Carnival Cruise Line's 3,954-passenger Carnival Vista might just be one of the line's most fun with so much to do from scheduled activities to outside attractions and a nightlife that doesn't slow down till late.
Even on a 10-night cruise, we weren't able to get to everything. We did the SkyRide (an elevated bike ride), but not the ropes course. We tried out the outdoor Twister board, but never got a chance to play mini-golf or outdoor billiards. We never hit the water park either. We went to the 4D Thrill Theater movie theater but never saw an IMAX movie. We saw four Playlist Production shows in the main theater, but skipped the magic show in favor of an evening of comedy. We made it to only one RedFrog Pub & Brewery trivia session, and never got to try one of the pour-your-own-beer taps or enjoy a drink in the pub's outdoor seating area.
Cruisers we spoke with had the same experience -- so much to do and not enough time. Yet, despite the constancy of activities, Carnival Vista never felt manic. There was no sense that if you didn't do it all you were missing out. Perhaps that's because our fellow passengers were all laid-back, as ready to chill out as they were to have fun.
While you can find places to be solitary and quiet (the adults-only Sanctuary, for instance) if that's what you're looking for, Carnival Vista is not a ship for wallflowers. It's an extroverted ship full of friendly people, most of whom come from English-speaking countries, though you'll hear a fair amount of Spanish as well. And watch out during school holidays; the ship's passenger count can get pretty close to 5,000 with well over 1,000 kids during the busiest months.
Between the laid-back and friendly passengers, always-smiling crew and plethora of onboard activities, Carnival Vista maintains a vibe that is young at heart and down to earth.
Carnival Cruise Line is mandating a fully vaccinated policy for those 12 and older on Vista sailings from Galveston. Within the limits of the CDC's definition of a "vaccinated" cruise consisting of 95 percent all passengers and crew, vaccination exemptions are possible with preapproval, including for children.
Carnival ships are sailing with reduced overall capacity, currently around 70 percent.
Off the ship
Daytime: Casual, with shorts and T-shirts most common inside the ship and bathing suits and cover-ups de rigueur on the pool deck.
Evening: Fairly casual (though shorts and tees are typically replaced by long pants and nicer tops) except on "cruise elegant" nights when men are asked to wear long pants and collared shirts and women are expected to dress up a bit. Suits, sport jackets and gowns are not required. On cruise elegant nights you can dine in the buffet without dressing up at all.
Not permitted: Cutoff jeans, shorts and swimwear are not permitted in the main dining room or Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse.
For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Carnival.
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