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118 Carnival Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

My wife and I just did the back to back Trans Atlantic cruise, We were on the ship for 24 days. The ports were great, food was outstanding, crew was top of the line. Now this is not our 1st cruise, we are almost diamond members, Yes the ... Read More
My wife and I just did the back to back Trans Atlantic cruise, We were on the ship for 24 days. The ports were great, food was outstanding, crew was top of the line. Now this is not our 1st cruise, we are almost diamond members, Yes the crew had some bugs to work out but being a new ship that happens. I can't say enough about the food it was great, my wife and I always do the chef's table and Chef Danny made this a great time along with all his helpers. My wife and I were in room 6460 and our cabin steward was great always had a smile and friendly never did we have a day that we did not see him and had chances to talk with him. The whole crew was great..... t The steak House was prefect and we saw a lot of people working on the ship (crew members) that we had sailed with before(it was like old friends week). The Cruise Director (Mike), was one of the best I have seen in a long time. Now one of the ships officers that we know and have known for a long time (Brendon) food manager was on the ship, he is probably the best in the industry and the most friendly and outgoing person you will ever meet. He is always on the go checking on each food area and speaking with people to make sure that the dinning experience was the best, and asking for suggestion to make it better. I will close for now but if you want to go on a great ship with a great crew go on the Horizon. Yes we have already booked another one. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
It was our first Trans Atlantic cruise and we were the fourth cruise itinerary on the Horizon. Everything was wonderful. The ship is beautiful and we found it easy to navigate. The Room Stewards and Wait Staff were great - could not ... Read More
It was our first Trans Atlantic cruise and we were the fourth cruise itinerary on the Horizon. Everything was wonderful. The ship is beautiful and we found it easy to navigate. The Room Stewards and Wait Staff were great - could not have done more for us. Food was excellent in the Dining Room and on Lido. Deck. In the evenings on Lido the choices were outstanding - we typically do not eat on Lido in the evenings but did so on this longer cruise. Guys Pig and Anchor food also great - no charge at lunch time although only open for lunch on Sea Days so a really good time to go is your first day upon Embarkation. Pizza was great - they will make variations of the four listings that are on the wall. Oh yes, Gelato is served daily on Lido at lunchtime - two different choices offered. We were on Deck 11 Cabin 11266 which for us was the perfect location - it is an Inside Cabin - not Spa even though Spa Cabins are further down the hall - with easy access to Lido Deck and Gym and Serenity Deck and elevators and really everything - we loved it - we were in a similar Cabin location on Vista a year ago. The evening entertainment was typical Carnival entertainment - no complaints - but similar to what we have seen in the past. The music/musician offerings throughout the ship were excellent - I would suggest there was something for everyone's taste. We had a really wonderful cruise - no hiccups for us - would not hesitate to cruise again on the Horizon. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
ELEVATORS - You can’t just jump on an elevator because there are no buttons inside to select your floor. You must select a floor BEFORE entering, so 2 elevators arrive, you miss them both while programing your desired floor, or even ... Read More
ELEVATORS - You can’t just jump on an elevator because there are no buttons inside to select your floor. You must select a floor BEFORE entering, so 2 elevators arrive, you miss them both while programing your desired floor, or even worse, a passenger holds the door, but the elevator simply won’t take the command because the elevator has arrived, huh? and you wait forever for the next elevator. They are more labor intensive, have longer waits because normally, people changing their mind about taking the elevator isn’t a problem because they never actually enter the elevator (to select a floor); with this system, the floor is selected before entering so the elevator stops at every floor where passengers gave up on the elevator or made an entry mistake. There’s no display to show where the elevator is (if you have an idea of wait time, it makes the wait seem shorter). A couple of the elevator selection panels have broken down already. What a stupid system! On the positive side, it’s a good incentive to use the stairs. EMBARKATION didn’t start until 12:15 pm. Most hotel check out is by 10 am so naturally people head to the pier. Just less than 70% of the passengers were Diamond/Platinum/Suites/Faster-To-the-Fun payers, so the majority stood in a “priority” line that SLOWLY snaked around the waiting area (after waiting that hour or two beforehand). Only sporadically were passengers double checked if they were indeed “priority”. EVEN WORSE, once on board, there was a huge line to get on the elevators, which were far in the distance. Everywhere else was cordoned off except the stairs. Two main reasons for the elevator line. a) The crazy unconventional elevators, so just like when the Titanic went down, elevators (instead of lifeboats) were leaving with only 4 people inside, and stopping on all floors. b) The ship’s design doesn’t include crew-area luggage elevators, so the passenger elevators were used. Essentially luggage had priority as almost all elevators were closed to passengers for luggage. Considering our ship was due to sail at 7 pm, would have thought passengers could be the priority. EVEN AFTER the late lunch, the chaos continued at the elevators where there was very little standing room since the area was jam packed with luggage waiting to be distributed. The perk of allowing “priority” passengers IMMEDIATE access to their cabin is a contributing factor to elevator chaos and a later embarkation starting time. Carnival offers, and charges for, “Faster to the Fun” making “Priority” is a misnomer. EATING IS INCONVENIENT: Unless you upload their app and carry your iphone, anytime diners with cabins on, say the 2nd deck, must travel to the 5th deck, line up to get a dining entrance ticket, then travel and line up on the 3rd deck to get in to eat. What’s that all about? The cafeteria is in two sections not immediately next to each other. They have similar, but not identical offerings, so we constantly walked back and forth between the two cafeteria areas (53 yards) for a single item (adding to the traffic congestion to boot). FOOD: There is hype about “Guy’s Hamburger Joint”, but I felt nauseous from the grease afterwards so I only visited once. More hype over the Pig & Anchor where I had pulled pork. Aside from the fat and crust I discarded, it wasn’t as bad. CAFETERIA: The cafeteria food at my work is better for preparation and selection. The often-browning lettuce was generally iceberg (no nutrition) displayed in a bowl no bigger than one at home (for 4000) and only about 6 items to add vs. well over a dozen selections at most land restaurants. I enjoy a salad daily, but with the meager choices, I never bothered. Dessert cakes are cut one slice at a time upon request, which meant there was always a line at the counter. Everything for a deli sandwich is behind one counter and made up by one server, so a long line is inevitable. It’s not like a Subway restaurant where you order what type of fresh baked roll etc. you want. You get hamburger/hot dog buns taken from a plastic package of 8 (think supermarket) likewise bread slice choice was packaged white or rye. Meatballs inside a hot bun were cold. The cafeteria, and everywhere INDOORS, was FRIGID so most passengers ate (and watched evening shows) wearing sweaters, heavy jackets and even wool hats. Cheaper cuts of meat such as chicken, Salisbury steak, meatloaf, meatballs, pizza and hamburgers were plentiful and so was rice and pasta. Dining hit a new low for us. Staff didn’t monitor passenger hand sanitation. I caught a bad cold. First time I’ve ever been sick on a ship. FREE DINING, I liken to TV dinners set on a plate except the cordon bleu chicken was tough, gammon (ham) was dry and hard to cut. I couldn’t cut through the Brussel sprouts. I suspect all food is previously frozen. Fresh berries seem to be a thing of the past on cruise ships. The food offering on “Elegant Night” is better and makes up for having to pack the extra clothing. SPECIALTY DINING: Since the food was so poor we tried “specialty” for the first time ever (steak house). It’s everything I remember that cruising “used to” be like. Delicious and inviting. With the price of a cruise varying around $400 or $500 depending on location, season, and different cruise lines, this is about the same as the cost to specialty dine. Had this cost been in the upfront price, I’d hardly have noticed and it wouldn’t have been a problem. However, paying for specialty when there’s food upstairs that’s supposed to be dining, just rubs me the wrong way (probably because I “remember when . . .”) CASINO SMOKE: The casino is slap bang in the middle of the ship and allows smoking. The 3rd deck isn’t a through-deck so you always seem to find yourself at the 4th floor casino. Because the layout is open, the stench permeates that area out to the elevators and stairwells, and to a lesser degree, the floors above and below. Management must be smokers if they think the ventilation system is adequate. SHIP’S DESIGN is excellent for warm Caribbean travel. But choose carefully if going on cold weather or transatlantic crossing. There’s NO “Skyline Bar” type place where you can settle down at the front of the ship to relax with a 180-degree view of the ocean. Nor is there an indoor pool. There are lots of water activities, but the water was too cold to use them. The sports deck is great, but the top deck high wind is tiring. Other than taking up seating in a busy cafeteria, there ISN’T ANY indoor relaxation areas where you can sit by a window. The ENTERTAINMENT audio level throughout the ship could damage your ears (even the elevator “dong” to announce floor arrival is ear piercing). One entertainer even asked the sound technician to turn the volume down a notch. I really appreciated