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We have cruised with Carnival 4 times previously and as UK residents took advantage of the Vista departing a European port prior to being assigned to it's home port of Miami. Normally to experience a Carnival cruise we have to first fly to the USA so this was a great opportunity to go transatlantic and from Europe. The ship is great I loved it, Carnival have departed from the "Versace on speed" look and the set out of the vessel is easy to navigate and has a good feel throughout. As mentioned by every man and his dog the main theatre (liquid lounge) is of a poor design with bad views to the stage 'nuff said so let's just leave it at that, I just hope Carnival learn their lesson for the new class of ship currently under design. Food in the main dining area's we found to be well improved from previous Carnival cruises good choices and plentiful - no problems at all. In the "pay extra" venues the steakhouse has exactly the same menu as other Carnival ships but the service has been throttled back. Previously you would get your server preparing your salad at the table and a somelier was on hand to recommend wine - small touches that made the meal an "experience" these have sadly gone. Cucina del Capiano was good, as was Ji Ji Asian - extra payments but we thought well worth it. We did visit Cucina del Capiano for lunch (no extra payment at lunchtime but limited menu) and I ordered a bottle of chianti ($26) when the waiter brought it he attempted to pour the wine into two plastic soft drink "glasses" when I requested wine glasses he said they weren't available - they clearly were on the next table as people were drinking from them! Only when I told him to take the wine away did he go and source two proper wine glasses....small things but they impact your overall impression? The main "reflections" dining room was a nice venue, I disagree with some of the reviewers on the thread, I found the mood lighting was good and the tables were well presented and the whole place was spotless. The staff from Ken the singing Maitre D to Frank our server and his team were hard working, friendly and efficient - well done to them. Sadly the same can't be said for the seaday brunch in the Horizons venue, we and another 6 guests waited for an hour and three quarters and still 4 of us had not received all of our brunch items, at this point my wife (who was still waiting for her main order) and I decided to leave. As we left I mentioned to what appeared to be the head waitress / Maitre D that a 90 minute wait and still no meal was pretty poor, her reply was "the average wait in this restaurant is one hour" I was grateful for the statistical analysis but frankly expected an apology or an explanation. When I explained that there were still 4 people waiting for their order and she should go and maybe hurry the service along she apologised (through gritted teeth) and said she would inform the manager - we stuck to the lido for breakfast after this experience. Similarly before our visit to the steakhouse we decided to try a cocktail at the Alchemy bar which is situated adjacent to the steakhouse, we ordered our cocktails and waited.....and waited.....and waited - 20 minutes later I approached the bar and enquired where our drinks were? The bartender then disengaged herself from the guests seated at the bar whom she'd been talking to and asked me for the second time what I would like.....outta there was what I liked - went to the red frog 10 yards down the hall and got served right away....Alchem - y very clique - y.....no thanks, poor service. Havana bar great - does what it says on the tin...cocktails, good service and you can't beat a bit of Latin music before dinner. Red Frog pub was a winner and for me the best bar on the ship - Great beer brewed in front of you - The Red Frog "Red" is a proper decent pint with a nice toffee finish (I'm English so I'm used to flat, bad beer) this was a knockout pint - highly recommended. The guitarist during our cruise was a guy called Ed Deane - very talented and made the pub experience special - well done to the Red Frogs - top drawer. We were in a balcony stateroom, deck 6 midship which was very nice, storage OK, TV good and Duncan our steward was a top bloke - no issues at all. I think my only criticism of the Vista is regarding the staffing, there just seemed to be less professional in parts and there were longer waits whether at bars, guest services or dining rooms. The dining staff appeared to be under much more pressure, therefore efficiency and customer interaction suffer. A senior staff member confided in us that the staffing numbers had been cut and that subsequently service was being impacted - this is a shame because for me, it kicks the Vista from excellent to very good. Overall would I cruise Carnival again - yes - on the Vista - yes but I'm told by many people on board to try the Breeze next so we'll see. Hope this post has been helpful.

