Vista Photo Review: November 2017, 8-Day

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#1
Iowa
469 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
I am starting my November 4-12, 2017 Vista review on my blog, but also wanted to share it here. In case you'd like to follow along on the blog, here's the link to the first post in that review: https://thelovelyvoyage.blogspot.com...-post-one.html

Introduction:
Photo Review of the Carnival Vista sailing from November 4-12, 2017.



We booked this 8-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Vista back in December 2015. We were recently engaged and had started the wedding planning process, which of course includes the honeymoon! We ONLY had to wait 687 to get on the ship and experience the magic of the newest ship in the Carnival fleet. We were swayed by the SkyRide and the Red Frog Pub & Brewery, as well as several other awesome features. The itinerary was also AMAZING, and we couldn’t wait to experience 4 brand new-to-us ports, including San Juan, Grand Turk, St. Maarten, and St. Kitts.

Unfortunately, we fast-forward August/September 2017 when multiple hurricanes hit the Eastern Caribbean and sustained unimaginable amounts of damage. The video footage coming out of some of those islands was truly gut-wrenching. We understood the need to change our itinerary, and although it was very upsetting, it wasn’t near the amount of pain that the citizens of the Caribbean islands were experiencing. The night before our wedding, we found out what our new itinerary would be.

The November 4-12th Vista cruise would officially be stopping in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, and oh boy we were excited! These ports would also be new-to-us and ones that we’ve never really even considered visiting due to time and price constraints, so this was pretty exciting.

Who We Are:
We’re newlyweds! My husband and I got married this October (2017) and were incredibly excited to celebrate our honeymoon on the Vista in November. We are both originally from the Chicago area but are living life out in Iowa (Go Hawkeyes!). We are both in our mid 20s, and this was my 9th cruise and his 5th. I had experienced Carnival as a teenager with my parents, and was so excited to introduce my now-husband to the cruse life starting in 2015. We have taken two Royal Caribbean trips, one Norwegian, and this was our second Carnival cruise together. It’s very safe to say that cruising plays a huge role in our life and we’re always looking for the next adventure.

The Equipment:
Some of the photos were taken on our Sony a5100 mirrorless digital camera, a little gift we bought ourselves since we knew we'd want to properly document our cruising adventures in the future. We also have a YI 4K Action Camera for video footage and some of the pictures, including waterproof casing and head and chest mounts to get some awesome footage. The rest of the photos were either taken on an iPhone 7 or a Samsung Galaxy S7.

This Review:
This review will cover our pre-cruise experience and the cruise and ship itself, including menus, Fun Times, and lots of photos. Of course opinions will be peppered throughout but I think that I’m fair enough that the negative opinions get outweighed by the positive experiences. I don’t want to tell you “how it is,” but only give insight and explanations of the things we encountered, struggled with, and loved. We know vacations are all about what you make them, and the Vista was quite honestly the best cruise either of us have ever been on! That's not to say there aren't some negatives we encountered (which will be covered), but let's all take a second to realize that the room to complain is very small when someone else cooks and cleans for you 8 days in a row. Oh and floating on the ocean while basking in the sun instead of working is a pretty nice benefit too.

UP NEXT: Friday, 11/3/17, Pre-Cruise Travel
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Upcoming:
Carnival Horizon: 3/2019- Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel

Carnival Breeze: 11/2019- Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, Costa Maya

Carnival Panorama: 10/2020- Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta

Past:
Ports: Nassau (x4), Cozumel (x2), Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, Belize, Isla Roatan Honduras, Key West, CoCo Cay, Freeport, Great Stirrup Cay, Labadee, Falmouth, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, San Juan, Amber Cove, Grand Turk

Ships:

Carnival: Fascination- 2007, Fantasy- 2008, Destiny- 2009, Liberty- 2012
RCI Enchantment- 2015 Review!
NCL Sky- 2015 Review!
RCI Independence- 2016 Review!
Carnival Liberty 2017 Review!
Carnival Vista- 2017
Review!
Carnival Magic- 2018
#3
Iowa
469 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Friday, November 3rd: Pre-Cruise

We woke up at 4:15a.m. and, in a groggy yet excited state, got dressed and ready for the airport. My very generous chauffeur (he prefers father) drove us to Midway airport, with a quick stop at McDonalds first. For some ridiculous reason, Midway decided it needed to class up the place and get rid of all of their fast food restaurants, including the coveted and surely financially profitable McDonalds. After 10 years of early flights, it’s a tradition (or habit) for me/us to get McDonalds breakfast at the airport, and when I was preparing for the trip, I read the tragic news about the removal of the eatery. Thankfully, my dad decided he would take a detour to McDonalds (jeez, how many times can I say this name in one paragraph?) to enable my love of Egg White Delights. We arrived at the airport around 5 am and did self-check in at a kiosk, which is a fairly quick and easy process. For the first time in years, I checked luggage on the plane, which induces a little bit of anxiety but seemed necessary for a nine-day trip. At least this gave us a chance to try out our new luggage! I made sure to cross-pack with my husband’s luggage, so we would still have full outfits to wear in case something happened to our belongings (thankfully we had no issues the entire trip).

