. I had been waitlisted for 1st seating dinner & was able to get that once onboard by asking Ken Byrne, the singing Maitre d'. Travelling solo I was happy to be seated at a large table with other solo cruisers. Our wait staff were very good, attentive & friendly. Dinner did sometimes drag on but I was able to make the 7:30 show a few times. I found the food to be good except the desserts didn't really appeal to me (not a melting cake lover as it's too rich for me) so I sometimes ordered a banana split from the children's menu. Oh, talking about children I went to the Dr Seuss breakfast which btw had 6 adults at our table, all who really enjoyed it. There weren't many children on the TA but probably most of them were there. The entertainment on the cruise was very good. Matt, the CD & his team of Sue, MarkQ & Cookie were very lively & fun. John Heald was also on this sailing & did a couple of different shows. There was also a guest speaker who spoke on several interesting topics. The comedy shows were mostly good & well attended. Don't worry if the line extends to the casino, you'll still find a seat. Some of the seating & sight lines aren't the best, similar to Sunshine I believe they said. I loved the decor of the ship, found it quite like Breeze. I loved the changing light fixture displays at the atrium & casino bars. Another thing I really liked was the radio station channel on the tv which had beautiful scenes, sometimes like having your own aquarium in the cabin. There were a lot of choices for movies, the large screen outside by the pool, the Thrill Theatre, IMAX & quite good movies on the tv, some for free, others for a small fee. My cabin, an inside, was in a good location & had a great team looking after me, thanks Duncan & Rhea. They were very friendly, helpful & made towel animals nightly. One thing I was looking forward to but didn't see, was the towel animals around the pool, maybe I missed it or perhaps they didn't have it. If there was a chocolate extravaganza I also missed it. The ports were the major attraction for me on this itinerary but I did enjoy the sea days, doing things with the Cruise Critic roll call people & trying to do other things around the ship. We did have a Meet & Mingle at a reasonable hour on the 1st sea day, I believe but unlike on NCL not one Carnival staff member came. This is a new thing for Carnival so maybe that'll change in the future. The ports were Barcelona, Gibraltar, Ponta Delgada, overnight in Bermuda then ending in New York City. I'd been to them all except Gibraltar which was very interesting. I didn't do any Carnival excursions just ones with the roll call group. Another thing I really liked was the Hub app, such a neat way to see/order your photos, carry your Fun Times & check your bill. They'll be adding MDR menus at some point which will make it even better. I was very happy with the internet package & chose the middle offering, only $105 for 13 days, way better than other lines' rip off prices. The disembarkation wasn't the best. but probably to be expected on the Vista's initial landing in the USA. Matt kept us informed of how things were going & my departure was 1 1/2 hours later than originally implied. Luckily I was staying over in New York City so it wasn't a problem. If you can't tell, I loved this cruise & might even try another TA, (can you say Horizon), if the ports are as good as these were. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Carnival Vista Transatlantic October 2016 We are experienced cruisers but have never actually done a Transatlantic cruise before… the price for this one was most definitely right! So, we booked it…. Cloud 9 Spa Balcony, deck 12 ... Read More
Carnival Vista Transatlantic October 2016 We are experienced cruisers but have never actually done a Transatlantic cruise before… the price for this one was most definitely right! So, we booked it…. Cloud 9 Spa Balcony, deck 12 front. Very lucky to get the Cloud 9 Spa cabin for the price we got it, it comes with its own amenities such as robes, toiletries and slippers plus the all important free pass to the spa! I am not one for writing long boring reviews about every tiny detail that happened so here are the basics : THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BAD CRUISE. That is it folks……..haha…. Cabin, well it’s a balcony cabin, its got a bed, a balcony, a shower….. The ship : Superb. Brand new and rammed with amenities. The only gripe onboard for us is the terrible theatre, the Carnival management know all about it. Poor views all over basically. Shows, well, production shows don’t thrill us but we watched them, the usual, enthusiastic dancers and singers, pretty good. Other shows included an illusionist, comedy magician and singer. Very good. The comedy club is where Carnival stand out from the rest in our opinion, it is simply superb. On this trip they had SIX different comedians. Ranging from trouser wetting funny to paint dryingly boring. Happily though, the trouser wetting ones where in the majority and 5 or so shows a night, what is there to complain at? Nothing ! Staff excellent as usual, special mention to Cookie on the entertainment staff, that lad is going to go places. Food excellent also, main dining room excellent, buffet excellent,Guys Burgers didn’t excite us, way too much salt. We never pay for the speciality restaurants. Met some fantastic new people, hopefully got some friends for life. Last thing to note : This was a 13 day cruise, 9 sea days..if you are a new cruiser, don’t do a Transatlantic until you can figure out if you get sea sick. We had a couple of rocky days and there were plenty of folks in trouble – not us, we are immune ! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had looked at this cruise for some time but trying to put a package together with airfares, transfers, Hop on/Hop off bus, hotels in Barcelona and the actually cruise itself was to say the least overwhelming. We just happened to get an ... Read More
We had looked at this cruise for some time but trying to put a package together with airfares, transfers, Hop on/Hop off bus, hotels in Barcelona and the actually cruise itself was to say the least overwhelming. We just happened to get an offer from a travel agency with everything included if we could get back & forth to the NYC area. We had almost passed it up, but finally decided to take the plunge and try it. The travel agency (ICruise) was slow in it getting information to us but in the end, everything went extremely smoothly. The flight to Barcelona was delayed for 3 hours out of Newark Liberty airport due to cargo compartment problems. If you have never flown across the Atlantic, know that it is very tiring. My cousin said, "Try to sleep as best a possible, You'll need it" and he was right. Barcelona is an amazing city. We spent our 2 days in Barcelona engulfed in history, architecture, art, and the culture of the Catalonian people. We visited Mont Juic, Sagrada Famillia, saw the Park Guell, Mirador de Colon (Columbus column), La Rambla, La Boqueria market, the Cathedral of Barcelona and many more sights. The cautions were that pick pockets were there to steal you money if you weren't careful. I'm sure it is true but we never had a proble and were out in the streets and restaurants late into the evening. It was worth every minute of it and the hundreds of pictures we took. The tranfers went smoothly from the plane to the hotel and hotel to ship. We are Platinum cruisers with Carnival, but so were over half the other cruisers. Carnival did not plan well fo this, making it a slow process to get on-board. Once on board, the rest was great. Wonderful music, comfortable rooms, (supposedly the biggest room in the Cruise industry), and lots to eat without waiting in long lines. The ship's design spread people out and gave multiple options at all meals. The Captain and CD with their teams made a very enjoyable 13 days. We stopped at Gibraltar, Ponta Delgada (Azores), and Bermuda, before getting to our destination in NYC. The entertainment was very good, and the variety was suitable for just about everyone. There were wonderful lectures about the places we would see, there were shows with good music and dance. There was comedy, trivia games, crafts, and even lessons in Ballroom dancing. The ship also features some amazing water slides, a high ropes course for beginners and the more experienced, and two bike tracks that literally take you out over the ocean at a height of 100 ft above the water...All of this for just $100/day. It was a Bucket List, life experience that we would do all over again...We did plan our own shore excursions through the help of our Cruise Critic family. And saw amzing sites while on shore. We spent most of our shore days on shore engulfed in the culture and history of the places we stopped. An incredible trip of a life time... Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Although the décor of this new ship was lacking for me, this was a wonderful cruise across the Atlantic. I loved our stops in Gibraltar and the Azores. Ponta Delgada and the Azores is one of my favorite places on earth. It is gorgeous. ... Read More
Although the décor of this new ship was lacking for me, this was a wonderful cruise across the Atlantic. I loved our stops in Gibraltar and the Azores. Ponta Delgada and the Azores is one of my favorite places on earth. It is gorgeous. The Vista is not elegant looking. I know they were trying to get away from glitz and be more sophisticated, but plain, mid-century modern décor just didn't do it for me. The family Harbor and Havana sections were very nice however. So was the Lido deck. Even tho the captain had my cove balcony closed because of rough weather for 2 days, I still enjoyed the cabin and that balcony. I found the food good as usual on Carnival, and had good service from a friendly crew. The beds are SO comfortable! Storage space is more that adequate in the balcony cabins; I know the insides had less storage space. The Serenity area was very nice, with a good salad bar, but crowded when I went. Not so serene. Halloween was a hoot on this ship! About half the guests were dressed in all kinds of costumes, and the night was a lot of fun and really different! Everything is now digital in the photo dept. and you can see your pictures in your cabin! Matt, the popular cruise director, was very visible, and seemed to love his job. I am not one for activities on the ship, but there were a lot of them. Trivia games, arts and crafts, movies, a few lectures, etc. Embarkation and debarkation were very easy and uncomplicated for me. If you go a bit later on embarkation day, you encounter less problems and crowds. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
On our 30th cruise, but the first time with Carnival, and I was a bit apprehensive. Lets start with the negatives, this ship is never going to win a beauty pageant, she is ugly. The Atrium is like a Holiday Inn lounge, really bright and ... Read More
On our 30th cruise, but the first time with Carnival, and I was a bit apprehensive. Lets start with the negatives, this ship is never going to win a beauty pageant, she is ugly. The Atrium is like a Holiday Inn lounge, really bright and very unwelcoming and the cabins, which are large and well appointed but soundproofing is terrible, the cove balcony's had major problems when the storm doors were closed for two days, and made them "inside" cabins. Oh, And she sails like a bag of spanners! OK, that's out of the way. Now the positives..I can honestly say that this was the most fun I have ever had at sea. Yes, its a bit American, with dancing around the pool, dressing up for Halloween, crazy activities taking place including an X rated "Scavenger Hunt" one late night in the Nightclub, (which was hilarious!!), This ship treats Adults like Adults (not like we are all sweet Granny's like Cunard), so there are late night adult only comedy shows, which were very popular. The fun never stopped, but it was never forced on any one and there were loads of areas to be quiet, including the Serenity deck. I never once had problems getting a sun bed or getting into the Jacuzzi. The food on the whole was good and full of variety, I read one review saying there was not much choice for lunch, what a load of twaddle. You could chose from: Guys Burgers (Best burgers I have had at sea- just like Five Guys!), The Tex Mex Taco & Burrito bar. Then, in the self serve 4 mains (two meat, 1 fish, 1 veggie), plus a Carvery, Massive Salad bar with cold cuts, Deli Bar sandwiches & Hot Dogs, Fresh Pizza (open 24hrs), Noodle Bar, Italian bar, in the serenity Healthy Eating bar...is that not enough choice! Food was good and tasty, yes it was American style, so veg was a bit limited in the dining room...but ask and you shall get. (Creamed Spinach-YUM!). Sea Day brunch was good, fantastic Smoked Salmon bagels with Cream Cheese or Eggs Benedict (3 ways), plus Steak and Eggs for late brekkie..Thanks! You may wait a short while for this as service was a bit slow on busy times. As we Brits were on board, they catered for us at Breakfast with a choice of English or American style (Burnt to a crisp!!) bacon too. The drink package was outstanding value 15 alcoholic drinks a day (up to a whopping $20 per drink , so you could have a glass of decent Champagne or the Alchemy bar crazy alcohol filled creations), plus all the sodas, plus unlimited Milkshakes, Coffees, Teas and waters. We went to see "Deepwater Horizon" in the IMAX, wow, the sound is amazing and that screen is huge. There was a 4D thrill theatre, which we did not use, but friends did and loved it all at nominal charge. The ship even showed the new "Inferno" film just 3 days after its release. With the $200 OBC we got ,we had a bottle of Moet Imperial Ice Champagne, dined in three special restaurants, of which the 555F Steakhouse was superb, and our only costs on a 13day holiday (apart form our all inclusive) was $92!! We had one cabin day, we had a slight sea leaving Gibraltar, but the ship (which is designed for Caribbean sailings) handled it awfully, it certainly did not cut through the waves , more crashed into them. But the in demand movies were great on the TV, plus all the news channels. Room service was fast and very good. Add in the thrilling Skyride, two massive water flumes, and a great wet zone, pools (unheated!), ropes course, 18hole crazy golf, plus themed bars , movies around the pool with blankets and fresh popcorn, and the usual Violin duo, singers (who were all very good), shows, arts and crafts, bingo etc etc.....something for nearly everyone. The staff were friendly..(and believe me, some of our US cousins can be very demanding and a bit rude!), and the Cruise director Matt and his team were fantastic. They never stopped. If you love the old fashioned traditional style cruising, you will not like this. Its a holiday at sea, with minimal dressing up. Although a lot of people wore Shirts and nice trendy Jeans , some stayed in "resort wear". If like us you are early 50's and love a bit of laugh, modern pop music, staying up late, eating Pizza on the back deck at 3am and being treated like an adult, do it,. If you want lectures, classical music and to sit and read , i would give this ship a swerve and go on Cunard. Please come and do another European trip Carnival. I want to it again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
