Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Saint Greg

Carnival Vista - LIVE-Feb 24-Mar 3 - Gal to Montego, GC, Coz - Fun Times, Menus, etc.

Recommended Posts

 

We're still a week away but for anyone who needs to catch up, here are my two previous reviews:

 

8/26/18 Carnival Dream: NOLA > Key West > Nassau > Freeport

 

 

 

12/2/18 Carnival Dream: Mohogany Bay > Belize > Cozumel

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise on the like new Carnival Vista from Galveston to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. This will be my 10th Carnival cruise, first on Vista, and third out of Galveston. It will be my first time to Montego and Grand Cayman, and my ninth time to Cozumel.

 

2142-820.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Booking

 

 

I booked this a year ago. The fare and gratuities were 100% paid for by the fun points earned on my Carnival MasterCard. I saved up 100,000 points and redeemed them for a $1,500 statement credit. I'm approaching 40,000 points now so I'm almost halfway to getting another free cruise. I'm sure there are people who have other cards they like better. Let's try keep that out of this thread. 

 

As usual I booked when they were offering $50 OBC. Since then I converted $72.40 in price drops into OBC. I'm also a stockholder x100 now so I get another $100 OBC for that giving me a total of $222.40 in OBC this cruise. The OBC is going to pay for specialty restuarants 5 of the 7 nights, my Montego Bay excursion, and a couple of drinks on embarkation day before cheers kicks in. There's no cheers day 1 out of Galveston. :classic_sad:

 

This cruise worked out perfect for me. I've been cruising the last week of Feb or the first week of March for the last four years. Last year I did an early March cruise on the Breeze and was there during the time change. I didn't like losing an hour of sleep so I will try to stick to the end of Feb from now on. This cruise allowed me to get the week I wanted, a ship I haven't been on, and two ports I haven't visited. 


 

Edited by Saint Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hotel

 

I'm not a huge fan of Galveston. On top of the no cheers on day 1...They have some jacked up hotel prices there...I'm talking paying more for a motel 6 than I'm paying for the Sheraton Four Points on Bourbon Street next cruise...There's no reason for me to stay there other than to be close to the port so I like to stay back a little bit. Last year I actually stayed in Houston. But I specifically wanted a hotel next door to a sports bar that was showing a pay per view UFC fight. My preference is in the Webster area which is where I stayed two years ago and where I'm staying this time. I booked the Comfort Suites Webster on Hotwire which came to $70 after taxes. It's right next to the interstate. 29 miles from the cruise port. And they have tons of restuarants and shopping right in that area. Free breakfast as well.

 

https://www.choicehotels.com/texas/webster/comfort-suites-hotels/tx942?msclkid=420d36096add1ebed37e6a6f93339759&tapad_cookie_id=9d7d9c01-2d18-11e8-b49d-0a580a02039b&mc=smbibiuscsl&cid=Search|Comfort_Suites|US|Texas|Exact|CPC|Desktop|EN|B_G&ag=US|TX|Webster&pmf=BING&kw=webster comfort suites

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Parking

 

Two years ago I parked at EZ cruise parking and last year I used lighthouse. There are people who swear by both. To me both are fine. Neither blew me away so I went in this year with an open mind. I wanted to find something better without paying double the price. When I did EZ they had a park n walk option that saved like $20 I want to say. I tried the park n walk option two years ago and didn't like it. Galveston has those big curbs and the sidewalk I took wasn't good for rolling luggage. It was also the week of their Mardi Gras (it will be again this year) so they had some streets blocked off and a bunch of people in the way who weren't cruisers. On top of that I couldn't remember if I locked my car so I had to walk all the way back to check. Now I can lock my car from my phone thankfully...but at the time I couldn't. I swore I would never do that again. Now maybe their shuttle service is good. I can't really say since I didn't try it.

 

Last year I went with lighthouse covered parking. It was fine. You park under those metal covers. When I returned my black car was yellow from pollen. I didn't like the fact that on the way back the shuttle stopped at the uncovered lot first. The covered people paid more and had to sit and wait while the lowly uncovered parkers got off and unloaded their luggage before going to our lot.

