Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Cruises (
-   -   Carnival Vista, Cruisers Log.. Star Date 24.05.2016 AD (

DMBTraveler May 24th, 2016 08:32 AM

Carnival Vista, Cruisers Log.. Star Date 24.05.2016 AD
An early morning walk around the "Ancient City Of Athens" and it's a 15 Euro cab ride from the Adam's Hotel to Piraeus where we are anxious to board the Vista.

At 13:00 hours there is a long line standing in the hot afternoon sun just outside of a huge white tent where our embarkation process will officially begin.

Fortunately, for us as frequent Carnival cruisers with "Priority Boarding", the process is quick and painless. In actuality this turns out to be one of the fastest boarding we have ever had.

At 13:35 hours after a quick passport scan by the Greek Police we stand within inches of our ship. The Carnival Vista is beckoning us for "10 Days Of Exploration and FUN" as she is getting ready for just her third sailing.

jacketwatch May 24th, 2016 08:35 AM

Well keep it coming. I will follow. Really looking f/w to hear your impressions of her.

DMBTraveler May 24th, 2016 09:06 AM

JW.. I will.

Have you toured "Amalfi Coast" from Naples? If so who did you do your tour with?

jacketwatch May 24th, 2016 12:02 PM

We did not actually. We got a cab and went around with the highlight being Pompei.

We had a funny "lost in translation" with him too. I wanted him to take us to a local place for lunch and I was picturing some nice secluded place with a café on the sidewalk and it umbrella over it. Instead he took us to a truck stop along the highway. ��.

In any case this driver was very funny and I still remember him and we really enjoyed our time with him. ��.

DMBTraveler May 25th, 2016 03:59 PM

Cruisers Log, Star Date A.D

13:45Hrs As we make our way to our cabin we realize the Vista is a lot longer than it looks from the outside sleeping in the harbor.

Our 2nd floor balcony room has a nice layout with a couch, empty mini-fridge and USB sockets. The balcony is nice for two with a fair amount of privacy to enjoy it. While one of us thinks this lower balcony maybe good for spotting "wildlife", I think our odds of doing so are better on the Lido Deck.

However, after a few glasses of Vino who knows it is possible I might spot a few mermaids. Speaking of adult beverages we were told by passengers from Vista's second sailing that there were no problems bringing local purchases back on board at their ports of call. If our supply runs out we'll be inclined to investigate this matter further.

14:02Hrs Following up on two cruise traditions we head to the "Lido Deck" before they run out of food but do so by taking the the stairs. Brief moments of pain going from 2-10 before we hopefully get some culinary pleasures.

So far the Vista seems basically laid out like the Breeze but with a few improvements and added decor. The art work (3D) at the base of the stairs is pretty cool along with the atrium center pieces.

On the "Lido Deck" Market Place seems a bit more bright, lively and spacious. There are two unique additions to the buffet area. A dishwasher style hand sanitizer and a P.Y.O.B machine where with your "Sign And Sail" card you get a cool Bud-Light for $3.95. Pour right or you will end up with a big foamy head with no free "do overs".

The Market Place food is similar to all the other Carnival ships and to my disappointment "Tandoor" which is one of my favorites on the other ships has been replaced. Now on the outside area near the aft pool is a "pay" seafood type restaurant.

A crowd favorite the 24Hr Pizzeria is still on rear port side and at times you still have to wait for a slice of pie.

14:21Hrs We decide purchasing "Wi-Fi" access for the entire cruise for $90 is a great social and business decision (although we tell no one.. because we are officially on vacation).

14:46Hrs A walk around upper deck of the Vista gives stunning views of the busy port of Pireaus and of Athens. The "Sports Area" is nice with a wide jogging track and a new addition of an aerial "Sky Ride" which I think will be popular, so get there early when it opens.

Above the pool area is a giant outdoor screen which we are sure to enjoy for "Movie Nights".

15:03Hrs I am leading by one stroke until what I consider a "defective chute" on the 9th hole causes me an extra shot and the first round of our traditional "Miniature Golf Cruise Ship Open" ends in a tie.

I insist that the designer of this course and the 9th hole needs to be shot!

15:18Hrs We escape to "Serenity" which is much improved from other Carnival ships. We find shelter from the afternoon Greecian sun in a private cabana until I am woken up by a series of horn blasts and a loud PA announcement. The mandatory safety drill is about to begin.

17:20Hrs It's two steps to the right then two steps to the left and a premature "Sail Away" party is underway about an hour and a half before the Vista officially sails away at 19:00Hrs.

For us this is always "Fun" and for several cruises now we have been fond of the first Cruise Director of the Vista.. "Hi, Matt".

19:16Hrs A mandatory trip to "Cloud 9" and it is time to get ahead of the expected huge calorie intake for the next 10 days. The gym area is nice with lots of equipment and options to help you manage your "Cruise Diet". Be wary of the "Spa Seminars" which while informative can end up with a few charges on your "Sign and Sail" account.

21:30Hrs A very funny "Welcome Aboard Show" hosted by "Hi, Matt" and this is where I learn I would not make a very good Tarzan or probably "Jane" for that matter too. My feeble attempt at being the man of the jungle receives a rebuke from Matt but does get a few chuckles from the audience.

23:05Hrs The "Lime Light Lounge" becomes full except for 4 seats in the front row. However, as Orlando (another Carnival favorite for us) reminds the audience.. "In Jamaica when the front row is empty, the second row becomes the front"...

We have been warned and the laughter begins at "The Punchliner Comedy Club" rumored to be soon no longer presented by George Lopez.

23:59Hrs We get an urgent call from "El Capitano" to which we make a "Rapid Response". As the Vista sails smoothly across the Aegean Sea towards our first port of call Kusadasi, Turkey, "El Capitano" wants to make sure we go to sleep.. "With"a" nice"a'' slice"a" pie".

DMBTraveler May 25th, 2016 04:05 PM

JW.. Thanks, we will probably adventure out on the train to Pompei then back to walk around the city.

Did Ephesus today... Wow.. Thanks for the encouragement for us to do so and to visit "The Terrace Houses". Very cool stuff :)

tch912 May 25th, 2016 06:31 PM

DMBT, I am waiting on the videos, but as usual, I love your trip report:).

jacketwatch May 25th, 2016 06:41 PM

This is a must in Pompei

jacketwatch May 26th, 2016 05:49 AM

It sounds like a great start and that you are definitely in the mood for a great time.

I am surprised to hear that you can bring on booze after embarkation. Usually its verboten. I wonder if it will pan out that way.

Next time just take a Mulligan on the 9th. :D.

DMBTraveler May 26th, 2016 05:35 PM


Thanks.. Video in "slow" production..

DMBTraveler May 26th, 2016 05:48 PM

Cruisers Log, Star Date A.D

05:30Hrs An unplanned warm light starts to filter into our cabin as the day begins on the Aegean Sea. These are the times I miss having an inside cabin. Now we must remember to close our balcony curtains unless we want what could be a "Rude Awakening".

06:15Hrs Day 2 of our "Cruise Diet" is underway. On Deck 12 it is nice to see a few others maybe on the same plan.

08:30Hrs It's breakfast in the Lido Market Place. The French Toast is nice along with a slice of "vegetarian" ham. Surprisingly the mixed fruit salad is also decent as most of the fruits in the mix are actually ripe and flavorful.

09:14Hrs The Vista is 14 minutes behind when the all clear is made for us to disembark at our first port of call. We have a 09:30 tour scheduled with "Ephesus Shuttle" but we are not too concerned as we are sure they are aware that the ship is running late.

09:35Hrs We are surprised how quickly the gangway area has cleared and we end up walking off without any delay. A new process with hand card scanners seems to be pretty effective in easing the process.

The port in Kusadasi is an easy one to navigate and in about 10 minutes time we have meet up with our tour guide for Ephesus.

Although we were expecting to be with a group we end up on a private tour for only US$45 per person. Our tour will include Ephesus, The Terrace Houses and a brief stop at Artemus Temple. Just to go to Ephesus is US$70 per person if arranged through Carnival or you can take a taxi from outside the cruise terminal for about 60 Euro round trip.

I highly recommend visiting Ephesus however you might choose to do so.

14:05Hrs We are back at the port after an amazing tour of Ephesus. Famished we sort of make a "rookie" mistake of eating at one of the restaurants near the cruise terminal. Although the food was decent we are convinced we could have gotten a better bang for our euros had we walked a few blocks away from the "touristy area".

Walking around Kusadasi was nice except for the almost constant hustling from street vendors hawking "Genuine Fake Watches" along with fake colognes and perfumes.

18:00Hrs The Vista sets sail for our next port of call Rhodes, Greece. This gives us the chance to chill and watch a beautiful sunset from our balcony.

With a steady wind whipping, the night air takes on an unexpected chill.

After a huge and pricey lunch dinner is a light one. Although Vista offers many dining options with more of them being in "Pay Restaurants" our favorite dining spot has always been the Lido Market Place. Tonight, it is one of my favorite dishes from there an artichoke salad that has a kick to it that reminds me of a spicy ceviche, delicious.

