The t-shirt reads “Free Hugs,” and the man wearing it, Cruise Director Matt, is in the midst of a massive group squeeze while simultaneously snapping a selfie. Out on the Lido deck, a towel animal flash mob congregates poolside. In the Liquid Lounge, a giant envelope perched on a tripod and emblazoned with the word, “CLUE,” rolls in – and dozens of amateur sleuths lean forward.
Aboard Carnival’s newest ship, the beautiful and breezy behemoth that is Vista, diving into such fun scenarios is irresistible. Fun comes at you from every direction. From the Sports Deck where fearless souls pedal along 800 feet of suspended track and 150 feet above the sea in the open-air SkyRide and Deck 7 where the IMAX Theatre – a cruise ship first – rumbles with first-run movies. From the RedFrog Pub & Brewery with its signature microbrews and the Fun Shops’ hyper specials that entice neophyte and seasoned shoppers alike.
Award-winning Vista was made for fun and she’s not shy about putting it out there. In the atrium lobby, a three-deck-high martini glass-like funnel brings an ever-changing montage of scenes and patterns. Deck 5 is a bevy of al fresco dining and drinking options (Bonsai Sushi, Fahrenheit 555, RedFrog Pub & Brewery, the Library Bar, Ocean Plaza and Cherry on Top sweet shop). The thatched-roofs, gliders and ocean vistas are some of the best sides ever to accompany an entrée or cocktail.
Carnival’s WaterWorks brings it with spiraling slides and lots of spurting, splashing and swirling water, including the crazy-long Kaleid-o-slide. Inside one of the lounges, the classic Hasbro board game, CLUE, comes to life with a cast of nefarious-looking characters, a cache of weapons and case files that help eliminate suspects. Live music is performed in lounges, bars and other spaces all over the ship.
The Punchliner Comedy Club has both family-friendly and adults-only shows – and both are hilarious. There are spa treatments, seminars and pamper parties, high-stakes bingo, photo ops before a variety of colorful backdrops, shopping raffles and more. Is there even time or inclination to get off the ship to take in shore-side sights?
Vista has more entertainment and activities than can be packed into a seven- or even eight-day cruise. Here are a few must-do’s for your checklist:
- Go behind-the-scenes with the Brew Master for a tour of Redfrog Pub’s working brewery.
- Get mesmerized by “Flick,” a magical mystery tour de force through iconic movies and music that is simply breathtaking.
- Settle into a chaise with a towel blankie and box of popcorn for a dive-in movie and let the ocean breezes and movie on Seaside Theatre’s ginormous screen sweep you away.
- Grandchildren will want the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast served by fluffy blue-haired servers; parents and grandparents will prefer the pick-your-own ingredients chopped salad from Fresh Creations on Serenity (open during sea days only).
- Play at least one of the scavenger hunts or trivia games for a chance to win the coveted Carnival “ship on a stick” trophy. Fun Squaders put their hearts into making these games fun – and they succeed.
- Gather round the piano in Piano Bar 88 for a sing-along with Piano Diva Natalie as she plays her way through guest requests.
- Self-serve wine dispensers? Yep. Head to the Library Bar and pour your own, choosing from eight wines and three tasting sizes. Worth. Every. Penny.
- Escape to your own little piece of heaven (a shaded wicker chaise) on Serenity – no kids, no loud noises, just sunshine and ocean views and proximity to the Serenity Bar.
February 18, 2017
Carnival’s 3,936-passenger Vista cruises from Miami on six- and eight-day sailings to the Caribbean through September, 2018.
Carnival Cruise Line: 800-764-7419, www.carnival.com.
Carnival throws down the terry cloth with its tower animal flash mob.
Photo: John Witt
Vista passengers try and figure out whodunit when Hasbro’s board game, CLUE, comes to life.
Photo: Kathy Witt
<atrium>Yes, there are some 4,000 passengers aboard Vista, but the space is designed so that you don’t feel like you’re traveling with a small city.
Photo: Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival’s WaterWorks waterpark encompasses the SplashZone splash park; PowerDrencher tipping bucket; Twister Waterslide, an enclosed spiral slide; and the 455-foot-long Kaleid-o-Slide tube slide.
Photo: Carnival Cruise Line