By: Kasey Lessard, Travel Consultant
The Exotic Western Caribbean cruise with Carnival on the Carnival Vista is a great experience for a Caribbean getaway! Departing from Galveston, there were a variety of secure parking lots to choose from, and transfers from the airport were easy for some of my companions flying in from out of state.
Sea days with Carnival‘s newer ships offer a variety of things to do so that you’re never bored at sea. On my more energetic days, we enjoyed the ropes course, mini golf, audience participation quizzes and games, making a splash on their water slides, and my personal favorite, their SkyRide! Cycling over the ship offered a great view of the sea, as well as an excellent look at the ship and everything it had to offer on its upper decks! One of my favorite hangouts was the Alchemy Bar, popular for their unique recipes and flashy preparation.
For the more relaxed days, the Serenity Deck became our mainstay for relaxation in the sun or the shade. And with two hot tubs, this place is the ultimate spot to get away from the family noise you take part in down on the Lido. Too hot outside to relax? We dipped down into the library.
As for entertainment below the Lido, every night had options, everything from comedy shows (for families and adults only), musical revues, mixers, movie nights, themed parties, etc. Halloween took place on my sailing and the theme was everywhere! The Halloween parties made the experience extra special.
With a large amount of food options, variety was never an issue. The main dining room menu changed nightly; steak, exotic locale food from your destinations, and even a night where lobster is not a surcharge! We also made sure you save room for dessert: the chocolate molten lava cake is to die for!
Breakfast was always well-prepared and tasty. You want french toast covered in cereal? They have french toast covered in cereal! I’m a huge pizza lover, so having access to pizza 24 hours a day from Pizzeria del Capitano was a treat. Guy’s Burger joint also delivered on some of the best burgers you could eat. However, what really hit the spot towards the end of my sailing was Guy’s Pig & Anchor BBQ Smokehouse. With all of his signature line of barbecue sauces to try, it was delicious to gobble it up while sitting in the sun.
Another hidden gem to check out? Some of those specialty restaurants with a surcharge for dinner? They’re FREE for lunch! Ji Ji Asian Kitchen and Cucina del Capitano (Italian) offer some amended options for lunch free of charge, and that was a wonderful surprise to find. Sneak away from the busy of the buffet to try these options!
Service on the ship always came with a smile and enthusiasm. Our waiters every night for dining were not just accommodating, they took the time to learn what we enjoyed every night so that they had it ready before we could even ask. Employees were always helpful and ready to direct you in case you get lost among the many places to go on the ship.
Our room steward, Daniel, left us a new towel animal every day, a signature for Carnival to give you a little smile every time they service your cabin, but also had energy and spunk! Nothing gets you ready for your day like getting a high five as your head out of your stateroom.
While the ship was a vacation in itself, the destinations also had a variety of options for whatever you like to do! In Cozumel, Mexico, we had some excellent authentic meals at Pancho’s (not to be confused with US chain.)
We then made our way over to the water so we could enjoy the beautiful, crystal clear, blue water. We ended up having so much fun in the water, that we couldn’t imagine finding anything else to top that day!
The port in Belize City, Belize is reached by hopping on a much smaller boat and gliding over the water, leaving you with a fantastic view of the ship sitting out on the water. The port itself is a charming little village, full of color and life as the locals enthusiastically try to help you find the kind of adventure you’re looking for! Not looking for adventure? Then there are plenty of shops there to satisfy all of your needs for souvenirs. It’s unbelizable! After that, it was back to the ship and enjoying sitting out on our balcony to enjoy our trip to our next port!
Roatan, Honduras was where we took to a real adventure! Extreme zip-lining had my name all over it, what with flying over the beautiful foliage all while getting great views of the cascading landscapes before landing right on the beach!
And what a beach it was.
We grabbed some excellent waterfront seats and ventured into the splash zone to cool off.
Following this, we made our way through the ports wandering trail, home of plenty of cute little animals, birds, and some gorgeous plants. Next we hit the colorful shopping center for some great gifts for friends and family. Getting back on the ship at the end felt completely satisfying and like a great way to end our visits to some interesting ports. Did I mention our ship was parked next to their famous partially sunken ship? Well it was! And pulling out as the sun set felt like a great departure to start our trip home!
With a little something for everyone, this sailing is a great trip with variety, especially if you’re traveling with people who have different interests. Cozumel is great for water lovers, Belize is great for people who want to see some unique culture, and Honduras is definitely the place for adventure and relaxation! And the Carnival Vista? It’ll make you say “Hasta la Vista!” to home as it takes you on a great vacation.
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