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132 Carnival Barcelona Cruise Reviews

Notes for our Carnival Horizon Our 8th crossing... our 78th Cruise with multiple cruise lines. Booking and Air We booked this Maiden transatlantic of the Horizon looking forward to enjoying sea days on the newest ship in the ... Read More
Notes for our Carnival Horizon Our 8th crossing... our 78th Cruise with multiple cruise lines. Booking and Air We booked this Maiden transatlantic of the Horizon looking forward to enjoying sea days on the newest ship in the Carnival fleet. Fortunately, Carnival had very reasonable pricing for our flights on United from Newark to Barcelona. Our flight departed Newark about 3 hrs. late, but the airplane seating, crew and experience itself was great. We arrived in Barcelona followed the crowd to immigration, picked up our luggage and headed to the baggage exit. Finding the Carnival representative was NOT easy. We had to ask several other cruise reps where we might find Carnival agents. After finding them, we stapled our pre-printed Carnival luggage tags to each piece, dropped them off with the Carnival porters and were directed to seats nearby. The process took about an hour with what we thought was check in at the airport (not).... the bus ride was about 30 minutes... after which we had to answer the same information once we arrived at the port terminal. As Platinum VIFP we were promptly led to the sign in desk and ready to board...however, we learned the we could bring our own wine and alcohol! The terminal has an extensive duty free selection of wine at reasonable prices, so we purchased a few bottles for the cabin. Boarding was fast, but the small, smart elevators caused long lines once on the ship as we waited our turn to go from deck 3 to our deck 6. Many angry guests could not imagine why it was taking so long! After about 20 minutes, we reached our cabin, 6461. We freshened up, checked the refrigerator only to find it was not working...we needed it fixed or replaced. (The 3rd replacement worked) The room and closet space were adequate, the extra long veranda however, was very narrow! Those sailing in warm weather would find it difficult to relax on the veranda with outstretched legs unless each chair was set on a 45 degree angle. The bathroom had a shower curtain and decor was in the retro old style and colors, it lacked enough space to keep toiletries conveniently nearby. No night light, no typical amenities such as body lotion, or shampoo conditioner... only shampoo and body wash dispensers in the shower. The one phone in the cabin was on the desk, as were the only 2 - 110v electrical 1 - 220v and 2 USB outlets. Again, not convenient to the bed or well thought out. We briefly met our cabin attendant, Daniel who asked if we wanted 1 or 2 make ups daily.... duh. We told him twice daily please. He and his partner Jelena were great at keeping the cabin tidy, clean and constantly filled our jumbo ice bucket! Off to lunch at the Lido Marketplace on deck 10, aft. Loved the layout, easy to find seating, several sections (front, mid and aft) each with much the same buffet selections, allowing for comfortable self service and finding tables. Many tables for 2, several up to 8. Liked the variety, happy with the quality, taste and prompt availability of whatever seems missing, just for the asking... (smoked salmon and poached eggs) in the morning. Never a food complaint in the Marketplace. Getting tables cleaned promptly was however, a challenge. Note: cookies are rare, and sugar free cookies never. Selection limited for all deserts, lines of 10 or more common. Need self service ... and additional sugar free deserts for those whose diet demands. Following lunch, we visited the maître D to change our dining time and table. Then it was time for the muster drill. Dinner was early 6PM at table 745. A lovely location, at the aft with a view of the ocean set for 4, our waiter and assistants were fabulous, the food was however, mediocre, never very hot, not up to our Carnival expectations (had always been better than other lines). Not a complaint, rather an observation. Usually after dinner, we would visit the casino! Not so on Horizon! The smell of smoke was unbearable despite Pierre’s (Hotel mgr.) assurance otherwise. He went into great detail at our Cruise Critic mtg about how much better the casino air filtration system was and how much effort and money went into making it so. Apparently it needs more effort, money or repair! Many guests we met had the same comment. Back to food.. Tried the Guys Hamburgers... they are absolutely delicious, fast service and excellent selection of toppings make for a great lunch. The BBQ was a disappointment... perhaps our expectations were set too high... long lines, hard to find tables, fatty ribs.. we found ourselves headed back to the Marketplace to finish lunch. The Seafood Shack is worth the few dollars extra. We shared a lunch combo platter (10.00. We are able to substitute clam strips for calamari, added shrimp, scallops, battered cod and fries. Plenty to share, all fried, all hot and delicious. Place your order, get notification via assigned buzzer when ready, pick up your meal and take back to a table in Marketplace. Ship The ship itself is not your typical Carnival décor. It's very attractive, just no glitz or glitter we are accustomed to. A guest we met said "there's no WOW factor". We were pleased with the extensive use of warm woods, glass and more "conservative" interiors.. Elevators Smart elevators ... good, but hard to get used to. More like some high rise buildings in metro cities, these are very efficient, but you need to indicate where you intend to go BEFORE entering the elevator, as there an NO buttons inside the elevator. You do this by approaching a pedestal, then touching the 6" X 10" display screen with the deck number you want to get to. The display then shows and sounds an Alpha Letters (A, B, C etc.) which elevator to use for that request. On most decks there's also a large display screen near the elevator bank with info. about which elevator will will stop on which decks etc. Frustrating at first, however, takes getting used to.. TV at seas, it's incredible how good the reception actually is. Just wish there were US stations. We had BBC, CNN international Sky News, CNBC etc. Great selection of movies... many are included, a few of the LATEST are priced at 4.99. Interactive menu lacks music channels, ship info. is minimal (ship camera, speed and depth, sunrise, sunset only) Would like temperature, wave heights and wind info.. Would also be nice if we could order room service ... perhaps this is coming. Veranda - Best said... this is a ship built for warm weather and outdoor activities. As such, our Veranda while longer than most, is so narrow as to make it impossible to pass when someone is using a lounge chair with legs extended. Theater - Liquid Lounge is MUCH too small, difficult to see stage from many seats, no pitch to the floor, so it's hard to see over guests seated in front of you. IMAX - Great experience, excellent selection, worth the small surcharge. Crew - Outstanding.. obviously these are selected for their experience and have been trained well. Always a smile, always do their very best to satisfy the guest. Dining Room - Moving away from the open, no division between sections, each area is a bit more defined a bit quieter than typical. There were however, NO table cloths, (except for formal nights), and the tables themselves are fairly close to each other making any privacy impossible. Overall, we had a pleasant cruise, we would do it again (if they offer another transatlantic). NOT a cold weather ship!! Not enough space at the indoor venues for games, cards, mahjong etc. when everyone is "indoors". Disembarkation Well coordinated - moved quickly. Note that customs declaration forms were not required UNLESS you had to something to declare. Hard to find porters in the luggage area. Lines waiting to get one as they returned to the terminal. Only other comment has really to do with the Carnival VFIP program. Just not very competitive with most others. Would love if they added things like some free wifi, 2 coupon drinks per day, etc. at Platinum level. Love the laundry perk, boarding priority, private phone contact and Platinum Line at Guest Services. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We sailed on the transatlantic cruise and had a wonderful two weeks. Having sailed on Vista a couple of years previously in The Med we knew what to expect from this class of ship and it didn't disappoint. Embarkation: very quick ... Read More
We sailed on the transatlantic cruise and had a wonderful two weeks. Having sailed on Vista a couple of years previously in The Med we knew what to expect from this class of ship and it didn't disappoint. Embarkation: very quick and easy, comfortable big cruise terminal in Barcelona with plenty of seats, a cafe, bar and a duty free shop that had its shelves picked clean - it was funny to watch. The Ship: it was great to see some familiar faces from the crew on Vista, most of the crew were brilliant and really create a fun, lively atmosphere on board. It has almost the same layout as Vista but they've made a couple of changes which are not an improvement such as opening the Steakhouse to flow into the Piano bar. We had an inside cabin on deck 7 which had a comfortable bed, plenty of hangers but could do with some shelves beside the wardrobe. The room steward asked if we wanted the room cleaned once or twice a day. Very friendly guy who always had a smile and a chat every time we saw him. Entertainment: we love the production shows, the comedy club, the lively atmosphere all around the ship. The entertainment on Carnival is far better than any other cruise line we've sailed with. The comedians were really funny especially the three British guys. All the shows we watched in the Liquid Lounge were excellent, including the guest singers and the hypnotist. Unfortunately Carnival have not listened to feedback from Vista and changed the design of the Liquid Lounge which is undoubtedly the worst theatre on any cruise ship afloat. It is totally inadequate in size and has a terrible layout meaning that only half the seats have a decent view of the stage. As a result people queue for up to 45 minutes to get a seat with a view. Design Flaws: the Liquid Lounge is not the only design flaw on this class of ship, they have repeated the same flaws as Vista. The gym is far too small and appears to be an after thought stuck at the end of the Spa. Two of the additional fee restaurants are located directly below the sports court so you hear a constant thump, thump, thump of basketballs while you're having lunch or dinner. There's a big massive waste of space covering three floors of the ship, the Imax. Surely a better use of this space would be more cabins and a bigger gym. Food: some good and some not so good experiences. We had YTD and it worked great every night. We never had to wait for a table whether we were sharing or just a table for two. Service was always very friendly, courteous and quick. Every night we had a really enjoyable meal, good food well served. The Lido could get busy during breakfast and lunch but we always found plenty to eat and always found a table. Plenty of variety although the signs above the serving stations in the Lido could be a lot bigger to make them easier to read. The Pig and Anchor always had a queue at 1200 when it opened but if you went in after 1300 there was no queue and plenty of seats available. Mongolian Wok and Ji Ji's - we went twice to each and had superb meals each time. Well worth the $15 fee for dinner. Its a shame they don't close the sports court directly above so you don't have to listen to the constant thump of basketballs. Cucina del Capitano was terrible, very poor service. We went for lunch on a port day, it wasn't busy so there can be no excuses for such poor service. Very slow, unattentive and they forgot two dishes. The food was nothing special so we didn't go back and certainly were not minded to go for dinner and pay a fee. They need trained on service standards by the staff from Ji Ji's. Overall we had a great cruise, met some lovely fellow cruisers, had some great experiences on a ship who's crew create a fun, lively, wonderful atmosphere on board. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Just did the 10 day Europe trip on the Carnival Horizon out of Barcelona and was keen to try a brand new ship cruising out of my back yard in Spain. Embarkation was a quick painless experience out of the new D terminal at Barcelona - 30 ... Read More
Just did the 10 day Europe trip on the Carnival Horizon out of Barcelona and was keen to try a brand new ship cruising out of my back yard in Spain. Embarkation was a quick painless experience out of the new D terminal at Barcelona - 30 mins maximum. The ships lobby area is the entry point and it has a spectacular funnel shaped column that constantly changes color with images. Staterooms were made available at 130pm and mine was a comfortable balcony forward on deck 10. The facilities are standard but I found the room comfortable and practical, of course the beds are brand new which helps. The design of this ship is ingenious. It has the top deck with its Dr Seuss waterpark, the Skyride and other play areas on deck 12, but deck 11 is clear for seating/sunbeds that sit at a wider perimeter from the center so they are not covered by the play area above. First introductions to Mike Pack, Cruise Director extraordinaire who had a fantastic presence throughout the whole cruise and who managed to say hi to me, just one of 4200 passengers, four times during this cruise. I found him, the entertainment team and the ships while crew in general to be outstanding but I guess you would expect Carnival to put some of their top employees on their newest ship. The entertainment throughout the trip was outstanding and some tremendous productions each evening in the main theater, the Liquid Lounge. This theater by the way, is far too small and not well designed for this ship. Most of the seats on deck 4 are at the same level, meaning your view of the stage is blocked. The 2nd theater is used as Punchliners comedy club, and again, some excellent comedians throughout the cruise, who changed every 2-3 days. Food was a mixed bag and I have to say, the quality of the food in the main dining room was fairly average. I enjoyed breakfast and a good selection but I found the evening meals to be boring and little choice. Of course, all the good stuff now comes with a surcharge e.g steak and lobster. The specialty restaurants are excellent and worth the up-charge. I had a great 18oz rib-eye in Fahrenheit 555 and the Bonsai Teppenyaki is also a great experience. This was my first trip on a Carnival ship with Guys Burger Joint and I became a new fan. Carnival were applying VAT throughout the trip in Europe which made the expensive drinks even more expensive. In the big scheme of things its not a huge deal but there were a lot of negative comments about this. I love the movie screen on the outside on Lido deck but unfortunately the European weather was not very kind to us, it rained and got cold in the evenings. Once this ship is at home in the Caribbean that will be a major success. The Havana retreat at the back of the ship is closed to Havana suite guests during ther day but opens in the evening from 7pm. This is another masterful design and a great area to sit back and have a drink. I found the whole crew to be friendly, motivated and hard working and you can tell you are on a Fun Ship from the moment you board. One thing that totally impressed me was the Lido deck center being completely covered in towel animals on our arrival into Messina, amazing! I did the trip because of the ship rather than the ports of call (Livorno/Civitavechia/Naples/Dubrovnik/Corfu and Messina. Being Spain based I had visited all previously except Dubrovnik, which I loved, even in the rain. Debarkation couldnt have been easier back in Barcelona and I was off the ship and in a taxi in 15 minutes. All in all, a great trip Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Bit surprised about the late change of itinerary. Would have thought Carnival Corp would be in a position command the best berthing rights in any port. Substituting Messina for Cagliari was not popular with us. Western Med itineraries ... Read More
Bit surprised about the late change of itinerary. Would have thought Carnival Corp would be in a position command the best berthing rights in any port. Substituting Messina for Cagliari was not popular with us. Western Med itineraries feature Messina more often than Cagliari! Not sure I heard correctly that the real reason was so that the Italian officers could visit their families! First time in 30+ cruise we had our confirmed and invoiced dining time changed. Managed to get it switched back from first sitting to anytime. Excuse given was that time allocation was depended on when you booked but we booked back in November! I suspect that renegotiating the price, adding Fun Shop items, excursions etc, after booking reset the clock. Something to be aware of! MDR food was OK with fair choice. Not a lover of chocolate so found desserts sometimes a bit limited. Our request for packet butter rather than the given margarine in the MDR was met only once so we started bring in our own from the Lido or room service! Other food options similar to previous Carnival sailings - burgers, pizzas, pasta. Midnight food a bit weird, same limited menu on offer each night. Also bear in mind there are limited fast food choices only between 1530 and 1800 so tough luck if you're back late from an excursion or want an afternoon tea! Did n't like the pools on Vista. Both are surrounded by bars, fast food options and even entertainment screen. Same on Horizon. And no pool in the Serenity. Was going to book Havana cabin to get a decent pool and hot tub area but decided as this was April in the Med maybe not the best of choices? As it turned out the weather was unusually hot and dry so a Havana would have been a good option! We booked a spa cabin instead and enjoyed the thermal area though I would say that the 4 person whirlpool was a bit of a disappointment when we should have had a decent thalassotherapy pool! Just a last point on water - is anyone else a bit peeved by those who sit, beers lined up, in a a hot tub for hour on end? Of the 3 main entertainment decks, Lobby, Mezzanine and Promenade, we found only 5 Promenade was walkable from stern to aft. 4 Mezzanine has the casino with the tobacco smoke and 3 Lobby has the galley and Reflections Restaurant. Of which the latter they let you walk through outside of dinner time! Site lines in the Liquid Lounge theatre are bad - too many pillars! I've come to the conclusion that Carnival start disembarkation extra early and just hope for the best! Announcements started just past 0600. No attention had been paid to our afternoon flight time. Just told our cabin status offered 'priority debarkation.' If we'd have gone along with the early time then we'd just have been stuck hours at the airport! We did change from slot 3 to 22 I think but we need n't have bothered as passengers just get off when they are ready! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
suitable for children new cruise ship. taken several carnival cruises before. staff bend over backwards to be helpful mike the cruise director was entertainment on his own!! a great asset to carnival. fun squad always cheerful and ... Read More
suitable for children new cruise ship. taken several carnival cruises before. staff bend over backwards to be helpful mike the cruise director was entertainment on his own!! a great asset to carnival. fun squad always cheerful and hard working. restaurant staff were very helpful and caring for our vegetarian grand daughter. the waiter Goran and assistant Nemanaja and Gabor were great. extra bath and sink in family harbor rooms are very useful our group of 2 adults and 2 grand children. we dont mind paying $5 pp for the IMAX cinema and our grand children loved choosing sweets and candy in cherry on top. the children looked forward every evening to the photographers attention and posing in the very many backdrops. we bought a photo package in advance of the cruise which was very reasonable. overall we had a great week and look forward to carnival returning to europe in the near future. overall, anything we asked for or wanted was made possible by the ever helpful staff. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Bring new ship exactly the same as the vista slightly wider lobby area but apart from the same. The entertainment wasn’t brilliant -hypnotist , magic shows , and cheesy games shows with qvc Mike. The stage crew did a scary Motown show ... Read More
Bring new ship exactly the same as the vista slightly wider lobby area but apart from the same. The entertainment wasn’t brilliant -hypnotist , magic shows , and cheesy games shows with qvc Mike. The stage crew did a scary Motown show which was well directed. Sky ride people were really friendly. Shelby in the kids clubs was amazing -always a smimey face. The food wasn’t well match with sides so bit of mismatching going on. The lido moved the cups out so you had to take your boiling hot coffe over the other side of the deck for milk Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We booked this ship for the maiden voyage! We have sailed with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Celebrity. We booked a spa cabin and it was great! The balcony was pretty small but the perks of being able to use the thermal suites ... Read More
We booked this ship for the maiden voyage! We have sailed with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Celebrity. We booked a spa cabin and it was great! The balcony was pretty small but the perks of being able to use the thermal suites was great! Our steward was fantastic! We only went to the dining room 3 times for the entire cruise. Service was not up to snuff and the menus were not as great as usual, We did go to the steakhouse one night and it was fantastic! But pricey $30 each. The Art at your table dessert was wonderful! We were not impressed by the Pig and Anchor which you can have free for lunch. The lido buffet was good with steak one night, prime rib another. The excursions we had through Carnival were great. We book through the ship and the first port Florence, had 29 people that did not make it back to the ship due to traffic and they were left. They totally missed their day in Rome and made it to the ship for departure. The itinerary was packed and we were worn out, but happy! The ship was pretty cool, but I missed the big atrium for older ships. The elevator was computerized which was nice. I don't think we will go for huge ships anymore, due to long lines and crowds. Getting on and off was not a problem. The comedy club was awesome! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
First off let me say the itinerary was awesome and the best I have ever experienced as a Platinum Cruiser with Carnival. The staff was warm and friendly with very few exceptions and tried very hard to adjust anything that had not quite got ... Read More
First off let me say the itinerary was awesome and the best I have ever experienced as a Platinum Cruiser with Carnival. The staff was warm and friendly with very few exceptions and tried very hard to adjust anything that had not quite got all the tweaks just right for a new ship on its Maiden Voyage. Almost all the excursions ran smoothly and seem to try hard to get the passengers the best for their money. Some need a bit of improving her and their but again they tried hard to make it work or at least make the errors in timing or traffic as fun as possible. But you expect a bit of that and for a first cruise a bit more, Having said all that I must say that the healthy food and nutrition which has become more prevalent for anyone who is either trying to maintain a reasonably healthy diet, has allergies or is one of 11 to 13 % of the global population and growing ... the dreaded Vegetarians. Ranging from the strictest Vegans to the various other Vegetarians, “BE WARE” Every year your ability to feed yourself a healthy well balanced diet wanes as the cost goes up. If case someone thinks this a big “Boo Hoo Feast” let me point out that we all pay the same amount to be fed the “Included” food. The included food should be base diet that at the very least should be healthy. What few options may be available should be clearly posted and simple steps can be taken to make sure that all passengers are made welcome and fed well. And years have been invested in all the correct steps of contacting customer service, meetings with the on board chiefs and the like but to no avail. Sadly, the launching of the Horizon was the worst to date and the corporate office that I have been told by the executive chiefs dictates the food available could care less. I personally have volunteered to work for them on a consulting basis to help them make very minor tweak to remedy many of the simply thoughtless, choices that could be easily remedied. These issues of sustaining a healthy diet, especially on a long voyage affect our children, the elderly and a growing number of adults that simply wish to avoid morbid obesity and all the risk to heart and health, Type II Diabetes, an array of digestive aliments that seem to be exploding, and the 10 percent of the worlds population that are vegetarians. Many Non Vegetarian practice a semi vegetarian diet as well. Most of us do not expect the same level of choices but we do pay the same amount and not to have the same opportunity or to be able to find a well-balanced options at any include facility on the ship, especially the Ledo deck where the majority of your meals take place is not acceptable. One green vegetable appeared at some but not all the meals and it was in a small container, placed at the back so it was hard to reach, and well over 80% of the time, it had bacon or some other item mixed in making unavailable to consume. The protein choices for those at least able to eat cheese, was equally as poor. Even places like Guys Burger bar have a veggie Pattie that they will take to the back and cook on a clean grill but nowhere do they post that. Do you know that you can get Soy milk? Yup it’s there but you have to chase someone down to get it. And again, no listing to make you aware that it is even available. And it comes in small containers that tjat can just as easily be put out as all the other forms of milk. If you drink the healthier alternative of Almond milk, forget it. Better buy it and drag it on board yourself. Hope you have time to go shopping. But you can chase someone down to go get you Soy milk. The blow off answer is to tell you to eat all your meals in the main dining room and if you tell the staff 24 hours ahead of time they will get you what you want. Again, we all pay the same amount to be able to get a healthy bite on our fun day at sea if at the pool or having to be up very early for an excursion and the only option is the Ledo deck or room service that is very sweet and kind but has yet to any order that is not on the menu correct. Sadly the Horizon either didn’t receive the order for basic healthy food or corporate has reached an all-time low on providing the needs of all within reason. I personally have watch the healthy choices for adilts and our children alike vanish when it is completely unnessesary and to offer a healthier choice can be more cost effective. But two week on a boat without proper protein and food choices that maintain a healthy diet for the money we spend is dangerous to the guest and very poor corporate choses when it effects up to 13% of their market. So the ship was beautiful, the staff was warm and friendly, many who went out of their way to help make sure where Horizon dropped the ball or didn’t care about our health … took what they had to help, the itinerary was awesome and I was fed beautifully off the ship as wer my more restricted passengers by kitchen who had so much less to work with, the chiefs Table which of course cost us over a hundred dollars each was magnificent and the $100.00 inaugural keychain gifts were nice but I’d rather be able to eat well and enjoy my trip without having to scavenge for basic food. FYI ….. My ideas on how to fix allot of the problem are still open to Corporate and can make Carnival the leader not only in fun and safe travel but staying healthy and fit for all as well. FYI … for all the high cost meats and animal proteins we are not consuming a basic healthy diet is not much to ask. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our third transatlantic cruise and I must say it did not compare with the two previous ones. It started the first night when I purchased a wine package. The waiter did not tell me that if I waited one night I would not have to pay ... Read More
This was our third transatlantic cruise and I must say it did not compare with the two previous ones. It started the first night when I purchased a wine package. The waiter did not tell me that if I waited one night I would not have to pay a 10% Barcelona sales tax. It would have been cheaper to buy the wine individually. The main dining room was divided into little spaces which I assume made it more intimate.Instead you are behind the giant pillars and can't see anything. The tables do not have table cloths and are made of brown arborite which you see in any local diner. The meals were not bad although I did not see a steak on the menu without paying extra. The main theatre was high tech with all the lights and affects and in fact was very effective. However, sitting anywhere in the balcony left you behind a pillar, too far back to see the entire stage, looking around people in front of you while constantly looking through plexiglass. I guess I must be getting old because the adult comedy is too often about sex acts I am not interested in hearing about. The hot tub on the Serentity deck was getting colder by the day during the trip. I finally got hold of the engineer after many calls and waiting. He took the temperature of the water and stated that even though it was 90 F they could not increase the temperature because of health regulations. I have never heard of that and do not appreciate being lied to. To add a final insult I went down the water slide and ended up stopping dead twice in the tube. Not much fun if you are claustrophobic. One of the maintenance guys said there is not enough water pumped through if the ship lists. The TV channels were European news channels and we did not get any US channels until the last three days and even then they kept cutting out. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
It appears to be a trend in the cruise industry today. Build bigger ships to increase passenger capacity, However, there has been an often overlooked design flaw with the ships main auditoriums. They haven't grown in size to meet ... Read More
It appears to be a trend in the cruise industry today. Build bigger ships to increase passenger capacity, However, there has been an often overlooked design flaw with the ships main auditoriums. They haven't grown in size to meet the demands of the larger ships. I don't know what Carnival advertises as the seating capacity of the Vista, but it doesn't matter. It's WAY too small. They decided to divert from the traditional long bench type seating for individual chairs in the center of the auditorium. Unfortunately, they placed too many chairs in the space creating poor viewing and uncomfortable seating. My knees were literally resting against the back of the chair in front of me. Once seated, you were stuck because you couldn't get passed the people beside you. The bar service was limited because the wait staff was unable to get to the customers. Anyone in an individual seat was forced to hold their drink in their lap during the entire performance as there were no place to put your drink. Some of the tiered seats had a small area that was possibly a place to hold a drink, but was positioned next to your shoulder so it wasn't functional. To make matters worse, they built a huge bar in the back of the first level, further reducing the capacity of the auditorium. To add to the frustration, they emptied out the center portion of the auditorium one night for a show that had the performers dancing out on the floor. There was a lot of grumbling about the auditorium. There were a couple of minor flaws that will probably work themselves out. 1. The waitstaff seemed a little unseasoned for dinner service (pardon the pun). They would forget salad forks or bring two courses at once, but they were at least trying their best to make our dinner a pleasurable one. 2. There was no milk dispensers for breakfast cereals at the buffets.. You had to obtain a box of milk and punch a hole in it and then squirt the milk onto your cereal. The boxes must have been made of bullet-proof cardboard because you couldn't tear the little buggers open like the ones the kids get in school. I asked for milk one night at dinner and the waiter literally was squirting the milk from the box into the glass. 3. Had to ask after the third day for ice in the cabin. It was eventually corrected, but then I had to ask for tongs for the ice bucket. 4. The Kleenex dispenser in the bathroom made it impossible to get a tissue without ripping the paper. I finally gave up and just got an extra box and left it on top of the vanity. Since this was a re-positioning cruise, I am expecting that most of the minor flaws that popped up will resolve itself once it starts operating out of Miami on a regular basis. The entertainment was excellent. The main shows at night were really nice as the entertainers could both sing and dance very well. It wasn't the usual yelling or yodeling that you get from a lot of other shows, with the exception of one night where there was a zombie looking dude wandering around the entire performance. Not sure what he represented but is was a little distracting. As always, the water park was great and the best part of the outside sports venues was the Skyride. I highly recommend it as it was a blast. I did miss the large indoor promenade that is on most of the other Carnival ships. We always could find a spot near the casino and play cards or domino's and watch the world go by while having your favorite bar service person stop by to keep you sufficiently quenched, but unfortunately, this feature was missing. There were many other locations to do it on the Vista, but most were outside so if it was windy or raining or cold, finding a spot indoors could be a challenge. Seating at the buffets during peak times were always a challenge on other ships, but the Vista made the required adjustments and we always were able to find a seat without a problem. They have gotten really crazy on some of the verbiage for their daily activity sheets that you receive every night in the room. Shore tours and shopping seminars are now called Enrichment Activities. Why can't you just go back to calling them Shore Excursion Tour Talk or Shopping Seminar? I also found it odd that there were no hot tubs in the public spaces. They were only located in "private" sections of the ship like the Serenity or Havana sections. They have gone digital on their photographs which was extremely efficient. You no longer have to go searching for your pictures as you now can access them from your room television or mobile device. However, there were a couple of issues that need resolving. 1. You no longer have the option of buying a 5" x 7". It now comes with 4 wallet size photos so the 5" x 7" now cost as much as an 8" x 10". 2. In the past, Carnival would offer benefits for those who purchased numerous photos. You typically received some type of prize (i.e. luggage tag, USB drive, etc) for reaching a specific number of photo purchases, but this was only offered during select days on the Vista. We were unaware of this and ended up not receiving any of the gifts because it was on a day that this benefit wasn't offered. You would have thought after dropping about $600 on photos, they would have made an exception and ponied up a luggage tag or something, but they didn't. Lesson learned. Would I go again on the Vista? Probably as soon as it starts the Miami run to see if my observations were just a fluke. However, Carnival REALLY needs to increase the capacity of their main auditorium. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I'm retired military and have crossed the ocean many times, flying, but this was my first ship crossing. Embarkation , slow painfully slow. Even with new set your time, it was a mess. I think some of it had to do with the amount ... Read More
I'm retired military and have crossed the ocean many times, flying, but this was my first ship crossing. Embarkation , slow painfully slow. Even with new set your time, it was a mess. I think some of it had to do with the amount of Diamond and Platinum cruisers and the 1400 back to back on this cruise. We were late leaving the port, Barcelona, but had plenty of time to get to Gibraltar. Ship sailed very smoothly until the third day when the winds howled. They had to move the furniture off some of the lower balcony cabins because of the waves and wind. They also closed the storm shutters on these lower decks. The ship handled it well but, it was rough. Easy disembark at Gibraltar, it was Sunday and almost everything was closed. Next stop was the Azores, a nice stop in the middle of the Atlantic. Very close to the town and shopping. After a four day sail we were in Bermuda, an overnight stop at Kings Wharf. A lot of history in the near-by military museums. A small amount of shopping in the clock tower "mall". Another days sail and into New York Harbor. We arrived about three A.M. but, that didn't seem to stop a lot of people from coming up on the decks to take pictures and sightsee. Now the ship, the bike ride was veery cool and fun, the ropes were a challenge but, also fun. I did both and I am nearly 71. Putt-putt was good, it was on two levels, very challenging for putt-putt. My interior room and all other interior rooms including ocean view have only one closet to hang things in. It was a shock when we opened the door to see this and a surprise. The TV was very large maybe a 40" model. They ran the news channels, a couple of cartoon channels, and Discovery Channel. Also, on demand, had new older movies, some were free and other, newer ones, were $4.95. The main dinning room, without table clothes, seemed a little under dressed. Service hasn't changed much, still slow as if you were fine dinning. The food was good, not as many options and a little less on your plate. I'm not saying that as a bad thing. The Liquid Lounge, this place is really a disappointment to all who tried to watch a show there or came to the Diamond and Platinum party. There is no room for wait staff to bring you drinks and if/or when you get a drink, there's no place to set it down. The shows, as a frequent cruiser on Carnival, I have become bored with the Carnival "Playlist" entertainment, loud music sung with mediocre talent. The laundry service, free for platinum and diamond cruisers, but, at your own risk. The first two loads were no problem. The next one must have been cleaned at the pond with two rocks. The white socks were very gray. The golf shirts looked like they were folded while damp and a tinge off color. It's the reason I carry so many large suitcases, I learned from past experiences, however, I gave them another chance. Over all, it was a nice cruise if you avoided the trouble spots, the specialty restaurants seemed well received and everyone who used them were happy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because there were a lot of people on it that we have cruised with before. That is always a plus. Now, I would like to compare the ship and crew with the first TA on the Dream. Well, there is no comparison. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because there were a lot of people on it that we have cruised with before. That is always a plus. Now, I would like to compare the ship and crew with the first TA on the Dream. Well, there is no comparison. The restaurants on the Vista were great. The cabin stewards were awesome. The layout of the ship wasn't as confusing. The only downside was the stage area. There were a lot of visual obstacles to see around. The rooms were of good size. The ports were great. We saw Athens, Rhodes, Malta, Pisa, Florence, Pompeii, Sicily, Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Southern France, Barcelona, Montserrat, Gibraltar, the Azores and Bermuda. A few places that we've been to and a lot that we haven't. It for the most part was great. Now, for things that could have been better: Not much. The hand washing stations were different. I do miss the happy happy washy washy people. But on the upside they did have a few really interesting hand washing stations that were automatic. After about 12 seconds all you had to do was dry your hands. Now, why do I prefer the old way? Simple. Some people do NOT wash their hands after going to the restroom. I've gotten Norro before and I never want to get it again. The other downside was the bulkhead doors slamming all day and night in rough seas. The needs to tie them down. Back to the pros part. I love soft serve ice cream. Don't go for those little tiny cups. Get a big bowl and fill it up. They also offer a really nice brunch with steak and eggs. It was great. And if you like that you will love the banana cream pie. It was by far the best tasting banana cream pie I've ever eaten. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We were first time Carnival passengers and found some good quality and some not so good quality. We had an inside cabin which was comfortable and great service from the cabin steward. We thought not printing all photos and having ... Read More
We were first time Carnival passengers and found some good quality and some not so good quality. We had an inside cabin which was comfortable and great service from the cabin steward. We thought not printing all photos and having passengers choose what they wanted and print only those was very cost saving. What we did not enjoy was the theater which was used for entertainment and activities. The seats were all the same height and you could not see the stage from the 5th deck. The entertainers were very good except the shows selected were not appropriate for a cruise. We did not appreciate the performer having his hands in his crotch area - that belongs in the streets and not on stage. A number of the areas for activities were very small and always crowded. This is the first cruise where we could not take games out of the library and there was only 1 table to use. Having a bar in the library made no sense to us. We will have to really consider the itinerary that Carnival offers before we will sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We cruised on this ship from Athens to Barcelona, and then on to New York on the Vista’s maiden Trans-Atlantic. For the most part public areas where kept clean and tidy with staff often to be seen cleaning. This was especially so on ... Read More
We cruised on this ship from Athens to Barcelona, and then on to New York on the Vista’s maiden Trans-Atlantic. For the most part public areas where kept clean and tidy with staff often to be seen cleaning. This was especially so on the leg from Athens to Barcelona when apparently some cases of the norovirus where on-board. However, there did not appear to be enough bar staff, leading to tables not being cleared and people having to go to the bar to order, but they still had the cheek to charge the 15% gratuity on each drink. We were in cabin 2274 which is a nice cove balcony in a good location near the front elevators, with plenty of storage space and was big enough for 2 people, but would have been a bit crowded with the 3 it could take. There were noise issues however, firstly from inconsiderate guests talking loudly in the corridor or next door cabins, and for some reason they seemed to take delight in slamming their balcony doors every time they used them. Also on the 2 days from Gibraltar to the Azores the ship encountered some rough and windy weather. We were warned about this before leaving Gibraltar and the storm doors where put up on all the balcony cabins on deck 2. Due to the ships movement for the first 24 hours the noise from our balcony was horrendous, sounding like someone constantly hitting the metal with a hammer. When we complained to guest services they said all the balcony’s where the same and there was nothing we could do. However, we found out later that some people had taken a recording of the noise to guest services and the problem had been fixed. We did have other issues with cupboard door hinges and noise for the air condition grill, but these where sorted very quickly. All the staff where friendly and helpful and appeared to be happy. The facilities and entertainment where very good. We especially loved the Sky-Train, the production shows, the Shipsies live band, the string trio, and the occasionally watching a film on deck in the evening. Jamie and then Matt are excellent cruise directors who kept the fun going helping to create a good atmosphere. However, I can’t understand that on a new ship why the swimming pools are so small, and also a lot of the time not heated. Overall the food was good, but the choices for lunch and dinner in the buffet where limited, and tended to become a bit samey. On port days the buffet was very busy and chaotic with queues building up at the serving stations. Service in the main dining room was very inconsistent, with dining times ranging from 1 hour to 2 hours, although on most evenings we didn’t have a problem getting a table for 2 if we wanted one. To sum up we enjoyed the ship, but we like the Carnival Legend and the atmosphere on her more. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have cruised with Carnival 4 times previously and as UK residents took advantage of the Vista departing a European port prior to being assigned to it's home port of Miami. Normally to experience a Carnival cruise we have to ... Read More
We have cruised with Carnival 4 times previously and as UK residents took advantage of the Vista departing a European port prior to being assigned to it's home port of Miami. Normally to experience a Carnival cruise we have to first fly to the USA so this was a great opportunity to go transatlantic and from Europe. The ship is great I loved it, Carnival have departed from the "Versace on speed" look and the set out of the vessel is easy to navigate and has a good feel throughout. As mentioned by every man and his dog the main theatre (liquid lounge) is of a poor design with bad views to the stage 'nuff said so let's just leave it at that, I just hope Carnival learn their lesson for the new class of ship currently under design. Food in the main dining area's we found to be well improved from previous Carnival cruises good choices and plentiful - no problems at all. In the "pay extra" venues the steakhouse has exactly the same menu as other Carnival ships but the service has been throttled back. Previously you would get your server preparing your salad at the table and a somelier was on hand to recommend wine - small touches that made the meal an "experience" these have sadly gone. Cucina del Capiano was good, as was Ji Ji Asian - extra payments but we thought well worth it. We did visit Cucina del Capiano for lunch (no extra payment at lunchtime but limited menu) and I ordered a bottle of chianti ($26) when the waiter brought it he attempted to pour the wine into two plastic soft drink "glasses" when I requested wine glasses he said they weren't available - they clearly were on the next table as people were drinking from them! Only when I told him to take the wine away did he go and source two proper wine glasses....small things but they impact your overall impression? The main "reflections" dining room was a nice venue, I disagree with some of the reviewers on the thread, I found the mood lighting was good and the tables were well presented and the whole place was spotless. The staff from Ken the singing Maitre D to Frank our server and his team were hard working, friendly and efficient - well done to them. Sadly the same can't be said for the seaday brunch in the Horizons venue, we and another 6 guests waited for an hour and three quarters and still 4 of us had not received all of our brunch items, at this point my wife (who was still waiting for her main order) and I decided to leave. As we left I mentioned to what appeared to be the head waitress / Maitre D that a 90 minute wait and still no meal was pretty poor, her reply was "the average wait in this restaurant is one hour" I was grateful for the statistical analysis but frankly expected an apology or an explanation. When I explained that there were still 4 people waiting for their order and she should go and maybe hurry the service along she apologised (through gritted teeth) and said she would inform the manager - we stuck to the lido for breakfast after this experience. Similarly before our visit to the steakhouse we decided to try a cocktail at the Alchemy bar which is situated adjacent to the steakhouse, we ordered our cocktails and waited.....and waited.....and waited - 20 minutes later I approached the bar and enquired where our drinks were? The bartender then disengaged herself from the guests seated at the bar whom she'd been talking to and asked me for the second time what I would like.....outta there was what I liked - went to the red frog 10 yards down the hall and got served right away....Alchem - y very clique - y.....no thanks, poor service. Havana bar great - does what it says on the tin...cocktails, good service and you can't beat a bit of Latin music before dinner. Red Frog pub was a winner and for me the best bar on the ship - Great beer brewed in front of you - The Red Frog "Red" is a proper decent pint with a nice toffee finish (I'm English so I'm used to flat, bad beer) this was a knockout pint - highly recommended. The guitarist during our cruise was a guy called Ed Deane - very talented and made the pub experience special - well done to the Red Frogs - top drawer. We were in a balcony stateroom, deck 6 midship which was very nice, storage OK, TV good and Duncan our steward was a top bloke - no issues at all. I think my only criticism of the Vista is regarding the staffing, there just seemed to be less professional in parts and there were longer waits whether at bars, guest services or dining rooms. The dining staff appeared to be under much more pressure, therefore efficiency and customer interaction suffer. A senior staff member confided in us that the staffing numbers had been cut and that subsequently service was being impacted - this is a shame because for me, it kicks the Vista from excellent to very good. Overall would I cruise Carnival again - yes - on the Vista - yes but I'm told by many people on board to try the Breeze next so we'll see. Hope this post has been helpful. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was the first Transatlantic cruise for my husband and I, and we were not disappointed. We spent 3 days in Barcelona pre-cruise; what a fantastic city to explore. The highlight there was definitely La Sagrada Familia -- a church ... Read More
This was the first Transatlantic cruise for my husband and I, and we were not disappointed. We spent 3 days in Barcelona pre-cruise; what a fantastic city to explore. The highlight there was definitely La Sagrada Familia -- a church still being built, unlike any other. We signed up for 10:30 embarkation, using the new staggered embarkation system. It doesn't seem to have done much good. We still waited in line for over an hour! Of course, we are only gold members; the platinum and diamonds were moving quicker. The ship was wonderful. With a total of 8 1/2 sea days, I was a little worried about getting bored. That was never a problem. I had been reading all about the ship for the 9 months prior to our sailing, so I had so many things I wanted to check out and do, In a nutshell, the food in the MDR was great (we had early dining). We loved our waiters, and we got to really enjoy our table-mates. My only complaint here was our table. We were at #600 on deck 4 of the Horizons dining room. It was right behind a wall seperating us from the desk, and right in front of an opaque, decorative wall of wine bottles. We all remarked how we felt isolated from the rest of the dining room. We couldn't even see other diners! We loved our cabin, a balcony, #8265. Plenty of room and our cabin steward, Mangcu from Bali, was delightful. We had a problem the second day with wet carpeting; I think the A/C was leaking. Someone came and fixed it right away and no further problems. And Mangu did follow up and ask if we were having any more problems with it. We enjoyed most of the shows, except maybe the comedians. They just weren't our cup of tea. We did enjoy the magicians and the hypnotist. The production shows were great, but the Liquid Lounge was very disappointing: There are several large pillars throughout the seating areas which obstruct the views in many, many seats. We always sat on the upper floor; the people on the lower floor were all on an even level, so you couldn't see over the head in front of you, if you were lucky enough not to have a pillar in your way! We loved the Imax theater, and were able to see "Sully" and "inferno" and really enjoyed those. We also enjoyed the Dive In movies, except maybe the day it rained! We did have a couple of days of rough seas, and though we were never sick, it was a little scary for me, but only the first night; when I saw in the daylight that the waves were not as violent as they sounded, I was fine. As I read beforehand, for the 4,000 guests on board, it never really felt crowded. We could always find a little nook to hunker down in and play a few games or read -- our preferred ways to relax. We took a ship excursion in each port, and on the whole were very pleased with those. We did have a problem with our tour leader in Gibraltar, Elena. On the bus she would not use the mike, even after some of us told her we could not hear. And when we got off the bus to tour the cave and the Siege Tunnels, she said to go inside and she would meet us there, and she never did. So we did not get the narration we had hoped for. Other groups said their guides gave them all sorts of information, which we just never got; that was disappointing. But our guides in Porta del Gada (Sandy I think), and Bermuda (Jevon Thomas) were fantastic. I even told Jevon he should think about teaching. He is very organized and articulate and enthusiastic about imparting his knowledge to visitors! I had wanted to try all the lunch-time venues (that didn't cost extra), and we were able to do all but one (the Mongolian Wok). All were good. We loved the Salad Creations on the 15th deck, but there was never anywhere to sit at a table up there; we had to balance our bowls on our laps, and that got to be a little tricky. Disembarkation was simple for us; we had no plane to catch; someone was meeting us in NYC. But I guess there was a long delay before the first group of people was let off the ship; something to do with the ship clearing customs, I think. In summary, we are glad we took this cruise, and we would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
A little over a year ago we discovered the plans for the Carnival Vista's transatlantic cruise embarking from Barcelona. We chose this cruise for a variety of reasons, which included a chance to be on a brand new ship, a chance to go ... Read More
A little over a year ago we discovered the plans for the Carnival Vista's transatlantic cruise embarking from Barcelona. We chose this cruise for a variety of reasons, which included a chance to be on a brand new ship, a chance to go to Barcelona for a few days, and for the rebates offers we received from our travel company at Cruises.com. All of these together were our reasons for taking this particular cruise. We are long time Carnival cruisers, we are Platinum level almost at Diamond and have sailed on 7 different Carnival ships, to Alaska, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. We have enjoyed our experiences on the Spirit Class ships, both for size and decor, so we really were a little unsure of what to expect on this vessel, because the decor looked to be so different and because of the size/number of people that would be on the ship. Embarkation in Barcelona was somewhat unorganized and certainly we did not receive any priority boarding as a Platinum member should have. However it was tolerable and once on the ship we were able to go right to our room and deposit our luggage. The decor of the ship is certainly different than any other however I loved it. The Promenade deck was especially inviting featuring many places on the outside areas to rest and relax, We loved that many of the interior shops and bars also had an outside access on the deck, certainly unique compared to other ships we have been on. We had an aft balcony room cabin 6460, and Paul and his helper were our room stewards, both were very friendly and helpful, our every need was anticipated and filled. Our balcony patio area overlooked the Havana Cabins -only one floor below. I will make a comment here about those cabins, I know that they cost more than a regular cabin and in the pictures look to be lovely, however I am very happy now that we did not get one of them. From our balcony we could look directly down and watch anyone on their patio, in addition the folks in those rooms did not have any dividers between their patios on either the left of right sides and the fronts of their balcony were open walking area for others on that deck getting to "daytime pool area" The other note about these rooms is that they are backed up to the Havana Bar, which is a lovely bar area featuring Latin music nightly, We were able to block out the noise of the music as it played on into the late night, but those right on the same level and those in the back of the ship directly above the bar could not. Because of what we were able to see about these Havana Rooms, we would never consider one of these for any future Vista Cruise. Husband and I ate, as always our meals in the Lido restaurant, we have found over several cruises that the menu on the Lido is basically the same as in the Restaurant. Food was good but not on a par with some of our other cruises, also we found that the offering was the same a few nights in a row, as in they seemed to be using up leftovers. Guy's burgers and the seafood shack were great alternatives and at lunch the 5th floor BBQ was awesome. There was a variety of entertainment on the ship, from music venues to comedy clubs to variety shows in the Liquid Lounge. The comedy was weak and just not funny, we tried a few times and decided to forego any others. The shows were spectacular. However the Liquid Lounge is positively the worse place in the world to view any type of show. Whoever designed this venue should be fired. Big columns block the view. there is a lack of stadium seating and protection panels on the second floor balcony additionally obstruct the view. This was a big negative for us. The pools areas were lovely, there were only very few kids on the ship so they were basically "adult only" on this particular cruise, I went to the adult serenity area, but was not impressed for myself as when I sit in the sun I want access to the pool to cool off. I wish the pools had been heated, we had some chilly days when I thought it should have been turned on. We only booked one excursion through Carnival for this cruise and it was in Gibraltor, Carnival did a nice job for our tour. We found the Azores to be lackluster, and in Bermuda we found our own way around as we have been there many times before and knew where to go and what to do. All in all we enjoyed our trip on this ship and we are happy we had this experience, however, being long time Carnival travelers, we will probably not go on this ship again but will return to our smaller Spirit class ships, a better choice for Seniors. I want to give special praise to Matt the Cruise Director, he was the best I have encountered, he actually enjoys his job and displays a wonderful sense of humor all day long. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our first cruise and we loved it. We travelled with our 2 young children - aged 2 and 3. We had a family Harbour room (2400) with large balcony which was perfect. A bunk bed and sofa bed for the children. For us there was lots of ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved it. We travelled with our 2 young children - aged 2 and 3. We had a family Harbour room (2400) with large balcony which was perfect. A bunk bed and sofa bed for the children. For us there was lots of wardrobe space with hangers. (yes you might have to double up a few shirts!) These rooms have access to the Family Harbour lounge where you could get breakfast till 9.30 and cookies at night (and snacks on sea days) which was great.Our room was quiet - we were surprised we could not hear people on either side. There were a few bumps and squeeks from something upstairs but it did not bother us. We had a large TV for us and a small TV for the kids (room could be curtained off for them). Not much on TV but there were half a dozen free movies for adults and kids) Embarkation was easy as we had priority boarding although that means lots of pushy people who believe they have more priority than you do!.. It was probably easier to be non priority!. We just picked up our sail and sign cards and walked on board, and were met at the entrance and pointed where to go. It took us a while to find where everything was but was fun exploring!. The choice of food was good - A main buffet in the Lido area. Nice small choice of salads and mains and desserts. Food was not luxury and could be bland but still reasonable. There was a burger place and Mexican available during the day, and mongolian wok, pasta bars and salad bar (the last 3 were not advertised very well so you have to search them out!) for lunch. A nice pizza place was available 24 hours. We had fixed time seating and although meal choices were not huge they were tasty and service was very friendly. We discovered a nice deli in the Lido area where you could get your own toasted sandwiches made up. The room service menu was basic - some salads, and sandwiches but was useful for a snack. We did not go to any of the pay extra places but all looked good and probably under utilised and we felt that it was probably worth the money. The kids club was brilliant and a huge surprise for us. It was free before 10pm. The staff were extremely friendly and welcoming and our kids loved going there. It was well organised and made our trip as we could drop the kids off to spend time with our family or doing things by ourselves. We enjoyed some of the entertainment - the dance show every night was great. There were a few bands in different venues but we always felt sorry for them as there were only a dozen or so people watching. We walked passed a few activities for the day and only a couple of people were joining in. (My wife got ready for the Zumba class - turned up and found only 3 kids there! so quickly disappeared!). The cruise director enthusiasm was good to see but I think she struggled to get people into some of the activities and the mood. Casino was good although smokey. We have got too used to having smoke free public spaces so have forgotten what it is like to have people puffing away next to you!. The sky ride and ropes, and slides were all good activities. The movies under the stars each night were great and a good choice.(free popcorn, and blankets) The ship layout did not make the most of the space. A lot more could be made of the promenade deck outside. A nice walk around the front of the boat- but could have had more atmosphere with shops and a boulevard feel. The pools were small and really only used by children - note your children have to be potty trained and we were lucky they were as we were not aware of this. If I did not have children I would have been disappointed with the pools - too many kids and not big enough!.but for those with kids - perfect!. We did not use the spa - it was very expensive but expected. My wife did use the fitness area and used the running track around the ship everyday. Drinks were expensive but we expected this and we did not go there to drink so not really a problem for us but I could see this as a big extra cost (with all the tax and gratuities) if you liked a few drinks each night. We found all the wait and cleaning staff extremely friendly. Only staff not so friendly was customer service (although to be fair I imagine they get a fair bit of rubbish thrown at them), and the bar staff seemed a bit disinterested. The boys in the family harbour room entertained our kids every morning and were great to talk to. Everyone we saw said hello - all levels of staff and people knew us and our kids names. We only did 2 excursions (1 basic bus to Rome to do our own thing), and 1 trip to Sorrento and Pompeii. At all ports we all either got the shuttle or walked in and spent a couple of hours at the location which was fine for us. Our only complaint was the shuttle to Livorno where they squeezed us in like cattle much to the distress of a few people. Cannot say that was Carnivals fault(just the company who runs the shuttle) I have read a lot of the reviews of previous trips for this boat, and we listened to a lot of Americans on the boat who complained about this cruise. Firstly - most of it is down to attitude..if you come on a cruise to look for faults and look for all the poor comparisons to other boats - (especially for those experienced cruisers) you will find them. (I heard people complaining about the most silliest of things that really did not matter!.) If you set out for this to be a mega cheap all inclusive deal - it isn't , nor is it a luxury yacht, however if you come for a good time, with a friendly attitude and take things for what they are, and make the most of what is available then you will not be disappointed!!. We were amazed at the level of service, cleanliness and friendliness - I expect that there may have been an improvement from earlier sailings. We met up with family we had not seen for years on the boat and this is a great way to do it. Everyone has space to do their own things but come together and enjoy things as well. Would we do this again with our kids or alone! - yup!... we expect many more cruises to come. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have never cruised before, envisioning cruises as a boring places. where you just ate and read books all day. We opted to cruise the Mediterranean because we are a family of four (two children ages 8 and 11) and it seemed like a great ... Read More
We have never cruised before, envisioning cruises as a boring places. where you just ate and read books all day. We opted to cruise the Mediterranean because we are a family of four (two children ages 8 and 11) and it seemed like a great way to get an overview of the area without having to change hotels everyday and waste time on trains getting from place to place. I am pleased to say that our trip on the Carnival Vista changed our perspective about cruises - it is a very fun high energy ship with lots to do for the whole family. It was far from boring. On the positive side: - room was clean, new, well laid out and fit all of our belongings easily. Bed was comfortable. Cove balcony was lovely - we stayed in a family harbour room which meant we had access to the family harbour lounge. This is a wonderful feature. We ate there for breakfast every day. There was a coffee machine, juices, milks and hot and cold items of decent quality. Since the only "free" water stations on board are the four stations on top pool deck (deck 10), having our own beverage station was priceless. Breakfast in the lounge also allowed us to avoid having to deal with lining up to eat in the main dining room. Afternoon snacks were also welcome after a long day on shore. Staff in the family lounge were also friendly, helpful and diligent. - There were a lot of fun activities planned on board and there was never a dull moment. Most were family-friendly. That was really great. - Camp Ocean (the kids club) was excellent and my daughter would have spent every day there if we let her! - The "Carnival hub" for your smart phone is an excellent feature, allowing us to keep instantly informed of what is happening and what charges are being put on our account (necessary since our kids had signing authority). The "chat" feature allows you to stay in touch with your family while on board when there is no cell service. - The food and service in paid restaurants was of excellent quality. JiJis and the steakhouse can easily compete with high quality city restaurants. The upcharges for food in the restaurants were fairly priced. - There was lots of variety on the ship for eating options in addition to the restaurants -there is an ice cream shop, Cuban food in the Havana bar, Caribbean food in the red frog pub, a nice sushi bar and a seafood shack. Again these were all paid options which cost extra but food prices were reasonable. - the free casual food options - tacos and burger joint -were of great quality and easy to access - The comedy club was fun and having a "PG" performance from each comedian was a great experience for the kids who never get to go to comedy clubs. - I loved karaoke in the comedy club in the evenings - the shows in the liquid lounge were very well done. The troupe did a wide variety of shows with high production values and were very talented. These shows far exceeded our expectations. -there is a wide variety of evening entertainment to choose from - a piano bar for the sing-along types, a comedy club, a nightclub, an outdoor movie by the pool, casino, various types of live music, a house band which plays dance-able hits from 60's-80's, and impromptu contests. - the cruise director (Jaime) is high energy and helps maintain a festive atmosphere on the boat - there is very good, well appointed and generously sized gym beautifully situated at the front of the boat with nice views. Always more machines than people - there is a great sports area with basketball / volleyball court, ropes course, mini-golf, foosball, pool etc. - a nice option for us active types -lots of fun and imaginative ad hoc activities throughout the day like theme based trivia, bingo, dance contests etc. - getting on and off the ship for shore excursions was really easy and smooth - we never waited to get on or off - the spa has a "thermal suite" which costs $40 for a whole day and it is a real indulgence with a hamam, heated chiropractic chairs, infrared sauna, mineral pool, etc. - housekeeping was excellent - they cleaned the room twice a day - staff were excessively friendly - boat was clean, new and spacious with lots of "zones" - you never felt crowded. - Marseilles was a dirty ugly city. All the other ports were nice, easily accessible, lots of service people at the port to help you or take you on a tour. Negatives: - Perhaps due to our naivete as first time cruisers, we certainly paid a lot more for the experience than we expected. At the end of the cruise our sail & sign account ($3,000 USD) was almost equal to what we paid for our room ($3200 net of port fees), despite our family having spent 7 days of the 10 day cruise on shore eating our main meals in the local restaurants! While on board we primarily ate in the extra-cost restaurants and pubs and I have no complaint about those additional costs which I think were fairly priced for the quality of food we received. However, I do not think beverages were fairly priced. Other than a handful of lemonade / juice machines on board, you have to buy all your beverages (alcoholic and otherwise). You cannot even purchase bottled water in a shop -you have to get it from the bar. Drink prices were exorbitant and very unfairly priced. These are nightclub prices, not reasonable "upcharges". We spent $1400 in beverages alone for two parents drinking a few drinks a night and two children with no expensive wine. - We were charged a mandatory $500 fee for "gratuities" at the end of the cruise, despite having already paid a 15% mandatory gratuity which was added to all of our food and beverage purchases on board, plus the "extra" tips we felt obligated to pay when presented with our bills each night which had a nice blank "gratuity" line inviting you to tip more above and beyond the 15% already added to the bill. End result? We paid around $900 in gratuities at the end of the day! - there was some really strange dining management system where people had to lineup at a kiosk to get permission to go to the dining room to eat. We just avoided it by going to paid restaurants (no line-ups). - there were long lines at guest services and not enough staff to service people. Only "platinum" and "Diamond" members got service staff. I tried to complain about this but was met with indifference. - the thermal suite was reasonably priced, but other spa services were far above market price. - there are neat theaters on board, but you have to pay, and they repeat the movies too often. There is also an arcade, but it is mostly full of gambling (crane) type of games and expensive. One expects an arcade to be able to entertain a kid for an hour for around $15-20. However, Our kids spent USD $96 in 15 minutes on the first day (I am not exaggerating) and we had to run downstairs to shut them off! They could not really use the arcade - Carnival often made itself look cheap and money-grabby with its constant marketing and solicitations intended to compel you to spend more money. There were photographers strategically placed all around the ship and elevators constantly harassing you for photos. They used fear tactics to try and scare you into buying their shore excursions (which were WAY overpriced for what you were getting). There was a always some jewelry sale, spa sale, etc. The limited access to "free" water/juice coupled with outrageous beverage prices and surprise mandatory "gratuities" also demeaned the quality of the ship and made it look money-hungry. Arcade was highway robbery. At times Carnival felt a little time-share-esque, like they got you on the boat with a good room rate with a view to getting a bunch of money out of you once you were on the ship. This was particularity problematic in Europe because once you hit Greek waters you have to pay a whopping 24% "Value Added Tax" to every purchase you make on board (including food, beverage and services). All in all we had a really good time on the boat and would recommend it to families in a heartbeat, with the caveat that you should be prepared to spend a lot of money once you are on board if you want a comfortable experience. I would budget to spend at least an additional 50-100% of your room cost once on board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This is my 3rd time going on a cruise ship with Carnival. I have to say I was a little worried about the ship after reading some of the others. We flew in a few days before the trip to see Barcelona and thought the area was very pretty. ... Read More
This is my 3rd time going on a cruise ship with Carnival. I have to say I was a little worried about the ship after reading some of the others. We flew in a few days before the trip to see Barcelona and thought the area was very pretty. Getting on the boat was very easy and was less than 20 minutes. The staff were very helpful and seemed to move people right along. Getting off was just as easy, we took our own luggage so we just walked right off the ship. We stayed 4 days after the trip. I thought the layout and color choices on the boat were well thought out and loved the in and out door walk ways. There is a lot of things to do on the ship and even though it was full of guests I didnt feel like it was too many. I never had to wait for things like others and the staff were always very nice to me and my husband. We also did not have to wait for a sun bed and also never had to wait in line for food. I have two things that were a "complaint" the adult area was small for that amount of guests and the slides were off the same side so we had to hear kids screaming all day. Which if you are trying for quiet was not something we got :) and the other thing was the food always seemed over cooked. I am sure that was to keep food poisoning low. The staff were great and had no issues like some of the others, not sure why they did. ALL the staff were friendly and helpful and truly fun to talk to. WE loved the burgers and had them almost everyday when we got back. We had dinner once at the JiJi restaurant and that was amazing!!!! Worth the $$$$ lots of food and we could barely walk after :) Entertainment was okay, we were so tired that it was hard to stay up We brought our son who is 18 and he also had tons of things to do and the staff always watched out for him,example they turned in a man who was harassing our son to security. Our cabin was amazing!!!! It had a tub with jets, walk in closet and plenty of room for 3 adults. I didnt think I would use the tub but after all that walking it was nice to relax. We did not book any trips with Carnival and chose to do that ourselves. We only had one issue in Rome waiting for the train for 4 hours because the trains lost power. I would go again if they went to different ports of call in a minute. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Would definitely recommend this ship, and we do not usually sail with Carnival. Chose this cruise because we loved the itinerary and long days in each port. We knew this was a very port intensive cruise rather than a laid back relaxing ... Read More
Would definitely recommend this ship, and we do not usually sail with Carnival. Chose this cruise because we loved the itinerary and long days in each port. We knew this was a very port intensive cruise rather than a laid back relaxing cruise like going to the Caribbean. We mostly joined many private excursions which saved us a great deal of money, and allowed us to travel comfortably and meet many wonderful people. We did do CARNIVAL's excursion to Tsambika beach in Rhodes which we enjoyed. It is a much larger ship than we have previously cruised on and expected there would be lines for everything yet this was not the case; we barely ever had to wait in line. There were so many fun things to do on the 2 sea days we had. Loved the brewery, sky ride (free), obstacle course (free) and water slides. The pools were small however there were a few so it did not seem cramped. The ship is beautifully decorated with ample space to sit while eating at the buffet. Although we were not impressed with the food in the main dining room except on the formal nights, the steakhouse (which does have an additional charge), Guy's Burger's (free) and pizza (free) were amazing. Ice cream was available 24hrs/d. The staff were awesome: friendly, helpful and accomodating. Our cabin stewards and wait staff couldn't have been more doting. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I had a great cruise on the Vista and would definitely go on her again. I will now tell you about the things I liked and did not like as much about the Vista. The Ship - I really liked the look of the Vista from the outside, from ... Read More
I had a great cruise on the Vista and would definitely go on her again. I will now tell you about the things I liked and did not like as much about the Vista. The Ship - I really liked the look of the Vista from the outside, from the shore side. Also I thought the outside decks and amenities were great. I loved the Havana pool bar and outside area. One really good thing that the Vista has, more than any ship I have been on so far, is fantastic seating areas on the outside decks. Lots of comfortable chairs which meant we never had a problem finding somewhere to sit outside on deck. There are a couple of things I did not like about the ship though. Firstly I thought the Atrium was too small and that the decor of the walls was just too plain and boring. I really like the grand atrium's of their other ships. This is obviously my personal preference and no doubt there are people out there who did not like the "over the top" decor of their other ships. Secondly I did not think that the Theater/Liquid Lounge was big enough or that the obstructed views were something that you should have to put up with on a modern ship. I made sure I got there on time to get a good view but there were a lot of people who were unhappy about the obstructed views and the set up of the Theater. The Cabin - I really liked my cabin and thought that it was larger than cabins on other cruise lines. Although the balcony was smaller than on some previous cruises. Also I was surprised to find a shower curtain on a new ship. I easily filled up the small amount of drawer space in the room, so I think that this would be a problem for 2 people. My bed was comfy and the fridge did a good job of cooling drinks down. The room had a good aircon unit and it was easy to adjust the room temp if needed. My cabin steward Michael was really nice and did a great job looking after the room. Dining - Food is very important I think on a cruise and is very subjective to different people. I personally thought that the food was ok to very good. I did not have a bad meal on the ship and I did not go hungry. As I said in the review, I was not impressed with the system of "Your time Dining". Why you could not go to deck 3 to book in for the restaurant I will never know. Having to go to deck 5 then deck 3 made no sense at all. When booking, you were told that you would have to wait for more than an hour sometimes. This is a big problem on the newer, larger ships, that have 5000 plus people onboard. I understand that you all cannot book the same time, so I don`t know the answer to this one. It is just something you have to prepare yourself for when going on the mega ships. As I said, I am not a fan of "no Tablecloths" and the service style of the American Table restaurants. I am British and call me old fashioned, and do not like to be served my dessert when others are still eating their main courses. One other thing that happened when we were in the restaurant was my brother asked for mustard with his steak, they brought out a jar that still had a cellophane wrapping on and just placed it next to his meal. Why was this not served in a small bowl instead of a greasy workman`s cafe style way of serving sauces. I am sure even a greasy spoon cafe would take off the wrapper on the jar. Overall the service in the restaurant was ok but not great. We did not eat in the buffet so I cannot comment on the food served here. Because this was a port intensive cruise I would have eaten in the buffet when we got back in the afternoon from our trips ashore, however nearly every time we got back on the ship the buffet was closed at 4pm. Guys was open but that was the only choice for people arriving back on ship, burgers or nothing. As nearly every night we had to wait till gone 9pm to eat dinner it would have been nice to get a small meal or salad from the buffet at teatime. My only other complaint about the dining was that there was only a very sweet lemonade or coffee available to drink that was free. No sugar free alternative. The food in the for a fee restaurants was excellent however and would highly recommend Ji Ji Chinese restaurant. This was the best food I have had at sea ever. I did like the burgers from Guys as well. Entertainment - The shows in the Theater were brilliant, I really enjoyed these. Sorry I did not go to the smaller shows, like the juggler or singer that was on our sailing, as I did not have time for them. The piano bar was also really good and the music in the Atrium I liked as well. The band in the Havana bar were great as well. I found the music in the red frog pub was also really good. In fact I thought the entertainment throughout the whole ship was above average when compared to other cruises I have been on. The Cruise Director never stopped and she was great at getting the enthusiasm levels up on the ship. In fact I found that there was always something going on at all times of the day and thought that it would be a sad person indeed who was bored on the Vista. Outside decks - I loved the outside decks and also always found something to do. The best thing I liked was the Skyride, the slides and the seating areas. I did like the ropes course but was terrified while doing it. The pools were average and I think needed to be bigger on a ship with 5000 plus people onboard. The hot tubs were not very hot and also there was only 4 of them. Staff and service - Overall the staff were excellent as was the service. Compared to most of the cruises I have been on, I think this was one of the better ones. Staff were very friendly and went out of there way to look after you. The only place I found this not to be the case was in the Horizons restaurant. The service here was only average to poor. It was far from great. This was probably due to the time we were able to dine in there. I like to go to a show before dinner which meant we not able to check in till around 8pm most nights. Because of the wait times we were rarely in the restaurant before 9pm. This meant that the waiting staff were far from their best by this time. I have to say my cabin steward was fantastic and did a great job. The bar staff were also really friendly and efficient and did a great job too. So that`s it for this cruise. I will definitely go on the Vista again and look forward to traveling on a Carnival ship again in the future. I am not loyal to any brand and have never had a bad cruise. My next cruise should be next year on P&O, on the ship Britannia. I know it will be hard going on a cruise on my own but have read lots of reviews on here by other people who do it all the time. So till next time, and if anyone wants to ask questions about Vista feel free to ask me anything you want to know. Thanks for reading, Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The European ports MADE this cruise! Sorry the ship is moving to the caribbean. As far as the ship itself: noticed definitely lower ceilings in many areas (my husband had to duck to avoid head trauma!), and the "show" areas were ... Read More
The European ports MADE this cruise! Sorry the ship is moving to the caribbean. As far as the ship itself: noticed definitely lower ceilings in many areas (my husband had to duck to avoid head trauma!), and the "show" areas were oddly designed leaving many obstructed view seats in all the show lounges. Carnival's attempt to make these multi-purpose venues made them not-quite-right for any. The crew was fabulous, friendly and personable. The addition of the micro brewery in the pub onboard was a great idea and a very fun place to hang out. The food was normal Carnival....not exceptional but perfectly adequate. Our cabin, 8400, was fine but I do wish Carnival would put coffee pots in the rooms! I ordered early room service coffee every morning and got it 8 out of the 10 mornings. The other 2 mornings they "forgot" to collect the breakfast orders from our end of the floor. First World problem, I know, but irritating all the same. We will definitely cruise Carnival again, although perhaps not this ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We traveled via Eurostar and TGV to Barcelona from London and had 2 nights in Barcelona before boarding Carnival Vista. We purchased Hop on Hop Off Turisme bus tickets for our day in Barcelona and traveled the whole of all 3 routes in the ... Read More
We traveled via Eurostar and TGV to Barcelona from London and had 2 nights in Barcelona before boarding Carnival Vista. We purchased Hop on Hop Off Turisme bus tickets for our day in Barcelona and traveled the whole of all 3 routes in the day, jumping off at various points. Barcelona is a wonderful city and we hope to return sometime to do it more justice than you can possibly do in a day. Embarkation and Debarkation was absolutely superb. We had been robbed on our journey in Paris and had no boarding passes or luggage tags.This was no problem and the staff handled it professionally and politely, and we were not delayed at all in boarding. The ship is huge and the facilities, cabin and bathroom superb. Personally I found the Atruim disappointing, but my other half liked it. We rarely had problems with the lifts, of course there were delays at busy times, but these were not excessive, and the ship rarely seemed overcrowded wherever you went. One criticism was the lack of encouragement to use the sanitising gel. On Norweigian staff were virtually spraying it on your hands as you went past them, but on this ship no encouragement whatsoever. I finished the cruise with a bug, but can't say it was down to the ship, but this aspect does warrant improvement. Dining wise I have to say I was disappointed with the Buffet. On our only other cruise which was with Norweigian (Jade) you could find virtually whatever cuisine you wanted. This buffet was very limited. However the food and service in the Horizons resturant was very good, although My Time dining wasn't as you were unable to book a time at the desk, and were constantly advised to go early as it would be busy later. We used the Steakhouse, Asain, Italian and Seafood Shack Speciality Resturants, and found these excellent in food quality, service and value for the cover charge. Indeed our meal in the Steakhouse was one of the best we had ever eaten. We didn't use many of the entertainment facilities, but found ourselves drawn to the Red Frog Pub most nights. Great atmosphere, friendly staff and a superb solo artist in Ed Carr. The place was rocking at times. We booked a Carnival Excursion in all ports of call and have to say enjoyed all of them. The highlights were Capri and the Amalfi coast, and Rome in which we were really lucky in having Pablo who was a superb guide. All in all though a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The cruise was very smooth and well operated from the on boarding to the debarkation. The new "choose you time" for on boarding must be working as it was the fastest we have ever gotten on a ship from the time we walked into the ... Read More
The cruise was very smooth and well operated from the on boarding to the debarkation. The new "choose you time" for on boarding must be working as it was the fastest we have ever gotten on a ship from the time we walked into the terminal. The crew was well trained and there were very few "start up" issues. The food selections in the Lido restaurant were limited however all of the upscale restaurants were extremely good. The Capitano and Fahrenheit were exceptional. The Spa and Casino staff were awesome. The only are where we see Carnival making an improvement is with the elevators. The ship has a very large passenger capacity and they quite simply don't seem to have enough elevators to handle the load in a timely fashion. We would have loved to have ported in Turkey but completely understand the reasoning behind changing the itinerary. We will likely do this cruise again when the Horizon launches next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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