that. SAILING ON A SHIP OF 4000 PASSENGERS – Except for embarkation and disembarkation, I’ve never felt crowded on ships. Not so with this ship. Standing room only for almost everything, shows and even activities like Trivia, etc. The cafeteria at lunch and breakfast was jam packed with lines everywhere and not enough seats. Because seating at a window for relaxation is nonexistent, passengers sat in the cafeteria playing cards or reading, compounding the shortage of tables for eating. Same with the other “free” restaurants. You needed a buzzer for one and outdoor long line for the other. Not just for food, lines were everywhere, for almost anything. One gangway might be OK for smaller big ships, but its essential a 4000-passenger ship have a minimum of 2 passenger gangways. In Halifax for instance, the line to get through the ONE onboard x-ray machine ran from outside the terminal, through the terminal, along the pier, UP a flight of stairs to another line, inside the ship. The only reason the ship left an hour late was processing passengers through their one x-ray machine (even though they do possess more). Invariably that one gangway was at the furthest point from the pier exit. The ship is long rather than tall (pool is deck 10). Being a l o n g mega ship, walking from the cabin to activities on this ship is even longer. ON THE POSITIVE SIDE, all sinks have nonautomatic faucets which tend to conserve water. The ship lived up to the “Fun Ship” reputation. The activities director was excellent, certainly visible and there were more activities offered than on most ships I’ve been on (suggest using 2 locations for the same activity due to crowding). We even had free Zumba which they told us was not on the other ships. On disembarkation there was plenty to keep passengers occupied. If you haven’t cruised much, are summer cruising, and don’t mind paying for the extras, you’ll have a really great time. I notice Carnival past cruisers are staunchly loyal. One lady at a Q&A session, broke down and couldn’t talk trying to tell the officers how much she appreciated the staff. COST I did a quick calculation of what an all-inclusive cruise ACTUALLY costs. While on board I picked a random 8-day cruise to the Caribbean in August advertised at $979 ea. WOW! Over 80% of the cabins are balcony, so let’s realistically calculate for the vast majority. $2,728 Cabin ($1364 each, pay more if there’s more than 2 in the cabin) $350 Taxes and port charges $208 Gratuities ($13 each = $26 times 8 days) $245 Internet package that most hotels provide anyway, and works much faster $400 Dinner at the “specialty” restaurants vary from $15 to $35 each, so let’s take an average of $25 x 2 people x 8 days. (This is dinner ONLY) $120 Soft drinks (not including real orange juice or specialty coffee for breakfast) TOTAL $4,051 cabin (rather than the bold print $979 ea. p.p) = $506 per night rather than $122 ea. p.p. (add $100+ per night if including alcohol) I didn’t bother to include the cost of entertainment on board such as IMAX, babysitting etc. that I’m guessing you’d pay for on any other all inclusive. Although not added is single serving fruit tarts $3, “specialty” coffee $3-$6 or cookies $1.25 which in the past were free. We’re now at well over $600 per night for a tiny cabin and miniature bathroom for a great summer time vacation. With a hotel you can walk out if it doesn’t meet expectations, not so much in the middle of the ocean. I’ve been cruising since the 1990s (41 cruises; 50% Celebrity, 50% equally with the other cruise lines) so maybe that’s too long. I’m having difficulty adapting to the evolution of what cruise lines now offer as all inclusive (I see it akin to how the airlines have changed and charge). I used to regard cruising as luxury travel, even used to regard flying that way. Probably it’s time (for me anyway) to move on to something else. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this ship because we were doing a transatlantic from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome on Celebrity Reflection and and we could fly to Barcelona for a couple days and catch the Horizon back home. Being a new ship we anticipated it being ... Read More
We chose this ship because we were doing a transatlantic from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome on Celebrity Reflection and and we could fly to Barcelona for a couple days and catch the Horizon back home. Being a new ship we anticipated it being top notch! Just the opposite. Embarkation - We were told to be at the dock for 11am check in. We then had to sit and wait 2 hours before we could get on the ship. After we were on we were directed to a dining room for lunch. The servers were all new and it took forever to get our food. That's when we first realized there was a shortage of help on this ship. That's probably an understatement! Cabin - When we got to our cabin the cabin steward was on his first cruise and could hardly speak English. Could not carry on a conversation with him. He ask if wanted room service in the morning or afternoon? We have always had room service twice a day! That was odd. We were in Cabin 6226 toward the front with a balcony. It happened to be over the main show room so the noise was quite loud with the music and vibrations. The first couple nights the ship was rocking and pounding. Our big window creaked and popped all night. We had to call maintenance. Worried the window would not make the transatlantic trip! Luckily the rest of the cruise was relatively smooth. You do not get chocolates on your pillow at night. There were no writing pens or pads, no Carnival bags. We had to carry our cards, etc. around in a Celebrity Bag. The doors to the balcony slam shut if you let them go. The next door neighbor was constantly slamming their door. The balcony is so small there is only room for 2 chairs and a short small table. It is also not private. We were used to foot stools and tall table for dining on the balcony. No such thing on this ship. The balcony was not very private either. You could see both sides if they were in their chairs. On the plus side they did have a fairly good selection of movies on the TV which came in handy considering it was too cold outside for the big screen. They only provided Beach towels to cover up with, no blankets. Bathroom - Very retro turquoise molded vinyl. Shower curtain, no doors! I always bring my own shampoo but I ran out halfway through and had to use the shampoo on the ship. There was no conditioner and I couldn't hardly get my hair combed out after using their shampoo. They also do not provide body lotion as most ships do. There is not a night light in bathroom. Main Areas - The casino is the designated smoking area for all smokers. There is not a non smoking night. My husband was very disappointed and it kept him from using the casino. It was designed so that the smoke filtered to 2 floors and around. Card Room - IT was a joke. 3 card tables. The library and card room were together with a wine bar also. It was impossible to get a table so we had to use tables in the cafeteria to play cards. They also had an electronic door that opened to the outside deck and when it opened the wind would blow your cards over. Plus it was a huge distraction for readers and card players. People would just use it as a pass through! Liquid Lounge - This was their main show room and it was the smallest show room I've encountered plus huge columns in the way. Always lines to get in. Not enough room for a third of the people the ship was carrying. The entertainment was just so so. It was so hard to get a seat we just quit trying. Limelight Lounge - They had a comedy show in this room a couple times a day. There was always a huge line and overflow crowd. They had PG and PG 18 rated shows. The comedian Mark Palmer was great. Even his PG18 show was not bad. They had one comedian that had no business being on a ship he was so filthy! Ocean Plaza - This room was for trivia, etc. It was too small to accommodate those that wanted to play. Since the weather was not ideal most everyone had to be indoors. This ship was not able to accommodate bad weather. Public Restrooms - No attendents. Mostly blow dryers. No seat covers. Laundry Mat - Was happy to see that that had a do it yourself laundry. IMAX Theatre - Extra cost. We scheduled a movie for the last day at sea only to receive a call and say it had been cancelled due to maintenance issues. That was disappointing. Of course we had just got off a Celebrity Cruise so the comparisons stuck out without trying. We paid the same price so the differences were unbelievable. For instance we had received twice daily room service, Fresh fruit daily in room, bottle of champagne in room, tote bag, bathroom with individual shampoo, conditioner, soap, cream. Chocolates on pillow every night. Also a built in night light in bathroom. Dining - The main dining room was 2 floors and very nice looking. We had a table for 2 that was crowded between 2 other tables so we may as well been at one table with them. Food was good some nights but not every night. Ate in cafeteria some evenings. It was a different arrangement. There were 2 sections, each section had 8 stations of buffet food. Every station had the same food so the menu was very small. There was a salad bar which had limited selections but it seemed fresh. They had beautiful cakes at the lunch time buffet but you always had to stand in line while they sliced it for you. There was a Deli that always had a line. Outside by the pool was Guys Burgers, they were good and a popular spot. On the other side was a Taco station. The Taco Salad was alright. There was several separate restaurants for extra dollars, Guys Pig and Anchor, Steak House, Italian, Sushi and Teppanyaki. We were disappointed in the lack of attention to hand washing. Nobody at the entrance of restaurants to give you squirts of sanitizer and the stand alone stations were not always visible. My husband got a stomach bug and I came home with a cold. The moral of this story is that cruising has taken a dive! We've been cruising since 1980 and remember when cruising was something special and everything was included. It has become something I don't even recognize. We have decided to take a break from cruising. Most definitely will not be going on any more Carnival Cruises. Sorry Carnival, you were our first 2 cruises in the 80's and it was so different then. You don't even have a record of us from the Carnival Festival! Oh well. We are small fish in a big sea! You'll do fine with guests that have not cruised other lines! Children would probably love this ship but I imagine it will be crowded in the summer at the outside venues. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to New York City --The main reason for taking this cruise was the itinerary and the cost was relatively reasonable. Embarkation/Disembarkation: In Barcelona we had an embarkation window of time ... Read More
Transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to New York City --The main reason for taking this cruise was the itinerary and the cost was relatively reasonable. Embarkation/Disembarkation: In Barcelona we had an embarkation window of time assigned of 1:00 to 1:30, arrived, and flew through onto the ship. Fasted embarkation I have ever experienced on any cruise line. Once on the ship, we were hit with a wall of people! Many enjoying the first bar they saw in the atrium, most others standing in a mob waiting for elevators. We used the stairs. Carnival did a great job of getting people off ship in NYC, though mighty early because they had a christening party planned for that afternoon. Organization fell apart in the terminal but that was not Carnival’s area of responsibility. Once aboard our airport transfer bus I looked across the street at a line of passengers and their baggage that went down the street and around the corner! Very happy we had purchased Carnival transfers. Elevators: A new system that generally worked very efficiently, unless there were many people at one time, on multiple floors, trying to access them. Use a keypad and enter your floor and you are assigned a car that is programed to go to your floor (among others). But, when that car arrives and is full, you have to start over. TV screens on some floors, that displayed car letters, and what floors they were going to, helped a lot. Stateroom: 8302 balcony room, midship. Great location. Super room attendants (thank you Pedro!). Size was generally fine but storage was I thought a bit skimpy. And did those twin beds seem narrower than a standard twin? And with one bed shoved up against the curtained window, the only sunlight we easily got was through the balcony door. Probably not a problem for one bed, but maybe the room could have been a couple inches bigger? Food: Main Dining Room: Hit or miss to be kind. Biggest problem was often not having hot food served to you. Not just tepid but cold food. Breakfast in the MDR was ice cold and so was its replacement meal – didn’t eat there again. Wait staff in the MDR for dinner seemed overwhelmed at times, and they were certainly gracious enough if you had to send back any cold food, which probably compounded their stress levels. Selection of entrée choices seemed less than on other lines. Only linens on the tables for formal night and the first night without them, I felt like I was eating at Perkins. I was ok with the anytime dining getting a seat assignment or beeper from deck 5. We were perhaps later diners than most and we really never experienced any lines. I had a thought after we returned home about the MDR – is the bar being lowered there to steer guests to the specialty (additional cost) restaurants? Conceivable. Specialty restaurants: Of the 14 days we were on this cruise, we ate 7 evenings in the MDR and 7 evenings at the various specialty restaurants. We did not take advantage of the no-cost lunch buffets offered at some of the specialty restaurants on at-sea days. Though we were told before we sailed that both the Chef’s Table and the Bonsai Teppanyaki restaurants were fully booked, we were waitlisted and did get into both. The Chef’s Table was an extraordinary experience and worth every penny. We ate multiple times at the teppanyaki restaurant and it was a little different each time, which was ok. I enjoyed the food and the experiences very much. Kudos on the dessert box! The steakhouse was excellent. The Italian restaurant was very good – I did notice that their menu has “evolved” from the menu posted on Carnival’s website. JiJi Asian restaurant was a fiasco – too rushed and the entrees were ice cold. When had to sit way too long looking at the cold meal congealing in front of us, we decided to just leave. We did not eat at the Pig and Anchor. Suggestion though – if on a transatlantic cruise, with many days at sea, maybe giving away food at free lunch buffets is the reason Carnival doesn’t have many people in these dining rooms in the evening. Lido Buffet: In the spirit of full disclosure, I am not a buffet fan but did eat there a few times for both breakfast and lunch. Breakfast had the same fare, in steam trays, each morning. I did think it was odd that toast and bagels were laid out on a side buffet and not kept hot. The omelet station was the busiest place of all and even with the lines, it was worth the wait. For lunch they served mostly heavier fare in the steam tray buffet. The salad area was small (as were the bowls) but if you wanted a more substantial salad you could go the Serenity area on deck 15. The best, by far, was the deli and the length of the lines there were long. Biggest complaint was the people who parked themselves in the seating area all day to read, play cards, do crafts, etc. so that finding a spot to eat was difficult. Other dining options: Room service breakfast started out delivering not hot coffee but that did improve as the cruise progressed. We did not order room service for other than breakfast. The wood fire pizza station on the stern served great pizza. We did not order from the Seafood Shack but clearly it was popular with seafood loving guests. The Mexican station was good and the Guy burgers were just outstanding. Cleanliness: Often the had santizers either didn't work or where pushed aside. The people cleaning the common areas seemed to do a cursory job and looked universally bored to tears. No norovirus outbreak but every other person seemed to have a cold. Entertainment: We were late diners so we never really could sync up to the shows in the Liquid Lounge. The lines for the comedy club queued early and were long. Karaoke was ok. The piano bar, with Eden, was great. The casino was not lucky for us and they need to improve that room ventilation system. We did not participate in bingo, trivia or other games. Nor did we go on the Skyride though people looked like they were having a great time. The IMAX movies did not interest me. No kids with us. Beverage Package/Bars: We did the math and the Cheers package was a pretty good deal given our beverage preferences. And obviously many others on the ship thought so too -- they actually ran out of some wines, liquor brands and canned mixers. I thought the on-deck and casino servers were often slow to return with beverages. But for the most part, the service at the various bars aboard was very good. Jorge in the Havana Bar was exceptional. Who knew a daiquiri could taste that good? WiFi: We bought a shared plan that cost way too much money. Shame on all cruise lines for gouging guests for this service! But it is clearly a profit center for them so I don’t see it going away soon. Excursions: I thought Carnival pricing was reasonable so we did not book any independent tours. As with all excursions/tours from cruise lines, or independent, some were better than others. My one wish, for all excursion/tours on all cruise lines – quit walking so glacially slow! There is a comfortable walking gait, and there is not. I realize there are passengers with some diminished capabilities but I don’t even think they want to walk at a funeral pace. Laundry: With nearly 2000 top tier frequent floaters aboard this ship entitled to the free laundry perk, getting a laundry bag special, ever, during a 14-day cruise was just a dream. (Though from what I heard we were probably better off without it.) Summation: Carnival Horizon is a new ship with some kinks in it. But once they are fixed, it is going to make for one heck of a party ship in the Caribbean. Clearly it was made for people enjoying the outdoors. The food in some venues, especially the serving temperatures, need to improve for sure. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
PROS: The ship itself was very nice, Never felt crowded. Getting on and off the ship was very smooth for arrival, for departure, and for all ports, we enjoyed the Ping Pong tables which were in doors as opposed to our past cruises in ... Read More
PROS: The ship itself was very nice, Never felt crowded. Getting on and off the ship was very smooth for arrival, for departure, and for all ports, we enjoyed the Ping Pong tables which were in doors as opposed to our past cruises in which the tables were outdoors, For most days it was too cold and windy to enjoy the outdoor ship facilities. The gym also was very good, and we never had trouble in getting to use the equipment that we wanted. CONS: The Lido Buffet was by far the worst and most limited buffet that we have experienced on a cruise, There were basically no vegetables, and when there were they were bland. In addition, there were typically only around 6 to 8 choices including sides and half of the choices were in the second of 2 rows and hard to reach. The lunch buffet was a little better than the dinner buffet as they had better desserts including a gelato station that we only tried once due the length of the line. We ate in the main dining room only 3 nights out of the 14 as it just took too long to eat. The lobster on formal night was very good, and the lamb chops on another night was also very good. We ate lunch once at the Mongolian restaurant and selected numerous vegetables, however what we received was basically a bowl of noodles with a couple of tiny vegetables included. We also ate one night at the Asian specialty restaurant for $15 per person. The food was good, however all our choices tasted pretty much the same. The sandwiches at the deli were OK as was the Pizza. On the whole the dining experience was extremely disappointing. The theater was very poorly designed and it was very hard to find a decent seat from which the show could be seen unobstructed. The shows themselves were good but the design of the theater took a lot away from the experience, The activities on sea days were very limited, unless you wanted to play trivia all day long. I have been on other cruises where there were multiple dance classes per day. On this cruise other than the Zumba activity which they had 3 or 4 times during the cruise there were basically no decent dance classes. I went to one class which lasted a total of 11 minutes, Why even bother,. There were movies that were shown outside on a big, beautiful and sharp screen, However, for the most part it was too windy and cold to enjoy. This will probably not be an issue when the ship cruises in warmer climates. There was a sports bar with lots of screens that showed the same game on every screen which for the most part was a game that appealed to Europeans as opposed to Americans. This should also be rectified when the ship sails in the US. The TV in the room had very little to watch. The stations were European stations, except for CNBC which at least allowed me to keep up with the Stock Market. Given that 80 percent of the people on the ship were American not clear why they could not offer more American stations, On the whole we were very disappointed with the cruise. The poor choice of food, and the lack of activity makes me rate the overall experience as poor. In fact, we were so disappointed that in the future we will probably not cruise Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Notes for our Carnival Horizon Our 8th crossing... our 78th Cruise with multiple cruise lines. Booking and Air We booked this Maiden transatlantic of the Horizon looking forward to enjoying sea days on the newest ship in the ... Read More
Notes for our Carnival Horizon Our 8th crossing... our 78th Cruise with multiple cruise lines. Booking and Air We booked this Maiden transatlantic of the Horizon looking forward to enjoying sea days on the newest ship in the Carnival fleet. Fortunately, Carnival had very reasonable pricing for our flights on United from Newark to Barcelona. Our flight departed Newark about 3 hrs. late, but the airplane seating, crew and experience itself was great. We arrived in Barcelona followed the crowd to immigration, picked up our luggage and headed to the baggage exit. Finding the Carnival representative was NOT easy. We had to ask several other cruise reps where we might find Carnival agents. After finding them, we stapled our pre-printed Carnival luggage tags to each piece, dropped them off with the Carnival porters and were directed to seats nearby. The process took about an hour with what we thought was check in at the airport (not).... the bus ride was about 30 minutes... after which we had to answer the same information once we arrived at the port terminal. As Platinum VIFP we were promptly led to the sign in desk and ready to board...however, we learned the we could bring our own wine and alcohol! The terminal has an extensive duty free selection of wine at reasonable prices, so we purchased a few bottles for the cabin. Boarding was fast, but the small, smart elevators caused long lines once on the ship as we waited our turn to go from deck 3 to our deck 6. Many angry guests could not imagine why it was taking so long! After about 20 minutes, we reached our cabin, 6461. We freshened up, checked the refrigerator only to find it was not working...we needed it fixed or replaced. (The 3rd replacement worked) The room and closet space were adequate, the extra long veranda however, was very narrow! Those sailing in warm weather would find it difficult to relax on the veranda with outstretched legs unless each chair was set on a 45 degree angle. The bathroom had a shower curtain and decor was in the retro old style and colors, it lacked enough space to keep toiletries conveniently nearby. No night light, no typical amenities such as body lotion, or shampoo conditioner... only shampoo and body wash dispensers in the shower. The one phone in the cabin was on the desk, as were the only 2 - 110v electrical 1 - 220v and 2 USB outlets. Again, not convenient to the bed or well thought out. We briefly met our cabin attendant, Daniel who asked if we wanted 1 or 2 make ups daily.... duh. We told him twice daily please. He and his partner Jelena were great at keeping the cabin tidy, clean and constantly filled our jumbo ice bucket! Off to lunch at the Lido Marketplace on deck 10, aft. Loved the layout, easy to find seating, several sections (front, mid and aft) each with much the same buffet selections, allowing for comfortable self service and finding tables. Many tables for 2, several up to 8. Liked the variety, happy with the quality, taste and prompt availability of whatever seems missing, just for the asking... (smoked salmon and poached eggs) in the morning. Never a food complaint in the Marketplace. Getting tables cleaned promptly was however, a challenge. Note: cookies are rare, and sugar free cookies never. Selection limited for all deserts, lines of 10 or more common. Need self service ... and additional sugar free deserts for those whose diet demands. Following lunch, we visited the maître D to change our dining time and table. Then it was time for the muster drill. Dinner was early 6PM at table 745. A lovely location, at the aft with a view of the ocean set for 4, our waiter and assistants were fabulous, the food was however, mediocre, never very hot, not up to our Carnival expectations (had always been better than other lines). Not a complaint, rather an observation. Usually after dinner, we would visit the casino! Not so on Horizon! The smell of smoke was unbearable despite Pierre’s (Hotel mgr.) assurance otherwise. He went into great detail at our Cruise Critic mtg about how much better the casino air filtration system was and how much effort and money went into making it so. Apparently it needs more effort, money or repair! Many guests we met had the same comment. Back to food.. Tried the Guys Hamburgers... they are absolutely delicious, fast service and excellent selection of toppings make for a great lunch. The BBQ was a disappointment... perhaps our expectations were set too high... long lines, hard to find tables, fatty ribs.. we found ourselves headed back to the Marketplace to finish lunch. The Seafood Shack is worth the few dollars extra. We shared a lunch combo platter (10.00. We are able to substitute clam strips for calamari, added shrimp, scallops, battered cod and fries. Plenty to share, all fried, all hot and delicious. Place your order, get notification via assigned buzzer when ready, pick up your meal and take back to a table in Marketplace. Ship The ship itself is not your typical Carnival décor. It's very attractive, just no glitz or glitter we are accustomed to. A guest we met said "there's no WOW factor". We were pleased with the extensive use of warm woods, glass and more "conservative" interiors.. Elevators Smart elevators ... good, but hard to get used to. More like some high rise buildings in metro cities, these are very efficient, but you need to indicate where you intend to go BEFORE entering the elevator, as there an NO buttons inside the elevator. You do this by approaching a pedestal, then touching the 6" X 10" display screen with the deck number you want to get to. The display then shows and sounds an Alpha Letters (A, B, C etc.) which elevator to use for that request. On most decks there's also a large display screen near the elevator bank with info. about which elevator will will stop on which decks etc. Frustrating at first, however, takes getting used to.. TV at seas, it's incredible how good the reception actually is. Just wish there were US stations. We had BBC, CNN international Sky News, CNBC etc. Great selection of movies... many are included, a few of the LATEST are priced at 4.99. Interactive menu lacks music channels, ship info. is minimal (ship camera, speed and depth, sunrise, sunset only) Would like temperature, wave heights and wind info.. Would also be nice if we could order room service ... perhaps this is coming. Veranda - Best said... this is a ship built for warm weather and outdoor activities. As such, our Veranda while longer than most, is so narrow as to make it impossible to pass when someone is using a lounge chair with legs extended. Theater - Liquid Lounge is MUCH too small, difficult to see stage from many seats, no pitch to the floor, so it's hard to see over guests seated in front of you. IMAX - Great experience, excellent selection, worth the small surcharge. Crew - Outstanding.. obviously these are selected for their experience and have been trained well. Always a smile, always do their very best to satisfy the guest. Dining Room - Moving away from the open, no division between sections, each area is a bit more defined a bit quieter than typical. There were however, NO table cloths, (except for formal nights), and the tables themselves are fairly close to each other making any privacy impossible. Overall, we had a pleasant cruise, we would do it again (if they offer another transatlantic). NOT a cold weather ship!! Not enough space at the indoor venues for games, cards, mahjong etc. when everyone is "indoors". Disembarkation Well coordinated - moved quickly. Note that customs declaration forms were not required UNLESS you had to something to declare. Hard to find porters in the luggage area. Lines waiting to get one as they returned to the terminal. Only other comment has really to do with the Carnival VFIP program. Just not very competitive with most others. Would love if they added things like some free wifi, 2 coupon drinks per day, etc. at Platinum level. Love the laundry perk, boarding priority, private phone contact and Platinum Line at Guest Services. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We sailed on the transatlantic cruise and had a wonderful two weeks. Having sailed on Vista a couple of years previously in The Med we knew what to expect from this class of ship and it didn't disappoint. Embarkation: very quick ... Read More
