Carnival Vista 29-07-16 to 06-08-16
Having taken a cruise on the Carnival Vista on the above dates all I can say is thank god this was not my first cruise because if it had been I would never cruise again!
I think warning bells started to ring when we had to take all our luggage to the ship whereas on all the other cruise’s our luggage was taken from us at our home airport and delivered to our cabin or taken from us at our destination airport and delivered to our cabin, not a big issue but one of those nice touch’s that make for a pleasant start to the holiday.
Things started to go wrong almost straight away when my twin grandsons (2 years old) were told that they were not allowed to enter any pool / body of water anywhere on the ship, there was not even a paddling pool available?
My 2 elder grandsons had a soft drinks package but were not allowed bottled water on the package and had to charge it to the room.
My wife and I had a drinks package and also had to present our room card to get water but were still charged for a bottle of water in our room.
The drinks package purchased at no small cost ($50 per person per day) was set, up in my opinion to discourage you from using it, you could only have 15 drinks maximum on a card, the card holder had to get their own drinks (one card holder could not go and get a round of drinks).
There was no food available for my young grandsons (2 years old) between 1700 and 1800hrs (the time they would normally eat); we were told that only sushi, (at extra cost) or pizza was available!
The buffet food on offer was basic and had a limited selection, a far cry from other ships we have travelled on where the buffet food was a delight to behold and choice and quality were abundant.
On the first and second night we tried to get into the restaurant to eat around 19.30 to 20.30 but were unable to get a table due to massive queues so the first night we went to the buffet (Lido Buffet in the Market Place), a very disappointing start.
Even more disappointing on the 2nd night (the “dress up” night) we were all dressed up but could still not get in the restaurant so ended up in the Steak Restaurant which was very nice but added $200 to our bill, when we spoke later to people we saw in the queue they did not get in to eat till gone 21.15!!
My wife and I purchased the Havana stateroom option which at no small cost allowed us to overlook and utilise a very nice private pool and hot tub area, but only till 1700hrs!!! at which time the whole Havana area was taken over by anyone and everyone who wanted to enter and the stateroom occupants were subjected to rowdy pool party’s that went on till late in the evening!
In over 40 years of traveling the world I have never felt the need to complain but the rudeness and disrespect of some of the staff was so prevalent that it caused me to complain on more than one occasion!
Staff were poorly informed about the ship and often could not answer questions about where facilities were located let alone destination information and often gave wrong directions / information.
Staff morale seemed low and one waiter explained to us that this was because staff numbers were low and due to be cut again in the near future!
Bar facilities often ran out of popular items like orange juice and at one time the bar on deck 3 even ran out of water mid-morning when we were just leaving the ship for a trip ashore!
On previous cruise’s the entertainment had been top rate lavish productions so we had been expecting the same (if not better) but found many to the acts lacklustre and run of the mill.
On a positive note the Carnival Vista’s dancers put on two fantastic shows and Ben in the piano lounge is a talented entertainer and presents a not to be missed evening.
Last but by no means least if anyone can explain a gratuity system that charges two, 2 year old boys who were hounded out of most of the ships facility’s and could not eat at their normal meal times but were still charged almost $100 each in tips!!!!, I would be very interested to hear it.
I would strongly recommend that everyone have the automatic gratuity’s that are added to your bill removed and tip only where service deserves it (as we did ourselves)