Our ‘Familymoon’ Med Cruise
After flying with Easyjet from Gatwick to Barcelona, we spent the night before the cruise at the 5* Eurostars Marina Hotel in Barcelona in order to meet up with the rest of the party.
Carnival Vista ship is geared towards families with its own water-park complete with water slides and chutes, kids clubs, adult-only section and lots of entertainment and activities for the whole family. Carnival is all about bringing the indoors to the outdoors so you’ll find lots of activities out on deck day and night including; The SkyRide which is a twin-track suspended bike course and very scary but evidently lots of fun if you’re under 20! We really enjoyed the Cinema under the stars with the family as we wrapped up in fluffy blankets & ate popcorn. They even have an IMAX theatre as well as an indoor theatre with great entertainment and a disco under the stars.
The cruise offers 3 dining options: Early/Late (reserved seating) where you’ll be seated at the same table every night and have the same waiting staff. Your Time Dining (eat anytime during early and late dining times). Or you can eat in one of the A La Carte restaurants for an additional fee such as the Steak restaurant/JiJi Asian, Bonsai Sushi and Cucina del Capitano - reservations required. You’ll be served a 3-course meal wherever you dine. There’s also the choice of Seafood Shack and 24hr Pizza parlor.
For lunch there’s additional dining outlets such as Guys Burgers (they make thousands during the cruise and were so tasty), Serenity’s complimentary chopped salad station and a BBQ joint which we only discovered the day before the end of the cruise. Blue Iguana Cantina and not forgetting the 24hr self-serve ice-cream machines (which I think was the kids' favourite part of the cruise!)
Carnival Vista has 4 cabin categories; Inside, Ocean View, Balcony & Suite – we had a Balcony cabin. Carnival Vista has added two new types of rooms to the mix: Family Harbor is a special area reserved for families and features a private 24-hour lounge and concierge service including breakfast buffet for family convenience (which is where my niece and her family stayed). Plus Havana staterooms and suites are located just off the Havana Bar & Pool and feature a unique tropical decor, while Havana Cabanas add a patio with hammock chair!
Our 10-night cruise started in Barcelona and stopped in Marseille, Rome, Livorno (Florence), Naples, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Sicily, and Sardinia plus 3 days at sea. You can either book excursions with Carnival before you depart or on-board at the excursion desk. There are also other Operators that offer excursions that are bookable in UK or of course you can do your own thing when you arrive at your destination. You don’t even have to get off the ship if you don’t want to - we didn’t, when the ship docked for Rome and Florence we stayed onboard and had the pick of the sunbeds and the restaurants/bars were all still open on-board.
My Top Tips -
Allow plenty of time to get from Barcelona city to the Port, it took us 45mins to drive 3.9kms as there were 4 other ships in dock at the same time.
Carnival doesn’t include transfers from your arrival port to the destination centre so you will need to either get a taxi/walk or purchase a shuttle ticket that Carnival operate (unless you’ve booked an excursion). So make sure you factor in these extra costs so they don’t become an unexpected expense.