Today we embarked on our 9-day Caribbean cruise on the all-new Carnival Vista. Part work, part vacation, this cruise is part of the Dream Vacations annual conference, where I will learn more about what is new in the industry for the coming year.
We woke up early to take our flight to Miami. Upon our arrival at the Miami airport, we collected our luggage and checked into the cruise at the special Carnival check-in counter in the airport. We then hopped on our transfer to the ship.
The Vista is HUGE! As the newest and largest ship in the Carnival fleet it is amazing!
We quickly ate lunch after boarding, and I headed to the first general session. The opening session featured executives from both our parent company, World Travel Holdings, and the CEO of Carnival Corporation. We learned more about the ship and the goals Carnival has to introduce more live shows on their ships. We also learned more about Vista’s sister ship which is being built now.
After general session, we stopped and ate some pizza, because you can always find food on a cruise. We then attended the send off party on the Lido deck and waited for the ship to set sail in Serenity, the adults only section of the ship. At dinner that night, we ate in the main dining room and had an amazing meal. The highlight was a chilled strawberry bisque, served with a heap of strawberries and poured at the table. This appetizer was definitely the highlight of the meal.
After dinner we headed back to the room where we were greeted with an amazing little towel animal.
Reflections and tips:
- Check-in at the airport for Carnival cruises leaving Miami : Carnival has a check-in counter for their cruise ships at the Miami Airport. This counter is right at the end of baggage claim. While the line might seem a little long, it is much shorter than the line you would face at the port, especially for a big ship like the Vista which sails with almost 4000 passengers.
- Get airport transfers : While it might seem easy enough to get a cab or Uber to the cruise port, many ports have restrictions as to what types of vehicles can get close to the ships. A transfer assures you get as close as possible and have an easy ride to the ship. As I say, “Start and end your vacation without hassles.”
- Head to lunch first : When you first get on a cruise ship, don’t worry about your room and luggage, they might not be ready. Instead head to the main deck and part take of your first of many meals.
- Don’t worry if your bags are not there right away : The porters will bring your bags to your room. Don’t worry if they are not there when you board the ship. The porters will be working into the early evening getting everyone their luggage. Just think of the huge task they have ahead of them.
- Pack something in a carry-on : Make sure to pack something to wear on the ship, especially if you are coming from a different climate. Even though your luggage has not arrived, you want toenjoy every moment of your cruise.