just came back from TA Barcelona - NY and had a wonderful time on the Vista. What a beautiful ship ( only minor is the theater - layout ) room : we had an Oceanview on level 1 which was perfect and very quiet entertainment : so ... Read More
just came back from TA Barcelona - NY and had a wonderful time on the Vista. What a beautiful ship ( only minor is the theater - layout ) room : we had an Oceanview on level 1 which was perfect and very quiet entertainment : so much to choose from on so many levels of this ship staff : very attentive and helpful food : unbelievable how many choices there is to choose from wonderful crew amazing fun team and cruise director we cruised about 20 times mostly with RCI but in this case Carnival has beaten them anyone who dare to complain about this ship should stay at home we saw people wasting full plates of delicious food we heard people nagging about the weather (???) we saw rooms that looked like a war zone we heard people complain about so many ridiculous things shame on you all ! if you want a great time on a classy Carnival ship,The Vista is definitely worth to try. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Take plenty of money if you are on Vista. It was the worst Carnival cruise we have done. Can you imagine you pay extra 6 bucks for fish and chips for lunch. We never met our cabin staff and the reflections restaurant was like some sort of ... Read More
Take plenty of money if you are on Vista. It was the worst Carnival cruise we have done. Can you imagine you pay extra 6 bucks for fish and chips for lunch. We never met our cabin staff and the reflections restaurant was like some sort of cafe in a department store. The food and the service was about the same. There were no TV movies but if you want to see a movie in the theater you pay. You could have a sauna for free but if you wanted a steam bath you paid an extra 100 or so bucks for a complete spar package.We wondered what you get when you pay the port charges as it certainly has nothing to do with transportation from the ship to the port gates. Some ports in Europe charges us 20 E each for the privalige of spending money in their cities.All in all it was not up to the standard we have had on many Carnival cruises Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My wife and I chose this cruise to visit some points in history that we had not visited before. We chose a balcony room, it was roomy and very functional. Our service on the ship was always good, this included dining and room service. Our ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise to visit some points in history that we had not visited before. We chose a balcony room, it was roomy and very functional. Our service on the ship was always good, this included dining and room service. Our room steward and crew did an acceptional job. The ship was loaded with activities and shows. We saw a move at the IMAX and were quite happy with the experience. Carnival is our preferred cruise line, but are going too try some of the others to see how they fair. Overall our trip was great,we saw a lot and visited many sights. Thank You Carnival for a great trip. We have scheduled two more trips with Carnival to the Mexican Riviera and one to Ensenada during Christmas of 2016. We cruise not so much for the destinations, but just to be on a cruise. The cruise vacation has a good dollar value and includes plenty of relaxation if you want. My wife especially likes this type of vacation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
On board I discovered the cabin next to us paid $700 less than we did (they booked around a year or so ago). When I told friends we met on board, I discovered they paid $800 less than us. They booked around 2 or 3 months prior to ... Read More
On board I discovered the cabin next to us paid $700 less than we did (they booked around a year or so ago). When I told friends we met on board, I discovered they paid $800 less than us. They booked around 2 or 3 months prior to sailing. Both, like us, were on 3 b-to-backs and this was the transatlantic crossing portion. We were ending 15 mths of travel worldwide. We booked a while ago, but did not always have internet availability. After 33 cruises, I'm well aware of cruise price fluctuation and it being the responsibility of the travelers to check constantly for price fluctuations. It just wasn't always possible when on the go, although I did email vtg a couple of times as I had a feeling my price was high. Very disappointed in the fare difference We were involved in a car accident as passengers (in Spain) the day before we boarded. I judge the ship from the perspective of someone with limited mobility. Elevators slow. No big crow's nest-type place to relax indoors. No toilets on deck 11. Had to make my way down one deck Lido deck (Marketplace) was inconvenient for me, Muffins at the back of the ship, croissants in the fwd section); grapefruit & prunes at back, other items fwd etc. Too much walking, crew helped, but would have liked to get it myself. Crew were attentive when I needed help (quite often) and the first 2 cruises were perfect for recovery (port intensive, so we had the ship to ourselves almost every day.) Doctor on board was always busy. (Availed myself of their xrays and he replaced my cast with another. Kept me supplied with drugs until I was able to fill a prescription). Perfect to know he was on board if I needed him and I did not feel the charges were excessive (the way most excursions are for instance) We're used to Celebrity food so we kept our expectations low since we were sailing Carnival. Food far exceeded our low expectations (still prefer Celebrity's food though) Plush comfortable deck chairs were SO appreciated! All in all, quite a different cruise experience (had to cancel all excursion plans due to our disability). We had a wonderful time and I can still say "we've never been on a cruise we didn't absolutely love"! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Chose this cruise as it was a new ship and we thought the price was good. The ship, food, entertainment and service was a big disappointment to both of us. This was our eighth cruise, our first and last with Carnival. They can learn a lot ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was a new ship and we thought the price was good. The ship, food, entertainment and service was a big disappointment to both of us. This was our eighth cruise, our first and last with Carnival. They can learn a lot from there competitors as a lack of training was obvious where the staff especially in the dining areas were concerned. The so called entertainment at night, especially in the theatre was amateurish to say the least. The singers were well below par and gave the impression that they thought if they shouted loud it was ok. Some of the visiting artist were good and the two young men who sang in the lounge were worth listening to. All in all a very disappointing cruise, we tried not to let it spoil our holiday and we did enjoy the ports we stoppped at. We came to the conclusion that carnival are only interested in making money and some of there scams were day light robbery especially in the bars. The surcharges on the price of drinks was outrageous for example a bottle of wine that was thirty dollars ended up costing us forty when they had finished adding the charges to the price. The guest relations personal on our cruise were kept busy as a lot of people had complaints,I think that says it all. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our first cruise and we loved it. We travelled with our 2 young children - aged 2 and 3. We had a family Harbour room (2400) with large balcony which was perfect. A bunk bed and sofa bed for the children. For us there was lots of ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved it. We travelled with our 2 young children - aged 2 and 3. We had a family Harbour room (2400) with large balcony which was perfect. A bunk bed and sofa bed for the children. For us there was lots of wardrobe space with hangers. (yes you might have to double up a few shirts!) These rooms have access to the Family Harbour lounge where you could get breakfast till 9.30 and cookies at night (and snacks on sea days) which was great.Our room was quiet - we were surprised we could not hear people on either side. There were a few bumps and squeeks from something upstairs but it did not bother us. We had a large TV for us and a small TV for the kids (room could be curtained off for them). Not much on TV but there were half a dozen free movies for adults and kids) Embarkation was easy as we had priority boarding although that means lots of pushy people who believe they have more priority than you do!.. It was probably easier to be non priority!. We just picked up our sail and sign cards and walked on board, and were met at the entrance and pointed where to go. It took us a while to find where everything was but was fun exploring!. The choice of food was good - A main buffet in the Lido area. Nice small choice of salads and mains and desserts. Food was not luxury and could be bland but still reasonable. There was a burger place and Mexican available during the day, and mongolian wok, pasta bars and salad bar (the last 3 were not advertised very well so you have to search them out!) for lunch. A nice pizza place was available 24 hours. We had fixed time seating and although meal choices were not huge they were tasty and service was very friendly. We discovered a nice deli in the Lido area where you could get your own toasted sandwiches made up. The room service menu was basic - some salads, and sandwiches but was useful for a snack. We did not go to any of the pay extra places but all looked good and probably under utilised and we felt