We had been really looking forward to our trip on the Carnival Vista. This would be our 4th cruise and the first where we have been brave enough to take our 3 year old daughter. We also took nan too so the ship needed to cater for all ... Read More
We had been really looking forward to our trip on the Carnival Vista. This would be our 4th cruise and the first where we have been brave enough to take our 3 year old daughter. We also took nan too so the ship needed to cater for all generations.
We travelled to Barcelona where we encountered trouble with a missing buggy for our daughter where easyjet service was awful and we missed our transfer, despite ringing our transfer company (booked by igloo/planet) to explain the situation and being told the driver was outside – he had already gone. Eventually we got to the port with buggy and waited ages in many queues despite being in the priority queues. The longest embarkation we have had. We got to the desk and they hadn’t got our room keys so had to wait for these, we were given wrong directions to get on the ship as staff were not educated on the routes we should take with a buggy.
We stayed in staterooms 9445 & 9449 next door to each other. The staterooms were a lovely size and very clean. There was plenty of storage with the under bed storage coming in very useful. Large TV, fridge, air conditioning/heating, free calls between rooms, Sockets and 2x usb ports. Hairdryer a basic one. Bathroom a good size with a nice shower. Attendants did a great job of keeping it clean and came in twice a day. They were also very friendly and intrusive. Each evening had the important we had a towel animal. Great location as very close to the Lido and pool area, however also nice and quiet. Water is available in the stateroom at about $4 per large bottle.
We were disappointed with the dinning on the ship. The food was ok, however I have had better on a number of ships. The food and food service would be the main area the ship needs to improve to meet up to expectations of other ships we have been on.
The Lido was open in the morning until about 3:30, then again 5:30-9:30. There were times when food was dried out and inedible. Breakfast included continental, full cooked British/American and an omelette station. At lunchtime there was limited choice of options of meals that actually went together. E.g Meat but no cooked veg or potatoes. however there was plenty of salad.
We had previously been used to Lido being open for afternoon tea when you come back onto the ship or late night snacks, however this was not the case. Guy’s burger joint was open most of the day until about 9pm but I really didn’t fancy trying it as both the burgers and fries (with skins on) looked really greasy, although they apparently tasted better than they looked. The only place you could get inclusive food late was the Pizzeria which always had a massive queue. One of my husbands treats on holiday is to go for supper after the evening entertainment out on deck however he was extremely disappointed not to be able to. Room service was available with tipping expected.
There were no trays so you could take food/drink out with you, instead you have to use a large plate.
My husband has a nut allergy (possibly my daughter too) and we were disappointed with the lack of labelling and cross contamination of items with nuts. For example the same scoop used for hazelnut and non nut ice-cream. A number of days he couldn’t eat any dessert served in the Lido due to the way they were serving the desserts.
Inclusive cold drinks only consisted of water, bitter lemonade or iced tea, a cordial of some kind would have been nice. There were many times where cups/milk/ice cream cones had ran out over the trip at some of the stations. Team and coffee was available, however fruit teas were charged extra.
There was ice cream available 24 /7 which my daughter loved and at lunchtime there was an area that made fresh ice cream which were gorgeous.
The main restaurant decor was fine, but not as grand as other ships. My husband compared the decor to a Weatherspoon, to which I have to agree. I had read reviews about the lack of table cloths, which is fine if this is reflected in the price however along with the decor and lax dress standards in the evening it does remove some of the grandeur of the cruise experience. On a dressy night guests were in the main restaurant in jeans and t-shirts.
The food was better quality than the Lido although the service was extremely slow and lacking of dinning etiquette. (E.g. Plates removed whilst others eating, I was asked if I wanted to use my knife and fork again for the main, soup spilt all down the side of the dish). Some staff really tried to make an effort with service but lacked training and an understanding of the food on the menu. We had My Time dinning which worked great with having a little one as it allowed us to eat earlier and we missed the queues, however if I’d have wanted to eat between 7-8 double queuing would have been annoying. (You had to queue up to book a table, then queue to be seated)
For a few hours around lunchtime Cucina del Capitano and JiJi Asian restaurant were open as part of the inclusive food (extra $ in evenings). The food in these restaurants was fantastic quality more in line with what I would have expected from the main restaurant.
The ship wasn’t as hot on enforcing hand hygiene as I have seen in the past, although there were plenty of gels around and some really great hand washing machines in the Lido. Public areas were kept very clean and tidy.
Entertainment & Activities
The splash area / waterpark was great fun and fairly quiet whilst in port with very little queuing. This was a great safe area for my toddler to play in, she loved it. So did we, as the main pool was freezing and a bit deep for taking a toddler into. Pool towels were available so no need to take your own.
We went of the sky ride twice and really enjoyed it although our first go we queued for about 1 hour. We were advised that the queue is the shortest just after 1pm and in the middle of the cruise, the next time we went on it we only waited about 10 minutes.
There were plenty of other activities in this area including a sky rope course, crazy golf, pool, football pool, twister, table tennis, gym equipment.
We didn’t use the activities which were an extra charge which included the IMAX cinema, thrill theatre, 10 in bowling, arcades, and casino. I may have gone to the Imax had there have been a decent film on however there were better films on the lido movie screen. We watched a couple of movie in the evenings by the lido pool, where you could also get some popcorn.
Most nights there was entertainment in the liquid lounge. The in house entertainment team and director did a great job, especially with the music / dance show. Some of the external acts were not quite as good. The punchliner comedy club was great, most evenings being able to watch a number of really good comedy shows. There were various bands around the ship, all very talented and friendly – my daughter loved to dance to the music.
Matt – your wake up calls every morning are really annoying when we get into port and 30 minutes after. Any chance you can put them on the TV as a morning video instead to save waking everyone up ….other than that you were a great cruise director
My daughter attended the kids club a few times and kept asking to go back which was a good sign. She came out with various craft activities she had done. We were given a phone so we could be called if there were any problems which was great for peace of mind. There was also a small area next to the kids club where you could play or read (loads of Dr Zeuss books). She loved the Dr Zeuss Cat in the Hat parade and the show despite never seeing the cat in the hat before.
There were other activities available such as bingo, games and quizzes but we didn’t do these.
Ports & Excursions
We had planned not to do any excursions as based on previous cruises we know we can do them much cheaper or we had already been to most of the locations. However we did do a last minute trip to Piza which was advertised the morning we were at the port. Just a short trip out at an affordable price which was well worth doing to say you have been to see the leaning tower. Had I had pre booked the more expensive tri to Pisa I would have been a bit miffed about this last minute offer. Various ports had these last minute deals.
We tended to just wander around the ports on the days we decided to get off. The best ports for this were Rhodes and Kusadasi as you come in really close to the town/beach area. Naples is also worth a wonder around, however if it’s the first time at this port I would have taken the last minute Pompeii trip. Pompeii is a wonderful place to see
Great for checking opening hours, activities and photos. Frustrating an extra $5 for chat functionality per person.
Having a 9pm flight we were really disappointed to find out that we had to get off the ship by 9:30 am. Other ships had allowed a later stay on which was what we were hoping rather than a 11.5 hour wait. We didn’t disembark at the time we were supposed to (8am ish) due to our long wait and so waited to the last minute to get off. This meant that we got straight off and collected our cases with no queuing – very hassle free.
We found out that there was a luggage drop in Athens airport for 6Euro per case, and Athens Zoo is only 15 minutes away from the airport so we spent the day at the Zoo. It’s a lovely Zoo and was much better than a day at the airport.
My review is slightly tainted based on the bias of previous comparable cruises I have been on in the past. For me the Carnival Vista did not meet my expectations due to the dining experience, lack of grandeur and the fact it felt like Carnival was constantly trying to find ways of getting more money from guests all of the while. The areas the ship excelled were the staterooms, activities and entertainment in comparison to other ships.
Would I recommend a trip on the Vista? ……well it depends on what type of cruise you are after and how much you want to pay. If you enjoy quality service, grandeur and virtually everything you want inclusive then this cruise ship is not for you. If you are after a fun, casual ship and happy to pay out for extras then you’ll love it.
Would I go with Carnival again? …. Only if I got the cruise at the right price, out of choice I would go on my next cruise with Royal Caribbean. Read Less