Carnival Vista Review Transatlantic October 21, 2016
Just The Facts:
Ship: Carnival Vista
Captain: Luigi DeAngelis
Cruise Director: Matt Mitcham
Ports: Barcelona, Gibraltar, Ponta Delgada, Bermuda, New York
This is my 63rd Carnival cruise, 5th Transatlantic, and 120th cruise overall. I am cruising with my dear wife (DW) and one other couple who are regular cruise friends (Friends), but I know many other regular cruise friends on this sailing especially the usual transatlantic suspects.
Day One—Friday--Oct 21—Barcelona—Embarkation
|First at Alchemy Bar|
Day Two--Saturday--Oct 22—Fun Day at Sea
|Pig & Anchor Menu|
Smooth seas overnight. I woke early did some internet time, but didn’t get around until after room service delivered breakfast goodies. I went out to the private Havana area as I was curious as to how busy it would be mid morning and to get DW a diet coke. It was not very busy…I think I’ll like the area during the day. I returned to get myself a coke and was joined by DW when Donna came to clean the cabin. For lunch we went to the NEW Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse. I believe this is only the 2nd day it has opened since previous cruise was port intensive and due to poor weather. So new that the employees don't have custom uniforms as yet. DW got the Mac&Cheese (cold) and Potato Salad, I got Roll, Beans, Pulled Pork, and Beef. They serve you so the lines go fast, but not a lot of quantity. It was very good other than cold M&C. I will return. Since we ate in the Havana area I got a really good Cuban Sandwich and a small Flan. That filled me. After lunch we went on a walkabout and to get a T-Shirt since all of mine were sent to the laundry…very few choices on T’s if any but we had a nice surprise when we returned to the cabin: three bags of clean laundry. We have learned what to send and not send to Carnival wash & fold and it looked good except for the best dark shirt that had numerous large stains on it. DW decides to give it a good shower rinse and that took care of stains…probably only soap…Woo Hoo thank you Carnival laundry folks. They had a medical evacuation by helicopter this afternoon for a very ill guest, only took about 30 minutes...seemed to have gone well. About 4:30 I headed to the Alchemy Bar, it’s so busy that opening is only guaranteed time to get bar side seat. My Quick Fix was excellent as usual. Thanks Ana. I had a request to join a Trivia Team in the Red Frog Pub @ 5:15 pm so I went for the Trivia by Melody. Our team tied for winners so we had a chug-off and I rep’d our team…we won of course. We got a tube of Thirsty Frog ale for winning…Woo Hoo! It was fun. Back to the cabin then dinner in the Horizon’s Dining Room @ 8:00 pm. DW had already ordered a Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich from room service but joined us for dinner. I ordered: two Shrimp Cocktails, Gazpacho, and the Veal Parmesan entree. It was good. Afterwards Friends went to comedy club and we walked into the Havana Bar, but no entertainment in there tonight. The feature show was the Playlist production: Studio VIP, but having seen it we passed on that show this evening. It was a fun sea day on the Carnival Vista.
Day Three--Sunday—October 23--Gibraltar
Smooth seas overnight and we were docked by 9:00 am as scheduled. This is my first visit to Gibraltar and new ports are always welcome. I went to the Havana Bar and got some Guava Empanadas about 7:30 am so we could have them later for breakfast. At 10:00 am we went down to deck 0 debarked the ship and took a local shuttle (€3 or £2) into the town center of this British Overseas Territory. From here we hired the official Gibraltar Taxi Association tour of ‘The Rock’, the advantage being these are smaller vehicles and they get you directly to the sites entrances whereas minibuses can not due to winding roads and parking. We were very fortunate with weather, forecast was for rain and we had mostly sunshine with clouds on the tour. We began our trip up with the first stop at the Pillars of Hercules with the wonderful view to Africa and the Strait of Gibraltar. Second stop is the Caves of St. Michael’s, a beautiful natural pre-historic cavern formed over thousands of years, and host to thousands of visitors every year. Third stop is the Top of the Rock with breathtaking views of the Bay of Gibraltar and the peak of the Rock. This is the location of the majority of the famous apes and when the tour mentions interaction with apes…yes it’s true…lots of interaction. The apes are cute, amusing, but still a bit dangerous. It is amazing experience to have IMHO the best view (the old Prudential Ins. view) and the apes at same location. The final stop is the Great Siege Tunnels that will take you back to the late 1700’s. These tunnels were built by hand, crowbar and pick in only one year by the forefathers of the Royal Engineers. There are excellent exhibits inside the tunnels. It was a great tour and we enjoyed it very much. Once we were dropped back in town we walked up & down the main street and had lunch at The Star Bar, Gibraltars oldest bar. It was actually a very nice restaurant featuring Fish & Chips as their signature item. We took shuttle back to ship about 4:00. After the days walking, most it in town, I hit the hot tubs in the Havana area and enjoyed a coke to relax my aging knees. Just before their 6:00pm closing I hit Guy’s Burgers for cheeseburger. Nice. The Captain and Cruise Director made a ship-wide announcement that we will be experiencing weather once we sail into the Atlantic and set course for the Azores beginning tonight. They will be closing the pools, securing outside furniture, closing cove balcony doors, and more to prepare. Sail away was lovely and we sailed through the Straits we have seen all day and into the Atlantic. We met our friends in the Havana Bar for a mojito, we stayed and listened to the Latin music while they went to dinner. The music was very good. By the time we retired the oceans waves and high seas was beginning to do its thing. It was a fantastic day in Gibraltar…a lot of FUN.
Day Four—Monday—October 24—Fun Day at Sea
Day Three--Sunday—October 23--Gibraltar
|Looking across Strait of Gibraltar to Africa|
Day Four—Monday—October 24—Fun Day at Sea
Day Five--Tuesday—October 25—Fun Day at Sea
|Still high seas, but clearing skies|
Day Six—Wednesday--October 26--Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands
|City Gates - Church Bell Tower - Black&White Portuguese Tile|
Day Seven—Thursday--October 27—at Sea
|Amor Cubano Show|
Day Eight—Friday--October 28—at Sea
|Ken Brynes the singing Maitre'D|
Day Nine—Saturday--October 29—at Sea
|Salad Bar on Serenity Deck|
Day Ten—Sunday--October 30—at Sea
Day Eleven—Monday--October 31—Bermuda
|Founding of Hamilton Mosaic|
Day Twelve—Tuesday--November 1—Bermuda
|Lobster Rolls from Seafood Shack|
Day Thirteen—Wednesday--November 2—Fun Day at Sea
Debarkation—Thursday-November 3—New York City
We were docked by 5:00 am in Manhattan. I wasn't up early enough to closely see the Statue of Liberty when we came into port as it was about 4:00 am when we passed. I was up and around by 6:00 am since I needed to pack. I did go have a breakfast on Lido. This would have been the cruise to use self assist…very few using it, we were among the last leaving at 8:00 am and we breezed off the ship and through customs. We took a private car service to the hotel (twice the taxi cost), but it was a quick door to door service and we were checking our bags by 8:30 am with the hotel. We refreshed at the hotel then we were off for the 10:00 am opening of the Met. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is unbelievable, I’ve never visited anything more spectacular culturally. We stayed for four+ hours visiting most of the exhibits and galleries. We returned to the hotel, The Warwick about 3:00 and checked into our room to relax before our Broadway show tonight.
The newest and largest ship in the Carnival fleet. Of course all the 2.0 features plus new additions such as a Red Frog Brewery, Seafood Shack, Skyride, and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse.
Tonnage: 133,500 GT Length: 1,062 ft (324 m) Decks: 15
Speed: 23 knots (26 mph) Capacity: 3,936 passengers (double occupancy) Crew: 1,450
We had cabin 5225 one of the new Havana classification cabins located aft on deck five. Basically a standard Carnival interior cabin with two closets, safe, drawers, shelves, mini-refrigerator, new style night tables, queen/twin bed, and a very large flat screen TV. It does have some upgraded Havana amenities such as towels, robes, and toiletries. This is the only the second Carnival ship with cabins located on the promenade deck. Good location as deck 5 traffic goes from forward to aft and it’s next to Ocean Plaza and of course the Havana Bar. Also access to the private Havana deck, pool, and hot tubs.
The crew were great. Carnival does a great job in training, it is noticeable, and the primary reason along with value to cruise on Carnival. Alchemy team were great as well as all servers I encountered, Cruise Director Matt and Entertainment team are very good, all MDR waiters very efficient, just an excellent crew throughout the ship. Ms. Donna was as nice a cabin steward we have ever had on a cruise.
Lots of good food options on the Carnival Vista: Horizon’s and Reflections Dining rooms (B-L-D), the Lido Marketplace (B-L-D), Guy’s Burgers (L-extended), Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse (L), Blue Iguana (B&L), Ocean Plaza Taste Bar (B&L), Havana Bar (B&L), Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse (D), JiJi’s Asian Kitchen (L&D), Bonsai Sushi (L&D), Cucina del Capitano (L&D). Seafood Shack (L&D), Pizzeria del Capitano (24/7), and a very good Room Service menu. B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner. Some have extra charges for dinner.
Things I like about the new Carnival Vista:
Havana Bar & Havana Experience
The NEW Amor Cubano Production Show
Location of the Alchemy Bar
Casino off of Promenade and containment of smoke between decks
Things I Do NOT like about the new Carnival Vista:
Very Plain…No Wow…looks like a Medical Center Lobby
Decor is blah (except for Havana)
Formica everywhere…very little wood, no marble, no granite
American menu without tablecloths
Liquid Lounge…very poor design, not near enough seats
My Cruise Highlights
Traveling with friends and seeing previous cruise friends
Amor Cubano Production Show
Ponta Delgado Day
Thank you for reading. As an older/experienced cruiser my activities will be much different from a newer cruiser as I will be doing fewer things on board simply because of the 'been there done that' factor and frankly I don't have the energy as I once did...Priorities do change over time. I do love to cruise!!