November 28, 2016
By Marla Cimini | CNBNewsnet
Who doesn’t love a trip to the Caribbean? The tropical breezes, melodic island music, and colorful cocktails all fit nicely into the perfect beach getaway. However, when planning a trip with your family, it’s often a bit of balancing act to find the right destination that is best for everyone. In recent years, multi-generational travel has been increasing, with more parents, grandparents, and kids traveling together that ever before, so there are plenty of options when deciding where to spend your next vacation.
For a family vacation, choosing a cruise is an optimal way to please everyone in your group – no matter the age or interests. Most of the newer ships offer several levels of cabins for all types of passengers on a variety of budgets – including couples, families with kids -- and those traveling with extended family. Carnival’s newest (and largest ship), the Vista, was introduced earlier this year (2016) with its inaugural cruise around the Mediterranean Sea taking place until last month, when the ship sailed back to NY harbor, then to Florida. Today, the ship is ready to welcome guests who wish to cruise to this season’s destination: the warm waters of the Caribbean.
The largest ship in the fleet, the Carnival Vista measures 133,500 tons, 1,055 feet long and has a guest capacity of 3,954 people (based on two per cabin). Stunning design elements are everywhere – from the awe-inspiring atrium to unique artwork throughout the public spaces as well as splendid ocean views.
So what is it really like to experience the brand new Carnival Vista? Fortunately, I had the opportunity to cruise on this incredible ship a few months ago and enjoyed every moment aboard this exquisite ship. Innovative in every way, the Vista offers abundance of floating “firsts” that are not found on any other cruise ship today:
- The SkyRide – A fun, open-air cycling experience that is suspended high above the top deck. Two riders are bucked in and peddle around the ship’s perimeter. This ride offers stunning views of the surrounding scenery while giving riders the chance to “race” around the course.
- The world’s first IMAX® movie theater on a ship. In this state-of-the-art theater, several movies are offered on every cruise – something for everyone.
- For thrill-seekers, the Vista has a fun water park that features the “Kaleid-O-Slide,” the line’s first rafting water tube slide that takes riders on a psychedelic journey as they propel through the twisting experience.
- For beer fans…The RedFrog Pub and Brewery are the only brewpub at sea! Expert brew master Colin Presby brews three different kinds of beer on board. Presby loves meeting the guests, so stop by and say hello, or sign up for a brewpub tour and special tasting.
In addition, the Carnival Vista features a multitude of restaurants, including a sprawling dining room with sea views and open seating, a buffet for every meal and several other eateries that serve fresh pizza and burgers as well as Fahrenheit 555, a classic steakhouse and Bonsai Sushi. The Seafood Shack is a New England-inspired eatery featuring fresh, local fish, including delectable Lobster rolls.
For passengers who truly want to relax, the ship’s two-level Cloud 9 Spa features an array of amenities, including a thalassotherapy pool, four steam chambers, the line’s first infrared sauna and hamam, and special “experience showers” that provide a soothing fragrance element, along with a high-tech indoor cycling studio. The adults-only Serenity retreat offers jaw-dropping views and the opportunity to enjoy the line’s first outdoor massage huts.
The Carnival Vista also offers a variety of accommodations in a variety of sizes and styles to suit just about everyone.
For families, the ships kid’s club, Camp Ocean, features over 200 indoor and outdoor activities – more than enough to keep children busy for days at sea. The ship also has a dedicated “family zone” and new Family Harbor rooms that offer a variety of deluxe oceanview, balcony and interior staterooms that accommodate up to five family members. The adjacent Family Harbor Lounge is a fun family hangout, complete with large-screen TVs, games along with breakfast and snacks.