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3,298 Carnival Galveston Cruise Reviews

A little background on me: I started cruising in 2005. This was my 39th cruise, but only 2nd on Carnival. I’ve done 27 cruises on Norwegian (everything from inside to Garden Villa; one booked), one on Costa (our first cruise!), four on ... Read More
A little background on me: I started cruising in 2005. This was my 39th cruise, but only 2nd on Carnival. I’ve done 27 cruises on Norwegian (everything from inside to Garden Villa; one booked), one on Costa (our first cruise!), four on Princess (two booked), one Disney, three Celebrity, and one Royal Caribbean. My first Carnival cruise was on the Carnival Victory, a 5-day Canada/New England sailing in September 2007. The only reason I went was that it was so cheap! About $200 solo. For $200, I suppose I received value for what I paid. My memories of that cruise are: I was probably the youngest passenger aboard; the sidewalks rolled up at about 9:30 every night (thank goodness Carnival lets its crew out to play at night, or I would have been quite lonely!); the never-ending fog; the worst congealed eggs benedict I’ve ever had; the shoe-leather veal that the waiter so kindly tried to warn me off of; the sinfully comfortable bed in my inside cabin; the generally run-down condition of the ship (I later learned it was shortly away from a drydock). So, twelve years later, here I find myself booked on another Carnival cruise. Why now? We recently moved back to Central Texas, so Galveston is our new homeport. Carnival is the big player there. (Royal Caribbean also sails from Galveston – not sure if we’ll give them another try.) I was also attracted to the exclusive areas – named Havana – on Carnival’s two newest ships, the Horizon and Vista. Having someplace, aside from my cabin, to escape the crowds is necessary to my sanity. The Vista currently sails alternating Western Caribbean 7-day cruises year-around out of Galveston. The Details: Carnival Vista, 9/14/19 – 9/21/19. Ports: Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico. Stateroom: Havana Cabana (HE), #5206. The Havana Experience The shared space in the Havana has a small pool and two hot tubs facing aft, two covered gazebos with chairs to dangle your feet in the water, several covered lounging beds, ample chairs and loungers, and a bar. In order to book a Havana cabin all occupants must be 12 years of age or older. The Havana pool area is open to all passengers after 7 p.m. We rarely saw non-Havana passengers there; perhaps other passengers thought it was always off-limits? Havana passengers receive a colored wristband to identify them. The deck staff were extremely attentive and friendly – to us, at least. We saw them throw several non-Havana passengers out a few times. I appreciated their diligence. A bonus for me: I had NEVER previously been in a cruise ship pool because I saw lax enforcement of the “No Swimmies” ban on several ships, and even then, most cruise ship pools I’ve seen have been totally gross by the end of the first day. Not a problem in the Havana! Crystal clear and sparkling all the time. One of my best memories will be of hanging at the edge of the pool and gazing over the ship’s wake. There are a small variety of cabins in Havana, including some aft-facing balconies and suites. I had my eye, though, on the Havana Cabanas: regular balcony cabins on deck 5, which instead of having a balcony, feature cute wrought-iron fenced patios facing onto the Promenade, a chair, lounger, and a swinging hammock chair. (DH was sold at “hammock chair”!) Each end of the Havana Promenade has a locked gate, ensuring that the only people wandering back and forth in front of one’s patio will be other Havana guests. We booked the port-side, third from the end, and rarely had anyone walk past. I have read noise concerns from others about noise bleeding from the Havana Bar area. We did not have this problem, but there was frequently noise bleed in the evenings from Ocean Plaza through the balcony, but not enough to disturb our rest. As with most of the newer cruise ships, we found ourselves having to share a few outlets to charge our multitude of devices. And, as with most of the newer cruise ships, the cabin’s power is triggered by a keycard in a wall outlet just inside the door. (The outlets cease to operate/charge without a card in that slot.) Our steward kindly had pre-placed a blank card for this purpose. We were also provided separate keycards to open the balcony door from the patio. (My understanding is that the Horizon doesn’t have this feature.) We liked having the sofa, which converted into a bed, to lounge on while in the cabin. The large flat-panel television featured the typical cruise ship stations along with several documentary-type shows created specifically for Carnival Corp. There was also a large array of on-demand movies, probably about half of which were offered at no charge. We would have had plenty to watch had we never left the cabin. I have rarely seen such closet space in a cabin of this size, more than ample hanging and drawer space. There were sets of three shelves on each side of the bathroom mirror, again, more than ample. The bathroom had a shower with curtain, the stall being large enough so one didn’t suffer the indignity of the attack of the shower curtain. Even when we indicated we would reuse our towels, they were replaced with clean ones. Our cabin steward kept our Cabana spic-and-span clean. This cleanliness and attention to detail permeated the ship. They were always working about, cleaning away, along with the sprucing-up we’ve come to expect on a well-maintained ship. What was different was that each crew member we saw actually seemed to enjoy their jobs. (To be contrasted with ones we’d previously encountered on other lines, who seemed to truly hate their lives.) One could conclude that Carnival’s reputation for being fun also extends to the crew. We’d frequently see crew singing and dancing away as they polished and scrubbed, especially when they thought no one was watching. That’s telling, I think. The Food Given my previous poor culinary experiences on Carnival, I was curious to see how this experience would measure up, but also certain I would find enough edible to not starve in seven days. I found the main dining room to exceed expectations, but granted, my expectations were low to begin with. I’ve gotten to a point in life where I’d rather not eat than to eat bad food, but eat I did. Considering this is essentially banquet-type food, they did rather well. The prime rib arrived medium as requested, with an ample amount of horseradish. The lobster tail was cooked to perfection. Desserts were divine. The menus displayed a good amount of variety and imagination. We had Your Time Dining, meaning that we had no set time or table. We were always able to go to the dining room within two minutes of requesting a table on the Hub app (more on that later). Two of three sets of servers were quite good; the third was extremely overly gregarious, to the point that we took pains to avoid him the rest of the cruise. The remainder of our meals were spent in specialty restaurants, and this is where the Vista really shone. The first night was in the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse where a first-night special offered a free bottle of wine. Not top shelf, but not the lowest, either. (Layer Cake, I believe?) We later shared a bottle with two gentlemen at the next table, and learned part of why the Vista’s Fahrenheit 555 earned a Wine Spectator award – the manner in which the wine was decanted was an art in itself. The meal began with an amuse-bouche, which we later learned varies day by day. The assistant waiter presented us a variety of bread options while warning us that much was to come, and not to eat too much bread. (I told him his mother raised him well.) Dinner began with stuffed mushrooms (delectable!) and French onion soup gratin. I opted for the surf-and-turf, a petit filet and whole lobster tail. Side dishes are abundant and varied. The waiter presented a variety box of salts from which to opt to season one’s steak. Rounding out the meal was a chocolate dessert which was all about the presentation and which promptly sent me into a sugar coma – I can’t recall its name. It was decadent. We spent a second dinner in the steakhouse, with the same exceptional food and service. Especially considering what some other cruise lines are charging for their steakhouse, Fahrenheit 555 is well worth the $38pp price of admission. Our second specialty dinner was at Bonsai Sushi. Having been raised in Hawaii, an exchange student in Japan, and in general a student of Japanese language and culture, my expectations were not high. I’ve eaten my fair share of pedestrian sushi, both on land and at sea. Was I in for a surprise! We opted for the “Ship for 2,” which began with miso soup. The presentation was superb and would make any Japanese chef proud. This attention to aesthetics carried over to the arrival of the ship, where the salad, Bang Bang Bonsai roll, California roll, and 6 pieces of nigiri (2 tuna, 2 salmon, 2 