Deck party onboard Carnival Breeze

Despite being in two different classes of ships, Carnival Vista (Vista class) and Carnival Breeze (Dream class) will offer the same "Fun Ship" experience, with an emphasis on boisterous activities, casual dining and short, fast-paced theater entertainment.

With so many of the same restaurants, bars, daily amusements and top deck activities on Vista and Breeze, how does a cruiser decide between the two? To show you exactly what you'll find onboard each ship, Cruise Critic has assembled a comparison of Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista. When you get down to details, there's actually a lot that sets them apart.

Read on to compare Carnival Vista vs. Carnival Breeze.

Stats

Carnival Vista is only slightly larger than Carnival Breeze -- 133,500 gross tons vs Breeze's 130,000 -- yet has one additional passenger deck and carries 246 more cruisers (for a total of 3,936 passengers, compared to Breeze's 3,690, when sailing at double capacity). Despite the difference in passenger counts, both ships have a nearly identical passenger to crew ratio of about 2.7 passengers for every one crew member.


Dinner at Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse on Carnival Breeze

Dining

Carnival Cruise Line has made excellent use of the extra space on Carnival Vista, offering 14 dining venues as opposed to Breeze's 11. Most of Carnival's most popular restaurants are found on both ships, including Guy's Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, Bonsai Sushi, Cucina del Capitano and the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse.  Both also have two main dining rooms, a Chef's Table, the Taste Bar and the Lido Marketplace buffet. In the buffet, both ships pretty much have the same stations (New York Deli, Mongolian Wok, pizzeria, Comfort Kitchen) though Carnival Breeze has Indian Tandoor, which is not on Vista.

Other than Tandoor, the only other food venue Breeze has that Vista does not have is the SeaDogs hot dog cart. But Vista has four eateries not found on Breeze, including one full-service restaurant (Ji Ji Asian Kitchen), one order-at-the-counter sit down venue (Seafood Shack) and two quick-stop snack spots (Java Blue Cafe and the Shake Spot).


Piano Bar 88 on Carnival Breeze

Bars

Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze offer plenty of bar-hopping opportunities whether you're a beer lover, rum or tequila aficionado, wine sipper or sports bar enthusiast. Many of the bars and lounge options are the same on both ships, including the popular RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar. In addition to the ever-present casino bar and lobby bar (called the Vista Bar on Vista and Breeze Bar on Breeze), you'll find the Library Bar with its self-service wine dispensers, the sing-along Piano Bar 88 and Serenity Bar on both Carnival Breeze and Vista. Both also have small bars in the Limelight Lounge and Liquid Nightclub.

Cruisers will also find the RedFrog Pub on both ships, but on Vista, it's a pub and brewery because the venue actually brews three beers onboard: ThirstyFrog Port Hoppin' IPA, ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat and FriskyFrog Java Stout.

Bars that are only found on Carnival Vista or Carnival Breeze include:

Only on Carnival Vista

  • Alchemy Bar
  • Sports Bar
  • Havana Bar

Only on Carnival Breeze

  • Plaza Bar
  • SportSquare Bar
  • Tides Bar

The Cloud 9 Spa Balcony Cabin on Carnival Breeze

Cabins

You'll find most of the same cabin types on both Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze, including inside, oceanview, standard and extended balcony, Cove balcony and Cloud 9 Spa rooms, as well as two types of suites. (You won't find any humongous suites on either Carnival Vista or Carnival Breeze; the largest cabin is an accessible Ocean suite, sized 450 square feet with a 110-square-foot balcony.)

Cabin sizes are almost identical as well, though some of the lower priced cabins on Vista are slightly smaller than the lower priced cabins you'll find on Carnival Breeze. All inside cabins on Carnival Vista, for instance, are 185 square feet; on Breeze they start at 185 square feet but can be as large as 220 square feet.

One room category that is larger on Vista is the Cloud 9 Spa Oceanview, which is 220 square feet vs. 185 square feet on Breeze. Vista also has a range of cabins with extended balconies: the premium balcony and Vista balcony are 185-square-foot rooms with 75-square-foot verandahs. Both ships offer the 185-square-foot aft balcony cabin with a 60-square-foot verandah.

Both also have family-specific cabins, but while Breeze has only 20 230-square-foot Family oceanview rooms, Vista has a whopping 257 cabins (of various types) in the Family Harbor section on Deck 2. Most family rooms on Vista range between 185 and 230 square feet, but the suites are 275 square feet with a 65-square-foot balcony. Five people can fit in a suite (two adults and three children) and a curtain can be drawn to separate the main bed from the living area. All families staying in the Family Harbor have access to the Family Harbor Lounge, a keycard access-only space for families to hang out, play games, watch movies and have breakfast.

Vista also boasts a cabin category -- the Havana rooms -- that is completely new to Carnival Cruise Line. Havana cabins are characterized by their exclusive daytime access to the Havana pool on Deck 5. All also share a color scheme of bright turquoise, oranges and browns. Havana cabins with balconies are all at the back of the ship (decks 6 and 7) and overlook the pool; all other Havana cabins (except a handful of insides) are located on Deck 5 and come with a 100-square-foot private outdoor patio that faces a public walkway. Patios are fenced in and feature two full-sized loungers. Havana suites add more inside room, a hammock on the patio and feature a rainfall shower head in the bathroom.


Entertainment, Activities and Outdoor Fun

Carnival is the "Fun Ship" cruise line and both ships take this to the extreme. Whether you're looking at Carnival Vista or Carnival Breeze, you'll find a bevy of daily activities, adrenaline-pumping attractions and evening entertainment. Many of the offerings are the same on both ships, but a few key differences stand out.

For instance, both Carnival Vista and Breeze have a Thrill Theater, which offers a 4D cinema experience, but on Vista, it's part of the Carnival Multiplex, which also has the cruise industry's first-ever IMAX theater.

Both also have a ropes course and a WaterWorks water park; the water park differs only in that Breeze has a plain vanilla funnel slide, while Vista has the psychedelic Kaleid-o-Slide. But Vista doesn't stop at just a ropes course and water park, it's also got the SkyRide, on which riders climb aboard a hanging recumbent bike and "cycle" their way around an 800-foot suspended track.

Vista also has one more pool than Breeze does: both have the Beach and Tides pools, but Vista also has the Havana Pool, which is only open to cruisers staying in Havana cabins during the day but opens to everyone in the evening.

You'll find a SportSquare on both ships, which has the aforementioned ropes course, a nine-hole mini-golf course, outdoor fitness equipment and space for playing basketball, volleyball and soccer. On Vista, SportSquare is augmented by The Clubhouse at SportSquare, an indoor space where you'll find mini bowling, Ping-Pong, sports video games and arcade basketball. (Breeze has Ping-Pong and sports video games, too, but they're located in separate areas.)

Two spaces that are pretty much the same on both ships are the Seaside Theater (essentially a poolside movie screen) and the Punchliner Comedy Club Presented by George Lopez, where you'll find nightly standup including family-friendly shows and late-night adult-only routines.

Also on both is the line's high-tech Playlist Production theater shows, 30-minute revue-style stage shows that feature intricate sets, lighting and costumes.


SportSquare on Carnival Breeze

Children's and Teen Programming

As befits one of the most family-friendly cruise lines out there, both Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista offer a wide assortment of activities and spaces for kids and teens.

You'll find the same kids' clubs, extra-fee Night Owl babysitting and many of the same Seuss at Sea experiences, including the Green Eggs & Ham breakfast and Seuss-a-palooza Parade and Story Time on both ships. Vista also has Dr. Seuss Bookville, one of only two ships in the fleet with this family reading and play space.

For the first time, Carnival will offer a dedicated family zone on Carnival Vista. The Family Harbor Lounge will serve as a retreat area for parents and their kids with big-screen TVs, games and free breakfast and snacks served daily. It's exclusive to passengers booked into Family Harbor cabins, accessed only by key card.


Carnival Breeze docked at St. Thomas

Itineraries

Carnival Vista launches May 1, 2016 and will spend its first few months sailing Mediterranean cruises out of Barcelona, then reposition to the United States in November, where it will first sail a pair of 10-night voyages out of New York City, before moving to Miami where it will offer a variety of three- to seven-night Caribbean cruises.  

Carnival Breeze transfers from Miami to Galveston at the end of April 2016. Starting in May, the ship will sail five- to seven-night Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises.