Our Memorable 8-Day Cruise on the Carnival Vista {Review Part 1}

Last month, we went on our highly anticipated Carnival Vista cruise. I was so excited to go with my mom and also take Andy, my 5 year-old, on his first cruise ever! As much as I love spending hours planning trips and putting together itineraries, I LOVE not having to worry about anything on cruises. I mean, how great is it to wake up somewhere new each day? That’s one of the things I love the most about cruising.

Carnival Vista is the newest and largest Carnival cruise ship, with a guest capacity of 3,934. There’s so much to do on this ship. The ports of call were also amazing. They included: Grand Turk; La Romana, Dominican Republic; Curacao and Aruba. I’ll be doing a Part 2 to this post that will go over the ports, excursions and everything we did (so stay tuned).

In the meantime, if you’re thinking about planning your next cruise and seeing all the amazing things Carnival Vista has to offer, this post is for you. I’ll also be sharing our experience as well as helpful tips we picked up along the way.


I’m from Miami, so obviously we departed from the Port of Miami (one of the many perks of living here). We arrived at 1:30 PM and found the boarding process itself to be really efficient and quick. We had priority boarding and didn’t have to wait at all (it also comes in handy when you’re traveling with kids).

Once on the ship, we went straight to our stateroom to drop off our carry-on bag before exploring the ship and attending the mandatory safety briefing.

Quick Note: If you’re traveling with luggages (we brought 2 luggages in addition to one carry-on) you drop those off before you board the cruise and it is then later delivered to your stateroom.


Our stateroom was the perfect size for the three of us and also included a balcony. I loved hanging out in the balcony with my little one and admiring the view. All staterooms also have a room steward on duty and an attendant you can call for room service. Our room steward was the nicest and every night he would have a dessert waiting for us. Not only that, but we were also greeted with a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. They were the sweetest (no pun intended).


They don’t call it the “FUN SHIP’ for nothing. There’s something to do for all ages.

QUICK TIP: One way to stay organized with all the activities, dinning and entertainment is to download the Carnival Hub App. I was able to check out all the activities/entertainment for the day and mark my favorites. The app would alert me when it was about to start.


The first thing that caught our attention was WaterWorks, Carnival’s onboard waterpark. We made the most of it during our sea days. It includes a variety of sprayers, fountains, a giant dump bucket, two water slides and side-by-side slides for toddlers. The Kaleid-O-Slide was so much fun. You go through a spiral tube with a raft while you experience flashing lights that make you feel like you are in an actual kaleid-o-scope. I even got my mom to try it and she loved it (she went down like four times lol). My little guy didn’t meet the height restrictions, but he still enjoyed the splash area and dual slides. He didn’t want to leave. Also, seeing my mom get a giant bucket of water dumped on her made for some fun times and belly laughs.

QUICK NOTE: The ship also has an adults only pool/area (21+) where they can relax.


We also enjoyed playing mini-golf at SportSquare, their expansive outdoor recreation area. We were blessed with some beautiful days. It never rained once during our 8-day cruise. We enjoyed things like playing twister, foosball, ping-pong and mini bowling.


If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try the SkyCourse, the first ropes course at sea. You’re safely strapped in as you tight-rope walk across the rope course. There are also round platforms in between so you can rest. Or you can go on the Skyride, you can basically consider them flying bicycles where you are suspended 150 feet in the air. They look so futuristic when you first see them lol. Riders can choose to race the cruiser next to them or go at a more leisure pace. Either way, it’s a fun way to get some exercise while you enjoy an incredible view.


Dr. Seuss Booksville is a fun place for families to hang out with their kids and read Dr. Seuss books. It’s inside Camp Ocean (Carnival’s kid’s club). They have a great selection of Dr. Seuss books. After dinner, I loved taking Andy here and just relax sitting on the sofa, reading books. They also have board games.

Seuss-A-Palooza Parade and Story Time 

This is a fun event that can’t be missed, especially if you’re traveling with little ones. It first starts off as a parade down the ships’ promenade leading up to the main show lounge. Kids got to sit on stage, while the cruise director read them ‘Horton Hears a Who!’ The fun part is, they picked kids and kids at heart to participate and portray different characters in the book. Andy loved it so much and talked about it the entire day!


Now it’s time to talk about Camp Ocean. This is Carnival’s kids club that has a supervised play area where kids are broken up into groups of similar ages. It goes from 2 to 5, 6 to 8, and 9 to 11. Andy was in the Penguins group 2 to 5. They get to do fun activities and arts and crafts. I took Andy there three times while we were on the ship and every time I would pick him up he would ask me if he could stay longer. He decorated these cool glasses during one of the arts and craft activities.

The first time I left Andy was so me and my mom could enjoy an 18+ comedy show lol. The second time was so we could take some pictures for the blog (without having poor Andy just sitting around watching us) and the third was to watch a movie with my mom. He actually asked if we could take him.  It was so great to have this option and know that he was well taken care of. I loved how well organized it was. The space was also beautiful. They had an orientation where you can look around, meet the director and discuss the activities and schedule. It’s free of charge until 10 PM. Safety is very important and you can’t pick up your child unless you show your cruise card.

Quick Note: They also have a night owl option until 1 AM, where you pay a small fee. Just think of it as getting a baby sitter in case you want to enjoy a worry-free night on the ship. There’s also Club O2 for teens and Circle “C” for guests ages 12 to 14.


