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848 Carnival Galveston Cruise Reviews

Carnival Cruise September 2 – 7, 2019 We took the Carnival Dream out of Galveston just as a quick escape. Nothing really planned, just some time to relax. We have been on a number of ships, but the Dream was huge. They did a great ... Read More
Carnival Cruise September 2 – 7, 2019 We took the Carnival Dream out of Galveston just as a quick escape. Nothing really planned, just some time to relax. We have been on a number of ships, but the Dream was huge. They did a great job of managing people and having enough areas so that when you were on the ship it did not seem crowded. A few lines here and there, but that is to be expected. This was the first cruise we have been on that had all the activities and reservations enable through their app. It made it easy to keep up with everything going on. There was a slight glitch in reserving a dinner time under the my time dining option, but everyone was helpful. They were still working our a few things with the reservations, but I am sure it will get worked out. Food in the dinning room was good, the buffet was average for the most part. The desserts were excellent in both locations. And of course you can't go wrong with Guy's Burgers. There was so much entertainment, you just had to pick and choose. The major productions were excellent, the comedy show we saw was good, and watching a move on the deck was nice too. Definitely entertainment to fit your mood. In Cozumel, Carnival docked at the Punta Maya dock with is the farthest from the downtown area, but only an $8 cab ride to the city center. We have been to Cozumel many times and just enjoy walking around. We made a stop at the Mega store, and I have to echo reports I have seen in other postings. Unfortunately, the customer service is lacking and some sales staff appeared inconvenienced to even be asked a question. Our next stop was Progresso Meridia, were we have never been before. So we booked a tour through TripAdvisor, Sergio’s All-In-One. Once we booked, I received an email with the instructions of where to meet our guide and what to bring with. To get to them you have to walk through the shopping area, with was a longer walk than expected only because I wasn’t familiar with the area, and as we walked through the exit, they were there holding a sign with my name. Uva was our guide and Manual was our driver. Our first stop was El Corchito a manmade Mangrove park with cenotes. You take a water taxi to the park and there we walk through trails to the cenotes where you could swim. It was calm and serene with an occasional racoon walking by. Next we went to the salt flats where we saw how salt was originally harvested and then used for trade. Out in the distance you could see the flamingos. Uva explained the process of how the salt was harvested and how the flamingos kept their pink color. Next we went on the Xcambo Mayan Ruins. Walking around the ruins Uva gave us a guided tour explaining the purpose of the buildings, structures, and historical significance. We really enjoyed the Mayan Ruins. And our last stop was a buffet and open bar at the Techotel which also had a small but nice beach. It was fine, however they were not equipped to handle the number of people they had that day. It was a nice tour that covered a little bit of everything and I would highly recommend for an all day tour of Progresso. I would definitely cruise with Carnival again, and am in the process of planning our next escape. Happy Travels! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had a cabin on deck 8 and it was a balcony. We went to Costa Maya, Roatan, and Cozumel. Embarkation was fast and easy. Arvin was the best steward ever. He helped us with water, extra pillows, mattress pad, and kept things clean. We ... Read More
We had a cabin on deck 8 and it was a balcony. We went to Costa Maya, Roatan, and Cozumel. Embarkation was fast and easy. Arvin was the best steward ever. He helped us with water, extra pillows, mattress pad, and kept things clean. We only requested service once a day because we tend to be in and out of our cabin a lot, and he was great about keeping things tidy while we were away. We got to enjoy towel animals regularly even though we were only traveling with adult kids. No matter the age, we still enjoy the fun stuff! Very nice man! The cruise director and her staff were probably the best we've ever experienced. Emma and Laylay and the gang were lots of fun. Make your way to the atrium lobby for music and dancing (ignore that it says music trivia; it is really about a party time). We loved the Clue game, but we arrived a couple of minutes late to the first event and didn't get all the instructions or starting "book". I tried to check in with the staff about it, but apparently there were not enough copies. I asked about it but I guess I was misunderstood. It would be nice to add the instructions for the game to the hub so that people can join in. There seemed to be enough clues available at the cafe, but one of the in person clues was during our dinner, so we didn't get that one (8:15 first night). My 20 year old enjoyed the clues and the daily sudoku.The hasbro game and love and marriage were really fun to watch. I only saw one comedian. He had some funny stuff, but a lot of it was just so so. I'm not big into disparaging humor. My son really liked it. We were looking forward to some nice photographs, but only bought one. I'm glad we didn't get the package beforehand. Pixel sets up for evening shots in crowded areas. I did find out that in the atrium lobby, there were some backdrops set up without as much crowding. The photo we bought from Pixel had us pretty crowded, so we were not centered with space on either side. I would have stood in line for some of the other spots if I had not set up an appointment with Dreams Studio. Dreams Studio is a great idea if you have the time and stress level to get it done. However, it was not what I imagined. First, the girls (me and my daughter) were running a couple of minutes late, so that affected my stress level which no doubt affected the experience (my bad). However, my husband and son were on time and got their photos done, then my husband and I, then my daughter joined. So really, the photographer did not have stand around waiting for us time. They only schedule for 30 minutes total. We were told when we got there that it would be only the black backdrop photos. We would not have photos taken at any of the pretty places on the ship. I had also asked about beach shots. In the initial emails, he told me that we could check with him once on board. However, when we got on board and asked on the phone, he said that it was too short of a cruise. I would have hired a photographer at port if I had known before that. Heck, even some photos in the Havana room would have been nice with their pretty chairs and window shades. All we were told was that the deck was too windy. They were not upfront about a few things. I asked for pricing starting with emails and kept getting put off on it. So I did not see pricing until our appointment to see the photos on the last day (we had an appointment for two days after our sitting, but we arrived early and were asked if we could put off from our 7:30 appt until 8:00; which we couldn't because of dinner, plus, who wants to run down to the Havana room over and over (it isn't easy to get to)). The $149 package includes only 2 prints. It would be $299 for 3 prints). To get any digital, you have to pay at least $200 for one photo and that includes the release. Packages started at $499 after that. At this point, the photographer was getting pretty testy/abrupt/snarky (which was evident at other times with our interactions as well). We ordered 2 prints for $149. This was our 25th anniversary celebration, so I was hoping for at least something. When we picked them up on the last day, the one of my husband and me was nice, but the one with us and our two kids was very dark with deep shadows on the sides of our faces. That is not how it looked when we saw them in the studio. We asked to speak to the photographer, but admittedly did not remember his name. The other photographer came by and agreed that it looked dark. He tried to contact the one who took our photos, but that one apparently just said they could reprint (for which we would be responsible for finding them to get it before getting off the ship) or we could get a refund. No offer of the other one that printed correctly for a lesser price (I would have paid 80 for just the one). No offer to reprint it correctly and have it sent to our room. No offer to reprint it and mail it to us. All of it was for nothing. Very disappointed. I should have stuck to my usual professional photographer at home. It felt very much like low balling and switch and bait. A waste of our time. I'm glad I took the one with Pixels right after, or I would have nothing to show for all that time. This is of course only our experience. I hope others have had much better. Casino: I like the computer poker table because we can play cash games. The poker tournament was a bit crazy though. $150 buy in. Only 10 people total (so get there early). Only 1st place is paid with $750 and seat in $175,000 tournament on another cruise (cruise not included). 2nd place (me) got a seat to that big tournament. I found out later that we could have both quit at the same time and split the pot at the cage, but didn't know it was possible with the computer set up. Please, note, they did not have a dealer or anyone watching the game, so this costs them no money beyond the computer poker table. The slots are VERY tight. The dealers at table games did well. I did not see any errors and they were always nice and friendly. Bingo includes just 3 games each time at $40 for dauber, 9 cards per game, and pull tab game. You get extra cards for the last game which can win $5000 if blackout in 49 balls. Food really ranged from excellent to average. The carnival cake is wonderful. I had ordered an anniversary cake that was also very good. It was too big to eat the first day, so we found a way to shove it in fridge. They do not provide a box so that you can eat later. Filet mignon, lobster, pizza, french toast, bacon were all good. Bread for dinner was definitely good!!! Salmon was dry, scrambled eggs were runny. Waitstaff was fun. Drinks from the bar were pretty good for the most part. We did not book shore excursions from carnival. Now that they are price matching better, we probably should have. This 6 day cruise made for little time in the ports and they were 3 days in a row--exhausting. The itinerary says 8 hours, but that is not really how much time you have once you dock and so forth. carnival excursions guarantee you will get back on board in time. That is definitely a plus, as we watched arrivals well after the time we were set to leave. Disembarkation was a bit long, but to be fair, we didn't understand to get the luggage tags early (look for them the day before on deck 5 midship). We should have listened to Emma better, lol. I definitely will choose a 7 day over 6 day next time. However, on the Freedom, it does not feel overcrowded (except during photo times) and did not have long lines. It is a trade off to consider when booking your cruise! Overall, I rate it as number 2 out of 5 cruises that I have been on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Dream is a conquest class ship so it has the atrium elevators that hit most floors. It is really a shame they put this extra elevator bank in the Forward of the ship where the elevators are needed the least. They would be much more useful ... Read More
Dream is a conquest class ship so it has the atrium elevators that hit most floors. It is really a shame they put this extra elevator bank in the Forward of the ship where the elevators are needed the least. They would be much more useful mid or aft, especially when they reserve elevators for luggage or repairs (elevators showing floor X). I would say the Dream is close to what I recall Magic being when we went 5 years ago. I prefer parts of the Dream over the Vista we went on a month before. My wife prefers the Vista. I didn't notice any issues with teenagers acting up on either ship like we have seen in the past. A lot has to do with the current passengers for your ship experience as I've noticed from reviews. Entertainment: Piano guy Mike was more friendlier on Dream than the guy on Vista. The 3 violin female group had MUCH better synergy on Dream than the group on Vista. The duo on Dream was better than the duo on Vista. The latin on Dream sounded awesome in the Song room! Not sure if they mixed it well, had a good sound guy, or just themselves had a good sound but they did sound great. Never did have much of a crowd for them though, probably because Song is kind of hidden away in the back of the ship. Dream had 2 comedians whereas the Vista had 2 and then switched for another 2 midway through the cruise, hence, had many, many more performances of comedy. The steel drum female on the Dream I didn't care for nearly as much as the steel drum guy on the Vista. Wish he had sold cds. Apparently Carnival does not rebroadcast the main events on the tv anymore like they use to for ice carving, marriage show, morning show, etc. So we went to see the ones we missed on the Vista but expected to see. The remote controls previous channel button never worked on either ship. Dream still has a lido deck cam whereas the Vista does not. Vista has more cams showing outside the boat. Food: Overall service in the dining rooms was lackluster. Reading other reviews, and previous trip on Vista, it seems this is currently a Carnival norm. I had to constantly ask for refills on tea and waitstaff was usually scarce in the dining rooms (even though there are 3 people assigned to your table). Food was average. I stayed Keto so I stuck to staples (chicken, fish, steak without gravy when it was 'allowed') as all desserts and gravies on Carnival are filled with sugar (even the soups!) and cornstartch thickeners. The dinner waiter said he asked chef about leaving gravy off a number of dishes I asked about and was told it had to be a 'special' request at the start of the cruise. One chicken item was "marinated 2 days" in orange sugar sweet stuff, forgot how it was said exactly. I seriously doubt they have room to marinate food that long unless that is simply how it is stored for the duration of the cruise. I ate breakfast in the dining room so I could ensure my eggs (sunny side up) were real and not from a starch powder or liquid carton like cruiselines use for scrambled/omelettes). Next time I'm definitely taking my own atkins bars to eat as desserts or snacks to make the week more bearable. I'm not going to lie, it was somewhat depressing not eating a lot of the food and getting tacos/burgers and not eating the shell/bun. I got some relief after returning home to see I stayed within a 5 pound range for the week, go me! Room 9302 just under lido deck of rooms was good, and got cold! We actually increased the temp some to get comfortable (and we normally prefer it cool as opposed to luke warm). As for Cozumel and Progresso, we just stayed in the tourist traps and then get back on the boat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
What went well... 1. We loved the breakfast in the Horizon Restaurant. It was always hot and good variety from skillet pancakes, to french toast to scrambles and much more. We only ate at Lido deck one time for breakfast. 2. The ... Read More
What went well... 1. We loved the breakfast in the Horizon Restaurant. It was always hot and good variety from skillet pancakes, to french toast to scrambles and much more. We only ate at Lido deck one time for breakfast. 2. The pasta bar at Cucina was Excellent. 3. The servers in the Lido area, main dining room, etc. were phenomenal...always checking to see if you needed anything. Our stateroom steward Ron was excellent, very nice and genuinely asked how our day was going and remembered our names. We were in Room 7451. 4. The shows were GREAT in the Liquid Lounge and we loved the Havana Bar area with live Latin music. This area was open to the public after 7pm for whirlpool, etc. The violinists were great in the main lobby area. 5. We went as a couple with no kids and really liked the Serenity Adults only area on the 15th deck. 6. Embarkation and debarkation was super smooth and the best we've experienced. 7. Kyndall Fire the cruise director was very engaging and hilarious. 8. Pictures are all digital on the ship instead of the huge wall of paper pics that take forever to find. You can also see pictures on your TV in your room, and your balance. 9. Our aft ship state room was very nice and cozy. 10. We loved Roatan and Belize ports of call. We didn't get off the ship in Cozumel - we'd already been there 3-4 times. So we made it a lazy day. 11. Guys Burger Joint...yum.....Lido Deck was OK......nothing spectacular. Main Dining Room food was pretty good overall. 12. We met so many nice people and fellow cruisers and people were genuinely nice to each other..not all, but most. 13. Ship layout can be very confusing but you'll find your way. 14. Comedy shows were hilarious - we had Caroline Picard, Billy D. Washington, William Lee Martin and Dan Chopin and we went to the 18+ shows. Too funny! What was tricky.... 1. Lots of walking the stairs from slow or full elevators. 2. The 24 hour pizza would get crowded fast after dinner was over. They make it fresh so if the line is long, be patient because it's quite yummy. 2. Too many kids in the whirlpools and main pools. It was kinda ridiculous that kids are everywhere..........OMG. We didn't bother to do any main pools just the Serenity adults only whirlpools. 3. The view in the Main show area was bad in some areas due to polls all over the place. Get there early for a good seat but shows were AWESOME> 4. The smoke in the casino was terrible. We had to walk through it to get to the comedy show area and my clothes smelled like smoke. Beware! 5. Elevators were hot most of the time. Be warned. 6. The spa seminar we went to on accupuncture was not a seminar - they asked us to come back at 4:30 and we spoke to DR. Vu who couldn't answer our questions about fertility and asked how do you spell ovary and follicle. WOW. We signed up for a manicure since we got a $50 gift card but we got there and we were asked to come back since they were 'backed up' and were told there was a $7 tip. We just cancelled. What needs improvement.... 1. Carnival needs to be more strict and enforce the 'no reserving seats' policy, especially in the Comedy Club. One girl tried to reserve 10 seats for her family when the doors opened and she was telling people these are taken.....and it was happening during the whole cruise. All people need to do is come together as a group...simple as that. 2. Too many kids............I repeat, too many kids.........some of them ran and stomped at 12am and would push all buttons on the elevator for fun. Our next cruise will be in fall when there behinds are in school. 3. Blue Iguanna was disappointing because they served stale taco shells on one of the days. I didn't go back after that. 4. Not sure if Carnival can monitor this but in Belize, we did the Calypso Train Tour and it was $42 but we got it for $39 after Carnival guest services said it was sold out. The guys in port were selling for $25 but we found out they didn't take people to the train at all but to some non A/C van that almost ran out of gas. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked this cruise on the Carnival Vista for several reasons: 1) We wanted a 7-day cruise out of Galveston, 2) we enjoyed the cove balcony on the Breeze so much last year we wanted that again, and 3) we wanted to see Grand Cayman ... Read More
We booked this cruise on the Carnival Vista for several reasons: 1) We wanted a 7-day cruise out of Galveston, 2) we enjoyed the cove balcony on the Breeze so much last year we wanted that again, and 3) we wanted to see Grand Cayman instead of Roatan or Belize like last year. Embarkation went pretty well. We had a 1pm appointment and by the time I got back from parking the car it was just after 1. The boarding area was busy but things moved along and we only had to wait a few minutes to get to our cabin at 1:30. We dropped out carry-ons and headed for a pasta lunch on Deck 11 which was very good. After lunch, we met our room steward and asked for evening cabin service. After dinner, we went to Red Frog and decided to order a couple of beer samplers - Cheers wouldn't be activated until the morning after departure. It seemed like from the menu that we could pick any four beers to sample, but apparently it's a fixed set. Neither of us like IPAs but figured as a sample it'd be ok. However, after we put in our order at the table it seemed like our waiter disappeared. The place wasn't that busy, and it was a simple order, but my wife had to hunt down the bartender to get our order. Not a great start. We had your time dining in the MDR. The waiters on our first two evenings were lackluster and service seemed a bit slower than on the Breeze. The food was a bit off in quality also. Later in the week we found a wait staff we liked (head waiter Muliawan) and ate in his area the rest of the week. Muliawan kept us well supplied with bottled water and drinks for our meals and was very engaging with us and the other tables in his area. Sea Day Brunch - I prefer the old menu and not the new one. However, the 12-hour French toast was good. Bacon was also good, and sausage seemed better than last year. Port day breakfast - Waffles were bland and seemed like they had been made well in advance. Pasta and Asian lunch - Both very good. Guy's Burgers - Good and the line always moved faster than I thought it would Pig and Anchor - Not bad, except the brisket was always dried out. Sausage was the best, pork butt good, chicken just OK. Good coleslaw. Shake Spot - Had a regular and a spiked one here. Very good, probably will pay for at least one next time if I don't get Cheers again. Wife and son said steak and miso soup at the sushi bar was excellent and well worth the money. Lido buffet - Only ate the occasional snack or dessert here. Always way too crowded. It was nice they put cereal off to the side so you could get it without a line. Room service breakfast - Forgot one item which they brought about 10 min later. Breakfast sandwich was awful - I had two bites and couldn't finish it. Biscuit was dry and stale. Drinks - Wife and I decided that they had skimpy amounts of alcohol. I walked out of the MDR twice with my fourth glass of wine in under 90 minutes and had a two-glass buzz. I really wonder if Carnival arranges for "special" beer/wine/liquor to be used for their drinks that is underpowered. Generally good bar service from most. Piano 88 - I don't like the new setup. On the Breeze, you could drop by for a couple of songs, or find a seat depending on how long you wanted to stay. With an enclosed room, it's more of a hassle to come in late or leave early. Our piano player was a bit antagonistic towards the crowd, which put them off of singing along, which also didn't help the atmosphere. Limelight Lounge - some idiot on the Carnival design team approved having eight 3-foot pillars in the middle of the lounge. I'd say maybe 30% of the seats had an unblocked view of the stage. Carnival's half-***ed solution was to put two 60" monitors on either side of the stage. I could watch comedy shows on Netflix in the cabin if I wanted to see comics on TV. Saw 18+ shows from two comics - one was a B, the other a C-. Sky Ride - Busted on the third day, down the rest of the cruise. Probably same design team as for the Limelight. Slides - These were pretty good. We stayed on the ship in Jamaica and no lines at all in the early afternoon. IMAX - Saw "Spider-Man: Far from Home" here at a later showing. About 30 in the theater. Good IMAX experience but not sure it was worth filling in the atrium. Internet - Had the middle tier plan which we shared on our devices. Worked well almost everywhere on the ship. Good speeds for email and Twitter - this was an improvement over the Breeze where the speed was barely enough to support text emails. HUB app - Also worked better than on the Breeze last year. Not sure if it was because of better wifi or an improved app. Promenade (and public spaces in general) - It really sucked that the Havana area blocks the deck aft. Also, there is more "stuff" on Vista's promenade and I think more panels to block the wind. I enjoyed taking a couple laps on the Breeze's promenade in the evening or at night, but it was not at all enjoyable on the Vista. The Vista just seemed more crowded in general. Atrium - The Breeze's glass atrium elevators and full-height atrium gave it a very open feel like a high-rise hotel. The Vista's truncated atrium with the pixelated funnel was not a good substitute. Tenders in Grand Cayman worked very well, only short waits on/off. Similarly quick to walk on/off in Cozumel, but both directions we were not with the big crowds. Debarkation was OK. Once our number was called (14), we kept moving along for the most part. Our checked baggage was waiting for us inside. We were through Customs by 10:30 and on the road by 11. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Summary. We are a party of 10 cruising – 6 adults, 4 teenage girls. Overall positive experience, found the ship and staterooms to be clean, friendly staff overall. Enjoyed the restaurants over buffet. The crew works very hard and ... Read More
Summary. We are a party of 10 cruising – 6 adults, 4 teenage girls. Overall positive experience, found the ship and staterooms to be clean, friendly staff overall. Enjoyed the restaurants over buffet. The crew works very hard and deserve the gratuities. Many pros/ cons and key recommendations to help plan your trip! First the positives: 1) Download and use the carnival app. It’s a great way to communicate (chat plan) with your party and source for the daily activities, restaurant hours, and ability to monitor your daily portfolio spend. $5pp for entire cruise a bargain! 2) Excellent room upkeep and service! Room steward will quickly know your names on day 1. Offer to clean your room 2x a day or 1x a day, your choice (and you note this on form day 1). 1x in the morning was fine for us. Tip them! 3) Cruise director / Emma is great. “Hello lovelies” will stick with your after this cruise. It’s really funny when she laughs at herself with this unique chuckle and then the audience laughs at that. She is really fantastic. Oh yeah, she is from England. 4) Food in restaurants is pretty good! Dinner and breakfast. Now the negatives: 1) Entertainment for most part sub-par compared to other cruises. They do work hard and try, but seems budget is limited. Limited to comedians, lip-sync, customer engaged event shows, and few production dancing shows. The 80s show was fantastic and a must see! Finally some better comedians came onto the ship last few days. Emma cruise director is doing a fantastic job trying! 2) Very noisy areas in main pool area and much of the ship in general. Loud speakers, kids running, etc. This is more of a kids ship and hard to find quiet areas for adults, but there are some hidden areas. See below. 3) Expect long waits for: Restaurants if you do ‘any time dining’ we waited 45min average given our large party of 10. Expect shorter for 4 or less parties. 4) Long lines at: Pizza Pirate near the adult pool. Expect 30 people plus waiting and 1 worker making pizza. Priority goes to the $5 delivery person so expect a wait for 30-45min to pick-up your slice of pizza. Late night pizza lines given limited food options. To management, can you not add another person making fresh pizzas to cut down this line? Tips & Recommendations 1) Install/ use the Carnival app. A bargain for $5 per person for entire cruise. Have everyone in your party do this and you can chat on the ship for meet-ups and know the hours for restaurants and daily activities for entertainment. 2) Bring your own cups (e.g. YETI) to fill with water, lemonade, tea, etc. at the 9th floor deck. The larger the cups the better. Fill them at breakfast and bring to your room. The little green and yellow cups they provide hold about 6 oz. of liquid. Ice is plentiful. Water refill at buffet area, poolside, or bars. Even keeps your beer colder longer! 3) Bring a 3-prong power socket extender. There is ONLY 1 power outlet in your rooms (well, another behind the TV and used for that). You will need to charge multiple phones etc. Or bring a portable charger for your phones. 4) Bring binoculars if you wish to see passing boats, distance, shore excursions, beach, dolphins, etc. 5) Bring a case of water or buy on day 1. You get 2 large bottles day 1 and that will go quick. 6) Wine/ Wine package. Bring your bottle of wine onto ship day 1 only, why not? Else, cost is $35 bottle average. The wine beverage package (3 bottles for $80 with auto-tax) is worth it comes to $26 bottle for standard wines (given auto gratuity) or higher price for premium wines. 7) Best quiet spot for a book or just snooze in the breeze. 3rd floor outside deck under the life boats. There is also the ‘Serenity deck’ for age 21 and up top floor front of ship. Can be crowded there. 8) For large parties eating together at ‘anytime dining’ send someone down to put your name down and get a pager. Will cut your time down for waiting from 45 minutes to 10 minutes. 9) Alcohol in general. Gratuity of 18% auto added to every adult beverage., expect $10 drinks average. The carnival craft brew was great. Value of getting $18 beer pitchers. 10) Teenagers can visit the sports deck for volleyball, basketball and hanging out with others. 11) Auto applied Gratuities for your team members: Vary by cabin, but example $112 pp in cabin allocated to restaurant staff ($55), room service ($35), and group for all others ($22). Posted 2 days before end of cruise, and you can make adjustments at the front desk +/- and allocation % to your preference. 