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.
The cabin was beside a white area on the plans but there was no noise from it. I was just around the corner from the elevators so that was handy. It would have been nice to have a comfy chair or sofa but I managed.
I didn't do a tour in Barcelona but did attend a pre cruise dinner with members of the roll call at Cullera de Boix Boqueria. We had a lovely meal & social time.
This was a great trip to various sights around the island, 7 or so of us in a Mercedes van with Peter, as driver/guide. He did a great job & we saw a lot of places. The tour ended downtown or back at the port, your choice. I was so happy to finally experience Gibraltar.View All 34 City Tour Reviews
This was a great tour of the beautiful island. We went to a tea company, scenic lookouts & ate Cozido das Furnas, a medley of meat & vegetables cooked in a pot at the hot springs, served at Restaurant Miroma. The pineapple for dessert was lovely & the service very good. Take an umbrella as there's a reason the island is so lush! The guide gave us a short drive by of the city, which is within walking distance of the port.View All undefined undefined Reviews
This was a round the island tour with guide Julie. We saw a lot of the sights of Bermuda & even got to the dunking on time. Julie was very informative & pleasant.View All undefined undefined Reviews