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Everything posted by NebraskaSatellite

  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
  16. Just got off the Vista Saturday. We found the brunch service to be slower than it was on the Breeze in 2018, even when we beat the rush. On the Vista, there was a server with coffee just outside the MDR entrance, so you could get your first cup (or second, depending) while in line. Last year under the old menu, we got a plate of danishes/muffins right away when seated - not this year on the Vista. Perhaps if we had asked for some we'd have gotten them before the other dishes. The 12-hr French toast was surprisingly good compared to what I was expecting based on CC posts. I only had one piece that was a bit soggy in the middle (had it 3x). Sausage was a bit better than last year, not quite as bland. I saw other people with the skillet cakes and they didn't look that appetizing to me. The fresh-squeezed juices are served in small champagne flutes that held maybe 3 oz or so. I didn't see many takers. In general I preferred the old brunch menu choices, but the 12-hr French toast beat the Lido lines.
  17. On Roatan last year, we booked a custom (driver-for-a-day) tour with Bodden and went to Victor's Monkey Business and did some snorkeling as well as some sightseeing. Never felt unsafe. Didn't go to the Carnival beach at all. We skipped Belize though - not really for the safety concern as much as it was that most excursions had a lot of transit time on the tenders and buses.
  18. I had an "upgrade" steak in the MDR last year on the Breeze - have never eaten in the steakhouse restaurant. I was disappointed in what I got - the cut was fairly tough and I don't think that was attributable to how it was prepared. Won't do it again - I'll save the $18 and have a good prime steak at home. Last week I had filet mignon and flat iron on two different days on the Vista. I'd rate the filet mignon a B and the flat iron a D.
  19. Just what I was looking for! Thanks! We'll look for a flyer like this when we sail just to be sure. tl;dr - make your way to Deck 0 midships at 7:15.
  20. Thanks - we'll probably do room service breakfast early so we're ready to head to whatever location. I looked at the Fun Times from a February sailing with the same port itinerary and it didn't show tendering instructions. Maybe it was distributed as a separate sheet.
  21. We are on the Vista's July 27 sailing and will be going ashore in Grand Cayman. We do not have FTTF or other priority for tenders, and our excursion is not through Carnival. What's the usual procedure for going ashore under these circumstances? Do we need to get tickets/stickers for the tender ahead of time, meet at some other location, or proceed to deck 0 when announced? On our last cruise, the tender port was Belize and we didn't get off, so I ignored how it was done there. We arrive at 7am and are supposed to meet our excursion operator at 8:15-8:30.
  22. The Vista and Boka Vanguard are out of the port at the anchorage now. Probably getting ready to refloat her.
  23. And the Vista has arrived in the Bahamas right on schedule.
  24. Here's the NOLA port status, which also indicates Valor is diverting to Mobile. https://www.portnola.com/info/storm-update CRUISE OPERATIONS: The Carnival Valor, which was scheduled to sail a 4-day cruise to Mexico on Thursday, June 11, 2019 from New Orleans, is diverting to Mobile, Ala. Carnival guests may call 1 (800) 764-7419 for the latest information on their itineraries.
  25. ETA in Freeport is the afternoon of the 12th. Looks like she will round Key West before the potential tropical system winds up in the northern Gulf this week.
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