shrimp) were beautifully arrayed alongside artfully carved garnish. The tuna was buttery, a testament to both the quality of the fish and the skills of the sushi chefs. And unlike most other California roll offerings, Bonsai’s crab was the real deal, not the white fish masquerading as crab that most restaurants use. Total bill, with an extra appetizer, sake, and beer: $28. JiJi Asian was our final specialty restaurant stop. Each $15 prix fixe meal includes a choice of one appetizer, one entrée, a side, and dessert. Our meal began with another amuse-bouche, then we dug in with the Nanjing-style Duck and Jade Shrimp Har Gao, followed by Peppered Beef and Singapore Chili Shrimp, accompanied by jasmine rice and Chinese broccoli. I thoroughly enjoyed my Rose Crème Brulee, and the fried wontons with lychee in tapioca pearls and coconut milk looked yummy. Everything was very tasty. As with Bonsai sushi, the presentation was impeccable. Mention must be made of the specialty restaurant offerings at lunch. Both Jiji and Cucina del Capitano are open for lunch: Jiji features a Mongolian wok, while Cucina offers design-your-own pasta bowls. Both are included in the fare price. Bonsai Sushi is open for sea day lunches with its regular menu and à la carte prices. Also included, open on sea days only, is Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que. These people take their smoked meats seriously, where the delicious aroma of meats smoking over hickory can be detected nearly 24 hours prior to opening. Being Texans we’re a pretty tough barbecue crowd, but we found it to be more than acceptable. I could have happily settled for a full bowl of the mac and cheese. Guy’s Burger Joint is open every afternoon on the Lido deck. You order your burger from the grill, then have a full complement of garnish to choose among at the toppings bar. I judged this burger to be far better than any other sea-going Lido burger, but as I later confided to DH, “I wouldn’t cross an ocean for it.” I prefer my burger juicy, not crunchy. Give me Five Guys over Guy Fieri, any day. And what’s a cruise food review without talking about the pizza? Again, we’re a pretty tough crowd, having lived in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area for over seven years. Cruise ship pizza is usually a glance and a pass. For us, it’s all about Neapolitan pizza. Imagine my surprise, when walking past Pizzeria del Capitano, when I saw several large cans of San Marzano tomatoes! Feeling peckish one afternoon at the Havana pool, I decided to put the Hub app’s pizza delivery service to the test. Click – Margarita pizza. Click – authorize payment ($5). Click – mark on the map where I’m sitting. Click – take a picture so my delivery person knows what I look like right now. Wait. Twenty minutes later my smiling delivery person arrived with a fresh and cooked-to-perfection Neapolitan pizza! Thin, hand-tossed, crispy crust, delectable tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, a smattering of fresh basil. Oh, Carnival… You had me at San Marzano! And speaking of the Hub app… This was far more useful than I ever could have imagined. The entire week’s entertainment lineup pre-loaded, ready for the bookmarking. Handy pop-up reminders of all bookmarked events. Easy tracking of restaurant reservations. Simple and quick to request a table for Your Time Dining, bypassing the long lines. I am certain there are features that I never discovered. Quite a little gem, this Hub app. Finally, the one place I frequented more than I could possibly frequent any bar: The JavaBlue Café. Within a short stumbling distance of my cabin – in fact, its proximity was one of the reasons I selected the cabin I did. Specialty coffees, milk shakes, floats, and spiked versions of all of the above, along with a selection of both included and for-fee pastries. The barista, known affectionately as “Java Joe,” is always so happy and sparkly that I maintain he chews roasted beans, skipping all the intermediary steps, before starting his shift. Gotta love a man who remembers my order on the second day and can look at me first thing in the morning and not wince but smile and treat me like a princess. Joe, I’ll miss you most of all! The Entertainment We are not ones to participate in many of the scheduled events/activities on board, so I can’t comment on much of the entertainment offerings. The electric strings trio who played in the atrium several evenings were always ones we would stop and enjoy for a brief period. We overheard some of the 80’s party in the atrium while we enjoyed taiyaki with ice cream in Cherry on Top – a good mix of music, lots of people in costume, and it looked like people really enjoyed it. There were another couple of bands that sounded quite good that played evenings in Ocean Plaza. The Vista – and her sister ship, Horizon – has an IMAX theater. (This was another selling point for us!) Ticket prices were about 60% of what one would pay on land. The IMAX theater features daily showings of your standard IMAX museum documentaries. Additionally, Carnival premieres major motion pictures onboard the same day they open on land. Films showing when we boarded were “It, Part 2” and “Hobbs & Shaw;” the following Thursday evening “Ad Astra” came aboard. We opted for the latter, in addition to the “Pandas 3D” documentary. I realized we’ve gotten spoiled when DH leaned over to me and asked, “Don’t these seats recline?” Despite this, they were comfortable enough. The picture and sound were both great. There is also the Dive-In Theater on the Lido deck, which offers new movies such as one might find as new digital download releases. The Bottom Line Over 2,500 words later, it’s time to get to the critical question: Do things that cost less necessarily offer lesser value? Whether or not I have lots of money to drop on a cruise, I do value, well… VALUE. The Bottom Line: Yes, for us, the Carnival Vista – along with the Havana Experience – provided us a great value. We would certainly do it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise and with dates we had for a vacation we knew it would be during hurricane season & we would be on the Vista. We chose to go out of Galveston. Didn’t get to explore much but what we did see was pretty. We ... Read More
This was our first cruise and with dates we had for a vacation we knew it would be during hurricane season & we would be on the Vista. We chose to go out of Galveston. Didn’t get to explore much but what we did see was pretty. We flew into IAH. On a side note do NOT use shuttlefare.com, they left us stranded at the airport and we had to come up with a plan B. Vista is a big girl lol. Again our first cruise so I was excited and stunned when we got to the port lol. We were actually early for our embarkation and they told us to go on in anyway. We had a short wait then they started calling sections and we were on the ship before our scheduled port check in time on our pass. Carnival has some great customer service, everyone we came in contact with was nice. Our ship, from what I understand, sailed at full capacity because of other cruises that were cancelled out of Florida due to Dorian. We personally never felt like there was over 4 thousand people on the ship. A few times there was a small wait but nothing major. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the Vista and I can tell you it’s really not bad. Yes the ship is cut up a bit. We actually had fun finding areas around the ship. Eventually I’ll get to be on another ship to compare it to lol. We had a cove balcony and loved it! We had coffee delivered in the am and would sit on the balcony and watch the ocean. Entertainment: the “play list shows” were not impressive to me. They are good, don’t get me wrong. They do a lot of over singing notes and the sound system is way to loud for that size of a venue. I plugged my ears a lot and then we politely left. We tried it a couple times. The comedy shows were funny no matter if you went to the family time or the adult time. We volunteered for the magic show and were blown away by the magician. My husband loved all the trivia they have on board. Really there is so much to do you can stay busy all day or do nothing a relax. Ports: our first port was Montego Bay. We didn’t do an excursion there, just got off the boat and looked at the couple little touristy shops in port. If you want to see Jamaica you have to do an excursion, there is nothing close to the port. Our second port was the Grand Caymans, we did the sensational stingray swim. We loved it. Our captain was BeBe (not sure of spelling) very nice crew and they made sure everyone had time with the stingrays and were great about helping if you needed extra help. Pictures were very nice and only 40 dollars and they air dropped them right to my phone. I would recommend them. Our last port was Cozumel and we did the VIP dolphin swim. Our guide was Louis and he was wonderful and answered all questions and very attentive. I can’t remember the trainers name but he was great. We swam with Maria. Amazing dolphin and experience. It was on my bucket list and I was like a kid in a candy store. I loved every