Carnival Vista Cruise Review by NebraskaSatellite
- Sail Date: July 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Cove Balcony
Embarkation went pretty well. We had a 1pm appointment and by the time I got back from parking the car it was just after 1. The boarding area was busy but things moved along and we only had to wait a few minutes to get to our cabin at 1:30. We dropped out carry-ons and headed for a pasta lunch on Deck 11 which was very good. After lunch, we met our room steward and asked for evening cabin service.
After dinner, we went to Red Frog and decided to order a couple of beer samplers - Cheers wouldn't be activated until the morning after departure. It seemed like from the menu that we could pick any four beers to sample, but apparently it's a fixed set. Neither of us like IPAs but figured as a sample it'd be ok. However, after we put in our order at the table it seemed like our waiter disappeared. The place wasn't that busy, and it was a simple order, but my wife had to hunt down the bartender to get our order. Not a great start.
We had your time dining in the MDR. The waiters on our first two evenings were lackluster and service seemed a bit slower than on the Breeze. The food was a bit off in quality also. Later in the week we found a wait staff we liked (head waiter Muliawan) and ate in his area the rest of the week. Muliawan kept us well supplied with bottled water and drinks for our meals and was very engaging with us and the other tables in his area.
Sea Day Brunch - I prefer the old menu and not the new one. However, the 12-hour French toast was good. Bacon was also good, and sausage seemed better than last year.
Port day breakfast - Waffles were bland and seemed like they had been made well in advance.
Pasta and Asian lunch - Both very good.
Guy's Burgers - Good and the line always moved faster than I thought it would
Pig and Anchor - Not bad, except the brisket was always dried out. Sausage was the best, pork butt good, chicken just OK. Good coleslaw.
Shake Spot - Had a regular and a spiked one here. Very good, probably will pay for at least one next time if I don't get Cheers again.
Wife and son said steak and miso soup at the sushi bar was excellent and well worth the money.
Lido buffet - Only ate the occasional snack or dessert here. Always way too crowded. It was nice they put cereal off to the side so you could get it without a line.
Room service breakfast - Forgot one item which they brought about 10 min later. Breakfast sandwich was awful - I had two bites and couldn't finish it. Biscuit was dry and stale.
Drinks - Wife and I decided that they had skimpy amounts of alcohol. I walked out of the MDR twice with my fourth glass of wine in under 90 minutes and had a two-glass buzz. I really wonder if Carnival arranges for "special" beer/wine/liquor to be used for their drinks that is underpowered. Generally good bar service from most.
Piano 88 - I don't like the new setup. On the Breeze, you could drop by for a couple of songs, or find a seat depending on how long you wanted to stay. With an enclosed room, it's more of a hassle to come in late or leave early. Our piano player was a bit antagonistic towards the crowd, which put them off of singing along, which also didn't help the atmosphere.
Limelight Lounge - some idiot on the Carnival design team approved having eight 3-foot pillars in the middle of the lounge. I'd say maybe 30% of the seats had an unblocked view of the stage. Carnival's half-***ed solution was to put two 60" monitors on either side of the stage. I could watch comedy shows on Netflix in the cabin if I wanted to see comics on TV. Saw 18+ shows from two comics - one was a B, the other a C-.
Sky Ride - Busted on the third day, down the rest of the cruise. Probably same design team as for the Limelight.
Slides - These were pretty good. We stayed on the ship in Jamaica and no lines at all in the early afternoon.
IMAX - Saw "Spider-Man: Far from Home" here at a later showing. About 30 in the theater. Good IMAX experience but not sure it was worth filling in the atrium.
Internet - Had the middle tier plan which we shared on our devices. Worked well almost everywhere on the ship. Good speeds for email and Twitter - this was an improvement over the Breeze where the speed was barely enough to support text emails.
HUB app - Also worked better than on the Breeze last year. Not sure if it was because of better wifi or an improved app.
Promenade (and public spaces in general) - It really sucked that the Havana area blocks the deck aft. Also, there is more "stuff" on Vista's promenade and I think more panels to block the wind. I enjoyed taking a couple laps on the Breeze's promenade in the evening or at night, but it was not at all enjoyable on the Vista. The Vista just seemed more crowded in general.
Atrium - The Breeze's glass atrium elevators and full-height atrium gave it a very open feel like a high-rise hotel. The Vista's truncated atrium with the pixelated funnel was not a good substitute.
Tenders in Grand Cayman worked very well, only short waits on/off. Similarly quick to walk on/off in Cozumel, but both directions we were not with the big crowds.
Debarkation was OK. Once our number was called (14), we kept moving along for the most part. Our checked baggage was waiting for us inside. We were through Customs by 10:30 and on the road by 11.
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