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3,298 Carnival Galveston Cruise Reviews

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
While I love Carnival and have cruised them for years, I would have to honestly say that their newer ship, the Carnival Vista, quite disappointing. Pros and Cons from my perspective: For the Pros: -due to the overall size, the ship ... Read More
While I love Carnival and have cruised them for years, I would have to honestly say that their newer ship, the Carnival Vista, quite disappointing. Pros and Cons from my perspective: For the Pros: -due to the overall size, the ship appears to be very stable for handling the seas making for an enjoyable smooth cruise for those that sometimes fear feeling the motion at sea. While there is always some movement, considering the seas we encountered, I think it did well. -security and safety seemed to be good as well and I’ve always felt safe on the carnival line cruises. -Unfortunately I had to visit the infirmary during my cruise for a nasal infection, but as seen on previous times, Carnival has a very adept and professional medical staff aboard their vessels, and the Vista was no exception here. -The water recreation area, sky bikes, workout and outdoor activities on the upper deck for sports and activity enthusiasts are a plus and seem to be a real hit with everyone. -There were plenty of bar areas to adequately accommodate everyone’s thirst in a prompt time frame. -And, as with with all Carnival cruises and ships I’ve been on, the fun crew staff was very personable and accommodating. The Vista crew and staff went overboard, excuse the pun, to make sure everyone had a fantastic vacation. My personal hats off to our dinner host, Darko, our head waiter, Corina, our room steward, Putu, and to the Alchemy bar tender, Mark. I’d say Mark was one of the best bar tenders I’ve seen in some time for making custom drinks. His incredible ability to multi-task several customers and orders simultaneously, and quickly, without a flaw was very impressive. Now for the Cons: -Although the ship is larger allowing for a larger number of passengers, Carnival severely missed on addressing several areas such as: The rooms, the lido and pool areas, the casino, the dining experience, and food. -The rooms appear to be smaller than previous ships I’ve been on. We were in a porthole room, which compared to previous rooms of similar type, this one had far less space and closet storage. Speaking with a few others in different room types, it sounded as if the inside rooms and some of the window rooms were smaller, while the suites still similar to other ships. -As for the pool areas, while this ship boasts a larger size, the pool areas did not see an increase in size, which was a disappointment. The common pool areas appeared to be the same size as other boats. Finding seating was difficult and with a larger number of passengers. I would have expected more area for these pools and accommodating guests. I should add that this boat does have a third pool area at the rear of the boat this area was a private area only for guests that paid for the exclusive Havana suite rooms. A final comment on pools is that although Carnival will sometimes advertise adult only pool areas, this is not enforced and kids can be found in all pools, if that’s something important to you. -The casino area is a complete failure in my opinion. The Casino on the Vista appears to have been an afterthought. There is very little room to move around in this Casino, so much so that I saw at least two arguments between players that did not have enough room to get into a table area. Additionally, due to the poor design and limited space, Carnival put the Casino bar in the middle of the under-sized Casino area resulting in an overwhelmingly smoky atmosphere. (I noted earlier that I had to go to the infirmary for nasal issues which I highly attributed to the smoky conditions.) Speaking with many others that are Carnival Casino regulars, I heard the same resounding statement that they would not be taking this ship again due to this Casino. I should add that the Casino appears to be such an afterthought that to find a men’s restroom from the casino required going upstairs or a hike to the front of the ship on the Casino floor. My personal note for Carnival, I would love to see Carnival initiate a smoke free casino, with possibly a smoking area that is adjoining in a separate room or area that is far better ventilated. Unfortunately, with the Casino bar allowing smoking and being in the middle of the casino, you had many passengers that prefer to sit and smoke while dunking creating a very smoky casino area. -For food and dining, we were disappointed in the dining room itself. The atmosphere felt more like a Luby’s cafeteria rather than a luxurious dining hall as we would have expected. The food also was a bit less than expected. While we’ve always felt the food on the Carnival ships was ok, this one felt like they cut corners with the quality. We did have an opportunity to dine in the Italian restaurant, JiJis and the Sushi restaurant. All 3 were fanatics although they all require a premium for dinner services. Overall, as as Carnival has always strived to provide a great vacation for the common person without breaking the bank, I would have to say that the Vista does provide an opportunity for a good family vacation, but do expect some shortfalls with this particular Carnival ship. I personally would recommend the Carnival Breeze and/or Freedom. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Vista Cruise special notes: - pay for “faster to the fun” or get priority boarding if you hate lines - Try the Pig and Anchor BBQ or Taste Bar on 5 Midship for no-wait lunch after boarding, since they don’t appear on most deck ... Read More
Vista Cruise special notes: - pay for “faster to the fun” or get priority boarding if you hate lines - Try the Pig and Anchor BBQ or Taste Bar on 5 Midship for no-wait lunch after boarding, since they don’t appear on most deck maps - Don’t try to get in the aft Havana pool or hot tubs unless you have a Havana cabin (or it’s after 7 pm) - Gift cards from the spa are restricted - can’t use for thermal suite - Get tickets for Imax at a kiosk on deck 6 forward (there’s a senior discount for 55+!) - The Dive-in theatre (free) and IMAX (Fee) show new movies - very worthwhile. Free popcorn - Two of the speciality pay restaurants are FREE for lunch under different names: JiJi’s->Mongolian BBQ, while Cucina del Capitano->Pasta Bella (both are excellent!) - The taste bar is only open during boarding and on sea days but is worth a try - Aft cabins with the extended balcony are GREAT if you like sitting outside privately (be aware - the deck 9 aft cabins have an overhand that precludes most sunbathing) - SkyRide and Ropes require close-toed shoes - Ropes course is easier if you hold on to the safety harness as high up as possible - “Anytime dining” actually means “request table at the kiosk or via the Hub App, then wait from 5 to 90 minutes” - “Pancho’s Backyard” at Puerto Maya cruise terminal in Cozumel is a great place for a margarita and chips (and guacamole!) - Room power outlet includes usb charging ports - Dock pharmacy in Belize is less crowded than the one in Cozumel but prices seem comparable - You can make specialty restaurant reservations months in advance via the carnival website cruise manager - Pay-per-view movies in rooms are only $5 for new movies and lots of free older titles - You can bring your own food & drinks into the Imax theatre - SkyRide line moves very slowly; good to go at off times - Pre-paid value plan is a good deal for internet. Some streaming is supported—e.g., YouTube - Carnival hub app is buggy and unreliable it necessary 3/3/19 Sunday boarding We drove to Galveston this morning. It was a bit rainy but traffic was fine. Mardi Gras is in full swing so traffic was a little bad near the cruise terminal. Shawn dropped me off at the cruise terminal and went and parked at EZ cruise park then walk back. As soon as he got back we were able to board. Boarding was extremely simple and very fast since I’m a platinum member. After checking our passports and entry documents we were ushered right through to security then up and onto the ship. Unfortunately, cabins were not ready. Shawn found a hot tub working on the Havana deck. I met him and we went to the promenade where we grabbed a snack at the Pig and Anchor - great BBQ but it’s not listed on any of the maps - find it midship on Promenade (deck 5). There was no line at all – everyone was up on Lido on 10 in lines that were long. We went to the aft section of the Havana area and tried to get in the hot tub, but were told by a crewman that only Havana cabin guess could use that hot tub. We then went to the ocean view lounge and the taste bar midship near the elevators. It was lovely and there were no lines and there were a number of different interesting foods to try. Everything was very very tasty. At 1:30, we were able to get into our cabin number 9470 aft extended balcony. It is a lovely cabin, but I should note that because of an overhang from the Lido deck it will not be good for sunning or sunbathing. One of our bags was delivered early and the other an hour later. We partially unpacked. We realized we were seated for dinner in the midship restaurant (despite our cabin being as far aft as possible) so we need to try to change that. First, we made our way to the deck 3 aft restaurant, Horizons Dining Room for the mandatory safety briefing. Then we wandered thru Lido as the Sail Away party started. Went up and checked in at the spa since I purchased a week of Thalassotherapy there. Then we went to the Vista Atrium, deck 3 forward, to get a drink and await an Electric Violin Duo. We had a Sex on the Beach - yum! Listened to the Electric Violins with Polaris trio for a bit (very good!) then went up to Deck 11 to look around. The Skyride has appeared inactive all day. Went back to the cabin and watched a free movie. We’d requested a Steakhouse reservation online prior to the cruise but were told they were sold out. Once aboard, I was able to get a 9:30 reservation- late, but .... Went by Reflections dining at midship and the maitre de was very helpful in getting us changed to “my time” dining in the aft Horizons dining room. We got to the 555 Steakhouse early and were seated immediately. Wonderful service and excellent food! They offered complimentary house wine and we had the Chardonnay. We ordered: baked onion soup, stuffed mushrooms, shrimp cocktail, baked sole, filet mignon, wasabi mashed Yukon gold potatoes, and garlic rapini. They also gave us a wonderfully flakey and delicious roll with basil butter and some incredible little wagyu sliders, compliments of the chef. We said we were too full for 2 deserts and asked for a recommendation- our server replied that she’d bring us the Chocolate Sphere (hard to explain but cool and yummy) for us to share and a “to-go” cheesecake for later. So sweet! The Sphere even had “Happy Anniversary “ written in chocolate on its plate. They also gave us complimentary champagne for a postprandial toast. It was an incredible experience overall - try to get an earlier reservation as everything slows down as it gets late. Back to the cabin, tired and replete!! 3/4/19 Monday at sea Shawn up early (5 ish) to do laps on Promenade but a complete circuit was impeded by the Havana cabins. He still did 6 laps then came back and snoozed until breakfast time at 8:30. I figured out how to get my laptop on the paid WiFi - we chose the value package before the cruise. The trick is to put your laptop on airplane mode then access the WiFi and go to Carnivalhub.com and put in your folio number. Down to Horizons for sea-day brunch. Natalya from the Ukraine was our head waitress and was lovely. Back to the cabin to change into a swimsuit then I went to the Cloud 9 Spa to use the Thermal Suite while Shawn went to get tickets for the IMAX showing of How to Train Your Dragon. The Thalassotherapy pool and areas were wonderful. Changing rooms with lockers, towels, showers and a dry sauna were available. The main thermal area had the heated mineral jacuzzi, a steam room, aroma steam room, infrared sauna and dry sauna as well as heated zero-g lounges, all facing huge windows looking out at the passing ocean. I stayed for over an hour then got some orange flavored water and went to meet Shawn for the movie. You have to buy tickets ahead of time at a kiosk and there are no assigned seats. A senior discount (over 55) is nice! Popcorn, sodas and other traditional fare are available for purchase, and drinks from other parts of the ship can be brought in as well. Fun movie and it let out in time for us to go to Blue Iguana grill on Lido for a late lunch. I had a fajita beef taco bowl and Shawn had a grilled shrimp burrito - delicious and filling. We went back to our cabin for a brief siesta and found complimentary choc-covered strawberries (one of the perks of Platinum). We started watching a movie and when the hub app showed only a 5-10 minute wait for “My Time” dining, we requested a table (via the app) and went down to 3 Horizons. Where we waited and waited and waited. We finally got the notification that our table was available and were seated (about 30 minutes into the 5-10 minute wait). The braised kale tarts with Pork were a delicious appetizer. Back to our cabin to finish The Favourite then read and sleep. 3/5/18 Fat Tuesday at sea Shawn went for 7 laps then we went for an early bfast on Lido. I went to the spa while Shawn checked out the ropes course and sky ride. I arrived a little early but they checked me in. A woman offered me a shoulder massage then talked me into a bamboo massage at 4:30. I locked my purse and phone in the provided locker and entered the thermal suites. I started on the heated recliner and read for a bit then went in the mineral jacuzzi and on to the aromatherapy room which worked only briefly. I notified a spa attendant when I headed to the infrared room then the dry sauna. It was almost too hot, making the seats almost burning, but the huge windows were nice. I relaxed and dried out a bit then went to the relaxation room for orange flavored water. I headed back to the cabin. Shawn had gone and observed a huge line for the sky ride and a much shorter line for the ropes. We went to Pasta Bella for lunch. Since it sits below the sports deck and ball court, the banging from the ceiling is a bit annoying- the food is great, though! Choose one of 3 pasta then pick sauce and “add ins” plus Italian bread or Cesar salad. Liberal use of good olive oil made it rich and flavorful. I went to the shops to get a carryall for excursions (forgot to bring one) while Shawn went to the cabin. Louie our steward was working in the cabin so Shawn went up to 12. When I got back to the cabin, it’d been decorated for our anniversary with magnetic dangles from the ceiling, a bottle of champagne and flutes, plus a tumbler and a towel. There were also candies from My Time dining. We went back up to 12 aft (stairs required from 11 :-( so not great for us gimps). Shawn went on both the easy and hard ropes course, back to back, because there was no line. He says the trick is to grab your safety harness rope up near the wheel for balance!! The Skyride line was only a 30 minutes wait, so we got in line but realized I had on sandals (a no-no). We went back to our cabin after watching the Skyride and ropes for a while. At 4, Shawn walked me to the spa. They directed me to the relaxation room where I drank green tea and filled out paperwork. Sheila took me back and gave me a full body bamboo and hot stone massage for about 80 minutes. Very nice although they always try to upsell stuff. Met Shawn on 15 Serenity deck and looked around then headed back to our cabin. Dinner reservations at JiJi’s Asian restaurant got there early and were seated. Food is served family style so we picked 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 sides and 2 desserts. A small “compliments of the chef” appetizer came out first. Wonderful and delicious food – definitely worth the extra charge! Back to our cabin to watch Crazy Rich Asians on pay per view. . 3/6/19 Ash Wednesday at Roatan Up early - 530 for Shawn to do 5 laps. Went to bfast on Lido at 6:30 - lots of folks. Back to cabin to sunscreen up. An announcement at 8 that debarking was allowed so headed to 0 forward. Easy getting off and found mtg spot for Tabyana Beach and Gumbalimba Park but the tour directions folks weren’t very clear and a bunch of us headed off with the wrong group. Finally, our guide, St. Christopher, gathered us and led to the bus. VERY cramped bus - larger folk barely fit down the aisle. A 35-minute ride to GumbaLimba Park. Beautiful day! Saw 2 woodpeckers near the huge fig tree. Saw iguanas and island rabbits (capybaras) before going thru the Insectarium and Coxen’s cave. Climbed lots of stairs then crossed the bamboo bridge (Puente Bambusa) to see the birds. Scarlet and green/Military macaws as well as green parrots, turkey vultures, toucan and peafowl. Onward to see the monkeys although one visited us at the birds. I was winded when we got to the monkey area so the trainer told me to sit on the swing. Macheco, the white-faced capuchin monkey almost immediately came to sit on me!! The monkeys were fun and friendly except for some infighting with a male harassing a momma and her baby. Mango monkey also sat on my head. We hiked back, said goodbye to Christopher and took the bus to Tabyana Beach. Had a drink then got into the beautiful azure water up to my neck - incredible beach!!! Had a Monkey LaLa (frozen Vodka, Baileys and coconut rum drink with chocolate swirl) while Shawn dipped his feet in the waters. Headed back to the boat for lunch. Went to Guys Burgers with no line, though by the time we left, the line was long. Back to the cabin to change and rest then I went to the spa. Very crowded so did the steam aromatherapy room until the pool was less busy then onto a heated lounge for reading and to get my ankle up. Met Shawn on 15 to watch the Carnival Magic depart. Decided to do an early dinner and movie so requested a table at 5:30 and were seated by 5:45 next to 2 elderly sisters. Nice dinner - Shawn had the “local flavor” Pescado Asado with a wonderful broccoli soup (which we didn’t know was soup until it arrived at the table). I had the tenderloin with an excellent polenta. Back to the cabin to watch Arthur- Legend of the Sword. Bed early. 3/7/19 Thursday in Belize Same as yesterday for laps and bfast then down to the Liquid Lounge to await our excursion: Wildlife Adventure boat and zoo. BTW the Carnival Hub App has a bad tendency of locking up. Got told to go down for our Tender to shore. Two women argued about opening a window on the tender. One of them complained or yakked constantly and she ended up on our tour with her whiny kids. We were greeted and led by our guide, Anne, to a restroom and then our boat for the river tour. The boat was partially covered and had hard seats. We went to the manatee area at the mouth of the river then up river. We saw: 5 Bats, several Manatee, iguanas in trees, several Howler monkeys, 2 Morelet crocodiles, parrots, egrets, herons and two rare Jabiru storks w/nest. Stopped at The Iguana Spot for lunch: rice, beans, stewed chicken and a local Belikin beer for Shawn. On a bus for a 35-minute ride to Belize Zoo. Anne led us thru the maze-like zoo. Saw: King Vultures, black vulture, spectacled owl, cougar, margay, ocelot, howler and spider monkeys, jaguarundi, harpy eagle, tayra (bush dog), wild turkeys, jabiru storks, a keel-billed toucan, tapir, ornate hawks, alligators and crocodiles, whitetail deer, tarantula, and boas. Back on the bus for about a 50 minute ride back to Belize city. Got to the port, and the line to get on the boat was already very very long. We shopped a little then had a daiquiri before getting in line. A security guard came and saw my cane and walked us up to the front of the line after we had been in line about 15 minutes. We got on a tender and were back at the ship by about 415. We went up to 10 and crossed over and had an ice cream cone each then came to our cabin to rest and shower. Found out it was “elegant night” so decided to eat on Lido instead of the dining room - the Hakka noodles were great! Then we found a couch on deck 11 where we watched Antman and the Wasp at the Dive-In Movie. Also, the ship told everyone to set clocks ahead one hour for Cozumel and daylight savings time. Enjoyed the film although we sat too close to the starboard smoking area. Changed my watch and ended up going to bed after 11:30 PM. 3/8/19 Friday in Cozumel It was already light at 6 AM because of the time change and Shawn got up to run laps or rather walk them. Searched the cabin but could not find the laundry bag so I had to call Louie our Steward. Went to breakfast on Lido and they announced gangways were open and last boarding extended to 4 pm because we were a little late getting into port. Filled the laundry bag for Louie and read on the balcony until 10. Went ashore and shopped a bit before going to Pancho’s Backyard restaurant at Puerta Maya dock. Shared a marg and had chips, guacamole and a quesilla con salsa verde. Listened to local musicians then strolled back to the ship. Saw parrotfish, trumpet fish and sergeant majors in the lovely Caribbean blue waters along the dock. Stopped by the cabin to try on purchases and rest before heading to Mongolian Wok for lunch. Went up to try to ride the sky ride but they were doing maintenance and weren’t sure if they’d open today. Shawn did the ropes course (both sides) then we went to the Promenade to watch people returning from Cozumel and to laugh at drunks. The last stragglers were 48 minutes late. We went over to Red Frog for pub grub ($3.33 per ordered item): coconut shrimp, rhoti and sliders. After eating, Shawn went to the cabin while I bought rum cakes and got our anniversary pictures of the ship. Back in the cabin, our clean laundry was delivered then we watched First Man. To bed about 10. 3/9/19 Saturday at sea Up at 6 am for Shawn to walk laps (35 total this trip) and me to purchase pics. Lazed about until 8 then down to Horizons in hopes of sea day brunch opening early. They opened at 8:17 and we got a separate table. I ordered a croissant and we got a basket of 4 egg-washed butter croissants-delicious! I had eggs Benedict and a parfait. Shawn had the parfait and breakfast pasta - unfortunately, it was spaghetti in a cream sauce rather than the red sauce he wanted. The Sky Ride was scheduled to open at 9 so we hurried there after breakfast to find only a short line. I unknowingly got into the car on the inside track which turned out to have more steepness but it was great fun!! Back to the cabin to change shoes (the ride requires closed-toe shoes) and a little digestion time then we put on swimsuits and headed to the spa. Unfortunately, the $50 gift card we received was only for “spa services” and didn’t include the thermal suite so we paid $45 for Shawn to join me. Went into the jacuzzi then the steam-aromatherapy room then onto the heated lounges - Shawn fell asleep. I went for infrared and dry sauna then we cooled off in the relaxation room. Back to the cabin to change and rest and read. Down to the Ocean Plaza Taste Bar to try some incredible dishes while listening to Caribbean Sounds with Mikhail on steel drums. Back to the room to read before going to listen to violins and get our free drink. The funnel of art/images in the Vista Libby 3 forward was composing and decomposing impressionist artworks as we listened to the trio and shared a Sex on the Beach. Went to Bonsai Sushi for dinner: 2 miso soups, wagyu kakuni (beef appetizer), spicy tuna roll and Katsu chicken - all superb!! Picked up the photo I bought then went to our cabin. Saw Louie and tipped him $50 for his amazing service. Started packing. To bed early but I had trouble getting to sleep. 3/10/19 Sunday debarkation Alarm at 5:30. Shawn did 2 laps while I finished packing. Went to bfast on Lido them back to cabin for last check and luggage. Went to 3 midship Reflections for Priority debarkation - supposed to be there by 7:45 but already a line. They had us line luggage up to ensure everyone got off the ship in the order they arrived in the priority area. Left the restaurant at about 7:25 and finished customs at 8:03. (Customs Inspector on line 5 was SSLLLOOOOWWWWW) Shawn left me to go get car. We drove away by 8:30 am!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Taking a cruise to the Panama Canal was on our bucket list however this ship is a rust bucket that has not been updated since it's inaugural voyage and it shows ! The entertainment is done by the same six people for every night, and ... Read More
Taking a cruise to the Panama Canal was on our bucket list however this ship is a rust bucket that has not been updated since it's inaugural voyage and it shows ! The entertainment is done by the same six people for every night, and is horrible. Every show ended with fewer show goers than it started with. Since Carnival has added the "tips" to your bill -- the service has significantly diminished -- no incentive for top notch service. Like no table clothes on the dining tables, meals delivered at different times for people at the same table, service taking over two hours to complete, cabin service was minimal, etc.. Don't bother purchasing the WIFI -- it's spotty to non-existent. Departure took three hours (Disney takes about 30 min.). We have been on 12 cruises and this was the worst. Take a few minutes and look for a cruise that still provides an excellent cruise experience. I'm not sure if this cruise was representative of the overall Carnival cruise experience, or just this ship however this cruise ship is not worth the money or representative of what a good cruise experience can be Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Overall the cruise was very good. The dining room service (Komang) and room steward (Andre) were exceptional. Embarkation was hampered by fog and the Carnival representatives at Houston Hobby did a good job of keeping order and ... Read More
Overall the cruise was very good. The dining room service (Komang) and room steward (Andre) were exceptional. Embarkation was hampered by fog and the Carnival representatives at Houston Hobby did a good job of keeping order and organizing the shuttle to Galveston. Processing at the Galveston terminal went smoothly. Although the crew had a short turnaround time, our cabin was ready when we arrived. The dining room menu offered a variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian options. Lobster was served twice and both times a second lobster tail was offered. Cruise Elegant dinners that did not require a coat and tie were appreciated. The appetizers and desserts gave us an opportunity to try foods we were not familiar with. We sat at a table for four in the Washington dining room. There was one hiccup with early dining. Ordering, being served and eating took nearly 90 minutes. As a result the 7:30 PM shows were started by the time we reached the Ivanhoe Theatre. Shows that featured the Carnival dance and song team were high energy and very enjoyable. Unfortunately we did not get to see the entire productions. The Panama Canal partial transit was an experience we looked forward to and we’re glad we booked this cruise. Limon, Costa Rica and Cozumel, Mexico provided good tours. In Limon we took the Bus, Boat and Train tour. In Cozumel we took the San Gervasio, Island Tour with lunch. Both tours had well-spoken and knowledgeable guides. Counting the canal transit as a sea day, there were six sea days. For some people that was too much time at sea without getting off the ship. If this cruise is continued it may be wise to add a stop in Panama. Valor was underway on Ash Wednesday. A last minute schedule adjustment permitted an Episcopalian Priest to distribute ashes. Over 100 people met in the Eagles Lounge to receive ashes. After the distribution we were waiting for the elevator with the priest and people lined up to receive the blessing. Carnival should be congratulated for this service. Tying to move 3,000 passengers off the ship and through customs is a challenge. It seems something could be done to reduce the stress and extended time of standing in line. Thank-you Carnival for the good service and making our 50th wedding anniversary cruise enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Crew is the least friendly and coldest we've ever encountered on Carnival. The ship is full of gimmicks (for extra $); the "accessible" balcony cabin, was impossible to "navigate"; Guest Services was curt and ... Read More
Crew is the least friendly and coldest we've ever encountered on Carnival. The ship is full of gimmicks (for extra $); the "accessible" balcony cabin, was impossible to "navigate"; Guest Services was curt and unaccommodating when we requested a different cabin, even-though we said we'd take an inside one without requiring any fare adjustment or credit. The Spa "therapists" were all smiles and no substance, it did not feel sincere at all. The dinner menus were uninspired and repetitive, and the Reflections restaurant is does not feel inviting or comfortable. Too many large tables and not enough servers. The "FUNSquad" was not very fun at all, they mostly just go through the motions for trivia, name the song, and other games and activities. Room Service delivered our breakfast ALWAYS outside the requested 30-minute window, up to 30 minutes earlier and then 45 minutes late on the last day. A few times we tried to order coffee in the afternoon (there was no self-service Decaf available anywhere on the ship...), and that would take from 45-minutes up to TWO hours to have it delivered. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I love Carnival Cruise Lines and always have. I do my best to get on every new ship they bring to Galveston. Booked Vista at Christmas time for late February. Embarkation was amazing. Smooth, and easy. The best ever in Galveston or ... Read More
I love Carnival Cruise Lines and always have. I do my best to get on every new ship they bring to Galveston. Booked Vista at Christmas time for late February. Embarkation was amazing. Smooth, and easy. The best ever in Galveston or Canaveral, for me. Vista is beautiful on the outside. It’s massive! Once inside though, you see the major changes of this class of ship. The atrium lacks everything a carnival atrium has always had. The shops are small and boring, the bar is larger but the service was horrendous. Balcony room was nice! Stewards were overworked and not friendly like any other Carnival ships. The worst so far in that regard. The dining room was a joke to say the very least. Why in the world is the check in counter on a totally different floor in a totally different area? Wild. A “10-15 minute wait” on the app would end up 45-1 hour every time. The staff was terribly overworked, they did their best... but the service was not good. Saw the bar service person once in the dining room the entire 7 days. FOOD WAS GOOD!! Serenity (adult only deck), amazing as always. The salad bar was unbelievably great! Bartenders in this area were amazing. I’m a casino-goer & a smoker. The casino on vista is the worst on any ship. Small, packed, very smokey. The circular bar in the middle has no TVs. The area is very bright and you just end up making awkward eye contact at people across the bar the entire time. The bartenders here were the worst. No respect for customers or each other. Lots of eye rolls behind each other’s backs. Attitude when someone would order a drink they didn’t want to make. Cheers! Package has always been great for me and my group. Always felt like it was a great value. Have never been able to hit the drink limit. On Vista however, I hit it every day. Oftentimes before 9pm. NO LIQUOR IN THE DRINKS. I had a friend (without Cheers!) order the same drink as me - night and day difference. I will not continue to buy this package if they are going to skimp out. GREAT KIDS ACTIVITIES! Highly recommend the ship if traveling with children. 18+ not so much. They have eliminated the “night club”. The makeshift club is now in the comedy show room. The bar in a step up from a picnic table with bottles on it. Terrible music, very awkward in there. Im not sure what happened to having the club be in the Liquid Lounge but it’s not going over well. Sandwich bar: great as always Seafood shack: good! Lido Buffett: on par with Carnival Steakhouse: AMAZING sushi restaurant: very good! Overall it is not a miserable ship. I’m sure first time cruisers might not even know the difference. For me though, it’s a boxy, poorly designed mess. Good luck finding restrooms in the public areas. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our 14th cruise on Carnival. Haven't sailed on one their ships in over 3 years. This was our 41st cruise. The reason we picked this cruise was we got a great casino rate. Galveston is only a 4 hour drive from home. ... Read More
