2 Carnival Vista Cruise Reviews for Fitness Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern

20th Carnival cruise, mostly all good, but cabin location under galley was not best for light-sleeper. Should not need medication to help sleep, but that is what I had to do- kids slept fine and husband managed without sleeping pills, ... Read More
20th Carnival cruise, mostly all good, but cabin location under galley was not best for light-sleeper. Should not need medication to help sleep, but that is what I had to do- kids slept fine and husband managed without sleeping pills, although he commented nightly on the noise from above. We flew into and stayed in FLL and took SAS to the port the next day, Ordered Chinese delivery which was very good. Holiday Inn Dania pre-stay one night was fine, beds comfy and quiet by airport with free airport shuttle. SAS called pre-arrival and drive was fine to port. Embarkation was smooth, Sail and Sign key cards were picked up outside cabin door. Family Harbor Cove Balcony Suite 2425 was gorgeous with long balcony and only 1/2 obstructed view (no lifeboat over second half), but noisy as mentioned every night. 2nd bathroom with tub and sink was useful. Closet design not our favorite at first, but we learned to take turns to access the back wall hanging area and shelves- only one person can get to this area at a time. We don't gamble or buy the alcohol program. Loved the Waterworks and Sportsquare area for both adults and children. Saw the Rockstar show one night and one adult comedy show which were both great. Both times ordered drinks and service was quick and friendly. Loved the new atrium hologram and the entertainment there; also enjoyed the Ocean Plaza area and band, Red Frog Pub area, and deck 5 walking area with BBQ (we ate there once on embarkation, heard it was very busy the rest of the week). We do use the Cloud 9 spas on all the Carnival ships, and enjoyed this area every day for about 2 hours each time. We purchased the weekly pass on embarkation; the Vista design was fine with us, we used every part of the spa- I love the lavender scrub in the steam rooms, and we both loved the hot sauna, the infrared room, and the heated tile benches. There is a hot tub next to the benches so, depending on the crowd, there can be conversation going on in the room which on other ships is usually a quiet area. It didn't bother us if people talked in the hot tub, but on one occasion there was a very intoxicated man drinking and he was very loud. Staff should be sure there is no alcohol being drunk in this area due to the safety issue with extreme heat being used. We were waitlisted for the Chef Table, a galley tour and multi-course (sample-type) dinner that must be pre-ordered, and were approved a couple days before our assigned night. Enjoyed meeting Chef Deepak again (last met on the Breeze in 16) and his crew. New menu was amazing, dedicated Chef Table room was nice, and enjoyed meeting the table mates near us. We did notice that the galley tour was shorter, but we still enjoyed that part of the experience. Still includes a fun magic presentation by an onboard magician and group photo. Must-do for any chefs or foodies out there that like to try new things. We also went to Bonsai Sushi one night for dinner, always amazing and no different on this ship, and to the 555 Steakhouse for my husband's birthday. The steakhouse started out great with a complimentary lobster BLT app. Our order was not correct though, but our server offered to correct it immediately. We opted to keep the entrees we had; hubby was surprised with a birthday treat and staff sang Happy Birthday. We also were given a glass of champagne for the celebration. Overall it was up there with the Chef Table for best night out. We enjoyed Lido activities, especially the Hairy Chest competition which is silly fun where most everyone should be able to chuckle;) Serenity, the adult area, looked nice with the salad bar, but we only walked through once since we had children on board to monitor. The Havana area was nice, but we did not use it after 7 since it was already past sunset when we were allowed access (nice area for those booked in Havana Cabins). We used Your Time Dining, which was excellent. The hostess, Andrea, was always smiling and had something nice to say. Our various servers were amazing, but especially David from St. Vincent, as we created some musical chairs with two tables, 3 adults, and 5 children between two family groups. Food was served within a reasonable time and was delicious, no complaints from anyone in our group. Sea Day Brunch was excellent. Debarkation was one of the best we have ever experienced. Only issue we had was SAS dropping us at the wrong airport Hotel for our one night post-stay. The Hampton Airport North sent their shuttle over to get us and they are excellently located near Slackers Sports Bar, McDonalds, Wendy's, and other businesses. Slept great after watching some football in the hotel lounge. Pool area was nice to catch some final rays during the day. Can't recommend Doughboys Italian food; the Calzone we had was subpar, almost no meat and full of ricotta, not that good, ymmv. Free airport shuttle and no issues at FLL; pretty fast TSA check and one gate change with Jet Blue. First time using Jet Blue, will use again. Prepay for bags, save $. I will write our cabin review below. The Family Harbor Lounge was great! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My second time this year on the Vista, we chose this itinerary as our first Christmas cruise and opportunity to enjoy the Havana area. Our ports included St. Maarten, San Juan, and Grand Turk. I was so amazed that so many of the crew ... Read More