minute. The pictures were way to crazy expensive, close to 200. We actually only liked 2 pictures but they wanted almost 80 bucks for just 2. They wouldn’t negotiate a price so we chose to not buy any. The other staff were to busy talking to themselves and drinking. We ended up going back to the ship early. I wouldn’t do it again but if you do want to swim with dolphins and learn about them this was great just be aware of picture prices and other staff. We really had an amazing first cruise, we did your time dining and with the hubb app it was easy to check in and then go to the dinning room. All the food was good. We didn’t eat in any of the specialty restaurants so I don’t know about those. Guys burgers were wonderful. If I had a negative about the ship, it would be the market place buffet area. It gets very warm in spots but if you walk around a little you can usually find a cooler area in there to sit. The cruise director, Kendal Fire was good. She kept everyone entertained. We are now addicted to cruising and have already booked another cruse, with the time we have we actually end up being on the Vista again lol Disembarking wasn’t to bad. Would go even smoother if people would follow instructions lol but it did go reasonably quickly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had a great time on Dream. This was our 4th cruise (2 with Carnival, 2 with Royal). All staff were friendly and attentive. Cabin steward and MDR waiters called us by name. Room and ship was clean, everything worked fine. Easy on ... Read More
We had a great time on Dream. This was our 4th cruise (2 with Carnival, 2 with Royal). All staff were friendly and attentive. Cabin steward and MDR waiters called us by name. Room and ship was clean, everything worked fine. Easy on and off at Galveston - no issues. It was our anniversary and we were treated well for it. Steakhouse was great, worth the extra cost. Food overall was good to very good. Could use more variety though. Eat in the MDR and let them serve you. You're on vacation, no need to line up for food. We ate all breakfasts and dinners in the MDR. Cozumel was great as always. Progresso is rough around the edges for sure but we enjoyed getting off the ship and exploring a little. Be realistic with your expectations. It's a Carnival ship, not the Queen Mary. Don't sweat the small stuff - enjoy your vacation. We certainly did!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We choose this cruise to go with another couple that this was their first cruise. The ship was looking good inside and out after the dry dock. We had an ocean suite on the 7th floor. Room was nice, lots of room and storage. We were a ... Read More
We choose this cruise to go with another couple that this was their first cruise. The ship was looking good inside and out after the dry dock. We had an ocean suite on the 7th floor. Room was nice, lots of room and storage. We were a bit surprised that the suite did not have a bathtub as the suites do on the bigger ships. Still had a nice big shower, but the wife really like a tub to soak in. We did the first night dining in the steak house which was very good. Service was very good. Food was great but there was a lot of food and we all over ate. The first night in the main dining room, level 3, early dining, was ok, food was good but the service was a bit slow. We were there 30 min. before we even got water and the breads. I did overhear a large group next to us complain that they had been waiting for over an hour for service. The place was full and they were very busy, so I think it might have been some new staff members. We only dining the main dining room once more and this second time the service was much better. The entertainment was very good but on the last night there was a power outage that affected the whole ship and they could not get the special effects to work in the theater so the performers just sang and danced as best they could given the short notice. We have two more cruises booked on the Freedom and are looking forward to those. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We choose to get away for a week and to see Mahogany Bay, Honduras, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. The service on our cabin is excellent Darang provided us with everything we needed, clean our cabin and replenishes us with fresh towels ... Read More
We choose to get away for a week and to see Mahogany Bay, Honduras, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. The service on our cabin is excellent Darang provided us with everything we needed, clean our cabin and replenishes us with fresh towels everyday. Our Dinning room experience was also magnificent we were served at the Reflection Dinningroom of 3 excellent waiters Wibiyantha, Surya and Joel. Who make sure that our dining experience is a marvelous one and an experience we will never forget. Our friend's birthday and they went and over in greeting her a happy birthday. At the Lido deck Raxel, Manilyn, Joel, Zandra, Carlos, and Levender are excellent in helping us out, clearing and serving us with good food. My friend forgot her cellphone and Levender found her phone and my friend was able to get her phone back. Hows that for honesty. The friendly Raxel was very helpful in providing us future cruise with Carnival. She demonstrated her friendly and willing to serve the customer in the Lido deck and cheering and playing with the kids. The Cruise Director Kyndall Fire is funny and entertained us in the show, and in Bingo. Myra and Cattleya t the Pixel assisted us in our pictures and tolerated our changeable mind and was very patient with us even we went back and fort with the pictures. We end up satisfied with our pictures which we end up getting 40 pictures plus our canvasses. Cloud 9 spa was excellent Tiffany gave me a good service with my Ionithermage. I feel fresh and with more energy and was able to do the gym. Excellent crew We will surely cruise with Carnival Vista again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our 24th cruise on Carnival and would rate this one of the best!!! We like the size of the freedom. The crew was top notch,always happy and speaking to us in a happy manor. We found the food in main dinning room to be very ... Read More
This was our 24th cruise on Carnival and would rate this one of the best!!! We like the size of the freedom. The crew was top notch,always happy and speaking to us in a happy manor. We found the food in main dinning room to be very good, and the service to be outstanding. We have cruised on the Carnival Vista 4 times this year as well, the Freedom we find is a much better ship, there are a few things we wish the Freedom had that the Vista has, but overall would choose the Freedom over Vista. We wish Carnival would make the casino NO smoking, the smoke was not nearly as bad as on the Vista. My wife and I are ex smokers but find the smoke very hard to tolerate. The service in main dinning room was far better than any ship we have been on in the past hew years. The only draw back was the steak house, the food was great, service was very poor. We judge the steak house in comparison to past experiences, we have eaten in carnival steak houses well over 40 times,and due to cut backs by Carnival, it has become not a great experience as it once was. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The cruise in general was very smooth and awesome. sometimes at certain parts of the boat it would smell bad, but the rest was great. I’m only 13 so I really love entertainment and circle c was the most of it. The advisor Josh was ... Read More
The cruise in general was very smooth and awesome. sometimes at certain parts of the boat it would smell bad, but the rest was great. I’m only 13 so I really love entertainment and circle c was the most of it. The advisor Josh was amazing. He cared for everyone there, made conversations, and always made sure nobody was doing anything bad. I’m going to miss circle c only bc he was so great. In all the experience was memorable. Today was the last day and I am home but i really miss it already. I forgot to mention but the customer service was also awesome too. So as the Arcade which was a blast, bingo, and the pools as well. I know i’ve said this many times before but i really really really love this cruise and i recommend to use it. In all I had a awesome time and really hope to come visit again sometime. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my second ever cruise, the first was 12 years ago. This ship was so much better and the service was excellent. The nightly entertainment was great and our cruise director was awesome. We did the Salsa and Salsa tour into ... Read More
