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This was my eleventh cruise on Carnival. We were on the Carnival Vista for a 7-day Western Caribbean itinerary during the week of April 28 to May 5, 2019. Our ports were Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (cancelled and went back to Cozumel due to high winds). We left from the port of Galveston. Passengers: 4000 plus on our sailing. With 400+ platinum cruisers and 200+ Diamond. Passengers were older and mostly from Texas. Much fewer young people than normal for Carnival. Also, Premier Gambling groups were on board. Getting there: We flew into IAH (George Bush International) on Delta one day before and stayed at the Marriott right in the airport. What a great hotel and what a wonderful stay. Strongly recommend staying here. M-club was also pretty good for snacks and breakfast. We transferred to the Port by private car---using Omega Royal transportation and they were superb! See hotel and transport on TripAdvisor. Check-in: was a breeze. We are platinum cruisers now. We had our bags with us and were on board and in our cabin in 15 mins. I used to always get FTTF but do not need it now. At $90 a cabin its your call----but I always got it for the preferred embark, debark and dedicated line at guest services. Buffet: Food was standard for Carnival and might I say excellent. There is a buffet mid-ship and at the back on deck 10. Don’t be afraid to walk around—while the main foods are the same, there is gelato at lunch in the center area and fancy multi-layer cakes at the back also at lunch. There is also a small buffet in Ocean Plaza on deck 5. However, crowded the buffet area was; I never waited more than 5 minutes. I really don’t understand the people who complain about food on a ship. The buffet food is plentiful and there is a variety. People often say selections do not change---well, it’s hard to have change and have a variety when pretty much everything is already there. People also need to take their time and look. We had brisket, turkey, and strip loin and sirloin steak at the carving station. Many vegetarian options and different fish every day. At night there was a “snack buffet” starting around 11:30 pm. This included, different foods over the week and don’t forget Pizza is 24 hrs. My one complaint about buffets is always the same----many people do not use hand sanitizer although it is right there. JIJI Asian: This is 15 dollars per person, and it was outstanding. We had pork-belly, Wagyu short ribs, three kinds of dessert, of which the ice cream crepes were our favorite. Noodles where also excellent. It was a great meal---but so was every other meal we had. Also, if you want to try this area at lunch it is called the Mongolian and does complementary stir-fry. Pizza: On this ship, wait times were usually 5 mins. However, at peak dinner periods and including the 11 pm times could be 20 minutes or longer. Carnival pizza is authentic Italian thin crust pizza made with double zero flour and baked fresh on stone ovens----it is excellent. The Vista has real stone ovens. If you are expecting American style pizza------then think New York style not Chicago and not big Chain store pizza. Ice Cream: Still there. No toppings for Sundaes. Just cones and bowls. But if you go to the dessert buffets there are things you can use to make a Sundaes-----Vanilla sauce, cookies, fruit compotes------put crushed cookies or other desserts on a bowl of ice cream

Beautiful Vista

Carnival Vista Cruise Review by Adm. Cruz

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Trip Details
This was my eleventh cruise on Carnival. We were on the Carnival Vista for a 7-day Western Caribbean itinerary during the week of April 28 to May 5, 2019. Our ports were Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (cancelled and went back to Cozumel due to high winds). We left from the port of Galveston.

Passengers: 4000 plus on our sailing. With 400+ platinum cruisers and 200+ Diamond. Passengers were older and mostly from Texas. Much fewer young people than normal for Carnival. Also, Premier Gambling groups were on board.

Getting there:

We flew into IAH (George Bush International) on Delta one day before and stayed at the Marriott right in the airport. What a great hotel and what a wonderful stay. Strongly recommend staying here. M-club was also pretty good for snacks and breakfast. We transferred to the Port by private car---using Omega Royal transportation and they were superb! See hotel and transport on TripAdvisor.

Check-in: was a breeze. We are platinum cruisers now. We had our bags with us and were on board and in our cabin in 15 mins. I used to always get FTTF but do not need it now. At $90 a cabin its your call----but I always got it for the preferred embark, debark and dedicated line at guest services.

Buffet:

Food was standard for Carnival and might I say excellent. There is a buffet mid-ship and at the back on deck 10. Don’t be afraid to walk around—while the main foods are the same, there is gelato at lunch in the center area and fancy multi-layer cakes at the back also at lunch. There is also a small buffet in Ocean Plaza on deck 5.

However, crowded the buffet area was; I never waited more than 5 minutes. I really don’t understand the people who complain about food on a ship. The buffet food is plentiful and there is a variety. People often say selections do not change---well, it’s hard to have change and have a variety when pretty much everything is already there. People also need to take their time and look. We had brisket, turkey, and strip loin and sirloin steak at the carving station. Many vegetarian options and different fish every day. At night there was a “snack buffet” starting around 11:30 pm. This included, different foods over the week and don’t forget Pizza is 24 hrs. My one complaint about buffets is always the same----many people do not use hand sanitizer although it is right there.

JIJI Asian: This is 15 dollars per person, and it was outstanding. We had pork-belly, Wagyu short ribs, three kinds of dessert, of which the ice cream crepes were our favorite.

Noodles where also excellent. It was a great meal---but so was every other meal we had.

Also, if you want to try this area at lunch it is called the Mongolian and does complementary stir-fry.

Pizza: On this ship, wait times were usually 5 mins. However, at peak dinner periods and including the 11 pm times could be 20 minutes or longer. Carnival pizza is authentic Italian thin crust pizza made with double zero flour and baked fresh on stone ovens----it is excellent. The Vista has real stone ovens. If you are expecting American style pizza------then think New York style not Chicago and not big Chain store pizza.

Ice Cream: Still there. No toppings for Sundaes. Just cones and bowls. But if you go to the dessert buffets there are things you can use to make a Sundaes-----Vanilla sauce, cookies, fruit compotes------put crushed cookies or other desserts on a bowl of ice cream
Adm. Cruz’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8C 7374
We had cabin 7374. The location was excellent. Two floors down to promenade three floors up to Lido. We walked most of the time since elevators are slow. Cabin steward did a satisfactory job----however he seemed overwhelmed with the amount of workload. There has been an increase and that is not their fault---too many cuts by the company.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cozumel
    Took the Carnival Isla Paradiso tour. This was wonderful. 45-minute ride to the island 3hrs of beach, food and drinks---including alcohol for $69.99. Alejandro and Rafael took good care of us, talking to us telling us stories and playing games on the island-----for those who wanted.
    Note: While alcohol is included, top-shelf brand name liquor is not. We had no problems drinking margaritas, rum and coke, rum punch and more, all of which was included.
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