Some places are standard on all major cruise ships. Besides passenger cabins they all have bars, a variety of places to eat, pools, hot tubs, outdoor decks, shops, a gym, a casino, and a spa. Most cruise lines have more similarities between their own ships than you find from one cruise line to the next, but even within a cruise line some things vary from ship to ship.
The Vista, which was Carnival’s newest ship until the recent launch of Vista’s sister ship Horizon, has some things that were a first for Carnival, and some things never seen on any previous cruise ship. New to Carnival is a tube slide at the waterworks alongside the popular twister slide. Their digital photo display is also new. Instead of placing out racks of photos for sale that all end up in the garbage if not sold, Vista displays theirs digitally. Passengers can find their own with a touch on the wall.
New to the sea is Vista’s IMAX theater. Showing both IMAX and feature films, this 3-deck high movie theater doesn’t have a bad seat in the house. The two-theater complex also includes the thrill theater, a motion theater with moving seats and other affects on film shorts first seen on their previous ship the Breeze. Both theaters have a surcharge.
Another first at sea is their skyride. The ride cars hang from twin tracks high above the outside decks. They move under pedal power similar to riding a bike. There is no extra charge for this ride, but it sometimes has a line so it’s best to go at unpopular times.
Often ships have exclusive areas where only certain people are allowed to go, usually those who have paid the big bucks for the fanciest suites. Not so with Carnival, whose main consumer base is average people. Before the Vista they kept that in mind with all public spaces available for all the passengers. They have always had some areas for just adults or just kids, but none designated only for those in certain cabins. That ended with the Vista which has two areas only for people in specific cabins. One is a lounge for the family harbor cabins, which has food, games, computers, movies, and concierge service. The other is a pool area open only to those staying in the Havana cabins during daytime hours. Staying in these areas of course costs more than similar cabins elsewhere on the ship.
The promenade deck is full of little seating areas, each themed to whatever is adjacent to them inside. Everything from the candy shop to the library bar has its own outside space. It also has some lounging areas. There’s a smoking area too so you have to be careful where you walk if you don’t want to walk through it. What the promenade deck lacks is space for people to walk around the entire ship because the Havana pool area takes up the whole stern, and access for the Havana Cabana cabins blocks off sections on both sides near the back.
The highest usage of promenade deck space goes to the Red Frog Pub, which holds bean bag toss games in their outside area. The Red Frog Pub also has its own first at sea – a genuine fully-functional brewery that makes specialty beers to serve in the pub.
Vista has a unique feature in the atrium with ever-changing video displays on a central pole. They’ve also combined the theater and nightclub into one room instead of separate places, the resulting space not ideal for either. Like Carnival’s other ships it has an additional smaller theater called the Punchliner for comedy shows and sometimes other activities. It’s a bit bigger than the punchliner on other ships. It’s a lot easier to see the stage from pretty much anywhere in the punchliner theater than it is from almost all of the seats in the main theater.
The very colorful area of fun on a top deck called Sports Square includes mini-golf, a ropes course, pool tables, multiplayer foosball, and other games. There’s also a jogging track on an upper outside deck, and some outdoor exercise equipment.
The highest outside deck of all is Serenity, an adults-only retreat. Although all Carnival’s ships have a Serenity area, this one introduced something new – a salad bar. It serves made-to-order salads at lunchtime on sea days, with quite a variety of options to choose from.
Like any large cruise ship, passengers on the Vista have quite a choice of places to hang out whenever they leave their cabin. There’s always somewhere to go and something to do on a cruise ship.
Copyright My Cruise Stories 2018