Just Back From a Cruise on Carnival Vista®

Our writer is just back from a southern Caribbean cruise aboard the new Carnival Vista®.

Carnival Vista®

Photo: Courtesy Carnival Cruises

The 3,956-guest Carnival Vista®, Carnival Cruise Lines®’ newest, largest and most technologically innovative vessel, sails from one beautiful island to the next. And, as I soon learned on a southern Caribbean sailing from Miami, there’s no break in the action along the way.

The Vista® is aptly named; it provides the many perspectives from which passengers can take in the vessel, the ocean and the islands. For example, you can soar above it all on a cruise on Carnival Vista®. On the SkyRide—a flying velocipede suspended on a twin-track course high above the deck—you can race your friends along the 800-foot track or just take in the view and see what’s happening below or at sea.

Carnival®’s signature WaterWorksSM onboard water park is larger than ever on the Vista®, and boasts the new, kid-approved Kaleid-O-Slide, a speed-and-splash experience made even more exciting by colorful special effects. With the fast, wet Twister WaterslideSM and the Power Drencher tipping bucket soaking you, the water park is the best place on the ship to cool off.

Guests loved that a cruise on Carnival Vista® offers more opportunities than ever to stay in shorts and swimsuits and eat outside. The lines at Guy’s Burger Joint, which stars TV chef Guy Fieri’s famous burgers, stay steady throughout the day. Fieri’s newest Carnival® collaboration is the open-air Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, where you can sample his Championship Pork Butt and Blue-Ribbon Chicken along with sides like Mac Daddy Mac n Cheese. (Meals at both eateries are included with your cruise.)

Another new addition is the seaside-style Seafood Shack, where you can order New England-style seafood specialties such as clam chowder and lobster rolls. (A la carte pricing applies.)

And on the ship-top SerenitySM Adult-Only Area, guests sat on padded lounges lunching on complimentary big bowls of chopped salad from the nearby salad station.

When you’re ready to go inside, check out another first for the Carnival® fleet: the fully functional onboard brewery in the line’s popular, Caribbean-themed RedFrog Pub.

One of the hottest nightspots on Vista® is the new, Cuba-themed Havana Bar. While the bar’s pool area—decorated with rocking chairs and faux palm trees—and hot tubs are reserved for guests in the new Havana Cabana accommodations until 5 p.m., many guests gathered here to watch the sunset, sip a cocktail and enjoy the Latin dance band late into the night.

In addition to the exciting evening production shows—“Amore Cubano” was a highlight—evenings on a cruise on Carnival Vista® offer movies up on deck and in the first IMAX theatre at sea. If there’s anything better than Ryan Gosling singing and dancing in La La Land, it’s sitting in comfy rocking seats and watching Ryan Gosling singing and dancing in La La Land on a three-deck high screen. (Poolside movies are free; IMAX features charge regular movie prices.)

New amenities for families aboard Vista® include Dr. Seuss Bookville, a colorful wonderland with whimsical furniture and shelves full of family-friendly books, and the Family Harbor staterooms and suites around the Family Harbor Lounge, a 24-hour hub that offers snacks during the day, Hasbro board games and concierge services.

Vista® comes with several technological innovations. A major new feature is a digital photo bar with facial recognition technology to help you find photos taken by the ship’s photographers.

And you can leave the paper schedule in your room. The Carnival Vista® app on your smartphone can quickly fill you in on activities and eateries; it can even tell you how much you’ve spent on board, and you can use it to chat with the new friends you’ve made.

When it’s time to explore sunny ports—on this cruise on Carnival Vista®, it was Turks & Caicos, the Dominican Republic, Curaçao and Aruba—we took a little time to enjoy the view from the deck before disembarking.

The writer was a guest of the cruise line.

Book your cruise on Carnival Vista with AAA. Browse sailing options online or call 877-396-7159 to talk to a AAA Travel Counselor.

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Janice Yip-Hudson, AAA Travel Counselor, Daly City, Calif.

Today, people's lives are so busy. We're thinking three days ahead just to get through our to-do lists. I love helping my clients plan vacations where they have nothing to do but relax; where time stands still, and you're just on vacation.

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