22:30Hrs We add $11 to our "Sign and Sail" and minutes later we have water sprayed in our faces and bugs crawling around our feet. I have never felt so stabbed in the back, literally.

If this is way Carnival continues to threat its guests I will be back again and again although next time I promise not to scream like an 8 year old school girl. Don't miss Carnival 3D Thrill IMAX.

22:50Hrs Havana is calling and we answer at the bar then the dance floor. Although the Latin sounds have for the most part retired for the night the crowd and energy on Deck 5 has not. A DJ has the crowd "Wobbling" and "Jumping Around" until it is time to shut the place down.

Oh, What A Day... Oh, What A Night!

jacketwatch May 27th, 2016 08:04 AM

Yes Ephesus is a great site to see. Glad you enjoyed it. I actually took a pic of that sign "Genuine Fake Watches" though I don't know if it was the only one. Reminds me of bb shoes I saw in India with both Nike and Adidas logos. :D.

Sorry I did not follow what you meant by the water in your faces and bugs on your feet comment??

Sounds like as usual you are having a wonderful time.

Cheers, Larry. :).

tch912 May 27th, 2016 11:08 AM

Great report although like Larry, I didn't understand the water and the bugs:}.

jacketwatch May 27th, 2016 11:55 AM

Was that an IMAX affect?

DMBTraveler May 27th, 2016 05:01 PM

"minutes later we have water sprayed in our faces and bugs crawling around our feet"

Part of Vista's "Thrill Theater".. a multi-dimensional (3/4D) experience with moving seats and cool effects. It offers different shows but the one we saw was "Thrillogy"... Dare To Be Scared!

Frankenstein... Panic House And ... Friday The 13th..

DMBTraveler May 27th, 2016 05:25 PM

Cruisers Log, Star Date A.D

With no big plans for Rhodes other than to walk into the “Old Town” area we are not in a hurry to disembark the Vista when it arrives at 08:00Hrs.

08:30Hrs From Deck 12 we enjoy views of Rhodes Harbor as we continue our “Cruise” ritual to burn off a few calories.

10:00Hrs We are off the Vista as easy as 1-2-3 and begin our walk into the “Old Town”. However, just outside the port we get a sign, actually a few of them, that suggest our plan for the day was about to change. On both sides of the streets in front of us are “Rent A Car” signs. Having just passed a “Taxi Ad Stand” advertising 60 Euros for a tour around the island and a trip to Lindos, 30 Euros per day for a car does not seem like a bad deal.

10:26Hrs In less than 20 minutes we are on the road to Lindos thanks to the friendly folks at Port Travel “Rent A Car” where you can also get a nice local map and free Wi-Fi.

Although we use “Maps.Me” and “Here” apps for offline GPS navigation getting to Lindos which is about 26 miles away is easy. Along the way to Lindos there are many shops, restaurants and beaches should you decide to take a detour. We find a Super Market where for about 8 euros we get a few snacks, two bottles of water, a beer and two souvenir magnets.

For us, we often enjoy the flexibilty and freedom a rental car gives us and this time it is no exception. Several others probably feel the same way because there are a lot rental cars on the road to Lindos. How do we know this? Most if not all of the rentals cars here have some form of the companies logo somewhere on the car.

11:32Hrs Somewhere just outside of Lindos we stop at a view point for a scenic look of Lindos with its white houses below us and the hill top Acropolis in the distance above us. The sky is clear and blue which helps to make the scenery look spectacular.

About a mile from here we are overlooking St Paul's Bay before descending from the highway for a close up look and some better photo opportunities.

With our time limited we decide not to stay too long and opt to go “off the beaten path” to make our way back to Rhodes by 16:00Hrs in order to meet our back on board time of 16:30Hrs.

12:21Hrs We make a sharp climbing U-turn and we are on our way to Lardos then Laerma. Views of rich blue waters and coastal communities soon change to mountainous terrain with rolling hills, winding roads and a lush green landscape. Soon I am wishing my Kawasaki Voyager was readily accessible.

12:42Hrs We spot our first real wildlife of the cruise, well sort of. Along the side of the road a kid is eating with his mother .... “maa, maa”. Somewhat startled by us, eight legs soon disappear behind a clump of bush.

13:10Hrs A quick map check and we are on the way to Apollona. Now I am really missing my bike as this portion of our drive reminds me of “The Tail Of The Dragon” in North Carolina. Great scenery while driving rolling curves in a manual 5 speed car and maneuvering hairpin turns makes this a lot of fun. In the distance we spot a huge lake with occasionally olive tress filling the gap between us and it.

