By Cruise Critic Staff
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Entertainment

Carnival Vista Entertainment & Activities

Day & Night

Carnival Vista is a busy ship, with lots going on day and night, particularly on sea days when there's rarely a half-hour slot not filled with at least two or three choices. There's as much to do at night with live music throughout the ships, shows in the main theater, comedy sets at the Punchliner Comedy Club and movies shown on the outdoor Lido Deck, and at the extra-fee IMAX at Sea and 4D Thrill theaters.

 

  • Daytime schedules are packed with trivia, pub games, dance classes, cooking demos and other similar activities
  • The nighttime bar scene is happening and lively, while evening shows include high-energy musical revues and off-color comedy shows
  • Busy casino with a variety of table games, slot machines and a variety of tournaments

Daytime activities might include, but are not limited to: trivia and trivia-like games, bingo, pub games, dance classes, outdoor sports competitions, art auctions, cooking demos and spa and shop seminars. (Be aware, seminars led by the spa or retail staff are always more about selling you something than educating you and often come with a hard sell.)

Other options during the day include the Clubhouse at SportSquare, where you'll find mini-bowling, Ping-Pong and arcade basketball. Outdoors at SportSquare are billiards tables, nine-hole mini-golf and even a Twister board painted onto the deck.

At night, the bar scene comes alive, especially at the Havana Club and RedFrog Pub, while the 18+ shows at the Punchliner Comedy Club are usually standing-room only. (Do not go to the comedy club if you are easily offended.)

The Liquid Lounge theater offers up four 40-minute, high-energy Playlist Productions shows every sailing; examples include Studio VIP, which pays homage to the disco-loving '70s and America Rocks, a faux-concert featuring some of the USA's greatest rock songs -- get there early for the best views as seats toward the back do not have great views of the stage.

Dancers will want to head to Havana Club for Latin-style dancing, while a DJ spins dance hits in Liquid Lounge until late.

Carnival Vista Bars and Lounges

With more than a dozen bars and lounges on Vista, there's a spot for just about everyone to enjoy, whether you prefer wine, cocktails, beer or a frozen drink.

Highlights include:

Limelight Lounge (Deck 4): Limelight is where you'll find the Punchliner Comedy Club as well as drinks with "funny" names like the witty margarita and zany zombie. You'll have a choice of four comedy shows most nights; one or two will be family-friendly. Do not attend the adults-only shows if you are easily offended.

SkyBox Sports Bar (Deck 4): The only place on the ship to catch sporting events, SkyBox Sports Bar is dominated by rows of oversized TVs showing various sports.

Alchemy Bar (Deck 5): You'll find lab coat-clad mixologists putting together inventive cocktails with names like the Deal Closer, French Kiss and Perfect Storm at this pharmacy-themed cocktail bar. Or, tell the Alchemy bartenders your favorite base drink and what kind of mood you're in and they'll whip up something special just for you.

RedFrog Pub & Brewery (Deck 5): One of the most hopping joints on Vista, RedFrog Pub & Brewery is the place to be for cold brews (including three brewed-onboard craft beers) and pub trivia. Brewery tours are offered every sea day, last about an hour and cost extra. In the evening, Caribbean-inspired pub grub is served, and you'll find live guitar music after 8 p.m.

Piano Bar 88 (Deck 5): The ship's traditional piano sing-along bar.

Havana Bar (Deck 5): Havana is Vista's large Cuban-themed lounge. Morning, noon or night it's the place for strong Cuban coffee, while the daytime drinks menu is dominated by Latin American favorites including mojitos, Cuba Libre and daiquiris (frozen or on the rocks). Every night a live band plays Latin dance songs (salsa, cha-cha and the like) to a packed audience.

The Library Bar (Deck 5): A fairly underused spot, The Library Bar is heaven to those seeking a quiet place to read during the day. In the evening, a bartender pours standards, but few people linger. It's also the only spot on the ship to find self-serve wine dispensers.

RedFrog Rum Bar (Deck 10): During the day, you'll be hard pressed to find a seat at this Lido Deck staple. Rum lovers flock to RedFrog Rum Bar in droves for its coladas, daiquiris and mojitos. Sun deck loungers can also get buckets of beer or pitchers of hard lemonade.

BlueIguana Tequila Bar (Deck 10): Also on the Lido Deck, BlueIguana is where tequila lovers go to get their drink on. The bar pours several different types of tequila, along with frozen margaritas and a handful of tequila-based cocktails. Beer buckets and hard lemonade pitchers are also available.

Carnival Vista Outside Recreation

  • Just two pools to service entire ship; one additional pool for guests staying in Havana cabins

  • Plenty of top-deck, outdoor fun including one of the largest water parks in the Carnival fleet, a small ropes course and the SkyRide

There's plenty to do in the fresh air on Carnival Vista, from hanging in a pool to testing their mettle on the ropes course, which offers two pathways -- one easy, the other slightly more scary.

