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113 Carnival Barcelona Cruise Reviews

Transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to New York City --The main reason for taking this cruise was the itinerary and the cost was relatively reasonable. Embarkation/Disembarkation: In Barcelona we had an embarkation window of time ... Read More
Transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to New York City --The main reason for taking this cruise was the itinerary and the cost was relatively reasonable. Embarkation/Disembarkation: In Barcelona we had an embarkation window of time assigned of 1:00 to 1:30, arrived, and flew through onto the ship. Fasted embarkation I have ever experienced on any cruise line. Once on the ship, we were hit with a wall of people! Many enjoying the first bar they saw in the atrium, most others standing in a mob waiting for elevators. We used the stairs. Carnival did a great job of getting people off ship in NYC, though mighty early because they had a christening party planned for that afternoon. Organization fell apart in the terminal but that was not Carnival’s area of responsibility. Once aboard our airport transfer bus I looked across the street at a line of passengers and their baggage that went down the street and around the corner! Very happy we had purchased Carnival transfers. Elevators: A new system that generally worked very efficiently, unless there were many people at one time, on multiple floors, trying to access them. Use a keypad and enter your floor and you are assigned a car that is programed to go to your floor (among others). But, when that car arrives and is full, you have to start over. TV screens on some floors, that displayed car letters, and what floors they were going to, helped a lot. Stateroom: 8302 balcony room, midship. Great location. Super room attendants (thank you Pedro!). Size was generally fine but storage was I thought a bit skimpy. And did those twin beds seem narrower than a standard twin? And with one bed shoved up against the curtained window, the only sunlight we easily got was through the balcony door. Probably not a problem for one bed, but maybe the room could have been a couple inches bigger? Food: Main Dining Room: Hit or miss to be kind. Biggest problem was often not having hot food served to you. Not just tepid but cold food. Breakfast in the MDR was ice cold and so was its replacement meal – didn’t eat there again. Wait staff in the MDR for dinner seemed overwhelmed at times, and they were certainly gracious enough if you had to send back any cold food, which probably compounded their stress levels. Selection of entrée choices seemed less than on other lines. Only linens on the tables for formal night and the first night without them, I felt like I was eating at Perkins. I was ok with the anytime dining getting a seat assignment or beeper from deck 5. We were perhaps later diners than most and we really never experienced any lines. I had a thought after we returned home about the MDR – is the bar being lowered there to steer guests to the specialty (additional cost) restaurants? Conceivable. Specialty restaurants: Of the 14 days we were on this cruise, we ate 7 evenings in the MDR and 7 evenings at the various specialty restaurants. We did not take advantage of the no-cost lunch buffets offered at some of the specialty restaurants on at-sea days. Though we were told before we sailed that both the Chef’s Table and the Bonsai Teppanyaki restaurants were fully booked, we were waitlisted and did get into both. The Chef’s Table was an extraordinary experience and worth every penny. We ate multiple times at the teppanyaki restaurant and it was a little different each time, which was ok. I enjoyed the food and the experiences very much. Kudos on the dessert box! The steakhouse was excellent. The Italian restaurant was very good – I did notice that their menu has “evolved” from the menu posted on Carnival’s website. JiJi Asian restaurant was a fiasco – too rushed and the entrees were ice cold. When had to sit way too long looking at the cold meal congealing in front of us, we decided to just leave. We did not eat at the Pig and Anchor. Suggestion though – if on a transatlantic cruise, with many days at sea, maybe giving away food at free lunch buffets is the reason Carnival doesn’t have many people in these dining rooms in the evening. Lido Buffet: In the spirit of full disclosure, I am not a buffet fan but did eat there a few times for both breakfast and lunch. Breakfast had the same fare, in steam trays, each morning. I did think it was odd that toast and bagels were laid out on a side buffet and not kept hot. The omelet station was the busiest place of all and even with the lines, it was worth the wait. For lunch they served mostly heavier fare in the steam tray buffet. The salad area was small (as were the bowls) but if you wanted a more substantial salad you could go the Serenity area on deck 15. The best, by far, was the deli and the length of the lines there were long. Biggest complaint was the people who parked themselves in the seating area all day to read, play cards, do crafts, etc. so that finding a spot to eat was difficult. Other dining options: Room service breakfast started out delivering not hot coffee but that did improve as the cruise progressed. We did not order room service for other than breakfast. The wood fire pizza station on the stern served great pizza. We did not order from the Seafood Shack but clearly it was popular with seafood loving guests. The Mexican station was good and the Guy burgers were just outstanding. Cleanliness: Often the had santizers either didn't work or where pushed aside. The people cleaning the common areas seemed to do a cursory job and looked universally bored to tears. No norovirus outbreak but every other person seemed to have a cold. Entertainment: We were late diners so we never really could sync up to the shows in the Liquid Lounge. The lines for the comedy club queued early and were long. Karaoke was ok. The piano bar, with Eden, was great. The casino was not lucky for us and they need to improve that room ventilation system. We did not participate in bingo, trivia or other games. Nor did we go on the Skyride though people looked like they were having a great time. The IMAX movies did not interest me. No kids with us. Beverage Package/Bars: We did the math and the Cheers package was a pretty good deal given our beverage preferences. And obviously many others on the ship thought so too -- they actually ran out of some wines, liquor brands and canned mixers. I thought the on-deck and casino servers were often slow to return with beverages. But for the most part, the service at the various bars aboard was very good. Jorge in the Havana Bar was exceptional. Who knew a daiquiri could taste that good? WiFi: We bought a shared plan that cost way too much money. Shame on all cruise lines for gouging guests for this service! But it is clearly a profit center for them so I don’t see it going away soon. Excursions: I thought Carnival pricing was reasonable so we did not book any independent tours. As with all excursions/tours from cruise lines, or independent, some were better than others. My one wish, for all excursion/tours on all cruise lines – quit walking so glacially slow! There is a comfortable walking gait, and there is not. I realize there are passengers with some diminished capabilities but I don’t even think they want to walk at a funeral pace. Laundry: With nearly 2000 top tier frequent floaters aboard this ship entitled to the free laundry perk, getting a laundry bag special, ever, during a 14-day cruise was just a dream. (Though from what I heard we were probably better off without it.) Summation: Carnival Horizon is a new ship with some kinks in it. But once they are fixed, it is going to make for one heck of a party ship in the Caribbean. Clearly it was made for people enjoying the outdoors. The food in some venues, especially the serving temperatures, need to improve for sure. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise as the ship was new and we had high expectations. We were disappointed in the ship. The cruise line crammed more money making venues in the ship, and to find a nice quiet place to read was difficult. Areas were crowded ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the ship was new and we had high expectations. We were disappointed in the ship. The cruise line crammed more money making venues in the ship, and to find a nice quiet place to read was difficult. Areas were crowded with people. To get into the main theater people lined up 45+ minutes just to get a spot. Their were so many spots where it was difficult to see. No place to put your drinks, and straight chairs were uncomfortable. The food selection in the lido restaurant was minimal. Eight stations with few selections(all the same). Ship offered gelato, which you had to stand in a very long line. Frequently, we were waiting 20 minutes as they made it there and kept running out. I love carnival and we travel with them frequently, but I will not go on the new ships. The layout was so uninviting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Travelling to the UK. Our taxi turned up early and we got to the airport in good time. Checked in early and the plane was on time. Got to the Bloc hotel in Gatwick all in good time. I know this is how things should be but I usually get ... Read More
Travelling to the UK. Our taxi turned up early and we got to the airport in good time. Checked in early and the plane was on time. Got to the Bloc hotel in Gatwick all in good time. I know this is how things should be but I usually get delayed somewhere! We ate in the Giraffe restaurant. What I ordered was different to what I got to eat! No point saying anything as the staff are to busy to care and their English is not very good in the first place or they would not have messed up my order! Did not have a very good night's sleep but this was not the hotels fault. Day 1 - Getting on the ship. Checked out early and made our way to the north terminal. Easy jet flight was on time. Got to Barcelona where the weather was not very good. We cancelled our transfer to the port with From2travel as last time I used them they were beyond useless! I cannot emphasise how terrible this company is. You need to avoid them at all costs. Check out trip advisor and see for yourself. We then booked Welcome Pickups who had a 5 star rating on trip advisor. The day before we flew to Barcelona they cancelled on us! Bang goes their 5 star rating from us! We got our money back and they emailed and phoned to let us know so they communicated well but if they can't transport us then that's a waste of time. Gave up with transport companies! When we got to the airport we got a taxi. We had to wait 5 minutes so that's fine. The taxi transfer from the airport to the port costs a fixed 39 Euros with the government approved/certificated AMB taxis. We got to the port really quickly. View of Barcelona When we got there we then had to wait ages to get our suitcases delivered to the 4 handlers. 4500 passengers and 4 luggage handlers. Makes perfect sense!!! Barcelona has never been like this in the past. To be fair if people had their Carnival luggage tags on their suitcases everything would be much faster and smother. It's not a surprise you have to do this! The luggage handlers should have not helped these people in my opinion. The rest of us had tags so we should have been helped first. The check-in through the new HELIX terminal was quite quick. The slowest I have had here to be fair but it still did not take long. I found this terminal very disorientating as you you seem to do is to walk between seats which are arranged at angles and while it does not sound like an issue when you see what I mean  you will understand. Once on Carnival Horizon you do not get the wow factor. The atrium is small and boring. We went straight to our room as being platinum we are allowed to. This was our first ocean view room. I usually always get a balcony. The room is big and a typical Carnival room which I have no problem with. It seemed bigger then previous rooms. It is certainly a perfect size for 2 people. The 1 issue I do have with the room is the view. It is obstructed and as far as I can see there is no mention of that on Carnival's web site. Why is it obstructed when there are no lifeboats down here? Simple, the window washing machine has been living outside the window all cruise. I cannot stand at the window to see out. The only way to see out is to either sit on the bed or bend down. You can see the sea easily but nothing higher. This also means the sun can't shine in. How come our window is so dirty? The window washing machine outside stateroom 1460 We did the muster drill in the aft restaurant. Lots of people did not turn up as usual so the rest of us who did listen and turned up had to wait. I think if people do not turn up within a certain amount of time they should be thrown off the ship with NO refund. People would soon learn to turn up on time. Some of these stupid people were hiding on their balconies where they could be clearly seen from the bridge wings as Mick Pack the Cruise Director told us on the PA system he could see them! Costa Concordia was not long ago and people seem to have forgotten that disaster. Things can and do go wrong on modern ships whether they are man made issues or not. A few mins of lifeboat drill could save your life! Our luggage turned up eventually. Yes it should have been quick due to being platinum but can't see how that works when our luggage is put on the same luggage trolley as everyone else's. This was not an issue as I expected this so we made sure we had all we needed with us in ruck sacks. We went to dinner and I am always apprehensive about the table we get. We had been told earlier we have a table for 2. Great, just what we wanted. Got to the MDR and the table for 2 was 3 inches away from another table for 2 