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2/25/17 – 3/5/17 Cruisers: 40ish parental units and the 13-year-old unit 8A Stateroom: 6242 Embarkation We traveled into Orlando on February 24 in order to attend a Disney DVC Moonlight Magic Event that evening (great by the way if you are a DVC member and able to attend one of these!). The drive down to Miami on February 25 was uneventful and had plenty of nice rest stops along the way. Drop off of National Car rental at MIA included a complimentary shuttle to the port which was nice. Arrival at 1:30 PM to port had an empty check-in line for the cruise and we were able to proceed immediately to our stateroom. One of our pieces of luggage did not appear even after dinner and my husband did have to go to guest services to retrieve. This was due to the port baggage handlers breaking the top handle on the luggage and the Carnival stateroom tag falling off the luggage. Vista Amenities Pools – Forget getting a lounger. People are out there clipping on towels at 6AM. (Where exactly do you get towel clips? WINGS??) Do you really need a lounger? No. There are plenty of spaces around the pool to sit with your feet in the water so think outside the box and embrace the modified environment. Hot Tubs - The ship could use a few more hot tubs. The few that it has are always overcrowded and lukewarm. There were a couple of hot tubs up top in the adults only area that were not too crowded. However, this option does not work well if someone in you party is under 18 years of age as they are not allowed in this area so we did not get to utilize this much. Sky Ride – I thought our family would be waiting in line for hours to enjoy based on other reviews. Not true for us! We went at times where we thought logically that there may be a low crowd and enjoyed the benefit of small lines. We literally rode every day except sea days. The highlight was the ride around in Grand Turk. It was absolutely beautiful to look down at the clear water with no other ships in port. Sky Ropes Course – My son did this multiple times a day and LOVED it! I went around once & was lucky to survive! IMAX Theater – We saw La La Land in the theater. Great theater and experience. Note that if you are on Deck 6 and want a drink, you can get them at the IMAX bar even if you are not going to the movie. Dive-In Movies – Went to several movies after dinner and they were fun! Liquid Lounge Shows – This is not our thing so we did not experience. Did walk in to check out what was going on several times and could never really see anything so can understand the complaints about the set-up. Our stateroom was above the LL so can attest that someone was having fun down there as I heard the bass until the wee hours some nights. Casual Dining – Breakfast & Lunch Blue Iguana Cantina– Oh, how I miss you for breakfast with your huevos rancheros & your toppings bar. Pizzeria Del Capitano – It is busy but good pizza. Pig & Anchor – Good BBQ. Fantastic potato salad. Hard to find as it is outside of the Pixels on Deck 5. Guy’s Burger – I think my boys had a burger every day for lunch. Must have been tasty. Circle C – As written by a 13-year-old boy Circle C was pretty fun, there was very little planning and almost everything done was chosen by the kids. Dinners Day 1 – JiJi’s Asian Kitchen I think all of us agreed that this was the highlight of our meals. Not too many customers in the restaurant and we had good ordering advice from the servers and restaurant manager. My picky teen said this was his favorite meal of the cruise. Cannot go wrong with any of the choices here! Day 2 – Seafood Shack & Pizza Got the fried platter and pizza for dinner and watched the Dive-In Movie. Seafood platter was blah. Pizza was good. Day 3 – Bonsai Sushi Good grief this was a mess. We ordered the sushi boat for two, a few skewers & beef teriyaki. The sushi boat came out relatively quickly and the skewers and beef teriyaki took FOREVER to arrive. So much so that the server comp’d them for us. Enjoyed the outdoor seating for dinner at this venue. Day 4 – Pizza & a Movie Got pizza for all and watched Deepwater Horizon at the Dive-In Movie. Great dining plan for an evening with kids or teens. Day 5, 6, 7 – Main Dining Room Surprise! We liked the main dining room. Had the dedicated early dining in Horizons dining room at table 619. Liked this location as it was quiet, on level 2 of the dining room and off to the side behind a glass wall. Did I miss the tablecloths on every night? No. They were there on formal night and it almost seemed silly. Food was excellent! Service was great! Day 8 – Fahrenheit 555 This was the biggest disappointment of the cruise as far as dining. My son and husband were looking forward to this meal and it was a bust. The team serving our table was unfriendly and the service was rushed. Food was mediocre and we all agreed that we would not make a point to go to the Carnival signature steakhouse again. Drinks We did the Cheers! Package. There were some times where you would wait for a beverage but if you were aggressive, the bartenders would take your order. Ports Grand Turk – We rented a golf cart from Karib Auto Rental (~$100USD for rental). We found the Karib rep Boogie (or is it Boogey?) outside the gate of the cruise ship terminal. Boogie was a hoot! Our cart was fun to drive around the island. Challenge to the next golf cart renting cruisers in Grand Turk is for you to find Conch World in your golf cart! Good luck! San Juan – Have always wanted to stay on the ship while everyone gets off and have run of the ship. That’s what we did as we have been to Puerto Rico before. It was super fun to do this on a ship with such fun things to do! St. Kitts – We laid up and got off late just to check email and get a drink at a local café. (We had been here twice before.) St. Maarten – My husband’s father & partner spend a few months in St Maarten each year and we were able to connect with them when we arrived in port. Started out at the Yacht Club to see the boats going out via the Simpson Bay Bridge for the Heineken Regatta. After, we visited at the in-laws condo and went to Dreams beach club on the French side for lunch (yum & nice beach). Ended the day at Sunset Beach bar to see the Air France arrival and a Boeing 737 departure. Took a taxi back from the airport beach at around $9pp. Disembarkation We had a 10:30 AM flight out of FLL. We did self-disembarkation and were off the ship and in a taxi by 7:30 and through security at FLL by 8:30.

