We sailed the Vista March 24-April 1. There were 4 families all with teenage boys/girls. One family always cruises Carnival and convinced us to try a spring break cruise. I have not been on a cruise in the last 15 years so I spent a ton of time looking at reviews for the Vista. My family typically rents villas/condos or stays at resorts in the Caribbean so here is my cruise experience/opinion regarding Carnival and the Vista.
*Embarkation was simple...yes, some long lines but it constantly moved.
*Ship was clean upon entering.
*Balcony cabin 9455 was clean and in a great location!!!
*Cabin steward (Norman) knocked on our door first day. Introduced himself and asked how we would like the room serviced. He was very attentive and we tipped cash that same night as a small thank you. He took good care of our cabin.
*Fahrenheit 555 is well worth the $35 charge.
*Staff onboard said hello and were friendly.
*The ability in the evening to find an uncrowded place for a drink was easy!!
*Pizza..not sure who said it was terrible but it was actually good pizza and way better than anything found on the buffet. Long lines sometimes though!
*Java Blue for coffee and milkshakes (spiked or not)!
*Wifi was good. I bought the value plan, not the cheap social plan and had great service and access to VPN emails.
*Tides pool bartenders...we tipped a $1 each time and had great service.
*Debarking was "open" from 7am to 8am and we took full advantage of that!
*Having to wake up at the crack of dawn (think 7am ish) on sea days to get a decently located deck chair. By 10am, there were simply no chairs available.
*Main dining room...food wasn't great and neither was the service.
*Buffet...food wasn't great and lines were pretty long for breakfast. I learned after that first morning to choose other options.
*Serenity Deck has no pool and loungers are always taken (at least I think, as there were always towels in them but rarely saw people enjoying them).
*Red Frog bartenders ignored many guests and we never went back after the first day. Sad as my husband loves micro-brewed beers.
*Getting some type of gastro-intenstinal virus onboard :(
*Drunk, ignorant grown adults puking in the pool (closing both on sea days).
*People not paying attention to their young kids. I have kids but when your kids are like 4 years old, don't leave them unattended in a hot tub and let them tumble down the stairs and have random fellow passengers help her up and have to go look on the deck to find her parents!!!
*People dropping food and not picking anything up. LIterally just left and walked away. The Carnival staff is staff, not personal servants.
*People leaving glasses/plates anywhere and everywhere. The elevator! The stairways! Yes. They did.
*People complaining about every little thing. In the steakhouse a woman didn't enjoy her ribeye (after clear clarification on the marble and cut of meat). She was given a free meal, free wine, free dinner at another "for fee" restaurant (for her and her husband) but that still wasn't good enough. She wanted all 9 dinners of her group for free. These people are the ones ruining it for other guests and ultimately raising overall prices when carnival has to shell out "freebies" to bitching passengers. If you cannot afford a vacation and have to complain to get things for free then perhaps travel ever other year and save money to enjoy yourself with worry of cost of the trip.
Overall it was a nice trip as we were with great people and the Carnival staff did a nice job given the fact they have 4,000 passengers onboard. If I were to cruise again, I think I would consider Celebrity or RCCL to perhaps step up the dining experience and hope that fellow passengers learn how to pick up after themselves and complain less! You're on vacation so why spend so much time complaining and being unhappy!?
Great location for Tides pool and level 10 dining options! It was a quite cabin (heard chair noise maybe one morning around 630am)
great private boat charter for 10 people
Walked around old town....great option if you only have a few hours in port.
Taxi to Carambola beach....overpriced so maybe would try Cockleshell next time.
rented a Hertz Jeep from the cruise port. Awesome day!