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ddled

just off Vista-compare to Royal

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We are long time -26 cruises mostly on Royal, Celebrity and Princess. Tried Vista out of Galveston last week and all in all it was a great cruise on an interesting ship. Never thought I would sail Carnival, but here goes.

Embarkation/Debarkation.. Embarkation went great. Parked at Discount Cruise Parking and it was fast and efficient. Getting off was slower. Carnival said we would leave at 10;30 and it was on that time. Lots of big lines in terminal building-think customs was in some mood or other. Getting a porter was the answer.

Sick Ship? this is a tough one. We were a party of retireds-12 in all and 7 were sick during the cruise. All influenza/upper respiratory stuff. Everyone we talked to had the same percentage in their groups. Was a rumor that deck 9 had quarantined cabins and several ambulances 12-met the ship at Galveston. I just know we had people in our group not get out of the cabin for days.

 

Cabin-very nice-deck 6 port side was quiet and well placed. Not as much storage as Royal, but only a 7 day cruise too. Bigger shower which was nice

 

Entertainment-this is where Carnival beats the others hands down. 4-6 music venues each night playing everything. Each cruise has a country duo and 2country4Nashville was great. One night they played for 5 hours no breaks and the music was fantastic. They are on until April.. The comedy club was a real hoot. Get there at least 20 minutes early to get a seat, 2 comedians per night and they change in the middle of the cruise. Beats anything else. Other music was very good-a brass duo, and 5 piece band, violins, guitar player, piano.Carnival had the best entertainment we have seen. Liquid Lounge is much smaller than the ones on other lines-they had 3 stage shows that we missed because there were so many other things to do. Was a great place to see the Chiefs win the Super Bowl!!!! Waiters sang and danced each night in main dining room-was cute. The SkyRider is not to be missed-if you are under 250 lbs and they weigh you-it is fun. I am 68 and did it 3 times. Lots of things to do on deck.Truly a Fun Ship

 

Food-here is the big one. I am like Mikey-will eat anything. My wife is a little pickier, she thought the food was not as good as Royal. We ate in MDR, Farenheit 555, buffet,and best of all they open the specialty restaurants except for the steakhouse for lunch free. The Italian restaurant was fantastic and everyone had that idea. I did not go hungry, but the buffet had fewer items for breakfast. Bananas were gold-they were put out eventually, but the servers were very good about getting them for you.

 

MIsc.  Service was very good-our room steward was tremendous Palguna was our room steward-excellent. Waiters and all ship members were very good-no complaints. Dress code was pretty casual. That has been discussed here and is a fact that pretty much anything goes. In MDR there were lots of shorts, tank tops, t shirts and dirty ball caps. As long as those that want to dress up can I guess it to each his own. There was security all over the place-no disturbances that we saw, and no drunks wandering around. We do not gamble, casino was smoky to walk through. There were I would guess 400 or so kids on board. We are retired teachers and asked several if they had a school break. They all said that they were on vacation. I guess it has been a whole month since Christmas? Kids were pretty well behaved and Carnival is built for families so other than filling up the pools and hot tubs they were on their own. Some running around and playing on the elevators. The flow in the Vista is choppy. Only a couple of decks go all the way through, and I think it is because there are so many entertainment venues. You get used to it, and it is ok after a while. I would sure have the entertainment. The ship was a lot plainer and more drab than most. The decorating was a little subdued, to our taste. 

 

We went on 2 shore excursions-Tabasco Cooking in Cozumel and Airboat/Zoo in Belize.Both were well run and fun. Did nothing in Roatan, the beach is close if you want to do that. Download for 5 dollars the Hub App. Was very convient and worked most of the time. Sometimes had to reboot. Some had wifi and it seemed to work ok. 

 

All in all it was a very good time. If food is your first thing to do-stick to the sprecialty restaurants. If you want to be entertained this is good value. It has been a long time since I got off a ship without trying everything, but I could not get everything done on Vista. Ship was clean,lots of ongoing attention, but some of the handwashing stations were dry and there were fewer of them. Captain did not make any announcments or do a QandA with the passengers. Saw him once in the hall. No mention of sickness on ship but it was there. Cruise director was Schwarz and very good-funny. High energy. Marriage game was the same type of questions, but the contestants were less inhibited especially in the kissing audition. Fun to watch. Pool chairs on sea days typically taken, but always somewhere you could use. Serenity for adults was really nice-free and available but very popular in good weather-kids no problem there. Did not get to gym-walking on deck is always nice in good weather. Sailing out of Galveston the winter weather is chilly first and last days-in the 60s. Otherwise typical Carribbean weather. No high waves. 

 

Would I go on Vista again? Yes. The price was good-cheaper than Royal Liberty. The entertainment was what balanced it out. If you are looking for a good time this is a great ship. Texans are fun to sail with and that was nice. For what they do Carnival gets a thumbs up. 