There’s also an IMAX theater on the Carnival Vista where you’ll find movies like first-run Hollywood blockbusters, recent hit films and IMAX documentaries. While we were there, they had films like ‘Mission Impossible: Fallout’ playing. We watched the IMAX film, Under the Sea (narrated by Jim Carrey) and really enjoyed it. It was perfect to watch with my 5-year-old since it was only 45 min. Note: there’s a small fee to watch IMAX movies, we paid approx. $5.


Another favorite was the Dive-In Movies. It was nice to sit back, enjoy a nice breeze while watching a movie outdoors. We got to watch Peter Rabbit, while eating some popcorn.

Arcade Room (The WareHouse)

They even have an arcade room. It was on the same floor as our stateroom, so on some nights, as a treat, I would let Andy play Mario Kart haha.


There’s also lots of activities for adults like the Cloud 9 Spa, where you can unwind and get a spa treatment like a massage, facial, body wrap and much more. I didn’t get to check it out this time around, but it did sound very tempting. You know I had to check out the gym. Yes, I’ve become one of those that exercise on vacation haha. I just feel like something is missing if I don’t get a workout in. I was really impressed with the gym. As a Crossfit junkie, I was so happy they had a rower. They also had lots of free weights and treadmills. It was never too crowded and you didn’t have to wait to use any of the machines.


There’s so much entertainment on the ship, it’s just not possible to cover all in one post. My favorite are always comedy shows. I love that they had comedy shows that were PG, and I got to take my five-year old with me. There’s also “adults” only comedy shows later in the evening.

We also attended the Love and Marriage show, which is always a must. You are bound to get in some good laughs. They also have stage shows with talented singers and dancers, live music, karaoke, Lip Sync Battles, Skybox sports bar, a piano bar and much more. My mom also got a kick from the competitions that were held by the pool during the day, like the Hairiest Man competition lol.

The Atrium Bar, which features this cool LED column, and is the first thing you see when you board the ship is also another fun place to just sit back and enjoy some chill music. They had this amazing violinist group playing some great cover songs.

Some of the best plans were not doing nothing at all lol, just sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful views.


Overall, when it comes to the food on the ship, I have to say that it was absolutely AMAZING. Better than any other ships I have sailed on. From the buffet, to the specialty restaurants, to the sit-down dinners, everything was so good. You can tell they’ve put so much thought into their menus and offerings. They have several dinning options.

For the most part, we ate dinner at the main dining room in the Horizon’s Restaurant during our open seating time, which was 5:45-9:30 PM. The time range is so flexible, you don’t feel like you’re being rushed. The food was so tasty and I loved that they also had food inspired from that day’s port of call. For example, when we were in Dominican Republic they offered a traditional Dominican dish called Mangu (a plantain mash). I felt like I still got to be adventurous trying out the local dishes. The service was also exceptional and our head waiter Diane was the sweetest. I loved chatting with her. She immediately feel in love with Andy (because she also has a 5-year old son).

During sea days, the Horizon Restaurant also offered brunch until 1pm, which I highly recommend. Quick Tip: If you order a bottle of wine, you don’t have to finish it all that night. You can have the waiter hold it for the next day.

One night, we had dinner at Fahrenheit 555. It’s one of their formal dinning restaurants. Their menu features premium cuts of beef as well as an amazing selection of seafood and gourmet appetizers. It has a nominal fee of $35 per person (and $10 for kids) and that includes an appetizer, salad, entree, side and dessert. It’s a steal for that price! Even though it’s a steakhouse, it’s a great option for those that don’t eat meat (like myself). I enjoyed a delicious shrimp dish.

We also spent a lot of time at the Lido Restaurant, especially for breakfast during our port days when we wanted to grab something quick and for lunch (but they also offer dinner). It’s a buffet-style option and I found that the lines moved really quickly and it was always easy to find a table. The food was really good and even my picky 5 year-old would go back for seconds (that says it all).

I also LOVED Guy’s Burger Joint. Carnival teamed up with Food Network personality, Guy Fieri to help them grill up the best burgers at sea—and that they did. Since I don’t eat meat, I had the veggie burger, and it’s probably the best veggie burger I’ve ever had. Yes, it was that good. It’s right by the pool, so this is a great option if you’re looking for a quick bite while you enjoy a pool day or if you you missed the buffet.

Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast 

On the last sail day, there was a special Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast. Everything was Dr. Seuss themed. It was only $5 per person and was one of the highlights from our cruise. Andy absolutely loved it. Of course, I had to order the green eggs and ham. During breakfast, you had the opportunity to take pictures with Dr. Seuss, Thing 1 and Thing 2 and Sam-I-Am. After breakfast Andy told me “this was the best day ever!” Lol

There’s SO many options, it’s hard to cover them all, but also included in your cruise price is: 

BlueIguana Cantina (Mexcian Food) 
Fresh Creations (Salad Bar)
Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse
24 Hour Room Service
Pizzeria del Capitano (you can get pizza 24 hours a day!)
Swirls (frozen yogurt/ice cream)

 And for nominal fee there is:
 -Jiji Asian Kitchen
-Seafood Shack
-Cucina del Capitano
-Bonsai Sushi
-JavaBlue Cafe (coffee shop)
 -Redfrog Pub & Brewery (onboard brewery)

Overall, we had such an amazing time and made some amazing memories I’ll never forget. If you’re looking for a cruise ship that’s fun for all ages, this is definitely it. Andy is already telling me he wants to live in a cruise ship when he grows up haha. I can’t wait to share with you all the fun stops we made (Turks and Caicos, Dominican Repuplic, Aruba and Curacao) so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, if you have any questions I didn’t answer, feel free to leave me a comment below.

Thank you to Carnival Vista for hosting our stay. All opinions, as always are 100% my own.


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