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Things started off on the negative side since we lost Turkey, lost the Cheers program and got hit with a 24% VAT tax. Once we got on the ship on a sunny day in Athens, it was all good and it turned out to be a great experience. I'm not sure if I'll cruise again since there are some aspects of the whole cruise experience I don't care for (too many deadlines and no night sight-seeing), but that has nothing to do with Carnival and if I do cruise again, I certainly would consider Carnival first. The itinerary was great. We enjoyed all the ports and took Carnival shore excursions on all but one day. The excursions were all fine and we had no issues whatsoever. I don't want to go searching for cheaper excursions and I like the idea that the ship won't leave without me if there's an issue getting back to the ship (which is easy to imagine in certain ports). Our room was great - no complaints whatsoever. Nice balcony (we were on level 9), comfortable bed and enough storage space. It would be nice if the balcony door didn't slam so hard or could be held open, but I understand the reasons for the door being the way it is so no complaints. Our steward was great. We demand very little, we even went without service a few days because it's just easier for us, but when we did ask the room to be cleaned it was always perfect. The ship is large, but laid out so there are no cramped areas packed with people other than the lounges. We did have trouble finding our way, but that could be just us being tired from very busy days. Even the last day, we couldn't remember where things were or how to get there. One negative - the first port day some of the passages through the ship we had taken all previous day were closed in the morning so we couldn't get through from one side of the ship to the other trying to get to the shore excursion lounge. We did watch an imax movie - didn't seem too much of a big deal, but had a nice time even though we thought Imax theaters are usually larger than this one. We went to several comedy shows and they were all great. Yes, there are beams that block the view, but find a spot without one or watch the monitors on the stage and it's fine. The serenity deck was nice, but only used that on the last day. Wish I had visited earlier. We don't sun bathe so we only walked through the pool areas although we had a very nice time watching a dive-in movie one evening. Didn't visit any of the bars - the Red Frog looked pretty empty to us, but we did eat at the paid Italian restaurant and it was excellent. Great service and great food. We also had some very good pizzas and Guy's burgers on several occasions. I avoided the buffet for the most part because I don't care for buffet/line service, but my wife enjoyed it and she did bring me back a huge plate of bacon one morning for breakfast which was great. We did room service every day for breakfast and it was very consistent and good. Strange that you can't order a side of bacon, but we just ordered a BLT and it worked out great every day. We probably ate at the main dining room 4 or 5 nights. The service was always excellent. My wife had better luck with the food than I did, and she enjoyed almost everything she ate. I had a few very good meals but also a few that I didn't care for. The desserts were always good. Miscellaneous thoughts - Jamie the cruise director did a good job as did Cookie, her right hand man. The string trio that plays in the atrium is nice to watch and they do a great job. There were enough hand sanitizer stations but we seemed to be the only people using them. Also, there are some deep washing hand stations in the buffet area that really clean your hands. I didn't see them until near the end of the cruise but you put your hands down in these little holes and they're washed and sanitized. I loved it. No troubles waiting for elevators. Sometimes they take longer than others, but that's life. I do wish that there were more directional signs on the ship. There are some at each elevator station, but even an "A" for aft or "F" for forward with an arrow every once in a while would be helpful. Ports: Athens - an amazing city. We stayed an extra day and loved it. Stay in the Plaka district and you can walk everywhere. The city is beautiful at night and the Greeks are the best. Rhodes - took a half price Lindos excursion through Carnival. Got to ride donkeys to the Acropolis. The schedule was tight on this excursion, but we enjoyed every second. Malta - Visited Mdina and Rabat with Carnival shore excursion. Our least favorite city and day, but still a great day. Pulling into the port of Valletta is amazing. You really feel like you're in a foreign land and it's breathtakingly simple, but beautiful. Messina - went to Taormina on our own through Carnival. Loved it! Naples - booked a different company for a Capri by boat tour. Morning of the tour they switched and said the water was too rough so we went to the Amalfi Coast. Can't complain since we saw some beautiful places, but not enough time in each (not a carnival excursion) Rome - we were going back to room at the end of the cruise so we went with Carnival's catacombs tour since we hadn't done that before. It was fine - Rome is amazing and the lunch they took us to was in a really neat restaurant and was very good. Florence - through Carnival, Florence on your own. Lovely city. We had been there before. We tried to do too much this time by booking museum tickets and spending time in the Uffizi instead of relaxing. Very crowded city. Marseilles - through Carnival visited Avignon and the Pope's palace. Marseilles wasn't impressive but when you get about 45 minutes away by bus the landscape changes and we ended up having a very nice day (our 30th anniversary). Barcelona - we had about 8 hours so we sent our bags to the airport and enjoyed a nice walk around the city, ate lunch and breakfast and checked out the waterfront area. Getting off the ship was a piece of cake - thought it would be more complicated. All in all, a great experience.

Great ports and a very nice cruise experience

Carnival Vista Cruise Review by kirkandmimi

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Things started off on the negative side since we lost Turkey, lost the Cheers program and got hit with a 24% VAT tax. Once we got on the ship on a sunny day in Athens, it was all good and it turned out to be a great experience. I'm not sure if I'll cruise again since there are some aspects of the whole cruise experience I don't care for (too many deadlines and no night sight-seeing), but that has nothing to do with Carnival and if I do cruise again, I certainly would consider Carnival first.

The itinerary was great. We enjoyed all the ports and took Carnival shore excursions on all but one day. The excursions were all fine and we had no issues whatsoever. I don't want to go searching for cheaper excursions and I like the idea that the ship won't leave without me if there's an issue getting back to the ship (which is easy to imagine in certain ports).

Our room was great - no complaints whatsoever. Nice balcony (we were on level 9), comfortable bed and enough storage space. It would be nice if the balcony door didn't slam so hard or could be held open, but I understand the reasons for the door being the way it is so no complaints. Our steward was great. We demand very little, we even went without service a few days because it's just easier for us, but when we did ask the room to be cleaned it was always perfect.

The ship is large, but laid out so there are no cramped areas packed with people other than the lounges. We did have trouble finding our way, but that could be just us being tired from very busy days. Even the last day, we couldn't remember where things were or how to get there. One negative - the first port day some of the passages through the ship we had taken all previous day were closed in the morning so we couldn't get through from one side of the ship to the other trying to get to the shore excursion lounge.

We did watch an imax movie - didn't seem too much of a big deal, but had a nice time even though we thought Imax theaters are usually larger than this one. We went to several comedy shows and they were all great. Yes, there are beams that block the view, but find a spot without one or watch the monitors on the stage and it's fine. The serenity deck was nice, but only used that on the last day. Wish I had visited earlier. We don't sun bathe so we only walked through the pool areas although we had a very nice time watching a dive-in movie one evening.

Didn't visit any of the bars - the Red Frog looked pretty empty to us, but we did eat at the paid Italian restaurant and it was excellent. Great service and great food. We also had some very good pizzas and Guy's burgers on several occasions. I avoided the buffet for the most part because I don't care for buffet/line service, but my wife enjoyed it and she did bring me back a huge plate of bacon one morning for breakfast which was great. We did room service every day for breakfast and it was very consistent and good. Strange that you can't order a side of bacon, but we just ordered a BLT and it worked out great every day. We probably ate at the main dining room 4 or 5 nights. The service was always excellent. My wife had better luck with the food than I did, and she enjoyed almost everything she ate. I had a few very good meals but also a few that I didn't care for. The desserts were always good.

Miscellaneous thoughts - Jamie the cruise director did a good job as did Cookie, her right hand man. The string trio that plays in the atrium is nice to watch and they do a great job. There were enough hand sanitizer stations but we seemed to be the only people using them. Also, there are some deep washing hand stations in the buffet area that really clean your hands. I didn't see them until near the end of the cruise but you put your hands down in these little holes and they're washed and sanitized. I loved it. No troubles waiting for elevators. Sometimes they take longer than others, but that's life. I do wish that there were more directional signs on the ship. There are some at each elevator station, but even an "A" for aft or "F" for forward with an arrow every once in a while would be helpful.

Ports:

Athens - an amazing city. We stayed an extra day and loved it. Stay in the Plaka district and you can walk everywhere. The city is beautiful at night and the Greeks are the best.

Rhodes - took a half price Lindos excursion through Carnival. Got to ride donkeys to the Acropolis. The schedule was tight on this excursion, but we enjoyed every second.

Malta - Visited Mdina and Rabat with Carnival shore excursion. Our least favorite city and day, but still a great day. Pulling into the port of Valletta is amazing. You really feel like you're in a foreign land and it's breathtakingly simple, but beautiful.

Messina - went to Taormina on our own through Carnival. Loved it!

Naples - booked a different company for a Capri by boat tour. Morning of the tour they switched and said the water was too rough so we went to the Amalfi Coast. Can't complain since we saw some beautiful places, but not enough time in each (not a carnival excursion)

Rome - we were going back to room at the end of the cruise so we went with Carnival's catacombs tour since we hadn't done that before. It was fine - Rome is amazing and the lunch they took us to was in a really neat restaurant and was very good.

Florence - through Carnival, Florence on your own. Lovely city. We had been there before. We tried to do too much this time by booking museum tickets and spending time in the Uffizi instead of relaxing. Very crowded city.

Marseilles - through Carnival visited Avignon and the Pope's palace. Marseilles wasn't impressive but when you get about 45 minutes away by bus the landscape changes and we ended up having a very nice day (our 30th anniversary).

Barcelona - we had about 8 hours so we sent our bags to the airport and enjoyed a nice walk around the city, ate lunch and breakfast and checked out the waterfront area.

Getting off the ship was a piece of cake - thought it would be more complicated.

All in all, a great experience.
kirkandmimi’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8A 9440
Nice cabin - room for everything with a large balcony and a comfortable bed.
Deck 6 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews