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We were celebrating my daughter's 10th wedding anniversary with a large group of family and friends. She chose the ship. We have sailed Carnival in the past, happily. Embarking at Galveston was a mess. Traffic is poorly managed. We had to finally leave the line on a side street near a crosswalk in front of the Terminal to unload because we had moved little in a half-hour and needed to return rental vehicles before one o'clock. At the terminal a Carnival worker told us to go down to the far end in hopes of finding a porter in a bright tropical shirt to take our luggage. We finally spied one and had to ask him to take our luggage - lucky we travel light with roller duffels. (The break room we passed was full of lunching porters.) Actually getting on board ship was efficient enough, and it would have been nice for someone to mention we would get our ship cards at our room. The ship was nice on first impressions. We wandered around until our cabin was ready. Our luggage was already there. Good start. Food in Lido was good. Better start. Plenty of seating. Who could ask for more? Checked out the ropes and skycycles. Played mini-golf. Took kids to the central pool for a swim. And then the fun began...although there were announcements down below, there were none heard in the public areas on Deck 10 that the Muster Drill was promptly beginning. All the pool patrons were kicked out, rushing to dry themselves, with "encouragement" to get to their muster stations. I don't believe we just missed the announcements...the crowd was too large being stampeded to the elevators and stairs. At the Liquid Lounge (aka the ship's theater) we were carded with a tablet to record our presence Later much time was spent on a roll call that included many who had been scanned but not recorded. I know it's a must...but what a waste, particularly as it was the first of many disorganized events. Dinner was okay. We met the DR staff and they us. Funny thing...first tie for me no prime rib on sail-away evening. Okay...so had something else. After dinner there was no coffee (or tea) service, and the mood was pretty much time to leave for the next shift. Our cabin was 2220, which was way forward and an OV with two port holes instead of a window. It was nice sized, with plenty of storage. Yosifine was our steward, and she was great, always friendly and happy to chitchat. The place was kept clean and tidy. No complaint there. In the trip's final days at seas we were treated to loud bangs (more like explosions) as waves hit the hull. And the noise and vibration from the ship's forward thrusters was no less shocking/annoying, especially in the very early hours. For these reasons, I don't recommend these cabins except if one is unconscious. The Lido...breakfast was okay. There were selections of cold cereals and milks, breads, fruits, and all that. There were the "scrambled eggs", eggs benedict, ham slices, turkey sausage, beans...and the rationed, manyally-distributed bacon. No kidding, there was a guy every morning handing out the bacon. Why? The omlette/egg line featured two guys with three burners apiece who often couldn't keep up with demand. Don't know why - they were hustling. (A mention of etiquette: It is not polite to shout your order to your friend up front to avoid the wait. Get in line like the others. Comprende?) If you have hours to while, go to the MDR. Guy's Burgers are the best. Five-stars all around there. Others in our party had raves for the Blue Iguana Mexican and the pizza. We also enjoyed the Mongolian Grill and Smokehouse BBQ lunches. (Hint: Get to each early for the line.) My complaint is that there is little on-ship promotion of these last two venues. Early in the trip one could just walk up and be served. By the end it was looooong lines as word spread. Dinner was okay. (I use mid-level chain restaurants as my benchmark, not Michelin starred restaurants.) The MDR generally met the benchmark. it failed with the stingy "cut" of inferior prime rib (very thin and sinewy with packaged "aus jus" gravy) and a few other dishes. The Chesapeake Crabcake was an abomination. Certain salmon dishes, particularly those with sauce, were served with the skin on, adding unappetizing "fishiness" to the dish. Baked potatoes arrived hot, but the wait for condiments allowed them to cool so the sour cream or butter sat there when introduced. And then there is the apres meal coffee/tea...one had to ask, and sometimes it arrived at the table, but always just minutes before it was time to vacate. I don't blame wait staff so much as the accountants who are cutting things to the bone these days. These guys come from the galley carrying as many as 20 plates of food...then serve them in a bit of a frenzy. Our group had different service teams for each of four tables. Some had just awful experiences, with food late and service jammed until time to vacate. Activities were not well coordinated to flow one into another. Times were generally offset. Virtually everything was with some added cost if not a revenue generator. Except Bingo there was little promotion beyond the daily brochure. Entertainment was okay. The shows were okay. It was all okay. Nothing to go ga-ga over. The Liquid Lounge is awful for sightlines, and seating is not so hot, either. It's like a Vegas lounge, with the tables and odd chairs. The Halloween activities were fun, but there was a multi-hour break between dinner and the Deck 10 extravaganza. I can only take so much LOUD music. My issue with all these things is that the audience becomes the entertainment, much contrived. There were "battles" in the Atrium after dinner that were merely excuses for loud music and frantic displays by our cruise director, who didn't seem to direct much and was the constant center of attention. It's a one-trick pony show repeated nightly. One last rant: I don't care about anyone's sexual orientation, but how about we take the "fun stuff" to the room? The fantail pool on Deck 10 was beyond a bit naughty when I stopped by, and I consider myself other than a prude. C'mon, fellas. It was a bit over the line...not that anyone cared or noticed, right? Disembarkation was an embarrassment. It looked like a scene from the Titanic as flood doors were actually closed to control crowds on Deck 3. I don't know who caused the backup, and the consequent mob scene, but it was unprecedented in my experience. I could go on and on - elevators, smoky casino, all the usual things...but others are much better explaining than I similar experiences. As one of our group suggested, it was like cruising with Walmart. The irony was that my daughter sailed her honeymoon cruise on RCL's Liberty of the Seas, which we have sailed twice with happy results. Guess what ship was docked at the other terminal...yup! We may go with Carnival again. We WILL NOT go on Vista.