We sailed on the transatlantic cruise and had a wonderful two weeks. Having sailed on Vista a couple of years previously in The Med we knew what to expect from this class of ship and it didn't disappoint. Embarkation: very quick and easy, comfortable big cruise terminal in Barcelona with plenty of seats, a cafe, bar and a duty free shop that had its shelves picked clean - it was funny to watch. The Ship: it was great to see some familiar faces from the crew on Vista, most of the crew were brilliant and really create a fun, lively atmosphere on board. It has almost the same layout as Vista but they've made a couple of changes which are not an improvement such as opening the Steakhouse to flow into the Piano bar. We had an inside cabin on deck 7 which had a comfortable bed, plenty of hangers but could do with some shelves beside the wardrobe. The room steward asked if we wanted the room cleaned once or twice a day. Very friendly guy who always had a smile and a chat every time we saw him. Entertainment: we love the production shows, the comedy club, the lively atmosphere all around the ship. The entertainment on Carnival is far better than any other cruise line we've sailed with. The comedians were really funny especially the three British guys. All the shows we watched in the Liquid Lounge were excellent, including the guest singers and the hypnotist. Unfortunately Carnival have not listened to feedback from Vista and changed the design of the Liquid Lounge which is undoubtedly the worst theatre on any cruise ship afloat. It is totally inadequate in size and has a terrible layout meaning that only half the seats have a decent view of the stage. As a result people queue for up to 45 minutes to get a seat with a view. Design Flaws: the Liquid Lounge is not the only design flaw on this class of ship, they have repeated the same flaws as Vista. The gym is far too small and appears to be an after thought stuck at the end of the Spa. Two of the additional fee restaurants are located directly below the sports court so you hear a constant thump, thump, thump of basketballs while you're having lunch or dinner. There's a big massive waste of space covering three floors of the ship, the Imax. Surely a better use of this space would be more cabins and a bigger gym. Food: some good and some not so good experiences. We had YTD and it worked great every night. We never had to wait for a table whether we were sharing or just a table for two. Service was always very friendly, courteous and quick. Every night we had a really enjoyable meal, good food well served. The Lido could get busy during breakfast and lunch but we always found plenty to eat and always found a table. Plenty of variety although the signs above the serving stations in the Lido could be a lot bigger to make them easier to read. The Pig and Anchor always had a queue at 1200 when it opened but if you went in after 1300 there was no queue and plenty of seats available. Mongolian Wok and Ji Ji's - we went twice to each and had superb meals each time. Well worth the $15 fee for dinner. Its a shame they don't close the sports court directly above so you don't have to listen to the constant thump of basketballs. Cucina del Capitano was terrible, very poor service. We went for lunch on a port day, it wasn't busy so there can be no excuses for such poor service. Very slow, unattentive and they forgot two dishes. The food was nothing special so we didn't go back and certainly were not minded to go for dinner and pay a fee. They need trained on service standards by the staff from Ji Ji's. Overall we had a great cruise, met some lovely fellow cruisers, had some great experiences on a ship who's crew create a fun, lively, wonderful atmosphere on board. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Had to get to US from Barcelona. Balcony Cabin was fine. Room steward was excellent. “My time dining” was very inconvenient. We had to check in on deck 5 and then proceed 2 decks down to deck 3 restaurant. Food was mediocre at ... Read More
Had to get to US from Barcelona. Balcony Cabin was fine. Room steward was excellent. “My time dining” was very inconvenient. We had to check in on deck 5 and then proceed 2 decks down to deck 3 restaurant. Food was mediocre at best and sometimes inedible. Presentation was poor. Table settings were without tablecloths. I witnessed tables being wiped with wet cloths and silver ware placed on wet surfaces. Unsanitary!. General activities and entertainment were “hokey”. Shows were difficult to see due to poor seating arrangement and technical flaws. (Spotlights directed into audience for long duration. We had to leave 2 shows because lights were in our eyes.) We missed live band. Shows had recorded music. Unfair to talented performers! Lido buffets had very limited choices. Could only get a dessert by waiting in long lines. (We passed on them as a result). General atmosphere in Lido was less than pleasant due to guests gross eating behaviors, tables not being cleared, and no service for beverages from servers. We are experienced cruisers who understand inaugural voyage glitches and are tolerant of minor problems. However, we experienced an overall experience on board that appears to be the modus operation on this line. As such we will not be guests again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our first time to go to Europe and to sail across the Atlantic. We really enjoyed all the ports in Europe and then the sea days on the ship. There is so much to do and loved all the food options available on this new ship. The ... Read More
This was our first time to go to Europe and to sail across the Atlantic. We really enjoyed all the ports in Europe and then the sea days on the ship. There is so much to do and loved all the food options available on this new ship. The Cruise Director, Mike Pack was the best cruise director that we have ever sailed with and we have been cruising since 1990. The entire crew was so helpful and this was one of the best cruises we have had, Along with the 4 ports we stopped at in Europe, we also visited Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and this was a great experience. We then sailed into New York Harbor and we docked next to the Intrepid so that was exciting. We sailed right by the Statue of Liberty as we came into New York and that is an experience that we will never forget. This cruise ranks as one of the best that we have ever sailed on Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise as the ship was new and we had high expectations. We were disappointed in the ship. The cruise line crammed more money making venues in the ship, and to find a nice quiet place to read was difficult. Areas were crowded ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the ship was new and we had high expectations. We were disappointed in the ship. The cruise line crammed more money making venues in the ship, and to find a nice quiet place to read was difficult. Areas were crowded with people. To get into the main theater people lined up 45+ minutes just to get a spot. Their were so many spots where it was difficult to see. No place to put your drinks, and straight chairs were uncomfortable. The food selection in the lido restaurant was minimal. Eight stations with few selections(all the same). Ship offered gelato, which you had to stand in a very long line. Frequently, we were waiting 20 minutes as they made it there and kept running out. I love carnival and we travel with them frequently, but I will not go on the new ships. The layout was so uninviting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We enjoyed our Breeze cruise so much, and the Vista was so hyped as the flagship, that we booked this two years ago. Much was made of the new Havana Cabanas and all of the amenities. Here are some things you need to know. DO NOT WASTE ... Read More
We enjoyed our Breeze cruise so much, and the Vista was so hyped as the flagship, that we booked this two years ago. Much was made of the new Havana Cabanas and all of the amenities. Here are some things you need to know. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY on the Spa Package. The Spa area is so oversold that you cant get in to use the chairs, they are always taken. Gone are the days of find dining. The tablecloths are gone except for Captains night. The table service is none existent. Plates were not retired and sat there from one course to the next. No water poured. Just unbelievable how deteriorated the service was in the Dining Room. The "Your time dining" is a joke. The lines were very long and disorganized the first two nights. You have to check in, get a device and wait for a half hour to go to your dining room, which is on another floor. They didnt even tell the Platinums in line that they could just walk in. The shopping area is choppy and poorly merchandised. I was able to compare prices to US and Barcelona, and to my amazement prices exceeded Manufacturer's suggested, such as Swarovski, by several dollars per item. Customer Service was on the verge of hostility from this mostly slavian crew. We are Platinum and will probably not go to Carnival again. We are exploring other options. We left Carnival in the 90s because of a decline in customer service and came back after a surprisingly good cruise a few years ago. We feel that they are as bad as they had become then. It is a cattle-herding experience. The Breeze was an awesome experience with good ship layout, we may try that again, but as far as any other ship. We are done. So long Carnival, I doubt you care. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Just completed our sailing on the Vista TransAtlantic cruise. I would like to start by saying we had a terrific time. This cruise was absolutely fabulous and special and It had everything to do with the crew and the reason we return to ... Read More
Just completed our sailing on the Vista TransAtlantic cruise. I would like to start by saying we had a terrific time. This cruise was absolutely fabulous and special and It had everything to do with the crew and the reason we return to Carnival cruise after cruise. From the Captain and all his officers brilliant handling of the ship during difficult weather while we headed to the Azores to the staff who delivered our food and beverages who continue to deliver with a cheerful smile and awesome professional service. Regarding the Vista ship on the plus side the Havana Bar area, The Sky Ride, the Lobster Shack, and the amazing IMAX theater really are great additions and we look forward to using them again on our next Vista cruise. The Vista does have some downsides however. This main theater is the worst we have ever experienced including the Sunshine which at least has decent site lines from the balcony. Carnival took a bad design from the Sunshine and made it worse. The Ocean Plaza area is nice but frankly this area is way overused especially in the morning. The breakfast area really should be used just for a continental breakfast. Using this for a hot breakfast interferes with everything else they are trying to do here from Crafts to Trivia to Bingo and seriously Yoga should not be held there. It really makes it uncomfortable for the participants and the people eating. I really believe they should use the Limelight lounge for many of the activities. On this cruise the Arts and Crafts was extremely popular and when people are trying to eat at the same time it made it nearly impossible. ALL in All though another great cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our third transatlantic cruise and I must say it did not compare with the two previous ones. It started the first night when I purchased a wine package. The waiter did not tell me that if I waited one night I would not have to pay ... Read More
