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Carnival Vista Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
974 reviews
4 Awards

Our New Favorite Cruise Ever

Review for Carnival Vista to the Southern Caribbean
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sjb.illinois
6-10 Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Cabin
Embarkation
Dining
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Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Nov 2016
Cabin: Family Harbor Cove Balcony
Traveled with children

Our family of five sailed on Carnival Vista on the repositioning cruise from New York to Miami 11/16.

We were myself (46), DH 49, DD 14, DS 11, and my MIL (75+). This was our third Carnival cruise as a family together, but DH and I had each cruised Carnival and other lines as well previously. After polling all members of the family, we can say that this was without a doubt our favorite cruise ever.

We stayed in a Family Harbor Cove Balcony (2412) and MIL was across the ship in 2403 (another cove balcony). We loved the cove balcony for how close it was to the water (this was our first time in one). We didn’t love the noise in this particular cabin, however, nor did my MIL in 2403. According to the deck plans we were under the restaurant, but there was horrible noise at night (like metal on metal and banging). Not sure what it was, but it was unpleasant. The room was lovely otherwise. The family harbor décor and extras are lovely. There are special robes and slippers in the rooms, along with the other Family Harbor amenities such as the wonderful Family harbor lounge, which is just across the hall from 2412. This lounge had coffee/tea/hot chocolate and ice cream always available, along with breakfast, lunch, teatime, and evening cookies. This was unbelievably handy for us – to be able to just step into the lounge and have a spot to grab a quick bite or snack, without having to go up to the Lido with the kids when they needed to eat. There were also yogurts and milks available, and for younger kids this would even be more handy I’d imagine.

Cabin Review

Family Harbor Cove Balcony

Cabin FM

We stayed in a Family Harbor Cove Balcony (2412) and MIL was across the ship in 2403 (another cove balcony). We loved the cove balcony for how close it was to the water (this was our first time in one). We didn’t love the noise in this particular cabin, however, nor did my MIL in 2403. According to the deck plans we were under the restaurant, but there was horrible noise at night (like metal on metal and banging). Not sure what it was, but it was unpleasant. The room was lovely otherwise. The family harbor décor and extras are lovely. There are special robes and slippers in the rooms, along with the other Family Harbor amenities such as the wonderful Family harbor lounge, which is just across the hall from 2412. This lounge had coffee/tea/hot chocolate and ice cream always available, along with breakfast, lunch, teatime, and evening cookies. This was unbelievably handy for us – to be able to just step into the lounge and have a spot to grab a quick bite or snack, without having to go up to the Lido with the kids when they needed to eat. There were also yogurts and milks available, and for younger kids this would even be more handy I’d imagine. Unfortunately, it did appear that lots of parents were allowing some really poor behavior with their unsupervised kids, and we did call guest service/security on one occasion. Picture food smashed on the floor and the couch, cushions thrown on the floor, jumping on couches. A couple times we spoke to directly to the kids as well. Most of the time though, the lounge was as it should be – a lovely spot for families to have a peaceful gathering place and grab some food. While there were board games and video games, we were usually busy, so never took advantage of these.

We were crowded, as we were four people in this room for 11 days. But it was manageable, especially if you don't overpack as I did. I used an over-door shoe hanger on the outside of the bathroom door which was helpful.

Port Reviews

New York (Manhattan)

Unfortunately we did not have extra time for New York, so we flew in the night before. We flew into Newark, and stayed at the Hampton Inn EWR Airport. The hotel was lovely and had a great breakfast, great room etc. The shuttle at EWR to go from terminal to baggage claim etc. was miserable and overcrowded - this may go down as my new least favorite airport. The hotel shuttle was just fine. We used Dial7 for our transport to the port the next morning, and it was perfect. Worth every penny to navigate the crazy traffic. Great communication with the driver.

Embarkation was crowded and a bit of a zoo, but for us not necessarily any worse than I've seen in Miami or San Juan. We were able to find places to sit (five of us) and were onboard eating by 1230 or 1. Given the astonishing number of people and luggage I'd say boarding went quite well.

Having never sailed from NYC before, the views were absolutely spectacular, and sailaway was picture perfect.

Aruba

We had pre-booked a rental car through Hertz, and I walked down and picked it up at the Rennaissance Hotel. This process seemed like it took forever, but in truth it probably wasn't more than 45 minutes. The others in my group came down and met me and we drove down to Baby Beach. It's not a scenic drive, but we always felt safe driving, and it was easy to get there. Baby Beach was about 45 minutes south, and a free beach with lovely sand and very calm surf. The water was beautiful and warm, and we spent all day floating and snorkeling. There were some services there (restaurant/bar/restrooms) but we didn't use them, so I can't speak to them. There were several palapas for shade, and as we were there early we were able to grab one. I would go back to this beach in a heartbeat! I'd also rent a car again, as it was nice to have that freedom. But traffic back to the ship was a zoo, so be sure to allow plenty of time.

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