Blog from Marseilles

June 6, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning from Marseilles, which is in France which is a country that has lots of general strikes, like today. This means there are no trains and public buses because across the country the French are protesting about ummm……….ummmm……..something.  I would suggest it is because every French school kid is taught about their revolutions and the positive changes they brought about so they feel it’s their right to do so to this day. Anyway, we have alerted the guests and told them to please make sure they allow extra time to get back to the ship. Meanwhile the buses we use for our excursions are all running as normal so yet again here is another reason to take a tour from the ship.

So this is my last day here on the Carnival Vista and I will try and sum her up in the posts ahead. I do hope though that all those who read this page and sail on her will post a review here because while we think we have a brilliant ship — our best yet — we also know there are areas we can improve so your reviews are priceless to us and a great wealth of information to those who are sailing on her in the days ahead. That also goes for all the ship, reviews, while personal and based on personal experiences are helpful and also lend to the excitement that future guests will be feeling as their cruise countdown clock ticks over to zero.

While I can understand why people write and read reviews on cruises and hotels I have never been able to understand anyone who writes a review of something like say…….a dishwasher. And who reads these reviews? I bet he is wearing a pair of sandals while reading it though.

How can anyone spend an entire morning reading online reviews of dishwashers? But even worse, who the sodding heck can be bothered to write an online review of a dishwasher? They’re all the same. They’re white and boxy and after they’ve finished making your plates clean, they beep, a signal to tell your wife that it’s your turn (again) to empty it.

How did our parents ever decide what to buy, what hotel to stay in, what cruise to take with no Internet? Most reviews are relevant and useful. Some are not and are as pointless as putting turning signals on cars sold to drivers from Miami.

So, the Carnival Vista, what can I say?  I have written and showed you videos of many of the areas that make her such a brilliant vessel but let me quickly mention a couple I may not have had time to write about so far. Well, to start, she is the place for all thrill-seeking hydrophiles. Even though the ship was just about delivered, everyone could tell the reaction to the water parks and outdoor spaces was going to be spectacular. Carnival has gone above and beyond building a mere collection of water slides and pools, and created colour-changing, twisting, racing slides that have proven to be a huge hit and wow, when we get down to Miami they will be even more so. I have seen young and old being whisked round and round, plummeting to the bottom amidst screams of exuberance until they are expelled giggling and gasping and hoping they are still wearing their  bathing costumes. As I speak Kye and other children are enjoying the Carnival Vistas’ splash park which is producing high pitched screams and giggles, surely one of the best soundtracks in the world.

Yep, the Carnival Vista has been designed to be the absolute last word in cruising pleasure and as I have mentioned many of her iconic features and grandioso public areas. Many have asked me what my favourite places are on the ship and I do now have the answer. There is though ….. ummm…………well……..nothing to do in these places…….except enjoy the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars and, of course, the sea. I am, of course, talking about the Deck 5 outdoor areas that go all the way around the ship. There are sun chairs, shaded chairs, smoking areas and non-smoking areas. There are huge double-wide clam shells and there are seats to share those special moments in. There are tables to eat out doors of the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi, Cherry on Top, and the RedFrog Pub & Brewery. There is ample seating to enjoy a book outside of the Library Bar or an ice cream from Cherry on Top. Yep, the sea comes to the Carnival Vista and there are so many extraordinary places from which to enjoy the views, the sounds and those special moments with loved ones.

So if you will I would like to share my top ten favourite things about the Carnival Vista and let me tell you, this was not an easy list to put together as there are so many. OK, here we go:

  1. The outdoor areas on Deck 5 – they are fabulous and return our guests to the days when everyone would be outside listening to the sounds of the sea
  2. Yes, I might have ruined a good pair of underpants when I did it and the gaseous release I let out may not have been good for the environment but wow – what a feeling, what a view, what a ride! You really must do this.
  3. The Havana Cabins with private use of the aft Deck 5 – I know not everyone will see these cabins but the décor, the branded extras and that deck during the day is a little slice of paradise, a true sanctuary. I highly recommend booking one of these, as these new cabins are really superb. The wrist bands guests in these cabins are given to allow them access are changing colour each cruise so no point buying the one that is already for sale on EBay – FFS
  4. The Family Harbor Cabins – like the Havana cabins these are branded and very special. Kids get free pajamas and a toy and then there is the 24-hour private fun room where breakfast is served, fun is had by kids and parents alike and of course there is the 24-hour a day private ice cream machine – enough said.
  5. The Havana Bar and Deck after 6pm – At night this area is open to everyone and the views from the back of the ship are endless so please make sure you head back there. But the star is the Havana Bar which has the best cocktails and Cuban coffee and, of course, the sounds of a six-piece Latin band. It has been a huge hit here in Europe and I have a feeling when the ship gets to Miami it will be massive and we will for sure need to budget for more bar staff to serve those minty drinks with leaves in them.
  6. The new shows, America Rocks!, Flick and Amor Cubano. These are the best we have in the fleet. I know some of you may be skeptical when reading this but you will see and you will agree. We have come a long way from our first Playlist Productions show Divas and the new shows here are a testament to what we have learned during that time. And for me, to see a larger cast and the return of live music on stage was a joy to behold. If you come to the Carnival Vista you must, you simply must see these shows.
  7. RedFrog Pub & Brewery – our best pub yet and with the addition of our brewmaster Colin and the fresh beers he brews every cruise we have a place that is probably the most popular bar on the ship. If you like beer then you must try the ones Colin makes with the IPA doing battle for first place with ThirstyFrog Red.
  8. The Dreamscape in the lobby and casino lobby – they have become focal points and possibly the most photographed area on the ship.
  9. The daily ice cream served on Lido by the Comfort Kitchen. Now I may not have tried this myself but everyone, I mean everyone I have spoken to says that these two complimentary additions is some of the best ice cream they have ever had. Flavours change daily so please do try one and let me know your favourite
  10. The last one should be at number one but it’s not something exclusive to the ship. It is, of course………the crew. Without them the ship would just be a big metal box. I can tell you the crew here did the most miraculous job getting the ship ready for her inaugural cruise and since then they have worked so hard to make sure that our guests have the best of times. I thanks them all, I applaud them all. They are Carnival!

Carnival Vista then is a triumph for our President Christine Duffy and everyone who has been part of her being built.

You know, I was going to try and come up with some subtle and delicate way to try to tell you that the Carnival Vista should be the place you spend your next cruise vacation using marketing terminology designed to indirectly get you to come aboard but not this time. So please let me just say this

Book this ship ………. and book it now.


Cheers, have a brilliant day and wywh




Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.