Vista with a Teen!

Carnival Vista Cruise Review by MerryBee

15 people found this helpful
Trip Details
2/25/17 – 3/5/17

Cruisers: 40ish parental units and the 13-year-old unit

8A Stateroom: 6242

Embarkation

We traveled into Orlando on February 24 in order to attend a Disney DVC Moonlight Magic Event that evening (great by the way if you are a DVC member and able to attend one of these!). The drive down to Miami on February 25 was uneventful and had plenty of nice rest stops along the way. Drop off of National Car rental at MIA included a complimentary shuttle to the port which was nice. Arrival at 1:30 PM to port had an empty check-in line for the cruise and we were able to proceed immediately to our stateroom. One of our pieces of luggage did not appear even after dinner and my husband did have to go to guest services to retrieve. This was due to the port baggage handlers breaking the top handle on the luggage and the Carnival stateroom tag falling off the luggage.

Vista Amenities

Pools – Forget getting a lounger. People are out there clipping on towels at 6AM. (Where exactly do you get towel clips? WINGS??) Do you really need a lounger? No. There are plenty of spaces around the pool to sit with your feet in the water so think outside the box and embrace the modified environment.

Hot Tubs - The ship could use a few more hot tubs. The few that it has are always overcrowded and lukewarm. There were a couple of hot tubs up top in the adults only area that were not too crowded. However, this option does not work well if someone in you party is under 18 years of age as they are not allowed in this area so we did not get to utilize this much.

Sky Ride – I thought our family would be waiting in line for hours to enjoy based on other reviews. Not true for us! We went at times where we thought logically that there may be a low crowd and enjoyed the benefit of small lines. We literally rode every day except sea days. The highlight was the ride around in Grand Turk. It was absolutely beautiful to look down at the clear water with no other ships in port.

Sky Ropes Course – My son did this multiple times a day and LOVED it! I went around once & was lucky to survive!

IMAX Theater – We saw La La Land in the theater. Great theater and experience. Note that if you are on Deck 6 and want a drink, you can get them at the IMAX bar even if you are not going to the movie.

Dive-In Movies – Went to several movies after dinner and they were fun!

Liquid Lounge Shows – This is not our thing so we did not experience. Did walk in to check out what was going on several times and could never really see anything so can understand the complaints about the set-up. Our stateroom was above the LL so can attest that someone was having fun down there as I heard the bass until the wee hours some nights.

