Geri Bain got a preview of Carnival Corporation’s largest and newest ship on an overnight in New York before it headed to its homeport in Miami
Right after dropping my bag at my cabin, I headed for the top deck to check out Carnival’s SkyRide, its latest entry in the industry’s ever-escalating race to add newsworthy, attention-grabbing attractions. Harnessed and strapped into the recumbent-style bike suspended from an aerial track and looking straight down 150 feet to the sea below, I had a brief moment of panic. Then, pure exhilaration set in as I pedaled all around the 800-foot track. Definitely Instagram-worthy.
Carnival Vista is the first of the line’s Vista Class ships, with two sister-ships in the pipeline. Since I’d explored the Ropes Park on other Carnival ships and it was too cold for me to brave the expanded water park featuring the Kaleid-O-Slide, a rafting 455-foot water tube slide adventure, my next stop was the IMAX Theater — the first at sea — where “National Parks Adventure” was mesmerizing in 3D. There’s also a multisensory Thrill Theater.
Most of all I was impressed by the diversity of options in every area — more than one could ever experience in a week, much less an overnight stay. From the Dr. Seuss Bookville family reading and play space to an actual on-board craft beer brewery, Carnival Vista has compelling appeal for passengers
of all ages.
The ship also introduces two new accommodation classes: romantic Havana Cabanas, with private outdoor patios, swinging chairs and exclusive Havana pool hours; and Family Harbor suites/cabins that sleep up to five and include access to a dedicated concierge lounge with large-screen TVs, games and complimentary breakfast and snacks.
Carnival Vista will also please fun-loving foodies. The poolside BlueIguana Cantina’s made-to-order tacos and burritos were my personal favorite. Fellow cruisers gave high marks to Guy’s Burger Joint (by celebrity chef Guy Fieri), the Pizzeria del Capitano and the Seafood Shack.
Sadly, I didn’t get to enjoy the optional experiences such as the 12-guest Chef’s Table, located in the galley ($75 per person plus drinks) or Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse ($35 per person). Nor was there time to indulge in the line’s first outdoor massage huts — all reasons I’m eager to return for
a longer cruise.
Carnival Vista isn’t just about being the biggest. It packs in eye-popping activities and several new-at-sea experiences to keep carefree cruisers happy as they hop from island to island on its Caribbean itineraries.