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3,297 Carnival Galveston Cruise Reviews

So many problems with this cruise most related to the cabin. We were accommodating at first even with the carpet being wet and blowers running to dry it out upon arrival....not exactly a great first impression. Had we only known that ... Read More
So many problems with this cruise most related to the cabin. We were accommodating at first even with the carpet being wet and blowers running to dry it out upon arrival....not exactly a great first impression. Had we only known that was only the beginning of the problems with this stateroom. Anyone considering cruising on the Carnival Vista should be aware this ship has multiple problems associated with the spa so if that's one of the "features" that attracted you to this cruise you will be well beyond disappointed. Along with the sky ride being broken the entire trip, the aroma therapy room also being broken the entire trip body sprayers in Cloud nine were also inoperable. The food and entertainment were great but if you value your sleep,rest and relaxation DO NOT book anything remotely close to cabin 11236. I'm currently awaiting to debark tomorrow and that will truly be the highlight of this trip. See cabin review below Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was the fourth cruise out of Galveston for my husband and me. We’ve always cruised Carnival and had great experiences until this time. Overall, I was grateful to be on vacation and a bad cruise is still better than no cruise, but ... Read More
This was the fourth cruise out of Galveston for my husband and me. We’ve always cruised Carnival and had great experiences until this time. Overall, I was grateful to be on vacation and a bad cruise is still better than no cruise, but the Vista had many disappointing moments. The sky ride was broken. The steam rooms and special hot tub were broken in the upgraded spa area. Our Carnival excursions were run poorly or started 30 minutes late...which had never happened on my prior cruises. The theater was like a conference room. The performers were talented, but the music in the shows seemed off. I really feel like I didn’t get a good value for my money in several instances. On a positive note, the service and food all over the ship was excellent! The lines for anything were never too long. The other passengers all seemed really nice. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The main attraction for choosing Vista was the sky ride. This ship went out of a service for almost 2 weeks to fix the propulsion issue, why did they not service the sky ride(first problem)? There were 5 adults and 4 young adults (17-21) ... Read More
The main attraction for choosing Vista was the sky ride. This ship went out of a service for almost 2 weeks to fix the propulsion issue, why did they not service the sky ride(first problem)? There were 5 adults and 4 young adults (17-21) only 1 liked Vista. This was cruise number six for 4 of us with Carnival. Embarkation and disembarkation went well, cabin(great), service(great). The second problem we en counted was no air conditioning as soon as we stepped unto the ship. It felt like outside. There were fans on the floor all the way to the lobby. The elevator ride to the 10th floor was no better. The 10th floor lobby and the cabin had air conditioning. The cabin did not cool as well as other ships (Breeze,Magic,Freedom) the thermostat has no digital readout, only red bars for heat and blue bars for cold. The third problem was the minimal air conditioning in the buffet(Lido). The middle was ok, but on either end near the pools you could fell the heat. The fourth problem was the temperature of the food in the buffet, it was always too low and the choices of food could have been better. Thank goodness for Guy's Burger Joint!! This ship also lost power while we were away our 3 rd excursion trapping my elderly in-laws in the elevator. They had to walk 2 flight of stairs to their room. For the amount of money spent on this ship it should not be having these problems on a continuous basis. It's like this ship was built with no plans or means to fix something if it breaks. We always hate to leave the ship on the final day but we were happy to leave today. We are also planning another Carnival cruise next year but not on Vista. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
9 out of 10 hand sanitizers are empty. Cabin is HOT! I have 2 fans that I brought on board and wouldn’t have made it without them. The two cabins next to mine received room credits because their rooms were so hot. Food: it is without a ... Read More
9 out of 10 hand sanitizers are empty. Cabin is HOT! I have 2 fans that I brought on board and wouldn’t have made it without them. The two cabins next to mine received room credits because their rooms were so hot. Food: it is without a doubt the worst food ever. I’m you like bland carbs that taste less me cardboard then this cruise is for you. Only decent food is Guys Burgers. Nightly dining room meals are horrible. Food arrives cold and has no taste. Even the fried Shrimp was bad! Breakfast is no different.cold pancakes, waffles and lets not forget the hair in the hash brown! If you are planning on gambling know that the casino is full of smokers! It’s horrible just having to pass by it. This is not my first cruise. This is a 7 day cruise and when compared to Princess cruise that I was in for the same amount of time, there’s nothing in common other than they are both floating in water. I’ve been told that Princess and Carnival are owned by the same company and it’s very hard to believe.This Carnival cruise has been like a cruise for the poverty stricken compared to the Princess Cruise that was definitely and huge step up. Oh and let me not forget to mention the sewer smell! It’s terrible! Our cabin is on the second floor and the smell has continually been present in the hallway. They were busy trying to clean wet carpet which that I suspect was toilet overflow! My suggestion is save yourself the money and try a different vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
What went well... 1. We loved the breakfast in the Horizon Restaurant. It was always hot and good variety from skillet pancakes, to french toast to scrambles and much more. We only ate at Lido deck one time for breakfast. 2. The ... Read More
What went well... 1. We loved the breakfast in the Horizon Restaurant. It was always hot and good variety from skillet pancakes, to french toast to scrambles and much more. We only ate at Lido deck one time for breakfast. 2. The pasta bar at Cucina was Excellent. 3. The servers in the Lido area, main dining room, etc. were phenomenal...always checking to see if you needed anything. Our stateroom steward Ron was excellent, very nice and genuinely asked how our day was going and remembered our names. We were in Room 7451. 4. The shows were GREAT in the Liquid Lounge and we loved the Havana Bar area with live Latin music. This area was open to the public after 7pm for whirlpool, etc. The violinists were great in the main lobby area. 5. We went as a couple with no kids and really liked the Serenity Adults only area on the 15th deck. 6. Embarkation and debarkation was super smooth and the best we've experienced. 7. Kyndall Fire the cruise director was very engaging and hilarious. 8. Pictures are all digital on the ship instead of the huge wall of paper pics that take forever to find. You can also see pictures on your TV in your room, and your balance. 9. Our aft ship state room was very nice and cozy. 10. We loved Roatan and Belize ports of call. We didn't get off the ship in Cozumel - we'd already been there 3-4 times. So we made it a lazy day. 11. Guys Burger Joint...yum.....Lido Deck was OK......nothing spectacular. Main Dining Room food was pretty good overall. 12. We met so many nice people and fellow cruisers and people were genuinely nice to each other..not all, but most. 13. Ship layout can be very confusing but you'll find your way. 14. Comedy shows were hilarious - we had Caroline Picard, Billy D. Washington, William Lee Martin and Dan Chopin and we went to the 18+ shows. Too funny! What was tricky.... 1. Lots of walking the stairs from slow or full elevators. 2. The 24 hour pizza would get crowded fast after dinner was over. They make it fresh so if the line is long, be patient because it's quite yummy. 2. Too many kids in the whirlpools and main pools. It was kinda ridiculous that kids are everywhere..........OMG. We didn't bother to do any main pools just the Serenity adults only whirlpools. 3. The view in the Main show area was bad in some areas due to polls all over the place. Get there early for a good seat but shows were AWESOME> 4. The smoke in the casino was terrible. We had to walk through it to get to the comedy show area and my clothes smelled like smoke. Beware! 5. Elevators were hot most of the time. Be warned. 6. The spa seminar we went to on accupuncture was not a seminar - they asked us to come back at 4:30 and we spoke to DR. Vu who couldn't answer our questions about fertility and asked how do you spell ovary and follicle. WOW. We signed up for a manicure since we got a $50 gift card but we got there and we were asked to come back since they were 'backed up' and were told there was a $7 tip. We just cancelled. What needs improvement.... 1. Carnival needs to be more strict and enforce the 'no reserving seats' policy, especially in the Comedy Club. One girl tried to reserve 10 seats for her family when the doors opened and she was telling people these are taken.....and it was happening during the whole cruise. All people need to do is come together as a group...simple as that. 2. Too many kids............I repeat, too many kids.........some of them ran and stomped at 12am and would push all buttons on the elevator for fun. Our next cruise will be in fall when there behinds are in school. 3. Blue Iguanna was disappointing because they served stale taco shells on one of the days. I didn't go back after that. 4. Not sure if Carnival can monitor this but in Belize, we did the Calypso Train Tour and it was $42 but we got it for $39 after Carnival guest services said it was sold out. The guys in port were selling for $25 but we found out they didn't take people to the train at all but to some non A/C van that almost ran out of gas. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This review is for the Carnival cruise ship The Dream. The staff were super nice but could not understand or speak english very well. The ship was begining to show its age and had several rust spots on the balcony . But the worst ... Read More