and 3 inches away from a table of 6. Really we were on a table for 10! Doesn't not matter how you cut it this is NOT a table for 2. The tables each side can hear your conversation and you can hear there's. As you are not physically on the same table it feels weird. I absolutely hated it. We have not been back to the MDR since the first night. We have just eaten on lido which disappoints me. The food in the MDR, Guy's, Seafood Shack and Lido never seems to be hot. It is  only marginally warm. Cucina del Capitano is the exception, for lunch anyway. All the tables for 2 in the MDR are like this. It might not bother some people but it bothers us. From the reflections restaurant you have a nice view of the bottom of the lifeboats out of the side Windows of the ship. Seems like these are obstructed views too. We attempted to go to the welcome abroad show, there was standing room only as the theatre is far too small and the only did one show. Once again like the Carnival Vista not only is the theatre small it has massive poles in the way so many many seats are useless! If you sit upstairs there are glass partitions to stop people falling to the floor below. Aesthetically they look nice but practically they are terrible. They are about 12 inches wide and have a few inch gap in between. The problem with this is you see the top edge and the side edges. You cannot avoid this. This then makes it hard to see through. The theatre is therefore bad. It does have a bar on the 4th floor which is good. The theatre glass which is a distraction Theatre special effects in this one which makes the photo look bad. Went to bed after this. Day 2 - Sea day We have a deluxe oceanview stateroom so there are 2 bathrooms. We both went for a shower and did not have any hot water! We told the stateroom steward who reported it straight away. The engineer apparently came to have a look and later they phoned us to see if it was fixed but as we had not had another shower we didn't know. Turns out we now know that hot water is hit or miss. Don't know if this is a teething problem that still needs fixing. We have a sea day today. As we did not explore the ship properly yesterday we did that this morning. As expected as Carnival Horizon is a Vista class ship she is just about the same as Carnival Vista with a few none important differences (not important to us) We took it easy today. We went to the IMAX cinema to watch Ready Player One which I thought would be bad but ended up being good. The whole IMAX cinema is brilliant. We ate dinner on lido which I have to be honest I would rather not do but I will not go back into the MDR and sit on someone's lap to have dinner. I can't get gluten free meals on lido and do not have starters or desserts. So this is really spoiling the cruise for me. We bought our elegant attire for the cruise but cannot wear it. Pointless bringing it and we could have used the luggage allowance for something else. We went to the show and saw Amor Cubano. If I never see it again that's ok. Sadly due to more Carnival cut backs they have upgraded their shows to something they call 2.0. Apparently this makes them better but in reality it makes them worse. The original shows from 2008 were MUCH better. We went to the comedy show and saw Gordon Southern. He was very funny. I did however have to wait 30 minutes for a drink in the LimeLight lounge (has no bar for us passengers) which I appear to have paid twice for! Beware of the black female server with short hair in the limelight lounge. When I complained to her colleague (she would not come near us) I did not get my drink she got me one but charged me again. I will get my own drinks in the future! I Can't complain as I can't prove I only had 1 drink. Went to bed. Day 3 - livorno (Italy) Still very little hot water for Nikki but my shower was OK! Go figure. We are in Livorno today. We did not book an excursion for the morning due to bank holidays and lack of choice. We went out in the afternoon and went to do a wine tasting and country drive. Spent lots of time stuck in a traffic jam! The wine tasting was good and they had cheese and anti pasti etc. so apart from the traffic jam the excursion was good. Got back to the ship last minute as the guide allowed extra time due to the earlier traffic issues. We went to lido and had dinner. Our stateroom telephone had a message on it but when you press the voice mail button it says something about the voicemail box not found. Oh well! Watched Neil Brodie in the comedy club after getting my own drink from a different bar as the limelight lounge does not have a bar! Another go figure minute! Went to bed. Day 4 - Rome We are going to Rome today. I hate Rome. There are far too many people there and far too many pick pockets and people trying to sell crap! I would have been happy to stay on the ship but Nikki had never been there. Got stuck in a traffic jam! Sure enough we get to Rome and it's disgusting. Graffiti everywhere and dustbins and battered cars. We started the walking section of our tour. This was less of a dustbin but was hot and very busy with people. We stopped at the colosseum for a toilet stop which was always going to go wrong. There was person after person trying to sell crap! Probably every 60 seconds! Thankfully we left Rome and got on the coach to go to a restaurant. We had good food in there and they even catered for my gluten allergy. Got back in the coach and went to the catacombs. This was interesting but only took 35mins. Would have been nice to have been longer. We are not allowed to take photographs or video in here. There was someone of course who did not think the rules applied to him but no one said anything to him! San Sebastian Cattercoombs Got back to the ship in lots of time. No show tonight but Hasbro the game show was on. That was pretty standard. Then there was a comedy show which was good. There was then the Marriage Show which was ok but not a classic this time. Went to bed as we have had a few days of getting up early. Day 5 - Naples Another early start and no hot water again! Got on a coach to go to Sorrento. For a change were got stuck in traffic! Once we got to the wine and cheese tasting farm we had a good feed. Some of the lemons being grown on the farm After this we went into the centre of Sorrento. We only had about 1 hour of spare time. We had lunch in a small cafe/restaurant. The farm feed was a while ago and we would not eat for quite a while. We bought some limoncello before heading back to the coach. We then drove to Pompeii. I have been here many times but Nikki has never been. It was too busy as usual with lots of people everywhere. We were only there for just over 1 hour. That was a real shame as you need many hours to get a good overview. One thing I have learnt is do not do an excursion with 2 different attractions in 1 day as there is not enough time to see everything properly. That is always the problem when cruising. Never enough time in 1 port. Oh well will need to come back again (but would that be with Carnival?). I have never been to Sorrento before but it looks really nice from the whistle stop tour we did. We got back on the ship on time. Looked for some crisps in the terminal as both Nikki and I are craving them. None to be found! No show again tonight! Watched the early comedy show and then as Carnival seemed to want everyone in bed we went to bed at 21.30. Feel like I'm in an old people's home. Nothing to do tonight. Only 1 dive in movie too! Carnival seem to be deciding what we want. Maybe we should have a say! Day 6 - Sea day Got caught up with sleep. We both had hot water! Can only assume it was because other people were not showering at this time of day. We will see how this theory works tomorrow! Went to the MDR for brunch. We asked for a private table. We got a table for 2 BUT this had another table for 2, 3 inches away and that had another table for 2, 3 inches away! Yep Carnival think these are private! No one else joined us except for the furthest away table. This is NOT my photo but its from www.cruisedeckplans.com. You can see the tables in the bottom right hand corner that we had. These look quite spread out compared to what we had. We never got offered any juice. Nikki asked twice for tea but never got it. The service was poor which is normal for brunch. The servers do not get any of your automatically added gratuities for brunch as the night servers do (the same servers waiting on you each night) so they don't care. They do what they have to but that's it. I have a voucher as part of being a platinum guest which has to be used at breakfast, brunch or lunch for a free drink. That's why we went. Nikki's pancakes were not cooked very well. My omelette was so small I had to eat it before it evaporated. I managed to eat my 2 small hash browns and sausages! More cutbacks I assume! 2 people were offered the private table next to us. They declined it lol. We went and sat in the sun, now that it has made an appearance. After a few hours we went to cucina del capitano (the pasta restaurant ) for lunch. This place never disappoints. Good pasta, good service, good atmosphere. Think it's quite funny that Indian chefs are cooking Italian food in an Italian restaurant. Then we went to the thrill theatre to watch level 2 which is 3 movies put together in 5D. It was only 14 mins long but great. We really got thrown about on the rollercoaster on the great wall of China. After this we went on the skyride. It was a long wait but great views hanging off the side of the ship. After that we went to the cherry on top for ice cream. Had another long wait while they make each ice cream combo to order. It was very nice though but probably won't bother again if there is a queue. For some reason there is only 1 person making the ice creams! After that it was time for a comedy show with Anil Desia who was funny but at this time the show was only PG. We waited around for the next show with Mark Palmer who also did a PG show. We went to the theatre to watch the show called Celestrial Strings. We thought it was weird but we seemed to be the odd ones out as they got a standing ovation which I have never seen before so I guess we were wrong. To me it was like top of the pops from the 70s where there were no videos to go with the songs so legs and co. just danced around. This was the same! We went to lido for dinner. Really upset we did not eat in the MDR. Most people seemed dressed up and we should have been too. Went for hot chocolate but the machine just poored hot water! Used the machine the other side and that looked ok until I started to drink it. It was gross so threw it away. I'm really feeling emotional at the moment like I was on Carnival Vista. I want to love these ships but I can't. These 2 ships have no soul. They are too big. Not enough staff (actually working). The staff they have just seem to walk round and not do anything. There seems to be hundreds of officers milling around too not doing anything except entertaining their wives/girl friends. You know the saying, Too many chiefs and not enough indians. Having said that the staff I have spoken too all seem fine and happy, I am not sure that they are working quite as hard as they could be which means others are working harder to pickup the slack. While we were on deck 5 today NO servers came round asking for drinks orders. There always was too many drinks servers. Now nothing. I really wish Carnival could go back to as they were 10 years ago. It's frustrating knowing that will not happen and there is nothing I can do to change this. All past cruisers I speak to all agree Carnival have got worse. The whole cruise industry have though so it's not just Carnival im sure. Carnival look like they posted a $3 BILLION profit for 2017. GREED springs to mind. These cutbacks are NOT required! I have shares in carnival so this profit benefited me too. I was on Carnival pride 6 months ago and that was a much better experience. Maybe that's just because she is a smaller ship. Thankfully Carnival is not planning on building anything as huge as Royal Caribbean's hideous of the seas (that I know of) PLEASE Carnival build smaller ships, preferably in Finland like your best ships. Oh well going back to our room as nothing to do. Nothing to watch on TV either. Basically now cutback cruise lines have removed TV channels there is only movies for men and the travel channel to watch. Bring back Gerry Cahill. Things seem to be going downhill since Christine Duffy took over. (may not be her fault but that's how it seems.) Oh well bed time. Dubrovnik tomorrow. Such a beautiful place. Can't wait. Oh the internet seems quite good on here for a ship. Not as good as at home but very usable. Day 7 - Dubrovnik (Croatia) Hot water not good again! I have been here before and loved it. The breakfast on lido seems to work well. Instead of a long food line as previously there are now 4 Islands with the same food on all of them. There are a couple of long counters like before but they are for things like cereal. The omelette station is bigger too. We did a highlights tour of Dubrovnik. We went to Cavtat (pronounced Sav tat) which is really pretty. We did have some rain though which did not last too long. We drove back to Dubrovnik old city and spent a few hours walking around. We had an amazing lunch. OK maybe not amazing as I only had omelette with ham and cheese and French fries. It was the best I have ever had. Nikki keeps saying it's only an omelette it's easy. I suppose she is right but it tasted really good. We did some more walking after lunch. As we did not return with our tour we had to get a shuttle back to the ship. This was a disaster! No signs or staff. We now know there was a woman supposedly arranging the bus queue but to make things easier she dressed in normal clothes with no way to distinguish her from anyone else! Surely she needs a uniform or sign or name tag. Anyway after a long time we got on a bus and got back to the ship. 4 crew members tried to jump the bus queue but seemed to