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Tried Carnival Again after Royal and Princess...my Vista Review with pics

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I’m a big believer in A Vacation Is What You Make It so I will preface this by saying we entered into this cruise with the expectation of fun, sun, good food and good company. Our last carnival cruise was in 2015 and BF and I swore we’d never cruise Carnival again...so why this cruise?

In March 2017 my cousin told me his wedding date in Tampa would be Jan 20,2018. I really wanted BF to go with me so I started figuring out how I could make that happen and I knew adding in a bonus cruise would be a plus...so I looked at cruises going out of Tampa on Jan 21 and there was Rhapsody of the Seas. I was all set with the idea and proposed it to BF. He said yes! Woohoo! So we’re laying around one Sunday and I’m watching the cruise price and tel him I’m ready to book. He asks about the ship size etc and when we start looking at it he says let’s see what’s going out of Miami...so that’s what led to Carnival and ultimately our decision to go with the bigger ship. Plus the price was less and had onboard credit and we wanted to invite a couple friends. I had read a couple of Vista reviews and we’d seen it’s episode of Dream Cruises.

So about us:

I’m 35 and BF just turned 39. Our friends Derek, 29, and Mattie, 24, have never cruised before and we also brought Dave, 50, who just recently cruised with us in September (see that review in my signature). We all live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and are gym buddies.

So as I mentioned earlier the plan was to fly into Tampa, go to my cousin’s wedding, and then drive to Miami early morning on the 21st. We would then pick up our friends at the airport and head to the cruise.

Since there are cruises that go out of Tampa and some might be interested in what we did there I am going to make this a full trip report. If you don’t want to read about Tampa and pre embarkation then simply skip forward a few posts :)

This will be picture heavy. More to come tomorrow...just getting home from the airport and so so tired

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I'm following! I always do a full trip report also, so people have to endure a week or pre/post cruise before the ship fun. lol

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Following. We abandoned Carnival several years ago in favor of RCI and Disney, and will branch out to Princess for our next cruise. I've had it in my mind that Carnival is in the past for us and I planned to leave it there. Wondering if your review might change my thinking. :)

 

 

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Looking forward to this report! Trying to decide whether to go back to Carnival for the Vista.

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Looking forward to this. I liked the Vista cruise we took, probably because of many factors (good table mates, new ship, new ports, excellent departure port with days spent sightseeing before boarding the ship). I'll be interested to see how you liked it yourself.

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We, too, loved our November Vista cruise. Can’t wait to read about your trip.

 

 

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I am uploading my videos to YouTube now. Can someone please let me know if this works? Or if there is a better way? Here is a preview of my favorite performers from the ship

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I am uploading my videos to YouTube now. Can someone please let me know if this works? Or if there is a better way? Here is a preview of my favorite performers from the ship

 

 

It works, sounds beautiful! Love string trios.

 

 

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Friday morning, January 19, we woke up pretty early for our $46 flight on Frontier from Colorado Springs to Tampa. Our airport is not the biggest and we usually have to drive the hour and a half to Denver International, but this past year Frontier has made our airport into a big hub and now gives non stop flights to most of Florida....umm this could be a problem. :cool::D

 

Is Frontier great? No, but I can't complain about that price...even with a baggage fee.

 

waiting in the airport...

38890438265_822b97e1bb_z.jpgUntitled by crystal bennett, on Flickr

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Our flying companion for the day was Erma, spotted on the wing.

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A size perspective of how big the tray is....or small....

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Funny enough our plane wasn't even half full but the flight attendants wouldn't let us move from the back row

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It was a very long flight and we started going delirious..

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I know everyone has their preferred airline. Looking at that menu REALLY makes me appreciate flying with Southwest. lol

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25917072598_5cc8c3f9d2_z.jpg

 

We landed in Tampa around 4:30, grabbed our luggage and headed to the National Rent A Car booth.

I had gotten a great deal for a Full Size SUV (Tahoe or Similar) for $148. I hate that half that cost is just because we dropped the car off in Miami rather than original pick up point.

We loaded up the SUV with our bags, plugged the Sand Pearl Resort into our GPS and headed to Clearwater.

 

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Friday morning, January 19, we woke up pretty early for our $46 flight on Frontier....

 

 

Is Frontier great? No, but I can't complain about that price...even with a baggage fee.

 

This caught my eye! I had to see what it would cost to fly out Dulles. Did you opt to pay the extra for seat selection, too?

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This caught my eye! I had to see what it would cost to fly out Dulles. Did you opt to pay the extra for seat selection, too?

 

We did not...although I seriously contemplated it.

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With traffic it took us about 40 minutes from the airport to the hotel.

 

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I will give a little bit of a back story here to hopefully provide some vision into how I was feeling about this weekend...my boyfriend and I have been dating for almost 4 years and he has met my mom and one of my sisters, but not my dad or grandma or extended family. So this wedding was not only an opportunity to celebrate my cousin's love and new adventure in life, but also for my dad and everyone to meet BF.

 

We pulled up to the valet of the hotel and my dad was outside to greet us. I can't tell you how much that moment meant to me. The two most important men in my life. <3

 

We arrived just as the sun was setting. All of this combined made for the most wonderful greeting to Florida and the start of our trip.

 

View from the lobby

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Lobby

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