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Nicole721

Hello Vista! A Full PICTORIAL Trip Report of Carnival's Newest Ship

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A steamer box filled with chocolate chips, fortune cookies and housemade fruit leather was presented just before the check, a sweet final note on a truly fantastic meal.

 

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We noticed that a VAT tax had been added to our final bill, likely because we were so delayed that we were still docked when our meal finished, but at just over $15 per person, it was a steal.

 

The ship finally started pulling away from the dock just before 8:00 pm, and we strolled the deck a bit to walk off that heaviness that comes after a rich meal.

 

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A new friend was waiting for us in our room when we stopped to change shoes, along with the Fun Times for our day in Marseille, which we brought up to the Lido Marketplace with us to peruse over some cups of tea.

 

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We headed down to browse some of the shops and found that the merchandise was quite a bit different than we’ve seen on other Carnival ships. The one thing lacking, though, was a solid souvenir selection. On our last Mediterranean cruise on Royal Caribbean, every day they rotated a selection of items that were unique to the port we were docked in. Not only did this make shopping a daily stop to see what was new, it relieved some of the pressure of finding time to shop in the ports because they had many of the same items at similar port pricing. The Vista didn’t seem to offer any port-specific souvenirs, but did have a large selection of apparel, accessories and themed ship gear.

 

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Live music is everywhere on the Vista come night time, from the Havana Bar and the atrium lobby to the Red Frog Pub and Ocean Plaza. We hopped around a bit, taking in some of the acoustic tunes in the atrium lobby before sitting in Ocean Plaza and finishing off in the Havana Bar.

 

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There was a late Welcome Aboard Show and a viewing of The Intern at the Seaside Theater, but we skipped both in favor of some more time on our patio.

 

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Something I found interesting about the Havana area was that the live music is quite loud in the Havana Bar – so much so that you can hear it very well throughout the hallways in the Havana cabin area on deck five – but we didn’t hear any of it inside the room. Our room was surprisingly quiet for a cabin located in between the Havana Bar and Ocean Plaza (both of which feature live music until the early morning hours). We noticed, too, that the live music from the Havana Bar was piped into the Havana Cabana area, so we could listen to the live Cuban tunes from the comfort of our patio.

 

The seas weren’t so kind to us on our first night. Nothing nearly as bad as the rough seas we experienced onboard the Sunshine, but enough to be distracting. Between the waves and the early morning tour coming in Marseille, I went to bed early, sad to leave Spain behind but so excited for our day to come in the French countryside.

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Wow !!! You are amazing to read just loving every moment and great pics to go with. I want to travel with Stephanie and yourself ok bring mom along as well lol. You seem to enjoy life and it shows as we see the happiness you all have in your pictures.

 

I'm following this thread with lots of interest.

 

Thanks for sharing :-)

 

Sea ya

 

Eric

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Nicole...wondered where you were as I hadn't seen a review on this board in some time. I don't venture over to RCL board often (will start "trolling" later this year as we're on the Oasis in 2018).

 

Enjoying your review of the Vista. We're on board in a month. And as always your tons of photos. Barcelona looks fabulous and your hotel is one to keep in mind.

 

Waiting for the rest.

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Fantastic review!! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. DH and I sail on the Vista in a Havana room in 3 weeks, so this review is coming at a perfect time. Thank you for taking the time to put it together.

 

Sent from my XT1585 using Forums mobile app

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HI all!

 

Nicole721 ~ your review has me remembering my time on the Vista, what a great ship I call it Breeze+! :D Neat staying in the Havana cabins. When I went to the bar there to pick up an empanada for lunch the guy said they were only for residents there, is that true?

I just had supper but your pictures are making me hungry again, Jiji's food looks yummy!

I see you're going on Getaway to the Baltics but can't figure out when. I'm on May 25 are you before that? Looking forward to that review if you go before me!;)

 

pirate ~ hi! Lucky you having a Havana cabin too! Won't be long now!

 

~ Jo ~ :)

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What a wonderful review. You really have a way with words. You are so descriptive. Thank you for sharing. Spain is one of my all time favorite places. Bringing back many happy memories.

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Wow !!! You are amazing to read just loving every moment and great pics to go with. I want to travel with Stephanie and yourself ok bring mom along as well lol. You seem to enjoy life and it shows as we see the happiness you all have in your pictures.

 

I'm following this thread with lots of interest.

 

Thanks for sharing :-)

 

Sea ya

 

Eric

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

Come along any time, Eric! :)

 

Thanks for the great review.

 

I'm guessing your sail date was around June 4th or so?

 

Close -- May 14.

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love the format of your review...what type of camera did you use

 

Nikon D7000 for most of 'em. A few are probably from my iPhone :)

 

Can't wait for more!

 

Next part coming right up!

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Really enjoying your review! Can't wait for our turn on Vista. :D

 

I hope you enjoy the Vista as much as we did!

 

Nicole...wondered where you were as I hadn't seen a review on this board in some time. I don't venture over to RCL board often (will start "trolling" later this year as we're on the Oasis in 2018).

 

Enjoying your review of the Vista. We're on board in a month. And as always your tons of photos. Barcelona looks fabulous and your hotel is one to keep in mind.

 

Waiting for the rest.

 

We were thisclose to booking a cruise on the Oasis for Christmas before we bit the bullet and booked the Sunshine.

 

And Barcelona is so amazing! One of my favorite places I've ever been :) Let me know what you think of the Vista when you get back!

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Fantastic review!! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. DH and I sail on the Vista in a Havana room in 3 weeks, so this review is coming at a perfect time. Thank you for taking the time to put it together.

 

Sent from my XT1585 using Forums mobile app

 

We *loved* our Havana room! Hope you enjoy yours!

 

I always enjoy reading your reviews. Looking forward to the rest!

 

Thanks, Jenny!

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what an awesome review. Makes me want to go to Barcelona now

 

Well, then I'm doing something right! ;) Glad you're enjoying!

 

HI all!

 

Nicole721 ~ your review has me remembering my time on the Vista, what a great ship I call it Breeze+! :D Neat staying in the Havana cabins. When I went to the bar there to pick up an empanada for lunch the guy said they were only for residents there, is that true?

I just had supper but your pictures are making me hungry again, Jiji's food looks yummy!

I see you're going on Getaway to the Baltics but can't figure out when. I'm on May 25 are you before that? Looking forward to that review if you go before me!;)

 

pirate ~ hi! Lucky you having a Havana cabin too! Won't be long now!

 

~ Jo ~ :)

 

I don't think empanadas are just for Havana cabins -- the bar is open for everyone all times of day!

 

And I am on the cruise right before yours! I'll be sure to post lots of pictures while we're onboard :D

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What a wonderful review. You really have a way with words. You are so descriptive. Thank you for sharing. Spain is one of my all time favorite places. Bringing back many happy memories.

 

Well thank you! Spain is one of my favorites, too :)

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Day 5: Marseille, France

 

With all of this jetlag keeping me up late at night, waking up at 6:15 in the morning was the last thing I wanted. But when the cruise director mentions that you’ll be passing a historical site on the way in and you’re rolling into a new port that you’ve never been to before, the early wakeup isn’t so bad.

 

As we sailed into Marseille, we passed Île d’If, the location where the Count of Monte Cristo is based off of. At least, that’s what Matt told us we’d be passing in the Fun Ashore chat the day before. It was quick and fleeting and we only briefly saw it from our patio.

 

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While our tour didn’t meet until 8:15 am, we decided to just get ready and have an early breakfast instead of going back to sleep. What’s for breakfast? I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.

 

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Last year, we docked in Cannes and we absolutely loved the port and our time there visiting Grasse and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. We weren’t entirely too sure what to expect from this region of France, but I was excited to find out what it had to offer us.

