First Time Cruiser!
I used to hate the idea of cruising. I just felt like it was a terrible way to travel. I had this preconceived notion that it was gonna give me cabin fever, or it was gonna be subpar in terms of a travel experience. Well I am happy to write this blog post and say I WAS WRONG! Haha I recently just got back from my first cruise, (my best friends got married in Jamaica), & it was a 7 day cruise that hit Montego Bay, Grand Caymans, & Cozumel. I am gonna touch base on just the experience I had on the boat, I will be writing about each port on one separate post. Since it was my first cruise Marisa, my mother, and myself did get a room that had a window, simply for the experience & for the most part it was enjoyable. However, I recommend that you do everything in your power to not wake up with a hangover and proceed to stare out the window especially on deck 1 and being so close to the ocean (BLAH). In terms of cost effectiveness I recommend only cruising with this room or an interior room. I do not see myself spending an ample amount of time in my room to truly enjoy the balcony or the suite selections. I’d rather spend my time on the decks in the pools or doing the activities that are on the boat. So if you are considering a cruise remember, window or interior. We cruised with Carnival and were on board the Vista. It’s one of their newer boats and sails only out of Galveston I believe. The ship had 15 decks in total, and had PLENTY of room to where you didn’t feel so confined. The ship was a lot bigger in terms of space than I had anticipated. Whenever I would walk into a room I never once felt like it was too small for the event that was happening nor did I feel like it was overly crowded.
What I think put my cruise experience over the top was the entertainment crew that was on board. I can not say enough about the cruise director we had on the Vista. His name is Matt, He had HIGH energy, the good kind, not the annoying kind. He was funny, he engaged with the crowd and really brought out the fun from the passengers. I will admit I am worried that if my next cruise does not have a cruise director like him it wont meet the bar that has been set, but we will see! We hadn’t been back for a whole week and we had already booked our next one.
The shows we made time for were also really good. My favorite was the married show, of course Matt was the host, & I WAS DYING OF LAUGHTER THE WHOLE TIME. The passengers were great and it was just overall a good time. The first night we went and tried to watch CLUE, emphasis on tried…., but we were unsuccessful due to intoxication. (Do not recommend). We went and watched a musical/dance show & it was also a cool experience.
Upon seeing the sizes of the pool that was on the ship I was kind of worried that it would be overcrowded and just not enjoyable, but it was actually the complete opposite. Me and the guys actually were in the pool more than I thought I would be & it was very cold/relaxing.
Another thing I want to touch base on is the CUSTOMER SERVICE. everyone who was involved seemed to provide exceptional customer service. I never once had anyone give me the impression that they were unhappy or that they didn't want to service us. Everyone had a smile and everyone really did everything they could to make our experience great. From our waitresses to the people who changed out our sheets and towels in our rooms we were impressed.
DRINK PASS, Would I get it again? Yes. In total for the drink pass I paid $370 for 6 days. You get 15 drinks a day & your gratuity is already included. For my people who failed math in school, 15x6=90, take your total $370/90 & your drinks come out to be a little over $4. Now if you don't plan on drinking the 15 total drinks a day you need to do some calculating on your own. Most drinks are I believe around $10. & a beer if I remember correctly came out to be about $6-7 but nonetheless, Its nice to not have to keep track in your head and just go get what you want when you want. (If you're on a budget)
LIDO MARKETPLACE - Just don’t do it. I didn’t have one good taste there. It was basically cafeteria food and just not appealing (to me) 2/10
GUYS BURGER JOINT Incredible burgers, very customizable. Could eat one of these every day. 9/10
BLUE IGUANA CANTINA- Tacos & burritos, they were decent. I only ate there a few times because I wasn’t that into it, but my friends Morgan & Elliott really loved it. Especially Elliott. Personally I’d give it a 7/10
STEAKHOUSE- The steakhouse was DELICIOUS. It was an additional charge of $35 per person, but Carnival was awesome and actually comped us a meal due to an accident in the room. They served you ample amounts of food and you will walk away with a food baby. 10/10
MAIN DINING AREA- Is also a good place to eat. Menu changes everyday for the most part, and the service is exceptional just like anywhere on the boat. The portions are incredibly smaller here but you can order whatever and however much you’d like. Also, bring your best attire for this because you get to get fancy! 8/10
GUY'S PIG & ANCHOR BBQ- I didn’t get to experience this place until the last day of the cruise. I didn’t know where to find it and I didn’t know that it was open for 2.5 hours (Lunch) so definitely head this way if you want to catch it while you can. BBQ was delicious along with Mac & Cheese, baked beans, bread. Just another solid 9/10 spot!
BONSAI SUSHI- ADDITIONAL, but worth it. I had two huge rolls 1 $5 & 1 $7 roll and they were both delicious. Would also recommend if you’re up to drop a few dollars on good food. 8/10
PIZZERIA DEL CAPITANO- This pizza place is one of the places on board that is open 24 hours and is also just a winner. You cant go wrong with it, especially a #4 (thank me later) 9/10
SEADAY BRUNCH- Hands down a must for breakfast. Their menu is delicious and you have a huge variety to choose from. 10/10
These were the only places on board I could make my way too. I didn’t eat everywhere but the places I did eat you can see what I would recommend and what I wouldn’t recommend.
Things I would recommend bringing
12 pack of your favorite soda
Bottle of wine (per person)
These things I recommend for sure if you do not get the drink pass. Other than what is complimentary (OJ, Milk, Water, Coffee) you have to pay for the soda.
Backpack for excursions or even just for the beach.
Medication for sea sickness
Over the Door shoe organizer (not for shoes,
Lanyard (to keep your sail & sign card from getting lost)
Throwaway sunglasses, cheap pair you won't care they get lost
Towel clips (good for keeping your towel on beach chair)
Refillable water bottle
Games (card games, dominos, handheld devices)
The DUH list - Sunscreen, Aloe, Hat, Beach Towel, proper footwear for excursions
I am already looking forward to the next cruise. I am also excited to see who decides to go on one following this post. I think you guys will enjoy it as much as I did.