Carnival Shows it Owns Fun Aboard New Panorama Cruise Ship
By Kathy Witt
Carnival Cruise Line takes its role as chief purveyor of fun very seriously and, like all Fun Ships in the fleet, the new and impressive Panorama – Carnival’s first brand-new ship to grace the port of Long Beach, CA in 20 years – is tuned fully into the concept.
Cruise Director Emma and the Fun Squad are aces at engaging the crowd in good times. Trivia games are an indisputable fave (with “Harry Potter” a massive crowd pleaser), as are the themed deck parties and boardgames-come-to-life, including CLUE: The Murder Mystery and Hasbro, The Game Show.
For the former, Col. Mustard, Miss Scarlet and the rest of the world’s most famous suspects appear on stage to proclaim their innocence and clues are teased out throughout the cruise at various locations. With a murderer afoot and the stakes escalating – there is a prize on the line after all – the Big Reveal is a highly anticipated gathering in the ship’s Liquid Lounge. With the latter, the Hasbro game unfolds to a packed house – green screens, props, costumes and all. Prizes are awarded to the passenger-contestants, including mini Hasbro games and a grand prize that includes a $150 Hasbro gift card.
On a cruise line whose middle name is fun, one can expect a lively and loud atmosphere, but those seeking nirvana in more hushed environs can still find it. The adults-only Serenity retreat, tucked away on the top deck, is the place to escape with your morning cuppa or afternoon cocktail. Choose a covered lounge in either a sunny or a shaded nook, turn it away from your neighbors and Zen out with a view of endless sky and ocean and in the company of a good book.
For a lazy lunch sans the clamor and crowd of the Lido Buffet, steal away to Cucina del Capitano, noted simply as the Pasta Bar in the FunTimes schedule during this time of the day. Dinner brings an upcharge, but lunch is on the house – your choice of pasta, sauces and salad, perfect for pairing with one of the restaurant’s wines.
Share dinner and dessert with your cabinmate and a handful of new friends in the new Carnival Kitchen, a culinary first for the fleet that features nine gleaming, fully equipped cooking and prep stations. A menu of classes ranges from sushi rolling to cake making to creating an “Elegant Affair” featuring appetizers and entrees.
Cooking stations are tricked out with all the tools, utensils and ingredients needed for recipes and participants follow along with the chef, in person and via iPad-size screens, on a journey into such tempting terrains of saffron risotto, seafood paella or Carnival’s signature Warm Chocolate Melting Cake – whatever the class theme class is. Afterward, all take a seat at the beautifully set dining table to share in good eating (this time prepared by the chef).
In addition to the Carnival Kitchen, new attractions aboard Panorama include the first-at-sea two-story trampoline park, Sky Zone. Two new shows join audience favorite, Celestial Strings, with themed multimedia musical experiences: Broadway Beats heads back to Woodstock and Rock Revolution bounces through the Big Apple.
Long Beach, CA is the homeport for the 4,000-plus-passenger Vista class Carnival Panorama, which offers six- to eight-day sailings to Pacific Coast hotspots Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta in the Mexican Riviera.
<appetizer>Appetizers and entrée items onboard Panorama are imaginative and tasty.
<kitcheningred>Classes are small, but the flavor possibilities are endless in the Carnival Kitchen, with hands-on instruction is offered in over a dozen culinary disciplines.
<spchicken> Carnival Kitchen’s An Elegant Affair class featured Spanish chicken among other delicious dishes.
<cabo>Carnival’s Panorama is based year-round in Long Beach, CA and visits beautiful Cabo San Lucas in the Mexican Riviera.
All above photos by Kathy Witt
Photo: Carnival Cruise Lines