Are you a fan of cruise travel? After our first cruise 20 years ago, it easily became our family’s favorite method of travel. On a recent vacation through the Southern Caribbean, my husband (Eddie) and I had a fabulous time aboard the Carnival Vista cruise ship. It may very well have been our favorite ship in our nearly 50 cruises.
If you are already a fan of cruise travel, you’re going to really enjoy the Carnival Vista cruise ship. If you haven’t cruised at all, allow us to share 35 things that you will love that may quickly persuade you.
#1 Fun Swimming Pools
Whether you select the Havana, Tides, or Beach pool, enjoy splashing, swimming, or just hanging out with a good cocktail chatting with other guests. Keep in mind the water in the pools is salt water. You can also hop in one of the whirlpools for a relaxing break.
#2 A Scary Thrill Ride with Special Effects
The Carnival Vista’s Thrill Theater is a super-fun way to get scared…and pay for it! For a minimal fee, enjoy three levels of scariness in a multi-dimensional experience that will have you holding on to your seat. Shows run frequently and last 30-40 minutes. The shows we had to choose from were Thrills and Chills!, Fun for All!, and Dare to be Scared (ages 17 and up).
#3 A Top-Notch Steakhouse
Visit Carnival’s Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse for a succulent steak with all the classic sides. For $35, indulge in an appetizer, entree, choice of side dishes, and dessert. There aren’t many places you have a fantastic prime cut of beef for this price so we were happy to pay the fee. Tip: Don’t skip the Chocolate Sampler for dessert.
#4 Tasty Mexican Burritos from Blue Iguana
The Blue Iguana Cantina is the best thing on the ship since sliced bread. Come here for breakfast arepas, huevos rancheros, and burritos and custom-made Mexican lunches. Choose your protein and toppings, then continue to the over-the-top condiments bar for special items such as Jicama Salsa, Roasted Tomato Salsa, or extra cheese.
#5 Tanning Options
Most of the 3,934 passengers onboard are at least going home a few shades browner than when they arrived on the Carnival Vista. With several decks to choose from and seating areas all over the boat, you are destined to work on tan as you enjoy soaking up some vitamin D.
#6 Killer Music
On the Carnival Vista cruise ship, we had violins playing current music in the atrium, steel drums, rock and roll, Piano Bar singalongs, Latin Music in the Havana Bar and a wide variety of other great musical choices. FYI: A few nights had dance parties by the pool with great music to enjoy.
The Carnival Vista staterooms have amazing air conditioning! It was such a nice reprieve from the intense Southern Caribbean sun to slip into our stateroom for a cool down and enjoyable nap. Or, enjoy one of the fluffy lounges on the adults-only deck.
#8 Shopping Opportunities
Shopping is always a big draw on cruise ships and the Carnival Vista has plenty to choose from. Choose from discounted liquor, fragrances, jewelry, and specialty items such as candy, clothing, and souvenirs. Take advantage of the daily sales with items like t-shirts, gold by the inch, and watches.
#9 Pedaling Through The Sky
Perhaps the coolest thing on the Carnival Vista is the SkyRide Experience which allows you to pedal your way around a twin-track suspended course hanging over the ocean. You are completely harnessed in but the height is definitely a fear factor draw. You have to see these epic views to believe them. Fun Fact: Carnival brought this to the high seas first!
Bingo, the world’s easiest game, is quite the rage onboard cruise ships. With jackpots totaling thousands of dollars, it is easy to see why. Come play a few choice games for one fee as you try to cover your card, get postage stamps, straight lines, the letter X, and more. A passenger won $3000 on our cruise which was pretty exciting.
#11 Trivia (with Amazing Prizes!)
Whenever the Funtimes newsletter mentions trivia, I am there! Trivia is a major cruise attraction as individuals or teams gather to see who can answer the most questions. Trivia games range from Guess the Motown Song, 80’s Music, General Knowledge, Harry Potter, and many others. Winners get to take home their very own 24K gold-plastic ship on a stick award. Trust me, these games are highly competitive. Tip: Trivia is also a great way to meet fellow passengers.
#12 Private Balconies
Balcony rooms cost more than an inside or ocean view stateroom, but they can be well worth the splurge. From the scenic photos cruising into the ports of call to enjoying the ocean breeze as you sit outside in your own private enclave, we recommend having a balcony to call your own.
#13 Thrilling Water Slides
The Carnival Vista cruise ship offers Carnival Waterworks, a fun station with two huge twisty water slides, a tipping bucket, and several other fun things to get doused by water in the splash area. This was one of the best onboard waterparks we have ever seen.
#14 Scrumptious Guy Fieri Burgers
Enjoy the best burger at sea from celebrity chef Guy Fieri at Guy’s Burger Joint. Be sure to add the ooey-gooey melted cheese. Don’t skip the hand-cut fries at this fierce burger joint with a side of donkey sauce. Take your burgers to the well-stocked condiment bar (including sautéed onions and mushrooms) and fix them up the way you like them.
#15 Sampling Rum or Craft Beer at Red Frog Pub
Chances are you may hear of the popular Red Frog Pub long before you even step foot onto the Carnival Vista cruise ship. Red Frog is brewing their own beer on this ship! Crowds gather at the Red Frog Pub daily to play games, drink craft beer, sing karaoke, participate in trivia, have Caribbean snacks ($3.33 each), and drink delicious adult libations. Shuffleboard and other fun games are in the game room in the back. Our favorite offering was the rum sampling: choose from light or dark flavored rums.
#16 The Latest Movies
On the Carnival Vista, you have several options for watching movies. There are the Dive-In Movies poolside, in-room on-demand movies, and the Imax speciality movies. The choices on our cruise were National Parks or Born to be Wild (in 3-D), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Incredibles 2.
#17 Have Yummy Coffee and Snacks
JavaBlue Café is your coffee and tea stop during the cruise. Choose between frappes, floats, milkshakes, spiked coffee drinks, and snacks like mile-high cakes and cookies. Be sure to pick up a coffee punch card with your purchase. Buy six, get one free!
#18 Cool Cocktails
A highly sophisticated atmosphere and perfect drink recipes is what you will find at the Alchemy Bar located mid-ship. A master mixologist will be delighted to create one of the tasty combinations you. Try passion potions such as the Perfect Storm, Spicy Chipotle Pineapple Martini, or the Youthful & Bold Bertini. Tip: Don’t skip the free snacks!
#19 A Winning Casino
The Carnival Vista cruise ship has a large and awesome casino to enjoy. Choose from poker and other table games and slots in this 18 and older gambling complex. Don’t miss the slot tournaments, too. The claw cash machines were highly popular and we saw many people winning stacks of money from them. Perhaps I should change my game of choice….
#20 Relaxing Cloud 9 Spa
Cloud 9 Spa is the place to indulge in a relaxing massage, invigorating body treatment, rejuvenating facial, or hair and nail service. The ships spas use Elemis products, which is my favorite skincare line. If you aren’t familiar with Elemis, be sure to sit in on one of the free seminars to learn the long-lasting effects of using quality products.
#21 Scrumptious Ji Ji Asian Kitchen
Ji Ji Asian Kitchen is a pay restaurant ($15) that has amazing Asian dishes. The enticing dishes we chose, and loved, were the Potstickers, Spring Rolls, Kung Pao Chicken, and Peppered Beef. Absolutely delicious and service with a smile is how I would best describe this eatery. Save room for the dessert Fried Wontons and Rose Crème Brulee.
#22 Larger Than Life Production Shows
Watch professional dancers and singers take the stage for top-notch evening entertainment in shows such as American Rocks! and Flick. Sing along to your favorite tunes and be awed by the special effects and energy of these productions. Shows take place in the Liquid Lounge and comedians perform in the Limelight Lounge. Tip: Note that there are rated PG and R versions of the comedy shows.
#23 Art History
Cruising is the time to take home paintings and artwork by your favorite artists at reasonable prices with the art auctions at sea. If you would like to learn more about art in general, go to a seminar with the experts. The ones offered on my cruise focused on Surrealism and Absurdism introducing Salvador Dali and Joan Miro or American pop art icon Peter Max.
Ever wonder how all the passengers seem to know those line dances? Well you, too, can learn them during your Carnival cruise experience. From Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance class to fan-favorites like the Cupid Shuffle, The Wobble, and Electric Slide, jump right in and follow the footwork to enhance your cruise experience. Take those moves home and impress your friends!
