It’s good to be a kid on Carnival’s newest cruise ship, Vista. Which means it’s also great to be a parent sailing aboard Vista. More kids sail on Carnival than other cruise line, and Vista proves the company wants to keep it that way. Carrying 3,936 passengers and 1,450 crew members, she’s a floating resort with everything a vacationing family could ask for, and plenty of things they may not have ever imagined were possible at sea or on land.
Weighing in at more than 133-thousand tons, the list of Carnival Vista’s family-friendly perks is long, entertaining and in many cases adrenaline boosting, but these ten should provide instant vacation inspiration.
1. Ride On.. On the SkyRide
Easier than learning how to ride a bike, SkyRide is a cycling track suspended above the ship’s top deck that briefly lets riders cruise over the ocean. At 800-feet, if the track was laid out straight, it would be almost the length of a Manhattan city block. The two-lane suspended track lets two riders pedal at a time. Cruisers can race for victory or simply pedal to take in the panoramic view.
2. Climb to New Heights on the SkyCourse
A 270-foot-long ropes course at sea. What’s not to love? Just like the SkyRide, parents and their kids can reach new heights together on the SkyCourse. The course features two levels of challenge, so you can adjust your thrill-seeking desire from the air.
3. First IMAX at Sea
Family night at the movies is much more fun afloat. Carnival Vista is home to the first IMAX Theatre at sea. The 187-seat theatre sports a three-deck-high screen and shows Hollywood blockbusters along with documentaries, plenty of popcorn and movie candy. Innovative design and sound proofing prevents sound and vibration from spilling into surrounding cabins.
Colorful and eye catching, Vista’s WaterWorks is the splashy home of the 455-foot-long Kaleid-O-Slide. Complete with inner-tubes and corkscrew turns, it’s the longest slide in the Carnival fleet, but the 300-gallon tipping bucket spills out a fair share of drenching competition.
5. Family Harbor
Decked out in nautical décor, Family Harbor staterooms are designed specifically for traveling families. These staterooms can accommodate up to five guests, meaning parents with three kids no longer have to book two rooms, than divide and conquer. Along with a family concierge, there’s a dedicated Lounge serving meals and snacks for Family Harbor stowaways. Another perk, parents staying in Family Harbor get a free evening of the ship’s Night Owls babysitting service.
6. Seuss at Sea
Do you like green eggs and ham? Have breakfast with the colorful cast of characters created by Dr. Seuss and you’ll get the chance to find out. When quiet time becomes priority, head straight for the Dr. Seuss Bookville reading room. It has every Dr. Seuss book ever written, in multiple languages.
7. Camp Ocean
Vacations are for parents too and Camp Ocean helps ensure rest and relaxation is part of the grown-up cruising experience. Camp Ocean is complimentary and open to kids age 2 to 11. The 4,000-square-foot play area is divided into three age groups; Penguins age 2 – 5, Stingrays age 6-8, and Sharks age 9-11. The often forgotten about tween and teen demographic is kept happily entertained with an assortment of activities that take place all over the ship, in addition to having their own lounge spaces that are well supervised, but off-limits to parents.
8. The Clubhouse
Ping-pong, mini bowling and an active, barefoot twist on playing pool called SkyBillards is waiting in the Clubhouse. A mellow combination of pool and soccer, feet replace cues. SkyBillards attracts a crowd of all ages, making it a fun, floating take on family game night. Outside the Clubhouse doors, SportSquare is home to mini golf, an enclosed multi-purpose basketball/soccer/volleyball court, jogging track and an assortment of games.
9. There’s an app for that
Vacation is the perfect time to unplug, recharge and forget about your phone. That said, if you’re traveling with tweens and teens and giving them freedom to roam, the Carnival HUB App is worth a look. For $5 per sailing, per person, the chat feature offers a reliable way to communicate while onboard the ship.
10. Family-Friendly Eats
Picking eaters, good eaters and everything in between will find something to love about mealtime aboard Carnival Vista. From burritos to burgers, to sushi, seafood and pizza, if you’re craving it, the odds are good you’ll find it afloat. Along with menu options like hand cut French fries and handmade tortillas, many of the restaurants offer outside seating, giving kids with a case of the wiggles room to get up and move while other family members can finish eating.
Carnival Vista is spending the summer cruising in Europe before crossing the Atlantic for the United States. After a couple sailings from New York, Vista will settle into its Miami home and begin sailing the Caribbean.
Dana’s sailing was hosted by Carnival Vista, but as always, her thoughts and opinions are her own.
About the Author
Dana Rebmann has successfully trained her family to be able to pack a carry-on bag with just minutes notice. Weekends spent exploring the San Francisco Bay Area outnumber those at home in wine country, but her favorite trips require a passport and typically a destination with warm sand and blue water. Along with travel, Dana writes about food, wine and anything fun.
Connect with Dana on her website, Twitter and Instagram.