We are home, and I am sitting in our living room after a very late flight, a good ride home with Century Car Service of Seattle and a fairly decent night of sleep. So, as promised, I am bringing you (between taking a walk, helping Kathleen with loads of laundry and sorting through our mail) my virtual tour of Vista with my comments on the different parts of the ship.
Going up! Let’s start on Deck 5
Unlike any ship we have ever been on before, Vista started with public decks on deck five (there is the infirmary on four). Most ships start at two, three or at least four, but Vista starts on five. And only about half of deck five, is open to passengers. Starting from the very front, there’s the Vista Lounge, Vista’s main showroom. I would love to say that I saw a bunch of shows there, but sadly I didn’t. If you want to read about the shows, make sure and check out my buddy Mike’s review in a few weeks. He saw them all. I saw one—a hilarious comedian—Cory Kahaney. We had seen her on an old show called Last Comic Standing and truly enjoyed her, so I joined Mike and Cathy at the show.
BTW: The reason I don’t attend shows is not because we don’t like shows. It used to be (on Celebrity) that we stopped going to shows because we had seen them all after so many cruises on the same line. We stopped going because, in case you can’t tell from the description on my photos, I get up REALLY early to take photos and to write posts REALLY early, like 4:30 a.m. (See what I give up for you my readers 🤪) So, by the time it rolls around to show time (usually 9:15 or 9:30), I am out of it. Cory’s performance was hilarious, and I really wanted to go back when she did her second show a few days later; I was wiped out and had to skip it. I should also say that I did attend some of the lectures by our two excellent enrichment speakers held in this lounge.
The Vista Lounge is a nice theater, but it needs more height. If you are at all of a diminutive stature (short 😁) then you will be moving your head from side to side to see anyone on the stage. Part of this is due to Vista’s size. On most cruise ships, the theater is much larger, but on Vista, they don’t need the large number of seats that a 6,000-passenger ship needs. There is nothing that can be done about it, but this is just a heads-up. Here are some pics. For all of these shots, feel free to look at them on your phone. Nothing artsy here. Don’t forget; if you click the first shot, you can then scroll through with your arrow keys or by swiping.
Shops and Customer Service
Also, on Deck 5, you will find the Oceania Shops and a reception desk, a concierge desk and a Destinations desk (shore excursions) midships. Not being a big shopper, we walked through these once, just for me to get photos. And I only had to visit the reception desk once. And I almost forgot, these shops and desks are placed all around the grand staircase in the Atrium, where there is a beautiful glass sculpture. Here are some pics.
Two specialty restaurants
I am going to review the dinners we had at these two restaurants in an upcoming post on food. But I did want to show them to you. Vista has four such restaurants, and deck four has Red Ginger (Asian food) and a new restaurant to the Oceania fleet—Ember. (We heard it referred to as this shipboard version of Applebees.) Either way, here are some pics.
Going to Deck Six—climb the stairs–the elevators suck
Before I go on to Deck Six, I want to take a moment to talk about the elevators. There aren’t enough, the ones they have aren’t big enough, and many of the people on them are beyond rude.
First, let me say that other than walking on with carry-on luggage at embarkation, I NEVER take an elevator on a cruise. But Kathleen does, and she encountered so many problems she reminded me that I had to mention them.
First, there are only two elevator banks on Vista. One aft (nearest our stateroom) with two full-size elevators and the other at midships with four elevators. Of those four, two are full-size elevators, and two are small, oddly shaped glass elevators that hold fewer people. Just about every day, at times when people would be moving around (usually meals or before shows), those elevators were slammed. Going to lunch in the Aquamar Cafe on Deck 12, I would leave her at deck nine and climb the stairs. Many, MANY times, I would climb the stairs to deck 12 and have to stand and wait for 5-10 minutes for her to arrive. It was even worse at the dinner or cocktail hour. It got REALLY horrible when one of the elevators would go down. This is ridiculous on a six-month-old ship. By now, they should have fixed any problems and they can’t chalk it up to the ship being old.
At disembarkation, I had to carry my carry-on and my 35lb computer/camera down a flight of stairs because one of the aft elevators was out…during disembarkation—when people are trying to get down to get off—are you kidding me? Every floor had at least six to eight people waiting to get on an elevator. And many of these people were elderly or handicapped.
Deck 6—you got here—let’s eat and drink.
Deck 5 had started at the bow and went back to the Atrium. Deck six starts at the Atrium and goes to the stern. Basically, decks five and six are one deck. This is because the theater on deck five needs more space above the theater, and when you enter the Great Dining Room (GDR) at the stern, you walk down into the room. That gives the GDR some very nice high ceilings.
Starting from the Atrium, you have the Oceania Club (people who have sailed with Oceania before) and future cruise sales. This sits right above the Atrium. If you are interested in purchasing a future cruise, please keep in mind that there are only two reps selling them (they give you GREAT incentives for booking on board), and that means a lot of waiting. They also have limited hours because they have so much paperwork, so be cognizant of that when you are planning your time. Sea days are the worst—big lines.
Moving aft, you run into Martinis, a very nice lounge—especially early in the morning—this is where I did most of my writing and photo processing between 4:30 and 7:00 a.m. We only went there for drinks once or twice because of the live music they play that makes conversation almost impossible. Otherwise, it is a very nice lounge. Here are some pics.
Further on beyond Martinis is a long hallway with a beautiful floor that runs on the outside of the casino. We are not casino people, so the only time we walked through was when I was taking photos. I did walk by a few times when it was open, and since the wall between the hallway and the casino is glass, I could tell that things were hopping and people seemed to be really enjoying themselves.
Further down that hallway, you walk into the Grand Lounge, which is really just a long, wide room leading to the Grand Dining Room, where they serve you drinks prior to dinner. It is also where the wonderful classical string quartet plays every night. We had cocktails here a few times (which were great), but this, too, was not a place where we could converse. The quartet were excellent musicians, and the people who were there to hear them deserved to be able to hear them and not us talking, so we continued to search for a place where we could have a nice cocktail and talk.
On the other side of the ship from the Grand Lounge, in a much smaller space (with a VERY low ceiling, as my brother found out), is the Founder’s Bar. This was the place for truly special cocktails. The kind that cost a bunch but are often smoky (with real smoke). But this one didn’t work for us because there were only tables for two. It’s a kind of an out-of-the-way bar, and their main job is providing the cocktails for the Grand Lounge.
And lastly, at the stern is the aforementioned Grand Dining Room. This room is drop-dead beautiful. It is everything I like in a dining room, lots of space but divided into smaller spaces. It reminded me of a nice restaurant instead of a banquet hall. My only quibble with the design was that the only two tables we ever had dinner at were in the corners with no windows. When I go on a cruise, I want to see the ocean. More about this in my final round-up but I will say that this dining room is beautiful. Here’s my final set of pics for this page.