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3,296 Carnival Galveston Cruise Reviews

We had an ocean suite and we are platinum, so the boarding process was very quick. Only time we stopped was when our carry on went through the x-ray. Friends that had faster to the fun said the same thing, they walked right on to the ... Read More
We had an ocean suite and we are platinum, so the boarding process was very quick. Only time we stopped was when our carry on went through the x-ray. Friends that had faster to the fun said the same thing, they walked right on to the ship with out stopping. Before muster drill our suitcases were in our room and we had completely unpacked and had things put up before muster. Suite was good, but not as big as the same class suite on the smaller ships. Balcony did have 3 chairs and a table and one chair was reclining. Our room steward always kept us with ice, and kept the room very clean, and she always knew us by name. We had your time dining. They have changed the way they do it, now there is three ways. Go to deck 5 and make a reservation with a person, which is a waste of time, do it with the app or just show up. First night doing this was a mess. We made a reservation for 6:30pm. It was about an hour before our table was ready. Since the dining room fills up, ;you still have to wait for a table to "open" before you are seated. There after I made the reservations with the app and for right now and the wait was less than 10 min. and they sent me the table number. Showed up at the dining room, showed them the table number on the app and were seated. Then we got a really good wait staff. After talking to them, they told me to just show up at opening time, go to the desk and request him and his staff, and that they would seat us with them. We did that the next night and it worked. Problem was, the people on deck 5 told us one thing, the people at the desk told us different things, so until we just asked the waiter, he told us how to do it. First night we had steak house reservations which came with a free bottle of wine or half off of the listed wines. We were 3 couples and all of us requested the free bottle of house wine. The bar waiter was really insistent we should get the half off listed wine as the house wine was not as good. He really made us feel like if we did not take the half off deal, that we were just a bunch of country hicks with poor taste. We gave in, mainly to get him to go away, but we did report him. Those were the only things that did get to us on the entire cruise. For such a big ship, this was our first time on Vista, we never noticed any really long waits at any of the places to eat, guys burger lines always moved fast and our wait was a couple of minutes. We really like the ship but we did have a minor thing that people might need to be aware of. We all had custom magnetic signs made to place on our doors. Yes, the cabin doors are metal, but they have a "coating" of plastic or something like that on them such that our magnetic signs would not stick. So we had to place them on the outside wall. Not a big deal, but still something to plan for if we sail again on vista. We found all the staff that we encountered were all friendly and professional. Due to high winds in Honduras, the Captain decided not to try to dock their, so we set out back towards Galveston. In a few minutes they advised us we would do another stop in Cozumel. Of course there were many ticked off people, including some diamond members, raising hell with the staff about it. I think it took real guts for the Captain to decide NOT to try docking in high winds, maybe causing damage to the ship and or the pier. It could have been bad, but some don't care about that, only want to get their way, not matter what the cost to the ship, the pier or the consequences of something bad happening. Then they would have been even more mad that he tried to dock in high winds. A no win situation for the Captain but a real good decision taking all things in consideration. Maybe more people should actually read the rules and regulations instead of just clicking "I agree" on the legal information. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Martin the club 02 leader made the cruise for all of teens so memorable he is such a great leader and makes everyone feel at home! He made all of us so close in just 4 days of our crusie! It was a fun and memorable crusie because of ... Read More
Martin the club 02 leader made the cruise for all of teens so memorable he is such a great leader and makes everyone feel at home! He made all of us so close in just 4 days of our crusie! It was a fun and memorable crusie because of Martin! He made it very fun of games and great bonding time! Tj the crusie director was great! He was super fun and always saw him interacting with us everywhere! I loved the activities we had! Carnival valor will always have a my heart! For sure booking a cruise on the valor again! What’s a great experience! Room service was amazing! And so was the staff! I recommend this cruise line 10/10 y’all did such a great job! Thank you again TJ and Martin for making this such a memorable crusie that i will never forget!! Carnival Valor forever i will always remember it! Love,Texas girl! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I will start by saying that i have been on 8 cruises. We are easy to please, love to party and always decide to make it a good experience. I will break this down in categories for you. 1. Embarkation was the best that we have had on any ... Read More
I will start by saying that i have been on 8 cruises. We are easy to please, love to party and always decide to make it a good experience. I will break this down in categories for you. 1. Embarkation was the best that we have had on any cruise. we have been on multiple cruiselines and to many differtent ports. we waited in line for 5 minutes tops. We got on as quick as we could walk the pathway. 2. Ship layout was terrible but we got used to it. Pool sizes are super small. Chairs are easy to get because the pools/ outdoor areas are all broken up and located in different areas. The elevators are pretty slow going. Take the stairs as much as possible. The Atrium isn't a very good setup, thats why they have an elevator problem. They got rid of the glass speed elevators in the atrium so everybody has to use the others. The show lounge was designed by someone that clearly has never been on a cruise and using the theatre.Once again expect to have fun and not worry about the small stuff. 3. Staff: A+++++. This was by far the best staff that we have evry encountered on a cruise. Friendly helpful and sincere. Enough said. 4. Cruise director Matt is the best in the business. He by far exceeded our expectations of a great CD. 5. Casino - I am not a smoker and thought the smoke level was fine. I have read a bunch of complaints but disagree with them.By far the funest casino ive been to on a ship. Loud and open late.Hottest craps table that ive seen on a cruise ship. 6. Food: buffet avaerage but what i expected. Pizza is not very good in my opinion. We ate it only out of convienience. dining room dinner was average. Steakhouse was not as good as advertised but im a steak snob. Sides, apps and desert were fab but the steak definitely isn't prime. I didn't get to try the seafood shack. The barbaque was average but the mac and cheese is a total joke. I really cant see why Guy would endore that mac. a 5 yr old making kraft would have better results. Tip the mac and cheese at the small buffet just inside the doors from barbaque is outstanding. The sushi is very good and very cheap for sushi. We didn't try the Italian place but it was great. The JI JI asian place was incredible. best food on the ship that we ate. guys burger is very good and the taco/burrito joint is very good. As you can see i like food. 7. bars - Alchemy is very good but very slow. Tequilla bar and staff was great. steakhouse bar was a favorite. Piano bar is a must if you like fun. The atrium bar is great during the violin shows. The violin group is amazing. 