12) Unless you buy/ plan for roaming leave all phones in Airplane mode. Friend charged $3000 prior trip by AT&T and even though I requested all our family to keep in airplane mode, daughter still activated for a few hours and AT&T sent us email for international data of ~$200 for Bahamas temporary use of her social media. Food options 1) Avoid the daily buffet (there is MUCH better options with the restaurant, else Guys Burgers, B-Que). My view is more of poor food quality and lacking taste at buffet and sanitary conditions. Do you really want to touch the tongs that everyone else on the ship is using to server their food including all the kidos! 2) Use the restaurants, they are excellent for breakfast and dinner. From salmon bagels cream cheese capers to steak (filet mignon) and eggs. Yumm. Brunch menu. Dinner options have extensive menu options. 3) Dinner Formal nights. Lobster on the menu for one night and filet mignon the other. Yes, you can get as many lobsters as you can eat! 4) Lunch: Recommend Bque restaurant on 10th floor. Across from steakhouse. Many don’t know about this place given a bit hidden. 5) Lunch. Recommend Guy’s burgers and pizza take out. Pizza is actually very good. 6) Lunch: The sandwich window, excellent meatball sandwich. All are actually great. 7) Breakfast: Eat at the dining room or order room service. 8) Free drinks stations at the buffet areas. Ice, Water, Lemonade, ice tea, coffee. Found the coffee was surprising good and strong. There is a custom coffee shop for $5 coffee, but my view is standard coffee is fine in dining rooms. You can also get coffee delivered room-service! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We really enjoyed our cruse on the Carnival Freedom. The crew was very nice and everything was very clean. The main pool and water slides are also fun. The ship is not huge so the number of people on board is not crazy. So the lines are ... Read More
We really enjoyed our cruse on the Carnival Freedom. The crew was very nice and everything was very clean. The main pool and water slides are also fun. The ship is not huge so the number of people on board is not crazy. So the lines are not to crazy. If you happen to go to their private island, Half Moon Cay the line to get back on the tender will be very long at the end of the day. So either stay on the beach till they tell you to leave or get back to the ship early. I would stay on the beach, it's amazing. Be careful on on the back adult pool though. The smoke stack drops something red and it will get on your cloths. However, if you bring it to guest services they will remove the stains and no charge. The food was good, the shows were awesome but be sure to read my review on our room, cabin 6368. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We choose this cruise because it was stoping at the Bahamas and Keywest. First lets start by saying that this is one of Carnival older ships. The decor is outdated and the colors are dark. However, the ship was clean, the staff was ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was stoping at the Bahamas and Keywest. First lets start by saying that this is one of Carnival older ships. The decor is outdated and the colors are dark. However, the ship was clean, the staff was friendly, and there was plenty to do. Out of all of the cruises Ive taken this one has had the best food so far I really enjoyed Guy's Burgers, deli, BBQ, and the 24 hour ice cream. The dining hall food was really great as well. Every drink I had was great! They keep the entertainment live on this ship. Emma the cruise director kept the energy alive the whole 7 days. She is awesome. The first stop was Keywest. There is really nothing to do here in my opinion. All we did was walk Duval St. We ended up renting a golf cart to get around the island but that was a waste of money. We only did it to make it easir on my parents so they wouldn't have to walk around. The second stop was Freeport Bahamas. We booked an excursion off the boat. Which is much cheaper than booking with Carnival. I suggest booking with tour guide Brice. He was very informative while taking us around Freeport. Then he took us to a really nice beach where the water was beautiful and not too crowded. The weather was hot but beautiful. We visited a candle factory and also sampled rum cake. Brice took us to a local market where you can buy homemade souvenirs that the local made themselves. Our last stop was Nassau Bahamas. It was cloudy and scattered showers. We booked tour around the city once we got off the boat. We visited the Queens staircase which is beautiful and historic. It was also a marketplace there where you can buy souvenirs that the locals made themselves. We also visited hotel Atlantis. Which all we did there was walk around the lobby and they have an aquarium along the perimeter off thr lobby. If you want to visit the aquarium you will have to pay an additional cost for that. We didnt bother to go to the beach this day due to the weather conditions. We also went to a rum cake factory and tasted samples of rum cake. And we went to a tea factory and sampled tea, which was really tasty. The shows were okay. The comedians at the comedy club was really funny. Everything was a blast and smooth sailing up until the last day and half of the cruise. We got caught up in Hurricane Barry. And the boat was rocking so bad you could hardly walk. People were getting sick everywhere due to the motion. It was not a fun day or night. Most of my family were 1st time cruisers and that pretty much ruined any chance of them getting on a ship again. Overall we had a blast. It would have been perfect if it was not for the hurricane. I would definitely cruise with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our first time on the Dream. The Ship seemed a little smaller that the other two Carnival Ships we have been on. The embarkation and disembarkation went better than I expected. Very easy to board the Ship, with very little wait ... Read More
This was our first time on the Dream. The Ship seemed a little smaller that the other two Carnival Ships we have been on. The embarkation and disembarkation went better than I expected. Very easy to board the Ship, with very little wait time. We had a Spa Cabin, which is great if you enjoy the Spa. You get some great Spa perks and access to the Thalassotherapy pool, which is awesome!. The room comes with Spa robes, slippers, and Spa accessories for the bathroom. The dining was good. We had an excellent dining staff, which can make your dining room experience great. The ship was not very crowed, so we could get around the ship with ease. We did 1 excursion at Cozumel, Mexico. The Twister Boat ride to Passion Island was amazing. This was my second time doing this excursion. Your food and drinks are included. They also have shops and offer massages for a fee. The beach in nice with swings, hammocks, and a volleyball net in the water. You can also ride canoes for free. The excursion is about 5 hours including the boat ride. You get back in plenty of time to shop at port if you choose. The Entertainment on the ship was OK. We did have a few showers, which moved some activities inside. Our second port was Yucatan Progreso, Mexico. If you want to go to the beach, you have to take a bus (it's free). There are some shops at the port, but you must bus to get to the mainland (you can not walk). You can purchase some things cheap, but the people bother you Nonstop! They try to sale you everything! Overall, it was a nice 5 day cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We just got off the Vista on Sunday, and while this is not going to be a comprehensive, day by day review, I’ll give you my thoughts on the Vista, the issues she had, the pros we found with the ship and some of the cons… First of ... Read More
We just got off the Vista on Sunday, and while this is not going to be a comprehensive, day by day review, I’ll give you my thoughts on the Vista, the issues she had, the pros we found with the ship and some of the cons… First of all, this was our first family cruise. In addition to my hubby and me, our daughter, son in law and 10 year old grandson cruised with us- it was the first cruise for SIL and grandson, 3rd for my daughter. We booked to standard balcony cabins on Lido deck, 10236 & 10240. It was our first time on the Lido deck and we all decided we loved the location, especially my GS who was never more than 2 mins from his next soft serve ice cream fix! The cabins were good, not noisy (I was originally concerned that Lido noise might make it that far forward, but it was never an issue). The only problem experienced was with the door slammers- this was by far the worst cruise for people slamming doors constantly! But the good news was, for the first time since we had a balcony, we had zero issues with people smoking on their balconies. We drove to Galveston on Friday with our grandson and stayed in a 2 bed, 2 bath suite at the TownePlace Inn & Suites on Seawall Blvd. Location was great, the suite was perfect as my daughter & son in law drove up Friday night. It includes a basic breakfast which was all we needed before boarding Saturday morning. We had FTTF so we left the hotel about 9:15, dropped our checked luggage at 9:30 and while the rest of us waited in line with the carry-ons, DH & SIL parked at EZCruise (no shuttle option- easy 5 min walk for hubby & SIL). We received the ubiquitous email asking us to delay our arrival by an hour but we disregarded, and check in started around 10:00. We waited in the boarding lounge until around 11:45 when boarding began. Our rooms were ready and our suitcases were already delivered! We dropped our carry-ons off and went to grab some lunch. So for the issues Vista had… for those of you who were not aware, on Jun 12 Carnival notified us that she was having propulsion issues (hmmm- where have I heard that before??) and our ports would be changing from Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel to Mahogany Bay, Costa Maya and Cozumel… 2 new ports for me, so I wasn’t really concerned! While we were waiting for muster, about 2:45 the captain made a mysterious announcement