Just as I was finishing my blog this morning, Carnival Vista was docking at Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. Soon after 7am, guests began disembarking for a day at the nearby beach, or to enjoy one of the many shore excursions offered by Carnival. We had a different plan in mind. Having been to Grand Turk several times (been there, done that, got the magnet), we decided to enjoy a little "Serenity." Of course, I am referring to Serenity, the adults-only sun deck!
Serenity is located at the highest and farthest forward spot on Vista, Deck 15 forward. Only guests 21 and over are allowed to occupy Serenity. So, if you are looking for a place to enjoy the sun without the kiddos running around, this is the spot!
Serenity has its own bar, Serenity Bar, and a self-serve salad bar, Fresh Creations, so you can enjoy a light meal without leaving the sanctuary of Serenity.
One advantage of repeating an itinerary is the ability to stay on board and enjoy the ship without the huge crowds. And, let's face it, once you have been to Grand Turk, or La Romana, you have pretty much seen everything you need to see. We had Serenity virtually to ourselves for the entire morning while most guests were off the ship exploring!
The first task is to obtain pool towels. Carnival provides complimentary use of large pool towels, but you have to use your stateroom key to check-out towels. If you do not return a towel and check it back in, a $22 charge will magically appear on your stateroom account. The second task was to find one of the large "cocoons" with enough shade so I could stay out of the sun while Rickee roasts herself on a nearby lounger.
Cocoons and loungers are scattered around the deck, facing a variety of directions. Each cocoon can easily hold two people and there are plush pillows to make lounging even more comfortable. A small wicker footrest/table/bench is at the end of each cocoon and makes a great place to set your drink, or enjoy lunch.
There are a few bright yellow "mini-cabanas" scattered around the deck. They are quite unique looking, but I am unsure of the usefulness. There are also two whirlpools (one port and one starboard) located at Serenity. The whirlpools offer a great view of the ocean, or in our case, Grand Turk!
In our opinion, Serenity is one of the best spaces on Vista for adults, especially if you enjoy a quiet retreat in the sun.
As we left Serenity, we could not resist the temptation to try out the water slides. There are two water slides at Vista's Carnival Waterworks area: Kaleid-o-Slide, a more sedate ride which requires the use of an inner-tube, and Twister which is a faster and more invigorating ride down three decks.
Both slides are fun, but Twister is our favorite because you don't have to haul the inner-tube up the steps!
For lunch today, we decided to try Blue Iguana Cantina (Deck 10 midship, port side). Here you can enjoy burritos made-to-order a' la Subway sandwich-style. Guests walk through the line and select the desired ingredients for their burrito while servers scoop selections onto large round tortillas. The burritos are quite substantial, delicious and very filling.
Soon after lunch, guests began re-appearing from their morning in Grand Turk. Carnival Vista departs at 1:30, so it was a relatively short visit. After showering from our morning in the sun, we spend the afternoon attempting to regain trivia chops, but we are unsuccessful. No ships-on-a-stick for us!
This evening we decide to try the Your Time Dining which now requires checking in at the Your Time Dining Desk on Deck 5 (Java Blue Cafe). Your Time Dining is available from 5:30pm until 9:30pm each evening. We chose to dine early tonight because we want to make the 7:30 production show in Liquid Lounge.
After checking in, we are handed a slip of paper and directed to the Horizons Restaurant on Deck 3 aft. We are seated at a table for two and presented the evening's menu.
The menu changes each evening and offers a choice of appetizers ( including soups and salads), and a variety of main courses. Cruise ship dining has transformed from what used to be a multi-course extravaganza to a three-course meal. Basically, Appetizers, Mains and Dessert. However, you can order more than one from the appetizer menu, as we did, to simulate a four-or five- course meal.
This evening's show was Amor Cubano held in the Liquid Lounge, the ship's main showroom. We sat on the front row (better for photos). The show was a lively mix of Cuban dance and music and the utilization of the live band made for a good show. However, the vocals sounded muffled. I'm not sure if it is due to the acoustics, the sound system, or simply a symptom of sitting on the front row. We noticed the same thing on Carnival Breeze in 2014.
We left the show and headed straight for Limelight Lounge for the 9:15 Punchliner Comedy show. You have to show up early and get in line to get a good seat at these shows as they are very popular. Tonight's comedian is Kelly Terranova and the show was well worth the 45-minute wait to get in.
Tomorrow, Carnival Vista will be in La Romana, Dominican Republic.