This was my second ever cruise, the first was 12 years ago. This ship was so much better and the service was excellent. The nightly entertainment was great and our cruise director was awesome. We did the Salsa and Salsa tour into Merida and I highly recommend that especially if you aren't an avid beach-goer and want something different for a day. We also did the Faster to the Fun option and that was definitely as promised. We were able to go directly to our room upon boarding and were in our cabin right at noon on embarkation day. The food was well presented - we ate in the main dining room every evening and our servers were excellent. Even though we had anytime dining we tended to go at the same time and have the same servers are anyway. I liked not being tied down to a time though although if you want to see the early show you'll need to eat early anyways. Lot of families on board as it was mid-July and school is out but there was always something to do. The Build a Bear experience was chaos - they need two times to do this on summer cruises to spread out the crowds. My daughter didn't seem to notice though. I do wish Carnival would update their photo experience, it seems a bit old school to be choosing printed photos instead of getting the digital image. Overall an excellent experience and a great value. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I am a former cancer patient. I entered remission just a few months ago and had my leg amputated. This was my first cruise. I want to start off with the musicians. There was music for everybody’s taste. But I enjoyed ALL of them. Luisa, ... Read More
I am a former cancer patient. I entered remission just a few months ago and had my leg amputated. This was my first cruise. I want to start off with the musicians. There was music for everybody’s taste. But I enjoyed ALL of them. Luisa, Juliana and Juan in the Accidental String Trio were just...the only word to describe it was beautiful. Neil was singing and Jammin’ the reggae hits on the steel drums. And Rob was rocking it on the guitar. DJ JD with the hits. The Brassaholics with the amazing Maroon 5 medley. And the Latin Band covering latin hits. Emma, Layla and Francois brought so much energy throughout the whole ship. Vargus Mason with the jokes! T.A. Williams at the Piano Bar. Diana and other bartenders tending the bar at the Lobby very well, including the bartenders on Lido who also bring their energy to the ship. I tipped what I could. Next I want to say how much I really appreciate how kind, thoughtful, and caring the staff was. They always offered help. I don’t usually accept help but I made some exceptions. I also made some friends on the cruise. The whole experience is one to remember. They always had smiles on their faces, and always greeted as we cross paths. And as you’re reading this to all of the staff, I just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. I hope I get to meet you all again. Cheers "Let your smile change the world, don't let the world change your smile..." - unknown "My cup is full to the brim, I could go on and on, the full has never been told" - Buju Banton Side Note: Im looking for a job also (galvancromeo@gmail.com) all photos are unedited Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Carnival Dream is a gigantic ship with an awesome crew. Do the rooms need a freshen up? Yes! However the rest of the ship was clean, stylishly decorated for a cheesy cruise ship. The food overall was pretty good. Pig and Anchor was ... Read More
Carnival Dream is a gigantic ship with an awesome crew. Do the rooms need a freshen up? Yes! However the rest of the ship was clean, stylishly decorated for a cheesy cruise ship. The food overall was pretty good. Pig and Anchor was absolutely tasteless though. I’d skip if I were you. I was fortunate enough to win 2,500 bucks in the casino after only spending 3 dollars! My husband, 700 bucks only spending 100 dollars. My parents won a total of 3,600 but gambled it back. Lol! They usually do this because they have no self control. The fact it YES you can win in a ship casino. The pool areas are crowded but you can easily find a place to sit whether it’s directly in front of the pool or on a quiet area on deck. The staff was so friendly! Each and every one of them! The Captain was superb. We actually were cruising through Hurricane Barry and crew made excellent choices to keep us safe. I was also impressed by the fact that we had only been in our rooms a matter of minutes and a crew member came to double check that we had a life jacket that would appropriately fit my six year old. I’ve been on several Carnival Cruises and they all have been fun. If you’re a miserable person who never has any fun, you won’t enjoy a Carnival Cruise. If you are expecting The Beverly Wilshire, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re cool with Holiday Inn accommodations and Applebee’s quality food and drinks, you’ll enjoy it. Cozumel was great. We went to a free beach that had table/chair rentals for 10 bucks. It was called Playa Palancar. The beach was sandy and clean. It’s not like some of those other Cozumel beaches that are full of rocks. I wasn’t interested in doing the whole beach club things. Been there done that and an absolute waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my 44th Carnival cruise and 68th cruise overall, so I do have lots to compare it to! With all the propulsion problems going on, we expected Carnival to greatly reduce prices to sell out the June 29 cruise that was ... Read More
This was my 44th Carnival cruise and 68th cruise overall, so I do have lots to compare it to! With all the propulsion problems going on, we expected Carnival to greatly reduce prices to sell out the June 29 cruise that was postponed to July 1 and turned into an 8 day cruise. I monitored prices daily and when it dropped to what I was comfortable paying, we booked. Good thing we did not wait any longer because by the next morning the sailing was closed. We also love the ports of Cozumel and Costa Maya and were very happy with lots of sea days and those 2 Mexican ports. For the first time in years we booked a balcony guarantee and within minutes received our cabin assignment. We were put in 8462, an 8C. I was quite busy taking care of everything we normally do over a period of months in just 4 days. We made our parking reservation at EZ Cruise and this was once again a good decision. We arrived, parked the car only a few spots from the shuttle pick up area, immediately got on a bus, and it departed with only 6 people on the bus. We gave a porter our luggage and walked down to the Priority entrance. We walked right in at around 11:30am and immediately checked in and cleared security with no one ahead of us. We then proceeded upstairs and boarded the ship. We went straight to the cabin where we were met by a nice young steward. Within 5 minutes we had our ice and bathrobes. We unpacked our carry on bags, filled the safe and headed up to the Lido for lunch. We were conveniently located near the aft elevators, so we always used that to access the Lido. The food line back there was rarely busy and there were loads of seats available. After lunch we went down to deck 5 to check on our table location. We were assigned a table for 2 in late dining, but did not like the location as the table was only inches from the next table. Darko, the Maitre D said he had just the table for us and put us at Table 174 in the Reflections dining room. It was a great, very private, table for 2 tucked away in a corner. The first night we had reservations at Cucina del Capitano and because we are gluten free we stopped in to pre-order our first night dinner. It was another excellent GF meal with Nonna's meatalls, Caesar salad, GF chicken Parmesan, a side order of GF pasta and lemon sorbet for dessert. We were surprised that it was not busy at all. Even though we were Diamond, we were refused a reservation for the steakhouse for the first night, and offered the 3rd night instead. We decided to cancel that reservation after meeting our waiter and having such great GF food and service in Reflections from Edi, Larimer and Yulius. We also enjoyed visits from Inna, the hostess from the Ukraine and Darko from Serbia. The first sea day we made sure we went to Brunch in the aft dining room. We had a wonderful waiter, Smitha, from India. She was fabulous. We also ordered our GF meal for that night since we had been in Cucina the night before. Brunch was wonderful as usual. The next 2 mornings at breakfast we were given window tables overlooking the wake, but the service was not nearly as good as we received on that first morning, so for the rest of the breakfasts and brunches we requested to be seated in Smitha's section. She was so friendly and efficient and remembered our preferences to the point where she could predict what we would order. We also received visits every morning from our favorite hostesses Inna from Ukraine, and Mini from India, who remembered us from our January cruise on the Vista. Inna even came to see us the morning she was in charge of the Dr. Seus Breakfast! On the 2nd night, just before second seating, the power went out. It had gone out for about 5 minutes earlier, when I was getting a shower, but came back on quickly. After waiting about 15 minutes for it to go back on we climbed the stairs from deck 3 to deck 8. By the time we arrived at our cabin the aft section had power so our cabin had lights, AC and working toilets. We changed clothes just in case something else happened. They were really good about making announcements to keep