 

I waited until last week to book my parking this time. First I read all of the Galveston parking threads from the past year on the CC Gulf Coast Departures board. Then I searched for Galveston cruise parking and price checked all of the lots. I may have found a gem on on the Gulf Coast Departures board. Falstaff cruise parking. This is a new facility. It used to be a brewery. It opened as a parking facility a month after my last Galveston cruise. Indoor parking is $75 after taxes and fees. It seemed like Galveston indoor parking has always been $100+ at other places I've researched in the past. After checking this time the other indoor lots ranged from $97-127. Outdoor parking at the various lots ranged from $64-87. That Falstaff indoor parking looks great! Shuttle included. I booked there.

 

https://falstaffcruiseparking.com/


 

Edited by Saint Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excursions

 

Montego Bay

 

2T8d.gif

 

I haven't booked this one yet because I want to use my OBC for it. But the plan is to book Dunn's River Falls. I know I'm getting myself into another long excursion and it would be best to do DRF when docking at Ocho Rios. But I've looked at future cruises and I don't see myself booking an Ohco Rios cruise anytime soon. I'm going to Montego twice this year. Might as well do what I want while I'm there. 

 

Of course there are several of them. 

 

1. Ocho Rios & Dunns river falls with lunch for $79.99. Leaves at 9am and runs 7 1/2 hours. Lunch at the Almond Tree restuarant. Shopping if time permits. 4/5 stars.

 

2. Dunn's River falls and Bamboo beach club lunch for $99. Leaves at 9am and runs 7 hours. Sounds like this one includes unlimited alcohol at the beach club. I have cheers so that doesn't move the needle for me. 3.5/5 stars. 

 

3. Dunn's River Falls, Beach and Lunch for $79.99. Leaves at 9:15 and 10:30 and runs 6 1/5 hours. Sounds like lunch is on the beach at this one. 2.5 stars. I have to know why this is 2.5 stars so I'm going to read the reviews. It sounds like people liked the falls but not the beach or the lunch. I'll probably try to book the one with the almond tree restaurant lunch.

 

4. Sky explorer and Dunn's River falls 119.99. Leaves at 9:15 and runs 7 hours. Looks like you do a chair lift thing before you go to the falls. In fine print "excursion may last 8.5 hours." 4/5 stars. That sky explorer looks nice but I don't want an 8.5 hour excursion.

 

5. Finally there's a Bobsled Jamica & Dunn's River Falls with Lunch for $128.99. 9:15 departure and runs 7 hours. 4/5 stars. Now I like the movie "Cool Runnings" but this looks like you're paying an extra $50 to ride a roller coaster. I'll pass.

 

I think I'll try to book #1 and if it's full I'll have 3 then 2 as backups.

 

Grand Cayman

 

I saw a travel show on Stingray City a few months back and decided to check it out.

 

I booked the Sensational Stingray Swim through Carnival for 39.99. I used my Carnival Mastercard so I got $4 back. There are a bunch of stingray excurions. I wasn't interested in ziplining through the jungle or having lunch with the dolphins or any of that in the combo excursions. This is the bare bones Stinray City one. Another bonus booking through carnival for this one is the fact that GC is a tender port. So I won't have to wait in line for a tender number. I can relax in the lounge until my excursion is called like I did in Belize. It's an early one. 7:30 and it only runs two and a half hours. So if I want to do something else, I'll have time. GC is an early port. I think we're leaving at 3 or 3:30..and I believe it to be one of our elegant nights.
 

Cozumel

 

Been there, Done that...We'll see.

 

Edited by Saint Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Specialty Restuarants

 

This is where a lot of my OBC is going. I have a reservation for the steakhouse two nights, JiJi's two nights, and Cuccina one night. The plan is to only eat in the MDR on the two elegant nights. 

 

8273a484057685b91fb46d83538d9e10.jpg

 

ee1bd4448b3b2a8ad0a44ddc006543df.jpg

 

3c8f4f6807427a747c9840c987c4c2e8.jpg

 

f5f2f267d2296cd3fb3b9d39729d8a31.jpg

 

780be31446aecf7f5694bfe33b0447b3.jpg

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woo hoo, doing this same itinerary on the Vista in April, I will be hanging on every word!  :)

Edited by Beachiekeen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following! This will be a great warm up for our Horizon cruise in April!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have fun Greg. We will be in Coz with you on the Dream. We have done the Stingray City Excursion and loved it. Interacting with these animals was fun.  Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to this review. Thanks in advance for doing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you will love the sting ray excursion. G Cayman is my favorite destination as far as beauty so far. The sting rays look like a black wave as your boat approaches . Feeding them was a little scary, but fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Cozumel if you’ve never done it, I highly recommend the Cozumel Bar Hop. Every time I’m on a sailing to Cozumel I try to do this. Best excursion for its cost, plus a great time on the east side of the island. I just got off the Symphony of the seas this morning, but on my live thread over on RC board I go into that super excursion some. 

 

Looking forward to sailing along with you, will help the cruise blues from getting of the ship this morning. 😞

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, MrFunInTheSun said:

In Cozumel if you’ve never done it, I highly recommend the Cozumel Bar Hop. Every time I’m on a sailing to Cozumel I try to do this. Best excursion for its cost, plus a great time on the east side of the island. I just got off the Symphony of the seas this morning, but on my live thread over on RC board I go into that super excursion some. 

 

Looking forward to sailing along with you, will help the cruise blues from getting of the ship this morning. 😞

 

We booked this for the first time for our Vista 3/3 sailing!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, MrFunInTheSun said:

In Cozumel if you’ve never done it, I highly recommend the Cozumel Bar Hop. Every time I’m on a sailing to Cozumel I try to do this. Best excursion for its cost, plus a great time on the east side of the island. I just got off the Symphony of the seas this morning, but on my live thread over on RC board I go into that super excursion some. 

 

Looking forward to sailing along with you, will help the cruise blues from getting of the ship this morning. 😞

 

Is that a carnival excursion? I was looking for something like that but didn’t see it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Saint Greg said:

 

Is that a carnival excursion? I was looking for something like that but didn’t see it. 

 

No it’s via a private site. They are very good and insure you are back to your ship on time. It’s $57. You pay a $17 deposit to hold your spot and then you pay the remaining $40 once you board the Bar Hop  bus the day of the excursion. 

 

Ive bar hopped with them many times and always had an amazing time and dropped off with plenty of time to my ship. 

 

 

cozumelbarhop. com

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, MrFunInTheSun said:

 

No it’s via a private site. They are very good and insure you are back to your ship on time. It’s $57. You pay a $17 deposit to hold your spot and then you pay the remaining $40 once you board the Bar Hop  bus the day of the excursion. 

 

Ive bar hopped with them many times and always had an amazing time and dropped off with plenty of time to my ship. 

 

 

cozumelbarhop. com

 

 

Any idea what time it starts? And all these shots they give you...tequila?

Edited by Saint Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Greg! Looking forward to following along on your latest adventure. Have a GREAT cruise! 😎

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Saint Greg said:

 

Any idea what time it starts? And all these shots they give you...tequila?

 

This is the time mine started. Each bar gives you a welcome shot. Some of them had tequila in them. 

 

Anything beyond the first shot you pay for along with if food is desired. All for bars serve food too. 

 

4A4EB035-DDF8-43E7-BFC5-95DD09C4FCC1_zps

 

 

1AD32120-0654-4AD6-8068-E422DD046C4D_zps

 

 

 

827CB351-CAF7-4B94-A4BE-42D6FA4F1975_zps

 

 

13C15D3A-C59F-4CE1-9415-8EA9950ED34C_zps

 

Lobster is in season now so those tend to be hot items.

 

 

A713D72F-C892-4698-AB80-DBB165D1B997_zps

 

 

This is probably the best margarita I had, was at the last stop, Bob Marley themed beachfront bar.

 

Tumba del Caracol

 

598D62E2-F657-4565-9CE9-87E010466D27_zps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...