that it was probably worth the money. The kids club was brilliant and a huge surprise for us. It was free before 10pm. The staff were extremely friendly and welcoming and our kids loved going there. It was well organised and made our trip as we could drop the kids off to spend time with our family or doing things by ourselves. We enjoyed some of the entertainment - the dance show every night was great. There were a few bands in different venues but we always felt sorry for them as there were only a dozen or so people watching. We walked passed a few activities for the day and only a couple of people were joining in. (My wife got ready for the Zumba class - turned up and found only 3 kids there! so quickly disappeared!). The cruise director enthusiasm was good to see but I think she struggled to get people into some of the activities and the mood. Casino was good although smokey. We have got too used to having smoke free public spaces so have forgotten what it is like to have people puffing away next to you!. The sky ride and ropes, and slides were all good activities. The movies under the stars each night were great and a good choice.(free popcorn, and blankets) The ship layout did not make the most of the space. A lot more could be made of the promenade deck outside. A nice walk around the front of the boat- but could have had more atmosphere with shops and a boulevard feel. The pools were small and really only used by children - note your children have to be potty trained and we were lucky they were as we were not aware of this. If I did not have children I would have been disappointed with the pools - too many kids and not big enough!.but for those with kids - perfect!. We did not use the spa - it was very expensive but expected. My wife did use the fitness area and used the running track around the ship everyday. Drinks were expensive but we expected this and we did not go there to drink so not really a problem for us but I could see this as a big extra cost (with all the tax and gratuities) if you liked a few drinks each night. We found all the wait and cleaning staff extremely friendly. Only staff not so friendly was customer service (although to be fair I imagine they get a fair bit of rubbish thrown at them), and the bar staff seemed a bit disinterested. The boys in the family harbour room entertained our kids every morning and were great to talk to. Everyone we saw said hello - all levels of staff and people knew us and our kids names. We only did 2 excursions (1 basic bus to Rome to do our own thing), and 1 trip to Sorrento and Pompeii. At all ports we all either got the shuttle or walked in and spent a couple of hours at the location which was fine for us. Our only complaint was the shuttle to Livorno where they squeezed us in like cattle much to the distress of a few people. Cannot say that was Carnivals fault(just the company who runs the shuttle) I have read a lot of the reviews of previous trips for this boat, and we listened to a lot of Americans on the boat who complained about this cruise. Firstly - most of it is down to attitude..if you come on a cruise to look for faults and look for all the poor comparisons to other boats - (especially for those experienced cruisers) you will find them. (I heard people complaining about the most silliest of things that really did not matter!.) If you set out for this to be a mega cheap all inclusive deal - it isn't , nor is it a luxury yacht, however if you come for a good time, with a friendly attitude and take things for what they are, and make the most of what is available then you will not be disappointed!!. We were amazed at the level of service, cleanliness and friendliness - I expect that there may have been an improvement from earlier sailings. We met up with family we had not seen for years on the boat and this is a great way to do it. Everyone has space to do their own things but come together and enjoy things as well. Would we do this again with our kids or alone! - yup!... we expect many more cruises to come. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have never cruised before, envisioning cruises as a boring places. where you just ate and read books all day. We opted to cruise the Mediterranean because we are a family of four (two children ages 8 and 11) and it seemed like a great ... Read More
