Saturday, April 23, 2022

Carnival Vista Cruise Review - April 23, 2022


                                                               Carnival Vista Cruise Review

Just the Facts:
Ship:  Carnival Vista, first of Vista Class ships - 133,500 gross tons - 3900 passenger capacity
Sailing:  April 23rd to April 30th, 2022
Captain: Rosario Arena - Cruise Director: Kyndall Fire
Ports: Galveston - Mahogany Bay, Roatan Island, Honduras - Belize, Central America  -  Cozumel, Mexico - Galveston

This is my 5th time to cruise on the Carnival Vista, my 98th Carnival cruise, and my 179th cruise overall.  I am sailing as a solo guest.

Day One -- Saturday --  April 23rd, 2022 -- Port of Galveston  Embarkation 
The day began at Twisted Oak Ranch. I was up early but have a later boarding time so left the Ranch at about 6:45 am for the drive to Galveston. I have to say I am spoiled by driving and sailing from Florida. Not only is Galveston a long drive, but It was also especially difficult today with traffic backed up due to an equipment convoy and I-45 completely shutdown around Dickinson, TX. I didn’t arrive at EZ Cruise Parking until noon. It was busy at EZ with two ships and late arrivals so I walked to the cruise terminal…it is very easy to do. It went fairly well at the terminal check-in, the VeriFly app helped and I was dropping off my roll-on duffle at the cabin at about 12:45 PM. The cabin was not ready so I went up to JiJi’s for two bowls of wonderful Mongolian stir-fry with both Chicken & Beef with my favorite Vegetables. It was really good as were the Won-Tons and Asian Spring Salad.  All the cabins opened to guests at 1:30 pm so I returned and set up my cabin for the week. I then went to my Muster Station, located in the Casino for a very easy safety briefing although one crew member from the Casino Dept. was the rudest crew member I have ever encountered, she needs some help with guests relations. I went by the Red Frog Pub, but no embarkation Happy Hour…disappointing. I did go to the Lido Marketplace for a piece of Peanut Butter S’mores Cake, it was interestingly good. Sail away was delayed, I suspect it was because so many guests had trouble getting on the island due to the I-45 road closures. Since Muster Drill announcements had ceased by 4:30 pm it was a good time for a nap as I have no plans this evening other than a visit to the Alchemy Bar. My interior cabin on deck 11 is great for napping…so good that I didn’t wake until 1:15 am. Well, I needed the rest and amazingly I fell back asleep until 7:15 am. I had 14+ hours of peaceful rest. I had just a few days earlier driven 18 hours from Florida to Texas and also jumped into some projects on the Ranch so this cruise will be R&R for me. It was an interesting then restful embarkation day.
Day Two -- Sunday --  April 24th, 2022 -- Fun Day at Sea 
Rolling seas overnight contributed to my restful sleep. I was ready to eat when I woke so went to the Sea Day Brunch at about 8:30 am. I ordered Steak & Eggs, French Toast, Danish, Hash Browns, Bacon, Hot Milk, and a Bloody Mary. It was very good. I did a walkabout the ship picking up my Diamond gifts at Pixels then to the Casino to get my $25 free play. This is a special Casino cruise so it was already busy, I placed my bet on Red at Roulette and got Black...oh well it was free play. On the elevator, a Diamond mentioned something to me about the Diamond Luncheon and I assumed he meant tomorrow as we have two sea days before our first port. I did call Guest Services and made a query, she put me on hold and then said the Diamond Luncheon started 15 minutes ago. I asked why I didn't get my invitation and she said I had a do not disturb sign on my cabin. Well, I was asleep, but I did not put out any signs...and the Vista has mailboxes outside the cabin doors. It could have been placed in the mailbox, under the door, or delivered today. I'm not pleased...unlike the Casino guests who have several perks (and back-doored into Diamond), I'm a full fare paying loyal guest who has missed out on my primary perk. Not sure why I didn't get it but I will be asking for an explanation. I