Carnival Vista Cruise Review by BuffaloSouljah
- Sail Date: August 2017
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Interior with Picture Window (walkway view, obstructed view)
We booked a longer cruise than my first, an 8 night exotic southern Caribbean to Turks and Caicos, the Dominican Republic, Aruba and Curacao. The entire experience felt like a grand adventure to me! It was the perfect length of time and while I definitely enjoyed the ship, I adored my time in port the most.
Embarkation understandably took a little time and we did have to wait in line for about 30 minutes, but it was NOT an intolerable experience. No worse than airport security. I heard so many loud and vocal complaints from the people around us in line, and one gentleman even called over an employee and asked to cancel his cruise and get his money back right then! I can't imagine getting so worked up about having to wait a half an hour to board a beautiful ship and sail down to paradise...but life is what you make of it.
The ship is massive and packed with something for everyone. We tried to sample as much as possible but definitely missed a few things! Dining options were wonderful, and though room service and the buffet did not serve the best food you've ever had, the main dining room menu more than made up for that, and we never went hungry. Mario in the main dining room was our favorite server! The service was impeccable, every employee was friendly and bursting with energy, particularly the cruise director Matt. We saw the captain out on the ship three times and he smiled and said hello each time, even stopping to ask us if we were enjoying our vacation. Lismana our cabin steward kept everything clean, always addressed us by name and filled our cabin with wonderful towel animals. The bartenders at RedFrog Pub got to know us and were wonderful to chat with. We got dressed up on formal night, laid out on the sun decks, splashed in the water park like little kids, danced when we wanted to and played board games and shuffleboard when we just wanted to chill.
This ship is jam packed with excessively talented musical entertainment. Tom Hanson in the RedFrog Pub was one of the most talented acoustic act I've ever witnessed (if not THE most talented) and we spent every evening in the pub sipping one of the best IPA's I've ever had (so sad I can only get it at sea!) and making song requests. Tom even recognized us and came over to chat in between sets. All live music acts were incredible, and the ship always had a live act performing - we heard jazz, rock, R&B, string trios, steel drums and everything in between. I do wish there was more live reggae!
There was a nice mix of places to party and places to relax, and the ship hardly ever felt crowded. We enjoyed the Library Bar, the outdoor promenade, Ocean Plaza and the water park the most. I do wish there was an adults-only pool in the serenity area as the other pools were small and crowded, as cruise ship pools usually are. The Atrium wasn't my favorite place, but that didn't bother be because there were so many other great places to hang out on the ship. The ship was remarkably smooth considering we passed through some rough water and high winds a couple times, and even though we booked a 4J cabin in the very front we never felt seasick - there was more of a back-and-forth shimmy motion, but very little rolling and next to no pitching.
We sailed nearly 3,000 miles in 8 days and did a fabulous glass bottom kayak excursion through Carnival in Grand Turk, an awesome Chavon River tour through Seavis Biyahibe in the Dominican, took a taxi to Eagle Beach in Aruba where we enjoyed a long and beautiful sunset and went shore snorkeling at Jan Theil beach in Curacao, which was the best snorkeling I've ever done. Debarkation was very smooth.
I definitely heard occasional complaints from passengers on the ship, complaints during embarkation and definitely complaints in reviews since coming home, and I keep coming back to the same phrase in my mind...life is what you make of it. I'm sure the Vista isn't the very best ship out there for every single person, but it was clean, there was plenty to do, the service was amazing and we sailed into paradise for eight whole days. If I was lucky enough to have 15+ other cruise experiences to compare it to, maybe I would be more willing to complain about the little things, but this vacation was truly special to me, the ports were all new beautiful places to explore and the ship was a marvelous floating resort. I think next time I might try to book a different cruise line just for a taste of something new, but this ship was a great way to relax and enjoy paradise!
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