Super Fun Cruise Itinerary - Vista, Not So Much: Carnival Vista Cruise Review by jolin68
Overall Member Rating
Super Fun Cruise Itinerary - Vista, Not So Much
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Pros - Our location in the Family Harbor room was extremely convenient to the lounge, stairs and elevators. The breakfast, sandwiches and snacks in the lounge saved us from the lines on the lido deck and frustration of the design. The excursions we did were really fun (snorkel and stingrays in Grand Turk, Alto de Chavon and river cruise in DR, Butterflies, Bridge and Beach in Aruba) Our Staff (room stewards and dining) were awesome and work so hard to try to make everyone's trip enjoyable and comfortable. The Dr. Seuss breakfast was also fun and the kids really enjoyed that morning. Overall, the time and experience with More family and friend was priceless!
Cons - All three girls (5, 9 & 10) did not want to participate in Camp Ocean. After the first time they decided it was boring and not for them. The lines at the skyride and water slides were super long (45 mins to 1 hr) and they did not spend much time there due to the time it took to take one turn. The pools are WAY too small for the number of people on the ship and get pretty gross quickly (not for the faint of heart --- had to clean boogers out of one of the children's hair) - I suggest to swim first thing in the morning before the crowds. Most of the movies at night were not suitable for the children - PG-13 and over not necessarily geared with the children in mind. The entertainment, (though family shows) often had elements of adult themes/topics - some of which did not quite go over their heads.
The Lido Market needs trays - it is EXTREMELY difficult with children to get food, silverware, drinks (all in different locations) to a table and keep an eye on children at the same time, without a tray to carry it all on. My sister had worked to get a meal and drinks to the table with her 5 year old and realized she had to go somewhere else for silverware, and a staff member took her meal from the table just that fast. Although our staff was awesome, it was apparent that they are understaffed and tired. There were many moments where it was chaotic enough to realize that the staff was unable to keep up with the volume of guests. The design of the ship is very clumsy. It is difficult to get from one end of ship to the other without having to go up a deck and down again (especially if you want to avoid the smoke filled casino with children) There are not enough elevators and we heard many people complaining about the amount of time it took to get from floor to floor - and impatient/rude people taking available elevators before their turns. The public areas of the ship were not made to accommodate the volume of passengers on this ship and the liquid lounge - well let's just say that unless you are early enough to get front section, bring your x-ray goggles to see through other people, large poles and choppy sections of plexi-glass. There were some minor annoyances and incidents on the ship, mostly with rowdy teenagers and young adults. I know it's the parents responsibility, but I personally believe that a ship this large needs additional security.
NOTE TO PARENTS - If you choose to book the Family Harbor section of the ship.... It is convenient and does save on time in lines. When not crowded, the lounge is a nice place to hang out and play games... However - Carnival does not restrict these rooms to families with children. In the Family Lounge we (and our children) heard a frequent amount cursing, vulgar language and inappropriate discussions that were probably on par with what you might hear in the bars. Just wanted to make you aware - as I book naively expecting cute little families with children only and this was NOT the case. Less
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