Nearly, Nearly Excellent

Carnival Vista Cruise Review by Mark S

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We have cruised with Carnival 4 times previously and as UK residents took advantage of the Vista departing a European port prior to being assigned to it's home port of Miami.

Normally to experience a Carnival cruise we have to first fly to the USA so this was a great opportunity to go transatlantic and from Europe. The ship is great I loved it, Carnival have departed from the "Versace on speed" look and the set out of the vessel is easy to navigate and has a good feel throughout.

As mentioned by every man and his dog the main theatre (liquid lounge) is of a poor design with bad views to the stage 'nuff said so let's just leave it at that, I just hope Carnival learn their lesson for the new class of ship currently under design.

Food in the main dining area's we found to be well improved from previous Carnival cruises good choices and plentiful - no problems at all.

In the "pay extra" venues the steakhouse has exactly the same menu as other Carnival ships but the service has been throttled back. Previously you would get your server preparing your salad at the table and a somelier was on hand to recommend wine - small touches that made the meal an "experience" these have sadly gone.

Cucina del Capiano was good, as was Ji Ji Asian - extra payments but we thought well worth it. We did visit Cucina del Capiano for lunch (no extra payment at lunchtime but limited menu) and I ordered a bottle of chianti ($26) when the waiter brought it he attempted to pour the wine into two plastic soft drink "glasses" when I requested wine glasses he said they weren't available - they clearly were on the next table as people were drinking from them! Only when I told him to take the wine away did he go and source two proper wine glasses....small things but they impact your overall impression?

The main "reflections" dining room was a nice venue, I disagree with some of the reviewers on the thread, I found the mood lighting was good and the tables were well presented and the whole place was spotless. The staff from Ken the singing Maitre D to Frank our server and his team were hard working, friendly and efficient - well done to them.

Sadly the same can't be said for the seaday brunch in the Horizons venue, we and another 6 guests waited for an hour and three quarters and still 4 of us had not received all of our brunch items, at this point my wife (who was still waiting for her main order) and I decided to leave. As we left I mentioned to what appeared to be the head waitress / Maitre D that a 90 minute wait and still no meal was pretty poor, her reply was "the average wait in this restaurant is one hour" I was grateful for the statistical analysis but frankly expected an apology or an explanation. When I explained that there were still 4 people waiting for their order and she should go and maybe hurry the service along she apologised (through gritted teeth) and said she would inform the manager - we stuck to the lido for breakfast after this experience.

Similarly before our visit to the steakhouse we decided to try a cocktail at the Alchemy bar which is situated adjacent to the steakhouse, we ordered our cocktails and waited.....and waited.....and waited - 20 minutes later I approached the bar and enquired where our drinks were? The bartender then disengaged herself from the guests seated at the bar whom she'd been talking to and asked me for the second time what I would like.....outta there was what I liked - went to the red frog 10 yards down the hall and got served right away....Alchem - y very clique - y.....no thanks, poor service.

Havana bar great - does what it says on the tin...cocktails, good service and you can't beat a bit of Latin music before dinner.

Red Frog pub was a winner and for me the best bar on the ship - Great beer brewed in front of you - The Red Frog "Red" is a proper decent pint with a nice toffee finish (I'm English so I'm used to flat, bad beer) this was a knockout pint - highly recommended. The guitarist during our cruise was a guy called Ed Deane - very talented and made the pub experience special - well done to the Red Frogs - top drawer.

We were in a balcony stateroom, deck 6 midship which was very nice, storage OK, TV good and Duncan our steward was a top bloke - no issues at all.

I think my only criticism of the Vista is regarding the staffing, there just seemed to be less professional in parts and there were longer waits whether at bars, guest services or dining rooms. The dining staff appeared to be under much more pressure, therefore efficiency and customer interaction suffer. A senior staff member confided in us that the staffing numbers had been cut and that subsequently service was being impacted - this is a shame because for me, it kicks the Vista from excellent to very good.

Overall would I cruise Carnival again - yes - on the Vista - yes but I'm told by many people on board to try the Breeze next so we'll see.

Hope this post has been helpful.
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