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    Omaha, NE
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    Western Caribbean

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  1. I got a couple of great time-lapse videos from my cove balcony on the Vista a couple years ago. We enjoyed it and would be our first choice for our next cruise. Pier runners and Cozumel departure: Twilight on the return to Galveston:
  2. My wife and I won't be going until it is closer to status quo ante. I see lots of conflict in these early sailings over COVID rule enforcement, not just between staff and passengers, but among passengers. This sort of thing would take an already compromised experience and just ruin it. I go on vacation to be free of the annoyances of "normal life" - set my own schedule, eat and drink what I want when I want, etc. I also want to be around people who are happy and carefree for a few days, not on edge about who's breaking a rule. If I wanted that, I could spend a lot less and perhaps even earn money. I understand there are many who are willing to abide by whatever is necessary to get aboard ship as soon as they can, and they are welcome to the opportunity. I have other choices I can make that are more suited for what I want in a vacation in the meantime. I'm willing to wait for a better approximation of my pre-2020 cruise experiences.
  3. Not quite on point for the OP, but we were able to move my 14yo son up to Club O2 to be with his sister (16). He's big for his age and passed for 15 easily. We asked the first evening at the icebreaker and were told if he caused any problems he'd have to revert back to Circle C. This was a July 2019 cruise and fairly full. From reading previous threads the best success seems to be had if you ask the first night and are respectful about it. But no guarantees.
  4. Our average was a bit over an hour with dessert and going at a relaxed pace. A couple times we were in more of a hurry and were out in about 45 minutes by skipping dessert. The longest was 90 minutes when we had dessert, watched the show, and had an extra glass of wine to wrap up. We normally got to the dining room around 6 before the big rush started, so minimal wait to be seated and get orders taken.
  5. There is unsweetened iced tea available at the buffet, along with lemonade. Pretty sure it's available 24/7. I'd routinely make an Arnold Palmer in my water bottle before heading off to a shady spot to read for a while.
  6. It appears to vary a lot as to whether you can move up to the "older" group. On our last cruise in August, we were able to move my son up to Club O2 to be with his sister, even though he was just short of a year too young. However he is tall for his age and could pass for a year or two older than he is. The youth director made it contingent on his good behavior and that he would be "demoted" if he cause any problems. I have no idea on whether Club O2 was under capacity for that cruise or not. Both of us went with both kids to Club O2 to ask in person on the first night, and being respectful instead of demanding can't hurt either. But be prepared for the decision to not go your way.
  7. We sailed the Vista at the end of July this year - I think they were close to capacity. For the MDR, we normally went to eat around 6-6:30 and had only minimal waits. I went to deck 5 to request a specific wait staff and more often than not by the time I got down to the deck 3 entrance we were paged to go in. A couple of times I thought about the Lido buffet for lunch but chose differently due to the lines. When we had sea day brunch, normally we were hungry around 1:30pm and wanted something lighter, so Mongolian Wok or Cuchina del Capitano was a good alternative at that time of day, generally little or no wait for a table. I don't think I ate any meals at the buffet, just cereal for breakfast a couple of times or snagging an occasional dessert. The pizza line was usually lengthy when I wanted to go get some around 10pm or so. A couple times I chose to wait and it was 10-15 minutes. Guy's Burgers in mid-afternoon looked long, but went fast (<= 5 min). Rarely had any line at Pig and Anchor. In general, the Vista felt more crowded than the Breeze, which we sailed in June 2018 and it was also near full. I'm not sure it actually *was* more crowded, but the Breeze's layout just works. Having a full loop to walk on deck 5 on the Breeze made it feel a lot better vs all the interrupted spaces and the Havana area on the Vista. Even so, you could find a quite space somewhere regardless of time of day on both ships if that's what you want. I noticed a definite difference in comfort sitting outside on the Breeze in late June vs. Vista in late July - the latter is just enough farther into summer to make it uncomfortable outside.
  8. We stayed in cove balconies twice, on the Breeze and the Vista. On both ships we were roughly under the excursion desk. In addition to the privacy and shade, Deck 2 is really pretty convenient being one deck down from the atrium and dining room, and a couple decks up from the gangway. No waiting for elevators on embarkation or returning from port. Watching the runners in Cozumel from a cove is fun too.............
  9. On our cruise this summer, my 16yo daughter would have been in Club O2 and my 14yo son in Circle C. We wanted to keep them together and asked the Club O2 director if we could. She put him in O2 on a "trial" basis and he stayed - we didn't have to do any haggling about it. It helped that (a) he had a sibling in the older club, and (b) he looks older than his age and is taller than her, so he looked like he belonged there.
  10. Here's the Club O2 flyer from the Vista for our July 27 sailing. We had YTD but almost always got to the dining room between 6 and 6:30 - this let our kids be done in time to meet their friends between 7:30 and 8. It worked better for our kids to eat early and meet their friends after, but it's probably not impossible to make late dining work. Our kids only did a handful of the activities. Most of the time they just used the club as a place to meet. They actually spent more time in the Family Harbor lounge as one of their friends had a cabin in that area.
  11. On Cozumel, you can take a taxi from the port to Paradise Beach and get in for $3/person if you spend $10/person on food and drink. Taxi will run I think $30 each way for all of you. So $140-ish for the group plus tips. You can get a wristband to climb the inflatables in the water for $18 each, which also gets you out of the minimum food spend. Not much snorkeling to be had, but shaded chairs on the beach and a nice pool. Food was good. No vendor hassles, safe area. No waits for taxis either direction.
  12. Have sailed both the Breeze and the Vista, and much prefer the Breeze. I loved walking laps on the promenade deck on the Breeze. Between the Havana area occupying the aft promenade and the additional glass partitions on each side, I only made one half loop on the Vista. The atrium was almost ruined on the Vista by filling in the upper part and removing the glass elevators - the funnel display is a poor substitute. I hope they have fired whoever approved putting eight columns in the middle of the Limelight Lounge on the Vista. From a cannon. Into the sun.
  13. I watched from the Breeze last year and I think the last person aboard was right at departure time. It was really unexpected to see this many be this late. Here's another time-lapse on the way back to Galveston. Wish I had thought to do it before sunset.
  14. The cloud motion was almost straight towards the camera, but pretty slow. There must have been an excursion that ran way late. The video starts at 4:28 pm and the back-on-board time was 4:30. I think the ship left about 5:10.
  15. Embarkation and departure of the Carnival Vista from Puerta Maya last week
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