This was our 14th cruise on Carnival. Haven't sailed on one their ships in over 3 years. This was our 41st cruise. The reason we picked this cruise was we got a great casino rate. Galveston is only a 4 hour drive from home. First impression of the Vista was not that great. Being Platinum got us right on at 11:30. Guy's Burgers hit the spot. Ate there several more times while on board. The outdoor BarBQ by Guy's on sea days was also very good. The MDR's food was ok but only once was our food really hot. The Lido Deck food was luke warm at best. If you like your desserts you need to be on the Lido at lunch. The cakes we're the best but they ran out fast and the line was 40-50 people deep. Staff was good about clearing tables and being friendly. The show's in the Liquid Lounge we're ok. The setup in the lounge was strange . They use movable chairs in the lower section to accommodate the many stages they use during shows. Get there early if you want a good seat. The casino is the worst for smoke the smoke went out into the public areas. We would go up to deck 5 an crossover rather than go thru the casino. Matt the cruise director and his ass't Amanda we're some of the best. A must go to is the salute to the veterans. You don't have to be a veteran to be moved by this event. I'm a retired USAF MSgt and a Viet Nam veteran. This event brought many to tears. Thanks Matt for this being the host and making this my favorite part of the cruise. Our cabin was an inside on deck 8 aft. The only noise we heard we're people slamming their doors and talking loud out in hall. Debarcation went very well. We had priority self debarcation so we we're in our car driving home by 8AM. The ship is lackluster. Hard to find your way around. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My wife and I, along with another couple, recently went on a 7-night cruise from Galveston, TX, on Carnival Vista. Our ports of call were Montego Bay (Jamaica), Georgetown (Grand Cayman), and Cozumel (Mexico). My wife and I feel very ... Read More
My wife and I, along with another couple, recently went on a 7-night cruise from Galveston, TX, on Carnival Vista. Our ports of call were Montego Bay (Jamaica), Georgetown (Grand Cayman), and Cozumel (Mexico). My wife and I feel very blessed to have traveled to a number of destinations across the U.S., including numerous trips to Hawaii. However, this was our very first cruise and our first time to the Caribbean Islands. I must say that we absolutely enjoyed it! Although we didn’t have another ship experience to compare it to, we thought the Vista was great. Our friends, on the other hand, who have cruised multiple times, were a little disappointed. Carnival is their favorite cruise line and with Vista being one of Carnival’s newer and larger ships, our friends were expecting it to have a little more “wow” factor. They missed the larger, central atrium area with elevators and felt Vista’s floor plan was more “chopped up” than other Carnival ships. They were also a little disappointed with the main entertainment venue (Liquid Lounge). With portable chairs on the main floor instead of theater seats, they felt it was less theater-like than on other ships. Of course, having chairs that can be moved quickly allows for more flexibility to host a greater variety of events. They stated, “The differences aren’t really bad—just different.” We did have an interesting issue with our balcony room (6309). Each night as we slept, like clockwork, there was a weird mechanical-sounding noise at 1:00 AM and then again at 5:00 AM, which was definitely loud enough to wake us up each time. We spoke to Guest Services and they seemed baffled by it and got their technicians involved. Not sure if they ever figured out what it was, but they moved us to another room without us requesting it. So we were pleased with the way they handled it. The embarkation and disembarkation processes went smoothly and were pretty much pain-free. We used porters to handle our baggage, which was helpful, but I actually thought the processes would take longer than they did. I was pleasantly surprised. Food on board was excellent. We had a wonderful experience every place we ate. Loved Guy’s Burger Joint (ate there a couple of times) and also loved Guy’s Pig and Anchor Smokehouse. We’re from Texas, so we’ve enjoyed lots of great Texas BBQ, but I’ve got to say that their BBQ was very good. We ate at two specialty restaurants: Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, and had great food and service at both. We enjoyed the Lido Marketplace buffet, which had a wonderful variety of items to choose from. Our assigned-table dining in the Reflections Restaurant for our evening meals was also a wonderful experience. The food was very good, our waiters were excellent, and I think I had the “melting chocolate cake” every time. If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ve got to try it! We enjoyed three excursions, two of which were arranged though Carnival, and all went off without a hitch. Considering the number of people they’ve got to get off board and back on again successfully, it all went reasonably smooth. We really enjoyed the bands Powerline & Triple Play in the Ocean Plaza lounge in the evenings. I think we ended up there at least four of the seven nights. And I was really impressed with the Military/Veterans Appreciation gathering they had in the Liquid Lounge. I didn’t serve in the military, but it was a very special and moving time. I was very pleased by Carnival’s efforts to recognize our military personnel. I’d probably have to say that Matt Mitcham, the Cruise Director, impressed me the most. First of all, his energy level just blew me away. It seemed like every time we turned around, there was Matt hosting another event, or leading the line dancing out on the Lido deck, or going from person to person checking to see how their day was going. He made every event that he hosted more fun. But I was especially impressed by what seemed like a very conscious effort on his part to meet as many people as possible to see how their day was going and to help ensure they were having a great time. We ran into him four or five times during the week and he always took time to say hello and see how our day was going. With almost 4000 passengers on board, I can’t imagine that he actually remembered us each time, but it sure seemed like it. I’m convinced that the next time we cruise, if we don’t have Matt as our Cruise Director, we’re going to be a little disappointed. I hope everyone has as much fun as we did on the Vista. We can’t wait until our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I chose to go on the Vista because it was a newer ship and I wanted to see what was new. Embarkation was amazing this year. We had an 11:30 appointment and after the first passport check and security, we walked straight onto the ship. ... Read More
I chose to go on the Vista because it was a newer ship and I wanted to see what was new. Embarkation was amazing this year. We had an 11:30 appointment and after the first passport check and security, we walked straight onto the ship. No more zones! The ship was nice and had some nice updated decoration that was impressive. However beyond that, they have incorporated most of the amenities on the rest of the larger vessels in their fleet. First thing we noticed is the balcony cabin was shorter. They removed the drawers and put them in 1 of the 3 closets and shortened the cabin. The larger TV was nice for when we wanted to just veg in the cabin and watch a movie. Compared to the Conquest and Magic, the bathrooms seemed a bit smaller as well(I didn't think that was possible). We were in a balcony cabin on the starboard side on deck 8. They decided to put the smoking section on the front starboard side of the ship so all my journeys to my balcony were met with a constant face full of cigarette smoke. WTH Carnival? We got to ride the Skyride on embarkation day and that was pretty cool. If I choose to travel on the Vista again, it will definitely be in the Havana cabins since they have that exclusive pool and hot tubs. Next is the Limelight Lounge they use for comedy. The room is small and does not have a bar inside. We also noticed that most of the chairs were is disrepair and falling apart. You felt like you were going to hit the deck if you laughed to hard. We did enjoy the regular Carnival treats though like Guy's Burger, Pig and Anchor on sea days, and the Blue Iguana taco bar. The buffets were standard Carnival quality and so was the dinning room. We had a huge party of 14 and they put us at a large round table that was awesome but we felt that our servers were spread very thin. We always seemed like the last table to get desert and finish every night there. We have traveled in large groups before and the service was great. Our servers were great and worked very hard to accommodate us when they were around. I did not partake in any of the entertainment options this year. We went on show excursions at every port and enjoyed them all. Isla Passion at Cozumel was probably the most favorite of the group. It was a fun boat ride out to the Island then we spent the day with unlimited drinks and food. It was definitely to capacity but lines for food and drink moved quickly. The beach was clean and they had activities for people that wanted to join in. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I chose this cruise first because I found a really good deal on it and the second this is it was close enough to home we could drive. My husband and I had a lot of fun, we did have a few hiccups along the way but nothing that caused our ... Read More