My second time this year on the Vista, we chose this itinerary as our first Christmas cruise and opportunity to enjoy the Havana area. Our ports included St. Maarten, San Juan, and Grand Turk. I was so amazed that so many of the crew remembered us from our cruise this summer in the Mediterranean. Service overall was fantastic, from our amazing cabin steward Paul in the Havana area aft balcony on deck 6, Franklin our bartender in the Havana area, Gabriel our bartender at the Alchemy bar, the amazing hostess in the Fahrenheit Steakhouse where we ate twice (again), to Matt and Cookie cruise director and entertainment directors extraordinaires! I know that common areas on the ship can be crowded at times. I do not like crowds or lines, so I planned my experience accordingly. With Your Time Dining, when I did choose to eat in the MDR, I'd eat early between 5:30 and 6:00 to check in. We never waited in line more than 5 minutes. For the must-try Pig and Anchor Sea Day barbecue, I went right when it opened or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. It's superb, by the way. The brisket, chicken, sausage, mac and cheese, baked beans, and cornbread are best in class. For JiJi's Asian Mongolian wok lunch, I chose embarkation day to avoid any crowds at all. Of course, with the exclusive access to the Havana Area in the day time, our hot tubs, pools, loungers and large day beds were never crowded. This was heaven! It changes the whole cruise. It is completely worth it. If you know that service in the MDR can take 2-3 hours for dinner and you want to see a show, you should keep that in mind when ordering. Food in the MDR is just okay, especially if you stick to standard entrees. I don't do this. I order more unusual things like mussels, oysters Rockefeller, cheese plates, fish entrees, and port inspired entrée selections. These tended to be absolutely delicious. Also, if nothing sounded interesting to me, I'd make a meal of multiple appetizers and eat tapas style. I wish ordering a drink in the MDR meant that you could order from your wait captain. Once we ordered and never got our drinks. Also, it would be better if they had roving waiters on the decks to take drink orders when you're sunbathing. This kind of service is spotty on the ship. I'd eat every night in the steakhouse if they offered more entrees. It's excellent service, quiet, romantic, and superior quality dining. The hostess and wait staff went far beyond expectations to delight us with accommodating service. We had the Cheers package and loved a particular champagne only available there, so we stopped into the restaurant before dinner to get a glass and the hostess would just greet us and get our glasses. I felt like a VIP. Late night dining is great at Pizzeria del Capitano with hand tossed pizzas. This was the longest time we ever waited to eat, but we didn't mind because we conversed with others as we waited after midnight and got a beer at the bar right there. We'd have room service for breakfast and tried it once for dinner. My insider tip for this is to order an extra BLT for dinner and put it in your cabin fridge for breakfast the next day. Also tip your room service waiter! I loved the Studio VIP show and the America Rocks show this time. There was a small line the night we walked up to the Studio VIP show a few minutes early, and the cast pulled us out of line and asked us if we wanted to be in the show. We said yes, and got front row seats! If you're up for no-holds-barred adults entertainment, do not miss the NSFW late night adult scavenger hunt in the Liquid Lounge. I have never had so much fun on a cruise. We played a lot of trivia and won our coveted ship on a stick from the Vista this time as well. Our aft facing balcony was perfect with a view of the portside hot tub and the wake of the engines. The room is standard like all Carnival balconies with deeper balcony, Havana toiletries (including a body wash, body wash/shampoo dual purpose wash, and but no separate conditioner, so be aware of that), and special robes and towels. After 7PM, they open the Havana area to the entire ship. Because this was holiday season there were a lot of teens on vacation. On two nights, we had loud teens right outside our room in the hot tub not 10 feet from us. This was a bit of a nuisance, so I'd avoid this same type room when school was out if I sailed on the Vista again. Our itinerary was completely reversed due to storms in the Caribbean, but we had perfect weather, so I wasn't phased. St. Maarten is great for beaches, shopping in Philipsburg, and dining in Marigot. Our snorkeling tour through Carnival was cancelled the day before with no explanation, so we just booked a bus tour of the island with an opportunity to have lunch in Marigot. Good call! The island creole meal at Rosemary's on the beach was superb! Old Town in San Juan is absolutely charming for a food tour and a walking tour right off the ship, and you can walk to the beautiful, photogenic seaside port El Morro right from the ship. Grand Turk has pristine beaches, but Governor's beach right off the ship near Margaritaville is too crowded for me. I took a cab to Cockburn town for the best conch ever and then went on to Pillory beach a bit farther down and not as crowded. Loved it! This was the first cruise where we met a number of other gay and lesbian couples at the Alchemy Bar on the first night LGBT gathering with whom we hit it off, spent time off and on at shows, at trivia, and even meeting for dinner. We were so pleased! Frankly, even the rest of the people in the Havana area and the crew were incredibly friendly. We had so much fun. We loved taking spin classes in the mornings (for a $23/class per person fee) in the gym. The classes were always sold out, so sign up in advance! The technology with provided chest strap heart rate monitors and biking shoes is really cool! I've cruised plenty of times with Carnival now, and I know how to tailor an experience to have a wonderful time, avoid the crowds, mitigate any disappointments. I'm sorry that so many other people don't have the experience I have. I'd only book a spa cabin or a Havana cabin on this ship to insure a fabulous cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Carnival Vista Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.5 3.6
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.6
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.6

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