8. entertainment - We did the comedy a lot and they were great. The love and marriage was the best that ive seen on any ship. The quest game was out of this world but be prepared for a raunchy loud drunken time. The cruise was a love hate for us. We had a blast because we are fun and simple people. I would suggest to try the ship for sure but we wouldn't do the ship again unless the price comes down to what other carnival ships charge. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I absolutely enjoyed my stay on the Vista! Embarking was very fast and hassle free. My daughter and I had faster to the fun. We walked right up to the desk and was checked in, in a matter of minutes. We were on board at 11:45 am! We ... Read More
I absolutely enjoyed my stay on the Vista! Embarking was very fast and hassle free. My daughter and I had faster to the fun. We walked right up to the desk and was checked in, in a matter of minutes. We were on board at 11:45 am! We skipped checking into our rooms first and went right up to the Lido deck to have guys burger joint. The burgers were hot off the grill with hot fries. Amazing! I think I had four of those burgers during our six day cruise. My only complain was that my muster station meet up was in the smokey casino. It was hard to sit in there waiting for the meeting to start and inhaling the smell of smoke. After that the deck party was fun. The cruise director Matt was very entertaining and welcoming. We had early dining in the Horizons, we had the perfect view of the sun setting every night at dinner. The dining room staff was very attentive. I enjoyed most of the courses that I tried. I also ate in the steakhouse one night. I was not that impressed and felt that I should have just ate in the main dining room. The service in there was extremely slow and took about three hours for dinner. I was falling asleep waiting for our entrees. The room steward Natalia was very nice and kept clean towels and our room clean and comfortable. For one of the port days we went to Mr. Sanchos in Cozumel. We had a blast there. The service and food was delicious. Overall I enjoyed my cruise. I would like to sale the Vista at least one more time but I will be trying other ships before returning. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was an experimental cruise for us. We have taken 10 cruises and normally book a Jr Suite, or a balcony. This time we decided to go with an outside cabin with an eye toward saving some money. Right up front, I must admit I really ... Read More
This was an experimental cruise for us. We have taken 10 cruises and normally book a Jr Suite, or a balcony. This time we decided to go with an outside cabin with an eye toward saving some money. Right up front, I must admit I really really enjoyed this cruise. First of all, the boarding in Galveston was fantastic!! We normally have priority boarding because we usually book a Jr Suite, but this cruise was an Outside room, which would have meant long lines and slow processing. I can honestly say we boarded just as quickly on this cruise as any other cruise we have ever taken. We showed up at noon, walked right in and was promptly processed. No lines at all, no Disney World serpentine shuffle!!! The hardest part was just walking up the gang plank! Galveston and Carnival have figured it out!!! As a military veteran, I was overwhelmed by the attention Carnival has given to Armed Forces Veterans. Not only did we have daily teas and gatherings, but there was an awesome Veterans Salute in the Victoriana Theater. It was truly the highlight of our cruise. Every serviceman and woman should experience this. We decided not to take any organized tours of Key West, Freeport or Nassau, but rather, to walk around and shop. No one we talked to really like the hop on-hop off trolley, because of long lines and long wait times. Walking was easy for us, as everything we wanted to see was close at hand. We had no complaints about the food, entertainment or service. We were told we had 3330 passengers on board, but never felt crowded or uncomfortable. I will say that if you are not a smoker, stay clear of the casino, as the smoke is so thick in there, I found it hard to breathe, even as I walked by. We were very pleased with all aspects of the cruise and will do it again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We booked this cruise for Our 16th anniversary. We have never taken “real” vacation with just the two of us as most of our time off has been camping with our kids. Overall I would not be opposed to taking another cruise maybe in a ... Read More
We booked this cruise for Our 16th anniversary. We have never taken “real” vacation with just the two of us as most of our time off has been camping with our kids. Overall I would not be opposed to taking another cruise maybe in a couple years. Good: 1. The staff on board was excellent. Our room steward Arthar. Corina served us at both the pool and in the main dining hall on several occasions and she was awesome. Oscar and Mark at Alchemy bar were great 2. La Cocina Italian restaurant 3. Gigi’s Asian restaurant Bad: 1. The sushi bar was edible but I would not go back. We did have a cooked sea bass that my wife raved about. 2. Most of the mixed drinks at the bars were supper sweet, weak, not very good. Go to Alchemy 3. The dinning hall was ok but nothing to rave about Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise as if fit perfectly into the time frame we both could get for our vacation. We had never cruised before and decided on this one as we had always wanted to go on one and we thought it would be a fun way to celebrate our ... Read More
We chose this cruise as if fit perfectly into the time frame we both could get for our vacation. We had never cruised before and decided on this one as we had always wanted to go on one and we thought it would be a fun way to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We flew into Houston on Southwest a day early. We used and recommend Galveston Limo service for transfers from the airport as they were fairly priced, friendly and can offer some great tips. We got a room in Galveston through Southwest and just relaxed. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Both of these went fairly quickly. The ship: well even after the recent drydock it is showing its age, The public areas overall look acceptable but around the edges where the masses don't congregate wear is taking its toll. In the steam room the glass facing out had a big crack in it. My wife and I noticed many areas along the outside walls where it was dusty, scuffed, dented, broken or just needed repainted. The Cabin: We had an 8C balcony #7365. This falls in line with more of the same we saw all over the ship. It was ok but again it is showing its age. Little things stood out ( burned out light bulb in the room, small dim tv, chips in the woodwork, lampshade fell apart if bumped and the glass on the balcony needed proper cleaning ). The Dining : this is a mixed bag! Some venues really stood out. The Sun King steakhouse was by far the best meal we had on the ship, It was tasty and well prepared and served professionally! The Chic MDR: reminded us of chain restaurant fare. The breakfasts here we had arrived cold. Guy's Burgers: Yum! Blue iguana cantina: Yummy breakfast burritos! The deli: ok ( seriously though using the bitter part of the lettuce on a sandwich? ) The Old Fashioned bbq; Sorry but if it is not smoked its not bbq. The Buffet: bland, tasteless food for the most part and the desserts lacked flavor as well, A few items were good but very few. The Coffee was horrid and the juices ( juice cocktails to be exact ). were sickeningly sweet! We did find a hidden gem in the coffee shop the desserts there were tasty but once again an extra charge ( a couple dollars ). The model Carnival has here seems to be " yeah we will give you something, but if you want something really good you will pay extra! " Entertainment and Activities: The shows in the Victoriana Theatre were ok. The comedy club was overpacked and since they do not clear the theatre between shows its nearly impossible to get a seat! The Dive in Movies: This is a neat concept. We decided on two movies and on both of them the screen went blank and the movie started over, One was at the 3/4 mark and the other was at the 10 minute mark and again at very close at the end of the movie where it never did finish. A waste of our vacation time. At bingo the screen projections were very choppy. Carnival doesn't have a good A/V tech on the ship? The Trivia parties in the Atrium area were quite entertaining. The "fun squad" and cruise director did a great job there. Pool areas were crowded and deck chairs hard to get. The water slides however were fast and fun! Service: Our room stewards on deck 7 did a great job they were efficient and friendly. The bar staff was another mixed bag. The bars in busy areas were understaffed and seemed to give priority to those who were buying beer and mixed drinks. Not all of us drink alcohol. Too many times we just felt ignored. The Fun shop staff were friendly and helpful. Ports and excursions: Cozumel, we did the shopping and beach break tour. Olivia, our guide did a great job and took us to shopping areas downtown that had better prices than the port shops. The beach club was ok with mediocre overpriced food options. Grand Cayman: its a tender port and that went amazingly smoothly. We did the land and sea tour. First stop was a semi submersible ship where we got to see some shipwrecks and many fish. Second stop was at a shop that sold rum cakes etc. Third stop was at a rock formation called "Hell". Strange looking formations with a gift shop that sold funny T-shirts Forth stop was at the Cayman turtle center where we got to see many adult sea turtles and hold a baby turtle. All in all a fun tour. Ocho Rios: got off the ship, shopped a little and then right back on and enjoyed all the amenities that were too crowded on sea days. Summary: For our first cruise it was ok as it gave us an idea what cruising might be like. If you just want to get away its fine but do not expect a 1st class experience with this ship without paying extra and that is what bothered us. Good tasty food should be the norm and not the exception. Too much nickel and diming on what is already a pricey vacation. . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was a family cruise that we now take once a year. I took my daughter with me this year.We stayed the night in Galveston before our cruise.This was my first time on the Freedom.The entertainment and activities were very good. ... Read More
This was a family cruise that we now take once a year. I took my daughter with me this year.We stayed the night in Galveston before our cruise.This was my first time on the Freedom.The entertainment and activities were very good. Didn't care for some of the buffet food this year.But over all it was very good.All the service people was great, And very helpful..The ports and excursions I loved. Stingray Island I loved. We will be going again next year!!!! We had shirts made the same for our cruise with our names on them. Jayson was our cabin steward and he kept our room very clean. I left him with a tip of a 10 dollar bill ring and a bag of candy. Loved the ocean in Jamaica even though it was hard for me to get out of it.It had a high sandy beach. Water was awesome and so clear. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I have been cruising for over 20 years and a lot has changed over the years. Most importantly, the lack of staff. Carnival boosts they have a 1 staff for 2 person ratio but when you think about it, most of that staff is behind the scenes ... Read More
I have been cruising for over 20 years and a lot has changed over the years. Most importantly, the lack of staff. Carnival boosts they have a 1 staff for 2 person ratio but when you think about it, most of that staff is behind the scenes and you never come in contact with. The stateroom attendant and dining attendants are short severely short staffed. For the most part, I certainly cannot blame the staff for having to serve so many people at once with little assistance. With the exception at the casino. When playing at the casino, if you are lucky to have a server come to you for your drink selection, it takes nearly 45 minutes for the drink to arrive. Carnival Vista is a nice ship. A quite large ship. Banging doors were the norm all hours of the day and night. And parents (some that is), what's up with not supervising your children? The majority of the young adults run the ship unsupervised, swimming in the hot tub, running around the decks, running into people and lacked common courtesy . And adults (some), what's up with you going on deck early in the morning, putting your towel on a chair and leaving it unattended for hours on end? I guess people like that feel entitled to take for themselves and not respect other's that truly want to sit down and relax. It is amazing how disrespectful people can be! Matt the cruise director is awesome. He was an amazing host for the Veterans Appreciation program. I had a balcony room on the 8th floor, which was decent in size for four people. Only complaint....slamming doors! Food was okay, nothing impressive compared to years ago. I was amazed that not one night was there a non cream based soup on the menu. I was also shocked that other than the salad bar at the buffet, I couldn't find and grilled or steamed vegetables. I've some to realize that cruising is no longer a pleasure for me. To many rude people, bad food, short staffed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Chose this Cruise for our 27th wedding anniversary. We had so much fun on this cruise. All the staff we interacted with were very professional and always had a smile. Especially Milan and Mark in the Alchemy Bar. We stopped here for drinks ... Read More
