I forgot to mention earlier that I needed to break my tour of Vista up into different posts because there are so many photos. I got all the rest into this post, but it may take a few minutes to load, so read slowly.
BTW: There are no public areas on decks 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. Those are all staterooms, and there are even some more staterooms on the forward area of deck 12. And, of course, due to silly superstition, there is no Deck 13.
Deck 12–eating and swimming—all in one place
Deck 12 is basically broken up into three parts—those staterooms that are forward, the swimming pool area midships and three food choices in the aft section. I am not going to say much about the pool. Not only did we not use it on this cruise, but no one really did until the last two days or so; it was just too cold or rainy. But I did get some pictures of the pool and the surrounding area.
Headed back on the starboard side from the pool, you walk right into the Waves Grille. On the opposite side is the brand new (not on any other Oceania ship) Aquamar Cafe. We loved both spaces, but on our last sea day, we noticed something that may be a problem in both places. That last day, when we finally got into warmer temps, we suddenly realized that both venues are open to the outside with no way to air-condition them adequately. We had lunch (a lot of times) at the Aquamar, and that day, it was hot and humid—no AC. After lunch that day, we wandered over to the grille—same problem. When we were in colder weather, they had heaters in the ceilings that kept everyone toasty. But when it got hot and humid, there are no fans or AC that can keep up with the fact that the place is wide open to the outside air. In the Caribbean, this may be a BIG problem.
And finally, the Terrace Cafe or, as it is well known…the buffet. It was a very nice buffet. Well-designed, with really nice tables, and it included an outdoor area that was really only used on the last two days of the cruise because it was cold out there. We wish there had been more tables that would fit the seven of us (there were only two), but sometimes there were only six, and there were a few more of those.
Deck 14–Eat it on 14
One of our favorite places on the ship was on Deck 14, where Kathleen and I had breakfast almost every day—Baristas. The incredible Massimo presided over a wonderful coffee bar, and within two days, he got to know our coffee order and where we were sitting. It’s a really nice space, and I know I took photos of it, but darned if I can find them. If I dig them up, I promise to post them.
But I do have photos of other spaces on Deck four, including both of the specialty restaurants located on the aft end of the deck. We ate in both Polor and in Toscana, and the decor and wrap-around windows made both rooms a joy to visit.
Just in front of Toscana was a truly beautiful and much larger-than-expected library. They had some really great. books, tons of games and very nice places to sit. I spent a little bit of time there because they had some great books on travel photography.
At the front end of the ship were a variety of smaller rooms and the really wonderfully large Horizons Lounge. You find this type of forward-facing lounge on most ships, but this one had a lot more real estate for a smaller ship like Vista. It was a good place for cocktails, especially when entering or leaving a port, but our last night in NYC it was a madhouse because the Captain was nice enough to buy everyone complimentary cocktails while we sailed down the Hudson. The place was JAMMED! So it can get crowded. It can also be loud and conversation-stifling because starting at 5:45, the ship’s band made dance music (very few people danced—never saw more than six or eight couples), and if you weren’t seated all the way on the other side of the lounge, it again became impossible to hear anyone who wasn’t whispering in your ear.
On your way into Horizons from the stairs or elevator, you pass a number of small rooms housing the Culinary Center (took a cooking class here), the Smoking Lounge (one of the nicest places on the ship???), the Lync Digital classroom/meeting room (you could go there to take a class or for internet help and they also used it for meetings) and the Artists Loft (where you could take an art class).
Deck 15–Lost it on 15
I’m just going to run through these from bow to stern. Upfront, the spa is the star. Didn’t use it or the gym or the Aquamar Spa pool, steam rooms or hot tubs…but I did take their pictures so you would know what is available.
Also, on Deck 15 aft, there is a one-tenth-of-a-mile running/walk track (I spent a lot of time here), a shuffleboard on the starboard side and a bocce court on the port side. My one complaint about this deck was that they closed it too often for winds. If you are going to have a deck, you have to keep closing due to wind, but some kind of wind barrier up. My guess is that on the sea days (when I needed it for exercise) it was closed four out of five days.
Deck 16–A little more activity
Deck 16 only exists on the front of the ship. It is another outdoor activity space that gets closed when the weather is windy. You can find pickleball, miniature golf, a golf-simulator and cornhole.
Whew! That does it. The grand tour of a grand ship. Hope you enjoyed it. It’s funny that this one took longer to organize than any other post. So many great places. Vista is a classy, new ship. When I do my final review tomorrow, I will mention the few things we really did not like about her.
You can find tranquility, you can find party, you can find new friends. I’m a cruise convert. —Guy Fieri