One of the most unusual distractions at sea is the SkyRide, an elevated recumbent bike ride you can pedal while suspended 150 feet up in the air. It takes about a minute and a half to pedal your way around the course, which includes dips and zigzags.

Most popular with the kids is the WaterWorks water park, which features two water slides, a splash zone for kids and the PowerDrencher soaking bucket. (Children must be potty trained to use any of the pools or the water park.)

For those who want to spend more time lazing about than playing, there is lots of sun deck space for simply lounging about, including on the adults-only Serenity deck, a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the ship.

Carnival Vista Services

  • Guest and shore excursion services
  • Future cruise sales
  • Library (often occupied by groups of friends playing cards)
  • Photo gallery and camera shop
  • Internet cafe (find Carnival prices here)
  • Shops: designer accessories and clothing; fine jewelry; Carnival-branded items; toiletries; snacks; duty-free alcohol and cigarettes
  • DIY launderettes (quarters needed), with iron and ironing board for use free of charge
  • ATM
  • Medical center

Carnival Vista Spa & Fitness

  • Large selection of body treatment, facial, medi-spa and salon services
  • Frequent spa specials offered, especially on port days
  • Extra-fee thermal suite features heated ceramic loungers, a thalassotherapy pool, several steam chambers and a sensory shower (day and full-cruise passes available)
  • Full fitness center with lots of LifeCycle equipment

Spa

The Cloud 9 Spa on Carnival Vista offers a variety of body treatments (massages, wraps, scrubs, etc.), facials, medi-spa treatments (Botox, dermal fillers, etc.), acupuncture, salon services (hair, nails, waxing, men's grooming), teeth whitening and more.

Prices for massages range from $150 to $200 and $125 to $190 for facials. (Price ranges are subject to change.)

Unique spa offerings are treatments designed specifically for teens (acne attack facial, ice cream manicure and pedicure), as well as a selection of parent/child options.

If you plan on purchasing multiple treatments, ask about the "book three, save 30 percent" package: Book three treatments, get 10 percent off the first, 20 percent off the second and 30 percent off the third.

Fitness

Fitness buffs can stay in shape on Vista with a full selection of LifeCycle and LifeFitness machines, including ellipticals, recumbent bikes, treadmills, free weights and resistance machines, as well as the high-tech spin studio.

Classes include free (early morning stretch, fab abs) and for-fee (yoga, Pilates, cycling) options and personal training is available for a fee.

One of the oddest fitness spots onboard is an outdoor space with strange-looking ellipticals, stair climbers and resistance strength machines.

Those who prefer their fitness to be more active can check on the scheduled activities on the combination basketball/volleyball/soccer court, or hit the jogging track (seven laps is 1 mile).

Carnival Vista For Kids

  • Incredibly family-friendly with excellent family-centric cabin choices (See Family Harbor), one of the best kids' programs at sea and outdoor kids play areas, a rarity on cruise ships
  • Three separate clubs divided by age group (2 to 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 11), with tweens (12 to 14) and teens (15 to 17) each having their own play area
  • Seuss-themed programming and Seuss at Sea activities (Seuss-a-palooza Parade, Green Eggs and Ham breakfast), and a Dr. Seuss Bookville (a fanciful space offering the entire library of Dr. Seuss books in several languages)
  • Group babysitting is available for a fee from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Kids

Camp Ocean is for kids aged 2 to 11 years, but the program further divides itself into three sections: Penguins (2- to 5-year-olds), Stingrays (6- to 8-year-olds) and Sharks (9- to 11-year-olds). Age-appropriate activities include arts and crafts, dancing, treasure hunts, movies, sports contests and video gaming. Youth counselors will change diapers.

Parents (or parent-appointed guardians) must sign kids, ages 2 through 8, in and out of Camp Ocean. Kids 9 and older can be given permission to sign themselves in and out.

Camp Ocean programming runs during the day and evening. From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., youth facilities are used for Night Owls babysitting, the line's late-night, extra-fee group babysitting program. It's available for kids ages 6 months to 11 years. The cost is $6.75 per hour, per child, plus a 15 percent gratuity. (Families in Family Harbor get one free night of Night Owls babysitting.)

Teens

Carnival gives tweens (kids ages 12 to 14) their own space with Circle C, from which they can come and go as they please. Organized activities for this age group include team challenges, scavenger hunts, digital karaoke, SportSquare competitions, video gaming and movies.

For the older teens (ages 15 to 17), Carnival Vista offers Club O2. Activities are similar to Circle C, with video gaming and foosball competitions, SportSquare challenges, trivia battles, themed dance parties and smoothie socials.

 

 

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