go to the back of the queue but somehow got in front of us and got on an earlier bus! They obviously know the system and is another sign that the crew have no respect for us. I have felt that a few times on here. We are walking piggy banks and job no 1 for the crew is to crack us and get money out! We took lot's of photos from the ship. Then played in the arcade. After a really good dinner of Turkey and chips with cheese we went to the show. It's funny how we miss simple things like chips and crisps! The show was Viva variety by someone called Richard Jones. He was apparently on UK's got talent. He was good. Then we watched 2 comedy shows by Anil and Mark. There last shows for this cruise. Went to bed quite late. Day 8 - Corfu Hot water lottery and I won and Nikki lost. This is my first visit to Corfu. Had an idea what it would be like and well tonight's comedian hit the nail on the head, GET SOME PAINT! We went to Picichu or something to do a fast boat tour of 3 caves. I am sure this would have been very pretty if the sun had been out. Can't blame the Greeks for that. Went back to the ship and had pasta lunch. Took lots of photos of main land Greece, Albania and Corfu. Not too impressed with Corfu. Think a different tour my change my current thoughts on Corfu. I seem to keep tripping on a piece of carpet in the corridor. The floor goes uphill with no warning and as you don't see it you put your foot down as you would normally but the floor is there too early! I'm sure someone will have a proper fall there soon. There is a bad sewage smell on the ship today. Don't know why. Talking of bad smells, deck 4 or the stench deck as I call it is gross! It has the casino where people can keep decreasing their lives by smoking cancer sticks! Thankfully the only reason for us to go to the stench deck is for the comedy club which is far away enough the stench is OK. You can go up to deck 5 and walk across the stench deck and then back down after the stink room if you need to get to the theatre or shop. We had a nice dinner on Lido. Spare ribs, chicken, rice and cheese. I had a dessert too. Cut the cake section of the dessert and ate the rest. Went to the comedy show to see the new comedian. He was OK. The Limelight lounge was totally packed. After that we went to see the show. It was Legs and co. Dancing again. The show was called soulbound. It seemed to be a Halloween theme going on dancing to soul music. It really does not make sense to me. You are seeing one thing but hearing something unrelated. It's like watching dad's army on mute on TV while listening to an EastEnders episode. Other people enjoyed it so I guess I am the weird one! Don't get me wrong, the dancing is good and so are the costumes and the singing. I just wish it all tallied up! Went back to our room and tripped again on the way! Tomorrow we are in Sicily and going to the top of mount Etna. It's going to be about 2 degrees up there. We are going all the way to 10000 feet I.e. the top! Hope to get some good photo's. Going to bed now to keep contemplating why I can't fall in love with this ship. Is it the fact that it is still too new and still has wrinkles? Is it the fact it's in the med and not in the Caribbean? Is it the fact it's like gods waiting room? Is it because I have done this itinerary several times except for Corfu? I still think it's because carnival is light years away from what it used to be. I think that if you did not cruise in the good old days then maybe you will not know any difference? Anyway the ship is rocking a bit as we are going very quickly trying to get to Sicily for 8am. I sleep so well on these ships, the extra rocking always help. Day 9 - Sicily No hot water for Nikki again. My shower seems OK but I suspect that is because I don't have very hot showers. I have been to Sicily before. Last time I stayed on land for 45mins then got back on the ship. Messina is a tip as far as I am concerned. Now I can revise that. Sicily is pretty outside of Messina. We went to mt Etna today and went up to 10,000 feet or 3000 metres i.e. the top. There was still snow up there! I knew it would be cold but did not think there would be snow! Another surprise is the size of the volcano. It's huge. We drove on the coach to 6500 feet and then got a cable car further up. We then got on 4 x 4 buses to take us to the top. Once at the top of where the bus takes us we had to walk the final few hundred feet to the very top. With the wind blowing the temperature must have been well below freezing. We did not stay up there too long. Just long enough to take some pics. We went back down in the cable car and had lunch in a restaurant. Lunch was ok and we had a few minutes to buy souvenirs and take some more pics. We got back on the coach which bought us back to the ship. The drive time is about 2 hours while the Italian guide told us about the history of Sicily in his bad English. We got on the ship at mid ships but soon found there are no stairs! We were on deck 0 and wanted to get to deck 1. We had to wait for maybe 10 minutes for a lift! This new lift system on Carnival Horizon is pants. Bring back the normal/traditional system! The sun is shining as we sail away back to Barcelona. It has been about 24 degrees today all day. Show time soon, then dinner, then I will beat Nikki at air hockey and then the comedy club. Went to see the show called Vintage pop. It was quite good. Still legs and co. But it made more sense this time. What we have learnt AGAIN is that the theatre is a terrible design. You have to turn up 30 mins before a show to get a less bad seat. Turn up after and your standing. Tonight's show included stuff on the main floor. From where we were upstairs you cannot see the main floor! The upstairs seating really needs to be more raked like the older ships as if someone is in front of you then you might have to move left and right to see. Dinner was tempura shrimp and rice with cheese. Very nice. No dessert though as I had second helpings. We went to see Russ Angel in the comedy club. The so called funniest biker in America. He was OK. Some of his humor was lost on us being American based. Funny how the 2 UK comedians were able to work out that they had an international audience and therefore did not do specific country based jokes. The 2 American ones have not worked this out yet. I wonder if they know which part of the world they are in? We played air hockey and I won 2 games and Nikki 1. We are back in our room ready for the last full day tomorrow, a day at sea. Day 10 - sea day and last day We had a lie in today. Had a late breakfast on lido. Got a free coffee (coffee card loyalty) and went to see the Radu Ursu (the Carnival head photographer) talk to learn about taking photos. I have had a DSLR for about  months but there is so much to learn. The photos I have taken on this cruise are some of the worst I have ever taken. RAdu has been taking photographs for Carnival for 20 years so I figure he must know what he is doing! It was interesting but the problem is he was talking to a generic audience with phones for cameras etc. So he obviously could not just talk about DSLR settings. I still learnt something though. I wish this had been put on during the first sea day as my photos during the excursions would have been better. Facebook has a group conversation about the sewage smell on the ship. Glad it's not just us that can smell it. The weather is overcast today as we sail towards Barcelona at 20 knots. Where we are right now Satellite info of our current position Went to the VIFP party. They did not even ask for our invite! I wonder how many non VIFP people also joined in for free drinks?! After that we played in the arcade again. Nikki beat me at air hockey. It must be the alcohol I consumed lol After that we went to dinner. They had a potato and cheese soup that was amazing. I had seconds. Then rice and chicken for mains. We went to the comedy club again. Back to our room as we have an early start as they want everyone off  of the ship by 10am and all staterooms empty by 8am. No shows tonight. Day 11 - last day and journey back to Guernsey We were up at 6am. No hot water for showers. I had to put mine on max hot as I don't like very hot showers but even this was not enough. The ship is now going transatlantic to New York. No hot water for 16 days for them! We got off the ship really fast. Well done Carnival. We got a taxi to the airport which costs the mandatory 39 Euros using the city approved AMB taxis (the black and yellow ones). The taxi driver said 69 Euros as we got here but we knew it was only 39. We gave him 39 and he was fine. Just a language issue I assume. Maybe he was trying it on to see if we would give him 69 Euros but it clearly states on the side of the taxi that it is 39. We are now at the airport and it's not even 9am. We can't check in until 10.30 a.m. Not so well done now carnival! There is very minimal seating pre check in, in Barcelona airport and nothing to do. Oh well at least we have free WiFi. Good and bad about Carnival Horizon Good Being new it's very clean Our stateroom is in the aft and the ship is quiet and smooth from here IMAX cinema is brilliant Thrill theatre is brilliant Arcade is good Beds are typical comfortable Carnival beds and I sleep so well in them Theatre has lots of special effects Skyride is great Lido marketplace layout TV screen on lido is very high definition crew are good WiFi actually quite fast Boarding in Barcelona easy and quite fast Air condition in staterooms is good Mike Pack is a good CD Info system on Tv's good Bad New lift system is very slow Decor is boring Deck 4 stinks of cigarettes Theatre is too small and has too many obstructions Quite often get a sewage smell The window washer outside stateroom 1460s window TV channels choice very poor Cramped dining rooms so no proper private tables for 2 No hot water for showers No lifts in the atrium small atrium European itinerary is boring and has FAR too many stops in Italy! Too many crew milling around lack of drinks waiters on the open decks Food is mostly cold. That's the end of my review. I feel its quite negative but thats we saw/found/felt. In hindsight we should probably have gone on Carnival Horizon in the Caribbean and later on in the year then we did. Right now I feel that I never want to go on Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon or Carnival Panorama (when she is built) again. I'm not sure I want to cruise with Carnival again. We spoke to quite a few people on the ship who said they have been with other cruise lines and they are the same as Carnival so not much point going with them. Carnival seems to be best value for money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose the ship because it was new and was going to transition out of the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. It is a nice ship with many new innovations that bring it into the new era of cruise ships. In order of major changes that need to ... Read More
We chose the ship because it was new and was going to transition out of the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. It is a nice ship with many new innovations that bring it into the new era of cruise ships. In order of major changes that need to immediately occur: 1. The internet is just awful. If you need it for business purposes forget it. To call it just slow is too kind. It is something out of the 80's dial-up. You cannot open documents or stay on-line without getting bumped off within minutes. For a new ship in 2018 there is absolutely no excuse for such a horrible system. If you have to conduct business through the internet choose another ship. 2. The elevators. The ship has implemented the you choose the floor and the computer chooses your elevator. The programming is just a mess. Endless lines and waits. When an elevator does show up it is jammed with people. If you need to consistently use an elevator this ship is not for you. 3. Ship tours. Not one was on time. You wait 30 to 60 minutes for the tour to leave after you arrive in the meeting area. No one seems to be in charge and the one person who did most of the talking found himself amusing while no one else did. 4. Poor buffet planning. All of the tours return at the same time. There is one buffet line open for thousands of passengers as the dining time has passed. Again, this is just poor planning. So, there are the issues. The crew is great, our cabin staff and dining staff were wonderful. we had an outside small suite on floor 7 that was amazing. Full tub and huge bathroom. It is really not a ship for the Mediterranean and will fit well in the Caribbean. It has a spectacular water park with one of the fastest slides ever. Casino is fun but very, very smoke filled. One tip: Stay away from City Wonder Tours. They totally ripped us off in Rome. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We spent 24 days on the Horizon. I realize that this was an inaugural cruise and there are many "kinks" to be worked on but Carnival has been in the cruise business a long time and some "kinks" should have been ... Read More