the guests calm. The cruise director, John Heald and the Captain took turns making announcements every 10 minutes. Finally, around 9:15 they announced that dinner service was resuming, so we went down to the dining room and had our dinner. Lots of people had changed clothes due to the A/C being out, but they welcomed everyone, even if wearing shorts or jeans on elegant night. We spent a couple of relaxing sea days either on our balcony or by the aft pool enjoying the great weather and calm seas. The sailing was really smooth aided by a sailing speed of between 9 and 13 knots. The day before we were to reach Costa Maya, we had to make a stop off Cozumel to let off a member of the crew who needed to be hospitalized. They originally said our arrival in Costa Maya would be delayed until noon, but we got in a bit earlier than originally scheduled. We booked a day at Costa Maya, so we got right off and walked to the check in point. After a short wait we got in a taxi with 3 other guests and were the first to arrive at Costa Maya. We were greeted warmly by the staff, given a short orientation and shown to our chairs on the beach and offered rum punches and guacamole and chips. Sadly, there was lots of seaweed and the staff worked feverishly to clean it up. I took a walk and found the pool tucked away in the trees and we moved there. The loungers were super comfortable and we were just steps from the bar. Our waiter came and found use there, took new drink orders and brought fresh guacamole. We had a super relaxing morning there. Then, when it was time for lunch we went to the restaurant, filled our plates and returned to our loungers where we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming, sunning and chatting withe fellow guests. They asked what time you wanted to leave and just our scheduled time they came to tell us our taxi was ready. We had the same driver and were quickly back at the pier. It was a delightful day and totally worth every penny. In Cozumel we went to the dentist for our 6 month cleaning and check ups and then headed downtown. It was so sad to see downtown practically deserted, even though there were 5 ships in port. The Museum was closed too. We had lunch at Palmeras, which was tasty, but a little pricey, and then headed back to the ship. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the aft pool enjoying the ship while most were ashore. We had more super calm sea days back to Galveston and arrived in port right on time. I will say the Priority debarkation was a joke They had Platinum, Diamond, FTTF and all the wheelchair people in the Reflections dining room with no separation between groups. The wheelchair people did not get off as they were supposed to when their decks were called. As soon as any wheelchairs were called they all headed for the door and clogged the entry when those who had not been called were sent back. Others, who were in none of the Priority categories entered the dining room through the back entrance and clogged the aisles with their luggage, so that when the cruise director finally came to call the Diamond guests, we had a difficult time getting through. It was our first time ever not having a separate place to wait and not having any pastry, coffee and juice offered. Once we got in the terminal, we got a porter and quickly moved into the immigration line. They had just opened a new line for the porters and we walked right up to the front and were seen by the CBP agent immediately. Because we had not been to Belize or Roatan, the agent just glanced at the passports and did not scan them. We were finished in seconds and on our way to the EZ Cruise shuttle. We put our luggage out the night before and were off the ship, through CBP and in our car by 8:40 and home before 10:00am. We sailed the Vista at the end of January 2019 in a Havana Cabana and came away hating the ship. Yes, we liked the Havana pool, but we detested the constant pounding of the Latin music to the point that we abandoned the Havana pool for the aft pool most days. While our waiter at dinner in January, Pierces, was the highlight of the cruise, the rest of it was so bad that we swore that we would never sail the Vista again. Well, I found I can be bought by a low price. But, I also know that if I sail the Vista again I won't pay the premium for a Havana Cabana. The crew on the Vista this trip was so much better than the crew that was on in January. It was a different Captain, Staff Captain and Hotel Director this time and I think the crew was happier with this management team and it showed. Captain Vittorio Marchi was wonderful as was Staff Captain Nick, who took the time to explain all the problems in detail to my husband at the Diamond event, and Alina the Hotel Director was so sweet. We remembered each other from sailing on the Liberty in 2016 with her. I am not going to rate the entertainment. We have seen the production shows over and over on multiple ships and did not go this time. We did go to 3 comedy shows before dinner and enjoyed them. We also enjoyed listening to the Polaris String Trio every evening before dinner. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The ship is absolutely stunning. Everything was very clean and easy to navigate after the first day. The staff was some of the best! Mercy was our room steward and she is the sweetest! I was traveling with my grandmother and my son who is ... Read More
The ship is absolutely stunning. Everything was very clean and easy to navigate after the first day. The staff was some of the best! Mercy was our room steward and she is the sweetest! I was traveling with my grandmother and my son who is 10 months old. He loved her as much as we did. Everyone was so nice to us. Eat in the dining room! The food was excellent along with the wait staff. Alvaro, Richard, and Budianna took great care of us. They made sure we had everything we needed and made the experience very personable. They were so sweet to my son as well and very patient. Our cruise director Gary was so much fun and hilarious! The entertainment was so much fun. The trivia games were a blast and the shows were amazing. If you are going on the cruise in the near future make sure to catch the show Flick! This was such a fun and relaxing vacation. I just got home and I am already looking to book my next cruise. Great job Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had not sailed on this class of ship before nor been on this itinerary so we were very excited. Embarkation was a breeze. Our boarding window was 12 - 12:30 PM. We walked up at 12:01 and were on the ship within 15 minutes. ... Read More
We had not sailed on this class of ship before nor been on this itinerary so we were very excited. Embarkation was a breeze. Our boarding window was 12 - 12:30 PM. We walked up at 12:01 and were on the ship within 15 minutes. Debarkation was the opposite, however. It took us 6 hours to get from state room to the sidewalk. We were given a few explanations but the most common one was that CBP computers went down. This was not Carnival's fault but certainly was not pleasant. We really enjoyed this ship. I've seen reviews of horrible lines and poor service and we didn't experience any of that. Our room steward was excellent and we had no complaints whatsoever. Lines for things like Lido buffet and pizza were longer at peak times but that is to be expected. And they moved quickly, in my opinion. We showed up 10 minutes early to shows and activities and had no issues finding seats/participating. I agree that some seats in the Liquid Lounge are poor because of the pillars that block the view. We used the Hub app to check into Any Time Dining for dinner and never waited more than 15 minutes for a table. The food quality was excellent. Two fish dishes were slightly bland but that's the worst I can say about the MDR! Lido options were usually very good. I did note that most of the cakes seemed to be the same on the inside with a flavored frosting/decoration on the outside. Chocolate cakes were the exception and very good. Pizza and Guy's burgers were excellent. My son enjoyed Camp Ocean and the arcade as well as the America Rocks show and IMAX 3D movies. Our ports were Cozumel, Belize City, and Roatan. We did a beach day on our own in Cozumel but used Carnival excursions for the others. The water shuttle process in Belize was easy and we loved Mahogany Bay in Roatan. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I purchased a 5 days cruise for my wife and me to celebrate her retirement as a school teacher. We left May 27th for Costa Maya and Cozumel and returned on June 1st. So here is the breakdown of our cruise. 1) Embarkation - we had ... Read More
