Note: We are live-blogging each day aboard Carnival Vista on the first Carnival cruise to return to sailing since March 2020. You can read other days here:
- Day 1, Boarding and Sail Away
- Day 2, At Sea for the First Time in 15 Months
- Day 3, Gorgeous Weather For a Second Day at Sea
- Day 4, Roatan: First Port of Call Post Pandemic
- Day 5, Belize and the Biggest Drink on the Ship
- Day 6, Cozumel and Our First Excursion
- Day 7, Heading Home (and a COVID Test)
I think we’ve all hit that time in the cruise when we have big plans for all the fun things we are going to do… and all the sudden we can’t keep our eyes open anymore. That was our cabin last night. We planned to check out the Love & Marriage game in the theater, as well as see the “White Hot” dance party later that night.
Then it got later, we ate a great meal, and it seemed like too much work to get out of the bed and make our way out once again. So last night was subdued, but it’s hard to beat having a great night’s sleep on vacation.
Today we are anchored off the coast of Belize. The weather continues to be spectacular. Apart from an overcast day for most of the first day at sea, we’ve had blue skies and calm waves. You couldn’t ask for better cruise weather.
Our family started the morning with breakfast in the dining room. I always make it a point to eat a couple of breakfasts in the dining room each trip. Judging by the lack of crowd in the dining room, many people don’t realize they serve in the morning, or maybe they just like the ease of eating in the buffet. Still, the food in the dining room tastes fresher to us, and we like having some options you won’t find in the buffet.
This morning we each had a different main course — waffles, pancakes, and French toast. All were great. The highlight, however, was the “Magic Mouse.”
I’m sure it’s something that’s done in all the dining rooms, but it was the first time we had seen it. The waiter folded a napkin into a mouse shape (similar to towel animals in the cabin). He held it out for my son to pet and as soon as my son touched it, he flipped it up to make it “scurry” away. Our kid was doubled over in laughter. It was a great way for us all to start the day with a huge smile.
With our son ineligible to go to shore without an approved excursion, we decided to stay on the ship. The only excursions available (there were only two options) seemed to not be a fit as they were too strenuous or uninteresting for a child of his age.
We weren’t alone in staying aboard. During the day we overheard conversations of many people who did the same. Another person said that many things were closed in port when they went and they just came back to the ship. Meanwhile, Carnival Vista did seem to have more people around than yesterday in Roatan, although not near as many folks as a day at sea.
Note: Regarding protocols, Carnival announced that masks are required in Belize both indoors and outdoors, just as in Roatan — no matter your vaccination status. Temperature checks were also said to be performed.
So how did we spend the day? The morning consisted of taking advantage of fewer people to swim in the pool, along with playing in the waterpark on the ship. We’ve all loved swimming and getting wet, but it would be a lie to say the shine isn’t wearing off. For Cozumel tomorrow, where we have an excursion booked, we are definitely looking forward to getting off the ship together.
One highlight for my son was finding a couple of “ducks” on the ship. One was given to him from a staff member. The other was hidden in the back of a pool chair. After explaining that he could keep them or hide them for other people, he decided to keep one and hide another in a different place on the ship. For kids, these little “Easter eggs” are a ton of fun.
After a couple of hours of swim time, we went back to the cabin, dried off, and went to lunch. A couple of days ago we tried Ji Ji Asian Kitchen for dinner and loved it. Today, we decided to go to the free lunch equivalent — Mongolian Wok — that’s in the same location.
Our dinner was almost empty a couple of nights ago, so we expected the same for lunch. It wasn’t the case. The restaurant was packed. Still, it only took about 10 minutes to get our stir-fry.
Since our son is unvaccinated, we opted to get the meal to-go so we could sit somewhere with a bit more distance from other passengers. Apart from a couple of situations (e.g. elevators when first boarding with luggage), it’s been fairly easy to distance from others as needed.
Overall, I thought the stir-fry was good, but not quite as tasty as Ji Ji. So if you’ve tried Mongolian Wok but weren’t sure if you wanted to shell out the extra money for Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, I’d suggest giving it a shot. If you love Mongolian Wok, then you should really like Ji Ji.
In the afternoon, we took a hunt for the ship’s coin. If you aren’t familiar, each Carnival ship has a coin that’s displayed as sort of a memento of the ship. They aren’t hard to find, but do take a little looking and may be a bit out of the way. This one was in a small area without a lot of foot traffic overlooking the waterpark and the pool deck.
Since it’s a day in port, there aren’t a lot of scheduled activities going on around the ship. That means it’s up to us to find ways to entertain ourselves. In this case, entertainment is called RedFrog Pub happy hour.
From 2:30-4:30 today, drinks were half-priced at the pub, making it an ideal time to visit. Plus, RedFrog Pub sells the largest and most expensive drink we could find on the ship. The bar has “fish bowls” — essentially a massive bowl filled with your favorite concoction in a souvenir glass. It’s definitely for sharing, and during happy hour there’s no better time to give it a try.
Normally the drink costs $34.95, plus gratuity. That’s $20 for the actual drink and $14.95 for the glass that you get to take home with you. Since the drink was half-off (but not the glass), we paid $24.95, plus gratuity. In total, it came out to about $30.
We opted for the hurricane, which was shared between my wife and me. Let’s just say that one is plenty between two people and will definitely loosen you up. It wasn’t enough to put us under, but it took about 30 minutes to drink, and we could feel it.
On the downside, it’s definitely a lot of sugar. On the upside, it’s hard to imagine a better way to spend some time relaxing than having a drink surrounded by gorgeous water and warm weather.
I don’t think we’ll have another one soon, but grabbing one during happy hour was a lot of fun.
Tomorrow, we wrap up the last port of call of our cruise with a visit to Cozumel. Finally we will (hopefully) get the chance to get off the ship as a family as we have a tour booked — “Passion Island by Power Catamaran.” It’s something that we are all looking forward to enjoying.
Continue Reading: Day 5, Belize and the Biggest Drink on the Ship