So how does the new Carnival Vista compare to DCL? Mostly the Disney Fantasy as she is the Disney ship I’ve been on the most and my favorite. This is a long comparison/review and I don’t give my final verdict until the last paragraph. If you get bored reading it and just want to skip to the finale, I won’t be offended. I’ll try to include pictures for every area of the ship as I write about it to help with the visual aspect of our cruise. There is nothing in here about any of the ports we visited it is simply a comparison of our experiences on DCL and the Carnival Vista. Also, I will be posting it in stages as I'm having trouble with uploading pictures. Fee free to ask any questions along the way. A little about my family, we consist of me (47), DW (46), DS (16) and DD (15). Our first cruise was a 3 night on the Dream in 2011, followed by an Eastern Caribbean on the Fantasy in 2013, Western Caribbean on the Fantasy in 2014 and a 4 night Vancouver to San Diego in 2015 on the Wonder. We like to travel in 2 connecting inside staterooms for our cruises and have for every cruise except the Wonder, we had 1 cat 4A for that cruise and when it was over decided we want to go back to the 2 insides. We really fell in love with DCL during our 2013 Fantasy cruise and are huge fans of DCL and Disney in general, we’ve been to WDW 5 times, DL too many times to list, (we live in AZ and are AP holders for DL) and I am a former Operations Manager for Disney. My wife and I even spent our honeymoon at DL almost 20 years ago and our guestroom is 100% Disney decorated, we are definite fans of the mouse. As DCL prices have continued to rise, we started looking at other cruise lines to see where we might spend some of our vacation dollars, I’ve booked a few cruises on RCCL that I’ve always ended up cancelling, looked into Princess but for some reason they just don’t interest me, looked into NCL but there are so many reviews that mention the cigarette smoke lingering from the casino it keeps me from booking them too. I’m very interested in Celebrity, but that will probably wait until the kids are out of the house. I didn’t think I’d ever book Carnival based on what I’ve always heard from friends of friends of friends, who’ve witnessed the puking, wet T-Shirt contests and the like. But one Monday in February 2014, I stumbled across the new Carnival Vista that was under construction, with her maiden voyage being in May 2016 where she would spend her summer sunning in the Mediterranean. My wife and I had talked about taking a Mediterranean cruise with the kids before they graduated high school so I looked into it. I started pricing out the Vista and for an 8 night cruise with 1 sea day and 4 stops in Italy, 1 day in Marseille and 1 day in Mallorca. For the 4 of us, in 2 mid-ship insides on deck 8, the total came to $4400 including gratuities and trip insurance. We researched the ship and I started reading page after page on Cruise Critic about Carnival and decided to book the cruise. My parents and my mother’s 2 sisters decided to book the cruise with us as well, so we became a party of 8. After a price drop earlier this year, the adjusted total came down to $4000 plus an onboard credit of $25/person. We don’t drink and didn’t do the soda package either so our credit card was charged $96.00 at the end of the cruise for a couple games of bingo, some souvenirs and a few non-alcoholic specialty drinks. Total cost of cruise then was $4096.00. Carnival has a few pricing tiers you can book that makes the per person price different depending on which way you book. We booked the Early Saver fare that carries a non-refundable portion of the deposit of $50/person and the rest of the deposit amount could only be applied to another Carnival cruise taken in the next 2 years, if we were to cancel. We could have booked under a different tier that would have brought the price per person higher, but would have made the deposit refundable except the $50/person. I think had we done the other tier we probably would have cancelled, (aka chickened out), at some point just like we’ve done with the RCCL cruises we booked. So finally on to my review, please remember this is my experience only, based on the 1 Carnival and 4 Disney cruises I’ve been on, we all have different experiences, tastes and expectations. EMBARKATION: We arrived at the Barcelona terminal around 11:30 AM, got in line to drop our luggage and check in. The line moved pretty quickly and we were on the ship by 12:30 after a little snafu with my aunt’s reservation, but it was not the fault of Carnival, it was all on my aunt. As we were boarding the ship they told us all cabins were available and we could proceed to our cabins. We dropped our carry-ons off in the cabin and headed to deck 10 (Lido) deck for the Lido Marketplace buffet, (more on food a little later), after lunch we headed back to the cabin just to see if our luggage had arrived yet and somehow we got super lucky and all 8 pieces were there. So by 2:00 we were on the ship, fed and unpacked. I was quite pleased with the efficiency at this point, but also realized we got very lucky as I saw luggage still being loaded on the ship at 5:00 PM. BUFFET: The buffet is on deck 10 next to the pool and is huge. There is a ton of seating that has a great amount of space between tables and large walk ways where you don’t feel like you’re on top of people sitting as you try to maneuver your way to a seat. Never did I have to hunt for a seat in the buffet even though it was the largest sailing on Vista so far at 4511 passengers. The actual layout of food is in sections that are more spread out than at Cabanas, it actually took me a couple days to remember where each section was. They had a deli area where you could have made to order hot or cold sandwiches, (which I loved), and hot dogs. A hot food area, salad area, dessert area and a secondary hand scooped gelato area, (that also had a separate area where you could add sprinkles, sauces, etc.), that was only open during lunch. They also had a few soft serve ice cream machines that were open 24/7 with ice cream and frozen yogurt. I felt the selection of foods was lacking compared to DCL, especially because there were no chicken strips or mac and cheese to be found the entire time, I did find out recently this may have been a Europe thing as Chicken Strips seem to be a normal thing on other Carnival ships. Food quality wise I would put even with DCL, except when it came to desserts, Carnival knows how to serve some great desserts! Don't remember the name of this but it was good This either I loved the majority of things I took from the buffet, especially their bread pudding, awesome stuff. (This was actually in the MDR, called Bitter and Blanc, it's bread pudding with dark chocolate inside and a white chocolate sauce, it was fantastic) In addition to the buffet, the Vista has a 24/7 pizza place on the aft of deck 10 that always had someone making fresh made to order pizzas that were quite tasty, I really loved the crust and the taste of the pizzas coming from the wood fired oven. We never had to wait more than about 3 minutes for a fresh 12" pizza. By the way, I’ve owned a pizza place for the last 12 years and I’ve spent the last 30 years in the pizza business, I usually eat pizza 3-5 days/week and I think I had pizza everyday on the ship. Also on this deck was the Guy Fieri burger joint that made freshly made burgers with a topping bar that were some of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Guy's was open from 11-6 everyday. The burger stand is right next to the main pool area on deck 10. On the other corner of the pool was the Blue Iguana (BI) Mexican quick serve restaurant that served breakfast and lunch daily consisting of burritos, tacos and taco salads, everything is made to order and they have a great salsa bar as well. Growing up in AZ, about 2.5 hours north of Mexico, I’ve acquired a love of Mexican food especially breakfast burritos. I'm also married to a lovely Mexican woman who's family makes brilliant Mexican food. The BI had very good food, not the best I’ve ever had and their tortillas were no where as good as the tortillas my wife’s Nana makes for us, but they were quite good and I ate quite a few. I'm stopping here for now to make sure everything is uploading correctly, hopefully I'll be adding more tonight.