I chose to go on the Vista because it was a newer ship and I wanted to see what was new. Embarkation was amazing this year. We had an 11:30 appointment and after the first passport check and security, we walked straight onto the ship. No more zones! The ship was nice and had some nice updated decoration that was impressive. However beyond that, they have incorporated most of the amenities on the rest of the larger vessels in their fleet. First thing we noticed is the balcony cabin was shorter. They removed the drawers and put them in 1 of the 3 closets and shortened the cabin. The larger TV was nice for when we wanted to just veg in the cabin and watch a movie. Compared to the Conquest and Magic, the bathrooms seemed a bit smaller as well(I didn't think that was possible). We were in a balcony cabin on the starboard side on deck 8. They decided to put the smoking section on the front starboard side of the ship so all my journeys to my balcony were met with a constant face full of cigarette smoke. WTH Carnival? We got to ride the Skyride on embarkation day and that was pretty cool. If I choose to travel on the Vista again, it will definitely be in the Havana cabins since they have that exclusive pool and hot tubs. Next is the Limelight Lounge they use for comedy. The room is small and does not have a bar inside. We also noticed that most of the chairs were is disrepair and falling apart. You felt like you were going to hit the deck if you laughed to hard. We did enjoy the regular Carnival treats though like Guy's Burger, Pig and Anchor on sea days, and the Blue Iguana taco bar. The buffets were standard Carnival quality and so was the dinning room. We had a huge party of 14 and they put us at a large round table that was awesome but we felt that our servers were spread very thin. We always seemed like the last table to get desert and finish every night there. We have traveled in large groups before and the service was great. Our servers were great and worked very hard to accommodate us when they were around. I did not partake in any of the entertainment options this year. We went on show excursions at every port and enjoyed them all. Isla Passion at Cozumel was probably the most favorite of the group. It was a fun boat ride out to the Island then we spent the day with unlimited drinks and food. It was definitely to capacity but lines for food and drink moved quickly. The beach was clean and they had activities for people that wanted to join in.
Cabin location was great. We were close to the back top of the Imax theater and didn't hear it at all. It was a concern when I booked it. This balcony cabin is located above and aft of the smoking section. You will be greeted with constant smoke blowing into your balcony most of the cruise. Comparing this cabin to Magic or Conquest, it has a larger TV but the cabin and bathroom are smaller and there is less closet space. Having 2 power plugs was nice though. The room steward kept our ice bucket replenished with ice which was nice as we brought our own soda on-board.
Embarkation was a breeze this year (2019). We went straight from security to the ship.