So we are 31 days out from our wedding onboard the carnival vista! If you are bubbling with excitement like we are I definitely don’t recommend doing your ship tour too early. We are even more excited and can hardly talk about anything else.
We were originally scheduled to have our ship tour on July 6th but that was when vista had its engine issues and canceled its next three cruise. I feel so sorry for the poor brides who had to rescheduled their weddings, I know I would be a reck!
I am on this site all the time and have read over 100 reviews so honestly the ship tour did not give me any extra insight. However it was very beneficial to see the process my non-sailing guest would go through once they arrived. The info the coordinator gave me over the phone in regards to parking did not work at all for the port of Galveston. Yet when I simply asked one of the many people directing traffic. I was easily directed to a parking garage that is way too expensive to park for the cruise(we have free cruise parking at our hotel) but was a flat and reasonable all day rate for one day parking. This garage was also literally just across the street from the ship and was very easily accessible. That was a major plus!
We were asked to arrive at 10:30 and we were finally parked and starting the check in process at 10:29 oops. It all worked out however I remembered to say you here for a wedding tour/wedding and they sent us through priority boarding. It took us a total of 8 minutes to check in.
Everyone during the check in process seemed to know exactly where to send us(they have a whole wedding section to wait in). Yet once in the section it was very awkward. There was only one wedding that day(A small one about 17 ppl total). And they kept looking at us like what are you doing here, we didn’t invite you. And we were looking at them like yes we know we are just here for the tour.
This was still interesting to me cause I got to see the whole process I was always reading about. Bride and groom pulled to the side, coordinator met with them. I was prepared not to speak with the coordinator as her priority is the bride and groom but I was wondering if the guide I was told who meet us would come. That never happened, this annoyed me at first. At 11:04 they announced the ship was clear and for the wedding couple and guest to follow them they also said over the loud speaker that they had a wedding and many other cruise guest were cheering. Not wanting to steal anyone’s shine we just sat there, when the guy who was rounding up diamond and platinum guest saw we were not moving he said follow along. We told him we were not wedding guest but we’re on a wedding tour. He said that’s fine follow the wedding party and guest, so we did. Right before he noticed us my mom tried to ask the coordinator(stand offish kinda rude woman/ I hope she is not my coordinator) what we should do as to not over step on the wedding couple and their day. She barely listened to my mom and waved her away saying guest need to just follow behind.
once on the ship I knew the wedding and ceremony would not start immediately because of all the reviews I read. I figured this was the best time to go see the venues and get a feel of the distance of them from our room and all that jazz. I immediately went to the limelight lounge where some of her guest and family were setting things up. I told them that we were doing a tour and not trying to intrude at all, they were very nice and congratulated me and encouraged me to take pictures, I declined out of respect(I did however take pictures of the reception because no one was in there when I walked by.) and just wanted to see the space and what it would actually look like. At that point the wedding coordinator walked it, we were all dressed in street clothes unlike the wedding guest. She asked us are you guest of the wedding? To which I replied no we are here for a wedding tour, she then with the same dismissive attitude said that we you are not supposed to be here. You are supposed to go to guest services to get a guide who will then show you around. This was the first I was ever hearing this so I apologized and left. Now I read on reviews before that if you check in they give you visitor passes. I had already looked at every YouTube video of the Vista as possible and only wanted to see what I was interested in(we are bringing our own friend/photographer) which was the venues and places I wanted to take pictures. So we never went to guest services, we explored the ship and everyone thought we were guest. We ate lunch, hung out on the lido deck, and even could have went for a swim if we had brought our swimsuits. Overall it was an amazing experience my fiancé, his best man, and my mom enjoyed it. Everyone has been thinking our wedding will be on a small scale and they have no idea how nice cruise ships are and I have planned this event with our own personal touches to make it an amazing event, we are so excited for that!
Lastly I will say having cruising carnival before on the freedom and valor, although the Vista is bigger just about every room/even space(atrium, comedy club, show room, piano bar) seem a lot smaller. With some rooms even being by half.
Thats all, my full wedding review will be coming soon!