I chose this cruise first because I found a really good deal on it and the second this is it was close enough to home we could drive. My husband and I had a lot of fun, we did have a few hiccups along the way but nothing that caused our vacation to be ruined. Traveling this trip was only my husband and myself, we were on Carnivals Valor. Our embarkationwas very smooth, We arrived at the pear walked right onto the ship with no waiting what ao ever. I had my first drink in hand within the first 10 minutes of being on board. The lunch buffet was ready and everything was perfect. One thing is the Valor is in need of a face lift. It is an older ship and you can tell. From what I've heard she is going to go into dry dock for renovations and a name change but that's still a little ways away. The first night we had reservations for scarlets steak house. We received a free bottle of wine for going the first night. The food was phenomenal. Sooo good. And since we were celebrating our anniversary they gave us an extra tiramisu dessert and 2 free glasses of champagne. Breakfast in the mdr on the other hand was a little disappointing for me. At my table after everyone had ordered their breakfast and when the food started being passed out everyone's orders were given to them as a complete order, but mine... my potatoes were missing from my plate and the bacon I had ordered was missing as well. By the time I received my full order half the people were nearly done eating and my eggs were cold. So needless to say we had the buffet for breakfast the rest of the trip. The ports we visited were cozumel and progreso, both were fun, but we enjoyed cozumel better, Mr Sanchos in particular. We chose not to take a taxi like everyone had said, we rented a scooter and did a little shopping and sightseeing before we went to the resort. We enjoyed the scooter a lot, we probably payed $10 more for the scooter than a taxi to Mr Sanchos and back, plus we got the extra memories too! Disembarkation was rather interesting. When we arrived back to the port to dock, the port was closed to boat traffic, due to fog. We were supposed to disembark at 8:15 but wasnt able to until around 11:15 or so it may have been a little earlier but we wasnt worried in the slightest, we drove in so we were good with whatever time we got back. Over all, we will be cruiseing again, we aren't quite "hooked" or addicted yet but maybe after another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Took the 5 day cruise on the Valor with my brothers and their wives. We have been on many other ships and this was the first that was rusted, very limited live entertainment, deserts were only cake and ice cream only and steak and lobsters ... Read More
Took the 5 day cruise on the Valor with my brothers and their wives. We have been on many other ships and this was the first that was rusted, very limited live entertainment, deserts were only cake and ice cream only and steak and lobsters were $20 extra.(we have always had free lobster 1 night on other ships). The carpeting in the "suite" was very stained and I had to have them fix the balcony door so it would close properly. Shopping area was basically 2 stores and very high prices. (We were given $50 gift certificates to the store and spa and they would not pay 50% of the cheapest item which was a $125 message. There were some $10 items sold in the hallway kiosks that looked pretty nice. I was not given my promised $50/person onboard credits even though it is printed on the ticket and the free drink card I won at the casino was almost worthless as it took an average of 30 minutes for the ONE waiter to get to the table or machines and the card would not work at a bar. Slot payouts were extremely low with 5 ea 7's only paying $80 on a $1 machine. The only bright spot was the service, in that our stateroom attendant and dining room waiter (Nilson) were very good. We didn't take the excursions this time but Progresso is a new village inside a shipping port with about 20 vendors that were branches of the ones in Cozumel. We did not have children but there were a lot of them on the ship even during school days. Although we are regular cruise veterans, we would not consider the Valor. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We had one of the cheapest rooms available on the 7th floor, kind of near the elevators and the room was just fine since all u do is sleep and shower there. the room was good size considering and our room attendant Pen was very nice and ... Read More
We had one of the cheapest rooms available on the 7th floor, kind of near the elevators and the room was just fine since all u do is sleep and shower there. the room was good size considering and our room attendant Pen was very nice and gave me the extras that I requested like extra pillows and towels. Over all the ship, even though it was an older ship it was still in good shape and kept very clean. there were a few things here or there that could be upgraded but overall ver nice. The food in the buffet was pretty good. we ate there for the majority of our meals. For breakfast the made to order omelettes we very good so we just ate those as the breakfast foods on the buffet were somewhat lacking in quality and someone should teach them how to cook bacon so its actually cooked so we stuck to the made to order omelettes and a few danish or French toast. The rest of the time the food was typical buffet food , some good some not so much, but by the time I eat a nice salad and find some entrees I like I was full each meal and felt fine afterward. The burger place was very good but only open till 6pm which would be nice if it were open a little later. On the "dress up" night we ate in the dining room. the food was very good, prime rib, shrimp pork etc and the service was spot on!! They even do a little entertainment which was quite enjoyable. The last night we ate in Scarlettes Steakhouse and it was excellent and well worth the extra money !!! Again, steaks and shrimp and salad and bread the side dishes every thing was Excellent. Now as far as entertainment goes, so. was good some not so much. Kevin the entertainment director is pleasant enough and does a good job but could try to get the crowd dancing during the trivia/dance parties(70's, 80's etc) instead of just singing along watching him move. it would have been more fun to dance. overall the ships singers were slightly above average and I have heard better singers ay home karaoke, but over all were entertaining. So the trivia games were fun, and we really enjoyed the Love and Marriage game and the carnival quest. I think there should be more activity on the pool deck with games and trivia and contest around the pool for added entertainment and more games like things for people t participate in. Also the ship could be better marked with sights where certain locations are. their colored light signs don't show up well and they need more signs to help guest find their way around. All in all a very fun time but could have some improvements . Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I've been on around 8 cruises mostly carnival ships. This was by far the worst cruise I have ever been on. I think most of the problems can be contributed to cost cutting and not having enough people on board to keep up with the work ... Read More
I've been on around 8 cruises mostly carnival ships. This was by far the worst cruise I have ever been on. I think most of the problems can be contributed to cost cutting and not having enough people on board to keep up with the work load. I had dirty napkins and glasses that either had lipstick or dried food on them. I got coffee with my dessert at dinner once. How hard is it to bring coffee to the table. They were just so overworked. We had different wait staff every night so it wasn't just one bad waiter. About 25% of the workers I encountered were rude or just really annoyed. The way all the activities were timed was really aggravating. Dinner always interfered with what we wanted to do with the kids, It seemed like after 8pm everything was geared towards adults. The kids I was with were 14 and 16 and the comedy shows were 18 and over at 8 pm. They watched movies every night. The music/dancing shows were not good at all. Every night was a different theme with the same people who cant sing. Breakfast was pretty good, Lunch was good, but the desserts were not. Dinner was also good except for the service. My room was a 2nd floor balcony, under the lifeboats. Which was nice. There was some noise at night above us but for the most part it didn't mess with our sleep. I talked to other people on the elevator who had 2nd floor rooms they said they couldn't sleep at night because of all the banging. There were parts of the ship layout that were not good. Seating was horrible for shows, There was a really small atrium. I just didn't like it. Overall I just didn't enjoy myself on this ship. Will be trying a different cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have sailed 10+times with Carnival. Through the years the attention to detail and the desire to make you feel special has gotten overlooked. Wait staff no where near as good, room stewards not as attentive, food not as good or ... Read More
We have sailed 10+times with Carnival. Through the years the attention to detail and the desire to make you feel special has gotten overlooked. Wait staff no where near as good, room stewards not as attentive, food not as good or repetitive. This particular shop is VERY difficult to navigate. My wife and I searched for an hour to find the movie theater which is an extra cost. Too many areas are extra. We are going to try a competitor to see the difference. Carnival needs to get back to focusing on the customer and not the bottom line. They tend to be getting more focused on making money than bringing the luxury and pampering to the consumer as they did in the beginning. I realize we have come to expect certain things but the fall off in quality is obvious. I went to a comedy show and remembered almost every line from the same comedian 2 years earlier. SAD Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We choose the Vista, because it is a newer ship, and had great reviews. It was very pretty, and the LED light displays were amazing. We missed; however, the large central area. We had trouble getting our bearings on the ship because ... Read More
We choose the Vista, because it is a newer ship, and had great reviews. It was very pretty, and the LED light displays were amazing. We missed; however, the large central area. We had trouble getting our bearings on the ship because there was no central point to help us. The ship was very pretty, but not spectacular. Our cabin was lovely. We were in the spa area, so the colors were pleasing. Our cabin was spotless, and our room steward was the best we've ever had. His name was Yasa, and he was extremely efficient and courteous. We weren't looking for a lot of activities as we have cruised for years and we just enjoy going to sea. We did have some serious problems. We noticed that the hand sanitizers were not working most of the time. There was no one at the entrances to the eating establishments to see to it that all hands were sanitized. We were a party of 16, and when we got off the ship, Eight of our party either had the flu or strep infections. The floor in the Lido Cafe was slick when the humidity was high, which was most of the time. They either need to replace that tile or run matting down the surface. One of the biggest problems we encountered was the smoke from the smoking areas. They had one of the smoking areas right outside the children's play area. Our twins were taken there to play, but their parents took them away immediately because of the smoke. The smoking in the casino has gotten out of hand due to the Vaping people we're doing. It's time to stop the smoking in the casino. Celebrity doesn't allow smoking inside their casino, and it is just as active as the Carnival Casino. We probably will not go on the Vista again, because it is not really handicap accessible. We were on deck 11, and couldn't go to the stern from our hall, because there were two steps at the end of the hall. We had to go up and down many elevators to get from one end of the ship to the other. The spa area needed work. There were overhead lights out as well as some of the jets in the tubs weren't working. the entertainment was spectacular, but the lasers flashing everywhere were hard to deal with. The Liquid Lounge was too small for a ship that size, and having all the center seating on the same level on the main floor made it hard to see, especially if you were in a handicap area. there are no card areas with the exception of the Library which was doubling as the display area for purchased art. They were complaining that the art sales group didn't have a place for their business that was big enough. The designers of this ship missed the boat! The main saving grace for us was the wonderful crew. The workers were super. They also made it possible for our entire family to be together at a huge round table for our evening meals. That was so appreciated. To sum up our observations, we will go on Carnival again, but not Vista. Our Embarkation and disembarkation were perfect. Everything was extremely well organized. The only wait we had was because of customs. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were originally booked on Carnival Freedom, but one day I found an email in my inbox telling me that Freedom was going to be dry docked during our vacation (WHAT?!?) and we needed to rebook. Through much discussion, and more than one ... Read More
We were originally booked on Carnival Freedom, but one day I found an email in my inbox telling me that Freedom was going to be dry docked during our vacation (WHAT?!?) and we needed to rebook. Through much discussion, and more than one reservation specialist, we were able to book on Vista. I am so glad we did!! I try not to travel on Carnival. Any other cruise line is nicer, classier, newer/cleaner, etc. The only reason I ever cruise with Carnival is because I live in Texas and it's either Carnival or Royal Caribbean, with Carnival having more ships. My experience with Carnival was on an older ship that was decorated like the inside of an old casino--very garish and ugly! I never saw my cabin steward and the crew were not friendly. There was very little communication. I swore I'd never do it again. When my daughter asked me to go again, I said yes...knowing that it was going to be sub-par. BUT WAIT!! The Vista is beautiful--it's only 3 yrs old, so it's decor is still on trend with streamlined furnishings and calming color schemes. It's a large ship with almost 4000 passengers, but I never felt like it. There were plenty of lounge chairs, both in the sun and in the shade. Of course, the main pool area filled up on sea days, but there are 3 decks surrounding the pool, so lots of seating. There is also an aft pool, and of course, the private Havana pool. Those other pools take some of the load off of the main pool. There are tables and umbrellas on the promenade deck. Many people took books out there and spent the afternoon reading and napping. Fantastic! I can't speak to the entertainment--getting dressed, rushing to, then crowding into a theater is not how I want to spend my vacation. I didn't see any shows, or comedians, or even go to the IMAX. From what I heard, they were all wonderful. There are many food choices on Vista! I never ate in the main dining room (for the reasons I listed about entertainment above), but I didn't need to. There is the buffet, hamburgers, pizza (even can have it delivered to your cabin!), fish and chips, BBQ, sushi...specialty restaurants. Everything I tried was enjoyable. It's nice to have choices!! The crew is amazing! Cruise director Matt is a humorous fellow. He kept everyone laughing and having fun. Our cabin steward, Rodrigo, knew our names by the first morning and would greet us every time we saw him...which was often. I never had to ask a thing of him; he was perfect. Any crew member we encountered smiled and greeted us. The embarkation process was one of the best I've ever had! From the time we arrived at the port terminal to the time we got onboard was only 45 minutes!! The safety drill went quickly too. Excursions? Very orderly. As well as debarkation process. I was very impressed with my cruise on Carnival Vista. So much so, I am planning another one! I think the people who rate this ship low are people that would complain about any ship. No trip is perfect. We are humans, all. I came back rested and happy with my vacation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We picked this cruise because we wanted to go out of Galveston and the timing was right. We have never been on a cruise so had few expectations. Now about our experience: Although I am sure this is mentioned in all reviews, Matt, the ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we wanted to go out of Galveston and the timing was right. We have never been on a cruise so had few expectations. Now about our experience: Although I am sure this is mentioned in all reviews, Matt, the Cruise Director is one of a kind. His wit and kindness to everyone he meets is remarkable. It was as though he had 4,000 close friends that week. He did a very touching program honoring vets. I could see the look in the eyes of the vets and could tell how very much they appreciated his kind remarks. At one point or another, there were not many dry eyes in the room. I have never seen anyone, in any profession, embrace their job with the joy and professionalism that Matt does whenever he is among all his guests. There were so many activities offered everyday that we only participated in about 1% and we stayed really busy the entire week. If there was a lacking area, I could only find one. The buffet was not very good in either of our opinions. It did not seem to include American tastes for lunch and evening meals. This is not to say that we went hungry because there were many other options. All the kiosks on floor 10 around the pool were exceptional. I will miss Guy's Burgers the most. The dining room and Steak House were excellent. I just like a buffet and was a little disappointed that we were not able to take advantage of it. All in all, the sea days as well as the port days were so fun and entertaining. We saw some great comedy shows, were challenged with trivia, attended art shows, and the dive-in movies were a great time. This is just to mention a few activities we enjoyed on board. This was our first cruise ever but it will not be the last. Thank you for reading. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were asked to go as part of a group of 14. We have been on several cruises and were interested in checking out Carnival's largest ship out of Galveston. Matt the Cruise Director was excellent. Our balcony room was spotless, and was ... Read More
We were asked to go as part of a group of 14. We have been on several cruises and were interested in checking out Carnival's largest ship out of Galveston. Matt the Cruise Director was excellent. Our balcony room was spotless, and was kept tip top. Really good water pressure. Previous balcony rooms directly overlooked the water, but this ship had a 5th floor that was out farther than our 6th floor, so we had a bit of an obstructed water view below us...but felt a little safer?! The food was awesome! Our waiters were awesome! Our dining room ceiling seemed a little low where we were. I didn't actually feel like the ship was much bigger than the Freedom we were on last, just more passengers. There were definitely longer waits for some things. Fortunately we had great weather the whole trip. On board activities and entertainment were plentiful, and very enjoyable. Staff running them were excellent. Smaller activities filled up fast, so you had to get there a little early. Our first excursion was to Roatan...Isle of Roatan. Rode a ski lift from the ship area to the beach where we spent the day. A little disappointing. Easy on and off the ship (for all the stops). Nice water and beach with amenities, but really crowded, with 2 ships docked. The area was buoyed off and there were almost no fish. Belize was next, tender boats to get off the ship, and our excursion took us to St. Hermans Blue Hole (NOT the Great Blue Hole). A bit of confusion to get us there, but after about a 70min van trip, we hiked in and out of a nice little cave with a small stream in it, then drove another mile to the Blue Hole where we swam a little. We all enjoyed the trip. Cozumel was the last stop...beautiful water but was windy, and the city was jam packed. Our group had 4 20ish age "kids" with us. Their first cruise, and they loved it. We would definitely go on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise out of Galveston to avoid the schools winter break here on the East Coast (NY). Arriving to the port was not bad, usual traffic. Parking was easy at EZ park across the street ($80 for the week). Woman at the exit was ... Read More
We chose this cruise out of Galveston to avoid the schools winter break here on the East Coast (NY). Arriving to the port was not bad, usual traffic. Parking was easy at EZ park across the street ($80 for the week). Woman at the exit was extra unpleasant lol but that did not impact our trip. We had an ocean suite (7333) that was clean, quiet and comfortable, just what we expected. The food was all good, no complaints at all. I read other reviewers complaining about cutbacks on different aspects of the food but I have to disagree. The waste on these ships is ridiculous and I'm glad that it is being recognized and certain things like midnight buffets and free room service eliminated or downgraded. You don't need to eat 24/7. We went to 2 specialty restaurants, 555 and El Capitano. If you're a steakhouse lover then you will be happy with 555. The portions were large, food was good and service excellent, especially Andrada our waitress from Romania. She made the experience even more enjoyable and I hope Carnival recognizes her for the asset she is. El Capitano was fair. Coming from NY, we know what real italian food should be and maybe wasn't exactly what we expected, but it was fine. People were raving about JIJI but we did not get there. We did go to Bonsai and it was excellent, highly recommended. Our only issue on the whole trip was the Port of Galveston. Drop off and pick-up are a dangerous nightmare and the city workers (police? traffic safety?) do an absolutely awful job and could care less. They were zero use and actually lied about walking across the street until I said "so if the 8 year old with us gets hit, we will come right back to you right?" All of a sudden he spoke to his "boss" and was able to direct us. They should be ashamed of the service they provide. If we all did our job like them, people would be dying left and right. This is not Carnivals fault though. We found the cruise line top notch all the way. Oh and if you get a chance, do the behind the scenes tour. It was amazing and you will appreciate the crew even more than before Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Just returning from THE BEST VACATION EVER! If you have any doubts about if you should go, let me tell you-you need to be there yesterday!!! My sister's company incentivized their entire group of professionals with a generous ... Read More
Just returning from THE BEST VACATION EVER! If you have any doubts about if you should go, let me tell you-you need to be there yesterday!!! My sister's company incentivized their entire group of professionals with a generous vacation,plus one. Yay!!! I was the plus one. From now on when I need a vacation I will exclusively request THE VALOR via carnival cruise lines. The experience was exceptional in every sense of the word. I am more of a Vegas person and never really considered cruising as a possible equal experience. Truth be told it was far better! Major foodies like me will enjoy all of the different foods we tried-Guy's Burgers, Pirates Pizza, and should absolutely plan to savor the steakhouse and chef's table experience. The chef on THE VALOR has an imagination for creating dishes that is beyond words but I will try to do his skill set justice. He was so humble and so gifted and honest to God, his artistic dishes made me FEEL and filled my heart with respect and admiration for his pride in his craft of cuisine. Aboard THE VALOR, we visited Cozumel and had the good fortune of booking a private beach excursion. We laid in the sun and tanned and enjoyed the most pristine aquamarine waters I have ever seen in my life while being provided with an open bar and a menu filled with excellent traditional Mexican dishes such as chili rellenos, grilled fish and spicy pan seared chicken with rice. It was an extremely special experience for everyone. The 5 hours went by in a blink,but time flies when you are in paradise!!! Regarding the spa, we scheduled the couples 50 minute seaweed detox wrap with hot stone massage and followed that up with a full body hot stone massage a couple days later. The masseurs were professional/patient/attentive and beautiful to boot. Now to the heart of this discussion, if you are a gambler like us and are considering taking your chances on some slots and table games, THE VALOR is the place to do so. You will get great bang for your buck entertainment wise with this crew. I thoroughly enjoyed my time acquainting myself with the casino table attendants (Maria,Dejan, Cesar,Mario) and pit bosses (Marco,David) who provided non-stop charm and non-stop laughs and hey guys...NON-STOP COMPED drinks for all their enthusiastic gamblers. I cannot brag enough about how special this staff is to us and how key they were to our experience. They know how to party and have a GREAT sense of humor to boot! Us southerners like our hospitality and Carnival did not disappoint. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My travel friend and I just returned from our February 10-17 cruise on board the Carnival Vista. This was my sixth cruise with Carnival. We booked Ocean Suite 7377 and were provided priority boarding which made getting onto the ship smooth ... Read More
My travel friend and I just returned from our February 10-17 cruise on board the Carnival Vista. This was my sixth cruise with Carnival. We booked Ocean Suite 7377 and were provided priority boarding which made getting onto the ship smooth and efficient. When initially boarding this newest ship in the Carnival fleet, you’re entering through the atrium which is small, absurdly designed, and very disappointing. It’s one small room, with an oversized bar and every other cruise liner puts it to shame...it’s lack of grandeur is a prelude to all that’s missing on this ship. Carnival was definitely “ripped off” by the Vista shipbuilder. In fact, the entire ship is mundane, plain, drab, with a gawd awful orange palette that permeates and mutes any “splendor” the Vista may have presented. Let me state at this point, the Carnival staff on board our cruise was nothing less than superb, with plenty of smiles, greetings, and a positive attitude throughout our days. Our Ocean Suite was just a common room with a disappointingly small, narrow balcony and was by far the smallest “suite” I’ve ever stayed in...a poorly designed box with a tiny, limited access walk-in closet, uncomfortable couch and chair, limited storage space and faulty smoke detectors that sounded the alarm from shower steam. What a thrill! Activities on the Vista are endless. From the sky cycles suspended above the 14th deck, to the cargo net obstacle course and longest at-sea water slide, to the Lido deck giant screen TV showing current movies, to the smoke filled casino...way too much to list here. Other critics say the Vista food is “too fancy”...the Vista kitchen puts out phenomenal faire that did not disappoint. Lobster, filet mignon, prime rib, mahi-mahi, oysters, superb creamed spinach, prosciutto and melon, and that famous Carnival melting chocolate cake. The dining room is the highlight of this ship. Carnival is cost cutting and the Vista drives home this fact. Constantly promoting the four additional cost restaurants, charging to enter the two theaters, charging for room service, using pre-recorded music in their stage shows, charging $10.50 for watered down drinks, to the $3.75 charge for a bottle of water...they’ve also cut out the 10pm grand dessert buffet with ice carvings. These may seem trivial to some cruisers, but the comments overheard on the elevators drive home the fact that eliminating “perks” for regular customers will impact Carnival in the years to come. My first cruise was on the Carnival Triumph in 2000 and the experiential impact between that cruise and this one on the Vista is in essence...disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This is going to be a LONG review so if you want to skip you wont hurt my feelings!! I really truly do not understand all the hate reviews for this ship. We found it to be amazing!!! Granted we're pretty easy to please since we are ... Read More
This is going to be a LONG review so if you want to skip you wont hurt my feelings!! I really truly do not understand all the hate reviews for this ship. We found it to be amazing!!! Granted we're pretty easy to please since we are not at work but still! We received an email the Monday before we sailed asking us to not show up to the port until between 1230 and 100 due to disembarkation issues. Odd but ok. We flew out of SLC into IAH the day before the cruise and stayed at the Marriott hotel there in the airport in an M Club room. Cannot begin to say how much we enjoyed this hotel, location and amenities!!! We arrived at 11 that morning and we had a room waiting for us as well as some breakfast still left in the club. So nice to get some food after getting up at 3am to get to the airport!!! We took an Uber from the hotel to an Outback Steakhouse and holy moley we took our lives in our hand with our driver Bertha. Never given 1 star on an Uber driver but man it was scary!!! Found the people at the steakhouse that worked there very nice but the patrons were so RUDE!!!! Pretty much everyone we encountered from Texas on this trip were very rude (but then there was a really rude woman from N Dakota telling the poor Carnival worker off so it's not just Texas) but man rude rude rude rude rude! This theme continued through the entire cruise Day 0 - Embarkation Sunday morning we went down to the airport to get on the transport. It was nice, organized and well ran. (well except for the people who demanded the bus turn around so they could go look for a lost cell phone on a shuttle from their hotel to the airport) Got on the bus for our 1 hr and 45 min bus ride to the port. Rainy and cold in Houston but as we got closer to Galveston it did warm up. The port at Galveston.....WHAT.A.MESS!!!! I've been out of SEVERAL ports and this one was the most unorganized messes I've ever seen (well until debarkation). Waited for 30 min just to get the bus into the terminal parking area. The port area is just way too small for the 2 big Carnival/RCCL ships in port. People trying to get OFF the ship and those of us trying to get on does not make a nice port experience. We had Faster to the Fun and boy was it worth every single dollar spent. Getting on the ship took maybe 15 min and we were walking into the atrium. I wondered how I'd feel about the new atrium look and I have to say I LOVED IT! Made our way up to the Lido for some lunch and then headed to our room 9430 to check it out. We had our luggage by 2:30 that day and that is the earliest we've ever had it. Asked for our beds to be made into a king but they were still twins. Once we met our room steward he fixed it for us~easy no muss no fuss!!! Went to the muster drill at the reflections restaurant. Easiest muster drill we've been through except for those who didn't think they had to attend. Though they did say SEVERAL times NO SMOKING on balconies and yet people were smoking and vaping 5 min after that drill on their balcony. I HATE the cigarette smoke and will avoid the areas designated for smokers but the rudeness of smokers on this trip confounded me. Vapers ALL.THE.TIME (1 deck down and 1 cabin forward from us the dude vaped day and night...no idea how he had time to do anything else) After that we headed back to our room to watch the sail away from Galveston in the fog. We had anytime dining and being able to check in for a table through the HUB app was super awesome!!! Never waited more than 10 min for a table. I do have to say that I did not really like the anytime dining for the simple reason of being sat so close to others. If I wanted to dine with people I would have indicated that. I really disliked that part of it. I think this is one of the worst things on the entire cruise. We got put by 2 women who were nice enough but we really didn't want to make small talk and yet we had to. It wasn't ideal for sure. We learned to just go to the check in desk and request a table for 2 without anyone near us and problem was solved. Didn't really do much the rest of the night just hung out on our balcony/room and got ready for the next day. Day 1 - Sea Day I woke up at 7 so I headed up to the Tides Pool area to get a couple of chairs where we could hang out all day. Got 2 chairs up on the 11th deck that were fabulous UNTIL I realized that smokers can hang out there. We moved down to the 10th deck with an umbrella. It was MEH at best but that is due to guests nothing to do with Carnival. The amount of jazzies and rude people on this cruise confounded me. I'm not thin by any stretch of the imagination but my god.....the amount of people in mechanized chairs was astounding!!! We hung out at the pool most of the day but finally got tired of people so we went down to our room. It was lovely to sit on the balcony until our cabin mates next door decided that we needed to listen to their gospel music blaring from their bluetooth speaker! That type of stuff drives me insane. We saw people in the Lido Marketplace blaring their gospel music, singing to karaoke on the lido deck by the Tides pool in Chinese/Japanese whatever that ALL of us were subjected to. I've never encountered so many rude people making others listen to their music choices.!!! I was also unhappy with our room choice JUST due to the fact we listened to carts being rolled over our room ALL. FREAKING. NIGHT.LONG keeping us awake. We had a sound machine and ear plugs and they did nothing to mute it so beware if you have a cabin near 9430 you'll be kept awake all night with a sound like rolling thunder but it goes on for a few minutes every hour!!! I had contemplated getting a Havana cabin but after looking down from our cabin we could see their deck chairs and well no thanks!!! Day 2 - Sea Day My daughter got sunburned the day before so we decided to get a covered couch on the deck overlooking the beach pool. GREAT place to hang out!! Close to the action, 1 floor away from the bars and food. Spent the day just watching people, reading, napping! Total relaxation!!! Tonight we had dinner at the Cucina Capitano. Delicious as usual except for the jerk next to us making comments on the fact that we shared our dinner together. He was super judgmental and annoying but yet again not Carnival's fault!!! Went to the punchliner. Had a GREAT time there!!! It was crowded but we still snagged a nice seat on the side. The only bad part was the actual cruisers! The employees worked SO HARD to make a good experience for people. I appreciated them!!! Day 3 - Montego Bay This was the one and only day we encountered a line for breakfast but if we would have gone down to Oceans Plaza Taste Bar we could have eaten a continental breakfast quicker. Got off the boat and took a tour to the Secrets resort. BEST MONEY ever spent! Adults only. NO children, all inclusive including drinks! Great time!!! Pretty much best option for Montego Bay. Only a 5 min bus ride!! Towels supplied! Just beautiful!!! Went to 555 and that was a delicious dinner!!! Day 4 - Grand Cayman Woke up to mostly cloudy skies but got off the ship at about 8 to do some shopping. It became more gray and overcast as we shopped but it was nice to get the stuff we wanted. We had booked the stingray city for families from 10 until noon. At about 9 the skies opened up and it poured rain. I mean it was raining so hard we couldn't see the ship from the port. Bought some ponchos and they helped some but it got cold and windy and the ocean was so choppy so we finally decided to get a refund and go back to the ship. Headed to the tender where I cut my toe open and was bleeding. We were freezing but not Carnival's fault again. Got on deck and the housekeeping crew were handing out dry towels. It was lovely!!! Went to the room and took a warm shower but our shower was clogged so we had to have them come and unclog it. Took about 15 min but it was nice to get done. Yet again not their fault some hairy guest stopped up the shower!!!! Tonight was Valentines night so they gave all the women a red carnation. Nice touch!!!! Day 5 - Cozumel Took an excursion to Isla Pasion. What a GREAT excursion!! All Inclusive, food and drinks included. Beautiful island!!! Spent about 3 hours there. HOT and sunny day!!!! Decided to skip the dining room as there was nothing that sounded good so we went on deck and had pizza and then watched the dive in movies Day 6 - Last Sea Day Woke up and it was HOT! It was a lovely sea day and apparently the nicest they've had in the last 4 months. Bought a build a bear for St Judes and then went to go pack. OMG packing to go home is the worst!!! Ate dinner in the dining room and I think I got a touch of food poisoning because I felt awful the rest of the night into Sunday Morning!!! Day 7 - Debarkation NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!! We had FTTF so we ate breakfast at 7:30 (it was nice to have a full breakfast unlike other cruises where you get bagels and yogurt) and then headed to the reflections dining room to get off at what they said would be 8:45. Turned out we waited for at least 1000 + people to carry off luggage and then at least 100 wheelchair people (that we'd seen all week walking on their own but come disembark day they now needed a wheelchair with their 60 family members) but we finally got off at 10 ish and then boarded a bus that was filled to capacity for the more than 2 hours thanks to traffic. Watching adults need to play cards to pass the time also confounded me. I mean you should be able to just be on a bus not yelling and screaming every 30 seconds about who won or who cheated. MISERABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Made it to the airport to board our full delayed flight home!!! Some thoughts.......9340 sucks for noise but it's a nice cabin during the day!!!! Sitting so close to others in the dining room was mega uncomfortable and I did finally go ask for a different table on Valentines Day because of this. The amount of rude people just beware! People were the only major issue we had on the ship and sadly nothing the ship can do to make people kind! Oh and KIDS....I've never seen so many kids on a Carnival cruise as I did on this ship. I like kids (have 3 of my own who are now grown) but the temper tantrums and the running around unsupervised while parents looked the other way was disheartening! I cant say I'd EVER (no I KNOW I wont ever go back)go back to Texas! Give me Miami, Orlando, FLL, NY anywhere but Texas but I can't wait to go on the Horizon out of Miami next February in a Havana aft extended balcony on the 9th deck!!! Still LOVE Carnival just hated the guests on this cruise!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Overall this was a good experience. We arrived early and they let us on the ship. This was a good experience and everything went smoothly. Jason in the piano bar was amazing. He saved the onboard night life for us. We went to a couple ... Read More
Overall this was a good experience. We arrived early and they let us on the ship. This was a good experience and everything went smoothly. Jason in the piano bar was amazing. He saved the onboard night life for us. We went to a couple of the live shows in the Liquid Lounge and we were greatly disappointed. It was small and cramped and it was impossible to find a decent seat unless you went very early. The shows were so bad we gave up attending any more shows after the "Flick" disaster. We went to a couple of comedy shows and were disappointed. The guys were not funny at all. I love a good "dirty" comedy act if they are funny but these were just sub-par. We just decided to spend our evenings at the piano bar with Jason and the Alchemy Bar. They were good. I think Matt did a good job when he was emceeing an event or performing, but I would have liked to see him mingling with the crowd more. I never saw him just walking around chilling with the guests. They should just shut down the buffet on the Lido deck. That food is horrible and nearly inedible. Jorge and his group in the Reflections dining hall were wonderful. The food was above average and Jorge and his guys were on point. Our overall dining experience was way above average and I have no complaints about any of my meals. We ate at the Italian restaurant. the Chinese restaurant and the steak house. They were each amazing. My advice is to pay the little extra money and enjoy the restaurants. Spent some time in the spa. I tried acupuncture and my wife and I did a couple's massage. Both were good experiences but the sales pitch they hit you with when you are done is overwhelming. Just give me the treatment and let me leave. We tried to do the sky ride a couple of times but it was either closed due to wind or the lines were so long that the wait was not worth it. I think they tried to cram too much into a limited space. We paid for excursions in Jamaica and Cayman and they were both cancelled. We had to pick an alternate in jamaica which turned out okay and they just stuck us on an excursion in the Caymans without even notifying us. My son-in-law just happened to notice we got switched. When it was time to get off the boat, they made us get out of our rooms by 9 am which I understand but sitting around for another hour and a half while we waited to get off the ship seemed like it last two days. It seems this process could be improved. I hate to sound all negative because we had a good time but as a manager, I could just see so much that could have been thought out and planned so much better. I'll sum it up this way. Last February, we cruised on the Freedom and it was so amazing that we booked our cruise on the Vista while we were still on the ship. I cruise with my wife, daughter and son-in-law. At the end of the cruise when we were discussing a cruise next year, we decided to do something else because we just weren't wowed. This wasn't a cheap vacation because we ended up spending over $5000 after excursions and spas and onboard purchases. It wasn't bad, we just weren't wowed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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