I purchased a 5 days cruise for my wife and me to celebrate her retirement as a school teacher. We left May 27th for Costa Maya and Cozumel and returned on June 1st. So here is the breakdown of our cruise. 1) Embarkation - we had Fastest To The Fun so it was an absolute snap. We were through the Galveston terminal and on to the ship in 5 minutes. If you can afford this service, I highly recommend you purchase it. Our bags were delivered late, however; With FTTF, they should have been delivered immediately. Carnival realized this and comped me with a free strawberry plate, which I do appreciate. 2) Entertainment - the best show on board was in the comedy club. You should go at least once. There are R rated shows and PG shows, so be sure to choose the version that is to your liking and sensibilities. We went to see one show in the Encore lounge - the Flick show, with singers and musicians. I personally didn't care for it, but other folks found it enjoyable. I also went to see the raffles, bingos, and trivia shows - and generally, they were well run. I even won a free Wifi package, which I used liberally. I thought that cruise director Gary did a fine job in running the cruise and representing Carnival to the passengers. 3) Food - The best meal by far on the cruise was at the steakhouse, which was tremendous. It was one of the best steak meals that I have had in a long time. The service was also exceptional. The only drawback to that meal is that the restaurant itself is on the 14th flood, which does tend to vibrate when at sea - it took some getting used to. The food in the main dining room was also very good - and the service by the crew there was impeccable. Elizabeth was our waiter and you can tell that she really cared a great deal about her guests. We also ate once at the seafood shack - the shrimp there was really good. At the lido buffet, the food there was at least passable; I would instead recommend dining in the MDR when possible. The pizza restaurant was also passable - honestly, I have heard a lot of complaints about it, but it an OK slice of pizza. Carnival could improve the quality of that food, in my opinion. 4) Physical plant - Our cabin was well cared for and comfortable. There was one issue with our stateroom - the safe did not work when we checked in. The stateroom steward did a good job of calling the technician to get it swapped out. Everything else worked properly. Armando was our steward, and he really kept the place clean. The AC kept the room cool, and there was no smell or odors. Some of the elevators were not working - I saw those complaints in other reviews, and yes, Carnival should fix that. It did cause some problems on day embarkation day. 5) Shore excursions - In Costa Maya, we used the Port Pass excursion, which you have to purchase on the dock itself. Apparently, you cannot get this via Carnival. This allowed us to see the bird exhibit there, which was the highlight of the trip for us. We also toured the chocolate factory, which was also enjoyable. Be forewarned - there are issues with sargasso this year in Costa Maya, so you may want to hold off on booking any beach excursion that could be impacted by these plants. In Cozumel, we went to Chakannab, which was also a great deal of fun - although very crowded. The day were were there, 5 ships had docked in Cozumel, and the place was packed. If crowds are not your thing, then you may want to skip this place. But the staff was friendly and the beach was fine, so I would go back there (on a less crowded day.) 6) Spa - my wife had three spa treatments: the seaweed wrap, the acupuncture, and the teeth whitening. She had positive experiences all three times - the acupuncture was particularly helpful with her arm pain. The spa offers a 10-20-30 plan, with increasing discounts for each service you purchase. So this is a good way to save on multiple spa services. On the first day, there is a spa tour, at which point the staff will demo the various services they offer - you should honestly see those demos before deciding on what you want, or paying for anything. 7) Disembarkation - it was a bit slower than we expected. We chose to self-disembark, and with Fastest to the Fun, it was certainly faster. But it still took 2 hours to get off the ship, clear customs, and get to our car. We used the Galveston Terminal parking in lot A, so leaving from there was a quick. All in all, we really enjoyed ourselves, and I am sure that we will be back with Carnival at some point in the future. I would recommend this cruise, and cruise line, to my friends. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I sailed on the Vista with my husband and two teenagers. We had such an amazing time. Even though the ship was full you could still find a quiet place to read or just enjoy the view. My husband has food allergies and the staff in the ... Read More
I sailed on the Vista with my husband and two teenagers. We had such an amazing time. Even though the ship was full you could still find a quiet place to read or just enjoy the view. My husband has food allergies and the staff in the main dining room was very accomodating, making sure his food was prepared properly. We had your time dining. I wasn't sure if we would like that but we ended up loving the flexibility of it and the ability of check in via the Hub app. And we never waited more than 10 minutes for a table. We enjoyed several of the comedians and the Playlist productions. Our kids loved the Club O2 and made several friends. The Cruise Director, Matt, was amazing and kept things fun. We also loved the Polaris trio that played in the atrium. We had balcony cabin 8382 and loved the location. It was convenient to the Lido deck as well as the main dining room, the Limelight Lounge, and Liquid Lounge. I would definitely sail on the Vista again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was a 50th birthday cruise. There were 14 of us total (7 couples). We had first boarding time, and despite the gangway not working because of a lightning strike, we were on very quickly. We went right to Guys Burger's for our ... Read More
This was a 50th birthday cruise. There were 14 of us total (7 couples). We had first boarding time, and despite the gangway not working because of a lightning strike, we were on very quickly. We went right to Guys Burger's for our first one of the trip along with the drink of the day( rum something-too sweet for me) I then got my traditional first Miami Vice and all was good! We walked around a bit exploring and fell in love with the Serenity deck! Lots of room and plenty of shade and sun plus your own bar and water area. Muster Drill was painless, there were several people that didn't attend or were late, so while the rest of us got on with our vacation, they had to stay and do a longer drill lol. We were deck 7 interior cabins mid-ship and loved them! Great location and lots of storage. Room Steward Gusti was the BEST! I only saw him the first day, but our room was made up every single day and extra towels as asked for were always in our cabin. Alchemy bar was a favorite. The drinks, and bartenders are great and always live music which was a plus! Comedian was funny and shows were always packed. Welcome aboard show was ok. Kind of cheesy, but still entertaining. Cruise Director was very energetic and everywhere! I can't recall his name. We did late dining and had three fantastic guys who kept us laughing and very attentive. Only one night the food was not great, but we still enjoy the dining room experience for dinner. Dining room for breakfast also really good! Steak and eggs, eggs benedict and the roasted tomato soup seemed to be the favs in our group. We did Mr. Sancho's in Cozumel and had a great time. Been there several times and it remains a favorite of mine. Shops were nice, piano bar was ok, casino area and bar was nice and always hopping! Guys Pig and Anchor BBQ was yummy! It's outside deck 5 so make sure you find it. Pasta Bella Pasta is a hidden gem that we found last sea day. Upstairs from lido buffet inside. Trust me-you WANT this pasta! Enjoyed atrium bar and live music especially the violin trio and found a new favorite drink called the cruiser! Played Friends trivia but didn't win :/ had fun though! Watched the mixology on pool deck along with hairy chest contest and ice carving. Hairy chest is funny because almost NO ONE had any hair on their chest lol. Great steel drum music on lido and the area above the pool deck is shaded so that is a super nice option! You can see the ocean and everything going on below you. We probably only saw about half the ship. She is huge, but what we saw we really enjoyed. The pizza is still some of the best and those guys and gals work hard back there! Lots of hot tubs, but would have liked to see a pool for only 21 and up. The kiddos have a slide and small water park and still were trying to get in hot tubs on serenity deck which is 21 and up. We mentioned this to them and they promptly left. Super smooth debarkation to shuttle to truck in less than 30 minutes. All in all a fantastic time and what a great way to celebrate a 50th birthday! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I was very reluctant about taking a cruise but once underway the crew and my guests that I went with made it very enjoyable. The people in the Omelet area, Lu and his partner were wonderful. I have never been treated so well as we were by ... Read More