about some changes to our itinerary, and that a letter was being delivered to all pax. If we had questions, they would be meeting everyone in the Limelight Lounge to answer them. I walked down there and got a copy of the letter, which basically said the propulsion issue was worse than they thought, so Mahogany Bay was being dropped, and we were being extended to an 8-day cruise! If people wanted to get off they could get a full refund, but if we stayed onboard for the cruise, we’d get $200 pp OBC, 50% Future Cruise Credit and the 8th day free, including wifi, Cheers and Bottomless Bubbles. The discussion in the lounge was outrageous- all I could hear was people screaming at the Carnival staff about how they hate Carnival, Carnival did this on purpose just to spite them, Carnival owed them! One woman wanted to stay on the ship for the current cruise plus get a 100% refund for it AND a 100% future cruise credit! Entitled much? To us it seemed like a win/win for us and that Carnival was doing their best in a bad situation so we opted to stay on for the cruise. The only concern I had was them waiting so late to make the announcement- 3 PM an hour before planned sailaway- almost everyone was onboard and many, like us, were already unpacked and ready to start our cruise! They gave everyone til 6 PM to decide if they wanted to get off. We had muster at 5:15 and we sailed around 7:30. Our speed the entire week was not an issue- we were able to make all our planned stops on time and the boat was as smooth as ever due to the slower speed. Another plus- Carnival worked with all the Galveston parking locations so we didn’t get charged for the extra day. Some Pros about the cruise: Our cabin steward, Anjana (said to call her Ana, I was the only person who knew how to pronounce her name properly!) was amazing! She managed both our cabins, with people taking naps, coming back & forth and not giving her any opportunity to establish any flow, yet she handled it like a champ! She offered us both times a day for service but went on to say, if it was a problem, she’d do whichever we wanted, if we didn’t want the intrusion. We opted for twice a day but made it clear that all we expected in the evenings was fresh ice. FTTF- worked very well for us this trip. Early check in, early access to cabins, priority line at Guest Services were all really beneficial. The checkin process was messed up because the previous cruise went to Belize and that always causes delays with CBP and Customs on their return (hence the request to delay arrival at the port by an hour) but we didn’t find that to be an issue, until all the priority boarders were in the lounge and they started allowing the staggered check in time groups to check in- with about 1500 passengers left to disembark, the port computers went down and they had to stop disembarkation as well as check in. Those with a later check in time were stuck waiting longer outside than the earlier folks because of this. This caused about an hour’s delay in boarding. Lido Buffet- it had some really pleasant surprises! The new cakes are in fact as delicious as everyone has claimed, HOWEVER they are only served in one spot in the buffet (the furthest aft Sweet Spot) and ONLY at lunchtime. At the other Sweet Spot closer to the front they had 2 flavors of gelato every day. OMG!!!! It was the best! I thought several of the items from the new Deli menu were pretty good (the wraps, the buffalo chicken sandwich) but my favorite, the Reuben missed the mark just a bit- instead of pressing it as Reubens normally are, they just toasted it, like they do at Subways… I found it made the bread hard and prone to cracking, so the sandwich fell apart. But it was still tasty! Bonsai Sushi was outstanding! I’ve been on a keto diet for 4 months so sushi has been off my list but I spoiled myself on the cruise and loved the food from this place! Another pro, not specifically about Vista but Carnival in general, was how they handled the whole Vista propulsion issue… other than notifying us too late, they made the tough decision to modify the next 2 cruises (departing June 23 & Jul 1) to be exactly like ours- same ports, same duration (8 days) and then CANCEL the next few cruises and take the ship out of commission and get her repaired in Freeport. Too often in the past they’ve allowed the sick dog to limp along for too long before making that call. I know a lot of people were probably pretty disappointed to miss their cruise, but hey- Carnival provided a 100% refund PLUS a 100% future cruise credit to those on the cruises that were canceled! Plus they are allowing a certain amount toward changed flights etc. Oh, another thing- often if you get an extra day that you didn’t pay for, it won’t count towards your VIFP points… not this time! They’re giving everyone credit for the full 8 days, even though we only paid for 7! Unlike some previous cruisers, I didn’t find Vista crowded at all. Food venues, shops, getting off in ports- it didn’t seem any worse than other smaller ships I’ve cruised on- in fact, in some cases it seemed a lot better! Now for some Cons: Matt Mitcham was off the week of our cruise and was replaced by Cookie Adams. Some of the early reports were that people really liked him. Don’t count me in that group! He was fatuous, dismissive and completely disorganized this whole cruise, IMHO! He made a point of calling out during the 80’s party about how he was the # 1 Carnival Cruise Director… the day after Matt Mitcham was named the CD of the Mardi Gras! Really, Cookie? Food- MDR- staff was kind of mixed- surly and inattentive, happy and very helpful. And the food, which I’m normally a big cheerleader for, was just, meh… a lot of it was cold, and had obviously been sitting quite a while. I’m normally the person who eats in the MDR every chance I get but this cruise we only ate there once for the Sea Day Brunch and three times for dinner. Camp Ocean- for the 9-11 year olds, it was pitiful how few activities they had planned for this age group. It seemed those younger and older were given a lot more attention and things to do. Mostly video games and even they were not really age-appropriate (too young). Another frustrating thing was that none of their activities are listed in the Fun Hub activities list, which would have been really helpful. Liquid Lounge- I have to agree with everyone’s assessment of this location- what was Carnival thinking? If you’re not one of the first folks in the lounge forget about being able to see anything half decently. We only went to one show because of this. I must say though that we really enjoyed Studio VIP and I would have liked to see some of the others that I hadn’t seen before. Disembarkation- As I mentioned we had FTTF. They told us to be in the Liquid Lounge by 7:45 with all our luggage. We were there by 7:20 but it was pure chaos. They had people putting their luggage in the middle section, supposedly in rows and at 7:40 started calling people by rows of luggage to debark the ship. But those who showed up last just walked off the ship well before us! And it was really slow! Normally we’re off the ship and in our car before 8, but this time we didn’t leave the parking lot til after 8:30! I can only imagine how long it took the rest of the folks to get off the ship! All in all, if I had to weigh the good with the bad, it was still a great cruise, because I didn’t have to cook, or clean and I got to spend time with my family. And nothing bad enough happened to prevent me from sailing on Vista again, just not right now! We came home to an offer to jump right back onboard for Jul 1 with a bunch of OBC and FCCs, but we decided no, we were good for now. But the day after I got home, I did book a Premier Aft Wrap balcony on Freedom for Thanksgiving next year, using the future cruise credits they gave me! So that’s my family cruise… it was over 18 months in coming, and it felt like it was gone before I knew it. But I still love cruising best of all! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our third Carnival Cruise in the past 5 years, all of which left from Galveston. This was our first cruise more than 5 nights. We chose this cruise because it fit a very specific time table in June of 2019. We're from Texas ... Read More
This was our third Carnival Cruise in the past 5 years, all of which left from Galveston. This was our first cruise more than 5 nights. We chose this cruise because it fit a very specific time table in June of 2019. We're from Texas and have visited Galveston before but not this time. I'd recommend spending some time in Galveston if it's your first time, there's plenty of history, food, and fun nightlife places to enjoy. We had pre-booked parking at EZ Cruise Parking, ($80) and we had no problem embarking within our window. My wife and I were very happy about our room. It was an interior room but had a "walkway" view at the very front of the ship on the Lido deck, so we did have a window which had a great forward view. We went to the show on the first night which was a kind of preview of the shows for the rest of the cruise and we were hooked. We saw every show and they were all very good. The Cloud 9 Spa and exercise rooms were fantastic, especially the "Thermal Rooms" packages which we purchased for the entire cruise. We went almost every day, enjoying the mineral tub, eucalyptus steam rooms and saunas. The food was very good, but not as good as I expected. I just thought the other cruises we'd been on the food was better, especially the breakfasts, and specialty dining rooms. We only went to the dining room once for breakfast and it wasn't good, so we stuck with the buffet the rest of the cruise and it was a bit plain. The dining rooms were much better at night, our favorite meals of the cruise were in the "Dine Anytime" or Horizons Dining room. We did spend extra on the steakhouse and the "Captains Italian" restaurant, both were disappointing base on what we had done before. Guy Fieri's Burger Joint was fantastic, and so was the Pizzeria. The IMAX was an interesting feature and we took advantage of a showing