This was our third transatlantic cruise and I must say it did not compare with the two previous ones. It started the first night when I purchased a wine package. The waiter did not tell me that if I waited one night I would not have to pay a 10% Barcelona sales tax. It would have been cheaper to buy the wine individually. The main dining room was divided into little spaces which I assume made it more intimate.Instead you are behind the giant pillars and can't see anything. The tables do not have table cloths and are made of brown arborite which you see in any local diner. The meals were not bad although I did not see a steak on the menu without paying extra. The main theatre was high tech with all the lights and affects and in fact was very effective. However, sitting anywhere in the balcony left you behind a pillar, too far back to see the entire stage, looking around people in front of you while constantly looking through plexiglass. I guess I must be getting old because the adult comedy is too often about sex acts I am not interested in hearing about. The hot tub on the Serentity deck was getting colder by the day during the trip. I finally got hold of the engineer after many calls and waiting. He took the temperature of the water and stated that even though it was 90 F they could not increase the temperature because of health regulations. I have never heard of that and do not appreciate being lied to. To add a final insult I went down the water slide and ended up stopping dead twice in the tube. Not much fun if you are claustrophobic. One of the maintenance guys said there is not enough water pumped through if the ship lists. The TV channels were European news channels and we did not get any US channels until the last three days and even then they kept cutting out. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Not a big fan of Carnival but was blown away with this recent Transatlantic : Barcelona to NY cruise on Carnival Vista. Been on 108 cruises and lately very disappointed with the poorer production and entertainment evening shows. Not ... Read More
Not a big fan of Carnival but was blown away with this recent Transatlantic : Barcelona to NY cruise on Carnival Vista. Been on 108 cruises and lately very disappointed with the poorer production and entertainment evening shows. Not this one! Production shows were fabulous and other entertainment was very good. Excellent water park; all crew extremely friendly; even with 4000 passengers and not hot sunny weather so more than normal people inside; never felt crowded inside ; extremely clean; fabulous stabilizers on one rough day; food as good as other cruise lines these days. Would certainly go on Vista again. Negatives: inside cabins only had one closet; small sewage smell on deck 3 but they made it up to us in drink coupons; never saw or did any officers attend meet and great; no lectures on computers, ipads, etc. There were so many platinum people on this cruise; embarkation for those people was terrible I was told; spa packages to use steam room was very expensive; no cover pool which would have been nice on Transatlantic Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I am particularly disappointed by the Lido deck and the ability of the staff to keep coffee and coffee cups in adequate supply. During the peak of early morning breakfast, the coffee pots would go empty and cups would run out. A sign on ... Read More
I am particularly disappointed by the Lido deck and the ability of the staff to keep coffee and coffee cups in adequate supply. During the peak of early morning breakfast, the coffee pots would go empty and cups would run out. A sign on the machine instructed people to use a new cup each time. This was a new ship that was commissioned in spring and the carpet on the stairs was shredding. The floors on the Lido deck dining room were a slipping hazard. The internet was so slow and sketchy and I would like to get my money back. The package that claimed to allow you to use Facebook and banking was too slow to allow it most times. I had to walk around the ship to find a decent signal. Our room steward (Lawrence) was good. The food was plentiful but about 1/2 of the eateries cost. One person mentioned being nickle and dined and they were correct. The movie cost and the refreshments. Plenty of things were going on especially if you liked trivia. The ship was large and had many good features but I was so dissatisfied with many of the food areas not being stocked, unless it was the areas that cost extra. They never ran out. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
It appears to be a trend in the cruise industry today. Build bigger ships to increase passenger capacity, However, there has been an often overlooked design flaw with the ships main auditoriums. They haven't grown in size to meet ... Read More
It appears to be a trend in the cruise industry today. Build bigger ships to increase passenger capacity, However, there has been an often overlooked design flaw with the ships main auditoriums. They haven't grown in size to meet the demands of the larger ships. I don't know what Carnival advertises as the seating capacity of the Vista, but it doesn't matter. It's WAY too small. They decided to divert from the traditional long bench type seating for individual chairs in the center of the auditorium. Unfortunately, they placed too many chairs in the space creating poor viewing and uncomfortable seating. My knees were literally resting against the back of the chair in front of me. Once seated, you were stuck because you couldn't get passed the people beside you. The bar service was limited because the wait staff was unable to get to the customers. Anyone in an individual seat was forced to hold their drink in their lap during the entire performance as there were no place to put your drink. Some of the tiered seats had a small area that was possibly a place to hold a drink, but was positioned next to your shoulder so it wasn't functional. To make matters worse, they built a huge bar in the back of the first level, further reducing the capacity of the auditorium. To add to the frustration, they emptied out the center portion of the auditorium one night for a show that had the performers dancing out on the floor. There was a lot of grumbling about the auditorium. There were a couple of minor flaws that will probably work themselves out. 1. The waitstaff seemed a little unseasoned for dinner service (pardon the pun). They would forget salad forks or bring two courses at once, but they were at least trying their best to make our dinner a pleasurable one. 2. There was no milk dispensers for breakfast cereals at the buffets.. You had to obtain a box of milk and punch a hole in it and then squirt the milk onto your cereal. The boxes must have been made of bullet-proof cardboard because you couldn't tear the little buggers open like the ones the kids get in school. I asked for milk one night at dinner and the waiter literally was squirting the milk from the box into the glass. 3. Had to ask after the third day for ice in the cabin. It was eventually corrected, but then I had to ask for tongs for the ice bucket. 4. The Kleenex dispenser in the bathroom made it impossible to get a tissue without ripping the paper. I finally gave up and just got an extra box and left it on top of the vanity. Since this was a re-positioning cruise, I am expecting that most of the minor flaws that popped up will resolve itself once it starts operating out of Miami on a regular basis. The entertainment was excellent. The main shows at night were really nice as the entertainers could both sing and dance very well. It wasn't the usual yelling or yodeling that you get from a lot of other shows, with the exception of one night where there was a zombie looking dude wandering around the entire performance. Not sure what he represented but is was a little distracting. As always, the water park was great and the best part of the outside sports venues was the Skyride. I highly recommend it as it was a blast. I did miss the large indoor promenade that is on most of the other Carnival ships. We always could find a spot near the casino and play cards or domino's and watch the world go by while having your favorite bar service person stop by to keep you sufficiently quenched, but unfortunately, this feature was missing. There were many other locations to do it on the Vista, but most were outside so if it was windy or raining or cold, finding a spot indoors could be a challenge. Seating at the buffets during peak times were always a challenge on other ships, but the Vista made the required adjustments and we always were able to find a seat without a problem. They have gotten really crazy on some of the verbiage for their daily activity sheets that you receive every night in the room. Shore tours and shopping seminars are now called Enrichment Activities. Why can't you just go back to calling them Shore Excursion Tour Talk or Shopping Seminar? I also found it odd that there were no hot tubs in the public spaces. They were only located in "private" sections of the ship like the Serenity or Havana sections. They have gone digital on their photographs which was extremely efficient. You no longer have to go searching for your pictures as you now can access them from your room television or mobile device. However, there were a couple of issues that need resolving. 1. You no longer have the option of buying a 5" x 7". It now comes with 4 wallet size photos so the 5" x 7" now cost as much as an 8" x 10". 2. In the past, Carnival would offer benefits for those who purchased numerous photos. You typically received some type of prize (i.e. luggage tag, USB drive, etc) for reaching a specific number of photo purchases, but this was only offered during select days on the Vista. We were unaware of this and ended up not receiving any of the gifts because it was on a day that this benefit wasn't offered. You would have thought after dropping about $600 on photos, they would have made an exception and ponied up a luggage tag or something, but they didn't. Lesson learned. Would I go again on the Vista? Probably as soon as it starts the Miami run to see if my observations were just a fluke. However, Carnival REALLY needs to increase the capacity of their main auditorium. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose to take the Vista's transatlantic re-positioning cruise because we found the travel itinerary of interest to us. The good: The Skyride. The specialty dining, in particular 555 Fahrenheit, and to a lesser degree the ... Read More
We chose to take the Vista's transatlantic re-positioning cruise because we found the travel itinerary of interest to us. The good: The Skyride. The specialty dining, in particular 555 Fahrenheit, and to a lesser degree the Italian Restaurant was very good. Afternoon tea in the main dining room was great with well prepared and delicious offerings every day that it was offered. Staff at teatime were outstanding. The bad: Embarkation in Barcelona was poorly managed chaos. Arrived at the port a 1 pm never made it on board until 3:45 pm. Once on board we found our cabin to be very dirty with dust and hair on all of the surfaces (desk etc.) and inside the drawers. The bathroom vent was black with (dust? mold?) something. After cleaning the cabin with two towels, which were black with dirt once we finished, we went to customer service to complain. No apology was offered but housekeeping was notified and the bathroom vent was cleaned and the soiled towels removed. Main dining room: disastrous meals to the point where we stopped trying to eat there in the evening and just did the buffet on the lido deck. It is not a matter of the kitchen incapable of preparing good food, rather it seems it is a choice of the cruise ship to not offer good food. Many servers in the dining room were surly. However, some staff were pleasant. Guy burgers, taco stand and the pizza stand were good. The Japanese restaurant food was so bad we asked for and were given a refund. On the good side, the sashimi was good. Entertainment: The Cuban inspired show was an ethnic insult to Cubans. There was a juggler who did slapstick one evening and he was very funny. The stand-up Comedy was uneven but most of the comedians were very good to excellent. Ship decor: The style was done in white trash contemporary and consistent through out the ship. Exception-Fahrenheit 555 restaurant. How bad was it? We rented the internet service for one day to determine if it was feasible to fly from the Azores to NYC. Carnival would not pro-rate the cost of the voyage fare for the time left in the cruise. Airfare was very expensive and the time to travel to NYC would have been at least a day and a half with layovers etc. We endured the misery of the remainder of the cruise. No matter what issue we brought to the attention of the customer service staff an apology was either not offered was insincere. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The Carnival Vista is a beautiful ship. Serenity area was most comfortable and relaxing. Enjoyed the Morning Show with Matt & Cookie each sea day. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed Cookie's enthusiasm and personality. He ... Read More
The Carnival Vista is a beautiful ship. Serenity area was most comfortable and relaxing. Enjoyed the Morning Show with Matt & Cookie each sea day. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed Cookie's enthusiasm and personality. He assisted the cruise director and was a major contribution to onboard entertainment. He has a natural gift for being on-stage - he possesses self-confidence and has an incredible sense of humor. Excellent dancer and entertainer. He is very quick to respond with some off-the-wall humor. His quick thinking and reactions are priceless! Kudos to Carnival for hiring such a motivated individual who tries to ensure all passengers are enjoying their well-deserved vacations and holidays. Cookie is an asset to Carnival Cruise Line!!! Not sure I'd recommend the same Liquid Lounge seating arrangement to be designed for the Carnival Horizon. Hopefully, the contractors can create something different to allow more passengers clear visibility to view the stage area. Enjoyed the music played throughout the decks; and, would welcome more "oldies" and rock-n-roll - especially in the Marketplace on Lido Deck 10. Enjoyed the selection of the fresh salad bar - especially when they offered multiple varieties of vegetables. Many thanks to the buffet servers who put the extra effort into preparing all those fresh-cut delicious items; and, ensuring all the dishes were kept filled. Thank you Carnival was a wonderful journey. See you soon!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I'm retired military and have crossed the ocean many times, flying, but this was my first ship crossing. Embarkation , slow painfully slow. Even with new set your time, it was a mess. I think some of it had to do with the amount ... Read More
I'm retired military and have crossed the ocean many times, flying, but this was my first ship crossing. Embarkation , slow painfully slow. Even with new set your time, it was a mess. I think some of it had to do with the amount of Diamond and Platinum cruisers and the 1400 back to back on this cruise. We were late leaving the port, Barcelona, but had plenty of time to get to Gibraltar. Ship sailed very smoothly until the third day when the winds howled. They had to move the furniture off some of the lower balcony cabins because of the waves and wind. They also closed the storm shutters on these lower decks. The ship handled it well but, it was rough. Easy disembark at Gibraltar, it was Sunday and almost everything was closed. Next stop was the Azores, a nice stop in the middle of the Atlantic. Very close to the town and shopping. After a four day sail we were in Bermuda, an overnight stop at Kings Wharf. A lot of history in the near-by military museums. A small amount of shopping in the clock tower "mall". Another days sail and into New York Harbor. We arrived about three A.M. but, that didn't seem to stop a lot of people from coming up on the decks to take pictures and sightsee. Now the ship, the bike ride was veery cool and fun, the ropes were a challenge but, also fun. I did both and I am nearly 71. Putt-putt was good, it was on two levels, very challenging for putt-putt. My interior room and all other interior rooms including ocean view have only one closet to hang things in. It was a shock when we opened the door to see this and a surprise. The TV was very large maybe a 40" model. They ran the news channels, a couple of cartoon channels, and Discovery Channel. Also, on demand, had new older movies, some were free and other, newer ones, were $4.95. The main dinning room, without table clothes, seemed a little under dressed. Service hasn't changed much, still slow as if you were fine dinning. The food was good, not as many options and a little less on your plate. I'm not saying that as a bad thing. The Liquid Lounge, this place is really a disappointment to all who tried to watch a show there or came to the Diamond and Platinum party. There is no room for wait staff to bring you drinks and if/or when you get a drink, there's no place to set it down. The shows, as a frequent cruiser on Carnival, I have become bored with the Carnival "Playlist" entertainment, loud music sung with mediocre talent. The laundry service, free for platinum and diamond cruisers, but, at your own risk. The first two loads were no problem. The next one must have been cleaned at the pond with two rocks. The white socks were very gray. The golf shirts looked like they were folded while damp and a tinge off color. It's the reason I carry so many large suitcases, I learned from past experiences, however, I gave them another chance. Over all, it was a nice cruise if you avoided the trouble spots, the specialty restaurants seemed well received and everyone who used them were happy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I chose this TA cruise, even though I hadn't really like the experience 8 years ago, because of the ports, disembarkation port & the fact that it was a new ship with lots to do on the sea days. There was also a very large & ... Read More
I chose this TA cruise, even though I hadn't really like the experience 8 years ago, because of the ports, disembarkation port & the fact that it was a new ship with lots to do on the sea days. There was also a very large & fun roll call group with lots of activities planned.The embarkation in Barcelona went well, didn't have to wait long to board the ship. I was surprised that my luggage was waiting for me when I got to my cabin! That was a 1st, even faster than when I'd had FTTF. With so many restaurants to try on this ship I decided on Cucina for lunch the first day & was not disappointed. The food was hot, tasty & free. During the 13 days I tried most of the choices for lunch & enjoyed them all. The homemade ice cream at the Sweet Spot on Lido at lunch was a nice addition to the desserts. The lobster rolls (2) with fries for $12 at the Seafood Shack were very yummy.. Of course Guy's Burgers & his new Pig & Anchor were really good. I also was lucky enough to do the Chef's Table which was fabulous & a nightly occurrence. If you like gourmet food, special attention & wine, do this for a great experience. It's worth the money. I had been waitlisted for 1st seating dinner & was able to get that once onboard by asking Ken Byrne, the singing Maitre d'. Travelling solo I was happy to be seated at a large table with other solo cruisers. Our wait staff were very good, attentive & friendly. Dinner did sometimes drag on but I was able to make the 7:30 show a few times. I found the food to be good except the desserts didn't really appeal to me (not a melting cake lover as it's too rich for me) so I sometimes ordered a banana split from the children's menu. Oh, talking about children I went to the Dr Seuss breakfast which btw had 6 adults at our table, all who really enjoyed it. There weren't many children on the TA but probably most of them were there. The entertainment on the cruise was very good. Matt, the CD & his team of Sue, MarkQ & Cookie were very lively & fun. John Heald was also on this sailing & did a couple of different shows. There was also a guest speaker who spoke on several interesting topics. The comedy shows were mostly good & well attended. Don't worry if the line extends to the casino, you'll still find a seat. Some of the seating & sight lines aren't the best, similar to Sunshine I believe they said. I loved the decor of the ship, found it quite like Breeze. I loved the changing light fixture displays at the atrium & casino bars. Another thing I really liked was the radio station channel on the tv which had beautiful scenes, sometimes like having your own aquarium in the cabin. There were a lot of choices for movies, the large screen outside by the pool, the Thrill Theatre, IMAX & quite good movies on the tv, some for free, others for a small fee. My cabin, an inside, was in a good location & had a great team looking after me, thanks Duncan & Rhea. They were very friendly, helpful & made towel animals nightly. One thing I was looking forward to but didn't see, was the towel animals around the pool, maybe I missed it or perhaps they didn't have it. If there was a chocolate extravaganza I also missed it. The ports were the major attraction for me on this itinerary but I did enjoy the sea days, doing things with the Cruise Critic roll call people & trying to do other things around the ship. We did have a Meet & Mingle at a reasonable hour on the 1st sea day, I believe but unlike on NCL not one Carnival staff member came. This is a new thing for Carnival so maybe that'll change in the future. The ports were Barcelona, Gibraltar, Ponta Delgada, overnight in Bermuda then ending in New York City. I'd been to them all except Gibraltar which was very interesting. I didn't do any Carnival excursions just ones with the roll call group. Another thing I really liked was the Hub app, such a neat way to see/order your photos, carry your Fun Times & check your bill. They'll be adding MDR menus at some point which will make it even better. I was very happy with the internet package & chose the middle offering, only $105 for 13 days, way better than other lines' rip off prices. The disembarkation wasn't the best. but probably to be expected on the Vista's initial landing in the USA. Matt kept us informed of how things were going & my departure was 1 1/2 hours later than originally implied. Luckily I was staying over in New York City so it wasn't a problem. If you can't tell, I loved this cruise & might even try another TA, (can you say Horizon), if the ports are as good as these were. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because there were a lot of people on it that we have cruised with before. That is always a plus. Now, I would like to compare the ship and crew with the first TA on the Dream. Well, there is no comparison. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because there were a lot of people on it that we have cruised with before. That is always a plus. Now, I would like to compare the ship and crew with the first TA on the Dream. Well, there is no comparison. The restaurants on the Vista were great. The cabin stewards were awesome. The layout of the ship wasn't as confusing. The only downside was the stage area. There were a lot of visual obstacles to see around. The rooms were of good size. The ports were great. We saw Athens, Rhodes, Malta, Pisa, Florence, Pompeii, Sicily, Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Southern France, Barcelona, Montserrat, Gibraltar, the Azores and Bermuda. A few places that we've been to and a lot that we haven't. It for the most part was great. Now, for things that could have been better: Not much. The hand washing stations were different. I do miss the happy happy washy washy people. But on the upside they did have a few really interesting hand washing stations that were automatic. After about 12 seconds all you had to do was dry your hands. Now, why do I prefer the old way? Simple. Some people do NOT wash their hands after going to the restroom. I've gotten Norro before and I never want to get it again. The other downside was the bulkhead doors slamming all day and night in rough seas. The needs to tie them down. Back to the pros part. I love soft serve ice cream. Don't go for those little tiny cups. Get a big bowl and fill it up. They also offer a really nice brunch with steak and eggs. It was great. And if you like that you will love the banana cream pie. It was by far the best tasting banana cream pie I've ever eaten. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We were first time Carnival passengers and found some good quality and some not so good quality. We had an inside cabin which was comfortable and great service from the cabin steward. We thought not printing all photos and having ... Read More
We were first time Carnival passengers and found some good quality and some not so good quality. We had an inside cabin which was comfortable and great service from the cabin steward. We thought not printing all photos and having passengers choose what they wanted and print only those was very cost saving. What we did not enjoy was the theater which was used for entertainment and activities. The seats were all the same height and you could not see the stage from the 5th deck. The entertainers were very good except the shows selected were not appropriate for a cruise. We did not appreciate the performer having his hands in his crotch area - that belongs in the streets and not on stage. A number of the areas for activities were very small and always crowded. This is the first cruise where we could not take games out of the library and there was only 1 table to use. Having a bar in the library made no sense to us. We will have to really consider the itinerary that Carnival offers before we will sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Carnival Vista Transatlantic October 2016 We are experienced cruisers but have never actually done a Transatlantic cruise before… the price for this one was most definitely right! So, we booked it…. Cloud 9 Spa Balcony, deck 12 ... Read More
Carnival Vista Transatlantic October 2016 We are experienced cruisers but have never actually done a Transatlantic cruise before… the price for this one was most definitely right! So, we booked it…. Cloud 9 Spa Balcony, deck 12 front. Very lucky to get the Cloud 9 Spa cabin for the price we got it, it comes with its own amenities such as robes, toiletries and slippers plus the all important free pass to the spa! I am not one for writing long boring reviews about every tiny detail that happened so here are the basics : THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BAD CRUISE. That is it folks……..haha…. Cabin, well it’s a balcony cabin, its got a bed, a balcony, a shower….. The ship : Superb. Brand new and rammed with amenities. The only gripe onboard for us is the terrible theatre, the Carnival management know all about it. Poor views all over basically. Shows, well, production shows don’t thrill us but we watched them, the usual, enthusiastic dancers and singers, pretty good. Other shows included an illusionist, comedy magician and singer. Very good. The comedy club is where Carnival stand out from the rest in our opinion, it is simply superb. On this trip they had SIX different comedians. Ranging from trouser wetting funny to paint dryingly boring. Happily though, the trouser wetting ones where in the majority and 5 or so shows a night, what is there to complain at? Nothing ! Staff excellent as usual, special mention to Cookie on the entertainment staff, that lad is going to go places. Food excellent also, main dining room excellent, buffet excellent,Guys Burgers didn’t excite us, way too much salt. We never pay for the speciality restaurants. Met some fantastic new people, hopefully got some friends for life. Last thing to note : This was a 13 day cruise, 9 sea days..if you are a new cruiser, don’t do a Transatlantic until you can figure out if you get sea sick. We had a couple of rocky days and there were plenty of folks in trouble – not us, we are immune ! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had looked at this cruise for some time but trying to put a package together with airfares, transfers, Hop on/Hop off bus, hotels in Barcelona and the actually cruise itself was to say the least overwhelming. We just happened to get an ... Read More
We had looked at this cruise for some time but trying to put a package together with airfares, transfers, Hop on/Hop off bus, hotels in Barcelona and the actually cruise itself was to say the least overwhelming. We just happened to get an offer from a travel agency with everything included if we could get back & forth to the NYC area. We had almost passed it up, but finally decided to take the plunge and try it. The travel agency (ICruise) was slow in it getting information to us but in the end, everything went extremely smoothly. The flight to Barcelona was delayed for 3 hours out of Newark Liberty airport due to cargo compartment problems. If you have never flown across the Atlantic, know that it is very tiring. My cousin said, "Try to sleep as best a possible, You'll need it" and he was right. Barcelona is an amazing city. We spent our 2 days in Barcelona engulfed in history, architecture, art, and the culture of the Catalonian people. We visited Mont Juic, Sagrada Famillia, saw the Park Guell, Mirador de Colon (Columbus column), La Rambla, La Boqueria market, the Cathedral of Barcelona and many more sights. The cautions were that pick pockets were there to steal you money if you weren't careful. I'm sure it is true but we never had a proble and were out in the streets and restaurants late into the evening. It was worth every minute of it and the hundreds of pictures we took. The tranfers went smoothly from the plane to the hotel and hotel to ship. We are Platinum cruisers with Carnival, but so were over half the other cruisers. Carnival did not plan well fo this, making it a slow process to get on-board. Once on board, the rest was great. Wonderful music, comfortable rooms, (supposedly the biggest room in the Cruise industry), and lots to eat without waiting in long lines. The ship's design spread people out and gave multiple options at all meals. The Captain and CD with their teams made a very enjoyable 13 days. We stopped at Gibraltar, Ponta Delgada (Azores), and Bermuda, before getting to our destination in NYC. The entertainment was very good, and the variety was suitable for just about everyone. There were wonderful lectures about the places we would see, there were shows with good music and dance. There was comedy, trivia games, crafts, and even lessons in Ballroom dancing. The ship also features some amazing water slides, a high ropes course for beginners and the more experienced, and two bike tracks that literally take you out over the ocean at a height of 100 ft above the water...All of this for just $100/day. It was a Bucket List, life experience that we would do all over again...We did plan our own shore excursions through the help of our Cruise Critic family. And saw amzing sites while on shore. We spent most of our shore days on shore engulfed in the culture and history of the places we stopped. An incredible trip of a life time... Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
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