I was very reluctant about taking a cruise but once underway the crew and my guests that I went with made it very enjoyable. The people in the Omelet area, Lu and his partner were wonderful. I have never been treated so well as we were by Webster and his crew from the room steward team. They wen't above and beyond their duties to make sure we were happy and comfortable. During dinner Ketut, Roy and Wayan were fabulous in the Horizon dinner area. The entire crew, bartenders, Matt the cruise director and all were just fabulous. At first this was my first and only cruise until I experienced the Carnival Vista. Now I can't wait to plan my next cruise. Thank You Carnival Vista, our cruise planner and all of the staff from the Vista for making this an incredible and unforgettable vacation. and I must say that Matt the cruise was extremely funny, helpful and made the trip enjoyable. The debarkation process was extremely slow due to Galveston Port Patrol, Not Carnival. Thank you Carnival cruise lines! I will be back!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was my eleventh cruise on Carnival. We were on the Carnival Vista for a 7-day Western Caribbean itinerary during the week of April 28 to May 5, 2019. Our ports were Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (cancelled and went back to Cozumel due ... Read More
This was my eleventh cruise on Carnival. We were on the Carnival Vista for a 7-day Western Caribbean itinerary during the week of April 28 to May 5, 2019. Our ports were Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (cancelled and went back to Cozumel due to high winds). We left from the port of Galveston. Passengers: 4000 plus on our sailing. With 400+ platinum cruisers and 200+ Diamond. Passengers were older and mostly from Texas. Much fewer young people than normal for Carnival. Also, Premier Gambling groups were on board. Getting there: We flew into IAH (George Bush International) on Delta one day before and stayed at the Marriott right in the airport. What a great hotel and what a wonderful stay. Strongly recommend staying here. M-club was also pretty good for snacks and breakfast. We transferred to the Port by private car---using Omega Royal transportation and they were superb! See hotel and transport on TripAdvisor. Check-in: was a breeze. We are platinum cruisers now. We had our bags with us and were on board and in our cabin in 15 mins. I used to always get FTTF but do not need it now. At $90 a cabin its your call----but I always got it for the preferred embark, debark and dedicated line at guest services. Buffet: Food was standard for Carnival and might I say excellent. There is a buffet mid-ship and at the back on deck 10. Don’t be afraid to walk around—while the main foods are the same, there is gelato at lunch in the center area and fancy multi-layer cakes at the back also at lunch. There is also a small buffet in Ocean Plaza on deck 5. However, crowded the buffet area was; I never waited more than 5 minutes. I really don’t understand the people who complain about food on a ship. The buffet food is plentiful and there is a variety. People often say selections do not change---well, it’s hard to have change and have a variety when pretty much everything is already there. People also need to take their time and look. We had brisket, turkey, and strip loin and sirloin steak at the carving station. Many vegetarian options and different fish every day. At night there was a “snack buffet” starting around 11:30 pm. This included, different foods over the week and don’t forget Pizza is 24 hrs. My one complaint about buffets is always the same----many people do not use hand sanitizer although it is right there. JIJI Asian: This is 15 dollars per person, and it was outstanding. We had pork-belly, Wagyu short ribs, three kinds of dessert, of which the ice cream crepes were our favorite. Noodles where also excellent. It was a great meal---but so was every other meal we had. Also, if you want to try this area at lunch it is called the Mongolian and does complementary stir-fry. Pizza: On this ship, wait times were usually 5 mins. However, at peak dinner periods and including the 11 pm times could be 20 minutes or longer. Carnival pizza is authentic Italian thin crust pizza made with double zero flour and baked fresh on stone ovens----it is excellent. The Vista has real stone ovens. If you are expecting American style pizza------then think New York style not Chicago and not big Chain store pizza. Ice Cream: Still there. No toppings for Sundaes. Just cones and bowls. But if you go to the dessert buffets there are things you can use to make a Sundaes-----Vanilla sauce, cookies, fruit compotes------put crushed cookies or other desserts on a bowl of ice cream Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This is our third carnival cruise and we really enjoyed the Vista! It’s a huge ship and even over spring break it did not feel nearly as crowded as other ships have. There are several pools/hot tubs and lots of places to be/activities to ... Read More
This is our third carnival cruise and we really enjoyed the Vista! It’s a huge ship and even over spring break it did not feel nearly as crowded as other ships have. There are several pools/hot tubs and lots of places to be/activities to do, so people are spread out. The staff are friendly, as always and the food was very good. We are in the main dining room every night but lots of people raved about the specialty dining. We enjoyed the cruise director, Matt, but Emma is still by far our favorite! Our kids really enjoyed the waterworks area (loved the slides) and the sky ride. We loved our room location. Quiet, close to the elevators/stairs and it was centrally located so easy to get everywhere! Overall there were 9 of us in our group, from age 5 to 65 and we all had a great time! I’d sail on the Vista again in a heartbeat, even over spring break. ;) Pros: Large ship with LOTS to do so it doesn’t feel as crowded as other ships. You don’t have to fight for deck chairs or space. The layout was nice and easy to get around. Friendly staff and really good food (Mongolian wok and of course, Guys are really good and included) Cons: The main showroom layout is poor. Makes it difficult to see the show from almost everywhere. (The shows were pretty good though from what we could see). Comedy club is too small for how popular it is but it is larger than other ships. The casino seemed to smell way more smoky than other ships. It was hard to even walk past it and we definitely weren’t going through it or in there (we would have had it but been so bad). We were actually surprised how bad it was since it’s a new ship but it was really awful. Embarking and disembarking are a nightmare but I think that’s more of an issue with the port than the ship. Port Galveston seemed to be far more disorganized but than Port Canaveral but once through to the cruise line it wasn’t bad getting on. Getting off was the same. It took hours for them to let us off, the port kept stopping the process. We just hung out on the lido deck though, not a big deal and not the vista’s fault but if you’re sailing from Galveston prepare for disorganization!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had an ocean suite and we are platinum, so the boarding process was very quick. Only time we stopped was when our carry on went through the x-ray. Friends that had faster to the fun said the same thing, they walked right on to the ... Read More
We had an ocean suite and we are platinum, so the boarding process was very quick. Only time we stopped was when our carry on went through the x-ray. Friends that had faster to the fun said the same thing, they walked right on to the ship with out stopping. Before muster drill our suitcases were in our room and we had completely unpacked and had things put up before muster. Suite was good, but not as big as the same class suite on the smaller ships. Balcony did have 3 chairs and a table and one chair was reclining. Our room steward always kept us with ice, and kept the room very clean, and she always knew us by name. We had your time dining. They have changed the way they do it, now there is three ways. Go to deck 5 and make a reservation with a person, which is a waste of time, do it with the app or just show up. First night doing this was a mess. We made a reservation for 6:30pm. It was about an hour before our table was ready. Since the dining room fills up, ;you still have to wait for a table to "open" before you are seated. There after I made the reservations with the app and for right now and the wait was less than 10 min. and they sent me the table number. Showed up at the dining room, showed them the table number on the app and were seated. Then we got a really good wait staff. After talking to them, they told me to just show up at opening time, go to the desk and request him and his staff, and that they would seat us with them. We did that the next night and it worked. Problem was, the people on deck 5 told us one thing, the people at the desk told us different things, so until we just asked the waiter, he told us how to do it. First night we had steak house reservations which came with a free bottle of wine or half off of the listed wines. We were 3 couples and all of us requested the free bottle of house wine. The bar waiter was really insistent