of "Dark Phoenix", it was a very enjoyable experience. We spent a lot of time on the Serenity Deck (21+) and we highly recommend the salad bar there, the hot tubs up there were just the right temperature too. We only did one excursion, in Belize we did the "jungle buggy, zip line, cave tubing and lunch" excursion and it was worth it. We saw many reviews complaining about bus times, wait times, etc. and we didn't mind it at all. In fact our guide was so good the bus trip to the excursion went by without much notice. (FYI, go to the bathroom before you get on any bus or tender) In Roatan, Honduras, we hung out at the "free" beach for most of the day and it was great, especially for those of us who can't do more than one day at a time on a beach. Plenty of good drinks and places to relax, I'd recommend renting a clam shell shade for the day. Matt the Cruise Director was the best / funniest we've seen. The ship is huge, I wish I would have had more time to explore it all. We would definitely recommend the Carnival Vista and I'd like to visit Belize again, I'm a bit done with Cozumel, lol. Finally, getting off the ship was a nightmare, all kinds of issues with the computers at Customs. The kick you out of your room at 8:45, we didn't get to head to the gangway until after noon, then stood in line at customs for an hour and a half. I know it wasn't Carnival's fault, but they didn't or weren't willing to make things easier for us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This cruise was a family cruise with 2 grandparents, two toddlers, 1 teen, and 9 adults on the Carnival Vista sailing out of Galveston, TX to Cozumel, Belize and Mahogany Bay. This was my 7th cruise and 5th with Carnival so I am ... Read More
This cruise was a family cruise with 2 grandparents, two toddlers, 1 teen, and 9 adults on the Carnival Vista sailing out of Galveston, TX to Cozumel, Belize and Mahogany Bay. This was my 7th cruise and 5th with Carnival so I am getting to the point of knowing what to expect when cruising and I'll share my thoughts on this one. EMBARKATION This was the first time in 7 cruises that I felt like I basically showed up and walked right on the ship. I wanted the Faster to the Fun when I first booked the cruise, but it was sold out which was a good thing because it wasn't needed. We had a 12:30 - 1:00 check-in window and were in our rooms by 1. TIP: Bring a backpack to carry on your wine, (soda) pop and the things you might need before you can get to your room and luggage. Check everything else in with the porter so you don't have to drag it on the ship. SHIP We chose the Vista because it was one of the newer bigger ships and we like to try different ships. I felt the Vista was very clean, the decor (for Carnival) was nice and there was tons to do onboard. If you are the type that likes to just stay on the ship from start to finish, I don't think you could ever be bored and not find something to do everyday. The biggest perks on this ship for our family were the waterpark and slides, Skyride, Rope course and the hot tubs which I felt were never crowded. We also did the Thrill Theatre which was fun for a one time try. One of the biggest complaints I've read about this ship were the missing glass elevators. I didn't feel it was ever crowded enough on the ship to miss them. Wait times were busy during high peak hours, but we just used the stairs in those cases. TIP: Enjoy all of the aboard activities during non-peak times when possible. If there is a port you are staying on the ship or a big event happening you are not interested in, then go take advantage of the pools, slides, rides, mini golf etc.. We didn't get off the ship at Mahogany Bay until mid afternoon and had a great time in the pools. CABIN We all had balcony cabin on the Lido deck (10) and I can't see ever booking a cruise without those cabins. You are right there were everything is happening - food, activities, bars, movie theatre and more. Our cabin was nice. Wasn't noisy aside from the balcony door slamming occasionally. The stateroom attendant always kept our ice filled, cleaned our room twice a day and asked if we needed anything from time to time. FOOD & DINING We didn't use the buffet's for any food, because we didn't need to as there were so many other options. We did get deserts from the buffet area and really like the Gelato ice cream. Favorites were Guy's Burgers, Blue Iguana Cantina (great tacos) Pizzeria, Deli and a few others. Never stood in line for anything more than a couple of minutes tops other than for the pizza that still wasn't that long. We had early dining and had a great wait staff. I am not a picky eater and love to try different things and found there was a very good selection of food. Love the "Ports of Call" selections. However, I do feel like the dining room food was not as good as our previous Carnival cruises. Tasty, maybe just not as flavorful as past sailings. TIP: If you never been on a cruise or just didn't know, you can order as many things as you like at the dining room. Didn't like your spare ribs? Order something else off the menu. You can also get hidden items like the Banana Split if you ask the waiter. Also if you are not a fan of the sauces or spices they put on then ask to have your meal served plain and then have them bring you a particular condiment you like. ENTERTAINMENT We did a couple of the comedy club shows and they were funny. Trivia is always a family favorite and we finally got to bring home a Ship on a Stick trophy. Movies Under the Stars is always a great way to relax for us. We didn't do the shows at the main theatre, but heard they were good. Cruise Director Matt is the best in the business. Always had us laughing and threw a great deck party. TIP: If you want to take advantage of the onboard entertainment get the whole group there early to get good seats. Saving seats is frowned upon and should be. There is nothing worse than getting to a show early and finding one person has ten seats saved. DRINKS We are not big drinkers, except on cruises. This was the first cruise where we decided to try the Cheers program. Worth the money if you take advantage of all they have to offer - milkshakes, specialty coffees, (soda) pop, and 15 a day in alcoholic drinks. I felt like there were plenty of opportunities to get your money's worth without having to try and get to your drink limit. TIP: For the Cheers program, always ask for premium liquor in any of your cocktails. Since you cannot use your drink package on the first day of the cruise leaving the Galveston port, bring on your own bottle of wine to have the first night. Don't plan on drinking much on a particular day? Get a couple shots and put them in your rooms mini fridge for when you do. PORTS AND EXCURSIONS Cozumel - This was some of our family's fourth time at this port and always a favorite. Plenty to do on this island without buying an expensive excursion. We decided to take a taxi to Sky Reef and had a lot of fun. It was less than $200 for 7 of us to snorkel, have a drink, get a backrub, taste some tequila and enjoy the area. TIP: Do some research and you will find plenty of things to do at Cozumel fairly cheap with just a taxi ride to them. Belize - We did buy an excursion for this one as we felt it was safer to do. We did the Cave tubing with lunch and it didn't disappoint. The bus ride was long to and from the place but our guide did a great job of keeping us entertained - Yeah Man! Cave tubing was fun and interesting. Lunch was tasty and I recommend getting the Cashew wine for the trip back. TIP: Bring water shoes and some cash for the gift shop. If you have health issues, keep in mind that there is a little bit of a trek through the rain forest including walking up some wooden stairs all the while carrying your tub. Grandparents had a little bit of a struggle keeping up with the group. Mahogany Bay - This was your basic beach port with amenities. Nothing fantastic, but we had a relaxing time. It's nice to have a port where you can get off the ship, stretch your legs and not have to pay for anything. TIP: No need to bring snorkel gear to this place. Really nothing of worth to see here. DISEMBARKATION Worst part of the cruise in my opinion. Carnival is not totally to blame, but things could have been done better. I didn't care for the way they provided the information for the disembarkation process the night before getting off the ship. Didn't hear the announcement or see that they had a stand for the tags so we ended up not getting any luggage tags and had to carry off all of our luggage. Oh well, lessons for next time. Due to customs issues there was a super long wait to get people off the ship as well as having to stand in a long line to get through customs. If you are carrying all of your luggage, have toddlers and senior citizens, standing in a long line for over an hour can test your nerves. TIP: Don't be in a hurry to get off the ship. Go enjoy a nice breakfast at the dining room. Kick back and relax in your cabin until you have to get out and then go find a nice place to sit until they call your deck to leave. Also, find out the disembarkation process the day before leaving if you want luggage tags. VISTA EXPERIENCE The whole family loved this ship and had a great time. There was plenty to do for all ages and never felt we didn't get our money's worth. For a big ship with lots of people nothing was ever crowded, and did about everything we wanted to do onboard. Other than disembarkation, we never had any problems with the whole process from booking to being on the cruise. FINAL TIPS: First time cruisers do plenty of research. Watch videos, read reviews and find out what you can before you go. This will help you have a better time while onboard. Watch the Cruise TV in your cabin to see what's going on and read your Fun Times. Have a waterproof watch on so you know what time it is and allow you to be early to the activities and entertainment. Relax, have a good time and remember that you are not a work, you don't have to cook, clean or make your bed. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My sister and I wanted to spend some time together. We sailed on the Carnival Dream she was a lovely ship. We had cove balcony on deck 2. we had the best room steward Erwin. He was very helpful and our room was always clean. Every time we ... Read More