We spent 24 days on the Horizon. I realize that this was an inaugural cruise and there are many "kinks" to be worked on but Carnival has been in the cruise business a long time and some "kinks" should have been obvious. They are already aware that the main showroom (Liquid Lounge) is not big enough and the seating arrangement is ridiculous. Deck 4 is better than deck 5 for line of sight and you must arrive 30 minutes before the show so you can get a seat. The Guest Relations desk is next to the atrium. There is constant music or performances going on which means the guests and the employees can not hear each other speak. There is definitely a lack of communication between employees in guest relations. We had a loud banging sound near our cabin. When the seas got rougher the noise got louder. We could not sleep it was so annoying. We reported this banging as soon as we heard the repeated banging. First we were told it could not be fixed when we were at sea. Then we were told it could only be fixed at sea. Then we were told it was fixed (twice) and the banging continued. We finally decided to find where the banging was coming from ourselves and opened a door that said crew only. There was the metal wall banging as it moved in and out. This time I requested a supervisor. Once I showed them where the banging was coming from an engineer was able to repair it. I want to thank Dorothy and the engineer for finally resolving this problem. We had dining your time You must first go to deck 5 to get your reservation ticket and then proceed to deck 3 to eat. Huh? There was definitely a shortage of wait staff. Many times guests did not receive there meals at the same time. My first 3 meals everyone else had finished eating and then I got my meal. You have to request coffee at end of meal the waiters do not ask if you would like some. And many times at breakfast they only came by with 1 cup of coffee .The problems in the dining room are management issues and not the wait staff. The wait staff all worked hard. Special kudos to wait staff Carol and Eric and hostesses Melania and Diana. Due to cool weather most of the indoor activities were so crowded you could not get a seat. That included the cooking demonstrations, trivia, and almost all activities. Director Mike and staff were great. Always visible and always cheerful and upbeat. I liked the new elevator system that has become very common in high rise buildings. I suggest they put a notice in all cabins explaining how to use the elevator system and removing the screens at the main elevator banks. There are no quiet places to sit indoors on the ship. The Library is very small and very crowded. I do think this ship will do wonderfully in the Caribbean. It has beautiful outdoor seating areas. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Easier to fly and cruise from Barcelona than drive to Southampton. The service throughout the ship couldn't be faulted if a little forced at times. The Havana Club was worth paying a bit extra for and the extended balcony gave ... Read More
Easier to fly and cruise from Barcelona than drive to Southampton. The service throughout the ship couldn't be faulted if a little forced at times. The Havana Club was worth paying a bit extra for and the extended balcony gave good space to relax in. Unfortunately its ambiance deteriorated after 7 p.m. when the Havana Bar and its pools were made available to all passengers. As a consequence, I now know a lot about the American Social Security System that I would rather have replaced with the peace and quiet you expect on a rear facing balcony. The food in both the dining room and the self service areas was well presented, of good quality and covered a variety of tastes. Even on sea days these areas never seemed crowded and there was plenty of available seating. Drinks were expensive and Carnival are as good as any cruise line in trying to increase customer spending. Having visited some of the excursion destinations we opted out of trips ashore as the ports themselves did not look too inviting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
After having lived in the US for more than 8 years and doing Caribbean itineraries at first, we did our first European Cruise with Carnival on the Vista in 2016. We have a total of 42 days with Carnival now (VIFP Gold) and have sailed with ... Read More
After having lived in the US for more than 8 years and doing Caribbean itineraries at first, we did our first European Cruise with Carnival on the Vista in 2016. We have a total of 42 days with Carnival now (VIFP Gold) and have sailed with Royal Caribbean on one cruise. This was almost the same itinerary as with the Vista two years ago (except we skipped Palma de Mallorca in the end). We have done cruises with kids before but this was the second time for just us. I have to live on a gluten free diet as I am severely gluten-intolerant so I will provide some details on gluten free options later. THE SHIP The ship is almost the same as the Vista with only slight differences. The decor is a little more conservative with tan and brown colours dominating in most interior areas (elevators, etc.). Overall a nice design and when you are used to the Carnival ship layouts you will find your way around very easily. One major change for some people were the elevators which now require you to chose the floor you want to get off BEFORE you enter the elevator. Based on your choice the system will tell you which elevator to go to and there are no buttons to press inside. Takes some time to get used to but this is much more efficient and waiting times in front of the elevators were minimal. The shop layout on deck 5 is a little different (smaller stores), the piano bar is on the different side and there is not a Teppanyaki next to the Bonsai sushi place. Also the Red Frog Pub is replaced with the Pig&Anchor BBQ place- they still serve and brew craft beers but also have BBQ options (free for lunch, charge for dinner). We did not try the food as most cruisers we talked to were very disappointed. THE CABIN Not much to day about the cabin - the usual Carnival layout. As on the Vista the safe not works with PIN instead of credit card, everything else is exactly as you expect on a Carnival ship. Enough space to put your clothes, enough space in the bathroom. One European outlet, one American outlet, 2 USB outlets to charge your device. One additional outlet in the bathroom for an electric shaver. Fridge to put drinks in (we ordered 12 pack of water though the Carnival site to be delivered to the stateroom and it was there when we got in - $4.50 for the 12 pack and we always had cold water in the fridge to take with us on tours). Our cabin steward did an ok job (two glasses in bathroom were dirty when we arrived, used towel under the bed). When we requested later luggage tags for debarkation he was very quick to help. THE FOOD As I said before I have to eat gluten free so I will start with the gluten free options on board. In the main dining room (we had late assigned dining at 8:15 pm) you get the menu for the following day the night before and can make your selections. They will try to make make any dish gluten free if possible sometimes leaving out the sauce (which I don't understand, they could just do them with corn starch). Gluten free bread is served that is barely edible (very bitter taste, very soggy even though slightly toasted) - that is completely not understandable for me as there is very good gluten free baguette available at the deli (try it, I had a Tuna sandwich which was excellent) and they could serve that easily. In general gluten free food handling seems very safe, at the Deli the gluten free sandwich was prepared in a completely separate oven and kitchen by a different employee that put new gloves on. Gluten free chocolate melting cake is available as well as fruits and ice cream/sherbet options every night.I had the creme brulee on night and it was excellent. In general the food quality in the dining room was ok but far from excellent and in my opinion was the worst out of all of our Carnival cruises. The food was rarely hot (rather slightly warm, sometimes cold) and the dished very exactly the same as they have been for years (except for the Port of Call options which were generally excellent). Don't bother to order french fries unless you like them luke warm and are satisfied with a portion size of 14 fries - yes I counted them!) You could tell that the service team did not interact with each other for a long time yet, service was chaotic and unorganized. I will never understand why they let hot food sitting on the prep stations doing other stuff letting the food get cold. They now always put a bottle of wine on the table (every night) which they will charge if you open it. This just leaves even less room on the small table and is just another attempt to get your money). The Lido buffet only had few good options for lunch but always had two flavours of fresh ice cream and one time a chocolate fountain. also the layout is not much better with little islands that can be accessed from four sides and therefore there are absolutely no lines except for the Omelette station. Food choices are the same every day and I cannot not understand Carnival for not offering more variety in fruits (always only two kinds of melons, grapefruit and bananas) for breakfast - no apples, grapes, strawberries, pears, oranges, nothing. scrambled eggs are made from prepackaged egg mix and taste awful. People on a gluten free diet please be careful: the bacon is resting on bread in a pan. No gluten free bread on the breakfast buffet in general. Royal Caribbean for example has a complete separate buffet with gluten free options (rolls, bread, etc.). The lunch buffet rarely had any gluten free options. In general I have to day Carnival is far behind other cruise lines when it comes to gluten free options and labelling of allergens in general on their buffets (lunch was partly labeled, breakfast not at all). The Mexican burrito bar on deck 10 had gluten free tacos available, always a good option. I did not try the gluten free Pizza but the Deli offers any sandwich on a gluten free baguette which is excellent. The frozen yoghurt was a good lunch dessert option. Guys burger joint of deck 10 also has a gluten free bun and the fries are excellent. Cocktails in general are expensive (including service charge and tax about $10 a drink) but good. Fruit mixes are used for fruity cocktails or frozen drinks. For premiums the price is high for the amount of liquor given (2cl of Hendricks gin in a gin tonic, $9). They offer one gluten free beer (Stella Daura). The Java serves good coffee options. Free lemonade, ice tea is provided during lunch, free juices for breakfast. Coffee from the machine is free in general but disgusting. ENTERTAINMENT To start of: Mike, the cruise director, was the worst out of all cruise directors we had so far on Carnival and I am not sure they gave him their flagship new vessel. Barely noticeable the whole week. We had Matt on the Vista and he was pure entertainment for the whole day. Music shows we excellent, very good singers and dancers and the show was nicely written. We did not care for the Welcome Aboard Show of Lip Sync or Marriage Show. The comedians were excellent especially Thomas Brown (watched him in the theatre one night, and another night in the Limelight Lounge). Live musicians in the bars were ok but much worse than on the Vista (the two cousins with the guitar there were just excellent). We did not try the pools, whirlpools or Dr. Seuss water park nor did we go to the IMAX (charge!) or try the skyride as we were in the beautiful ports of call all day long (that is one advantage of a European itinerary). We went to the Spa as part of our Spa cabin every night and used the pool and saunas. Very small area, only 9 (heated) lounge chairs. 5-6 people in the whirlpool. People reserve chairs all the time but we typically don't care and remove the towels if nobody shows up. For us after a long day it is worth the extra money for a Spa cabin to use the sauna and relax a little bit. My wife used the fitness center and liked it. She went around 6 am, it gets crowded after 7 am. PORTS OF CALL Barcelona: beautiful city, we stayed the night before but could have stayed a week if we wanted to see it all. Be smart and stay a couple of days. We stayed at the beautiful H10 Boutique Hotel Catalunya Placa which was just plain excellent (gluten free fresh rolls, cookies, Muesli, etc. for breakfast, Omelettes/Tortillas/Churros and fresh eggs made to order). In principal please note that we did not take a single shore excursion ever with Carnival as we believe they are excessively overpriced for what you get. We explore the ports and nearby cities ourselves by train and save a fortune. Carnival charges you between $59 and $79 just to get you to the cities ("on your own" tours) where you can just as easily take the bus and/or train for 5 Euros (more below). Messina (that was a change from the promised Cagliari): we walked to Messina Centrale train station (10 minutes from the port) and took a train for 4.60 Euros to Taormina (from there a bus to the mountain to the city center for 1.20 Euro, took in total less than one hour). Beautiful little town to explore on your own and eat some ice cream. Naples: we just explored Naples by foot as we have done the ruins of Herculaneum last time. We took a small train (buy the ticket at the tobacco store right at the station) up the mountain to Castle Sant'Elmo which provides a beautiful view of Naples. Then explored the small downtown streets of Naples and had some ice cream. Civitavecchia: as last time we walked to the train station from the free bus shuttle stop downtown (10 minutes) and took the train to Rome (5 Euros one way per person, Carnival charged $79 for the bus trip per person). The trains are clean and air conditioned and also have a bathroom. We got off at St. Peters square, from the train station the Vatican is just a 5 minute walk. The next stop would have been Rome Termini which is the main train station and closer to the downtown attractions. Rome is just beautiful and you could spend days. Go early if you want to get into St. Peter's cathedral as the lines get crazy after 10 am. Livorno: after having been to Pisa last time we decided to go to Lucca instead (beautiful old little city, really enjoyable and much more quiet than the bigger cities (check the pictures online)). You pay 5.60 for the train ride (change trains in Pisa). Since we had time getting back we got off the train in Pisa on the way back and strolled though Pisa and got some ice cream. To get to Livorno train station take the shuttle from the port and then a bus (buy ticket at any tobacco store, 1.30 Euro each trip) for the main train station. From there the train to Pisa (25 minutes), Florence (about 1 hour 15 minutes) or anywhere else. Marseille: we just explored the city and went up the mountain (by foot) to Notre Dame de la Garde - beautiful views. Don't take the Carnival shuttle (which is $17 to get your downtown) - a couple hundred feet further there is a free shuttle provided by the city which takes you downtown as well. SUMMARY Overall some highlights and some lowlights. I can say that the quality of the ships is going up but the service and food quality is deteriorating. After having sailed mostly Carnival up until now (we are both 39) we will now try other cruise lines. We would be willing to spend a little more for better food and service quality for sure. Overall we got good value for the money, we paid less than 1.000 Euros a person ($1.200) for the trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My husband and I have always sailed Carnival, and this was one of the few Carnival cruises to port in Europe. Let me start by saying overall I had fun not enough to justify the cost of this vacation and not enough to recommend it to other ... Read More
