Family Harbor accommodations onboard Carnival Vista offer space for up to five guests. // © 2015 Carnival Cruise Lines
Feature image (above): SportSquare on Carnival Vista will offer a ropes course, basketball, putting greens and more. // © 2015 Carnival Cruise Lines
The 3,936-passenger Carnival Vista, debuting in Europe on May 1, 2016, is evenly divided between innovative new features and an evolution of the design elements seen on Carnival Breeze and Funship 2.0. Vista will be the largest ship in Carnival’s fleet.
At a New York press event previewing Vista’s new features, Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival, spoke about Vista in great detail. According to Tamis, Vista emphasizes the guests’ relationship with the sea more than ever before, showcasing additional outdoor features and views of the water from every possible angle.
All of the dining venues on Deck 5 have indoor/outdoor spaces, and the new Havana Cabana staterooms feature private outdoor patios. The patios are set up with lounge chairs and a hammock facing the outdoor promenade.
In this area, the Havana Bar has expanded into a whole mini-resort: the lively and charming new Havana Experience. There is a bar and dance club as well as brightly colored umbrellas and faux palm trees to set the mood. The area offers a pool and whirlpools exclusively to Havana Experience guests by day, but it is available to all cruisers in the evenings.
Making its debut on Vista is another complex: the shipboard Multiplex theaters, with the first IMAX theater on a ship and at three decks high, showing films at the same time as they are released shoreside. It is placed next to the 5-D Thrill Theater, and there is a common concession stand with popcorn and snacks.
Another expanded concept is the sports activity park with The Clubhouse at SportSquare and its mini bowling, arcade basketball, ping-pong, sports video gaming and the very attractive SkyRide.
On Skyride, adventurous guests take a pedal-powered ride on aerodynamic recumbent bikes that hang 150 feet above the sea from a suspended track with spectacular views. And Carnival’s largest WaterWorks water park introduces Kaleid-O-Slide, where fun-lovers can take inflatable one- or two-person rafts through 455 feet of twists and turns, surrounded by kaleidoscopic visual effects.
In dining, Carnival has brought back favorites, including the outstanding Ji Ji Asian Kitchen restaurant that debuted on Sunshine and Guy Fieri’s extremely popular burgers. The line has added the indoor/outdoor Seafood Shack, a New England-inspired eatery serving lobster rolls, fried clams, crab cakes and the like. RedFrog Pub, which has been very successful with its signature Carnival beer, has gone a step further to brew its own beers on the ship.
First-time outdoor seating is being added for the restful Library Bar, Japanese-style Bonsai Sushi, the steakhouse Fahrenheit 555 and even for the goodie shop Cherry on Top, which is adding a premium assembled-to-order ice cream creation bar with a vast collection of toppings and 80-plus bins of candy.
The two-deck Cloud 9 Spa will offer a thalassotherapy pool; four steam chambers; the line’s first infrared sauna and hamam; and special experience showers that provide a form of aromatherapy. For more relaxation, the adults-only Serenity retreat will have Carnival’s first outdoor massage huts.
Families are at the heart of Carnival’s business, and the line has placed a new dedicated family zone on Deck 2, featuring the new Family Harbor accommodations that sleep up to five family members. There’s a dedicated lounge attached, with large-screen televisions, games and complimentary breakfast and snacks, plus a special family concierge desk.
Vista will be Carnival’s second ship to feature Dr. Seuss Bookville, where kids and their families can read Dr. Seuss books, make arts and crafts and enjoy toys and games. The Green Eggs and Ham character breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends is affordable and well presented, and the Seuss-a-palooza Story Time and Parade gives kids a chance to become a part of Dr. Seuss’ world.
The indoor/outdoor Camp Ocean for children under age 12 has an undersea theme and offers more than 200 educational and ocean-inspired activities. In addition to sports, movies and shows, families can choose among four new games at the Hasbro the Game Show, as well as special family-friendly comedy performances at Punchliner Comedy Club that are presented by George Lopez.
Vista, which marks Carnival’s first return to Europe in three years, will sail 18 cruises in Europe before coming to New York City in October; her permanent homeport will be announced at a later date.