By : Jason Hogan, Senior Travel Consultant (CTA)
Day 1: Galveston; Embarkation
We started our morning at the Sunflower Café down the street from the Port of Galveston. It is an
excellent choice for breakfast that never disappoints. With full bellies, we parked at Lot B and headed to
the Cruise Terminal nearby.
We purchased Faster to the Fun which turned out to be a great decision throughout our cruise. We
breezed through security and check-in, and we were on the ship in less than 10 minutes. Our rooms
were already available when we boarded, so we relaxed before heading out to explore the ship.
That evening we were surprised with a brand-new menu featuring dishes curated by Emeril Lagasse. This
menu debuted on the Carnival Dream on June 20, 2023. We were lucky to be the first guests to try it out
on Carnival Vista and the food was delicious!
Days 2 and 3: Sea Days
The next two days we took it slow, enjoying the various amenities around the ship. We played in the
Casino which had a great selection of newer slots, as well as table games. We checked out the water
park, WaterWorks, and the kids enjoyed the water slides. We tried the included Pasta Bella pasta bar for
lunch in Cucina del Capitano. Service was quick, and the food was very good. We also visited Cherry on
Top where the kids got some candy, and we went to one of the shows called Rock of Ages in the Liquid
Lounge. The band and performers were great, and they covered quite a few well-known rock songs from
the 70’s and 80’s. These days were well spent while we rested up for our port days to come.
Day 4: Mahogany Bay, Roatan
After a light breakfast at the Lido Marketplace, we headed to the gangway for our day in Roatan. We
had a spot in mind already at the beach in Mahagony Bay. Instead of walking, we took the Magic Sky
Ride gondolas to the other side of the port. This dropped us off right where we wanted to be, and we
were the first to arrive at our beach spot.
The kids snorkeled most of the morning and saw a myriad of sea life including flounder, crabs, conch,
rockfish, lionfish, angel fish, pipe fish, and even an octopus. After an exceptional morning at the beach,
we rode the gondolas back to the main port area for some shopping. We then headed back to the ship
to rest up before dinner.
Our Maitre’d, Melvin, invited us to a private tasting of the new dishes on the menu that evening. We
were given an exclusive tour of the galley before meeting the head chef and being presented with
several dishes to sample. We tried each one and it was difficult to critique any of them because they
were all so tasty. This was an awesome experience for us to see how the kitchens operate on such a
large scale to accommodate everyone onboard.
Day 5: Fort Street Tourism Village, Belize City, Belize
Faster to the Fun came in handy this morning as it provided a priority tender into port. Instead of having
to collect a tender ticket early that morning and queue with the rest of the ship, we were able to hop
right on our priority tender to shore.
We did not have plans for Belize, so we explored the port area for a few hours and did some shopping at
the many stores located here. Before boarding our tender back to the ship, I decided to pick up some
Lobster Fritters from the Wet Lizard. My family and I enjoyed them on our way back to the Vista. Many
people on the tender commented on how good they smelled and believe me they were amazing! These
will now be a must when we call on Belize.
Day 6: Terminal Maritima Puerta Maya, Cozumel
Today we booked our family at Paradise Beach Cozumel. We were the first ship in port so getting off was
quick and easy. We made our way to the taxi stand and quickly had a ride to Paradise Beach.
Less than 10 miles from port, Paradise Beach is a newer, family friendly beach club with a large pool,
water inflatables, and an extensive menu of food and drinks which are all included with the all-inclusive
day pass. We also rented a day bed here which was well worth the money. This afforded us a semi-
private spot for the whole family to enjoy while we were there.
The kids decided to snorkel most of the day here as well since the water was teaming with sea life yet
again. This time they saw starfish, lobster, sea urchins, and many different types of fish. We also
sampled quite a few dishes and drinks from the all-inclusive menu during our time there, and the wait
staff were very attentive to our needs. All in all, I would highly recommend Paradise Beach if you are
ever looking for a beach club in Cozumel.
Days 7 and 8: Sea Day and Galveston; Debarkation
Needless to say, we were exhausted after our beach time and exploration in the ports. Our last sea day
was spent packing up and enjoying a couple of things we had not yet tried. Guy’s Burger Joint and Blue
Iguana Cantina are lunch options located by the Beach Pool on Lido Deck. We tried both, but we really
enjoyed the burgers from Guy’s. We also decided to take in a movie at the IMAX Theater onboard. They
get the newest releases, so we decided to see Blue Beetle which had just come out the day before. Our
theater experience was surprisingly good, so much so, I forgot I was on a cruise ship until the movie was
Faster to the Fun saved the day again on debarkation day. We were able to go directly to the Liquid
Lounge to be the first guests allowed off the ship. The process only took about 15 minutes once our
group was called. After clearing customs, we made our way back to Lot B and headed home. We
reminisced on all of our experiences, and we all agreed that we had a wonderful time. Overall, an A+ for
Carnival and the Carnival Vista!