 

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We were booked on the Arles and Aix-en-Provence tour, an excursion Stephanie chose because she took it upon herself to research every possible town we could visit and then chose the ones she thought were the prettiest. Our tour met in the Reflections Dining Room and I thought they handled the excursions meet ups well. They were held throughout the ship in different lounges, which helped keep things orderly with so many passengers and so many tours.

 

Our group was the third one called from the room and we quickly made our way down to Deck 0 to debark and meet up with our tour guide for the day, Alex, and our driver, Henri (who greeted us throughout the day with a hearty Bonjour! every time we reboarded the motorcoach).

 

As we pulled away from the port in Marseille, Alex told us that the weather was forecasted for high winds from the North. Alex said they were Mistral winds, and those always come in increments of three days at a time. Arles would be the worst of it, but it was supposed to warm up when we got to Aix-en-Provence.

 

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Weather aside, I really love the southern region of France. It has this intangible and unqualifiable ability to just…make my heart warm and happy. I told a friend today that I’m pretty sure I could spend a couple of weeks in the region alone with my camera and find a great deal of peace in it and I meant every word of it. There’s a special kind of peace in these small towns that line the southern coast of the country.

 

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Our first stop for the day was Arles, a city with a deep history dating back to the Roman empire but most famous as the home of Vincent van Gogh from 1888 – 1889 (a time frame in which he painted over 300 pieces!). Though Arles is considered the largest metropolitan commune in France with square mileage nearly seven times the size of Paris (a serious fact that’s slightly misleading given that most of this space is accounting for the Camargue region), it only has a population of 50,000 people.

 

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Our tour bus dropped us off a short walk from the center where our walking tour would begin and I couldn’t help but notice that there really weren’t many people in Arles. It sounds odd. The experience of walking through a modern town that dates back to ancient times but is all but empty is odd, but it gave us a unique opportunity to really take in Arles without the distraction of crowds of people. Arles isn’t always this quiet, though – Alex said it was a combination of the cold winds and a Sunday morning that fell on a holiday weekend, where many people were heading out of town.

 

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Our tour began at the Place de la République, the center where City Hall, the Obélisque d'Arles (a 4th century Roman obelisk made of granite that has been on the list of historic French monuments since 1840) and the Church of St. Trophime are located. Alex gave us a short break to use the public restrooms before we began touring, but I couldn’t tear myself away from staring in fascination at the monuments around me. City Hall is big and so beautiful in the simplicity of it’s design. And the Church of St. Trophime ,with its façade depicting biblical scenes and statues of Saints that have ties to Arles, was so magnificent and intricate. We were an hour into our tour…we hadn’t even really started touring yet…and I was already enamored by the beauty of this town.

 

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When our break was over, we began a walking tour that took just over an hour, taking us through the quiet streets and past the ancient Roman ruins that Arles was built around as it modernized. See, Arles was taken by the Romans in 123 BC and was used as a trading port because of it’s proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. Though Arles was incorporated into France in the late 900’s AD and has been a French territory ever since, the Roman influences are felt throughout the town in the remains of theaters, aqueducts and even an amphitheater that mimics the Roman Colosseum.

 

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Alex took us inside the amphitheater and sat us on the stone benches to tell us the history of the structure. The Arles Amphitheater was built in 90 AD and was the center of all entertainment, from gladiator battles to chariot races to plays. The amphitheater sits over 20,000 (which was surprising to me – it feels much smaller than it actually is) and is still in use as an entertainment venue today.

 

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After we left the amphitheater, we walked to the Place de Forum, where the café that Van Gogh painted The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum. Alex told us about Van Gogh’s time in Arles on the way, how in the 15 months he resided in Arles, he painted over 300 pieces and how Arles was the location of, perhaps, the most notorious incident in Van Gogh’s life (you know…that time he chopped his own ear off when he was in the midst of a psychotic break). Van Gogh was said to be absolutely taken by the landscape of Arles and though I’m sure the town has changed plenty in the 130+ years since Van Gogh’s residency, I felt the same kind of enchantment as we strolled through the streets, especially experiencing it in the quiet serenity of a Sunday morning.

 

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