At one point we leave the paved highway and follow a dirt path for a short distance. We come to a stop at a small as in miniature bright white and blue church at the end of an olive field. What a cool discovery in the peacefulness of the countryside.

14:02Hrs After more fun driving we take a short break at a roadside “Farmers Stand”. Here we sample local olive oil, nuts and sesame candies. Although the gentleman minding the store spoke some English I am not sure what I bought but it was delicious. A “Cheetos” type I think peanut snack although my fingers were not left bright orange.

14:48Hrs We arrive at Epta Piges (Seven Spring). Feeling tight on time we decide to limit our time here to no more than 20 minutes and set of in search of a waterfall that is located near here. After 15 minutes we abort the mission but get the chance to talk with a few local school kids having fun in a “Tunnel Stream”.

One interesting thing here is “The House Of Python” which one of us is chicken to visit. While I am not fond of snakes seeing a 15 foot long one asleep behind a protective glass is not to scary. Apparently, yesterday this one had a whole chicken to eat and will probably not eat for another 15 days. Pick the right time to visit and you can play with it... No thanks!

15:43Hrs Around the world it is interesting how much people pay for gasoline. Here we fork over 1.6 Euro per liter to refill our rental car. If my 3rd grade math is correct that's over US$5 per gallon. Wow!

16:06Hrs We are back at Port Travel “Rent A Car”. Our return process is just as easy as when we picked up the car. I would definitely recommend this business except they do not have a bathroom available and after two bottles of water... I really have to .... Again.

16:20Hrs It is a quick silent walk back to the Vista and as my luck would have it is a long line to get back on board.

16:45Hrs I survived the journey and its a trip to the Lido Deli for a better “snacking” option at this time of the day. Although it is usually not our preference to eat in the formal dining room tonight is our first night for the Vista experience.

17:00Hrs We get our share of laughs from a guy walking around with a bottle of “Windex”. With a big towel we try to ward of a cold wind blowing across the Vista as we watch “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” on the big screen.

19:16Hrs Its time for “Your Time Dining” (A new Carnival Feature where you get a ticket at Guest Services for the time you want to dine) in the Horizon Restaurant.

As expected, it seemed to us that the dining room staff although pleasant were still trying to figure out their new work environment. We sat for about 10-15 minutes before someone came to take our order and the food delivery was slow. We ordered the “Beef and Barley Soup” and salads for starters along with the “Chicken Breast” and “Grilled Salmon” for our main course.

The soup was salty. The chicken was dry and the vegetables that were served with it seemed like they came out of a can. On the other hand the salmon was perfect so was the “Fresh Tropical Fruit” and the “Chocolate Melting Cake” for dessert.

The table had a nice setup minus a table cloth and it took us over an hour and a half to have our meal. I guess for most others this might be normal but it is just not our style.

21:35Hrs Our late timing for dinner has us running late for the 9:30pm show “Viva Variety” in the “Liquid Lounge”. A packed room has us sitting at bar but this turns out to be an advantage. When the performer asks for audience volunteers I have easy access to the stage and get to participate with two others in a one man comedy juggling show.

23:15Hrs It is another trip to the Lido Deck but this time it is not for food but for some late night dance moves under the Mediterranean star filled skies.

23:55Hrs We are in the “Piano Bar” hosted by “Ben” one of the best and most energetic “Piano Man” we have seen in a long time. Ben shares words of wisdom that get more “R-Rated” as the night goes on so this is for sure a mature adult venue.

For us, the “Piano Bar” turns out to be a lot of “FUN”. With a “Day At Sea” tomorrow plus gaining an hour of ship time, we have no problem “shutting this place down”.

trvlgirlmq May 28th, 2016 08:22 AM

Great review! We are doing the reverse so will lose an hour of sleep :( Of course I don't foresee us doing too much at night with all of the early mornings.

jacketwatch May 28th, 2016 08:33 AM

I feel like this review has me there with you. Sadly Im not. :(.

Actually with the current exchange rate if my math is correct ( 1 USD =1.11 Euros so 1.6 E = 1.78 USD) then its about $6.67 USD per gallon. But you're right. Its over $5.00. :D.

Again you sure know how to have fun.

BTW in 2011 when we were in Israel gas was around $10.00 per gal!

DMBTraveler May 29th, 2016 05:23 PM


Bring some "Red Bull".. :)

DMBTraveler May 29th, 2016 05:27 PM


Vista might not be able to handle both of us...

BTW.. We bought some Italian vino back on board.. No problem :)

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:13 PM.