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We were originally booked on Carnival Freedom, but one day I found an email in my inbox telling me that Freedom was going to be dry docked during our vacation (WHAT?!?) and we needed to rebook. Through much discussion, and more than one reservation specialist, we were able to book on Vista. I am so glad we did!! I try not to travel on Carnival. Any other cruise line is nicer, classier, newer/cleaner, etc. The only reason I ever cruise with Carnival is because I live in Texas and it's either Carnival or Royal Caribbean, with Carnival having more ships. My experience with Carnival was on an older ship that was decorated like the inside of an old casino--very garish and ugly! I never saw my cabin steward and the crew were not friendly. There was very little communication. I swore I'd never do it again. When my daughter asked me to go again, I said yes...knowing that it was going to be sub-par. BUT WAIT!! The Vista is beautiful--it's only 3 yrs old, so it's decor is still on trend with streamlined furnishings and calming color schemes. It's a large ship with almost 4000 passengers, but I never felt like it. There were plenty of lounge chairs, both in the sun and in the shade. Of course, the main pool area filled up on sea days, but there are 3 decks surrounding the pool, so lots of seating. There is also an aft pool, and of course, the private Havana pool. Those other pools take some of the load off of the main pool. There are tables and umbrellas on the promenade deck. Many people took books out there and spent the afternoon reading and napping. Fantastic! I can't speak to the entertainment--getting dressed, rushing to, then crowding into a theater is not how I want to spend my vacation. I didn't see any shows, or comedians, or even go to the IMAX. From what I heard, they were all wonderful. There are many food choices on Vista! I never ate in the main dining room (for the reasons I listed about entertainment above), but I didn't need to. There is the buffet, hamburgers, pizza (even can have it delivered to your cabin!), fish and chips, BBQ, sushi...specialty restaurants. Everything I tried was enjoyable. It's nice to have choices!! The crew is amazing! Cruise director Matt is a humorous fellow. He kept everyone laughing and having fun. Our cabin steward, Rodrigo, knew our names by the first morning and would greet us every time we saw him...which was often. I never had to ask a thing of him; he was perfect. Any crew member we encountered smiled and greeted us. The embarkation process was one of the best I've ever had! From the time we arrived at the port terminal to the time we got onboard was only 45 minutes!! The safety drill went quickly too. Excursions? Very orderly. As well as debarkation process. I was very impressed with my cruise on Carnival Vista. So much so, I am planning another one! I think the people who rate this ship low are people that would complain about any ship. No trip is perfect. We are humans, all. I came back rested and happy with my vacation.

Best Carnival cruise I've been on

Carnival Vista Cruise Review by naturallygray

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We were originally booked on Carnival Freedom, but one day I found an email in my inbox telling me that Freedom was going to be dry docked during our vacation (WHAT?!?) and we needed to rebook. Through much discussion, and more than one reservation specialist, we were able to book on Vista. I am so glad we did!!

I try not to travel on Carnival. Any other cruise line is nicer, classier, newer/cleaner, etc. The only reason I ever cruise with Carnival is because I live in Texas and it's either Carnival or Royal Caribbean, with Carnival having more ships. My experience with Carnival was on an older ship that was decorated like the inside of an old casino--very garish and ugly! I never saw my cabin steward and the crew were not friendly. There was very little communication. I swore I'd never do it again. When my daughter asked me to go again, I said yes...knowing that it was going to be sub-par.

BUT WAIT!! The Vista is beautiful--it's only 3 yrs old, so it's decor is still on trend with streamlined furnishings and calming color schemes. It's a large ship with almost 4000 passengers, but I never felt like it. There were plenty of lounge chairs, both in the sun and in the shade. Of course, the main pool area filled up on sea days, but there are 3 decks surrounding the pool, so lots of seating. There is also an aft pool, and of course, the private Havana pool. Those other pools take some of the load off of the main pool. There are tables and umbrellas on the promenade deck. Many people took books out there and spent the afternoon reading and napping. Fantastic!

I can't speak to the entertainment--getting dressed, rushing to, then crowding into a theater is not how I want to spend my vacation. I didn't see any shows, or comedians, or even go to the IMAX. From what I heard, they were all wonderful.

There are many food choices on Vista! I never ate in the main dining room (for the reasons I listed about entertainment above), but I didn't need to. There is the buffet, hamburgers, pizza (even can have it delivered to your cabin!), fish and chips, BBQ, sushi...specialty restaurants. Everything I tried was enjoyable. It's nice to have choices!!

The crew is amazing! Cruise director Matt is a humorous fellow. He kept everyone laughing and having fun. Our cabin steward, Rodrigo, knew our names by the first morning and would greet us every time we saw him...which was often. I never had to ask a thing of him; he was perfect. Any crew member we encountered smiled and greeted us.

The embarkation process was one of the best I've ever had! From the time we arrived at the port terminal to the time we got onboard was only 45 minutes!! The safety drill went quickly too. Excursions? Very orderly. As well as debarkation process.

I was very impressed with my cruise on Carnival Vista. So much so, I am planning another one! I think the people who rate this ship low are people that would complain about any ship. No trip is perfect. We are humans, all. I came back rested and happy with my vacation.
naturallygray’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8277
Cabin was clean, lots of storage space, beds were comfy. Cabin steward, Rodrigo, was very attentive and efficient. Location was good. My only complaint was that it seemed a bit noisy. I think that was mostly due to my neighbors and the kids running up and down the hall. This cabin is located across from a common wall with the IMAX theater and I think at times I was hearing a rumble from the movie. It wasn't enough to make my stay miserable. I've just had much quieter cabins before.
  Carnival Vista Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Air Boat Tour
    The airboat ride was fun. The staff members are a fun bunch. Besides going fast, making sweeping turns and even a 360, they teach you about the animals that live among the mangroves and marshes...manatees, crocs, snakes, birds, etc. I would have liked it to go on longer. I don't think there is a person alive that can ride one of those boats and not smile from ear to ear!
    View All 45 Air Boat Tour Reviews
  • The Belize Zoo
    It is a rescue/rehab zoo with indigenous animals to Belize. So, it isn't a large zoo. It doesn't have the variety of animals that most zoos do. All that, is noted in the description of the excursion, but I think some in our group didn't read that part. It was also very hot and humid. There isn't much room for air to move in the zoo because the habitat enclosures are dense vegetation. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the zoo. You will see jaquars up close--exactly as billed. Beautiful animals! The reason I don't rate this excursion really high is because of the 2 hrs we had on the bus!! Maybe it said the bus ride was an hour either way. If it did, I missed it.
    View All 30 The Belize Zoo Reviews
  • Beach
    Very good price...and for 2 people! Even though there were lots of people, with the clamshell over your loungers, it didn't seem like it. We were in the 2nd row of chairs (because we didn't want to fight to get there first) and it was just fine. We could see the water. No one messed with our things or our tent/loungers/floats when we went to the water. Bring water shoes--the beach 'sand' isn't so bad to walk on, but the bottom of the sea floor is rocky, sharp and then there is sea grasses farther out. The water was surprisingly cold at first, but once you got wet all over, it felt great in the 86 degree air temps we had that day. I think it was a good value and would do it again.
    View All 371 Beach Reviews