spent some time on deck 10 aft and had my dinner from the Lido Marketplace out there as well. I really enjoy watching the sunset from a cruise ship. Perhaps my favorite thing about sailing. I did something I rarely do, I watched a movie at the Seaside Theater. I’m on deck 11 so it’s convenient to watch from there. Tonight it was American Hero, a movie about Kurt Warner the football player. I retired to the cabin to update this blog and read about the Oklahoma Sooners Spring football scrimmage, impressed with the 76,360 attendance, I think there is something special with this team. It was a good first sea day on the Carnival Vista.
Day Three -- Monday --  April 25th, 2022 -- Fun Day at Sea
Rolling seas overnight as we enter the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful weather so guests are staking out their locations on the outer decks. About 10:00 am I went down to the Blue Iguana for breakfast. I had Arepas, Huevos Rancheros with two fried eggs, Watermelon, and various salsas. It was good and it was busy, with more guests eating at Blue Iguana on Texas-based cruises than on Florida-based cruises. I did visit Guest Services about my Diamond invitation snafu. I just don’t want it happening to my clients or other Diamond guests…if you don’t make contact at least leave the invitation in the mailbox, don’t take it back to Housekeeping or Guest Services. I relaxed on deck or in the cabin most of the day. I did have a Guy’s Burger and fries at about 2:00 pm and enjoyed the sea air on the Lido deck. I made my first trip to the Alchemy Bar this evening, I knew the two Alchemists Caterina and Dajana from previous Vista and Mardi Gras cruises. I enjoyed two cocktails and visited with guests until time for dinner. Tonight I’m eating in Cucina de Capitano on deck 11. I ordered my favorite Cucina items: Arancini, Nona’s Meatballs, a Salad, the wonderful Grande Braciola Di Maiale (Tomahawk Pork Chop) entree, with spaghetti and Gnocchi sides. It was excellent and the Chop was Grande. After dinner, I walked outside on deck 11 and retired to the cabin. I did watch a TCM movie before sleeping. It was another very restful day on the Carnival Vista.
Day Four -- Tuesday --  April 26th, 2022 -- Roatan Island Honduras - Mahogany Bay
Smooth seas overnight and I slept very well. This interior cruise cabin is great for sleeping…it stays very cool throughout the night…in fact cold, no fans are needed here. I slept late so wanted a light breakfast, I had Bacon and assorted fruit in the Lido. I stayed on the outer deck until the Mongolian Grill opened at noon. I had an excellent Mongolian Stir-fry lunch. Healthier too. I spent the afternoon on deck 15 at the Serenity Deck. It’s a large space forward that has a lot of clam-shell Loungers, two Hot tubs, a Bar, and more, only the Mardi Gras has a larger Serenity. We sail away at 6:00 but no need to rush back aboard as Guy’s Burgers is open until 10:00 pm. I like that option. I went to the Alchemy Bar for Cocktails and Dajana prepared another nice absinthe cocktail, A young man sat next to me and asked for a cocktail from a menu he had, it turned out to be an absinthe drink, Phoenix Down. Others began ordering it and also Quick Fixes from the menu...very unusual, but quite interesting. I had a very late dinner in the MDR, the Your Time is open until 9:30 pm and I was there about 8:45, not busy at all. I'm no longer keen on the MDR, but it was what I call Linguine night and it is a menu I like. I ordered the Iceberg lettuce Salad, the Baked Meatballs and Linguine combined, and the Tenderloin entree with Bitter & Blanc for dessert. It was very good tonight, especially the Tenderloin and dessert. I retire soon afterward. It was an enjoyable evening on the Carnival Vista.
Day Five -- Wednesday -- April 27th, 2022 -- Belize, CA 
Smooth seas overnight and I slept very well. It’s an overcast morning in Belize, but guests are going ashore on the water taxi. I went to breakfast at Blue Iguana and had my usual Huevos, Eggs, Arepas, & Watermelon, yes a line again this morning, a popular choice. I stayed out on deck the rest of the morning, my plan was to go ashore and have lunch on Bird Island as I did on my previous visit, but it began raining so not doing it. I ended up having a nice BLT sandwich and french fries from the Deli in the Marketplace. I alternated between outside on deck 11 and cabin time during the afternoon rains. I went to the Alchemy Bar at about 6:45 pm and then to watch the Jazz Set by the 
Vista Rock Band in the Ocean Plaza at 7:15…they were good. I then had dinner again in the Horizons Main Dining Room. Tonight I ordered the Spaghetti Carbonara, two Shrimp Cocktails, Four Season Salad, Filet Mignon entree, and Key Lime Mousse for dessert. It was very good with very good service, the same team I had the previous night. I then had time for the late feature production show: Amore Cubano in the Limelight Lounge (see photo). I had a great seat and enjoyed the colorful Latin show. A short walkabout the ship before retiring. It was a restful rainy day on the Carnival Vista.
Day Six -- Thursday --  April 28th, 2022 -- Cozumel Island, Mexico
Smooth seas overnight and I slept very well. The Vista arrived earlier than our 8:00 am schedule and were disembarking by 8:05 am. I went to the Marketplace for breakfast but took it to Blue Iguana to get proper salsa. I did book an all-inclusive day at Del Mar Latino so left the ship just before 9:00 am and walked the 15+ minutes to the resort. It was a really fantastic day. I arrive about 9:20 and found a nice lounger near the pool and bar. They had plenty of staff to take orders…I started with diet Coke, but soon changed to mojitos. The Pool was nice as was the steps into the Caribbean Sea. I had some Guacamole, Chips, Pico de gallo, and Cheese Quesodillos. I changed to a table mid-day as the sun changed. Very good WiFi so I was able to do some work. I did try their signature item: Coconut Shrimp, it was very good. I also had the Coconut ice-creme as a final dish. All the food is in small quantities, but I guess you can order more…the drinks were in 12 oz cups so adequate…the service was great. I did the walk back to Puerto Maya and I could see that the lines were very long as with a 3:30 pm back on board time, everyone came late. I waited at 3-Amigos timing my arrival back so no lines…so close to 4:00 pm. After an evening snack I decided to have Cabin / Movie time the rest of the evening. It was a FUN day in Cozumel.
Day Seven -- Friday --  April 29th, 2022 -- Fun Day at Sea 
Smooth sailing again overnight and I slept well. I had breakfast at the Blue Iguana: Huevos with fresh fried eggs, Arepas, Salsa, & Watermelon. I spent the morning on deck 11 with a nice view of the Gulf. Very nice weather today too. I went for lunch at Cucina de Capitano: Bread, Cesar Salad, Linguini Bowl with Meat Sauce, and a Penne Pasta Bowl with Tomato Sauce. It was all great. I enjoyed it very much. I then did an afternoon walkabout on the outer decks, the weather is perfect so a lot of guests were in the pools and hot tubs, but did not seem overly crowded. I went up to the Serenity Deck, it’s large enough, but no pool. The Bar is nice, larger than on the Mardi Gras. Only one elevator to deck 15 forward so a bit hard to get to that deck. Cabin time the rest of the day. At about 3:30 pm the Captain announced that due to mechanical issues we are sailing at a reduced speed and will not arrive in Galveston until 11:00 am tomorrow…it happens on occasion. I went to the Platinum/Diamond party at 5:00 pm. It was the old-style party with plenty of bar servers and the Beer/Tito’s station. I sat as close as I could get to the Titos and Lemonade. Kyndall, the CD, did a great job of keeping things rolling and there was entertainment. I wish they would announce the top 5 cruisers as some CDs do, I wasn’t high but curious as to where I stood among the 160 total Diamonds. I did a walkabout the ship, stopped by Alchemy, it was busy, then went to the Marketplace for dinner. I had a Salad and a bowl of Breaded Shrimp, it was nice. I retired early even though we can sleep late tomorrow. It was a nice final day on the Carnival Vista.

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