Touring the Vista
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.
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.
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.
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: