February 2018 – Carnival Vista
February 10, 2018
In February 2018, I did my first cruise ever on the Carnival Vista. This was a 6 day cruise that started in Miami. The night before the cruise we stayed at the Courtyard Miami Downtown/Brickell Area. The morning of Embark (Sunday) we ubered over from the hotel to the port.
You don’t realize how big these ships are until you are standing right next to them. The Vista was massive in comparison to any boat I have ever been on before. Boarding was relatively easy. When you arrive at the port, there are baggage handlers (porters) to unload your bags from the car and take care of getting them on the ship. About 30 days out from your cruise you will get an email from Carnival with your “Cruise Documents”. This includes paper luggage tags. These tags are required as they state your cabin number and location on ship. I would highly recommend getting tag holders from amazon like these. They slip right in and attach with a small metal cable. Also, The porters work on tips, so be prepared to tip about $5.00 a bag. They will take your bags from you and put them on a cart and you won’t see them again until that evening on the ship. A tip I would suggest is pack your swim suit, medications, and a spare change of cloths in a cary on bag.
When you get on the ship, the cabins are usually not ready until 1:00 PM or so. This is so the cabin crew can finish getting them ready from the last cruise.
Monday – Sea Day
Monday was a “At Sea” Day. There are no ports of call or stops. The ship just keeps on sailing. Our room on this cruise was a Balcony room on Deck 6 in the front of the ship. Everyone has their own preference on where their cabin is on the ship, some people like the back while others like the front. I opted for the front of the ship to be further away from the engine noise. The cabin we were in had two single beds that were pushed together to make a double. (this is standard across all cruise lines) and had a couch with a pull out sofa sleeper. In total our room could hold 4 adults. Since this was my first cruise, I completely forgot to get any photos of the cabin itself. I am sure you can google what they look like.
The Sea Day we explored the ship. Checked out the water park and pools, the food and the activities on bored. There was an art auction as well. Overall it was a good day to get adjusted and explore the ship. The Vista has several pools, a mini golf corse, a ropes corse, and a sky bike track.
Tuesday – Port Of Call, Cozumel, Mexico
Since the ship sails all night long, you basically wake up already in the port of call. Our first port was Cozumel. This port was one of my favorites because the beaches were not crowded, and no one bothered or hassled you to buy things. It was a very relaxing time. We did not book the beach visit with the boat, instead when we got off the boat there are booths you can visit so we picked a booth and talked with them. they offered us round trip transportation, beach access, and chairs for a flat fee per person. This made the most sense for us and saved us money instead of booking via the excursion counter.
The Beach was very clean and the water was very blue.
They offer beach side service to bring you drinks and food. The beach was called Beach club “Buccanos” Bar & Grill. We enjoyed our time relaxing here. Most of the beaches at all of the ports of call offer Wi-Fi service too so you can check in and bloat to your friends and family.
Wednesday – Port Of Call – Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Grand Cayman was a bit more crowded then Cozumel. There was 3 or 4 other ships on port that day. I was not feeling too well this day and mostly just napped under the umbrella in the sand. Grand Cayman uses Ferry boats to take you from your ship to the dock. The dock is not deep enough for the big boats to get close.
Thursday – Port Of Call – Ocho Rios, Jamaica
In Ocho Rios, we booked an excursion through Carnival. This was for the Dunns River Falls Experience. This experience allowed us to climb up the falls with a tour guide a group of about 20 people. We started out with a short bus ride from the port to the falls entrance.
The busses were small, but air conditioned and the drivers spoke very good English. Pointed out things on the way and told us about local life.
Once we arrived at the falls, we changed into our swim suits and joined our group. They make everyone hold hands to stick together. Word of advice, bring water shoes. The rocks can be very sharp and slippery. You will fall down at some point on this.
As you are climbing up the falls, you see trees, wildlife, and a ton of other tourists. This is one of the few photos I got without anyone in it.
After the falls climb was complete, we were taken to a beach were there was live music, and food. Food and a few drinks were included in our package that was booked.
When we arrived back at our cabin for the night, we got our first Towel Animal. That night we went out to celebrate my step-dad’s birthday at the steakhouse restaurant on bored the ship.
Friday – Sea Day 2
Friday, was a at sea day again. We had Breakfast with Dr. Seuss in the morning, This featured food items like Green Eggs and Ham, as well as other fun food items.
After breakfast we headed over to the main theater and watched the end of the military appreciation event.
For Dinner, we ate at the main dining restaurant. The menu was very similar all days of the cruise, but offers some specials every night.
Our last towel animal was a heart left by our cabin steward.
Saturday – Disembarkment
The night before disembarkment, Pack up your suitcases and place them outside your cabin door. When you awake in the morning, they will already be on land waiting for you at baggage claim. When you walk off the ship, you will go right into baggage claim. This is a mess. You will have to look at 4 baggage areas to find your bags. Once you have your bags you will have to do a quick customs clearance and you will be on your way. As you are getting off the ship, the next group of passengers are waiting one floor above you to get on!