Chose this Cruise for our 27th wedding anniversary. We had so much fun on this cruise. All the staff we interacted with were very professional and always had a smile. Especially Milan and Mark in the Alchemy Bar. We stopped here for drinks before dinner every night, best dirty martinis I have ever had. The decor of the ship was plain but did not bother me. We did not even miss the glass elevators. The Havana area is great. I would recommend choosing a room that allows access to this area. No crowds at the bar or at the pool area. Walked out at 10 and plenty of loungers still available. Since this was an anniversary cruise we only ate in the main dining room twice. The food was good it was what I expected. The other night we ate at the specialty restaurants and the food was exceptional. We had so much fun on this cruise we booked another cruise on the Vista. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I was really impressed with the cruise ship Valor. It was clean, food was the best I have had on a cruise in a long time, the wait staff were prompt, courteous, could communicate very well, food in mdr was always very good, steak house was ... Read More
I was really impressed with the cruise ship Valor. It was clean, food was the best I have had on a cruise in a long time, the wait staff were prompt, courteous, could communicate very well, food in mdr was always very good, steak house was excellent, my room was very clean, the porter made sure I had 2 ice buckets filled, the casino staff were exceptional always coming up to me to see if I was having a good time, Casino even paid off some, the bar staff were very prompt getting drinks out. Being handicapped, the ships staff were always making sure I was ok. This was the fifth cruise I was on this year. I have never been on the Valor before. I will definitely book more cruises on her. I did not get off the ship in any ports because of being handicapped. Carnival always takes care of me. The only type of vacation I like. I have several more cruises booked with Carnival b Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The cruise ship itself is not aesthetically pleasing, very dark decor...also not very organized as it took us days to figure out the floor plan The temperature in our room was the main issue! After the second day, it started becoming ... Read More
The cruise ship itself is not aesthetically pleasing, very dark decor...also not very organized as it took us days to figure out the floor plan The temperature in our room was the main issue! After the second day, it started becoming warm in our room and we began reporting it. Staff came down, checked the temp which was about 74 and gave us some fans. On this seven day cruise, we complained and called at least 7-8 times. Staff would simply come in and check the temp which continued to hover around 74. At one time, the thermostat was changed out. On the 5th day, I got tired of sweating in my own room. I called Guest Services who stated someone would be down to the room shortly. After an hour, I marched down there not too happy. Luckily,management was there and took me seriously. By this time, I was livid. The temp in the room was 78.1. We were finally moved from the room and given a balcony room so I can at least say for 2 days, we were comfortable. The food was primarily mediocre. I love a good breakfast buffet but it was basically the same everyday. Guy's Burgers I guess was my favorite along with Blue Iguana. All in all, I will probably try to avoid this ship because of our uncomfortable experiences. Several more cabin members also discussed the temperature on the facebook page We did experience the quickest check in ever! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We picked this cruise for spring break and we picked this ship based on ports, dates, reviews, etc. There were six of us total, two families. We had a great time. Our rooms were nice and clean and our room steward (Ferry) was awesome! If ... Read More
We picked this cruise for spring break and we picked this ship based on ports, dates, reviews, etc. There were six of us total, two families. We had a great time. Our rooms were nice and clean and our room steward (Ferry) was awesome! If we needed something, he got it, he respected our privacy if needed and he was very friendly...he knew our names right away! The food was very good and our waiters were amazing - Imade, John and Iwayan. I would want to sit in their section if they were on our next cruise. The variety of foods was great and I enjoyed trying different things. The gym was nice and had a great variety of equipment - my only complaint there is that I wish there were more free class options. Not a big deal though. The spa area was very nice and the employees were polite, friendly and knowledgeable. There were many things to do on the ship - shows, games, etc. The cruise director, Simon London, did a great job and was very energetic. The excursions were a lot of fun and my favorite was the Snorkel and Starfish Island Getaway. The guides were fabulous! The snorkeling was a lot of fun and the guides were very helpful and monitored everyone very well. The island was so lovely and I would have loved to spend more time doing all of it. The trip was a great experience for all of us! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
BACKGROUND This was our second cruise experience. We had previously sailed on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas to Cozumel-Cayman-Jamaica in 2016. Since we wanted to visit different destinations and would only be able to cruise ... Read More
BACKGROUND This was our second cruise experience. We had previously sailed on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas to Cozumel-Cayman-Jamaica in 2016. Since we wanted to visit different destinations and would only be able to cruise during the week of 3/17/2019, we decided to go with Carnival Vista since it was going to Cozumel-Belize-Roatan. Moreover, there was the added attraction of being on Carnival's new ship - the Vista. THE SHIP - MEDIOCRE The Vista is Carnival's new ship and can hold upto 4500 guests. However, other than being large, we did not find the ship to be very interesting, especially when compared to RCL's Liberty o.t. Seas. To begin with, the ship has a very closed and boxy feeling. Public areas have low ceilings everywhere and there are hardly any wide and open areas indoors. Even the promenade/atrium was just a small circular area, only 3 floors high. The LED screens are quite cool though. The performance theater called Liquid Lounge is very poorly designed. There are many large columns inside and block the view for a large number of seats. Also, if you are seated in the balcony, you will miss parts of a performance when the artists get off stage. The comedy shows happen in a lounge called the Limelight Lounge but it has very limited seating requiring many gusts to stand during the shows. Also, navigating through the ship is not very obvious (example to get from the aft to forward of the 3rd floor, you need to switch to either 4th or 2nd floor and then come back to 3rd again. ACTIVITIES - AVERAGE The swimming pool is tiny (even when compared to that of ships smaller than the Vista) and there are not enough hot tubs to cater to the number of people this ship carries. There are some cool facilities such as the skyride, the rope-course and the waterpark but there can be long lines due to the number of people on-board CABIN - GOOD The cabin was good and so was our room steward. We had a balcony on the 6th floor. There were power outlets as well as USB ports for charging devices which was quite handy. The bathroom was well designed and made great use of space. All in all, very comfortable and exceeded expectations. DINING - OKAYISH The main ship buffet, named the Lido Marketplace is on the 10th floor and is broken down into small areas. I guess the ambience they were going for was an Italian Market. Unfortunately though, this being a ship, they ended up creating small areas with narrow passsages and low-ceilings (again!) with poor ventilation. The entire area always had a smell - probably from tables being wiped and from leftover food at tables (which the crew did their best to clear but with 4500 people on board was a challenge) The food in the main buffet was OK. Nothing to complain about but nothing to go wow about either. I personally found breakfast to be better than the lunch and dinner options. Water and juices are served in colored plastic cups which seriously took away from the ambience and feel. There are coffee and soft-serve machines spread throughout the buffet area which is good. We were forced to use 'Your Time Dining' and were never presented the option of fixed-time dining. Your-Time Dining took place in the Horizons restaurant which was on the 3rd and 4th floor towards the aft. The food here was quite good and they always had 1-2 vegetarian options for those who are vegetarians (if you like Indian food, there was always 1 Indian vegetarian main-course item). The desserts were good but nothing fancy or 'wow'ing. Also, Carnival would only bring out the table-cloth on the formal nights. We also dined at Jiji's Asian restaurant and Cucina del Capitano which are paid restaurants. Both had really good food and were well worth the extra price. Thge ship has a 24 hour pizzeria but the pizzas are just meh -- probably becuse they are having to continuously keep making and serving pizzas without much time for quality control During the daytime, Jiji's turns into Mongolian Wok restaurant whose meals are included in the price of the cruise ticket. This restaurant can get really busy but when they are not, the food is very tasty There is also a Seafood shack($), a Mexican restaurant and Guy's burger joint on-board but we didnt get a chance to try them out (except for fries from Guy's burger joint which were great) My recommendation would be to avoid the Lido for lunch and dinner unless you want a quick meal. There are several other options onboard and you may need more than 7 days to try them all anyways. ENTERTAINMENT - OKAYISH We are not hard-to-please folks but we still found the entertainment to be no more than just OK. There were shows in the (poorly designed) Liquid Lounge every night. Some of them were great but others focussed more on the 70s and 80s era -- is Carnival trying to turn away the younger crowds ?? The trivia in the Ocean's Plaza was fun from time to time The comedy shows in the Limelight lounge were something we looked forward too but not all of them were good. Some of them just played on stereotypes instead of being witty or interesting. Also, the lounge seemed too small to accomodate everyone and people were always having to stand up during the shows. The casino was fun. Min bets were $5 or $6 on most tables. They had several slot machines as well with min bets ranging from 1c to $1. There was a trio which performed instrumental music on electric violins in the atrium and they were always a pleasure to listen to. There were several movbies played on the main screen by the pool which was fun, along with the popcorn that was served out of the pub. DISEMBARKATION - DISASTER!! Just like any other ship, you had the option of carrying your luggage out or have it check-in and have the crew carry your luggage out. Either way, you were required to exit your rooms by 8.45am. Guests were supposed to be called deck by deck for self-checkout and zone-by-zone for checked-luggage. However, it took the crew 1.5 hours just to call and clear deck-1. Therteafter, impatient guests from other decks started to deboard out of sequence and there was no enforcement of rules by the crew. From time to time, the shore-side staff would pause the disembarkation. This caused such a delay that the decks of the ship were filled with people and luggage (who were asked to leave their rooms by 8.45am but who could not leave the ship). The ship's crew tried to make light of the situation by suggesting that this was just an extemnsion of our vacation but obviously it was not -- all bars werre closed in prep for the next cruise, all services / stores etc were offline and restaurants were not serving any meals either. WE were supposed to have disembarked between 8.30-9am but ended up exiting the ship at 11am and then were stuck in the immigration queue for another 40 mins. SUMMARY We definitely enjoyed our vacation but were not impressed by the ship and its design. Our experience could have been compounded because we travelled during one of the spring-break weeks. However, several other guests who had travelled on other Carnival ships also found thios ship unimpressive. I wouldn't go as far as to suggest avoiding this ship altogether but you may want to rethink booking it during peak travel periods. Also, being newer or bigger does not necessarily make this a better ship -- a ship not only needs interesting featured but also needs to be able to make those easily accessible to ALL guests. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Previously sailed only on RCI Liberty of Seas, also from Galveston, Thanksgiving 2017. This was a last-second purchase for Spring Break. Only place we could get 2 rooms was the spa deck. We got one balcony and the one oddball interior ... Read More
Previously sailed only on RCI Liberty of Seas, also from Galveston, Thanksgiving 2017. This was a last-second purchase for Spring Break. Only place we could get 2 rooms was the spa deck. We got one balcony and the one oddball interior room and had to split our adults across the two rooms to make the booking legal. (My wife and I are 50 and 47, son is 15, daughter is 9). Drove down from Austin. Embarkation was very smooth and quick. Muster drill boring but fine. I had the carnival Hub app, and used it; wife and son had it but never used it; daughter didn't have a device. We were forced into "Anytime dining" (and waitlisted at that). We ate all dinners in the MDR; which we enjoyed very much on the previous cruise. Dinners on this cruise were OK, but not up to what LOS provided. Checking in via app worked all nights but one; and in 5 out of those 6 nights it was a very short wait. All in all that was just fine. One night the app wasn't working (the reservation system wasn't reporting availability to the app) so we had to go down to JavaBlue and check in in person. This took a while and was annoying; had we done that all nights I'd have had a much more negative view of the anytime dining thing. First sea day it was cool and mostly pouring rain. Wife and I did a massage (couples massage). It was OK; started late but got the booked time in. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary. Also watched 2 IMAX movies (the short ones) this day - pandas (excellent!) and rescue dogs (good). Couldn't do any other activities due to rain. Watched the opening Clue! show in the theater - got there early and got a good seat (the only good seat we got all week). Had 3 good days on excursion days. Getting off the boat was easy in the 2 normal ports, but the tender to Belize was a bit of a madhouse (large groups of confused people in the theater). Getting back on was fine too. Ate generally later in the MDR those nights but still no major issues except the one time the app didn't work. Second sea day (headed back north) we quickly did the skybikes (which were awesome, but ALWAYS had a very long wait). Did the ropes course with my daughter twice. Definitely scary! Pool and hot tub full of other peoples' less well-behaved kids made relaxation hard to come by. (Our kids don't do camps either so we couldn't hang out on the adults-only deck much; only made it up to the hot tub there one time). Third sea day we also tried to stay out on the deck but similar results, and started to get chilly again. Spa rooms: Quieter than the rest of the ship. Special toiletries no big deal. Nicer towels. The actual thermal room you get access to for free is no big deal. Very shallow weird hot tub (you have to lay down in it) - nice for a little while but not good for long relaxation or reading. The hot tiled chairs were almost always full. We didn't use the free fitness classes offered as part of the spa room deal either so I can't say anything pro or con. Entertainment: They tried hard, but quality not as good as on past cruise. Theater sightlines are horrible; you need to get there very early if you actually want to be able to see most of what's going on. Activities; SkyRide is really fun; get in line VERY EARLY. Ropes course is scary but fun! Waterslides are quite good. (Better than LOS's, which were lame). IMAX is neat. Thrill theater wasn't worth the time. We had a bad pictures experience which was a little embarassing to me as somebody who usually has his stuff together, but as it wasn't clear HOW to get the photos off the boat (they said to use the app, but pictures were linked to each one of four folios; only I had the app; and the guy working the desk was no help), I assumed we'd be able to download via an email link later. Big mistake! Had to call somebody at Carnival, and to their credit, they were extremely nice and very helpful and quickly mailed me 2 flash drives with the pictures we had purchased). Debarkation: absolutely horrible. We paid attention to the rules and chose to walk off with our own bags given that we were on deck 14. Got out of our rooms when we were supposed to and posted up in the elevator area on 14 with two other groups, only to wait for 2 more hours as the cruise director kept announcing decks below us AND started letting checked bag zone people off too (had we known they'd do this, we would have checked and then been waiting down in the lounge with them instead of sitting on the floor). After two hours up there, we were nearly the last ones off the ship; and then got to spend 2 more hours in the customs like at Galveston's 3rd-world cruise terminal. Horrible end to a good cruise made our recollection of the whole week rather mixed. Excursions: Cozumel: Dolphinaris ("Dolphin Swim with Unlimited Food & Drinks"). Told in morning that all non-dolphin activities were unavailable due to weather (not really thrilled about this). Long wait for taxi; short ride; madhouse getting in; incredible experience with dolphins when we got in the water; seemed very non-rushed (felt like we got a lot of time in the water after all); average buffet lunch; somewhat sketchy cash-under-table discount on picture package; pictures are INCREDIBLE. Short cab ride back to port. Belize: Sharks, Rays, Barrier Reef Snorkel & Island Escape. Madhouse waiting for tender. Ride to Belize City, short walk to adjacent pier, grouped up, boarded smaller boat. Very uncomfortable ride out past Caye Caulker to barrier reef. Crew nice, entertaining and engaging. Snorkel sets were of decent quality. Got in water, guided snorkel one way to pickup along reef; guides coaxed out a Moray Eel for us to look at. Good coral, nice fish. Got back on boat, moved to grassy area where nurse sharks and stingrays come out to be fed; everybody but wife got back in water; enjoyable time there (stingrays are friendly and curious; nurse sharks mostly hang out under boat and seem a little skittish; guide got one out and held it for people to see). Then back to Caye Caulker for lunch at "the split". Wife can't stop raving about her lunch (seafood); I had a traditional chicken stew; kids had boring kids' meals. Nice place to hang out for an hour; son and I did the jump off the big platform; VERY hard to swim back around into cove (strong current here!). Back on boat, short visit to a 'hole' on backside of caye where juvenile tarpon hang out; nice display of jumping fish; then long ride back to BC; almost immediate trip back to tender and back to cruise ship. Roatan: Extreme Zip-line & Beach Adventure. After doing a little research ahead of time I learned this was all going to be in the captive port; but it turned out to be a very good day. Zipline started early; very uncomfortable but short truck ride up steep dirt road; then 5 or 6 long ziplines that were a lot of fun. Seemed very safe, nice scenery. On last zipline, you end up in the top of the bar down at the beach, and the volleyball players tossed me up a ball which I spiked (hooray!). Family took skyride back to shops area (skyride is very nice but very slow; make sure you have sunscreen or cover!); son and I walked back to zipline base to get out stuff; walked back to shops; we all changed; took skyride back; and went to beach. The beach vastly exceeded expectations in that it was actually nice sand, nice water, and the food and drinks weren't any worse than any US beach town would provide. Had a plenty good time here, and there was even decent snorkelling way down at the far end (healthy coral and some fish). Sky ride back in again and then let the wife shop for a couple hours and then back on boat. Overall this was my favorite day but the wife liked Belize better; all 3 were above par from what we picked on the last cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was one of my all time favorites. The cruise director was awesome and the staff were top notch. Ports of call were ok and I have been to most of them before. That was ok because the ship made up for that. SO MUCH FUN!!! The family ... Read More
This was one of my all time favorites. The cruise director was awesome and the staff were top notch. Ports of call were ok and I have been to most of them before. That was ok because the ship made up for that. SO MUCH FUN!!! The family harbor cabin was so nice. Breakfast, snacks and coffee always ready. Very clean and well stocked. The piano bar was our favorite at night but there were tons of other activates. I would sail on the Vista again in a heart beat!! We had the Faster To The Fun package and I would highly recomend that also. We got to the embarkation port and walked right on. We were sitting by the pool by 12pm and our room and bags were at our room. Carnival has done a great job with the staff and this ship. Can not recommend this on more!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Jeez... I’m not even sure where to start. Perhaps I should start from the beginning... we arrived in Galveston. Embarking was as painful as could be. The luggage handoff was confusing, the baggage handlers rude, and the process took ... Read More
Jeez... I’m not even sure where to start. Perhaps I should start from the beginning... we arrived in Galveston. Embarking was as painful as could be. The luggage handoff was confusing, the baggage handlers rude, and the process took too long... The cabins were ok. We had 2 of them. My wife and I was in a nice cabin with a balcony. No issues there. Next, we experienced the “all included except...” treatment. I was told that this was because of local vs. international rules, but it just felt silly. Our “all inclusive” drinks did not work until second day of the cruise, internet did not work until day 2, my all inclusive dinner did not include whatever I ordered for dinner, etc. Although some of these problems disappeared as we got far enough away from Galveston, the whole nickel & dime continued throughout the cruise. There are more exceptions to what’s included than what is included. The food was ok, but far from exceptional. The buffet food was horrible but the food in the posh restaurant was better than average. The service in the bars... jeez, I saw faster service while visiting Russia during the Cold War. I timed it. From getting to the bar, until I had a drink in my hand, averaged 15 min. The places were understaffed and the process unbelievably inefficient. Now for the excursions... to say they were underwhelming would be too positive. Most of the time, you’ll be standing in line. The food/drinks served, terrible. Just appalling compared to the price paid. The entertainment was for the most part good, but the daytime spectacle around the pools, just obnoxious. Speaking of pool, the pools are so small they remind me more of bath tubs. Also, good luck finding a deck chair. I talked to a few “veteran cruisers”, and they say Carnival used to be better... this is not an excuse for me... if this is a cruise line in a downward spiral, I’d hate to be among the ones coming after us... Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise for the price, short duration of trip, and departure port. It was the most boring vacation i've ever had. First of the positives: food was ok, you really should go hungry on the ship. Lots of food options. 2) ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the price, short duration of trip, and departure port. It was the most boring vacation i've ever had. First of the positives: food was ok, you really should go hungry on the ship. Lots of food options. 2) Room was spacious and ship was clean. 3) Ship sailed on time and arrived on time at destinations. 4) Good excursion options. Negatives: 1) Very old ship. Stinky, stale furniture and decor. This ship is 15years old. Worn but kept clean. Absolutely nothing fancy here. 2) Zero entertainment for non-drinkers. You get to play bingo and some silly "name the xxxxx" type of games. Ship had two indoor theatres with no daytime running shows at all. The theatres are constantly used for sales pitches for various products. Very pathetic. This was like a walmart standard type of cruise. It was my familys first cruise and none of us liked it. Perhaps other ships have a lot more options and facilities. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Looking for Spring Break cruise out of Galveston, decided to try a bigger ship. The Vista feels like a just a bigger Carnival ship with more people and same number of spots. Everything seemed more expensive from drinks to seemingly ... Read More
Looking for Spring Break cruise out of Galveston, decided to try a bigger ship. The Vista feels like a just a bigger Carnival ship with more people and same number of spots. Everything seemed more expensive from drinks to seemingly everything "new" being a fee. The show theater "Liquid Lounge" is a joke. Pretty sure one could not come up with a worse design. Very few seats actually have an "acceptable" view of the stage and performances. Also much smaller, poor column placement, no floor rise, etc. The shows were also by far the worst I've seen on any ship. I don't know that I can blame the performers though as the stage and productions themselves would be near impossible to overcome. After 3 shows we like most people we talked too just stopped going. Every single person I discussed the shows and lounge had same opinion. If you love going to shows on your cruises, definitely would skip the Vista (and Horizon - same setup apparently). CD Matt was the highlight. He was great! Staff and crew on Vista was also great, no complaints there. Food was typical, good but tending to be bland. Guys burgers awesome. Piano bar great setup and musician. Overall the ship was "good", not "great". Plenty to do, but I guess was expecting more or something new that wasn't an extra fee. All three Carnival booked excursions though were bad. Poorly organized, behind schedule, very rushed. For this alone we plan on trying another cruise line or two before returning to Carnival. They seemed to really not care. All previous trips we had only minor issues if any (same destinations). I don't know what has happened but its definitely not the same as it was. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Took 3 grandsons for Spring Break. It was Spring Break, that says a lot about crowds, lines and slow service. It was expected and didn’t disappoint. The memories made with our grandsons are priceless, the cruise was expensive and ... Read More
Took 3 grandsons for Spring Break. It was Spring Break, that says a lot about crowds, lines and slow service. It was expected and didn’t disappoint. The memories made with our grandsons are priceless, the cruise was expensive and just a cruise. I’m normally not one to write negative reviews but the cruise was simply a means to spend quality time with the grandsons. Nothing about the cruise was “over the top impressive” all week. Carnival Hub is a must to communicate on board. $5 each for 5 of us. Works sometimes, but never dependable. Only free movies (outside your cramped cabin) are outdoors at pool. We had 2 ship days that weren’t good weather. IMAX theatre are $12 tickets. Long waits for “anytime dining” and one night when we FINALLY were seated to find table still dirty and only a 4 top. More waits and they treated us like it was our fault. I won’t go on and on here, I am planning to write Carnival about the issues that we experienced. None of this takes away from the fact we made some awesome memories with our three grandsons. That is priceless! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We had to go on spring break due to grandson being in high school now. I was worried about crowds on spring break and worried about Vista. Saw a lot of negative reviews regarding elevator waits, decor, food, chairs in lounges etc. I was ... Read More
We had to go on spring break due to grandson being in high school now. I was worried about crowds on spring break and worried about Vista. Saw a lot of negative reviews regarding elevator waits, decor, food, chairs in lounges etc. I was pleasantly surprised. Decor didn't bother me at all. Didn't miss the lack of big atrium. Elevators were no problem other than not being air conditioned. My husband passed out twice on elevator when we had to stand in long line to get on elevator at embarkation and then it was packed with no air. It was his blood pressure but the heat I think really escalated the issue. I will agree the food was sub par compared to other Carnival cruises we have taken..but it wasn't horrible as some reviews stated. We ate at JIJIs one night it was wonderful! Lido food was good.Great breakfast at Horizons every day. Staff was excellent. Very friendly. Only negative for me, which I read lots of reviews about...the Punch Liner Comedy..our favorite place to go..I agree it makes no sense they made it smaller and the chairs are very cheap and broken. Also in area where all the shows and bingo are...why on earth did they put in straight back chairs and do away with little tables. Bingo is done on a clip board and very inconvenient. Every time someone sits down their straight back chairs slides into your legs...its a design nightmare...whoever designed those areas should be given 40 lashes with a wet noodle. We only played bingo once and only went to one show because of the set uo. Overall, very pleased and wouldn't hesitate to go on Vista again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Our cruise was as fun and enjoyable as our first one! The Park West team with the art auctions were great! It was our first ever auction at sea and even though we weren’t planning on leaving owning artwork, we did! Matty, Sasha, Ravi, ... Read More
Our cruise was as fun and enjoyable as our first one! The Park West team with the art auctions were great! It was our first ever auction at sea and even though we weren’t planning on leaving owning artwork, we did! Matty, Sasha, Ravi, Reece, Bianca and Zoe made our introduction into art collecting memorable. We look forward to seeing them again! The Washington dining staff (Kadek, Rodrigo and Maruf) were AMAZING. Dinner and breakfast with them was a blast and always fun! Dewa and the room staff were great and very attentive. They handled all of our requests quickly and efficiently. Lionel’s shopping tips were more than we expected. Great value for wonderful pieces. Bertold at the Java on the lido deck remembered me and my drink for the whole cruise and was very good with making it, the best Chocolate Lovers I’ve had on my cruises. We look forward to enjoying many more cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I have been on two carnival cruises in past eight months/spent around 15k on tickets and onboard services. The service and organization on cruise to Alaska in August outweighed high pressure sales at spa/jewelry store/art gallery. The ... Read More
I have been on two carnival cruises in past eight months/spent around 15k on tickets and onboard services. The service and organization on cruise to Alaska in August outweighed high pressure sales at spa/jewelry store/art gallery. The mediocre service/lack of organization on cruise out of Galveston over spring break, 2019, along with the high pressure sales that bordered on deceptive trade practices make it highly unlikely I’ll cruise with Carnival again. At an appointment at spa for massage I inquired about a facial. They reported an opening at 8:00 a.m. the following day. I said I’d think about it and let them know, and the girl said “We’ll keep it open for you!” When I called later that day to let them know I did not want the facial because my young daughter was seriously sea sick and throwing up, they reported that they would still charge my credit card due to failure to cancel (I never “booked”) w/i 24 hrs. At the art gallery I expressed interest in a piece. They were very insistent that I purchase right then and there. I left saying I’d think about. I got a call two days later asking about the art I “purchased.” When I said I never purchased, they preceded to tell me I had “reserved” the piece and was obligated to buy. Only when I asked them to show me what I had signed indicating I was reserving or buying, did they relent. Also, they were very unaccomofating fir my 80 yr old family member I had with me. They refused to allow me to take the elevator with her when boarding, and it took me an hour to find her after. Upon disembarking, they said she had to wait in the same line with everyone else, which took 45 minutes (she can barely stand with a walker. Carnival, I’m very disappointed and encourage all reading to reconsider cruising with them! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My family and I went on a carnival cruise. (freedom) We didn't like the high pressure sales, the fact that how whenever you would buy a drink the tip would already be added on (I noticed on the 3rd day of the cruise), we had tons of ... Read More
My family and I went on a carnival cruise. (freedom) We didn't like the high pressure sales, the fact that how whenever you would buy a drink the tip would already be added on (I noticed on the 3rd day of the cruise), we had tons of money charged to my moms credit card. There was already a tip of 70 plus dollars for our "team" on the cruise. There was ONE person who made my experience on the Carnival Freedom amazing. She is a playlist performer on the carnival freedom and other carnival ships. Her name is Victoria and she always said "hey" and would wave at me whenever she would see me. If you go on the Carnival Freedom be aware it is a party ship. Not made for older couples or family with newborns. If you go on a cruise from Galveston be prepared for long waits and being split up from your family. My aunt is disabled and they split us up when getting on the ship. On the way back we made sure we didn't get split up. The only reason we didn't get split up on the way back was because my mom made sure they knew we would not be split up. We told the lady we would not have it any other way. They also had LGBTQ mixers almost every night along with singles mixers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We are avid cruisers. Platinum Carnival, Princess, and RCL. This ship by far is the poorest designed ship this cruiser has ever experienced. We sailed on her when she first started in Miami and decided to give her another chance now ... Read More
We are avid cruisers. Platinum Carnival, Princess, and RCL. This ship by far is the poorest designed ship this cruiser has ever experienced. We sailed on her when she first started in Miami and decided to give her another chance now that she has been in the system a while. First Matt, the cruise director is outstanding! Does what he can with what he has. Embarkation, outstanding, best ever seen. Room steward, probably the worst. Arrived at stateroom, no refrigerator, no life jackets, called pursers desk, purser argued with my wife about refrigerator being there “you just need to look in cabinet”. Reconfirmed life jackets missing, looked under bed for life jackets where they should be located now and confirmed that they were missing. Room steward met us in hallway and said refrigerator is on the way and life jackets are under the bed. I assured him that they were not. He asked if we wanted morning or evening service, I said both. He repeated morning OR evening service. My wife said evening is fine, New change in policy? I confirmed that it was not. Atrium music cancelled first night, no explanation. Atrium floor design bad for dancing, major thoroughfare for bartenders, photographers, and fellow cruisers. Also large support beam in middle of floor. Shows, main theater very poor design. Large beams block view of anyone lucky enough to get a seat. Seats on back row do not provide height to see over seats in front. Dancers were good, singing.... voices did not compliment each other. Comedy show, too small a venue, no seating 3 out of 4 shows arriving 20 minutes prior. Dancing, two floors suitable for dancing, Havana Bar and Ocean Plaza. Limelight lounge a impromptu floor, small and inadequate. Havana bar, small, good for Salsa, Rumba, and cha cha if no one else is dancing, band good. Ocean plaza, farmer band played polka after polka, only one beat. Voices did not compliment each other. Other band was good sometimes accompanied by three piece horns. Wednesday night singers didn’t show due to illness. Thursday night singers didn’t show for country but did show up later for Motown. No scale in fitness center. Was told that it’s use was only available during spa treatments. Food was adequate during cruise but had dropped in quality since last on vista. Carnival Magic and Dream are much better ships! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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