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cruisingguy007

Vista class ships overcrowded?

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For anyone who has cruised on a Vista class ship, did you find the Vista class ship(s) to be overcrowded? I keep reading unflattering reviews on this ship class and having booked the Panorama it has me concerned. Overcrowded, poor drink service, and long lines seem to be the biggest complaints. There also seems to be an excessive amount of these particular complaints. Makes me contemplate the value of a CC over an all inclusive if you end up having to pay extra for everything to enjoy a cruise. By the time you factor in upgraded staterooms (in order to be able to get a lounger or swim), upgraded dining choices (to get quality food without lines), premium excursion packages charges booked through cruise line, drink packages etc, is it a better deal to go with a premium cruise line that offers a higher square foot per passenger ratio or seeking out an all inclusive resort? Did you feel the public areas on Vista class ships were too crowded to be enjoyable? 

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We cruised on the Horizon and never experienced any of those things.  You don't have to upgrade your dining choices to get quality food.  The buffet and dining room had a wide variety of quality food.  

 

If you are an average drinker, there's no need to buy the Cheers package.  I don't understand your statement about upgrading your stateroom to get a lounger or swim.  If you have an inside cabin on the lowest deck, you have the same opportunity to get a lounger or to swim as a person in the Captain's suite.

 

You don't have to go through the cruise line for your excursions.  You can do them on your own which a lot of people do.  We never found the ship to be overly crowded and never stood in any long lines.

 

You will find that the majority of the people that enjoy a cruise won't post about it   The ones that didn't will be the first ones to come on a site like this and complain about it.

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46 minutes ago, RWolver672 said:

We cruised on the Horizon and never experienced any of those things.  You don't have to upgrade your dining choices to get quality food.  The buffet and dining room had a wide variety of quality food.  

 

If you are an average drinker, there's no need to buy the Cheers package.  I don't understand your statement about upgrading your stateroom to get a lounger or swim.  If you have an inside cabin on the lowest deck, you have the same opportunity to get a lounger or to swim as a person in the Captain's suite.

 

You don't have to go through the cruise line for your excursions.  You can do them on your own which a lot of people do.  We never found the ship to be overly crowded and never stood in any long lines.

 

You will find that the majority of the people that enjoy a cruise won't post about it   The ones that didn't will be the first ones to come on a site like this and complain about it.

 

I agree 100% with this!

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Most who claim this have never sailed on the class of ships.  The Vista class are currently our favorite, followed by the Spirit class. We have found the Vista class no more crowded than any other class of ships. 

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I sailed the Horizon about a year ago and will have to say I never felt crowded. Now as far as long lines well if you go at the prime time you will find lines longer than you might find them just 30 minutes before but they move pretty quickly. 

Edited by VolzCruiser

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My wife and I cruised on the Vista (Feb '17) and Horizon (Feb '19) and never found it to be overcrowded. The Lido pool deck was the most congested area when it came to finding lounges, but we would normally find some unoccupied ones in Serenity or the aft. Neither of us ever felt crowded. 

 

Drink service was fairly quick most of the time and we had no issues with the food served.

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I have not sailed a Vista class yet (until next year!). However, it seems those who complain about it typically fall into one or more of these buckets:

- Already in a bad mood/looking for problems

- Cruised during peak season

- Expected Lido during peak hours to be dead

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I don't think it's reasonable to expect there not to be a line for food anywhere ever. Name a restaurant on land that doesn't have a line during peak hours. The lines I experienced on the Vista were short and moved quickly so I really did not see a problem with it. So I have to wait a whole 5 minutes to get to the start of the buffet line...big deal. I think the longest we ever waited was about 20 minutes for JiJi's at noon. That's in-line with places I'd visit at noon at home so I have no issue with it...I don't consider that a "long line." 

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We'll be on the Horizon in just a few weeks and I don't expect any real problems with crowds.  We go on the Lido for breakfast and lunch but always during off-peak hours.  If you go during the peak hours you can expect massive hoards of people (just like any other class of ship on any of the cruise lines) and possibly a lack of a place to sit down after dealing with said hoards.  If I want to have lunch with four thousand of my closest new friends I'll go to the Lido right at noon.

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While I didn't love the layout/flow of the Vista, it didn't really feel crowded.  I did love staying in Family Harbor.

 

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I think the overcrowded thing is overblown. They went to a smaller comedy club which hurts. And there isn't much standing room. For the first time I actually saw PG shows go to standing room only. On Vista they did have late night comedy in the main lounge 2-3 nights which helped. They also went back to the smaller alchemy bar of the conquest class which made it tougher to get a seat at alchemy...but there were so many other bar options. Steakhouse bar is right by alchemy. Red frog pub is just past the alchemy. Ocean plaza bar just past that. Havana bar just past that. Sports bar, Casino bar, Atrium bar. I never had a problem finding a place to get a drink.

Edited by Saint Greg

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We sailed on the Vista twice this year, April and Sept.  We liked it more than we expected, BUT some venues are very crowded...  Lido always busy, especially lunch time.  The Comedy Club and Lobby activities are packed.  The first show of night, PG, at Comedy is usually full, but those after that you must stand in line for a minimum 30 minutes prior to door opening to get a seat, and then even the line can run all the way back to the casino.  Twice we had to give up, already full so waited an hour til next show.  The comedians were the best we have ever seen, both cruises, so worth it but be prepared to fight for seats.  The Lobby activites with Cruise director are insane, no place to sit or even stand unless you are there an hour before they start due to the lobby being HALF the size of Dream class and Conquest class lobbies.  Totally impossible to enjoy shows.  

 

The Playlist shows were not always packed, but the only good seats, due to the stupid arrangement of theatre, are the floor seats right in front and those fill up prior to shows.  I think after trying to see performers the first couple of shows, people give up and skipped the shows.  

 

Main dining room...we had YTD both times, and never had to wait on a table and the dining room always appeared to be half full.  No idea why.  The second cruise was with our adult son, and he hates the main dining room so we only ate there 3 nights, and went to other venues the other night.  The Sushi and Jiji's are fantastic, btw, don't miss them.  The steakhouse always appeared to be nearly empty when we walked by.

 

So if those are things you like...  Vista class is very crowded.  

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Appreciate the responses, very helpful. I probably spent way to much time reading anxiety inducing reviews on Horizon. The staff to passenger ratio also concerned me (doubling passengers without doubling staff). I do tend to agree with RWolver672 in that those who are negative are generally the loudest. That said, the negative reviews across this ship class were pretty consistent (once you factor in the one offs, people dissatisfied with the rules, or complaints beyond CC's control) in specifically mentioning over crowded decks, lack of drink runners, and lines for everything. We are the very laid back easy going types who have no problem going with the flow. A few min here and there is no big deal but going on vacation to stand in line all day would be frustrating. 

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We just got off the Horizon 2 weeks ago and it wasn't bad at all.

 

At no point did I feel it was overcrowded...I mean you knew there were a lot of people on the ship,  but never bad.

 

Now I will say that I didn't go on Lido during the real "peak" times...ie embarkation day early afternoon, but when I went up there to grab food from buffet/Guys/Blue Iguana,  never had a line that was any longer than the ones I had on the Spirit/Conquest/Dream class ships I've been on.   Never felt packed in the shops/casino/lounges.

 

Only thing that was noticeably slower and annoying were the elevators,  and that was due to 2 reasons,  first,  people simply didn't properly call the elevators and second,  this could be alleviated with Carnival adding a second step when calling it.

 

 

Edited by TonyinMD

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7 hours ago, cruisingguy007 said:

For anyone who has cruised on a Vista class ship, did you find the Vista class ship(s) to be overcrowded? I keep reading unflattering reviews on this ship class and having booked the Panorama it has me concerned. Overcrowded, poor drink service, and long lines seem to be the biggest complaints. There also seems to be an excessive amount of these particular complaints. Makes me contemplate the value of a CC over an all inclusive if you end up having to pay extra for everything to enjoy a cruise. By the time you factor in upgraded staterooms (in order to be able to get a lounger or swim), upgraded dining choices (to get quality food without lines), premium excursion packages charges booked through cruise line, drink packages etc, is it a better deal to go with a premium cruise line that offers a higher square foot per passenger ratio or seeking out an all inclusive resort? Did you feel the public areas on Vista class ships were too crowded to be enjoyable? 

 

There was never a line for the dining room for dinner. Actually Vista is the only ship I can say that about. They have the deal where you can check in on the app or at the desk on deck 5 and I always just walked right into the dining room. I did like the additional dining option of JiJi's on Vista and I'm looking forward to trying the Teppanyaki on Panorama.

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31 minutes ago, Saint Greg said:

 

There was never a line for the dining room for dinner. Actually Vista is the only ship I can say that about. They have the deal where you can check in on the app or at the desk on deck 5 and I always just walked right into the dining room. I did like the additional dining option of JiJi's on Vista and I'm looking forward to trying the Teppanyaki on Panorama.

Good tip and I definitely plan on utilizing the app check in for our any time dining. Sure beats going up to the 5th deck to line up and check in, then back down to deck 3 to eat. 

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I have never had a bad cruise on any ship but Vista is my least favorite. I missed the grand atrium with glass elevators and also felt the layout was lacking. Somethings were so tucked away i.e. the sports bar that you didnt realize they were there. I cruise mainly for price and itinerary so can't say I wont do a vista class ship again but much prefer the conquest and dream class. Trying fantasy class for the first time in May. I have heard great things so excited for it.

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1 hour ago, cruisingguy007 said:

Good tip and I definitely plan on utilizing the app check in for our any time dining. Sure beats going up to the 5th deck to line up and check in, then back down to deck 3 to eat. 

 

The desk worked for me because I'm usually at the alchemy before dinner anyways. With the desk you can check in up to 30 minutes before YTD starts and request a specific table.

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For anyone who has sailed a Vista class during both June and August, how do they fare? My cruise on the Valor during the last week of August was not crowded, despite it sailing at capacity. However, on my Horizon sailing in June it was so crowded! Take the pizza line for example. On Valor, I never waited more than 5 minutes for a pizza, whereas on the Horizon, I consistently waited 15 minutes for a pizza. 

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19 minutes ago, Saint Greg said:

 

The desk worked for me because I'm usually at the alchemy before dinner anyways. With the desk you can check in up to 30 minutes before YTD starts and request a specific table.

Very helpful! Thanks for the tip. I'm bringing three first time cruisers with me so a seat with a view may be worth a bit of extra hassle. I want them all to have a great time. My kids would also love this since it would get them to Circle C on time. Plus Alchemy has great drinks for the wife and I. Win-win-win all around!   

Edited by cruisingguy007

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6 minutes ago, jbethel11 said:

For anyone who has sailed a Vista class during both June and August, how do they fare? My cruise on the Valor during the last week of August was not crowded, despite it sailing at capacity. However, on my Horizon sailing in June it was so crowded! Take the pizza line for example. On Valor, I never waited more than 5 minutes for a pizza, whereas on the Horizon, I consistently waited 15 minutes for a pizza. 

 

That would be the question. I bet some things would be more crowded those months. I should say my post on this thread was the last week of February...before spring break. I bet they had a lot more families two weeks later.

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I have another question about requesting a table at the desk or via the app. One of the couples booked their own separate booking. Will we be able to request to sit together? There will be eight of us total traveling together. How does that work? 

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I would think the best way to avoid crowds on Vista class ships is to book a Havana-level room  (looks like mock bookings for Panorama Havana interior run about $300 more/pp than standard interior).  Eat breakfast on deck 5 Ocean Plaza instead of Lido Buffet.  Go late or early to popular dining options.

 

I probably never would have chose a Vista level ship without having options like above.

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2 hours ago, cruisingguy007 said:

..... lack of drink runners

Is this even still a thing? 

Its been a couple of years since we sailed, but seems like even then we had to go to a bar for drinks.

I kind of missed that being waited on hand & foot while lounging feeling... but we did spend less on drinks this way.

Amy

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3 minutes ago, soonernstlouis said:

I would think the best way to avoid crowds on Vista class ships is to book a Havana-level room  (looks like mock bookings for Panorama Havana interior run about $300 more/pp than standard interior).  Eat breakfast on deck 5 Ocean Plaza instead of Lido Buffet.  Go late or early to popular dining options.

 

I probably never would have chose a Vista level ship without having options like above.

The price skyrocketed after the announcement of the whole ship within a ship being full time. It was only $100 more per person when I booked. Crazy. I was originally going to book this for our family at a significant savings over my current bookings but I ended up getting more cabins closer together to accommodate everyone. Could have saved $800 (but been separated from travel companions) then but figured me and the Mrs. would just head there after dinner for some quiet R&R. Unfortunately, I spent $800 more and will now have zero access. Not feeling too peachy about that decision at the moment.  

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