Carnival Vista Cruise Ship: Overview and Things to Do

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The Carnival Vista cruise ship is the lead ship of the Vista-class, leading sister ships Carnival Horizon and Carnival Panorama since the ship first premiered in 2016.

Given the ship’s relatively recent christening (at least as far as cruise ships go), you might not think there’s much to learn about this ship — isn’t it just like all of the other newer Carnival ships? But that’s where you’d be wrong.

There’s a lot to know about the Carnival cruise ship if you’re thinking about taking a cruise later this year or any time at all.

We’ve put together a full, comprehensive guide on the Carnival Vista and what you should know both before booking your cruise, as well as while you’re considering your cruising itinerary and all the things you might want to enjoy and experience while on the ship.

Carnival Vista Stats and Facts 

The vessel was first laid down in 2014, built-in Italy over two years after Carnival ordered this lead Vista-class ship. Built to the tune of $780 million, the ship ties for the 48th largest cruise ship in the world, alongside sister ship Carnival Horizon.

Carnival Vista Cruise Ship
Photo: Copyright Cruise Hive

The two are squished together in the line-up right between ships Carnival Panorama in 47th place and Costa Diadema in 49th place. Until 2019, Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon were actually the largest ships in Carnival’s fleet. What does all of that mean for you?

  • Gross Tonnage: 133,596
  • Passenger Capacity: 3,934
  • Crew Members: 1,450
  • Passenger Decks: 15
  • Length: 1,061.8 feet
  • Entered Service: 2016

When Carnival Vista debuted as the lead Vista-class ship, she brought a few special features that were never-before-seen from the cruise line. New features on the ship include the first IMAX theater at sea and new Family Harbor staterooms. Other stand-out features include:

  • The ship’s Havana Bar & Pool
  • The SkyRide at SportSquare (a pedal-powered capsule track that sits about the top deck)
  • Cuban-themed staterooms that give passengers access to a private, VIP pool area
  • An indoor Clubhouse with miniature bowling and arcade games

What kind of staterooms are on Carnival Vista?

You can find a variety of staterooms aboard Carnival Vista. There are…

  • 74 suites
  • 877 ocean-view staterooms with balconies or lanais
  • 284 ocean-view staterooms without balconies or lanais
  • 732 interior staterooms

The room decor is classic Carnival interior design — lots of bright and bold colors and patterns, for a classic cruising feel and that seaside hotel vibe.

As you probably noticed, the most popular room type is the ocean-view staterooms with balconies or lanais, and that’s an option you can’t go wrong with, when choosing your stateroom for an upcoming cruise.

Carnival Vista Stateroom
Rendering: Carnival Cruise Line

With several different balcony stateroom options to choose from, all boast plenty of space, extra seating, and enough room that you never feel cramped, whether you’re sleeping in and enjoying the ocean views from bed or lounging on your lanai.

As for the suites, you have plenty of options to choose from, and all really deliver when it comes to both style and extensive space. Of course, as mentioned, the vessel debuted a new suite type for Carnival, the Family Harbor suite.

Related: Which Staterooms to Book on a Carnival Cruise

The Family Harbor suite can sleep up to five guests at once, making it ideal for those traveling as a group, family or not.

The nautical-themed suite is a little more upscale than some of the other available staterooms and features a large bathroom, big bed, extra seating and a large, lengthy balcony.

What’s included in a Carnival Vista cruise?

Carnival Cruise Line is known for being one of the more budget-friendly and family-friendly cruise lines out there, and that’s pretty obvious when you look at what’s included in your cruising fare beyond simply your stateroom.

Carnival Vista Cruise Ship in Port
Photo By: Russell Otway (For Cruise Hive Only)

For one stateroom price, you’ll have access to:

  • A range of restaurants, including the two main dining rooms and buffets (but it’s certainly not limited to just those three options)
  • All of the outdoor fun, from the SkyRide experience to the water park to the ropes course and beyond
  • Daily activities organized by the enthusiastic cruising staff (with a few reasonable exceptions, as things like wine tastings cost a small fee)
  • Access to the fitness center
  • Access to all indoor entertainment, like theatrical shows, comedy sets, live music and more

What’s not included in a Carnival Vista cruise?

When it comes to what’s not included in your Carnival Vista cruise, there aren’t really many things to worry about. You’ll need to pay extra for:

  • Gratuities
  • Specialty restaurants and dining
  • Alcoholic beverages and sodas
  • Spa services, beauty treatments and fitness classes
  • Shopping
  • WiFi
  • Shore excursions
  • A few select on-ship experiences, like those offered at the IMAX theater and Build-a-Bear workshop
Carnival Vista
IMAX on Carnival Vista (Rendering By: Carnival Cruise Line)

What are the dining options on Carnival Vista?

As mentioned, there are plenty of complimentary dining options on the ship. You’ll never get bored of the same ol’ thing when hunting down your breakfast or dinner, and you might not even feel the need to try any of the extra-fee dining options.

Your complimentary dining options include:

  • The two main dining rooms for breakfast and dinner
  • The buffet all-day
  • Pizzeria del Capitano all-day
  • Guy’s Burger Joint for lunch
  • BlueIguana Cantina for breakfast and lunch
  • Mongolian Wok for lunch
  • The Pasta Bar for lunch
  • Fresh Creations for lunch
  • Select room service options

As you can see, there’s a lot to keep you fed, no matter how long your cruise may be. You’ll enjoy a variety of cuisines, too, so there’s plenty for every palate.

Guy's Burger Joint
Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

Also Read: 10 Things About Guy’s Burger Joint on Carnival Cruise Line

Definitely be sure to try Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina, as these are both favorite Carnival restaurants that are relatively new to the brand overall.

If you do want to splurge a bit, here are your extra-fee dining options:

  • The Chef’s Table (for private dining with the ship’s culinary team)
  • Fahrenheit 555 (for classic steakhouse menus)
  • Bonsai Sushi (for not only sushi, but a range of Japanese fare)
  • RedFrog Pub & Brewery (for a similar experience to the free BlueIguana Cantina, with a Caribbean slant)
  • Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse (for southern-style barbecue and all the sides to match)
  • Seafood Shack (for New England-style seafood)
  • Cucina del Capitano (for family-style Italian eats)
  • JiJi Asian Kitchen (for a range of Asian cuisines, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian and more)

What are the entertainment options on Carnival Vista?

There are plenty of ways to have an enjoyable time when you’re aboard a Carnival Vista cruise, so don’t even worry about getting bored.

During the day, you’ll find plenteous classic cruising experiences, from towel-folding workshops to pool parties, live music to dance classes (just note that some classes do come with a fee).

Of course, you can also find loads of outdoor entertainment throughout the ship, if you want to get active outside (more on that later).

America Rocks on Carnival Vista (Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line)

At night, you’ll find regular shows at the theater and comedy club, including Broadway-style shows and live music. Movies are shown on a screen outdoors, as well as in the for-a-fee IMAX theater.

Where can I get a drink on Carnival Vista?

Where you really will find the crowds after dark on a Carnival Vista cruise, though, is at the many bars and lounges scattered throughout the ship.

Carnival Horiozn Alchemy Bar
Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

Each bar and lounge offers its own unique experience, whether you like a lively scene with dancing and music or something quieter, for refined tastings in an upscale atmosphere. You can choose from…

  • Limelight Lounge (for comedy meets cocktails)
  • SkyBox Sports Bar (for televised sporting events)
  • Alchemy Bar (for unique cocktails)
  • RedFrog Pub (for beer and Caribbean eats)
  • Piano Bar 88 (for a classic piano bar environment)
  • Havana Bar (for a Cuban-style experience)
  • The Library Bar (for a quiet spot that’s really underrated)
  • RedFrog Rum Bar (for all your favorite Caribbean cocktails)
  • BlueIguana Tequila Bar (for all your favorite tequila cocktails)

Worth Checking: How The Carnival Drink Package Can Benefit Your Cruise

How is the outdoor fun on Carnival Vista?

Outdoor fun all starts with the water features, including two pools, as well as one extra VIP pool for those staying in the Havana-themed cabins. The Carnival Vista water park is one of the largest in the entire Carnival fleet.

Carnival Vista Lido Deck
Carnival Vista Lido Deck (Photo Credit: Drake McLemore /

If you’re not interested in the water features, you’ll find fun at the ropes course and the SkyRide experience, both of which test your comfort with heights.

Related: SkyRide On Carnival Vista Is Best Cruise Ship Feature In 2016

Of course, if your idea of outdoor fun includes more lounging than adrenaline, you’ll easily find lots of spots to kick back and soak in some rays, thanks to the plentiful sun decks, including the adults-only Serenity sun deck.

What kind of health and wellness amenities does Carnival Vista offer?

As you’ll find on most cruise ships, Carnival Vista offers both a spa and a fitness center.

The spa provides a range of services, both health and beauty, from classic massages to medi-spa treatments like Botox, as well as haircuts, shaves, nail services and even teeth whitening. You can find family-friendly spa treatments, too, in case you want to take one of your kids for a spa day.

Carnival Vista Spa
Carnival Vista Spa (Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

The fitness center offers both indoor and outdoor spaces, filled with all your normal workout gear and equipment. You can book a few free fitness classes, like one for stretching and some aerobics classes, but most are for a fee.

Whats there to do for kids on Carnival Vista?

As mentioned before, Carnival is one of the top cruise lines for families and, as such, kids are well taken care of when on a Carnival Vista cruise. Kids programming includes Camp Ocean, with camp groups for kids ages 2 to 11.

The programming runs through 10 p.m. at night, at which point the space turns into a paid babysitting service.

Camp Ocean

Preteens enjoy the Circle C space, for scheduled activities, as well as plenty of freedom to enjoy preteen-friendly amenities, like video games and movies. Teens enjoy Club 02 for more of the same, but only with their peers aged 15 to 17.

Thinking of Taking a Carnival Vista  Cruise?

If you’re thinking of taking a Carnival Vista cruise in the next year or two, you can rest easy that your decision is a good one — especially if you’re looking for a newer, family-friendly cruise ship with lots of amenities, complimentary dining options and family fun for everyone.

Carnival Vista FAQ:

How old is the Carnival Vista ship?

Carnival’s Carnival Vista cruise ship is the lead ship of Carnival’s Vista-class, leading sister ships Carnival Horizon and Carnival Panorama since it first premiered in 2016.

At only five years old, it’s a relatively new ship in Carnival’s fleet and features many of the cruise line’s favorite entertainment features and restaurants.

How many pools are on the Carnival Vista cruise ship?

There are two main pools aboard Carnival Vista that are open to every cruiser, as well as a private pool for those who have booked Havana staterooms.

There’s also a large water park aboard the ship, and it’s one of the largest water parks in Carnival’s fleet.

How large is the Carnival Vista?

Carnival Vista comes in with a gross tonnage of 133,596 GT and a length of 1,061.8 feet.

The ship features 15 decks. Carnival Vista has capacity for 3,934 passengers at double occupancy, or 4,977 passengers at maximum occupancy. The ship carries a crew of 1,450 people.

Carnival Cruise Line Fleet

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