My husband and I have always sailed Carnival, and this was one of the few Carnival cruises to port in Europe. Let me start by saying overall I had fun not enough to justify the cost of this vacation and not enough to recommend it to other people. I had many friends on the ship who disagreed with my assessment. Here's what I think happened... Carnival doesn't usually sail in the Mediterranean so it probably won't be a problem for most people, but I feel like cruising is not the best way to experience Europe. We stopped in Sardinia, Florence/Pisa, Rome, and Naples (Italy), and Marseille (France), and we sailed from Barcelona, Spain. Most of our stops were not close to our actual destination and required a long bus ride (1-2 hrs) to reach the points of interest... Which left less time to explore and made for longer excursions. We only had one day at sea which was at the beginning of the cruise so all of our really long excursions were back to back. We were so tired by the time we reached our last stop that we actually skipped the expensive excursion we had already paid for. We just couldn't do another full day starting at 5:30 am (that's how early we had to get up to get ready, eat breakfast, and get to the meeting point in time for the excursion to start.) Plus, we were constantly rushing on and off the ship. On the excursions we were running to cram in as much of the sights as possible or to keep up with the tour group. I feel like we didn't have nearly enough time to really see anything Europe has to offer, which is A LOT. On the ship we were rushing to make it to some meal before the restaurant closed, or to some show, or to some other activity before they closed. Which brings me to my next point - I can't understand why Carnival had so many things closed so much of the time. It seemed like every time I turned around something that I wanted to do was closed and there didn't seem to be a good reason. On our last day on the ship we found only one of the four whirlpools on the ship was open. We had to wander around for twenty minutes looking for it. We did a lot of that - wandering around the ship looking for something that was open. I purchased the bottomless bubbles (soda) package which means you are supposed to be able to get free unlimited soda any time of day or night. I paid a lot for it. But there are so many catches... for one- you can only get a soda at one of the official bars (does not include the coffee shop or theater), which means yiu have to wait in line, there are no soda fountains. Second, you can only get a soda in a glass, (no cans) and only one at a time. So you can't use your bottomless bubbles to stock your in-room fridge. Last and most frustrating of all, not all of the bars are open at all times and not even the same times from day to day. Which means you have to wander around the ship all day and night searching for a bar that is open, or you need to constantly have your nose in a schedule trying to figure out which bar is open at that time that you happen to be thirsty. Most bars close at 11 or 12 at night and don't open again until 6 or 8 the next morning. If you want a soda between those times you have to go to the casino bar. If you're a non-smoker like me this can be exceedingly frustrating because the casino is a smoking area. You'll have to wade through the clouds of smoke to get a soda. I'm not complaining about the smoking, I'm complaining about the fact that the only bar open is in a smoking area. That's not very inclusive for people who don't smoke, and there doesn't seem to be a good reason for it considering there has to be at least 15 bars on the ship. Another example is the main buffet restaurant. During the day the buffet is almost always open, but only half of it... which makes for bigger crowds and longer lines. Why, Carnival? That's the main eating area, it's the busiest restaurant on the ship... seems like a really bad idea to keep half of it closed all the time. And if you want to eat between 12 and 6 am (hey, I'm on vacation... I'm allowed to eat late) the only restaurant open is the pizza place... Which will probably be packed since it's the only option. Or you can get free soft serve ice cream (If you can find a machine that isn't out). So basically late night entertainment and food is QUITE slim on this ship. Sometimes they have a night club open if you like that kind of thing... But I don't know if they have food. For those people who have babies and children under 2 yrs of age (there are a few of us at least) they do have a babysitting option but there are a lot of catches. It costs extra, of course but it's quite reasonable in my opinion. (6.75 per hour plus 15% gratuity). They only take babies 6 months to 2 yrs old at night from 10pm to 1am, and then in the mornings at different times depending on the day. Most days for us it was 6:30am to 12pm. That's a lot of hours but you have to work around the excursions you planned and the opening hours for all the activities on the ship. I felt like most of what I wanted to do was closed during most of those hours - not all of thise hours, and not everything. I did have a few small windows to take advantage of the baby sitting service but it took careful planning, and a lot of rushing, again. And one of those times was during the time I would have been on an excursion had I not been too tired. So I basically traded an excursion for a little bit of fun on the ship. So just be aware if you have babies. Lastly, the elevators. I don't know what they have done to the elevator system but I didn't meet one person on the ship who wasn't disappointed or angry with it. They have some kind of smart technology or poorly designed algorithm controlling the elevators. In the middle of the ship they have 6 elevators but I could only ever get 2 to work at a time. This meant you had to wait a long time for an elevator and sometimes it would be so full you had to push the button again and wait for the next one, or even the next one after that. I waited for 10 minutes for an elevator more than once on my cruise. Doesn't sound like a long time but when you're standing there doing nothing and you're in a hurry, AND there are 4 other elevators doing nothing at all... It gets frustrating. You can take the stairs but if you're on deck 3 and you want to get to deck 10 - who wants to climb 7 flights of stairs every day? This says nothing about people who don't even have that as an option. (Wheelchairs and strollers?!?) Another complaint I have is the amount of entertainment and food that costs extra now. Is it just me, or has Carnival started charging for a great many more things that used to be included? And it could have been my frustration clouding my judgment, but it seemed like the activities and food options that are included are closed more often than those things you pay extra for. I felt like a lot of the free "entertainment" was a sales pitch in disguise to get you to spend more money. There were faaaaar too many spa demonstrations and not enough live shows on the itinerary. The shopping was quite limited on the ship. A lot of expensive jewelry and watches, and not enough souvnire type shops. I was dissapointed. I really liked carnivals new candy shop, however. That was a fun place to go. I spent a lot of money on souvenirs for my children there. Another thing I really enjoyed was the service. Carnival always employs the hardest working and the friendliest people. I give them 5 stars for service. Also, the ship is always immaculate. There were never a shortage of clean tables to sit at in the main dining area (unless the dining area was straight up full - which didn't happen very often.) I loved the water slides, the sports square, and the skyride. The sky ride is soooo fun. You must try it if you cruise on the horizon or Vista. The sky course looked like a lot of fun too but I never got to try it. (I had a baby with me.) The ship is beautifully decirated as well. I loved my cabin which was just the right size. (A regular balcony room.) I love the addition if the mini fridge in the room. I also really appreciated the new hand washing machines in the main dining area. Those things were so cool and convenient. Overall, I had fun on this ship but it was very expensive and I feel like we could have gotten a much better value for our money if Canival had planned things just a little bit better. For that reason I do not recommend this ship to other people (especially families, people who don't drink or have conservative taste in shows and entertainment, or those with disabilities) and we probably won't sail with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
As a family of 4 who had never been on a cruise we decided to start with this new ship for 7 days around the Med. Getting on and off the ship was something I was concerned about but thought this was done well. The Cabin was fine ... Read More
As a family of 4 who had never been on a cruise we decided to start with this new ship for 7 days around the Med. Getting on and off the ship was something I was concerned about but thought this was done well. The Cabin was fine with two showers and bunks for the kids. Beds comfortable. For a new ship the Air Con was average and we had to ask for it to fixed which helped somewhat. We tended to pay for the speciality restaurants ( which were well worth the money) as the general dining was average at best. Casino was good with great staff. Very good gym A bit of a grizzle was the bar service. Yes, it might be cool to try and serve 3 or 4 customers at once but it would be far better to do one at a time get the orders right and not have annoyed customers being served out of turn. The staff in the bars and restaurants need training. You don't take a customers plate when he is still eating with the fork in his hand!! The up selling of everything and added gratuities does get a little tiresome. Foe a first cruise it was fine but would I come back....not sure Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the timing despite having reservations about booking with Carnival due to a bad experience 18 years ago. It being a new ship and all we decided to give it a shot. This was a 30 year ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the timing despite having reservations about booking with Carnival due to a bad experience 18 years ago. It being a new ship and all we decided to give it a shot. This was a 30 year anniversary celebration and my 31st Cruise. Most other cruises have been with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess. My Third and last with Carnival. Embarking and disembarking went smoothly, better than most. When I opened the first closet door in the cabin a chain used to keep the closet doors from swinging back too far swung out and just missed hitting me in the face. I could see that the end of the screw that was to hold it in place, had tape around it and had come free from where it should have been. Obviously someone was aware of this and tried to fix it unsuccessfully. I reported it immediately to the cabin steward. It was never repaired. After a couple of days of nearly getting hit repeatedly, I unscrewed the remaining attached side and left the chain for the cabin steward to see. It still was never repaired. I respectfully adhere to the reuse of my towels for practical and environmental purposes but do not understand why those “towel animals “are placed on our beds daily? I would suggest doing this when there are children cruising. This just creates more unnecessary laundry and work for the cabin stewards. We appreciated being asked if we wanted a “turn down service” in the evenings which we felt was unnecessary so we declined. Our cabin was kept clean but we saw very little of our steward. Dining If you like to eat healthily forget this ship. There was an abundance of greasy fried foods, lots of meat and not a whole lot for vegetarians . The choices at the buffet were bland, the salad bar was bare bones, Caesar salad was tasteless. Same in the dining room. The Blue Iguana had fresh made tacos and burritos which were good. The pizza was ok, no vegiterian choice except mushroom alone which we had on several occasions as a last resort for dinner. The buffet breakfasts were the exact same every day, many items cold, tasteless. Omelets made to order were very good. There was limited fruit for breakfast. Saw whole oranges once, bananas most days. Cubed cantaloupe and honeydew melon every morning. Oddly in the evenings there was cubed watermelon, sometimes a little pineapple and a few grapes thrown in with cantaloupe and honeydew. I resorted to taking a bowl of fruit to my cabin in the evening to have for breakfast. There was no coffee / tea service from attendants at the Marketplace buffet until the second last day. A crew member with a cart was offering coffee, tea and juices. She told me it was the first day they were doing this.Also, the cups for water, juices and lemonade were small thick plastic cups one might give to a young child. I took a cup of water to my cabin and drank some throughout the night only to discover it tasted just like plastic. Anytime Dining The dining room lacked the elegance we are accustomed to on other ships. Table cloths used on formal night only. The first formal night was the best meal we had in the dining room. Lobster was served and cooked perfectly. One gentleman at our table had 3 servings. The tables had very casual looking plasticized woodgrain tops. The service was very slow. It took 20 minutes just to get a bread basket one night. Another night 40 minutes to locate our bottle of wine from previous night . We had no water at times and the wrong item brought to our table. We saw one server spill an entire plate of food into a passenger’s lap. We only ate there 4 times. One night the service was very good and we complimented the server and reported this to the dining manager. I asked to switch to set seating thinking this would be a better option and was run around the ship from guest services looking for the maître d, finally located the correct place. I asked to speak to him but was told he was busy. I made the request and was told someone would let us know. We never heard back. To get your table for Anytime Dining you have to line up on deck 5 to check in, then they indicate which deck to go to for dinner and when. Speciality Restaurants The Bonsai Teppan Grill was excellent. We went twice at an added cost. Well worth it. A very special surprise dessert at the end was amazing! Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and Seafood was average in comparison to other ship Steakhouse speciality restaurants. The Seafood Shack was ok, more fried stuff but other things as well. My clam chowder had a hair in it. The lobster rolls had a lot of mayo and were just ok. Some people commented that the crab legs were very good. Unfortunately we didn’t order them. We didn’t try some of the other places due to the types of foods being served. Mongolian wok for lunch was good but you must get there early as it is a small area and very busy. I enjoyed my meal but my husband found his bland which was odd because it was suppose to be spicy? Health and Safety From the onset of the cruise there were many many people coughing and coughing everywhere. Even boarding the ship we noticed it. People still tend to cough into their hands then handle all the spoons and tongs at the buffet, press the elevator buttons and so on. Even if you clean your hands upon entering the buffet you still need to clean them again before eating to avoid picking up all the germs from those who have not. This I can handle. What I found very disturbing and disgusting was the fact that numerous people filled their personal water bottles directly up under the spouts of the water, juice and lemonade dispensers instead of filling them from a clean cup. There was no signage indicating that this is an unsanitary practice and contributes to outbreaks in this type of environment. Other cruise lines have taken steps to avoid this and have posted signs as well as having a crew member encouraging people to sanitize before entering the area. The only sign I saw was a very small plaque on the ice water dispenser indicating to take as much as you would like but use a fresh cup to refill. I mentioned it to a crew member who gave me an awkward smile and said thank you. There were Purell hand sanitizer stands throughout the Marketplace Buffet areas but very few guests were using them. Needless to say we both ended up spending the last few days in the cabin, sick with bad colds which we still have. Shore excursions We took 6 Carnival shore excursions booked on line. Unfortunately our Best of Rome excursion was probably one of the worst excursions I have ever been on. I had seen many of the sights several years ago but we chose this for my husband’s benefit. Our first stop was St Peter’s square where we encountered the longest line I have ever seen, that snaked its way around the entire square. Someone asked the guide how long it would take to get to the entrance and she replied about half an hour. An hour and a half later she informed us that we had to leave having made little progress. We would not get into the Basilica as we didn’t have time. She then led us to a gift shop close by and said we had half an hour there. People were not happy. Based on her experience as a seasoned guide she should have known that we would not get in when we arrived or shortly thereafter. We then proceeded to the Coliseum where the lines were very long but after about 35 minutes we entered and she took us around, always in a rushed manner, walking quickly ahead. There were 50in the group. We stopped at a place for an arranged, included lunch which was ok, served quickly considering the number of people as another tour group was also there. The Trevi Fountain was a mob scene. We were having difficulty seeing the guide ahead as she was short and was carrying a half opened umbrella and not holding it up high. Other passengers had told her previously they were having trouble seeing her in the crowds but she ignored the comments. We suddenly lost her and the group in the mobs of people when it started to rain and numerous umbrellas went up. We could see other guides with their flags or paddles held high and after a brief panic, I approached a guide holding a Carnival paddle and explained the situation. He called her on his cell and then took us to her. I was very upset and told her we cannot see you with a half open umbrella which is not held up and her reply was to try to blame the Carnival person who was also with us but behind the group. No apology. Some people were very slow so they too had difficulties. After a 12hour day at $440 for the 2 of us we were not happy. I, as well as other guests, notified the Shore Excursion desk immediately when we got on board but was met with the standard customer service reply. Surprisingly, I received a phone call from the Shore Excursions manager who investigated the complaint and had credited our account for $95. We also learned that it was the security into the sites that resulted in the long lines. I had not encountered this in my previous visits to Rome. Had I known I would not have selected this excursion. It was very frustrating and exhausting. All the other guides were very careful about making sure we could see them and that we were all together. Most of the excursions were great, a little trouble understanding a couple of the guides but for the most part we enjoyed it. The bus drivers were amazing in handling the large buses in very tight situations. Taormina on your own was absolutely fabulous. We had about 4.5 hours to explore, shop, have a cappuccino and later lunch. It was a welcomed break from all the rushing of the other excursions. Highly recommend it.Sicily is beautiful and the one place I would love to return to see more of. We took the Hop on Hop off bus in Malta but wished we had not. There were 3 cruise ships in port and it was extremely busy with very pushy, rude people. Some cultures just don’t care about waiting their turn or respecting what little personal space you have. Very aggressive and unnecessary. We did one stop at Mdina which was lovely but the experience getting back on the bus resulted in us going back to the ship. The driver was having trouble controlling these people who continued to fill the bus when there weren’t any seats left. He refused to move the bus and ordered them off. Shouting, pushing. Not our style. In Cagliari, Sardinia we took the city tour from the pier which was in an open air bus. It was 22euro a person for a one hour ride to see not a whole lot. I would not recommend it. Entertainment There is no theatre for the main shows only 2lounges, which we found unusual. The Cruise line dancers and singers were mediocre. The entertainment overall was not that good. We noticed people during several shows getting up to leave. There were lots of trivia type games and such which were well attended and enjoyed. Comedy clubs were fairly good with different comedians. There was an adult only show which we attended. We are not prudes but this one guy went beyond being gross and sexually explicit making several people uncomfortable we later learned. We were surprised that this was acceptable even for an adult show. There were the usual around the pool activities. By the end of the first week we skipped the entertainment and retired early to our cabin. We did not make use of the IMAX. The Sea day I had planned to go, I was sick in bed. There were lots of activities for children and young adults. The Skyride was pretty awesome and not as easy as it looks. There is a laundry facility on deck 6 fairly close to this cabin. Good size washers for $3 a load.You use the cruise card to pay. Soap and softener available if you don’t bring your own. Ironing board and iron free. Pay dryers as well. Overall a combination of many small things and a few not so small things led to this being a big disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I wanted to try an inaugural cruise and I wanted to try Carnival. We paid for a “sail away” ocean view fare and got a beautiful, 11th deck handicapped room with spa privedges. That was the best part of the cruise. I also liked that ... Read More
I wanted to try an inaugural cruise and I wanted to try Carnival. We paid for a “sail away” ocean view fare and got a beautiful, 11th deck handicapped room with spa privedges. That was the best part of the cruise. I also liked that “local” dishes for the day’s port were offerd on the menu in the dining room. Nice touch. I was very disappointed in the entertainment although the production staff was great. But they performed only 3 nights in a 13 day cruise. We did not go to the first night welcome aboard show—they may have been there. The rest of the entertainers were so-so—heavy on magicians/juggler type acts. The forward rooms for the first 3 decks are very noisy with thruster and wave bounce noise. The hotel captain agreed. My friend and his wife in a forward first deck ocean view cabin always knew when we were starting to get into port because it sounded like a large rolling cart outside their window. The hotel captain said that was the thrusters. Then they heard loud bumps or thumps. They thought we might have hit a container that may have fallen off a ship but after many thumps, the hotel captain verified that it was just the ship hitting waves. If you have trouble sleeping or want to sleep late avoid forward cabins on decks 1-3. I also would have liked casual seating for reading with natural light. We didn’t find a single window we could sit by and read. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Our first trans Atlantic cruise and we had a party of 10 friends. New ship with a few months to work out the bugs and get new crew members up to speed, right? While the food was pretty good and the staff worked hard, our group was ... Read More
Our first trans Atlantic cruise and we had a party of 10 friends. New ship with a few months to work out the bugs and get new crew members up to speed, right? While the food was pretty good and the staff worked hard, our group was still having desert when 2nd seating was coming by (more than once).. Serving delays blamed on computer problems. Theater way too small for size of ship. Balcony seating on front row was fine. 2nd thru 4th rows not elevated enough and short people had no hope of seeing the stage. Main floor seating shared some of the same problems. One show very good but others just fair. Ship very clean and crew overall, very friendly. Outdoor movie pretty cool, even with blankets. Lots of fun. As with most cruise lines, the shore excursions are becoming overpriced. Bingo addicts will be in heaven on this ship. Roaming entertainment good. Embarkation went well in Barcelona but the biggest failure came in NYC at disembarkation. Booked airport transfers thru Carnival and their contractors were a disaster. Half as many busses as were needed. Shore staff totally dazed and confused. Driver on phone entire drive getting directions in his language. Shore staff insisted that we needed terminal 2 and not 3 as listed on ticket. Long lines at ticket counter rebooking missed flights. Four hours to get to airport not reasonable. Second and last trip on Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We booked this cruise several months in advance, and splurged on both airfare and the room by upgrading. We upgraded our room to the Spa Balcony Suite and chose the one at the front of the boat 14206- we were told it was bigger, and the ... Read More
We booked this cruise several months in advance, and splurged on both airfare and the room by upgrading. We upgraded our room to the Spa Balcony Suite and chose the one at the front of the boat 14206- we were told it was bigger, and the balcony would wrap around- not the case at all! I've never been so disappointed in a room before- the suite was smaller than the regular rooms, and the balcony was smaller than a normal balcony and had a partition cutting off the "wrap around" so the only view we had was directly straight ahead. We lost a lot of balcony space because it was at the curve and so it angled off, some spots were 4 feet deep, others less than 3. We were woken up twice (once on a sea day) by the spin class below us- at 8am....this was not acceptable. Embarkation was a disaster- we were supposed to be "priority" but there really wasn't such thing in Athens, as they have a makeshift terminal- so everybody goes thru the same thing. Dining was excellent- we were worried about waiting a long time with anytime dining, but we never waited at all- servers were attentive and the food was better than almost any other cruise we've been on. Very clean, very well done. Staff were excellent w/the exception of one person- we were very surprised as we have been on Breeze and other big boats and felt service was lacking. Boat never felt crowded! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Chose this cruise cuz it fit a block of time between already booked flights and it was rt barcelona and had a good itinerary and was new and bigger than other carnival ships. Boarding process was a nightmare and the food esp breakfast in ... Read More
Chose this cruise cuz it fit a block of time between already booked flights and it was rt barcelona and had a good itinerary and was new and bigger than other carnival ships. Boarding process was a nightmare and the food esp breakfast in the dining was often inedible. im talking poorly made omelettes and rancid bacon on 2 occasions!! eve meals hit and miss--only got enough to eat if you ordered 2 or 3 of every course and were lucky if you liked one or 2. red meat and melons tended to be best options.the waiters tried their best but kitchen staff definitely lacking as was the quality of some of the ingredients. shore excursions ok but cant say i really enjoyed ay of them. Avoid dine as you wish as their check-in system was diabolical. Really glad i was able to get assigned to a mixed group table for 10 at the late seating. spa was nicer than most but the people were loud and inconsiderate so not very relaxing. Music options and room stewards were great as were guest services if you didn't mind standing in line for ever to see them. you must bring debit card to change money at atm as they dont handle cash at the desk. Might possible try vista again for carrib cruise but not for europe. just glad i met some nice people on my own as no planned singles lunches or breakfasts. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise because of the ports. It was fun and food was great. I was frustrated with Carnival charging $17 per person to ride a shuttle from port in MArseille. They warned us of crooks there - Carnival was the biggest. Same ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports. It was fun and food was great. I was frustrated with Carnival charging $17 per person to ride a shuttle from port in MArseille. They warned us of crooks there - Carnival was the biggest. Same with other ports - CItavichia and Palma de Mallorca. We walked to Mayor beach, but it was red flagged due to pollution. Got in a cab to go to a different beach and it started pouring rain. Paid the driver to return us - $40 for nothing. To go to Pisa it was cheaper to take a cab. LOved the cruise director Jaime. SPa was the normal rip off. The water slides, bikes in air and ropes course was all fun. No academic classes like photography or computers offered like on Holland America. The singers - dancers and musical entertainment were all great - especially the piano bar and several guitar players and violins. Outdoor movies were fun as was Imax and Thrill theater. Getting on and off was easy. We took a great tour through italytours.eu in Naples - Pompeii, sorrento and amalfi coast. Way cheaper than carnival tours and we had 12 people with a great driver. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After waiting for over a year we were excited about cruising on the new Carnival Vista leaving Barcelona Spain on Sept 23rd 2016. It start with only two of us but our group grew to twelve quickly. We planned our trip months in advance ... Read More
After waiting for over a year we were excited about cruising on the new Carnival Vista leaving Barcelona Spain on Sept 23rd 2016. It start with only two of us but our group grew to twelve quickly. We planned our trip months in advance using helpful travel tips from this board. Our 4 days in Barcelona were a lot of fun. We enjoyed the history and beauty of the city. Of course the food and the Sangria were big hits also. Our boarding day came to quickly. We took 2 taxi's to the ship due to luggage issues. We were met by a nice porter who waited for everyone to arrive on the pier. we went inside the cruise terminal and started the check in procedures.We had a group photo taken and were on board in no time at all. First we went to our forward cabin at the bow of the ship. our room was very nice and we dropped off our carry on baggage. The ship is very beautiful and clean. The food is very substandard and you could tell Carnival has taken a nose dive on the quality of their food they serve. The bar service was terrible and it was evident they cut corners on the drinks they made. No table clothes in the main dinning room except on dress up night. Improvement needed. The Guy's hamburger diner was good. Entertainment was outstanding. We also enjoyed the first run movies at the IMax theater. Service was a little strained like they were understaffed. Senior officers and customer service were a tad unfriendly. Ports were excellent and we also took advantage of Barcelona. We compared Carnivals prices and size of excursions and chose to plan our own. We would like to cruise on this ship again but hope Carnival improves their food and drinks. Bring back the table clothes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
me & my wife went for 10 nights around the med on 13/9/16 till 23/9/16 this ship is all about money 4 cans of beer cost £31 joke there was a 24% tax on everything you brought even if you brought a can of pop which on the pop can it ... Read More
me & my wife went for 10 nights around the med on 13/9/16 till 23/9/16 this ship is all about money 4 cans of beer cost £31 joke there was a 24% tax on everything you brought even if you brought a can of pop which on the pop can it would say duty free you still got charged the 24%tax there were shuttle buses but there was a charge for those too & even that wasnt cheap the food i would only give it a 2 out of 5 the guys burgers were ok but you needed a big gob like a yank to get your mouth i had eggs benedict 1 morning for breakfast & told the waiter to take it away because the white of the egg wasnt cooked & was slimy most for the time the food was warm & not hot i was still eating my starter 1 night & was brought my main course around it the ship entertainment leader a girl jamie her voice was that loud you could hear her inside your cabin she didnt need a microphone thats for sure when i got woke up by her 3 times in 1 day i had enough & complained to the reception & was asked if i wanted some ear plugs we walked through casino & it was like walking into a stinking smoke hole i always thought there was no smoking in public places & no smoking on ships the only reason theres smoking in the casino is because carnival like to keep the yanks in there to carry on gambling there money away again all about the money & not about the safety of the passengers most of the ships crew were nice around the ship & the ship itself is a nice its not so nice on the inside but around the promenade deck & the outside was nice the balcony we had was nice too cabin Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
First of all I have to commend the staff of the Guest Services desk who were phenomenal. They helped me out since the airline left my bag in New York. They also let me use their international telephone to make phone calls to airlines ... Read More
First of all I have to commend the staff of the Guest Services desk who were phenomenal. They helped me out since the airline left my bag in New York. They also let me use their international telephone to make phone calls to airlines in order to change my departure plans. They also let me log into the upgraded computer plan and then adjust the charges back down to a lesser plan. The staff of Guest Services changed my rating of the cruise from poor to average. I had a cove balcony cabin which was fine. Cabin steward was not very helpful and rarely seen. Had dinner in the dining room the first night - slow service, cold food no table clothes. My travel companions would not eat in the dining room again instead going up to the buffet. I know that cruising has changed, but it is no longer the value vacation it used to be. Carnival now charges for movies on the cabin television as well as the IMAX theater on board and everywhere else they could make a buck. One bloody mary was $12.99! The room service menu has cut back on "free" offerings and now charges for some items like chicken wings. Come on folks - what happened???? The shops on board were extremely overpriced - more so than usual. I realize that since we were not able to go to Turkey we had to pay the VAT tax on both food,& beverage and on board gift shop purchases. This is the last time I will sail on Carnival. Sorry, but you have cut so many amenities and now it's just tacky. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I wanted to cruise to the Mediterranean and wanted to see several places and this seemed to be the best say to accomplish that . It has been awhile since we cruised with Carnival and for the most part the ship wasnt that much different ... Read More
I wanted to cruise to the Mediterranean and wanted to see several places and this seemed to be the best say to accomplish that . It has been awhile since we cruised with Carnival and for the most part the ship wasnt that much different than the others. What was different is they are only trying harder to get your last dollar. Half way thru the cruise they tacked on a 24 percent tax to everything you did or purchased on the cruise. They have a new IMAX well yes for extra $12.50 per person charge each movie. The food was the same thing over and over every night unless you paid extra to dine in the extra pay restaurants. I have always thought the drinks and pictures were over priced but they seems to just get worse about trying to get every dollar they can. We had a massage and facial while on the ship and instead of it being a relaxing experience they made you feel like you had to buy there products totaling over $500 for what they tried to sell me, that is not relaxing to me. The ports were awesome the experience with carnival, I will give it a 4.Our cabin was near the liquid lounge and our cabin rocked all night long to the beat of the music so that was not relaxing either. All in all not a very good experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
VISTA - No Elegance. Plain, contemporary style décor and furnishings. Only white dining room tablecloths on formal nights. No enforcement of dress code (shorts and no collar t-shirts at dinner). Poor quality beef served, except at ... Read More
VISTA - No Elegance. Plain, contemporary style décor and furnishings. Only white dining room tablecloths on formal nights. No enforcement of dress code (shorts and no collar t-shirts at dinner). Poor quality beef served, except at the specialty steak restaurant and in the dining room on formal nights. Buffet entrees were poorly prepared and cool. Liked the Italian and Asian restaurants at lunch at no extra charge, and Mexican and Pizza venues. Hamburgers over done and cool, french fries limp and cold. No International café next to the coffee café for different goodies of all kinds. Likes the ice cream serve at lunchtime. Service is still good in the dining room and cabins, as you would expect. Very small show floor and all acts extending into the seating area, making it hard to see through people. Many views blocked by columns. Shows were mostly poor or of crude taste and offensive behavior, with the exception of the violinists in the atrium. No appropriate music to dance to in entertainment/bar areas. Had to go to the Micro-brewery to dance to popular great guitar music. No typically free entrance to the therapy Spa, without $119 fee to join a membership. We like to use it on cold bad weather days and is usually less crowded, with better jets and hotter. The 8 hot tubs around this huge ship were inadequate to handle the usage. One back deck hot tube/pool area reserved at times for suite cabin usage. Couldn’t hear movies outside on deck at night due to noise. Water slides terrific. Giant ship, get ready to do lots of walking. No small fun activities like on smaller, more elegant Carnival ships. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The embarkation went really well. Once onboard we had a wander round. There was no wow appeal. The cabin was not cleaned properly we had a half eaten snicker in our fridge, a pencil on the floor & a dirty sock under the bed. The rooms ... Read More
The embarkation went really well. Once onboard we had a wander round. There was no wow appeal. The cabin was not cleaned properly we had a half eaten snicker in our fridge, a pencil on the floor & a dirty sock under the bed. The rooms were a good size and beds comfortable. Our balcony was never cleaned. The staff were not very friendly or helpful it all seemed a bit chaotic at times. I loved the burger place although not the best place for it to be positioned on the ship. It was extremely slippery around that area. I saw a couple of people fall over. The comedy club was fun. The shows were not great the team could do with a bit more experience in entertainment, sorry. I will say our entertainer was brilliant he really knew how to get people going. Pat on the back to him. The food was ok nothing to get over excited about. We done my time dining twice then realised what was being served in the my time dining was also in the self service restaurant. We were on the ship the day the port in Italy was damaged as we left. We did stop at some lovely ports. I am sorry to say I wouldn't cruise with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I don't normally write reviews but wanted to share. First the bad,....Embarkation was a disaster in comparison to other cruises. Took over an hour and we had a crying two year old, didn't seem to matter to the check in personnel ... Read More
I don't normally write reviews but wanted to share. First the bad,....Embarkation was a disaster in comparison to other cruises. Took over an hour and we had a crying two year old, didn't seem to matter to the check in personnel as they had problems taking our pictures and could not fix it. We ordered the bottomless bubbles for our eight year old, does NOT include bottle water, was told by guest service man, unfortunately cannot remember his name, that if it was his child he wouldn't let them order that as he doesn't drink soda.....we don't either but it is vacation and we wanted our child to have a choice and fun being independent. We eventually got it refunded, along with free tickets to theatre and dr suess breakfast along with a twelve pack of water to our room. Our room when we arrived had broken door to refrigerator and closet along with broken hangers on the ground that our two year old poked her hand with playing as we were hanging our things up as we did not expect that and didn't pay close attention, Maintenon came and fixed quickly. Main dining room sevice acceptable at best, little attention given and did not feel special except for one serve, Natdkya, and one bar waiter, Martin. Ship overall mediocre in cleanliness, even though new ship. Strange layout, certain floors you can't get from one side to the other, no glass elevators, no open atrium only three floors with small open space. Outdoor areas smaller and hard to pass others although the glass partionons on the promenade deck great for reducing wind! Cabin smaller than expected although we had a family harbor premium ocean view with two bathrooms that supposedly could fit five....definitely NOT! The one bathroom with tub and sink was so small you could barely move, the entrance way had the closets so very cramped and impossible to pass If you needed in the closets. Red frog bartenders terrible!!! Casino size and layout small and not inviting. The good news....camp ocean for kids is great, we have children that do not speak English, Natasha from Croatia and Sam from Canada were fantastic doing all they could to get them involved!!! Hats off!!!, Spa...typical although the upgraded spa area was fantastic with several sauna, steam rooms and whirlpool and louge chairs with a great view, Sian and Chloe were very nice and helped talk to me about issue i have without trying to sell me expensive products, although the products they have are fantastic! filip from the gym, I believe from Serbia, was great! I showed up a couple times for classes that had to be cancelled due to none participation and the last class he did just with me because he felt bad that I showed up for nothing! Water works was great! Sky ride was nice but a bit of a let down as I just expected more, nice outdoor spaces, serenity nice, bbq place on deck five rocks! Guys burger and Mexican cantina rocks but unfortunately they are not open for dinner, wish that would change! I read poor reviews about dining, it was the best I've had on over 14 cruises! Service not the best but food yes!! Lido is good but as said in other reviews limited options. We ate at the Italian and Asian restaurants on deck 11, great food and well worth the 15 per person up charge. The tides pool bat aft on deck 11 has three Alexandra's all from Serbia that work there, all nice, "Alex" was the best! Pizza place ok, didn't try bonsai, steakhouse or seafood shack. What I found great was the very distinct cabin areas! (Havana, spa and family harbor) Great choice by carnival! Nice variety to just your typical , interior, ocean view, balcony and suites! Thrill theate and dr Seuss breakfast were great! We didn't do any entertainment as too much with a 2 year old. Fitness room a joke in camparision to other cruise ships! I was concerened about our room service when we arrived but Marvin really took good care of us!!! And we had several issues that he handled with flare! Family harbor rooms are worth it in my opinion as the family harbor lounge has full service breakfast, snacks from 3-5 and your own concierge and always milk, coffee water, yogurt and ice cream available and close to main dining, and getting on and of ship. I have been on many cruises, second with carnival....will we try them again?....maybe.... Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise as it was to be a family holiday for my birthday with my wife,daughter,2 grandsons and my daughters friend, having originally booked and being told it was. direct flight we were later informed that Carnival had altered ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was to be a family holiday for my birthday with my wife,daughter,2 grandsons and my daughters friend, having originally booked and being told it was. direct flight we were later informed that Carnival had altered the flights to connections in Germany flying with Lufthansa and returns through Holland with KLM with very poor flight times especially with 2 young children My wife & I have cruised before with 2 different cruise companies but decided on the Carnival Vista as it was billed as a fun cruise which with first time cruisers and young children and a casual type of cruise we thought it would suit all parties Embarkation was ok and my only comment would be we had to pick a slot which if the flights were organised by Carnival you would have thought they would have informed us of? The ship itself was OK with plenty of things to keep young & older cruisers entertained but with bizarre height restrictions on the slides the slowest of which children had to be taller to be allowed on, having said that it did depend on which staff members were at the top of the slides as some did not seem to mind who went down No problems with the cabins our inside cabin was more than adequate the problems were with the dining, the Horizons restaurant was a farce with the staff at times unable to understand basic English and constantly getting orders wrong,after 3 attempts we decided to eat at the Marketplace on deck 10 but disappointingly the choices as with the Horizon was repetitious & poor Apart from the Red Frog pub & brewery the staff at all the other bars seemed low on moral & overworked for the amount of people on board and subsequently service suffered, having said that the extortionate prices plus gratuities & local tax on top made drink prices rediculous I did complain to Guest Services but was treated with contempt when complaining about the service and the fact that various items kept disappearing from our Sun beds when we went to the pools etc The excursions we went on we're as expected as we have cruised Europe before, the entertainment was not as good as previous cruises and the venues were small with poor views if you were late in arriving Overall this cruise did not live up to its billing despite the efforts of the cruise director who tried very hard to make things go with fun Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Just returned from our first Carnival experience. Our ship was the Vista the newest ship of Carnival and sad to say was not impressed with the overall experience. We found it too large a ship, the two pools were enormously small for a ... Read More
Just returned from our first Carnival experience. Our ship was the Vista the newest ship of Carnival and sad to say was not impressed with the overall experience. We found it too large a ship, the two pools were enormously small for a ship catering to almost 5,000 - it was rediculous! The person who designed the ship should be shot.....when you wanted to go to many of the activities (as an example: the comedy show, you had to go so far on that particular floor then either up one flight or down one flight and then back up to the floor you were on to get the show.....he or she must have been intoxicated when designing the floor plan. Bring your deep pockets on this cruise should you want to take excursions, especially the day in Rome (example: $389Euros per person). A good thing about Vista was that the buffet (although no change to the menu offered each day) there was always seating available. We chose any time dining and was fortunate enough to be seated at (Vladimir's) section and he and his helpers made our dining experience a beautiful experience each evening. He was absolutely fabulous as a head waiter. I am sure we will go back to Royal Caribbean on our next cruise though. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We have only cruised once before and that was with RCI so thats the only comparison I have. The price for the cruise was excellent so we went right ahead. Embarkation was really easy and quick. First impressions were fantastic till we ... Read More
We have only cruised once before and that was with RCI so thats the only comparison I have. The price for the cruise was excellent so we went right ahead. Embarkation was really easy and quick. First impressions were fantastic till we saw the atrium, what a let down, it looked like an afterthought, very disappointing. Our cabin and steward were fantastic, spotlessly clean as were all the public areas. We had any time dining and yes one one night we had to wait around 40 mins but hey everyone went at the same time. The food was good and we do not have any complaints there. The lido marketplace was fantastic and better than the equivalent on RCI. The food was plentiful and fresh no complaints there either. We primarily used the tides bar swimming pool at the rear of the ship which was quite relaxing, we never had a problem getting a sun lounger as the staff removed towels from the hoggers after 40 mins unoccupied, a nice touch. Main pool area people were rammed in like sardines and it was chaos with kids running around everywhere so we gave it a miss. This ship needs another pool desperatly as they were always packed out with kids. Love the beer in the red frog pub the pale ale is to die for, friendly staff and a good relaxing singer Ed Carr. Now I love craft beer but was very, very diappointed at the availability. The only bar on the whole ship you could get all three craft beers they brew, the IPA,the wheat beer and the red frog was in the pub on deck five. No red frog beer in the piano bar, the ocean plaza bar, blue iguana bar, the red frog rum bar, the alchemy bar, tides bar or the MDR. For a company that makes the brewery at sea a major selling point why cant you get the beer almost every bar, crazy and not acceptable. We spent most evenings watching the entertainment in ocean plaza (which was great by the way) and nipping next door to the red frog pub to get a beer was not a major drama. But I had to leave the piano bar and walk to the pub just to get a red frog or IPA. Why cant they put at least one draught beer in at least the evening bars. The first time we used the MDR I asked for a red frog to be told it was unavailable, there was a bar in the MDR with a red frog pump but there was no one staffing the bar for the entire cruise. Again disappointing. Which brings me onto the shocking 21% spanish port tax imposed by the EU. As a brit I was not aware that because the ship did not call at a non EU port the point of origin tax on all drinks applied for the whole cruise. Just to put that into perspective a $5 beer from the pub became a $7.19 beer, a bottle of $25 wine bcame $31, a single glass of wine at $6.50 became $9 We did not know this in advance as it was not mentioned in the pre cruise literature. This tax was applied to soda and bottled water aswell so a large water in the state room minibar cost $3.51. For all you europeans out there if you purchase the cheers package before travel in your respective EU country you are deemed to have paid tax under EU law. They will try to stiff you for it though. We met a fellow british family who had purchased 3 adult cheers and one soda package. The man in the family argued and argued with guest services over a couple of days that as he had purchased the packages within an EU member state prior to sailing he was not subject to the 21%drinks tax. They eventually agreed and he received a refund of $489, they said it was a "good will gesture". Also I discovered by chance if you use the self serve beer pumps for the 3 ship brewed beers it costs a straight $5 instead of $7.19 if the barman pours it for you 2 metres away, crazy!!!! There are self serve pumps in the red frog pub and in the lido marketplace. I have travelled on 3 continents to various countries and have never been charged €6 or equivalent to use the ATM for a cash withdrawal,we have pre paid international mastercards and the deal is you do not get charged in foreign countries. So why do Carnival charge this extortionate amount. We had trips booked independantly with other passengers from cruise critic and saved a fortune. Carnival tours are a total rip off, do not bother. For example in Palma they wanted $17 for a return shuttle into town. You can get the local bus from outside the terminal to Palma for €6 return, we got the HOHO outside the terminal for $19 pp which took you around all the city and back. The shuttle to Marseille however is strangely good value at $17 as we were 9km away. There is a boat trip from Marseille old port marina to Chateau D'If for €10, its fab takes around 1 hour and stops at the castle island where they filmed the Count of Monte Christo. We then did a train ride around town for €8 each on the train from tha same Marina, it takes you al the way up to the Basilica on the hill as well as other places for around 1 hour, you can HOHO. Please get off at Marseille we just wanted a couple of hours but we were there for 6 hours, a real hidden gem, a truly stunning location. Room service sandwiches were good, they charge for movies in cabin however. All the cocktail glasses were exactly the same size and shape (different to RCI), they are small, filled with ice and weak. They measure out the spirits in a measuring cup so if your cocktail of choice has one shot you are paying $11. I liked the different sizes and variety of glasses and cocktails far better on RCI. Overall loved the cruise, staff, ship and trips but Carnival never again, if these people could bill you for breathing oxygen they would, if we cruised again it would be with RCI which is on board a lot better value for money than Carnival. For what we spent we could have gone long haul. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
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