This review is for the Carnival cruise ship The Dream. The staff were super nice but could not understand or speak english very well. The ship was begining to show its age and had several rust spots on the balcony . But the worst part was the unkept look of the entire ship. All of the windows were dirty and had streaks of dirt that looked as if it had been there a while. The carpets in the hallways were stained and looked in need of replacement. The balcony sateroom that we were assigned to was 2 doors down from the exit hall. A large family made it a meeting point every day at least 3 times a day. They would yell up and down the hall for their other family members and scream and yell at their children as they disciplined them. This happened several times a day. Right after we embarked our steward stopped at our door to deliver complimentary water bottles. She knocked and banged on the door and stated that she had complintary water to which I replied not now. She then used her pass key to let her self in. Imagine my surprise when the door opened and I was standing there with no clothes on and my husband was in the bathroom. There seemed to be a lot of confusion in the dinning room also, as most of the crew did not understand or speak English very well. However, our main waiter Walter did his best to try and smooth things over. The Food....The Mahi Mahi was over cooked and was replaced with Salmon that was undercooked. While the food was very well presented it lacked a lot in taste. The overall cleanliness of things was discorning. There was often drinks and ice spilled in the elevators and crew members that were looking the other way at the girls as they were cleaning the plexiglass of the stairs. Overall we were very disapointed in our cruise. We were a repeat customer but have decided that next time we will choose a different ship and propably choose a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The cruise in general was very smooth and awesome. sometimes at certain parts of the boat it would smell bad, but the rest was great. I’m only 13 so I really love entertainment and circle c was the most of it. The advisor Josh was ... Read More
The cruise in general was very smooth and awesome. sometimes at certain parts of the boat it would smell bad, but the rest was great. I’m only 13 so I really love entertainment and circle c was the most of it. The advisor Josh was amazing. He cared for everyone there, made conversations, and always made sure nobody was doing anything bad. I’m going to miss circle c only bc he was so great. In all the experience was memorable. Today was the last day and I am home but i really miss it already. I forgot to mention but the customer service was also awesome too. So as the Arcade which was a blast, bingo, and the pools as well. I know i’ve said this many times before but i really really really love this cruise and i recommend to use it. In all I had a awesome time and really hope to come visit again sometime. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Where do I start? The food was AWFUL. We paid extra for the steakhouse the last 2 nights just to get a tasty meal. The food was bland and tasteless. The food service was great, but the food was terrible. The pools are completely crowded ... Read More
Where do I start? The food was AWFUL. We paid extra for the steakhouse the last 2 nights just to get a tasty meal. The food was bland and tasteless. The food service was great, but the food was terrible. The pools are completely crowded and the buffets have monster lines and are completely full. 4500 people is too many people for that amount of square footage. The only time I felt comfortable was when everyone else got off the boat. Then we got to enjoy the water slide and pool. Make sure you have swim shoes for the kiddos if they are going to do water slides as the floor is crazy hot. If you hate crowds this is not for you. To get off the boat we ate breakfast at 8:30 (the latest we could sit down) and 3 hours later we got off the boat. Then to make things worse they started loading passengers for the next cruise before we got off. The shows were enjoyable and the staff were great, but overall for a first time cruiser I was not impressed. I will do an all inclusive in Mexico before taking another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We booked this cruise on the Carnival Vista for several reasons: 1) We wanted a 7-day cruise out of Galveston, 2) we enjoyed the cove balcony on the Breeze so much last year we wanted that again, and 3) we wanted to see Grand Cayman ... Read More
We booked this cruise on the Carnival Vista for several reasons: 1) We wanted a 7-day cruise out of Galveston, 2) we enjoyed the cove balcony on the Breeze so much last year we wanted that again, and 3) we wanted to see Grand Cayman instead of Roatan or Belize like last year. Embarkation went pretty well. We had a 1pm appointment and by the time I got back from parking the car it was just after 1. The boarding area was busy but things moved along and we only had to wait a few minutes to get to our cabin at 1:30. We dropped out carry-ons and headed for a pasta lunch on Deck 11 which was very good. After lunch, we met our room steward and asked for evening cabin service. After dinner, we went to Red Frog and decided to order a couple of beer samplers - Cheers wouldn't be activated until the morning after departure. It seemed like from the menu that we could pick any four beers to sample, but apparently it's a fixed set. Neither of us like IPAs but figured as a sample it'd be ok. However, after we put in our order at the table it seemed like our waiter disappeared. The place wasn't that busy, and it was a simple order, but my wife had to hunt down the bartender to get our order. Not a great start. We had your time dining in the MDR. The waiters on our first two evenings were lackluster and service seemed a bit slower than on the Breeze. The food was a bit off in quality also. Later in the week we found a wait staff we liked (head waiter Muliawan) and ate in his area the rest of the week. Muliawan kept us well supplied with bottled water and drinks for our meals and was very engaging with us and the other tables in his area. Sea Day Brunch - I prefer the old menu and not the new one. However, the 12-hour French toast was good. Bacon was also good, and sausage seemed better than last year. Port day breakfast - Waffles were bland and seemed like they had been made well in advance. Pasta and Asian lunch - Both very good. Guy's Burgers - Good and the line always moved faster than I thought it would Pig and Anchor - Not bad, except the brisket was always dried out. Sausage was the best, pork butt good, chicken just OK. Good coleslaw. Shake Spot - Had a regular and a spiked one here. Very good, probably will pay for at least one next time if I don't get Cheers again. Wife and son said steak and miso soup at the sushi bar was excellent and well worth the money. Lido buffet - Only ate the occasional snack or dessert here. Always way too crowded. It was nice they put cereal off to the side so you could get it without a line. Room service breakfast - Forgot one item which they brought about 10 min later. Breakfast sandwich was awful - I had two bites and couldn't finish it. Biscuit was dry and stale. Drinks - Wife and I decided that they had skimpy amounts of alcohol. I walked out of the MDR twice with my fourth glass of wine in under 90 minutes and had a two-glass buzz. I really wonder if Carnival arranges for "special" beer/wine/liquor to be used for their drinks that is underpowered. Generally good bar service from most. Piano 88 - I don't like the new setup. On the Breeze, you could drop by for a couple of songs, or find a seat depending on how long you wanted to stay. With an enclosed room, it's more of a hassle to come in late or leave early. Our piano player was a bit antagonistic towards the crowd, which put them off of singing along, which also didn't help the atmosphere. Limelight Lounge - some idiot on the Carnival design team approved having eight 3-foot pillars in the middle of the lounge. I'd say maybe 30% of the seats had an unblocked view of the stage. Carnival's half-***ed solution was to put two 60" monitors on either side of the stage. I could watch comedy shows on Netflix in the cabin if I wanted to see comics on TV. Saw 18+ shows from two comics - one was a B, the other a C-. Sky Ride - Busted on the third day, down the rest of the cruise. Probably same design team as for the Limelight. Slides - These were pretty good. We stayed on the ship in Jamaica and no lines at all in the early afternoon. IMAX - Saw "Spider-Man: Far from Home" here at a later showing. About 30 in the theater. Good IMAX experience but not sure it was worth filling in the atrium. Internet - Had the middle tier plan which we shared on our devices. Worked well almost everywhere on the ship. Good speeds for email and Twitter - this was an improvement over the Breeze where the speed was barely enough to support text emails. HUB app - Also worked better than on the Breeze last year. Not sure if it was because of better wifi or an improved app. Promenade (and public spaces in general) - It really sucked that the Havana area blocks the deck aft. Also, there is more "stuff" on Vista's promenade and I think more panels to block the wind. I enjoyed taking a couple laps on the Breeze's promenade in the evening or at night, but it was not at all enjoyable on the Vista. The Vista just seemed more crowded in general. Atrium - The Breeze's glass atrium elevators and full-height atrium gave it a very open feel like a high-rise hotel. The Vista's truncated atrium with the pixelated funnel was not a good substitute. Tenders in Grand Cayman worked very well, only short waits on/off. Similarly quick to walk on/off in Cozumel, but both directions we were not with the big crowds. Debarkation was OK. Once our number was called (14), we kept moving along for the most part. Our checked baggage was waiting for us inside. We were through Customs by 10:30 and on the road by 11. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my second ever cruise, the first was 12 years ago. This ship was so much better and the service was excellent. The nightly entertainment was great and our cruise director was awesome. We did the Salsa and Salsa tour into ... Read More
This was my second ever cruise, the first was 12 years ago. This ship was so much better and the service was excellent. The nightly entertainment was great and our cruise director was awesome. We did the Salsa and Salsa tour into Merida and I highly recommend that especially if you aren't an avid beach-goer and want something different for a day. We also did the Faster to the Fun option and that was definitely as promised. We were able to go directly to our room upon boarding and were in our cabin right at noon on embarkation day. The food was well presented - we ate in the main dining room every evening and our servers were excellent. Even though we had anytime dining we tended to go at the same time and have the same servers are anyway. I liked not being tied down to a time though although if you want to see the early show you'll need to eat early anyways. Lot of families on board as it was mid-July and school is out but there was always something to do. The Build a Bear experience was chaos - they need two times to do this on summer cruises to spread out the crowds. My daughter didn't seem to notice though. I do wish Carnival would update their photo experience, it seems a bit old school to be choosing printed photos instead of getting the digital image. Overall an excellent experience and a great value. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Summary. We are a party of 10 cruising – 6 adults, 4 teenage girls. Overall positive experience, found the ship and staterooms to be clean, friendly staff overall. Enjoyed the restaurants over buffet. The crew works very hard and ... Read More
Summary. We are a party of 10 cruising – 6 adults, 4 teenage girls. Overall positive experience, found the ship and staterooms to be clean, friendly staff overall. Enjoyed the restaurants over buffet. The crew works very hard and deserve the gratuities. Many pros/ cons and key recommendations to help plan your trip! First the positives: 1) Download and use the carnival app. It’s a great way to communicate (chat plan) with your party and source for the daily activities, restaurant hours, and ability to monitor your daily portfolio spend. $5pp for entire cruise a bargain! 2) Excellent room upkeep and service! Room steward will quickly know your names on day 1. Offer to clean your room 2x a day or 1x a day, your choice (and you note this on form day 1). 1x in the morning was fine for us. Tip them! 3) Cruise director / Emma is great. “Hello lovelies” will stick with your after this cruise. It’s really funny when she laughs at herself with this unique chuckle and then the audience laughs at that. She is really fantastic. Oh yeah, she is from England. 4) Food in restaurants is pretty good! Dinner and breakfast. Now the negatives: 1) Entertainment for most part sub-par compared to other cruises. They do work hard and try, but seems budget is limited. Limited to comedians, lip-sync, customer engaged event shows, and few production dancing shows. The 80s show was fantastic and a must see! Finally some better comedians came onto the ship last few days. Emma cruise director is doing a fantastic job trying! 2) Very noisy areas in main pool area and much of the ship in general. Loud speakers, kids running, etc. This is more of a kids ship and hard to find quiet areas for adults, but there are some hidden areas. See below. 3) Expect long waits for: Restaurants if you do ‘any time dining’ we waited 45min average given our large party of 10. Expect shorter for 4 or less parties. 4) Long lines at: Pizza Pirate near the adult pool. Expect 30 people plus waiting and 1 worker making pizza. Priority goes to the $5 delivery person so expect a wait for 30-45min to pick-up your slice of pizza. Late night pizza lines given limited food options. To management, can you not add another person making fresh pizzas to cut down this line? Tips & Recommendations 1) Install/ use the Carnival app. A bargain for $5 per person for entire cruise. Have everyone in your party do this and you can chat on the ship for meet-ups and know the hours for restaurants and daily activities for entertainment. 2) Bring your own cups (e.g. YETI) to fill with water, lemonade, tea, etc. at the 9th floor deck. The larger the cups the better. Fill them at breakfast and bring to your room. The little green and yellow cups they provide hold about 6 oz. of liquid. Ice is plentiful. Water refill at buffet area, poolside, or bars. Even keeps your beer colder longer! 3) Bring a 3-prong power socket extender. There is ONLY 1 power outlet in your rooms (well, another behind the TV and used for that). You will need to charge multiple phones etc. Or bring a portable charger for your phones. 4) Bring binoculars if you wish to see passing boats, distance, shore excursions, beach, dolphins, etc. 5) Bring a case of water or buy on day 1. You get 2 large bottles day 1 and that will go quick. 6) Wine/ Wine package. Bring your bottle of wine onto ship day 1 only, why not? Else, cost is $35 bottle average. The wine beverage package (3 bottles for $80 with auto-tax) is worth it comes to $26 bottle for standard wines (given auto gratuity) or higher price for premium wines. 7) Best quiet spot for a book or just snooze in the breeze. 3rd floor outside deck under the life boats. There is also the ‘Serenity deck’ for age 21 and up top floor front of ship. Can be crowded there. 8) For large parties eating together at ‘anytime dining’ send someone down to put your name down and get a pager. Will cut your time down for waiting from 45 minutes to 10 minutes. 9) Alcohol in general. Gratuity of 18% auto added to every adult beverage., expect $10 drinks average. The carnival craft brew was great. Value of getting $18 beer pitchers. 10) Teenagers can visit the sports deck for volleyball, basketball and hanging out with others. 11) Auto applied Gratuities for your team members: Vary by cabin, but example $112 pp in cabin allocated to restaurant staff ($55), room service ($35), and group for all others ($22). Posted 2 days before end of cruise, and you can make adjustments at the front desk +/- and allocation % to your preference. 12) Unless you buy/ plan for roaming leave all phones in Airplane mode. Friend charged $3000 prior trip by AT&T and even though I requested all our family to keep in airplane mode, daughter still activated for a few hours and AT&T sent us email for international data of ~$200 for Bahamas temporary use of her social media. Food options 1) Avoid the daily buffet (there is MUCH better options with the restaurant, else Guys Burgers, B-Que). My view is more of poor food quality and lacking taste at buffet and sanitary conditions. Do you really want to touch the tongs that everyone else on the ship is using to server their food including all the kidos! 2) Use the restaurants, they are excellent for breakfast and dinner. From salmon bagels cream cheese capers to steak (filet mignon) and eggs. Yumm. Brunch menu. Dinner options have extensive menu options. 3) Dinner Formal nights. Lobster on the menu for one night and filet mignon the other. Yes, you can get as many lobsters as you can eat! 4) Lunch: Recommend Bque restaurant on 10th floor. Across from steakhouse. Many don’t know about this place given a bit hidden. 5) Lunch. Recommend Guy’s burgers and pizza take out. Pizza is actually very good. 6) Lunch: The sandwich window, excellent meatball sandwich. All are actually great. 7) Breakfast: Eat at the dining room or order room service. 8) Free drinks stations at the buffet areas. Ice, Water, Lemonade, ice tea, coffee. Found the coffee was surprising good and strong. There is a custom coffee shop for $5 coffee, but my view is standard coffee is fine in dining rooms. You can also get coffee delivered room-service! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We really enjoyed our cruse on the Carnival Freedom. The crew was very nice and everything was very clean. The main pool and water slides are also fun. The ship is not huge so the number of people on board is not crazy. So the lines are ... Read More
We really enjoyed our cruse on the Carnival Freedom. The crew was very nice and everything was very clean. The main pool and water slides are also fun. The ship is not huge so the number of people on board is not crazy. So the lines are not to crazy. If you happen to go to their private island, Half Moon Cay the line to get back on the tender will be very long at the end of the day. So either stay on the beach till they tell you to leave or get back to the ship early. I would stay on the beach, it's amazing. Be careful on on the back adult pool though. The smoke stack drops something red and it will get on your cloths. However, if you bring it to guest services they will remove the stains and no charge. The food was good, the shows were awesome but be sure to read my review on our room, cabin 6368. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I am a former cancer patient. I entered remission just a few months ago and had my leg amputated. This was my first cruise. I want to start off with the musicians. There was music for everybody’s taste. But I enjoyed ALL of them. Luisa, ... Read More
I am a former cancer patient. I entered remission just a few months ago and had my leg amputated. This was my first cruise. I want to start off with the musicians. There was music for everybody’s taste. But I enjoyed ALL of them. Luisa, Juliana and Juan in the Accidental String Trio were just...the only word to describe it was beautiful. Neil was singing and Jammin’ the reggae hits on the steel drums. And Rob was rocking it on the guitar. DJ JD with the hits. The Brassaholics with the amazing Maroon 5 medley. And the Latin Band covering latin hits. Emma, Layla and Francois brought so much energy throughout the whole ship. Vargus Mason with the jokes! T.A. Williams at the Piano Bar. Diana and other bartenders tending the bar at the Lobby very well, including the bartenders on Lido who also bring their energy to the ship. I tipped what I could. Next I want to say how much I really appreciate how kind, thoughtful, and caring the staff was. They always offered help. I don’t usually accept help but I made some exceptions. I also made some friends on the cruise. The whole experience is one to remember. They always had smiles on their faces, and always greeted as we cross paths. And as you’re reading this to all of the staff, I just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. I hope I get to meet you all again. Cheers "Let your smile change the world, don't let the world change your smile..." - unknown "My cup is full to the brim, I could go on and on, the full has never been told" - Buju Banton Side Note: Im looking for a job also (galvancromeo@gmail.com) all photos are unedited Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We choose this cruise because we have been on Carnival cruises in the past and enjoyed the party atmosphere and service from the ships staff. We decided to take this cruise 4 day cruise because we have little kids and wanted to test out ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we have been on Carnival cruises in the past and enjoyed the party atmosphere and service from the ships staff. We decided to take this cruise 4 day cruise because we have little kids and wanted to test out there sea legs before jumping into a longer cruise. Day One Embarkation went smoothly with faster to the fun. Once on the ship my kid wanted a soda so we went up to the bar requesting a drink the bartender asked for our sail and sign card but we only had boarding documents because the sail and sign cards weren’t handed out yet. I told him we were told to use the documents but he seemed annoyed by that and took the papers in a forceful manner. I ignored this and moved on. The Barbecue served was horrible and we didn’t get to our rooms until 1:30pm. We were told that rooms would be ready when we boarded because we had FTTF. Dinner at the steakhouse was not great the waiter there was impatient and I was ready to leave. The rooms light fixtures were filthy. Not sure if it was bugs in there or just large debris but eww! The balcony was grimy so we did t enjoy that very much. The shows weren’t great but I’ve seen better on carnival. Day 2 at sea was okay until we went to the coffee bar and the waiter was frustrated because we asked questions about the drinks. Not the typical carnival experience. Camp Ocean was great my kids enjoyed that. Later that night vomit was in the halls and it smelled from that point on until we debarked. Day three was gray only because of the dolphin swim encounter and beach snorkeling. The $300+ couples message was relaxing but the best part of the cruise. Day four just sad couldn’t wait to get home. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Carnival Dream is a gigantic ship with an awesome crew. Do the rooms need a freshen up? Yes! However the rest of the ship was clean, stylishly decorated for a cheesy cruise ship. The food overall was pretty good. Pig and Anchor was ... Read More
Carnival Dream is a gigantic ship with an awesome crew. Do the rooms need a freshen up? Yes! However the rest of the ship was clean, stylishly decorated for a cheesy cruise ship. The food overall was pretty good. Pig and Anchor was absolutely tasteless though. I’d skip if I were you. I was fortunate enough to win 2,500 bucks in the casino after only spending 3 dollars! My husband, 700 bucks only spending 100 dollars. My parents won a total of 3,600 but gambled it back. Lol! They usually do this because they have no self control. The fact it YES you can win in a ship casino. The pool areas are crowded but you can easily find a place to sit whether it’s directly in front of the pool or on a quiet area on deck. The staff was so friendly! Each and every one of them! The Captain was superb. We actually were cruising through Hurricane Barry and crew made excellent choices to keep us safe. I was also impressed by the fact that we had only been in our rooms a matter of minutes and a crew member came to double check that we had a life jacket that would appropriately fit my six year old. I’ve been on several Carnival Cruises and they all have been fun. If you’re a miserable person who never has any fun, you won’t enjoy a Carnival Cruise. If you are expecting The Beverly Wilshire, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re cool with Holiday Inn accommodations and Applebee’s quality food and drinks, you’ll enjoy it. Cozumel was great. We went to a free beach that had table/chair rentals for 10 bucks. It was called Playa Palancar. The beach was sandy and clean. It’s not like some of those other Cozumel beaches that are full of rocks. I wasn’t interested in doing the whole beach club things. Been there done that and an absolute waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We choose this cruise because it was stoping at the Bahamas and Keywest. First lets start by saying that this is one of Carnival older ships. The decor is outdated and the colors are dark. However, the ship was clean, the staff was ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was stoping at the Bahamas and Keywest. First lets start by saying that this is one of Carnival older ships. The decor is outdated and the colors are dark. However, the ship was clean, the staff was friendly, and there was plenty to do. Out of all of the cruises Ive taken this one has had the best food so far I really enjoyed Guy's Burgers, deli, BBQ, and the 24 hour ice cream. The dining hall food was really great as well. Every drink I had was great! They keep the entertainment live on this ship. Emma the cruise director kept the energy alive the whole 7 days. She is awesome. The first stop was Keywest. There is really nothing to do here in my opinion. All we did was walk Duval St. We ended up renting a golf cart to get around the island but that was a waste of money. We only did it to make it easir on my parents so they wouldn't have to walk around. The second stop was Freeport Bahamas. We booked an excursion off the boat. Which is much cheaper than booking with Carnival. I suggest booking with tour guide Brice. He was very informative while taking us around Freeport. Then he took us to a really nice beach where the water was beautiful and not too crowded. The weather was hot