T+L’s Take on Carnival’s Newest Ship: Carnival Vista
Many brands debuted new ships and industry firsts. Recent highlights include the unveiling of Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, the largest ship at sea; Viking River Cruises expanding their footprint to include ocean-going vessels; and in Carnival’s case, building the Vista ship, which is equipped with an IMAX theater and functioning brewery.
The Vista is the first new ship from the company since the Carnival Breeze debuted in 2012, and is the first in Carnival's new Vista-class series, which will roll out with other new vessels in 2018 and 2019.
The Vista sets itself apart from other Carnival ships in a few key ways. One of the biggest enhancements is the additional outdoor seating space. Many restaurants like Bonsai Sushi and Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse now offer tables outside, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy alfresco dining in the warm Caribbean sun.
In addition, there are a few new activities that appeal to both kids and adults alike, including the SkyRide, an elevated bike track that has guests pedaling themselves high about the deck, and the first IMAX Theater at sea, showing films throughout the day.
These new activities combined with spacious Havana Suites and all-new Family Harbor Staterooms are a testament to Carnival’s continued effort to offer a fun-filled cruising experience at an affordable cost. There truly is something for everyone. Active-types can spend their time zipping around the SportSquare or splash around at the waterpark on deck 12. But, those looking for a more quite space to kick back and sip a few cocktails can find multiple places to do just that.
Travel + Leisure was recently invited as a guest by Carnival to experience Vista. Here are some additional standout features the ship has to offer.
The Vista houses 1,967 total staterooms, most of which have ocean views. You’ll find a variety of room types including the Havana Staterooms and Suites, Cloud 9 Spa Staterooms and Suites, and the all-new Family Harbor Stateroom and Suites. Each group offers its own aesthetic and amenities. The Family Harbor rooms are centered near the Family Harbor Lounge, which offers 24-hour access to an exclusive area for meals, games, movies, and a concierge service.
As far as food is concerned, Vista has it all. There are buffets, dining rooms, specialty restaurants like JiJi Asian Kitchen, and fun poolside cafes like Guy’s Burger Joint. Guests love that many of these restaurants now offer outdoor seating options on the ship. Both Bonsai Sushi and Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse not to mention the multiple cafes near the pool, have outdoor seating. It’s a perfect way to enjoy your meal without missing out on the beautiful Caribbean weather.
The most popular activity onboard is arguably Carnival’s newest attraction, the SkyRide. Passengers can strap into an elevated bike and zoom around the 800 foot track. It’s a great way to get some exercise in while pedaling around the top of the ship. Additionally, there’s a mini-golf course, billiards, ping-pong, a basketball course, a ropes course, and much more.
Another notable feature on the Vista is its brewery. The RedFrog Pub will be familiar to frequent Carnival passengers, but on Vista, many of the beers are brewed right on the ship. Sip from a variety of favorites or try one of the new varieties designed in collaboration with Concrete Beach Brewing: the Port Hopping’ IPA, Caribbean Wheat, Java Stout, and American Pale Ale
The Serenity Adult-Only Retreat is a favorite area of the ship. It’s a place that is designed to be peaceful, and the atmosphere is a welcome break from some of the busier, kid-friendly pool decks. Guests can lounge on a bed or take a dip in one of the hot tubs, all while enjoying the warm breeze under the palm trees. For those who work up an appetite, there’s Fresh Creations, a chopped salad station. Guests feeling lucky can also try their hand at the Vista Casino on Deck 4, before heading to the SKYBOX Sports Bar to catch a game or to one of the many performance lounges for an evening show.
In addition to the many outdoor activities, Vista has plenty to offer for those rainy days. The most noteworthy is the inclusion of an IMAX theater. The space is the first of its kind at sea, and offers a lineup of Hollywood blockbusters, documentaries, and hit films. Next door, the Thrill Theater, a 3D experience, has guests fully immersed in a show. Not only will there be multi-dimensions, but theater goers will feel their seat move, wind in their hair, and may even get a splash or two. For the young ones, try Dr. Seuss Bookville, a colorful library filled with children’s books or Camp Ocean, a day camp for children 2-11.
Cloud 9, Carnival’s spa, is found on the brand’s latest ships. The more than 20,000-square-foot space offers a thermal suite with different aromatic steam and sauna grottos, a mud lounge, and cabana massages. Try the Bliss Triple Oxygen Treatment to oxygenate your skin, or opt for the 100-minute Elemis Absolute Spa Ritual. The men on board can even indulge in a deep cleanse grooming treatment and shave.
The Carnival Vista is 1,055 feet long and has a total guest capacity of 3,934. The ship is currently sailing through the Caribbean, where it will continue to offer a number of four, six, and eight-day sailings from Miami.