Here's How Vista Floats...

Carnival Vista Cruise Review by R'man

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We were celebrating my daughter's 10th wedding anniversary with a large group of family and friends. She chose the ship. We have sailed Carnival in the past, happily.

Embarking at Galveston was a mess. Traffic is poorly managed. We had to finally leave the line on a side street near a crosswalk in front of the Terminal to unload because we had moved little in a half-hour and needed to return rental vehicles before one o'clock. At the terminal a Carnival worker told us to go down to the far end in hopes of finding a porter in a bright tropical shirt to take our luggage. We finally spied one and had to ask him to take our luggage - lucky we travel light with roller duffels. (The break room we passed was full of lunching porters.) Actually getting on board ship was efficient enough, and it would have been nice for someone to mention we would get our ship cards at our room.

The ship was nice on first impressions. We wandered around until our cabin was ready. Our luggage was already there. Good start. Food in Lido was good. Better start. Plenty of seating. Who could ask for more? Checked out the ropes and skycycles. Played mini-golf. Took kids to the central pool for a swim.

And then the fun began...although there were announcements down below, there were none heard in the public areas on Deck 10 that the Muster Drill was promptly beginning. All the pool patrons were kicked out, rushing to dry themselves, with "encouragement" to get to their muster stations. I don't believe we just missed the announcements...the crowd was too large being stampeded to the elevators and stairs. At the Liquid Lounge (aka the ship's theater) we were carded with a tablet to record our presence Later much time was spent on a roll call that included many who had been scanned but not recorded. I know it's a must...but what a waste, particularly as it was the first of many disorganized events.

Dinner was okay. We met the DR staff and they us. Funny thing...first tie for me no prime rib on sail-away evening. Okay...so had something else. After dinner there was no coffee (or tea) service, and the mood was pretty much time to leave for the next shift.

Our cabin was 2220, which was way forward and an OV with two port holes instead of a window. It was nice sized, with plenty of storage. Yosifine was our steward, and she was great, always friendly and happy to chitchat. The place was kept clean and tidy. No complaint there. In the trip's final days at seas we were treated to loud bangs (more like explosions) as waves hit the hull. And the noise and vibration from the ship's forward thrusters was no less shocking/annoying, especially in the very early hours. For these reasons, I don't recommend these cabins except if one is unconscious.

The Lido...breakfast was okay. There were selections of cold cereals and milks, breads, fruits, and all that. There were the "scrambled eggs", eggs benedict, ham slices, turkey sausage, beans...and the rationed, manyally-distributed bacon. No kidding, there was a guy every morning handing out the bacon. Why? The omlette/egg line featured two guys with three burners apiece who often couldn't keep up with demand. Don't know why - they were hustling. (A mention of etiquette: It is not polite to shout your order to your friend up front to avoid the wait. Get in line like the others. Comprende?) If you have hours to while, go to the MDR.

Guy's Burgers are the best. Five-stars all around there. Others in our party had raves for the Blue Iguana Mexican and the pizza. We also enjoyed the Mongolian Grill and Smokehouse BBQ lunches. (Hint: Get to each early for the line.) My complaint is that there is little on-ship promotion of these last two venues. Early in the trip one could just walk up and be served. By the end it was looooong lines as word spread.

Dinner was okay. (I use mid-level chain restaurants as my benchmark, not Michelin starred restaurants.) The MDR generally met the benchmark. it failed with the stingy "cut" of inferior prime rib (very thin and sinewy with packaged "aus jus" gravy) and a few other dishes. The Chesapeake Crabcake was an abomination. Certain salmon dishes, particularly those with sauce, were served with the skin on, adding unappetizing "fishiness" to the dish. Baked potatoes arrived hot, but the wait for condiments allowed them to cool so the sour cream or butter sat there when introduced. And then there is the apres meal coffee/tea...one had to ask, and sometimes it arrived at the table, but always just minutes before it was time to vacate. I don't blame wait staff so much as the accountants who are cutting things to the bone these days. These guys come from the galley carrying as many as 20 plates of food...then serve them in a bit of a frenzy. Our group had different service teams for each of four tables. Some had just awful experiences, with food late and service jammed until time to vacate.

Activities were not well coordinated to flow one into another. Times were generally offset. Virtually everything was with some added cost if not a revenue generator. Except Bingo there was little promotion beyond the daily brochure.

Entertainment was okay. The shows were okay. It was all okay. Nothing to go ga-ga over. The Liquid Lounge is awful for sightlines, and seating is not so hot, either. It's like a Vegas lounge, with the tables and odd chairs.

The Halloween activities were fun, but there was a multi-hour break between dinner and the Deck 10 extravaganza. I can only take so much LOUD music. My issue with all these things is that the audience becomes the entertainment, much contrived. There were "battles" in the Atrium after dinner that were merely excuses for loud music and frantic displays by our cruise director, who didn't seem to direct much and was the constant center of attention. It's a one-trick pony show repeated nightly.

One last rant: I don't care about anyone's sexual orientation, but how about we take the "fun stuff" to the room? The fantail pool on Deck 10 was beyond a bit naughty when I stopped by, and I consider myself other than a prude. C'mon, fellas. It was a bit over the line...not that anyone cared or noticed, right?

Disembarkation was an embarrassment. It looked like a scene from the Titanic as flood doors were actually closed to control crowds on Deck 3. I don't know who caused the backup, and the consequent mob scene, but it was unprecedented in my experience.

I could go on and on - elevators, smoky casino, all the usual things...but others are much better explaining than I similar experiences. As one of our group suggested, it was like cruising with Walmart.

The irony was that my daughter sailed her honeymoon cruise on RCL's Liberty of the Seas, which we have sailed twice with happy results. Guess what ship was docked at the other terminal...yup!

We may go with Carnival again. We WILL NOT go on Vista.
R'man’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Porthole
Cabin PT 2220
If you don't mind explosive hull noise, or the early morning noise and vibration from the ship's thrusters as it docks in port, or the brass band warming up in the basement on some days, the cabin is otherwise just fine.
Deck 2 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews