Friday, October 21, 2016

Carnival Vista Transatlantic Cruise October 21, 2016

 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
Weather:  Good

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
We had the wonderful breakfast buffet at the H1898 then finished packing and ready to check out at 11:00 am.  We took a taxi to the port (€25) and arrived before noon.  With so many VIP’s and many guests arriving at the same time it was very busy at the terminal.  We made our way to Priority check-in and survived the long lines and were soon on the ship.  We made our way to our cabin and our bags actually beat us there…I guess their line was shorter.  Overall it was very acceptable process.  We went up to the Lido to meet our friends and for some food.  I had a salad.  After lunch we all took our little tour of the ship:  Havana Bar, Havana Deck, Red Frog Pub, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, JiJi's, then the Alchemy Bar where we had to have a cocktail and visit with Ana. After drinks and visiting old friends we continued the tour: viewing the Lobby area from deck 5 above, the Liquid Lounge Theater, then Lido deck where DW had Guy’s fries and I had a Guy’s Burger.  Then it was back to the cabin to unpack and set up the cabin until time for boat muster station is the MDR two decks down so no problems.  I met our cabin Steward Donna and got extra laundry bags so I could sort laundry…I will be taking advantage of that and already have laundry from our previous 10-days in Europe...I’ll need the clothes this cruise.  They had the traditional Welcome Aboard Show although I have not attended in years.  We have YTD (your time dining) this cruise so no rush to have to get to dinner, in fact DW had a room service Toasted Cheese Sandwich with chips and I ate later (about 8:50pm) in the Horizon’s Dining Room (MDR) with friend.  We had a great table at the aft windows and actually had a view of our late sail away from Barcelona.  For dinner I ordered the Sweet & Sour Shrimp (entree as a starter), Heart of Lettuce Salad, the Braised Beef Brisket entree, and Carmelized Phyllo with Carmel Creme for dessert.  By using the excellent Carnival HUB app and checking the online Fun Times we noticed the comedy show coming up so after dinner it was the Punchliner Comedy club located in the Limelight Lounge on deck 4.  I like the location and size and so far the deck plan of the new Vista seems to be well thought out and designed.  The comedian, Phil Walker, was from the UK and IMHO was just OK…I smiled a lot, but never had a LOL moment.  After the late comedy show it was cabin time.  A great day seeing old friends on the Carnival Vista.

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
Looking across Strait of Gibraltar to Africa
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

Angry Weather
Angry seas overnight. Rain, wind, and waves all night.  Also I seem to be coming down with a bug…similar to what DW had last week.  So it was a tough long night as we turned our time back an hour as well…first of six times.  Due to weather the internet will be super slow today too.  We ordered a light room service breakfast at 9:00.  I took a nice long hot shower and some medication, but looks like I have a heavy cold.  We attended the Diamond Guest luncheon in the Reflections Restaurant at noon.  I ordered or shared: Blue Crab Salad with Candied Citrus, Mushroom Cappuccino (soup), Root Vegetables and Crunchy Leaves (salad), the Wagyu Beef Short Ribs entree, and the Raspberry Dark Chocolate Pate for dessert.  It was a great meal and it was nice to visit with Maitre’D Ken Bryne since we are in the ‘other’ restaurant on this cruise.  It was also nice to visit with other Diamond guests.  After lunch my plan was to take the next 24 hours off from any activities…if you have to confine yourself to he cabin...doing it while there are high seas is as good a time as any.  And the seas are really rocking and rolling.  I stayed in bed the rest of the day and night having a room service Grilled Cheese about 9:00 pm.  I suspect I've had the makings of a cold all along and drying off in the cooler air after the hot tub pushed me over edge...feeling better but will continue my 24 hour routine.  It was a rocking and rolling day on the Carnival Vista.

Day Five--Tuesday—October 25—Fun Day at Sea
Still high seas, but clearing skies
Still rough seas overnight and I’m continuing my 24-hour rest regimen.  We set our time back another hour so it will actually be 25 hours.  I had some fruit for breakfast from room service and a little internet time in the morning as the clouds have broken and we have some wifi. At 12:30 we met our friends for lunch, we ate at Cucina del Capitano.  I ordered two different styles of pasta bowls and it was quite good.  After lunch DW and I went to the Havana Bar to see if it was warm enough to get some sea air outside on the Havana Deck…it was not.  We did run into friends who were there for karaoke and we visited with them.  Before long I made my world karaoke debut singing a duet of ‘Jackson’.  Yes…really.  It may be my last time at karaoke too. No alcohol involved either as I’m just off my 24 hour rest time, but I may have had a sugar high from the Cherry Sundae I enjoyed from Cherry-on-Top.  After all that fun it was time to relax until time to go to the Alchemy Bar to meet friends for cocktails.  We visited with friends and enjoyed our drink made with TLC by Ana…bar snacks too.  We went to the Horizon’s Dining Room and was seated straight away.  DW ordered the Blue Cheese and Spinach Souffle, and I ordered two entrees (only): the Stir Fried Beef and Broccoli and the Stuffed Chicken Breast.  The stir fried beef was very good in the Teriyaki Sauce.  I had a Key Lime Pie for dessert.  The production show scheduled for tonight was delayed to another night due to the high seas.  CD Matt did his Love and Marriage show.  Since I’m still taking it easy and the fact we have an early excursion tomorrow, I retired to the cabin.  It was another rocking day at sea.

Day Six—Wednesday--October 26--Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands
City Gates - Church Bell Tower - Black&White Portuguese Tile
Smoother seas overnight.  We were docked early in Ponta Delgada even before our 7:00 am room service ‘wake up call’ breakfast delivery.  Getting around early as we have a group tour of the island today.  We had a very nice mini-bus just for our group of eight friends and we were off at 8:30 to tour this beautiful island.  Unfortunately the weather was cool and cloudy but our guide Sara was enthusiastic.  She gave us a history of the Azores and Portugal as we dove by hundreds of small dairy farms on the way up to the Caldeira das Sete Cidades, the most popular site on the island.  As we got higher on the mountain the winds began to really blow.  We reached the Kings Overlook for a wonderful view.  Since it was overcast you couldn’t really see the contrast between the blue and green sides (a little bit on contrast in photos) of the two lagoons.  DW and I had visited here previously so we know how much better it would have looked in nice weather.  Still beautiful.  Down in the village we stopped at the local village church and a small store where we got the wonderful Portuguese egg custard pastries, Pastel de Nata, we have enjoyed in Lisbon and the Azores.  After our visit here we went to Ponta da Ferraria a beautiful observation point overlooking the Atlantic ocean.  There were many volcanic rock outcroppings, caves, and a spa further down the beach.  A new island location for us.  We began our return to Ponta Delgada and our last stop at a Pineapple farm.  They raised the famous Azores small pineapples in greenhouses and had a gift shop.  I did sample some ice creme with the pineapple topping.  We were dropped back at the ship at 12:30, it was a nice tour made better by a small group of good friends.  I went back to the cabin for a windbreaker as the weather was warmer, but an occasional very light shower.  DW and I went back into town and to the old city center viewing the old City Ceremonial Gates: Portas da Cidade, the Old Church: Igreja Matriz De São Sebastião, the Cobblestone streets with shoppes, cafes, and more.  We bought some linens and souvenirs in the smaller shoppes.  We had a great meal here on our past visit and I hoped to do so again.  We stopped at the Restaurante Mercado do Peixe known for local foods.  We ordered Olives, Butter, Bread, the local Cheese, a Sao Miguel Sirloin Steak with Garlic & Red Pepper, a unique Rice dish (larger grains fried with vegetables), and Chips (Fries).  I had hoped to order a pineapple for dessert as on last visit, but the meal was so filling I had to pass on dessert.  We made our way back to the ship for the 4:00 pm sail away and some rest. We met our group at the Alchemy at 6:30 pm and had a great little party visiting with new and old friends.  We went to Lido aft pool area about 9:00ish for late Pizza and/or Seafood and finished the night in the Havana Bar attempting to dance Salsa.  It was a Fantastic Day in the Azores and on the Carnival Vista.

Day Seven—Thursday--October 27—at Sea
Amor Cubano Show
Smoother seas overnight and I slept very well...past 9:00am in fact.  About 10:00 I went up to Lido deck for Eggs, Bacon, Toast, Sliced Potatoes, with Ham and ate on the outer deck as the weather is improving.  In fact we sat out on the Havana pool area and enjoyed the weather the rest of the morning.  For lunch I had a Cuban sandwich since it was convenient and DW brought down a salad from Lido so we could eat out on deck.  I went to trivia and we toured the forward and upper decks this afternoon.  Today’s the first day everything has been open since we now have nice weather…I think we will do the bicycles.  We went early enough to the Playlist Production Show: Amor Cubano to get good seats on 4th row near center.  I think the Playlist people have a huge winner with this show, they are using live music with the technical panel graphics they are so known for in their shows.  The live music adds so much especially to a show such as this.  The Latin group Imperio from the Havana Bar and the three piece horn section as well as the Production singers and dancers combined for a GREAT Show.  Probably the best show I have ever seen on Carnival.  We went to dinner in the Horizon after the show and had no problem being seated strait away in the area we requested.  I ordered the Tex-Mex Penne Pasta, Borsht, the Mojito Chicken entree, and Pineapple upside down Cake for dessert.  The afterparty for the Amor Cubano late show was in the Havana Bar this evening, but we retired after dinner.  It was an relaxing day with a great show on the Vista today.

Day Eight—Friday--October 28—at Sea
Ken Brynes the singing Maitre'D
Smooth seas overnight compared to what we have had this cruise.  We turned our time back an hour and room service came at 9:00 am.  I also stepped out to the Ocean Plaza just outside our passageway for bacon and ham from the small breakfast area they have at the Taste Bar. We had a relaxing morning on this cloudy day.  Some braved the pool in Havana area, but most would not do the hot tubs…at least in the morning.  We had different ideas for lunch so we did both.  We went up to JiJi’s for the new style Mongolian Grill where you sit and order your stir fry (similar as to what is done with the Cucina de Capitano) and once cooked they bring it to your table.  Mine was very good.  Then we went down to the Blue Iguana  and DW had a vegetarian salad bowl.  We were both pleased.  We had a lazy afternoon and just relaxed most of the day.  We did go to the Alchemy for aperitifs and visit with friends. We were invited to eat with Senior Cruise Director and Brand Ambassador Mr. John Heald this evening at his table in the Reflections dining room late seating.  He was a very congenial host and it was a very pleasant experience. Before ordering the waiters brought a selection of Indian Foods to start with steamed white rice and fried rice.  It was nice, for dinner I ordered a Green Salad and the Turkey Dinner entree.  DW ordered a selection of vegetables.  It was a good meal and a change from YTD for us on this cruise.  On the 2013 Carnival Sunshine transatlantic cruise I attended long time Carnival Maitre’D Ken Brynes’ first ever official Carnival show in the theater.  Tonight at 10:15 he again had his wonderful show performing to a packed house with people in the aisles and staircases of the Limelight Lounge.  It was a great show of a dozen+ tunes and received deserved standing ovations.  This man is a huge asset to Carnival.  Very late we listened to the large combined Latin band in the Havana Bar…amazing talent.  It was a special Sea Day on the Carnival Vista.

Day Nine—Saturday--October 29—at Sea
Salad Bar on Serenity Deck
I felt some rolling seas overnight and we again turned our time back one hour.  No room service this morning, I got some Guava Empanadas from Havana and some other breakfast items from the Ocean Plaza for the cabin.  It was a cloudy wet day today early but improved throughout the day to become a very nice sunny day.  For lunch I went up to Deck 15 Serenity Deck where they have a nice salad station…they have a very nice selection of salad items, but IMHO not worth the wait to have one made when they have a nice salad station in the Lido.  The adult only Serenity area looked very nice with hot tubs, a Bar, and a lot of covered loungers.  No real seating so I took my salad to the Lido Marketplace. DW had the Blue Iguana vegetarian bowl and we visited with friends after lunch.  In the afternoon I made my 2nd attempt at karaoke in the Red Frog Pub…I didn’t think I did as well as the first time…too much time to think about it I guess.  Maybe one more attempt.  But mucho gracias to my coach (remember..I never mention Guest names) a well known cruiser and good karaoke singer.  Later friends met at the Alchemy Bar and Melody from Entertainment joined us for a cocktail.  We went early for aperitifs with intentions to eat early and then attend Flick the excellent production show in the theater, so we went to dinner about 7:00 in Horizons a bit earlier than normal for us, we did have a short wait since there were more eating tonight as it was the second Elegant Night…with tablecloths.  I ordered the Stuffed Mushroom, the Grilled Jumbo Shrimp entree (as starter), the Duo of Filet Mignon and Short-rib entree, and the Key Lime Mousse for dessert.  I requested to be excused from the show as I hate battling the crowd for the limited seats and I saw the show twice recently.  I retired to the cabin and was able to follow the NCAA afternoon (in USA) prime time football over the internet including the OU/KU game.  A relaxing way to end a nice sea day.

Day Ten—Sunday--October 30—at Sea
Halloween Fun
Just enough seas to to know your on a cruise.  We turned back time again and are on Bermuda time now.  Weather is great today, best of cruise so we were up early and were out on Havana deck by 9:00 am this morning.  We carried our room service breakfast out and added the Havana guava empanadas.  We spent the day out there enjoying the view and sea air.  I even had a nice BBQ lunch from Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse located just around the corner from the Havana area.  DW did some power walking around the ship today and I was doing my job: being lazy.  Since we overnight tomorrow in Bermuda, the ship is celebrating Halloween today,  Decorations going up and pumpkin/halloween displays on pool deck and in the Lido Marketplace.  DW and the Friends doing Día de Muertos outfits so an afternoon of makeup for them.  I’m just wearing my Día de Muertos shirt that I wear every cruise on Cozumel day and done with it.  No dinner tonight for them so I had both a plain Guy’s Burger & half a Pepperoni Pizza.  My first pizza and it was very good.  We went to the Alchemy Bar and sat on the outer tables, a perfect spot to see Halloween costumes and goblins as the come and go along the Promenade deck.  It was fun taking photos and helping with photos of DW and Friends as they looked very good…especially when you can enjoy a cocktail as well.  They went to the costume dance party in Ocean Plaza while I enjoyed a beer in the Red Frog Pub.  It was a very special Halloweeny Day on the Vista.

Day Eleven—Monday--October 31—Bermuda
Founding of Hamilton Mosaic
Smooth seas again and I had a nice sleep.  We were docked at King's Wharf by 8:30 am although debark wasn’t for another hour.  My first visit here and first impression is the water here is a beautiful blue.  I went to the Horizon MDR for a proper breakfast, my first for the cruise, something unusual for me.  I had my Melon, 3-egg, bacon, ham breakfast…very good.  We were in no rush to debark and got off the ship about 11:00 am. The upside of the Royal Dockyards is that there are nice shoppes, restaurants, museum, and more built in the old buildings of the former Royal Navy dockyards and facilities.  Most are historical and walking distance from the ship.  The downside is that you are on an isolated area on the island of Bermuda.  There is Taxi service, Buses, and an hourly Ferry that will take you to two locations on the island.  Guests went to beaches, site seeing, to the caves, and more.  We took the 25-minute ferry to Hamilton ($4.50 per token), the largest city and regional center.  From Hamilton you can go anywhere but chose to explore the city.  We walked Front Street looking at shops and department stores then Church street and the business/financial area.  Yes many men dressed in traditional Bermuda Shorts with hose.  A very different look and a very neat and classy look.  We visited or saw: the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity (Church of England), Sessions House, Perot Post Office, Queen Elizabeth Park, AS Cooper Dept. Store, and more.  We took the 3:00 ferry back to the Dockyards and looked around that area.  We found and really liked a Restaurant / Pub built in the old fort cooperage: The Frog & Onion.  They incorporated the large stone features of the fort including huge fireplaces (where they worked on barrels), huge light fixtures, flooring, and more.  The pub area was nice as well with entertainment and nice bartenders.  We returned to the ship and I had Pizza and we enjoyed the outer deck and sundown.  I later had Fish & Chips ($6) from the Seafood Shack and DW a salad from the Marketplace.  After a lot of walking today I retired early.  It was a beautiful day in Bermuda.

Day Twelve—Tuesday--November 1—Bermuda
Lobster Rolls from Seafood Shack
The weather in Bermuda is amazing…much less humidity than in the Caribbean.  We slept in as no plans to get off the ship before we sail at noon.  I got a light breakfast at the Ocean Plaza and of course the empanadas from Havana.  We spent the morning on the outer deck in Havana area…when the engines fired up I could sense excitement…I think everyone was ready for the final stretch home to begin.  We sailed away at exactly noon and heading WNW towards New York.  DW loves the new taco bowls at the Blue Iguana as she can control what goes into them so that’s where we headed for lunch today.  I got a green salad from the Lido and a grilled chicken that I sliced as a salad topper.  Good lunch.  We now have network television so I watched a bit in the afternoon.  The ship had to have three separate Diamond/Platinum parties to accommodate all those on board.  We went to the final one and it was packed in the theater, but went better than I expected…I had several Tito Lemonades and was able to even order some Mudslides for the girls.  After the party we went to the Alchemy for a cocktail, then up to the  Seafood Shack for dinner.  I ordered the Lobster Rolls: one mayo and one butter.  DW had pizza, the friends a Lobster BLT and Fish & Chips.  All good.  They delivered the U.S. Customs forms tonight so we need to begin thinking about getting back to reality soon.  The feature show was a comedian juggler and friends (other) went to the late comedy shows that through reports have been smilers not gut busters this cruise.  It was a relaxing beautiful Bermuda sail away / Sea day on the Vista.

Day Thirteen—Wednesday--November 2—Fun Day at Sea
A little rolling seas over night. We turned our clocks back an hour for the last time…we are now on Eastern Standard Time for arrival in NYC tomorrow.  I was up in time to go down to the MDR for a nice breakfast this morning, my farmers breakfast, was good.  DW began her packing and we went out to the Havana deck for the last time this cruise to enjoy the cooler but very nice weather.  DW went to Blue Iguana for a Taco Bowl and Taco and brought them to our lounging area on Havana to eat, I waited until closer to 2:00 then went to JiJi’s for a Mongolian Grill.  It was good, but I like the old system much better.  I wonder if they are serving more or fewer guests with this system?  Cabin time after lunch to work on review, fill out U.S. Customs forms, and nap.  We met the Friends at the Alchemy Bar for cocktails…surprisingly not busy…I think everyone is drinking the wine and liquor they brought on board on this final night.  We had a very nice dinner with our extended group of friends in the Reflections dining room at 8:15.  It was good to see everyone for a farewell.  I ordered the French Onion Soup, a Green Salad, and the Encrusted Chicken entree.  For dessert I ordered the Carrot Cake and he unique Key Lime Cheese Cake Stuffed Apple.  The waiters did their final show and the wonderful Ken Byrnes very appropriately sang New York, New York.  Super Supper.  Once in the cabin after dinner I saw the final exciting innings of the World Series on TV…Cubs win.  It was great final day and dinner on the Carnival Vista.

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
Seafood Shack

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
Alchemy Bar
Gibralter Day
Ponta Delgado Day
Carnival Crew

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!!

1 comment:

Seany527 said...

Love this! I will be on the Vista Nov 5, staying in the Havana area. How is the foot traffic by non guests? What time does it open up to all? I am reading many different times.