The cruise industry has high expectations of Carnival Vista, and from what has been revealed about her so far, Carnival Cruise Line seems to be on the right course.
Carnival Vista will be the largest and most advanced cruise ship ever built by Carnival Cruise Line, which is itself the largest cruise brand in the world, owned by the largest cruise company in the world, Carnival Corporation (which owns 11 other cruise lines). Expectations are therefore high, and Cruise Arabia & Africa can’t wait to see this new “fun ship” come to life on the high seas.
Ship Review: Carnival Vista – The Atrium
Only a few details about Carnival Vista have been released. What we do know is that she is being built at a cost of US $800-million at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy and is scheduled to sail her maiden cruise on May 1st, 2016. At 133,500-gross tons she is a full 5,000-gross tons larger than the current fleet leaders, the Dream-class Carnival cruise ships but with a double occupancy capacity of 3,936, she will have a gross tonnage to passenger ratio of 31, which is slightly less than the Dream-class cruise liners’ 35.
Ship Review: Carnival Vista – Carnival Lounge
She will be packed with new amenities and features, though. At the centre of the ship, the beating heart of her on-board social scene, will be the multi-deck atrium, dominated by a three-deck-high LED column with ever-changing colours and shapes extending from the centre of the atrium bar. Up on the main pool deck, there’ll be a RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar situated on a bright yellow deck filled with blue deck chairs and on the aft deck, the SportSquare, Carnival’s top-deck centre of physical activities ranging from a jogging track and mini-golf to a ropes course, will feature a first-at-sea SkyRide, a groundbreaking suspended cycling experience which Carnival Cruise Line describes as “mind-blowing.”
Ship Review: Carnival Vista – SkyRide tracks
The ‘firsts’ don’t stop here though. Also up on the exterior decks, Carnival Vista will feature a WaterWorks, which Carnival Cruise Line fans will have experienced elsewhere in the fleet, but this one will debut the colorful Kaleid-O-Slide, Carnival Cruise Line’s first raft-riding water tube slide. For those looking to relax rather than raft-ride, Tides Pool on the aft deck provides panoramic ocean views and what Cruise Arabia & Africa hopes will be an ‘adults only’ quiet retreat. For guaranteed peace and quiet, there will be the adults-only Serenity retreat.
Ship Review: Carnival Vista – relaxation pool
Down on the Lido Deck, Carnival Vista’s many dining options have been grouped together with a 24-hour pizzeria, New England–inspired Seafood Shack serving lobster rolls and other fare, and Guy’s Burger Joint, designed by celebrity chef Guy Fieri. In RedFrog Pub, Carnival Vista will feature Carnival Cruise Line’s first ever on-board brewery. These are just some of the ‘indoor-outdoor’ dining venues that have been announced. In addition, there is the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, and the Far East-inspired JiJi Asian Kitchen. For desert options, Cherry On Top, is a candy shop and ice cream bar featuring outdoor seating.
Ship Review: Carnival Vista – Atrium bar
Carnival Cruise Line have said that Carnival Vista will be ‘designed for the ultimate family vacation’ and while we’ll have to wait to see if they deliver on that promise, what they have revealed thus far is promising indeed. For cruising kids there will be the marine-themed Camp Ocean and Dr. Seuss Bookville, a family reading venue that’s part of the line’s exclusive Seuss at Sea program. There are also attractions for the whole family, such as the ship’s multiplex featuring the first IMAX Theatre at sea.
Ship Review: Carnival Vista – pool bar
In terms of accommodation Carnival Cruise Line are introducing whole new categories of cruise cabins with Family Harbour staterooms and suites that provide access to the Family Harbour Lounge where kids and parents can hang out, play games or help themselves to the cookie and snack bar (which are all complimentary!). What Cruise Arabia & Africa is particularly excited to experience, however, are the tropical-themed Havana staterooms and suites, which feature outdoor sitting areas complete with hammocks. The Havana Bar and Pool, located nearby, is “a slice of Old Cuba magically transported to the middle of the ocean”, according to Carnival Cruise Lines (invite us on your first media tour of the ship and we’ll decide for ourselves!).
Ship Review: Carnival Vista – Pool area
Carnival Cruise Line plan to bring Carnival Vista into service in Europe from May 1st, 2016, she’ll then reposition to New York for a series of voyages in November 2016 followed by the launch of year-round Caribbean cruises out of Miami later that month.
Ship Review: Carnival Vista – Havana Suite
Ship Review: Carnival Vista – Family Suite
This is a big cruise ship, with lots of new and recurring attractions and amenities, so to recap:
SkyRide, a first-of-its-kind aerial attraction. Here, adventure seekers pedal hanging recumbent-like cycles at speeds of up to 18 miles an hour across an elevated 800-foot-long track, while enjoying panoramic views to the sea 150 feet below. There will be no charge for Sky Ride, Carnival Cruise Line assures us.
Adjacent to SkyRide is SportSquare, an open-air recreation area for all ages with a 270-foot-long suspended rope course, a two-level miniature golf course, a 700-foot-long jogging track, a variety of outdoor fitness equipment, and the new Clubhouse, a modern indoor sports hangout with mini-bowling, ping-pong, sports-themed video games, arcade-style sports games and more.
WaterWorks, the largest aqua park in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet with the Kaleid-o-Slide, Carnival’s first inner-tube slide. Riders can zip down 455 feet of exhilarating corkscrew turns enhanced by music and stunning kaleidoscopic effects. There is also the Carnival characteristic Twister slide, offering 300 feet of high-speed fun, as well as the PowerDrencher, a 300-gallon tipping bucket. A kids area with 30 different water spray toys and mini-racing slides will be available for younger cruisers.
On-Board Entertainment Options
Carnival Vista will debut the cruise industry’s first IMAX Theater with a three-deck-high screen that brings an immersive cinema experience to sea with the latest Hollywood blockbusters and family favourites, IMAX classics and IMAX documentary content. The 182-seat IMAX Theater is part of the Carnival Multiplex, which includes Thrill Theater, a multi-dimensional experience where seats move back and forth and side to side and viewers are sprayed with water and bubbles to make them feel like they’re part of the movie.
Located next door is the Warehouse, featuring video and arcade games as well as a concession stand offering popcorn and other movie favourites (which will no doubt be over-priced, just like at the movies on land!).
Families can also enjoy all-ages comedy shows at the 385-seat Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez as well as the audience participation favourite Hasbro, The Game Show. New for Carnival Vista will be a premium ice cream parlour inside Cherry on Top where patrons can select their favourite ice cream and mix-ins and watch as their frozen creation is made live.
Exclusive to Carnival Vista is Family Harbour, located within a dedicated family zone aft on Deck 2 with 96 specially designed cruise cabins that Carnival Cruise Line says will feature “family ergonomics”, which means extra-large family suites accommodating five guests and featuring two bathrooms.
The Family Harbour Lounge is a secluded space designed as the ultimate family hangout with large screen TVs, board games and complimentary breakfast, cookies and other snacks. An exclusive family concierge will assist cruise passengers staying in these suites with dining, spa and shore excursion reservations, registering kids for the youth programs and making recommendations on and off the ship for families with kids of all ages.
Family Harbour staterooms include kid-friendly toiletries, bathrobes and slippers while suites feature separate sleeping quarters for parents and children and a walk-in closet. Guests in Family Harbour staterooms will also receive a number of exclusive benefits and privileges, including 24/7 card key access to the Family Harbour Lounge, free meals for kids under age 12 in specialty restaurants, and one free evening in Night Owls, a late-night activities program held in Camp Ocean.
Seuss Bookville and Other Play Areas
Dr. Seuss Bookville is a family reading and play venue featuring iconic décor and funky furniture inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. Here, kids and their families can read Dr. Seuss books, enjoy arts and crafts, toys and play Dr. Seuss-inspired games. Dr. Seuss Bookville is part of Seuss at Sea, a fleetwide program that includes the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends, and Seuss-a-Palooza Parade and Story Time.
A 4,000-square-foot Camp Ocean play area for kids aged 2-11 will enable immersive ‘wonders of the sea’ experienced through a variety of age-appropriate, fun-filled and engaging activities. Camp Ocean includes Party Reef, a common area for all ages, as well as a breakout room for arts and crafts called Creative Cove. Just outside Camp Ocean are two outdoor playgrounds: Camp Ocean Playground featuring climbing, tactile and exploratory activities for the little ones, while the interactive NEOS® Play Zone offers fast paced high-tech physical fun for older kids.
What Cruise Arabia & Africa particularly likes is the way Carnival Vista caters to the different age groups within the ‘teen’ category, because a 14-year-old is a very different animal to a 17-year-old, which a lot of cruise lines tend to forget. There’s no generic ‘teen area’ aboard Carnival Vista. For early teens, there’s Circle “C,” designed as the ultimate chill space for 12- to 14-year-olds, as well as Club O2, a cool hangout just for 15 to 17 year olds.