Casual Dining – Breakfast & Lunch

Blue Iguana Cantina– Oh, how I miss you for breakfast with your huevos rancheros & your toppings bar.

Pizzeria Del Capitano – It is busy but good pizza.

Pig & Anchor – Good BBQ. Fantastic potato salad. Hard to find as it is outside of the Pixels on Deck 5.

Guy’s Burger – I think my boys had a burger every day for lunch. Must have been tasty.

Circle C – As written by a 13-year-old boy

Circle C was pretty fun, there was very little planning and almost everything done was chosen by the kids.

Dinners

Day 1 – JiJi’s Asian Kitchen

I think all of us agreed that this was the highlight of our meals. Not too many customers in the restaurant and we had good ordering advice from the servers and restaurant manager. My picky teen said this was his favorite meal of the cruise. Cannot go wrong with any of the choices here!

Day 2 – Seafood Shack & Pizza

Got the fried platter and pizza for dinner and watched the Dive-In Movie. Seafood platter was blah. Pizza was good.

Day 3 – Bonsai Sushi

Good grief this was a mess. We ordered the sushi boat for two, a few skewers & beef teriyaki. The sushi boat came out relatively quickly and the skewers and beef teriyaki took FOREVER to arrive. So much so that the server comp’d them for us. Enjoyed the outdoor seating for dinner at this venue.

Day 4 – Pizza & a Movie

Got pizza for all and watched Deepwater Horizon at the Dive-In Movie. Great dining plan for an evening with kids or teens.

Day 5, 6, 7 – Main Dining Room

Surprise! We liked the main dining room. Had the dedicated early dining in Horizons dining room at table 619. Liked this location as it was quiet, on level 2 of the dining room and off to the side behind a glass wall. Did I miss the tablecloths on every night? No. They were there on formal night and it almost seemed silly. Food was excellent! Service was great!

Day 8 – Fahrenheit 555

This was the biggest disappointment of the cruise as far as dining. My son and husband were looking forward to this meal and it was a bust. The team serving our table was unfriendly and the service was rushed. Food was mediocre and we all agreed that we would not make a point to go to the Carnival signature steakhouse again.

Drinks

We did the Cheers! Package. There were some times where you would wait for a beverage but if you were aggressive, the bartenders would take your order.

Ports

Grand Turk – We rented a golf cart from Karib Auto Rental (~$100USD for rental). We found the Karib rep Boogie (or is it Boogey?) outside the gate of the cruise ship terminal. Boogie was a hoot! Our cart was fun to drive around the island. Challenge to the next golf cart renting cruisers in Grand Turk is for you to find Conch World in your golf cart! Good luck!

San Juan – Have always wanted to stay on the ship while everyone gets off and have run of the ship. That’s what we did as we have been to Puerto Rico before. It was super fun to do this on a ship with such fun things to do!

St. Kitts – We laid up and got off late just to check email and get a drink at a local café. (We had been here twice before.)

St. Maarten – My husband’s father & partner spend a few months in St Maarten each year and we were able to connect with them when we arrived in port. Started out at the Yacht Club to see the boats going out via the Simpson Bay Bridge for the Heineken Regatta. After, we visited at the in-laws condo and went to Dreams beach club on the French side for lunch (yum & nice beach). Ended the day at Sunset Beach bar to see the Air France arrival and a Boeing 737 departure. Took a taxi back from the airport beach at around $9pp.

Disembarkation

We had a 10:30 AM flight out of FLL. We did self-disembarkation and were off the ship and in a taxi by 7:30 and through security at FLL by 8:30.
MerryBee’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8A a
Loved this cabin's location. A quick walk up the stairs to the Lido, on the same level as the IMAX and one level down to Deck 5 with lots of action.
Only downside was that there was loud bass music intermittently throughout the night from the Liquid Lounge. Bring your earplugs for this cabin and you will be fine.
Sofa bed was really hard.
Deck 6 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins