Construction on the Carnival Vista is well underway, with the ship having just been floated out from the dry dock facility in Monfalcone, Italy, on the 6th of July. This follows hot on the tail of Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas also completing her dry dock phase, and is an exciting milestone for all Carnival cruise fans.
The 135,000-tonne ship is scheduled to enter service for Carnival in May 2016, and it will bring with it some fabulous new features which will be the first of their kind to hit the high seas. With so many new ships being launched in the coming years, each needs to bring something special to the table, and the Carnival Vista won't disappoint.
Brews, bikes and IMAX
One of the most anticipated new features planned for the Carnival Vista is North America's first brewery at sea. Becoming ever more popular on land, brewpubs are now taking to the waves!
The RedFrog Pub is no stranger to Carnival cruisers in Australia, as it is found on the Carnival Legend which cruises out of Sydney during the summer season. However, in the current fleet the beer is not brewed onboard. The Carnival Vista will have a working brewery which can be viewed behind a glass wall - so curious passengers will see their beer being made before they drink it. Even the grain will be milled on site, and the beer will be available not only at the bar but also from table-top taps.
It's not all about the beverages, however - passengers can work off their excesses with the innovative SkyRide, an aerial attraction which is the first of its kind. The pedal-powered adventure takes place on an 800-foot track suspended over the decks, and features hanging recumbent cycle machines in which passengers propel themselves at speeds of up to 28 kilometres an hour.
After the drinking and daredevil fun is over, cruisers can catch a break in the first cruise ship IMAX Theatre. The screen will be three decks high and will show everything from blockbusters to documentaries. Next door will be the Thrill Theater, where moviegoers can experience multi-dimensional special effects. Film fans will adore the Carnival Vista - there'll even be a concession stand with popcorn.
All kinds of family fun
The brewery, SkyRide and IMAX Theatre are the ship's big firsts - but they aren't the only exciting features awaiting those who sail on the Carnival Vista. Families are a focus for this new ship, and they will be well looked after. Christine Duffy, Carnival's president, said in a May release, "Carnival is the number one cruise line for families carrying more than 700,000 children annually, and Carnival Vista will build upon our leadership position in this area with incredible outdoor attractions and engaging indoor spaces specifically designed with families in mind."
WaterWorks is one of those spaces, the fleet's largest aqua park featuring all kinds of slides, pools, fountains and other such watery fun. SportSquare brings more outdoor activity for young and old to enjoy together: a two-level mini golf course, an indoor clubhouse, a ropes course and more.
The Punchliner Comedy Club will offer all-ages comedy shows, and the the Cherry On Top confection store with instore ice cream parlour will be a delight for the little ones. Dr Seuss Bookville will be another highlight, with a family reading and play venue styled after the whimsical Dr Seuss books.
Family accommodation on a cruise ship is always a hot topic, and the Carnival Vista will have plenty of options. Family Harbour on Deck 2 is a dedicated family accommodation area with 96 "family ergonomic" accommodations. These will include some extra-large suites with multiple bathrooms, and an exclusive family hangout space with TVs, board games and complimentary breakfast and snacks. The rooms will have kid-friendly toiletries, and guests staying there will enjoy free meals for kids under 12 in the specialty restaurants and a free evening in Night Owls, the late-night activities program.
Camp Ocean kids program is available on all Carnival ships, and will be incarnated on the Vista as a 4,000 square foot space with amazing facilities to entertain children aged two to eleven years. Tweens and teens will enjoy Circle C and Club O2 for age-appropriate fun.
The Carnival Vista is still a while from completion, and when she arrives she will sail in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean to start - however, the new vessel is a sign of things to come for Carnival as a whole. If you want to try out Carnival cruise line and its motto of "Fun for All, All for Fun", you can see Carnival cruises Deals to find a cheap cruise that fits your needs with Cruise Sale Finder.