we should get the half off listed wine as the house wine was not as good. He really made us feel like if we did not take the half off deal, that we were just a bunch of country hicks with poor taste. We gave in, mainly to get him to go away, but we did report him. Those were the only things that did get to us on the entire cruise. For such a big ship, this was our first time on Vista, we never noticed any really long waits at any of the places to eat, guys burger lines always moved fast and our wait was a couple of minutes. We really like the ship but we did have a minor thing that people might need to be aware of. We all had custom magnetic signs made to place on our doors. Yes, the cabin doors are metal, but they have a "coating" of plastic or something like that on them such that our magnetic signs would not stick. So we had to place them on the outside wall. Not a big deal, but still something to plan for if we sail again on vista. We found all the staff that we encountered were all friendly and professional. Due to high winds in Honduras, the Captain decided not to try to dock their, so we set out back towards Galveston. In a few minutes they advised us we would do another stop in Cozumel. Of course there were many ticked off people, including some diamond members, raising hell with the staff about it. I think it took real guts for the Captain to decide NOT to try docking in high winds, maybe causing damage to the ship and or the pier. It could have been bad, but some don't care about that, only want to get their way, not matter what the cost to the ship, the pier or the consequences of something bad happening. Then they would have been even more mad that he tried to dock in high winds. A no win situation for the Captain but a real good decision taking all things in consideration. Maybe more people should actually read the rules and regulations instead of just clicking "I agree" on the legal information. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Martin the club 02 leader made the cruise for all of teens so memorable he is such a great leader and makes everyone feel at home! He made all of us so close in just 4 days of our crusie! It was a fun and memorable crusie because of ... Read More
Martin the club 02 leader made the cruise for all of teens so memorable he is such a great leader and makes everyone feel at home! He made all of us so close in just 4 days of our crusie! It was a fun and memorable crusie because of Martin! He made it very fun of games and great bonding time! Tj the crusie director was great! He was super fun and always saw him interacting with us everywhere! I loved the activities we had! Carnival valor will always have a my heart! For sure booking a cruise on the valor again! What’s a great experience! Room service was amazing! And so was the staff! I recommend this cruise line 10/10 y’all did such a great job! Thank you again TJ and Martin for making this such a memorable crusie that i will never forget!! Carnival Valor forever i will always remember it! Love,Texas girl! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was an experimental cruise for us. We have taken 10 cruises and normally book a Jr Suite, or a balcony. This time we decided to go with an outside cabin with an eye toward saving some money. Right up front, I must admit I really ... Read More
This was an experimental cruise for us. We have taken 10 cruises and normally book a Jr Suite, or a balcony. This time we decided to go with an outside cabin with an eye toward saving some money. Right up front, I must admit I really really enjoyed this cruise. First of all, the boarding in Galveston was fantastic!! We normally have priority boarding because we usually book a Jr Suite, but this cruise was an Outside room, which would have meant long lines and slow processing. I can honestly say we boarded just as quickly on this cruise as any other cruise we have ever taken. We showed up at noon, walked right in and was promptly processed. No lines at all, no Disney World serpentine shuffle!!! The hardest part was just walking up the gang plank! Galveston and Carnival have figured it out!!! As a military veteran, I was overwhelmed by the attention Carnival has given to Armed Forces Veterans. Not only did we have daily teas and gatherings, but there was an awesome Veterans Salute in the Victoriana Theater. It was truly the highlight of our cruise. Every serviceman and woman should experience this. We decided not to take any organized tours of Key West, Freeport or Nassau, but rather, to walk around and shop. No one we talked to really like the hop on-hop off trolley, because of long lines and long wait times. Walking was easy for us, as everything we wanted to see was close at hand. We had no complaints about the food, entertainment or service. We were told we had 3330 passengers on board, but never felt crowded or uncomfortable. I will say that if you are not a smoker, stay clear of the casino, as the smoke is so thick in there, I found it hard to breathe, even as I walked by. We were very pleased with all aspects of the cruise and will do it again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Chose this Cruise for our 27th wedding anniversary. We had so much fun on this cruise. All the staff we interacted with were very professional and always had a smile. Especially Milan and Mark in the Alchemy Bar. We stopped here for drinks ... Read More
Chose this Cruise for our 27th wedding anniversary. We had so much fun on this cruise. All the staff we interacted with were very professional and always had a smile. Especially Milan and Mark in the Alchemy Bar. We stopped here for drinks before dinner every night, best dirty martinis I have ever had. The decor of the ship was plain but did not bother me. We did not even miss the glass elevators. The Havana area is great. I would recommend choosing a room that allows access to this area. No crowds at the bar or at the pool area. Walked out at 10 and plenty of loungers still available. Since this was an anniversary cruise we only ate in the main dining room twice. The food was good it was what I expected. The other night we ate at the specialty restaurants and the food was exceptional. We had so much fun on this cruise we booked another cruise on the Vista. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I was really impressed with the cruise ship Valor. It was clean, food was the best I have had on a cruise in a long time, the wait staff were prompt, courteous, could communicate very well, food in mdr was always very good, steak house was ... Read More
I was really impressed with the cruise ship Valor. It was clean, food was the best I have had on a cruise in a long time, the wait staff were prompt, courteous, could communicate very well, food in mdr was always very good, steak house was excellent, my room was very clean, the porter made sure I had 2 ice buckets filled, the casino staff were exceptional always coming up to me to see if I was having a good time, Casino even paid off some, the bar staff were very prompt getting drinks out. Being handicapped, the ships staff were always making sure I was ok. This was the fifth cruise I was on this year. I have never been on the Valor before. I will definitely book more cruises on her. I did not get off the ship in any ports because of being handicapped. Carnival always takes care of me. The only type of vacation I like. I have several more cruises booked with Carnival b Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We picked this cruise for spring break and we picked this ship based on ports, dates, reviews, etc. There were six of us total, two families. We had a great time. Our rooms were nice and clean and our room steward (Ferry) was awesome! If ... Read More
We picked this cruise for spring break and we picked this ship based on ports, dates, reviews, etc. There were six of us total, two families. We had a great time. Our rooms were nice and clean and our room steward (Ferry) was awesome! If we needed something, he got it, he respected our privacy if needed and he was very friendly...he knew our names right away! The food was very good and our waiters were amazing - Imade, John and Iwayan. I would want to sit in their section if they were on our next cruise. The variety of foods was great and I enjoyed trying different things. The gym was nice and had a great variety of equipment - my only complaint there is that I wish there were more free class options. Not a big deal though. The spa area was very nice and the employees were polite, friendly and knowledgeable. There were many things to do on the ship - shows, games, etc. The cruise director, Simon London, did a great job and was very energetic. The excursions were a lot of fun and my favorite was the Snorkel and Starfish Island Getaway. The guides were fabulous! The snorkeling was a lot of fun and the guides were very helpful and monitored everyone very well. The island was so lovely and I would have loved to spend more time doing all of it. The trip was a great experience for all of us! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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