We have never cruised before, envisioning cruises as a boring places. where you just ate and read books all day. We opted to cruise the Mediterranean because we are a family of four (two children ages 8 and 11) and it seemed like a great way to get an overview of the area without having to change hotels everyday and waste time on trains getting from place to place. I am pleased to say that our trip on the Carnival Vista changed our perspective about cruises - it is a very fun high energy ship with lots to do for the whole family. It was far from boring. On the positive side: - room was clean, new, well laid out and fit all of our belongings easily. Bed was comfortable. Cove balcony was lovely - we stayed in a family harbour room which meant we had access to the family harbour lounge. This is a wonderful feature. We ate there for breakfast every day. There was a coffee machine, juices, milks and hot and cold items of decent quality. Since the only "free" water stations on board are the four stations on top pool deck (deck 10), having our own beverage station was priceless. Breakfast in the lounge also allowed us to avoid having to deal with lining up to eat in the main dining room. Afternoon snacks were also welcome after a long day on shore. Staff in the family lounge were also friendly, helpful and diligent. - There were a lot of fun activities planned on board and there was never a dull moment. Most were family-friendly. That was really great. - Camp Ocean (the kids club) was excellent and my daughter would have spent every day there if we let her! - The "Carnival hub" for your smart phone is an excellent feature, allowing us to keep instantly informed of what is happening and what charges are being put on our account (necessary since our kids had signing authority). The "chat" feature allows you to stay in touch with your family while on board when there is no cell service. - The food and service in paid restaurants was of excellent quality. JiJis and the steakhouse can easily compete with high quality city restaurants. The upcharges for food in the restaurants were fairly priced. - There was lots of variety on the ship for eating options in addition to the restaurants -there is an ice cream shop, Cuban food in the Havana bar, Caribbean food in the red frog pub, a nice sushi bar and a seafood shack. Again these were all paid options which cost extra but food prices were reasonable. - the free casual food options - tacos and burger joint -were of great quality and easy to access - The comedy club was fun and having a "PG" performance from each comedian was a great experience for the kids who never get to go to comedy clubs. - I loved karaoke in the comedy club in the evenings - the shows in the liquid lounge were very well done. The troupe did a wide variety of shows with high production values and were very talented. These shows far exceeded our expectations. -there is a wide variety of evening entertainment to choose from - a piano bar for the sing-along types, a comedy club, a nightclub, an outdoor movie by the pool, casino, various types of live music, a house band which plays dance-able hits from 60's-80's, and impromptu contests. - the cruise director (Jaime) is high energy and helps maintain a festive atmosphere on the boat - there is very good, well appointed and generously sized gym beautifully situated at the front of the boat with nice views. Always more machines than people - there is a great sports area with basketball / volleyball court, ropes course, mini-golf, foosball, pool etc. - a nice option for us active types -lots of fun and imaginative ad hoc activities throughout the day like theme based trivia, bingo, dance contests etc. - getting on and off the ship for shore excursions was really easy and smooth - we never waited to get on or off - the spa has a "thermal suite" which costs $40 for a whole day and it is a real indulgence with a hamam, heated chiropractic chairs, infrared sauna, mineral pool, etc. - housekeeping was excellent - they cleaned the room twice a day - staff were excessively friendly - boat was clean, new and spacious with lots of "zones" - you never felt crowded. - Marseilles was a dirty ugly city. All the other ports were nice, easily accessible, lots of service people at the port to help you or take you on a tour. Negatives: - Perhaps due to our naivete as first time cruisers, we certainly paid a lot more for the experience than we expected. At the end of the cruise our sail & sign account ($3,000 USD) was almost equal to what we paid for our room ($3200 net of port fees), despite our family having spent 7 days of the 10 day cruise on shore eating our main meals in the local restaurants! While on board we primarily ate in the extra-cost restaurants and pubs and I have no complaint about those additional costs which I think were fairly priced for the quality of food we received. However, I do not think beverages were fairly priced. Other than a handful of lemonade / juice machines on board, you have to buy all your beverages (alcoholic and otherwise). You cannot even purchase bottled water in a shop -you have to get it from the bar. Drink prices were exorbitant and very unfairly priced. These are nightclub prices, not reasonable "upcharges". We spent $1400 in beverages alone for two parents drinking a few drinks a night and two children with no expensive wine. - We were charged a mandatory $500 fee for "gratuities" at the end of the cruise, despite having already paid a 15% mandatory gratuity which was added to all of our food and beverage purchases on board, plus the "extra" tips we felt obligated to pay when presented with our bills each night which had a nice blank "gratuity" line inviting you to tip more above and beyond the 15% already added