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Thanks for this. We have cruised Carnival the most and have one planned for March on Panorama. Our first RCCL cruise is in June, so I love seeing the comparisons.

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4 hours ago, ddled said:

We are long time -26 cruises mostly on Royal, Celebrity and Princess. Tried Vista out of Galveston last week and all in all it was a great cruise on an interesting ship. Never thought I would sail Carnival, but here goes.

Embarkation/Debarkation.. Embarkation went great. Parked at Discount Cruise Parking and it was fast and efficient. Getting off was slower. Carnival said we would leave at 10;30 and it was on that time. Lots of big lines in terminal building-think customs was in some mood or other. Getting a porter was the answer.

Sick Ship? this is a tough one. We were a party of retireds-12 in all and 7 were sick during the cruise. All influenza/upper respiratory stuff. Everyone we talked to had the same percentage in their groups. Was a rumor that deck 9 had quarantined cabins and several ambulances 12-met the ship at Galveston. I just know we had people in our group not get out of the cabin for days.

 

Cabin-very nice-deck 6 port side was quiet and well placed. Not as much storage as Royal, but only a 7 day cruise too. Bigger shower which was nice

 

Entertainment-this is where Carnival beats the others hands down. 4-6 music venues each night playing everything. Each cruise has a country duo and 2country4Nashville was great. One night they played for 5 hours no breaks and the music was fantastic. They are on until April.. The comedy club was a real hoot. Get there at least 20 minutes early to get a seat, 2 comedians per night and they change in the middle of the cruise. Beats anything else. Other music was very good-a brass duo, and 5 piece band, violins, guitar player, piano.Carnival had the best entertainment we have seen. Liquid Lounge is much smaller than the ones on other lines-they had 3 stage shows that we missed because there were so many other things to do. Was a great place to see the Chiefs win the Super Bowl!!!! Waiters sang and danced each night in main dining room-was cute. The SkyRider is not to be missed-if you are under 250 lbs and they weigh you-it is fun. I am 68 and did it 3 times. Lots of things to do on deck.Truly a Fun Ship

 

Food-here is the big one. I am like Mikey-will eat anything. My wife is a little pickier, she thought the food was not as good as Royal. We ate in MDR, Farenheit 555, buffet,and best of all they open the specialty restaurants except for the steakhouse for lunch free. The Italian restaurant was fantastic and everyone had that idea. I did not go hungry, but the buffet had fewer items for breakfast. Bananas were gold-they were put out eventually, but the servers were very good about getting them for you.

 

MIsc.  Service was very good-our room steward was tremendous Palguna was our room steward-excellent. Waiters and all ship members were very good-no complaints. Dress code was pretty casual. That has been discussed here and is a fact that pretty much anything goes. In MDR there were lots of shorts, tank tops, t shirts and dirty ball caps. As long as those that want to dress up can I guess it to each his own. There was security all over the place-no disturbances that we saw, and no drunks wandering around. We do not gamble, casino was smoky to walk through. There were I would guess 400 or so kids on board. We are retired teachers and asked several if they had a school break. They all said that they were on vacation. I guess it has been a whole month since Christmas? Kids were pretty well behaved and Carnival is built for families so other than filling up the pools and hot tubs they were on their own. Some running around and playing on the elevators. The flow in the Vista is choppy. Only a couple of decks go all the way through, and I think it is because there are so many entertainment venues. You get used to it, and it is ok after a while. I would sure have the entertainment. The ship was a lot plainer and more drab than most. The decorating was a little subdued, to our taste. 

 

We went on 2 shore excursions-Tabasco Cooking in Cozumel and Airboat/Zoo in Belize.Both were well run and fun. Did nothing in Roatan, the beach is close if you want to do that. Download for 5 dollars the Hub App. Was very convient and worked most of the time. Sometimes had to reboot. Some had wifi and it seemed to work ok. 

 

All in all it was a very good time. If food is your first thing to do-stick to the sprecialty restaurants. If you want to be entertained this is good value. It has been a long time since I got off a ship without trying everything, but I could not get everything done on Vista. Ship was clean,lots of ongoing attention, but some of the handwashing stations were dry and there were fewer of them. Captain did not make any announcments or do a QandA with the passengers. Saw him once in the hall. No mention of sickness on ship but it was there. Cruise director was Schwarz and very good-funny. High energy. Marriage game was the same type of questions, but the contestants were less inhibited especially in the kissing audition. Fun to watch. Pool chairs on sea days typically taken, but always somewhere you could use. Serenity for adults was really nice-free and available but very popular in good weather-kids no problem there. Did not get to gym-walking on deck is always nice in good weather. Sailing out of Galveston the winter weather is chilly first and last days-in the 60s. Otherwise typical Carribbean weather. No high waves. 

 

Would I go on Vista again? Yes. The price was good-cheaper than Royal Liberty. The entertainment was what balanced it out. If you are looking for a good time this is a great ship. Texans are fun to sail with and that was nice. For what they do Carnival gets a thumbs up. 

Vista is now one of my favorite ships.  Sisters and I were in the Havana Cabana last April and are booked again in Nov, with hubby this time.  The front of the ship for any floor is so close to everything.  Glad you enjoyed. 

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Nice review, thanks for doing it.  Totally agree on your view of entertainment. 

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Glad you enjoyed her.  We were on her in November, and unfortunately, she is the least favorite of Carnival ships imo.  We did not like the Havana deck obscuring our ocean experience.  Nothing like dirty dishes and underwear directly below your cabin....as opposed to the ocean.

 

Dream does not have that obstruction.  We will avoid the "Havana" ships in the future.   Certainly prefer the aft balconies much better if one can get one booked!

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20 minutes ago, marci4tony said:

Glad you enjoyed her.  We were on her in November, and unfortunately, she is the least favorite of Carnival ships imo.  We did not like the Havana deck obscuring our ocean experience.  Nothing like dirty dishes and underwear directly below your cabin....as opposed to the ocean.

 

Dream does not have that obstruction.  We will avoid the "Havana" ships in the future.   Certainly prefer the aft balconies much better if one can get one booked!

Actually the Dream class does have the 5th floor extend out and in addition, it goes around the entire ship.  Havana Cabana rooms are the best thing Carnival has done in years, loved both Vista na d Horizon, but to each their own.

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3 hours ago, jimbo5544 said:

Actually the Dream class does have the 5th floor extend out and in addition, it goes around the entire ship.  Havana Cabana rooms are the best thing Carnival has done in years, loved both Vista na d Horizon, but to each their own.


Dream class perhaps... but I’ve been on the Dream and it did not have the Havana issue that the Vista did.

so there’s that

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We did the Vista for her last Med Cruise before the Transatlantic voyage.  Had a Havana Cabin.  Sailing on her on the 29th for our "2nd" Anniversary (8 years) Leap Day cruise. Thank you for the review and giving Carnival a fair shot!

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Thanks for the report. Sounds like a positive note for the Vista.

 

Happy cruising!

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@ddled

 

How does Vista compare to an Oasis class ship in terms of pools (number & crowdedness)?  I assume there is something similar to Serenity area for over 21.  Are the RCCL pay restaurants worth the surcharge?  
 

Sorry I haven’t researched RCCL before but plan to try an Oasis class ship one day-maybe to take the grandkids to CocoCay.

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12 hours ago, jimbo5544 said:

Actually the Dream class does have the 5th floor extend out and in addition, it goes around the entire ship.  Havana Cabana rooms are the best thing Carnival has done in years, loved both Vista na d Horizon, but to each their own.


I don’t disagree with your comment about the Havana area. I also don’t disagree with your point about it being the best thing Carnival has done in years. However, I think it reflects poorly on Carnival that the best thing they have done is create an area on 3 ships that is only available to a small percentage of guests on the ship. 
 

It is a lack of changes across the board and cut after cut that has led my wife and I to cruise more on RCI and less on Carnival these days. Part of the issue is we have cruised the Carribean so often that we have been to the majority of ports multiple times. So that makes the ships more important. In my opinion based on what we enjoy doing on a cruise, RCI’s ships are significantly better than Carnival’s ship. I still like Carnival’s ships, but none of them have the “wow” factor of an RCI ship or the countless activities available on RCI ships. 

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9 hours ago, marci4tony said:


Dream class perhaps... but I’ve been on the Dream and it did not have the Havana issue that the Vista did.

so there’s that

Maybe I misinterpreted your point.  I was talking about the walkway around on the the 5th floor that would obstruct views (directly beneath when looking down) of upper cabins.  That is on all of the Dream class.  At any rate, it is was just a point in conversation and not worth a ton of discussion.

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31 minutes ago, PhillyFan33579 said:


I don’t disagree with your comment about the Havana area. I also don’t disagree with your point about it being the best thing Carnival has done in years. However, I think it reflects poorly on Carnival that the best thing they have done is create an area on 3 ships that is only available to a small percentage of guests on the ship. 
 

It is a lack of changes across the board and cut after cut that has led my wife and I to cruise more on RCI and less on Carnival these days. Part of the issue is we have cruised the Carribean so often that we have been to the majority of ports multiple times. So that makes the ships more important. In my opinion based on what we enjoy doing on a cruise, RCI’s ships are significantly better than Carnival’s ship. I still like Carnival’s ships, but none of them have the “wow” factor of an RCI ship or the countless activities available on RCI ships. 

Sometimes, ideas do not apply to the entire cruise experience.  RCI ships, specifically the mega ships are technological wonders, of that there is no argument (no argument at all, just discussion).  This will sound like a commercial rather than a comment, but the Carnival experience is much more about the FUN and Royals (in my view) is about the wow.  Mardi Gras may change, or at least start to change that, but we will have to see.  I am not sure if and when that happens that it would make me happy .....or sad.  

 

Our 44 cruises have been focused mostly in the Caribbean (as most cruisers), we have been to Cozumel 14 times on a cruise ship.  That said, for the most part, we more enjoy the FUN than the ship (although we have stayed in great expensive suites that counter that statement.  I still hold the value of experiencing the cruise and relationship to the sea as part of that experience, that you just do not get on a mega liner.  All good though.

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5 hours ago, d-lite-n-cruisin said:

We did the Vista for her last Med Cruise before the Transatlantic voyage.  Had a Havana Cabin.  Sailing on her on the 29th for our "2nd" Anniversary (8 years) Leap Day cruise. Thank you for the review and giving Carnival a fair shot!

Doing a TA in a HC would be amazing.

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56 minutes ago, soonernstlouis said:

@ddled

 

How does Vista compare to an Oasis class ship in terms of pools (number & crowdedness)?  I assume there is something similar to Serenity area for over 21.  Are the RCCL pay restaurants worth the surcharge?  
 

Sorry I haven’t researched RCCL before but plan to try an Oasis class ship one day-maybe to take the grandkids to CocoCay.

In terms of specialty (for pay) restaurants, I think Carnivals steakhouse is better, Royal may have more (including Johnny Rockets which cuts across the cloth for me).  Only sailed Oasis once and really do not remember pool crowd factor.  I am sure others will opine.

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3 minutes ago, jimbo5544 said:

Sometimes, ideas do not apply to the entire cruise experience.  RCI ships, specifically the mega ships are technological wonders, of that there is no argument (no argument at all, just discussion).  This will sound like a commercial rather than a comment, but the Carnival experience is much more about the FUN and Royals (in my view) is about the wow.  Mardi Gras may change, or at least start to change that, but we will have to see.  I am not sure if and when that happens that it would make me happy .....or sad.  

 

Our 44 cruises have been focused mostly in the Caribbean (as most cruisers), we have been to Cozumel 14 times on a cruise ship.  That said, for the most part, we more enjoy the FUN than the ship (although we have stayed in great expensive suites that counter that statement.  I still hold the value of experiencing the cruise and relationship to the sea as part of that experience, that you just do not get on a mega liner.  All good though.


I definitely agree with your last comment.  We always get an ocean view balcony on RCI’s ships. The way their larger ships are designed it is very easy to forget you are on a cruise/ship. At least spending time on the balcony reminds me I am on a cruise. There are always trade offs and as impressive as RCIs larger ships are in my opinion, you can literally move around the ship all day and never see the ocean/sea. 

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3 minutes ago, PhillyFan33579 said:


I definitely agree with your last comment.  We always get an ocean view balcony on RCI’s ships. The way their larger ships are designed it is very easy to forget you are on a cruise/ship. At least spending time on the balcony reminds me I am on a cruise. There are always trade offs and as impressive as RCIs larger ships are in my opinion, you can literally move around the ship all day and never see the ocean/sea. 

One last point, there are many ports of call that are off the list of stopping on a mega liner for logistical reasons and/or them being tender ports.

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We've only sailed Carnival with the exception of a Royal cruise back in 1993 out of Tampa ( a 3 day to no where cruise) and were thinking about trying Royal or Norwegian. We have had very little issues with Carnival, so not brave enough to try YET!! We enjoy the casual atmosphere very much, and have always had great service! My list of "complaints"would be very small!  

Thanks for this review! Which line is your favorite? just wondering!

 

 

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Thanks for the review.  We sailed on the Liberty of the Seas out of Galveston once and we found the entertainment to be lacking.  I can't wait to try Carnival.  We have a Havana Cabana booked too so we don't have to worry about the pool deck chair thing hopefully.

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42 minutes ago, ummgood said:

Thanks for the review.  We sailed on the Liberty of the Seas out of Galveston once and we found the entertainment to be lacking.  I can't wait to try Carnival.  We have a Havana Cabana booked too so we don't have to worry about the pool deck chair thing hopefully.

You def will not have that problem

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On 2/13/2020 at 10:44 PM, marci4tony said:


Dream class perhaps... but I’ve been on the Dream and it did not have the Havana issue that the Vista did.

so there’s that

The reason for that is because the Vista, Horizon and Panorama, the 3 ships of the Vista Class are the only 3 in the fleet to have the Havana area.  You'll be happy to know that the Havana area on the Mardi Gras will not be located in the aft area to block your view of the ocean.

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