but beautiful. We visited a candle factory and also sampled rum cake. Brice took us to a local market where you can buy homemade souvenirs that the local made themselves. Our last stop was Nassau Bahamas. It was cloudy and scattered showers. We booked tour around the city once we got off the boat. We visited the Queens staircase which is beautiful and historic. It was also a marketplace there where you can buy souvenirs that the locals made themselves. We also visited hotel Atlantis. Which all we did there was walk around the lobby and they have an aquarium along the perimeter off thr lobby. If you want to visit the aquarium you will have to pay an additional cost for that. We didnt bother to go to the beach this day due to the weather conditions. We also went to a rum cake factory and tasted samples of rum cake. And we went to a tea factory and sampled tea, which was really tasty. The shows were okay. The comedians at the comedy club was really funny. Everything was a blast and smooth sailing up until the last day and half of the cruise. We got caught up in Hurricane Barry. And the boat was rocking so bad you could hardly walk. People were getting sick everywhere due to the motion. It was not a fun day or night. Most of my family were 1st time cruisers and that pretty much ruined any chance of them getting on a ship again. Overall we had a blast. It would have been perfect if it was not for the hurricane. I would definitely cruise with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my 44th Carnival cruise and 68th cruise overall, so I do have lots to compare it to! With all the propulsion problems going on, we expected Carnival to greatly reduce prices to sell out the June 29 cruise that was ... Read More
This was my 44th Carnival cruise and 68th cruise overall, so I do have lots to compare it to! With all the propulsion problems going on, we expected Carnival to greatly reduce prices to sell out the June 29 cruise that was postponed to July 1 and turned into an 8 day cruise. I monitored prices daily and when it dropped to what I was comfortable paying, we booked. Good thing we did not wait any longer because by the next morning the sailing was closed. We also love the ports of Cozumel and Costa Maya and were very happy with lots of sea days and those 2 Mexican ports. For the first time in years we booked a balcony guarantee and within minutes received our cabin assignment. We were put in 8462, an 8C. I was quite busy taking care of everything we normally do over a period of months in just 4 days. We made our parking reservation at EZ Cruise and this was once again a good decision. We arrived, parked the car only a few spots from the shuttle pick up area, immediately got on a bus, and it departed with only 6 people on the bus. We gave a porter our luggage and walked down to the Priority entrance. We walked right in at around 11:30am and immediately checked in and cleared security with no one ahead of us. We then proceeded upstairs and boarded the ship. We went straight to the cabin where we were met by a nice young steward. Within 5 minutes we had our ice and bathrobes. We unpacked our carry on bags, filled the safe and headed up to the Lido for lunch. We were conveniently located near the aft elevators, so we always used that to access the Lido. The food line back there was rarely busy and there were loads of seats available. After lunch we went down to deck 5 to check on our table location. We were assigned a table for 2 in late dining, but did not like the location as the table was only inches from the next table. Darko, the Maitre D said he had just the table for us and put us at Table 174 in the Reflections dining room. It was a great, very private, table for 2 tucked away in a corner. The first night we had reservations at Cucina del Capitano and because we are gluten free we stopped in to pre-order our first night dinner. It was another excellent GF meal with Nonna's meatalls, Caesar salad, GF chicken Parmesan, a side order of GF pasta and lemon sorbet for dessert. We were surprised that it was not busy at all. Even though we were Diamond, we were refused a reservation for the steakhouse for the first night, and offered the 3rd night instead. We decided to cancel that reservation after meeting our waiter and having such great GF food and service in Reflections from Edi, Larimer and Yulius. We also enjoyed visits from Inna, the hostess from the Ukraine and Darko from Serbia. The first sea day we made sure we went to Brunch in the aft dining room. We had a wonderful waiter, Smitha, from India. She was fabulous. We also ordered our GF meal for that night since we had been in Cucina the night before. Brunch was wonderful as usual. The next 2 mornings at breakfast we were given window tables overlooking the wake, but the service was not nearly as good as we received on that first morning, so for the rest of the breakfasts and brunches we requested to be seated in Smitha's section. She was so friendly and efficient and remembered our preferences to the point where she could predict what we would order. We also received visits every morning from our favorite hostesses Inna from Ukraine, and Mini from India, who remembered us from our January cruise on the Vista. Inna even came to see us the morning she was in charge of the Dr. Seus Breakfast! On the 2nd night, just before second seating, the power went out. It had gone out for about 5 minutes earlier, when I was getting a shower, but came back on quickly. After waiting about 15 minutes for it to go back on we climbed the stairs from deck 3 to deck 8. By the time we arrived at our cabin the aft section had power so our cabin had lights, AC and working toilets. We changed clothes just in case something else happened. They were really good about making announcements to keep the guests calm. The cruise director, John Heald and the Captain took turns making announcements every 10 minutes. Finally, around 9:15 they announced that dinner service was resuming, so we went down to the dining room and had our dinner. Lots of people had changed clothes due to the A/C being out, but they welcomed everyone, even if wearing shorts or jeans on elegant night. We spent a couple of relaxing sea days either on our balcony or by the aft pool enjoying the great weather and calm seas. The sailing was really smooth aided by a sailing speed of between 9 and 13 knots. The day before we were to reach Costa Maya, we had to make a stop off Cozumel to let off a member of the crew who needed to be hospitalized. They originally said our arrival in Costa Maya would be delayed until noon, but we got in a bit earlier than originally scheduled. We booked a day at Costa Maya, so we got right off and walked to the check in point. After a short wait we got in a taxi with 3 other guests and were the first to arrive at Costa Maya. We were greeted warmly by the staff, given a short orientation and shown to our chairs on the beach and offered rum punches and guacamole and chips. Sadly, there was lots of seaweed and the staff worked feverishly to clean it up. I took a walk and found the pool tucked away in the trees and we moved there. The loungers were super comfortable and we were just steps from the bar. Our waiter came and found use there, took new drink orders and brought fresh guacamole. We had a super relaxing morning there. Then, when it was time for lunch we went to the restaurant, filled our plates and returned to our loungers where we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming, sunning and chatting withe fellow guests. They asked what time you wanted to leave and just our scheduled time they came to tell us our taxi was ready. We had the same driver and were quickly back at the pier. It was a delightful day and totally worth every penny. In Cozumel we went to the dentist for our 6 month cleaning and check ups and then headed downtown. It was so sad to see downtown practically deserted, even though there were 5 ships in port. The Museum was closed too. We had lunch at Palmeras, which was tasty, but a little pricey, and then headed back to the ship. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the aft pool enjoying the ship while most were ashore. We had more super calm sea days back to Galveston and arrived in port right on time. I will say the Priority debarkation was a joke They had Platinum, Diamond, FTTF and all the wheelchair people in the Reflections dining room with no separation between groups. The wheelchair people did not get off as they were supposed to when their decks were called. As soon as any wheelchairs were called they all headed for the door and clogged the entry when those who had not been called were sent back. Others, who were in none of the Priority categories entered the dining room through the back entrance and clogged the aisles with their luggage, so that when the cruise director finally came to call the Diamond guests, we had a difficult time getting through. It was our first time ever not having a separate place to wait and not having any pastry, coffee and juice offered. Once we got in the terminal, we got a porter and quickly moved into the immigration line. They had just opened a new line for the porters and we walked right up to the front and were seen by the CBP agent immediately. Because we had not been to Belize or Roatan, the agent just glanced at the passports and did not scan them. We were finished in seconds and on our way to the EZ Cruise shuttle. We put our luggage out the night before and were off the ship, through CBP and in our car by 8:40 and home before 10:00am. We sailed the Vista at the end of January 2019 in a Havana Cabana and came away hating the ship. Yes, we liked the Havana pool, but we detested the constant pounding of the Latin music to the point that we abandoned the Havana pool for the aft pool most days. While our waiter at dinner in January, Pierces, was the highlight of the cruise, the rest of it was so bad that we swore that we would never sail the Vista again. Well, I found I can be bought by a low price. But, I also know that if I sail the Vista again I won't pay the premium for a Havana Cabana. The crew on the Vista this trip was so much better than the crew that was on in January. It was a different Captain, Staff Captain and Hotel Director this time and I think the crew was happier with this management team and it showed. Captain Vittorio Marchi was wonderful as was Staff Captain Nick, who took the time to explain all the problems in detail to my husband at the Diamond event, and Alina the Hotel Director was so sweet. We remembered each other from sailing on the Liberty in 2016 with her. I am not going to rate the entertainment. We have seen the production shows over and over on multiple ships and did not go this time. We did go to 3 comedy shows before dinner and enjoyed them. We also enjoyed listening to the Polaris String Trio every evening before dinner. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The new check-in process is uncomfortable and not very customer friendly. Walking in the ship is like any other ship that you have gone before. No wow factor. The food was consistently blah to bad through the cruise. We went to the sushi ... Read More
The new check-in process is uncomfortable and not very customer friendly. Walking in the ship is like any other ship that you have gone before. No wow factor. The food was consistently blah to bad through the cruise. We went to the sushi on the second night and I got food poisoning, so my 3rd day was basically ruined by stomach aches and nausea. Good thing we were in Mexico and I was able to buy meds there. On board stores were pretty crappy, nothing really nice to buy: jewelry extremely expensive or dirt cheap but ugly and VERY cheap looking, the clothing items low quality and nothing to sneeze at. Drinks are more expensive than I thought they were going to be. Tonight is our last night and we are going to the steakhouse. Hoping that the $38 surcharge is worth my while. Ship needs cleaning and maintenance. The crew does what they can but they don’t look too happy. I feel quite underwhelmed by this trip, and I’m a seasoned cruiser. Sad. Not sure if I will cruise again with Carnival in the future. AFTER CRUISE UPDATE: ok, so the steakhouse was pretty good, service was great. Definitely worth the almost $40 per person. We did self debarkation and it was pretty smooth and we were able to get out the ship and on the line for immigration in less than 30 minutes. Our immigration line of course was the slowest, we were there for about 40 minutes but were lucky to be able to get on the shuttle to the parking lot right away. Overall it paid off to be ready to go as soon as possible and not using the “relaxed” debarkation. My mom and daughter enjoyed the cruise and feel that the food was good but not as good as usual. They would go back on another Carnival cruise. Myself? I am not sure if I am up to deal with so many people in such small spaces again. We’ll see... thanks for reading my review/rant. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first time on the Dream. The Ship seemed a little smaller that the other two Carnival Ships we have been on. The embarkation and disembarkation went better than I expected. Very easy to board the Ship, with very little wait ... Read More
This was our first time on the Dream. The Ship seemed a little smaller that the other two Carnival Ships we have been on. The embarkation and disembarkation went better than I expected. Very easy to board the Ship, with very little wait time. We had a Spa Cabin, which is great if you enjoy the Spa. You get some great Spa perks and access to the Thalassotherapy pool, which is awesome!. The room comes with Spa robes, slippers, and Spa accessories for the bathroom. The dining was good. We had an excellent dining staff, which can make your dining room experience great. The ship was not very crowed, so we could get around the ship with ease. We did 1 excursion at Cozumel, Mexico. The Twister Boat ride to Passion Island was amazing. This was my second time doing this excursion. Your food and drinks are included. They also have shops and offer massages for a fee. The beach in nice with swings, hammocks, and a volleyball net in the water. You can also ride canoes for free. The excursion is about 5 hours including the boat ride. You get back in plenty of time to shop at port if you choose. The Entertainment on the ship was OK. We did have a few showers, which moved some activities inside. Our second port was Yucatan Progreso, Mexico. If you want to go to the beach, you have to take a bus (it's free). There are some shops at the port, but you must bus to get to the mainland (you can not walk). You can purchase some things cheap, but the people bother you Nonstop! They try to sale you everything! Overall, it was a nice 5 day cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The ship is absolutely stunning. Everything was very clean and easy to navigate after the first day. The staff was some of the best! Mercy was our room steward and she is the sweetest! I was traveling with my grandmother and my son who is ... Read More
The ship is absolutely stunning. Everything was very clean and easy to navigate after the first day. The staff was some of the best! Mercy was our room steward and she is the sweetest! I was traveling with my grandmother and my son who is 10 months old. He loved her as much as we did. Everyone was so nice to us. Eat in the dining room! The food was excellent along with the wait staff. Alvaro, Richard, and Budianna took great care of us. They made sure we had everything we needed and made the experience very personable. They were so sweet to my son as well and very patient. Our cruise director Gary was so much fun and hilarious! The entertainment was so much fun. The trivia games were a blast and the shows were amazing. If you are going on the cruise in the near future make sure to catch the show Flick! This was such a fun and relaxing vacation. I just got home and I am already looking to book my next cruise. Great job Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Our 1st cruise was on the Carnival Valor, we LOVED everything on the Valor, not so much on the Dream. Everything from cleanliness, food, drinks was a complete let down. The ship stunk on the Lido deck like sewage/urine. The food was ... Read More
Our 1st cruise was on the Carnival Valor, we LOVED everything on the Valor, not so much on the Dream. Everything from cleanliness, food, drinks was a complete let down. The ship stunk on the Lido deck like sewage/urine. The food was nothing special, the dining room basically had the same menu night after night, with only a few items different each night. The desserts were unimpressive, quality inconcistent. We were in the Crisome dining room stuck in a back corner, asked if the window coverings could be opened, so we could see out to the water, was told they never open them, their entertainment show was nothing entertaining about it. The best meal we had was the Dr. Seuss breakfast that was $5 per person extra. We did enjoy Trivia, Sorry and the 50's/60's Rock and Roll show, we went to the 80's music show also, it was ok. The waterworks area was nice and the grandkids enjoyed it. The only 2 times our faster to fun helped us was getting on the ship and getting off the ship in Galveston. The Blue Iguana Bar (Tequlia bar) was closed most of the time, which then back up the Rum bar, so most of the time we waited for a deck server to get us a drink, sometimes taking as long as 30 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I do want to say there was one individual in Customer Service that was absolutely amazing! Cudo's to Neo! He was the one that earned the 3 stars. Thank you, Neo you are absolutely the best part of the Ship! The food was horrible ... Read More
I do want to say there was one individual in Customer Service that was absolutely amazing! Cudo's to Neo! He was the one that earned the 3 stars. Thank you, Neo you are absolutely the best part of the Ship! The food was horrible in the buffet area would have eaten in the dining room but my anytime seating was replaced with an 8:15 P.M. dinnertime which I am one not to eat that late at night. The Matre D' in the dining area we were assigned was the worst the last night he did come through for us and we were able to have a decent meal in the dining area. We were on a cruise that allowed for free drinks so it stated in the package but when we arrived we realized it was only if you are playing in the casino. While in the casino, not one waitstaff showed up to take a drink order. If you try and order at the casino bar they will turn you down and tell you to order from the staff on the floor. No waitstaff to be found for most of the cruise. Beware of the free drinks while in the casino could not even get water just a real scam as far as I could see. We finally opted to just purchase a cheers package which you could then purchase from the casino bar. The first day we had a woman meet us at the cabin to introduce herself very pleasant asked us if we wanted service once or twice a day. We opted for twice a day if that was an option however we would see her in the morning and she was nowhere to be found in the afternoons so we would seek out new towels after showering and getting ready for our buffet dinner. Service was scarce all around. The funniest part about the room set-up was that the towel design left on your bed that Carnival is known for was just a towel draped in the middle of the bed but could not identify what it was they were trying to create. On the last day at sea, we decided to sit by the pool in the back of the boat 'Lido Deck' woman's restroom backed up staff could not handle shutting down the bathroom, I literally pulled over two wet floor signs that were on the deck and put them in front of the door! This was a hazard waiting to happen. The woman kept ignoring and pushing aside the signs and into the bathroom. The water was up to my ankles and people are walking in there. No one outside to stop them or get someone in there immediately to stop the water flow. I moved out of the area and went up to the Serenity deck which was overcrowded given they had to close the second floor due to high winds. Next morning and by no fault of the crew's we came into port with a huge bang due to the high winds. We had someone else's empty Dr. Pepper cans and a white hanger land on our deck. The vacation was not what I had expected to say the least! The worst part is I have another cruise scheduled for August through Carnival that I do not even want to go on. To be fair though out of the several Carnival Cruises we have taken this is the only one I have complaints with! The others were great so I will give it one more try :) I am hoping it was just bad timing, shortage of staff, too many people booked on the cruise, etc.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was my first cruise with my 11 year old daughter. We planned for months and were excited to spend minimal time on the ship and go to our planned stops- Jamaica, Cayman and Cozumel. Carnival announced 4 days before the cruise that the ... Read More
This was my first cruise with my 11 year old daughter. We planned for months and were excited to spend minimal time on the ship and go to our planned stops- Jamaica, Cayman and Cozumel. Carnival announced 4 days before the cruise that the ship was having mechanical issues and could not get to Jamaica but was being redirected. After an initial disappointment, we sucked it up and chose new itineraries in the new places we were going. Everything was planned for months, time off work and airfare purchased. We left AZ at 3 am and got to the ship on time. Onboarding was easy, but once we got on board we were told of another itinerary change- we were only going to TWO stops in Mexico and staying on the ship an extra day. We could have gotten off the ship for a full refund, but having traveled with a child who would be more disappointed that the entire vacation was called off was not an option. I spent a fair amount of time on board trying to change excursions, waiting in line to talk to guest services and had to buy service to call the airlines and change my flights, which were non refundable. I dropped an extra $800 for one way tickets back to AZ since the cruise was extended the extra day. I emailed Carnival (since I never actually got to talk to guest services because of the wait time) and was told that mechanical issues were out of their control. The excursions we booked were canceled at the last minute because of the rough seas- and we couldn't get anything else because they were sold out, due to the itinerary change. While Carnival offered 50% off the next cruise, I am wondering why they think I would remotely want to cruise again based on this terrible first experience? The only saving grace on the ship was the staff. They were great and we had fun watching the shows. But after 4 days sailing, we were a bit stir crazy, and our first excursion was sitting on some less than wonderful Mexican beach. I didn't book a cruise to sit on a ship for an extended period of time- I booked as a means to get to exotic locals and have some adventure. Adventure it was not, and mechanical issues are certainly within the control of a company that manages ships. Departure was fine for us but we were also one of the first called off the ship. The room was fine, food was fine, but the hassle pretty much ruined the only vacation we have taken in three years. If I wanted to sit on a beach in Mexico I would have rented a house and driven there. Carnival is assisting with the airline ticket payments but overall, it was not worth the frustration or hassle, as we didn't get to do much of anything that was planned. They gave on board credit which I used for a massage to try and destress from it all. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We just got off the Vista on Sunday, and while this is not going to be a comprehensive, day by day review, I’ll give you my thoughts on the Vista, the issues she had, the pros we found with the ship and some of the cons… First of ... Read More
We just got off the Vista on Sunday, and while this is not going to be a comprehensive, day by day review, I’ll give you my thoughts on the Vista, the issues she had, the pros we found with the ship and some of the cons… First of all, this was our first family cruise. In addition to my hubby and me, our daughter, son in law and 10 year old grandson cruised with us- it was the first cruise for SIL and grandson, 3rd for my daughter. We booked to standard balcony cabins on Lido deck, 10236 & 10240. It was our first time on the Lido deck and we all decided we loved the location, especially my GS who was never more than 2 mins from his next soft serve ice cream fix! The cabins were good, not noisy (I was originally concerned that Lido noise might make it that far forward, but it was never an issue). The only problem experienced was with the door slammers- this was by far the worst cruise for people slamming doors constantly! But the good news was, for the first time since we had a balcony, we had zero issues with people smoking on their balconies. We drove to Galveston on Friday with our grandson and stayed in a 2 bed, 2 bath suite at the TownePlace Inn & Suites on Seawall Blvd. Location was great, the suite was perfect as my daughter & son in law drove up Friday night. It includes a basic breakfast which was all we needed before boarding Saturday morning. We had FTTF so we left the hotel about 9:15, dropped our checked luggage at 9:30 and while the rest of us waited in line with the carry-ons, DH & SIL parked at EZCruise (no shuttle option- easy 5 min walk for hubby & SIL). We received the ubiquitous email asking us to delay our arrival by an hour but we disregarded, and check in started around 10:00. We waited in the boarding lounge until around 11:45 when boarding began. Our rooms were ready and our suitcases were already delivered! We dropped our carry-ons off and went to grab some lunch. So for the issues Vista had… for those of you who were not aware, on Jun 12 Carnival notified us that she was having propulsion issues (hmmm- where have I heard that before??) and our ports would be changing from Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel to Mahogany Bay, Costa Maya and Cozumel… 2 new ports for me, so I wasn’t really concerned! While we were waiting for muster, about 2:45 the captain made a mysterious announcement about some changes to our itinerary, and that a letter was being delivered to all pax. If we had questions, they would be meeting everyone in the Limelight Lounge to answer them. I walked down there and got a copy of the letter, which basically said the propulsion issue was worse than they thought, so Mahogany Bay was being dropped, and we were being extended to an 8-day cruise! If people wanted to get off they could get a full refund, but if we stayed onboard for the cruise, we’d get $200 pp OBC, 50% Future Cruise Credit and the 8th day free, including wifi, Cheers and Bottomless Bubbles. The discussion in the lounge was outrageous- all I could hear was people screaming at the Carnival staff about how they hate Carnival, Carnival did this on purpose just to spite them, Carnival owed them! One woman wanted to stay on the ship for the current cruise plus get a 100% refund for it AND a 100% future cruise credit! Entitled much? To us it seemed like a win/win for us and that Carnival was doing their best in a bad situation so we opted to stay on for the cruise. The only concern I had was them waiting so late to make the announcement- 3 PM an hour before planned sailaway- almost everyone was onboard and many, like us, were already unpacked and ready to start our cruise! They gave everyone til 6 PM to decide if they wanted to get off. We had muster at 5:15 and we sailed around 7:30. Our speed the entire week was not an issue- we were able to make all our planned stops on time and the boat was as smooth as ever due to the slower speed. Another plus- Carnival worked with all the Galveston parking locations so we didn’t get charged for the extra day. Some Pros about the cruise: Our cabin steward, Anjana (said to call her Ana, I was the only person who knew how to pronounce her name properly!) was amazing! She managed both our cabins, with people taking naps, coming back & forth and not giving her any opportunity to establish any flow, yet she handled it like a champ! She offered us both times a day for service but went on to say, if it was a problem, she’d do whichever we wanted, if we didn’t want the intrusion. We opted for twice a day but made it clear that all we expected in the evenings was fresh ice. FTTF- worked very well for us this trip. Early check in, early access to cabins, priority line at Guest Services were all really beneficial. The checkin process was messed up because the previous cruise went to Belize and that always causes delays with CBP and Customs on their return (hence the request to delay arrival at the port by an hour) but we didn’t find that to be an issue, until all the priority boarders were in the lounge and they started allowing the staggered check in time groups to check in- with about 1500 passengers left to disembark, the port computers went down and they had to stop disembarkation as well as check in. Those with a later check in time were stuck waiting longer outside than the earlier folks because of this. This caused about an hour’s delay in boarding. Lido Buffet- it had some really pleasant surprises! The new cakes are in fact as delicious as everyone has claimed, HOWEVER they are only served in one spot in the buffet (the furthest aft Sweet Spot) and ONLY at lunchtime. At the other Sweet Spot closer to the front they had 2 flavors of gelato every day. OMG!!!! It was the best! I thought several of the items from the new Deli menu were pretty good (the wraps, the buffalo chicken sandwich) but my favorite, the Reuben missed the mark just a bit- instead of pressing it as Reubens normally are, they just toasted it, like they do at Subways… I found it made the bread hard and prone to cracking, so the sandwich fell apart. But it was still tasty! Bonsai Sushi was outstanding! I’ve been on a keto diet for 4 months so sushi has been off my list but I spoiled myself on the cruise and loved the food from this place! Another pro, not specifically about Vista but Carnival in general, was how they handled the whole Vista propulsion issue… other than notifying us too late, they made the tough decision to modify the next 2 cruises (departing June 23 & Jul 1) to be exactly like ours- same ports, same duration (8 days) and then CANCEL the next few cruises and take the ship out of commission and get her repaired in Freeport. Too often in the past they’ve allowed the sick dog to limp along for too long before making that call. I know a lot of people were probably pretty disappointed to miss their cruise, but hey- Carnival provided a 100% refund PLUS a 100% future cruise credit to those on the cruises that were canceled! Plus they are allowing a certain amount toward changed flights etc. Oh, another thing- often if you get an extra day that you didn’t pay for, it won’t count towards your VIFP points… not this time! They’re giving everyone credit for the full 8 days, even though we only paid for 7! Unlike some previous cruisers, I didn’t find Vista crowded at all. Food venues, shops, getting off in ports- it didn’t seem any worse than other smaller ships I’ve cruised on- in fact, in some cases it seemed a lot better! Now for some Cons: Matt Mitcham was off the week of our cruise and was replaced by Cookie Adams. Some of the early reports were that people really liked him. Don’t count me in that group! He was fatuous, dismissive and completely disorganized this whole cruise, IMHO! He made a point of calling out during the 80’s party about how he was the # 1 Carnival Cruise Director… the day after Matt Mitcham was named the CD of the Mardi Gras! Really, Cookie? Food- MDR- staff was kind of mixed- surly and inattentive, happy and very helpful. And the food, which I’m normally a big cheerleader for, was just, meh… a lot of it was cold, and had obviously been sitting quite a while. I’m normally the person who eats in the MDR every chance I get but this cruise we only ate there once for the Sea Day Brunch and three times for dinner. Camp Ocean- for the 9-11 year olds, it was pitiful how few activities they had planned for this age group. It seemed those younger and older were given a lot more attention and things to do. Mostly video games and even they were not really age-appropriate (too young). Another frustrating thing was that none of their activities are listed in the Fun Hub activities list, which would have been really helpful. Liquid Lounge- I have to agree with everyone’s assessment of this location- what was Carnival thinking? If you’re not one of the first folks in the lounge forget about being able to see anything half decently. We only went to one show because of this. I must say though that we really enjoyed Studio VIP and I would have liked to see some of the others that I hadn’t seen before. Disembarkation- As I mentioned we had FTTF. They told us to be in the Liquid Lounge by 7:45 with all our luggage. We were there by 7:20 but it was pure chaos. They had people putting their luggage in the middle section, supposedly in rows and at 7:40 started calling people by rows of luggage to debark the ship. But those who showed up last just walked off the ship well before us! And it was really slow! Normally we’re off the ship and in our car before 8, but this time we didn’t leave the parking lot til after 8:30! I can only imagine how long it took the rest of the folks to get off the ship! All in all, if I had to weigh the good with the bad, it was still a great cruise, because I didn’t have to cook, or clean and I got to spend time with my family. And nothing bad enough happened to prevent me from sailing on Vista again, just not right now! We came home to an offer to jump right back onboard for Jul 1 with a bunch of OBC and FCCs, but we decided no, we were good for now. But the day after I got home, I did book a Premier Aft Wrap balcony on Freedom for Thanksgiving next year, using the future cruise credits they gave me! So that’s my family cruise… it was over 18 months in coming, and it felt like it was gone before I knew it. But I still love cruising best of all! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I went on this cruise as part of a large group (50+ people). It was my first cruise and will also be my last. I was always told your are treated like something special on a cruise. I did not experience this. I was also told that the ... Read More
I went on this cruise as part of a large group (50+ people). It was my first cruise and will also be my last. I was always told your are treated like something special on a cruise. I did not experience this. I was also told that the food was fabulous on cruises. Not the case on the Freedom. Getting on to the ship was absolute chaos. Luggage is turned in at one end of the port and you have to walked back through the massive crowds to get to the entry doorway to go through security and board the ship. What a mess that was. When you walk onto the ship and finally get inside the oppressive three story atrium makes you feel depressed. It is dark and underwhelming. No excitement. No light and airy feel. The first thought is "what did I get myself in to?" We had to wait two hours before we could get to our rooms. Once we hit Deck 2 we smelled the never ending smell of light sewage in the air. In all the elevator lobbies and general populations areas there was always something to be wiped down and/or picked up. Food was more miss than hit especially the Lido deck buffet. Yuck! Guy's Burgers were about the only think edible on the ship - everything else made us nauseous. Staff would sometimes smile but most of the time not. I really did not like to see my 77 year old mother harassed on debarkation. >:{ Ship windows were cracked. Cabin couch cushions had mold, spots, rips and tears. Beds were more comfortable than they look but still too short - my feet hung over the edge the entire trip - I'm six feet tall. The nail tech in the spa was great but that's about where it ended. AC in cabin never cooled things down below 78. Called maintenance but they never showed. Fitness center did not open until 5PM - no morning workouts unless they entailed walking circles around Deck 10 through the smoking areas. Saw drunken fights every night on the ship. Had to call security on one woman who beat her husband which was right across from my 14 year old daughter's cabin. Another incident happened in the casino where a guy accused a woman across the roulette table of racism and she never said a word to him. Another night a guy on the Lido deck suck punched another guy walking by with no provocation. I hid in my cabin the last night just to stay away from the drunkenness. If I ever cruise again it will not be on Carnival. I had to come home and schedule a true relaxing vacation from this mistake on the sea. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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