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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.

Main auditorium insufficient to accommodate guests

Carnival Vista Cruise Review by cruisepaper

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
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.
cruisepaper’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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