My sister and I wanted to spend some time together. We sailed on the Carnival Dream she was a lovely ship. We had cove balcony on deck 2. we had the best room steward Erwin. He was very helpful and our room was always clean. Every time we seen Erwin he would smile and ask how we were doing. (We had one small problem with our room the commode wouldn't flush right They had it fixed in the blink of an eye) Our dining experience was very good. We both really loved the broccoli and three cheese soup Yummy wish I could have a bowl now!!! Aleksander and his staff (Christopher and Miljana) were really good and we loved their personalities. The entertainment was really good we enjoyed everything we went and seen. Such high energy and lots of laughes. Gary was our cruise director and he was amazing he had so much energy and was always smiling. He never failed to say "Hello" or ask how we were doing. Guest services helped us with several things and they did a good job. We only did one exursion this time We went to Bacalar Fort & seven water lagoons in Costa Maya. Boy did we have good time so beautiful. Mau and Ed were or tour guides. Mau was so passionete about his homeland and so full of laughter it was really fun. Ed had has laughing he was a bit quieter then Mau but we enjoyed his information that he shared. We both agree that faster to the fun was a great deal for the both of us. We had a great time!!! Thank You Carnival Dream Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We took this cruise to celebrate me and my best friend's graduation! Since we are both 18, my mom booked the stateroom and arranged all our excursions. My 10 year old sister came along too. Embarkation was more chaotic than usual, as ... Read More
We took this cruise to celebrate me and my best friend's graduation! Since we are both 18, my mom booked the stateroom and arranged all our excursions. My 10 year old sister came along too. Embarkation was more chaotic than usual, as the gangway on deck 3 had a malfunction so all embarkation and debarkation was carried out on deck 0. So, naturally, debarkation was much more chaotic as well. Our stateroom was on deck 11, which comes with spa privileges. However, we learned that the spa privileges are only available to be claimed by 2 people in the room and we had 3 eligible persons staying in the cabin, so an extra spa pass had to be bought at $112. Another issue we had was that when we got into our cabin, they didn't have the right layout for our beds, nor the right names displayed on the "welcome" screen. The bed issue didn't get fixed until after dinner, and the names weren't brought up again. We also soon discovered that our refrigerator didn't work. I attempted to call our steward many times to ask about it or possibly just getting an ice chest set up, but he never answered. Eventually, after messing with the refrigerator for a while (I'm not exactly sure what she did) my mom managed to make it work somehow. I never saw the steward that much the entire trip, although I heard my friend interact with him once when he stopped by to ask if we needed any towels. Dining was amazing, our servers were absolutely stellar with their service. Our dining time was set as early dining in the Crimson dining room. I really wish I could remember the names of our servers so I can give them the recognition they deserve but they were A+. Our table was 366. Since I was 18 for this cruise, I got to indulge in a few more entertainment options than my previous cruise. The Caliente Nightclub had great DJs who were interactive and made sure that everyone was having a great time on the dancefloor. It got pretty wild at times since the only rule seemed to be "no drinks on the dancefloor" but that was okay as nobody got physically hurt but some of the videos that may be posted of the ones doing inappropriate things may be a bit of a blow to the ego/professional life. My friend and I attended a couple of comedy shows. Comedian Johnny Millwater was extremely talented and got a lot of giggles from us. If you have an opportunity to watch his performance I highly recommend it. The main theatrical performance during our cruise was 80's Pop to the Max and it was super fun with spectacular visual work and talented cast members. Overall, I think this cruise had the best entertainment out of all previous cruises I have been on. Our main destinations during this cruise were Costa Maya and Cozumel. In Costa Maya, our excursion was "Beach Escape With Open Bar" and it was just fantastic. Only $40 to have amazing service on a clean and well maintained beach with shaded sitting areas. It was way more than a great deal. The drinks were very good and there were many options to choose from in the open bar with optional paid drinks as well. The port had an interesting layout and I would like to return sometime so I can write more about it, it was very nice. I have been to Cozumel a few times before, but this time we went from Cozumel to Tulum. The ferry ride was pretty rough on a couple members of our party. There was a bar on board the ferry, but I would advise against indulging too much if you have a weak stomach for that 45 minute ferry ride. It was a nice ferry with indoor, air conditioned, seating, though. The bus we took to Tulum was very nice as well. Our tour guide knew so much about Mayan culture and enthusiastically shared information about his culture and community. Our excursion was called "VIP Exclusive Tulum & Cenote Swim with Mayan Lunch" and was not as relaxing or "VIP" as the description said it would be. The entire excursion was very rushed, even after the tour. You can always expect the tour of the ruins to be a little rushed as there is so much to see in so little time, but we were only allowed 10 minutes to use the bathroom/grab a drink by the end of the tour and it was disappointing to not be able to look at some of the more interesting shops. We were ushered to the area of the cenote and Mayan village. Ziplining isn't listed as being on the itinerary but you either zipline or walk a really long ways to the canoes. Oh yeah. Canoeing too. I had no problem with the canoes but I did not feel like doing the zipline. If you were one of the first groups finished with the canoeing, you could rest in the hammocks and wait for everyone else to finish up. Since our group was the last one to finish canoeing, we did not get to lay in the hammocks. Very sad. We swam in the cenote for about 45 minutes, our tour guide showed us the entrance to an underwater cavern which was pretty neat. We were all given snorkel masks and life vests. After we swam for a bit it was lunch time at the Mayan village. It took a little while to walk over there. I felt so sick from the heat that I really couldn't enjoy the lunch as much as I would have liked to. There is no running water in the village, so naturally the bathrooms are pretty rough and you have to be careful you don't get sick. The trek back to the bus was particularly arduous and I would recommend that you don't wear sandals but instead proper walking shoes for the entirety of this excursion. It wasn't relaxing, educational, but not relaxing. I recommend this excursion if you are very active, but it wasn't what we were looking for/expecting. I strongly recommend the Carnival Dream for its amazing service and staff members. I would love to go again and believe that the Dream is my favorite ship that I have been on. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first time on the Vista, our 19th to date. We have only cruised CCL and this was 14th different ship. We were not impressed with a few things that might be okay for others, we are mature but young at heart and enjoy most ... Read More
This was our first time on the Vista, our 19th to date. We have only cruised CCL and this was 14th different ship. We were not impressed with a few things that might be okay for others, we are mature but young at heart and enjoy most activities on board. The biggest disappointment was the atrium in main lobby what a shock no more glass elevators lowered ceiling, sure vortex was cute but lobby was not the same. It seemed the designers tried to cram as many areas as they possibly on ship . Huge mistake as while on board I heard this from many veteran cruisers. Who ever designed the elevator system should rethink this design as it was the worst we have ever experienced. CD Matt was great but trying to relax at the pool in the morning and have the morning show blast us out volume wise should be addressed, have a crew member monitor when they start to make sure we are not blasted with it. The show it self was fine and informative. Lido food court seemed to be very warm most of the time and yes I understand with that many people it will get warm.. once again a crew member to check periodically.. All restaurants BI,RFP, were always quick and fresh. Steak house we waited over an hour to have main course brought to us. We were at 5:30 seating 3rd in line to be seated the second table ate and left before we got our main course. we always do SH and always excellent, But when ast. mgr. explained it was what we ordered I just had to put this in. They did comp us a dinner two nights later at 8:45 anyway in closing the Vista is not for us. we prefer smaller ships . Cruise on :) Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Girls trip, party of four. We had a check in time of 1130 and arrived at the port about 1045. We decided not to get faster to the fun when booking our cruise. We were happy we did not. Embarkation was a breeze. We walked through most of ... Read More
Girls trip, party of four. We had a check in time of 1130 and arrived at the port about 1045. We decided not to get faster to the fun when booking our cruise. We were happy we did not. Embarkation was a breeze. We walked through most of the line until we reached the top floor where we were assigned a section. We had section 4. It was not quite 1130 yet so we sat for approximately 20 minutes until our section was called. Overall, a great process boarding the ship. One thing though...one of the girls was not aware she had to carry on her bottle of wine and packed it in her check in. Big mistake as she never received the wine. Once on board, we decided on Guy's Burgers for lunch. Great choice! The food was great and the fries were liked by all!. After lunch we headed to the Red Frog Pub on the 5th deck near the casino. We heard there were half priced drinks. We ordered three pitchers of some concoction and were buzzing soon after. Way to early for me but we were on vacation. At 2pm we headed to our room to drop off our carry on luggage. Our balcony stateroom was located on the lido deck, 9273. We knew the room would be a tight fit for us but we weren't worried about that. Upon arrival, we could tell the room was not in the best shape. The front part of the drawer under the couch/seating area was broke and hanging off on one side. We didn't think it was that much of a problem and just went with it. Three of our four check in bags were at the door once we had arrived to the room. The fourth was not delivered until right before dinner time at 6pm. When it arrived there was a letter that they had confiscated her wine and she would not be getting it back. Her fault though so she sucked it up. The location of the room was a good choice. Really close to all the fun on the lido deck but we noticed it may have not the best location once we realized that everyone waiting for the elevator could see directly into our room. Being four single ladies in there, we entered and exited at different times. We had to be quite particular when opening the door to make sure everyone was dressed because there was ALWAYS someone standing waiting for the elevators or passing through. Lesson learned for sure. Our room steward was Emerson. We didn't see him much but he came while we were at dinner to replace the towels and make the beds. We appreciated him. We had early dinning in the Washington dining room. We were not sure why we were assigned to the furthest dinning room from our room but i am sure there was a reason, i don't know. Our wait staff was exceptional. Its unfortunate that I cant remember the third gentlemen's name but Symphop, Edwin and Z? were the best waiters we could have hoped for. Always pleasant and attentive. We enjoyed Symphop's personality and he always had the best advice for us ladies, not only about the ship or ports but about life itself. TJ was our Cruise Director. Besides being eye candy, he was really good and kept everyone entertained. Even stopped and took pictures with our group at the Red Frog Pub which we ended up visiting quite often in the evening. The live band in the Pub was the Overpriced Sombreros. If only I could find a band this live and upbeat back home, I would be happy. They were the best entertainment on the ship in our opinion. We didn't care for Brad at the Piano Bar. It was not what we were use to. He sang to his own beat and rhythm which made it hard for others to sing along as well. That's what the Piano Bar is for in my opinion at least. We left about 20 minutes after he started ended back at the Pub. Karaoke was interesting in the Winston Bar. We didn't stay long but i'm glad we at least stopped to get the experience. Evanston the drink waiter on the lido/panorama deck was very fun and had a great personality. Always a smile on his face. The last sea day of our cruise one of the girls had a medical emergency in the cabin (per-existing condition). We immediately called 911 on the cabin phone. I think the communication could have been better with the dispatcher as she/he just thought we needed someone to unlock the bathroom door. When we actually needed medical attention AND someone to unlock the bathroom door. It seemed like forever until help arrived and when they did it was a bit confusing. Once they got her downstairs to treat her, the providers did an excellent job at taking care of her. She was especially appreciative of the nurse, Ms. Lorato who was very attentive and compassionate. Luckily after a few hours, we were all back upstairs and she was recovering well. The morning we arrived back at Galveston seemed like total chaos for us new cruisers. We had set our check in luggage outside our cabin door the night before but were unaware there needed to be another tag besides the one we embarked with on our luggage. I think this miscommunication had to do with our room PA speaker not working. We missed many announcements on the PA for this reason. We could not hear what they were saying from inside our cabin. When we finally made it down and off the ship, there was a long line to go through customs and we still didn't have our luggage. We had to wait until the very end and locate our luggage in the lost and found. Lesson learned once more! It took us a few hours to actually get out of there. We docked about 0630 and were finally out waiting for our ride at 1000. We all loved the cruise and the ship. We have already booked our next cruise on the Vista in May 2020. First cruise of many. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
There are reviews of this ship, so I won't go into lots of detail. Here are some of my thoughts: 1. Tons of stuff to do for adults and kids alike. I'm not a lay on the lounger person and only hit the hot tubs a few times. ... Read More
There are reviews of this ship, so I won't go into lots of detail. Here are some of my thoughts: 1. Tons of stuff to do for adults and kids alike. I'm not a lay on the lounger person and only hit the hot tubs a few times. I like to 'do' on a ship. So, I did: ropes course, pedal cars, comedy shows, big shows in lounge, one bingo, The Clue Game, Hasbro, Love and Marriage show, lots of trivia, an art show, family games, bean bag toss, danced late in the atrium parties, etc.. I had a blast. I did not have time for the Trill or Imax theaters, or mini golf (nice course), or a ton of other things that were going on the ship. HINT: Check your fun times and look at what is offered, so you can plan your day. We took our IPAD and check all the activities on it. 2. We did not plan shore excursions except for Cozumel. Big mistake. Grand Cayman and Jamaica were a bust. BORING. HINT: in Cozumel take a Taxi to Chankanaab National Park ($12ishthere and $12ish back). $23 admission. Snorkel, beach, zipline, animal shows, massages, walking trails, fake ruins, lots of other things to do-google it. Clean, Don't do the ship tour, just walk off go to taxi stand. This is a set price. Beat the crowds. We take our own snorkel gear and noodles to float. Then leave noodles with other kids on beach-now room for souvenirs. 3. The ship is huge, but easy to navigate. Elevators got busy-but you are on vacation, what's the hurry. I found the décor a little plain for me. Loved the new atrium electronic display that changed throughout the trip. 4. The biggest CON I had was the casino got way too smoky. Worst ship in 14 cruises on 4 different cruise lines that I have been on for smoke in casino. I mean terrible. We did enjoy the casino, but my clothes reeked. In fact, I would change to the same outfit to go to casino at night so only one set of clothes stunk. 5. I usually love anytime dining, but did NOT like it on this ship. As a couple we were placed at little 2 people tables (that won't hold your food) in the worst locations. I asked to sit at larger tables-but nope stuck in horrible places. If you have a large group you will be fine. If you like eating just you and your other you will be...…. If you like to converse with others at mealtimes like in the old days and make new friends....Main dining room is a must for you. Waiters fine, but service was always off, because of how we were seated. Food was cruise food. Loved most of it. 7. Lots of choices to eat for lunch...my favorites are Guys Burgers because you get the burgers and then fix them the way you want. Be sure to read the board there to see other ways they will make your burger. They even have a bacon patty burger. My other new favorite was the Deli station toward the back of the buffett. BLT was great. We wanted to eat around 11am and this was open...I ate there 3 lunches. My older kids prefer the main dining room for lunch and breakfast-I have never tried this myself but they say it's great to be waited on and have a leisurely meal.(They were on this ship in March.) Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I really missed the typical Carnival atrium with the glass enclosed elevators that ascended top to bottom. The atrium area of the Vista had a neat LED "fish tank" but not as impressive as the typical atrium area. I wan't ... Read More
I really missed the typical Carnival atrium with the glass enclosed elevators that ascended top to bottom. The atrium area of the Vista had a neat LED "fish tank" but not as impressive as the typical atrium area. I wan't impressed with the Havana Bar or cabins either. Didn't care for the stage show. The more I cruise, the less I like the food in the Main Dining Room. The Steak house was excellent as usual and I also enjoyed the other specialty dining options. By far the worst in my 6 cruises. Otherwise, the ship was enjoyable.Shore excursions were a mixed bag. Snorkeling in Belize was the best we've done. Snorkeling in Cozumel was an afterthought because we were pulled from the water very soon after we got in due to inclement weather - certainly not the excursion operator's fault. We purchased FTTF and that always makes a big difference embarking and debarking. 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
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
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
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
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
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
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