Touring the Vista

Exploring Carnival Vista on our first Fun Day at Sea! .Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Monday, May 1, 2017

It’s my first full day aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s largest and most innovative ship yet,  Carnival Vista. We’re currently making 20 knots as we sail south towards our first port of call, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and today, nothing but ocean lies ahead. And that means I get to focus on nothing but exploring this fantastic ship today.

Some quick stats about Carnival Vista:

  • Built: 2016, by Fincantieri (Monfalcone, Italy)
  • Gross Tonnage: 133,500 gt
  • Length: 1055 feet.
  • Beam: 122 feet at hull; 158 feet at pool decks.
  • Maximum Draft: 27 feet
  • Decks (Passenger): 15
  • Normal Occupancy: 3934 guests
  • Crew: 1450
  • Officers: Italian
  • Hotel and Cruise Staff: International
  • Total Staterooms: 1967 (25 are wheelchair-accessible)

It would be unfair to say that Carnival Vista is revolutionary instead of evolutionary, because she is both. While she takes the Carnival of old and turns it on its head, she also keeps a number of touches the line has had for years and merely updates them to be suitable aboard this new ship. This can be as obvious as the shipboard waterslides (still a hit!), or as obscure as the relief ceiling panels in the passenger corridor.

Finding your way around Carnival Vista is made easier through excellent signage….Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and handy deck numbers sewn into the carpeting on stairwell landings. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

But Carnival Vista might be Carnival’s most accessible ship yet. Old-school Carnival was wacky; the interior design of the Fantasy Class, even when it came out, was politely described as “retina-shattering” in the Frommers guidebook to cruises. Wild colours, lots of reflective surfaces, neon – Carnival had it all.

But Carnival has matured over the years. The onboard fun is still alive and well, but the rest of the product has grown and evolved substantially. If you’ve never sailed with Carnival before, it might be the craft cocktails at the Alchemy Bar that win you over. Or, the three types of beer that Carnival brews exclusively onboard Carnival Vista for its RedFrog Pub. Or the new, revamped dining menus. Or the steakhouse – still one of the best at sea for what amounts to really a very nominal cover fee of $35 per person.

At the RedFrog Pub and Brewery…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…three different kinds of craft beers are brewed right onboard! Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The other thing I love about Carnival is that it has introduced a number of wonderful innovations, but it is in no hurry to reinvent the wheel. In fact, unlike other lines, I think Carnival’s newest ships have a better connection with the sea than its older ones. Carnival Vista, for example, introduces al fresco dining on its wraparound Promenade Deck on Deck 5. Major hot spots like the RedFrog Pub, Bonsai Sushi, the Alchemy Bar, and Fahrenheit 555 all have both indoor and outdoor seating now. Carnival’s Dream Class ships (Carnival Dream, Carnival Magic, Carnival Breeze) all have the same wonderful wraparound promenade deck, but without the al fresco dining options.

At sea today, the Carnival Vista’s outer decks were the place to be. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

I’m going to be talking a lot about Carnival Vista in the days to come. Today, I’d rather show you – in pictures – just how spectacular this new ship really is. I had very high expectation from Carnival Vista, because Carnival Breeze set the bar very high. And, truth be told, my favorite Carnival ships are the Spirit Class vessels: Carnival Spirit, Carnival Legend, Carnival Miracle, and Carnival Pride. They’re the right size for me, they have lots of wonderful windows, and they’re beautiful vessels with lots of space.

But Carnival Vista really does open up a new chapter in Carnival’s venerable history. The line has had great ships for decades, and a product that offers a ton of bang-for-your-buck. Carnival Vista is going to be the ship that makes the rest of the cruising world realize that.

Carnival Vista, In Pictures:

Today’s atrium takes on an entirely different look…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…thanks to a dynamic LED sculpture with projections that change daily. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Carnival Vista’s Casino is located on Deck 4….Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…away from most of the other public rooms. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Also on Deck 4: the Limelight Lounge. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

With plenty of seating options, this is the place to be to see Carnival’s oh-so-funny Punchliner Comedy Club performances. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

New to Carnival Vista is the Cuban-themed Havana Bar. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

While the Havana Bar has plenty of seating nearest to the bar (and the dance floor)…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…the cozy, entrance-hallway seating areas are my favorite. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Just like being in La Habana Veija. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Inside the RedFrog Pub…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…you can even pour your own pint. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Carnival Vista also boasts the first-ever IMAX movie theatre at sea. You can find it on Deck 6, via the forward staircase and elevator bank. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Ocean Plaza on Deck 5 is the place to be for daily trivia and nightly live music. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

If relaxation’s more your style…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…head up to the Cloud 9 Spa…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…for a relaxing time in the (extra cost) Thermal Suite. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

This features a thalassotherapy pool…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…heated ceramic loungers, and a variety of dry and wet saunas, including this infrared sauna. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

My go-to spot for coffee on any Carnival ship: the excellent JavaBlue Cafe, Deck 5 midship. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

For something different, try the sushi or ramen dishes at Bonsai Sushi, Deck 5. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

At night, the Piano Bar is one of the best places to be. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Carnival is one of the few lines to still offer a dedicated piano bar, and it’s routinely packed to standing-room only. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The Library Bar concept that was first developed for Carnival Breeze returns to Carnival Vista, in a newer, larger space. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Eight different wines can be self-poured in the Library Bar, just by inserting your keycard. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The Horizon’s Dining Room spans Decks 3 and 4 aft, and could be the classiest dining space on any Carnival ship, period. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

You can expect Carnival’s trademark shows, performed by your amazing wait staff, throughout the cruise. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Carnival still knows how to do fun! Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Our Voyage Report onboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista continues tomorrow from Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog.

Carnival Vista - 6 Night Western Caribbean

Sunday, April 30, 2017MiamiEmbarkation4:30 PM
Monday, May 1At Sea
Tuesday, May 2Ocho Rios, Jamaica8:00 AM4:00 PM
Wednesday, May 3Georgetown, Grand Cayman8:00 AM4:00 PM
Thursday, May 4Cozumel, Mexico / Carnival LIVE performance with Jay Leno10:00 AM11:00 PM
Friday, May 5At Sea
Saturday, May 7, 2017Miami7:00 AMDisembark

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