#25 Dr. Seuss at Sea
Carnival Cruises offer a real treat with Dr. Seuss fun aboard their ships. From the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast with character greetings to the SEUSS-A-PALOOZA storytime and parade, you will adore how well-received this beloved family favorite children’s author is among the old and young.
#26 Eating Ice Cream 24-Hours a Day
It gets very hot on a Caribbean cruise, so having a 24-hour a day, 7 days a week free ice cream spot was heaven on earth. Choose from chocolate, vanilla, and occasionally strawberry frozen yogurt or soft-serve ice cream at Swirls, surely to be a place you visit frequently during your cruise. The Sweet Spot serves up homemade ice cream during lunch in the Lido Marketplace as well.
#27 Formal Night
One of my favorite parts about cruising is seeing the passengers get all dolled up for their formal nights on the ship. For some, it is a timeless tradition and others, the chance of a lifetime. Regardless of how you feel about dressing up (it is optional, we skip bringing the fancy clothes), it is wonderful to see everyone in their Sunday best. Be sure to be free with the compliments on these nights, especially.
#28 Giving Back
It isn’t common knowledge how many dollars cruise ships earn and donate to charitable causes, but I’ve seen them in action for nearly 20 years now. Do your part and participate in the Groove for St. Jude, the current running Carnival campaign. With a $10 donation to St. Jude, you get a t-shirt, wristband, and participation in an exclusive dance event you’ll be proud to tell your friends about.
#29 Singalong with the Piano Man in 88 Keys
Enjoy classic songs as performed by the piano man on the Carnival Vista cruise ship. Sing along, make a request, or just enjoy the easy listening favorites. Note: The energy level kicks up in 88 Keys after 10 PM so stick around for it. You never know what the crowd might drag in.
#30 Professional Portraits
Part of your Carnival cruise memories come from the professional portraits you have taken onboard. Choose from dozens of different settings around the boat, changing nightly, or the candid photos that are shot around the ship or in port. Sign in to your portfolio on the tablets provided in Pixels to see your shots and purchase them. Tip: Don’t wait until the last day at sea to make your choices as the area gets incredibly congested.
#31 Hasbro Characters
Have your photo made with a wide array of fun characters onboard the Carnival Vista cruise ship. On our cruise, we had the beloved towel animal, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, and the Cat in the Hat.
#32 Pour Your Own Beer
On the Carnival Vista, you don’t have to waste time standing at a bar or going somewhere far from the food counter for an ice cold beer. Simply swipe your Sail and Sign cruise card and pour your own beer at the tables in some of the lounges and at the Lido Marketplace buffet. You can also use the upscale wine dispenser in the library the same way. No waiting, self-serve.
#33 A Memorable Italian Meal
Another optional pay restaurant on the Carnival Vista is Cucina del Capitano, serving great Italian eats family style. The restaurant is done in light colors that contrast nicely with the brick walls. The ambiance is friendly-casual but is perfect for a romantic date or a family dinner night. Cucina del Capitano’s burrata and arancini appetizers are a must while the hand-made pasta dishes are sensational!
#34 Serenity Adults-Only Area
Enjoy “me” time while the kids are away at Camp Ocean (onboard camp for kids) in this low-key adults-only escape. Serenity is a 21+ retreat with super cozy lounge beds for sunbathing, watching the scenery, or a long-overdue nap. Read your favorite book from the cabana chairs or simply enjoy the jacuzzis, bar, and healthy-choice chopped salad bar.
#35 Mega Deck Party
Join the cruise director and staff as they lead the crowds in a massive deck party, complete with neon glow sticks. The cruise director was in his element as he led the dance party for hundreds (or thousands) of us. This is a great alternative to spending your time in the gym and definitely gets everyone up on their feet and shaking to the beats laid by the Carnival Vista DJ. Families are out in full force on this super fun cruise night.
Ready to Set Sail?
What a fantastic time you are destined to have on this amazing ship that was voted Best New Ship of 2016 by Cruise Critic! Though this list hasn’t begun to scratch the surface of the amazing offerings of the Carnival Vista cruise ship, you will have to see them for yourself.
Thanks to Carnival Cruises for hosting me on this itinerary. As always, opinions and reveiws are 100% mine and unbiased.
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