to the bill. End result? We paid around $900 in gratuities at the end of the day! - there was some really strange dining management system where people had to lineup at a kiosk to get permission to go to the dining room to eat. We just avoided it by going to paid restaurants (no line-ups). - there were long lines at guest services and not enough staff to service people. Only "platinum" and "Diamond" members got service staff. I tried to complain about this but was met with indifference. - the thermal suite was reasonably priced, but other spa services were far above market price. - there are neat theaters on board, but you have to pay, and they repeat the movies too often. There is also an arcade, but it is mostly full of gambling (crane) type of games and expensive. One expects an arcade to be able to entertain a kid for an hour for around $15-20. However, Our kids spent USD $96 in 15 minutes on the first day (I am not exaggerating) and we had to run downstairs to shut them off! They could not really use the arcade - Carnival often made itself look cheap and money-grabby with its constant marketing and solicitations intended to compel you to spend more money. There were photographers strategically placed all around the ship and elevators constantly harassing you for photos. They used fear tactics to try and scare you into buying their shore excursions (which were WAY overpriced for what you were getting). There was a always some jewelry sale, spa sale, etc. The limited access to "free" water/juice coupled with outrageous beverage prices and surprise mandatory "gratuities" also demeaned the quality of the ship and made it look money-hungry. Arcade was highway robbery. At times Carnival felt a little time-share-esque, like they got you on the boat with a good room rate with a view to getting a bunch of money out of you once you were on the ship. This was particularity problematic in Europe because once you hit Greek waters you have to pay a whopping 24% "Value Added Tax" to every purchase you make on board (including food, beverage and services). All in all we had a really good time on the boat and would recommend it to families in a heartbeat, with the caveat that you should be prepared to spend a lot of money once you are on board if you want a comfortable experience. I would budget to spend at least an additional 50-100% of your room cost once on board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This is my 3rd time going on a cruise ship with Carnival. I have to say I was a little worried about the ship after reading some of the others. We flew in a few days before the trip to see Barcelona and thought the area was very pretty. ... Read More
This is my 3rd time going on a cruise ship with Carnival. I have to say I was a little worried about the ship after reading some of the others. We flew in a few days before the trip to see Barcelona and thought the area was very pretty. Getting on the boat was very easy and was less than 20 minutes. The staff were very helpful and seemed to move people right along. Getting off was just as easy, we took our own luggage so we just walked right off the ship. We stayed 4 days after the trip. I thought the layout and color choices on the boat were well thought out and loved the in and out door walk ways. There is a lot of things to do on the ship and even though it was full of guests I didnt feel like it was too many. I never had to wait for things like others and the staff were always very nice to me and my husband. We also did not have to wait for a sun bed and also never had to wait in line for food. I have two things that were a "complaint" the adult area was small for that amount of guests and the slides were off the same side so we had to hear kids screaming all day. Which if you are trying for quiet was not something we got :) and the other thing was the food always seemed over cooked. I am sure that was to keep food poisoning low. The staff were great and had no issues like some of the others, not sure why they did. ALL the staff were friendly and helpful and truly fun to talk to. WE loved the burgers and had them almost everyday when we got back. We had dinner once at the JiJi restaurant and that was amazing!!!! Worth the $$$$ lots of food and we could barely walk after :) Entertainment was okay, we were so tired that it was hard to stay up We brought our son who is 18 and he also had tons of things to do and the staff always watched out for him,example they turned in a man who was harassing our son to security. Our cabin was amazing!!!! It had a tub with jets, walk in closet and plenty of room for 3 adults. I didnt think I would use the tub but after all that walking it was nice to relax. We did not book any trips with Carnival and chose to do that ourselves. We only had one issue in Rome waiting for the train for 4 hours because the trains lost power. I would go again if they went to different ports of call in a minute. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
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