A huge benefit of traveling so early is the severe lack of lines. Sure, TSA will make everyone’s lives a little harder regardless of the time of day, but other than that, check in was smooth and painless. We found a few seats once we got to our gate and started the waiting game until we boarded. Our flight took off a few minutes early and we cut down on travel time once we were in the air, so we landed at FLL before our previously stated time of 10:25a.m. Eastern.

Another plus of early travel is sunrises from the plane:


We grabbed our luggage and headed outside to experience that warm, humid Florida air and my husband called our hotel, the Hyatt Place- Ft. Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port, for their shuttle to pick us up. We waited about 20 minutes but didn’t technically have anywhere else to be so it was alright. We got to the hotel and were very impressed by the place; I may have splurged a little bit and decided that the Quality Inn on Stirling Rd. (while totally fine for a one-night stay) wasn’t what I was looking for to start the honeymoon trip, and booked at the Hyatt Place instead.


After getting to our room, we headed across the street to McDonald’s for lunch and tried out their new self-ordering system, which is weird, by the way. (I’m just realizing we ate there twice in one day, which is sort of gross. We eat there maybe once every six months, so I guess we were taking advantage of vacation. Ooops!) No worries though, because we walked a mile to the Walgreens to stock up on a 12-pack of Coke Zero, a 4-pack of Red Bull, and two bottles of wine, and then walked another mile back carrying the goods, so we definitely got our exercise and worked off part of our lunch. After spending a few hours in the hotel watching “The Great British Baking Show” (our newest Netflix binge-watch), we hailed a Lyft and headed to the Hollywood Broadwalk. Quick tangent: Who decided it should be the Broadwalk instead of the Boardwalk…? We got dropped off near a Margaritaville that I didn’t even knew existed, and watched some Flow Riding, which was fun.

We walked around for a while and found the Taco Spot around 5:15p.m. and were able to get seated right away, but it was definitely a popular spot. We quickly learned why it was so great, with awesome beach views, good drinks, and good food. We ordered a pińa colada in a pineapple, which was AWESOME and very strong. We only have one honeymoon, why not live it up? I had a ground beef quesadilla and my husband had the carnitas taco combo, and we also had an order of chips, guac, and salsa, which was super delicious. Not the best Mexican food we’ve ever had but for sure a place we would eat at again and recommend with no hesitation.

Taco Spot Menu:




This Pina really was worth the big bucks!


My handsome husband (I love saying that!):


We walked on the Broadwalk more and enjoyed the sun setting before ordering another Lyft to return to the hotel. We received two free drink coupons for our honeymoon and decided to grab two Bacardi and Diet Cokes before heading back to the room. The drinks were incredibly strong, which I suppose for free is pretty cool, but also made it hard to drink. We prepared our luggage for the next day (YAY CRUISE TIME!) and continued our Netflix-watching before heading to bed.

UP NEXT: Embarkation Day!!
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Upcoming:
Carnival Horizon: 3/2019- Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel

Carnival Breeze: 11/2019- Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, Costa Maya

Carnival Panorama: 10/2020- Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta

Past:
Ports: Nassau (x4), Cozumel (x2), Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, Belize, Isla Roatan Honduras, Key West, CoCo Cay, Freeport, Great Stirrup Cay, Labadee, Falmouth, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, San Juan, Amber Cove, Grand Turk

Ships:

Carnival: Fascination- 2007, Fantasy- 2008, Destiny- 2009, Liberty- 2012
RCI Enchantment- 2015 Review!
NCL Sky- 2015 Review!
RCI Independence- 2016 Review!
Carnival Liberty 2017 Review!
Carnival Vista- 2017
Review!
Carnival Magic- 2018
#4
258 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Nice start!
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-Premier Cruise Line's The Big Red Boat 11/91 | Bahamas
-Norwegian Majesty 12/13/08 | Bahamas
-Carnival Fascination 12/12/09 | 5 Night Bahamas
-Carnival Legend 7/17/11 | 7 Night Western
-Carnival Sensation 1/08/12 | 4 Night Bahamas
-Carnival Freedom 1/06/13 | 6 Night Western
-Royal Caribbean Explorer August 12, 2016 | 7 Night Alaska
-Royal Caribbean Oasis Jan 22, 2017 | 7 Night Eastern
-Carnival Vista Jan 2018 | 8 Night Eastern Caribbean


Upcoming:
-Independence of the Seas Jan 2019 | 5 Night Western Caribbean

"Now...bring me that horizon!"
-Captain Jack Sparrow
#5
San Jose, CA (originally Long Island, NY)
2,668 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Great start to your review! I look forward to reading more (especially because I will be visiting the ABC islands in March!!) Congrats on your wedding
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Dana's Travel Blog

Past Cruises:
03/2018- Celebrity Eclipse (St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba) Eclipse Review
09/2017- Paul Gauguin (Tahiti, Huahine, Bora Bora, Rangiroa, Fakarava, Taha'a, Moorea) PG Review
03/2016- Celebrity Equinox (Cozumel, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Grand Cayman) Equinox Review
03/2015- Carnival Valor (Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Marteen) Valor Review
09/2013- Carnival Sunshine (Venice, Dubrovnik, Athens, Izmir, Messina, Naples, Rome, Livorno, Marseilles, Barcelona) Sunshine Review
12/2012- Carnival Victory (Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Marteen) Victory Review
11/2010- Celebrity Summit (Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Kitts, Dominica, Grenada, Tobago) Summit Review
07/1997- Carnival Holiday (Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico)


Total Cruises: 8, Cruise Lines: 3, Ships: 8, Ports: 37
#6
Central Illinois
133,738 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Beautiful photos, looking forward to more!
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Bob

Past Cruises

Celebrity: Mercury
RCCL: Adventure, Allure, Brilliance, Enchantment, Explorer, Freedom, Independence, Jewel, Legend, Liberty, Majesty, Mariner, Monarch, Navigator, Oasis, Radiance, Rhapsody, Serenade, Sovereign, Vision, Voyager
#7
The South
223 Posts
Joined Apr 2015
I’m enjoying this review so much, and it’s just starting. ��
I’ll definitely be reading this through its entirety! Thanks!!
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1Cruisingal's Cruises

2-10-2007 Carnival Fantasy
11-1-2008 Carnival Fantasy
10-23-2010 Carnival Triumph
6-30-2011 Carnival Triumph
11-13-2011 Carnival Conquest
5-13-2012 Carnival Conquest
4-21-2013 Carnival Conquest
5-18-2014 Carnival Dream
5-24-2015 Carnival Dream
4-8-2016 Carnival Triumph
12-26-2016 Carnival Dream
6-12-2017 Carnival Fantasy
5-13-2018 Carnival Dream


~Upcoming~ TBD
#9
DFW
1,235 Posts
Joined Sep 2014
Following! Will be on the Vista in 2019.
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March 2015 Carnival Magic: Key West and the Bahamas Review Pictures
February 2016 RCL Liberty of the Seas: Western Caribbean Review Pictures
June 2017 Coral Princess: NB Voyage of the Glaciers Alaska Review Pictures
October 2017 Norwegian Dawn: Bermuda Review

#11
NB Canada
1,243 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
We will be on the Vista in 67 days and I can't wait. Vista trip reports are hard to come by it seems looking forward to more of this one.
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Carnival Vista - March 2018 (pics)
Carnival Glory - December 2015 (pics on Flikr)
NCL Dawn - July 2014
Disney Dream and Magic Kingdom - March 2013
Carnival Paradise - March 5, 2012
Carnival Miracle and WDW - December 2010
#12
United States
843 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Did you stay at the Hyatt Place Convention Center? Because there is 2 as yours sounded better than the one we stayed at in August! Thanks


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1993 Big Red Boat Honeymoon
1994 Carnival Tropicale
1997 Carnival Fantasy
1998 RCCL Nordic Empress
2002 Grand Princess
2005 Carnival Victory
2014 Carnival Dream
2015 Carnival Paradise
2017 Carnival Glory
#14
216 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Next time in FLL, try Rocco's Tacos on Las Olas Blvd. We went there this past Aug prior to our anniversary cruise - it was really good. The Molcajetes was awesome
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Upcoming
#20-Royal Princess 7 day Western Caribbean 11/24/18
#19-RCL Oasis of the Seas 7 day Western Caribbean 8/19/18
Past:
#18-RCL Allure of the Seas 7 day Eastern Caribbean 8/20/17
#17-Regal Princess 7 day Eastern Caribbean 11/27/16
#16-Carnival Victory 5 day Western Caribbean 11/14/15
#15-Carnival Sensation 3 day Bahamas 8/20/15 (Boston Concert)
#14-Carnival Ecstasy 4 day Western Caribbean 10/6/14(Styxx Concert)
#13-RCL Majesty os the Seas 3 day Bahamas 10/3/14
#12-RCL Vision of the Seas 5 day Western Caribbean 5/26/14
#11-Carnival Imagination 4 day Western Caribbean 10/7/13
#10-NCL Dawn 7 day Bermuda 9/6/13
#9-Carnival Sensation 3 day Bahamas 5/16/13
#8-Carnival Paradise 5 day Western Caribbean 9/17/12
#7-Carnival Fascination 5 day Bahamas 8/20/11
#6-Carnival Glory 7 Day Eastern Caribbean 5/16/10
#5-Carnival Imagination 4 day Western Caribbean 11/16/09
#4-Carnival Ecstasy 3 day Ensenada 6/15/01
#3-Carnival Triumph 7 day Western Caribbean 6/17/00
#2-Carnival Ecstasy 3 day Bahamas 7/2/99
#1-Carnival Esctasy 4 day Western Caribbean 3/22/99
#16
Chicagoland Area
2,355 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Nice job! Looking forward to more.
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CCL Holiday 09/26/89
CCL Tropicale 09/94

CCL Fantasy 02/98
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RCCL Sovereign of the Seas 07/03
CCL Inspiration 11//1804
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CCL Carnival Valor 09/13/09
CCL Carnival Legend 02/27/11
CCL Imagination 12/5/11 b2b 1st solo!
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CCL Imagination 04//3012
CCL Destiny 11/12/12 solo
CCL Imagination 02/4/13 b2b
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CCL Valor 11/10/13 - 1st balcony - extended aft!
CCL Splendor 11/01/14 - Repositioning San Juan to Miami!
CCL Splendor 05/02/15 solo!
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CCL Pride 01/02/17 ~~ 13 Day Solo Journey - Panama Canal!

CCL Glory 05/13/17 Solo
CCL Horizon 05/09/18 ~ Solo and First Transatlantic!
CCL Horizon 05/24/18 ~ US Inaugural

Upcoming:
Nothing yet - travel on hold until divorce is final


Landlubber: Road Trip Out West 1995/Florida Keys 1996, 1999/Grand Cayman 1998, 2002/Hawaii 1997, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2017/Belize 2004/Cabo San Lucas 2005/Cozumel 2007/AWESOME FIJI 2008, 2010 and 2014!
Never ask for directions from a starfish.

#17
Leander TX
1,905 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Only 534 days to go before I'm on the Vista! LOL!

Looking forward to your review!
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Carnival Vista Family Cruise - Jun 15/2019
Carnival Breeze - Sep 17/17 My Review https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2552201
Carnival Magic - Oct 2014 My Review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2127532
Carnival Paradise - Jul 2012 My Review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1674471
Carnival Sensation - Feb 2010
Carnival Inspiration - Feb 2008
Carnival Inspiration - Aug 1998
Big Red Boat - Feb 1996
Carnival Carnivale - Mar 1988
#18
GA
3,782 Posts
Joined May 2006
Thanks for the great start. We start our drive to Miami Jan 19 for our B2B (6 day, 8 day) on the Vista. Looking forward to more info. Also, congratulations on the wedding and honeymoon.
#19
United States
843 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by tandemcruzr
Thanks for the great start. We start our drive to Miami Jan 19 for our B2B (6 day, 8 day) on the Vista. Looking forward to more info. Also, congratulations on the wedding and honeymoon.


Wow can’t wait to hear about your adventure! Please bring some Funtimes! Interested in the 6 days!! Thanks


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1993 Big Red Boat Honeymoon
1994 Carnival Tropicale
1997 Carnival Fantasy
1998 RCCL Nordic Empress
2002 Grand Princess
2005 Carnival Victory
2014 Carnival Dream
2015 Carnival Paradise
2017 Carnival Glory
#20
Merritt Island, FL
10,489 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Looking forward to the rest of your review and I’m going to check out your blog - 2 weeks for us! This will help us get excited


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If you want to be happy, be.