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35 Carnival Vista Tips

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Having just sailed Carnival Vista, I left the ship with a lot of first time tips and thoughts that I thought would be good to pass on if you plan on sailing her in the future. These are listed in no particular order.

1. Get the Faster to the Fun package 

This is a very popular ship and if you aren’t Diamond or Platinum, you may want to spring the extra $49.95 (4 days or shorter) or $59.95 (5 days or longer) to get priority boarding, go right to your stateroom, and have priority disembarkation at the end of your cruise.  You’ll have to wait for Carnival Vista to arrive in Miami though, because this program isn’t offered in Europe.

2. Pre-Order Water 

You can go online to the Fun Shops before you sail and order bottled water to your stateroom. The price is $3.99 for a 12 pack if you pre-order. If you order it on the ship, it will cost you the same at $3.99, but you have to remember to tip.

3. Pace Yourself 

This ship has a lot to do as far as entertainment, eating, and drinking. Take it slow and don’t try to cram everything in at once.

4. Get to Events Early 

A lot of the events on this ship are held in the Liquid Lounge (main theater), and most of the shows are so popular that they have three seatings, so get there early!

5. Use the Tabletop Taps 

The RedFrog Pub now has a brewery with tabletop taps on a few of the tables. Swipe your sail and sign card and pour your brew. It goes for $4 per glass. You can also do this in the Lido Marketplace.

6. Serenity Has a Salad Bar 

On sea days if you go up to the Serenity deck (adults only), you can get a free salad bar. You can see the menu here.

7. Consider Cheers! 

With all the drink options on the ship and Carnival revamping their CHEERS! beverage program, it won’t take you long to break even on the $49.95 per day. A few premium pours in the Alchemy Bar or frozen cocktails laying poolside can easily be your break even point. Also, waters, coffees, and shakes are now included – giving you more bang for you buck. We break down Carnival’s CHEERS! program here.

8. Leave the extension cords 

Now the staterooms have two regular outlets and two USB outlets, so it makes it easier to have multiple devices plugged in at one time. I was easily able to charge my iPhone, GoPro, laptop, and still had a plug open.

9. Do SkyRide early 

Try to be out at the SkyRide as soon as it opens; the ride will quickly get to a 30 minute wait in no time at all. If it opens at noon, be there at 11:45.

10. Caution, Speed Bumps! 

There are areas around the ship that I was calling speed bumps. It’s where the fire doors are located and they are metal plates that are raised a couple inches above the floor. If you drag your feet when you walk make sure to keep an eye out of them. They are mainly on decks three, four, and five.

11. Go outside 

The ship has a true connection with the water so make sure you take some time to soak in the outdoors. A favorite gathering spot among cruisers was on deck five.

12. Spend time in the atrium 

One word: Dreamscape! Hang out in the atrium taking in the music and watching the three story HD digital centerpiece come to life with beach scenes and different optical illusions.

13. Adventure away from main dining room 

The main dining room has some good eating, but so do other venues around the ship, like Bonsai Sushi (a la carte), JiJi’s Asian Kitchen ($15), Fahrenheit 555 ($35), Cucina ($15), RedFrog Pub ($3.33 per appetizer), and Seafood Shack (a la carte).

14. Take the stairs 

As mentioned above, there are plenty of food options and we all know that calories don’t count on a cruise. So do yourself a favor and squeeze in a little exercise. Not to mention, with 15 decks and many tired cruisers, elevators take a while. Stairs are simply faster.

15. Try new things 

I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and order escargot or alligator at dinner. Head to the lido deck and shake it all off by trying out some of the latest line dances, or check out the Havana lounge and learn some latin dance moves. Try a new craft beer in the brewery, or check out one of the amazing shows. The possibilities are endless.

16. Download the Carnival Hub app 

Find your way around the ship, view activity times, chat with fellow cruisers, and have instant access to all your photos. These are just a few things that can be found on this app. It’s very user friendly.

17. Bring sneakers 

Both the ropes course and the SkyRide require you to wear closed toed shoes. Also, with so many options for activities in the SportsSquare, you’re going to want to make sure you have the proper shoes.

18. Room service 

There is still a list of free room service items such as sandwiches, but there is also an additional menu if you are willing to pay a few dollars. Included in this menu are chicken wings, pizza, and quesadillas. The average price $5.

19. Consider internet package 

Internet is a necessity for many. There are different Internet packages for purchase conveniently through the Carnival hub app, or through any of the desktops near customer service. Whether you need full service internet for work, or just want to keep up with your social media, there is a plan to fit your need. Packages can be purchased for 24 hour periods or for the duration of the cruise at a discounted price.

20. Find secret spots 

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Take the time to scope out the ship and find the hidden spots you can escape to that no one else knows about. For instance, I found the best places to watch sail aways or just to get some fresh air were at the front of the ship on decks 6 and 7.

21. Take lots of digital photos 

Each evening, photographers are set up around the main areas of the ship towards the atrium ready to turn you into a model. With unique backdrops and props, they direct you through all the fun poses. Its free and entertaining; no obligation to buy. You can view your photos on the Carnival Hub app, in your stateroom on the TV, or at Pixels.

22. Push your boundaries 

Ropes Course! Its not everyday you get the opportunity to climb through obstacles while suspended in the air, looking down at a ship and out at the ocean. There are two paths to take; an “easy” and advanced. If you get through the easy course push yourself and try the advanced. It’s an awesome feeling of accomplishment at the end and the view’s not bad either.

23. Map out the ship 

Vista is huge and with only so many days aboard the ship, you’re going to want to make sure you have a general idea of the main locations to make getting round a lot easier. Some central locations are the Atrium, Lido deck, Dining rooms, (Seafood shack!), Liquid Lounge, and Ocean Plaza. Maps of the ship can be found between the elevators on each deck as well as your Carnival Hub app.

24. Spend time in serenity 

Want to escape the dance music, people traffic, and kids? Head to Serenity, located at the front of the ship, deck 15. There’s an outdoor bar, two hot tubs, and plenty of unique areas to relax in. Choose from a hammock, isolated tables and chairs, a clamshell style chair, or your basic lounge chair. Its peaceful, has beautiful views, and can be intimate too.

25. Hot tubs 

What better way to unwind after a long day of excursions then to soak in one of the hot tubs? There are hot tubs located in Serenity, on the main Lido deck, and at Havana. The hot tubs in Havana are for guests booked in Havana suites only until 5 pm, then the whole area is available for anyone.

26. Pre-book Chef’s Table 

If you want an amazing one-of-a-kind dining experience, you are going to want to check out the Chef’s Table. Unfortunately with very limited seating and few chances, it is not something that you can just decide to do last minute. The number of dinings varies based on length of cruise and popularity. If this is something you want to experience, you need to book early. The price is $75 – check online for reservations.

27. Reservations 

Most specialty dining has limited seating and once again due to popularity, you will need reservations. Reservations can be made ahead of time or while on board by simply calling.

28. Free bottle of wine if you book the steakhouse on the first night 

If you book the steakhouse the first night of your sailing, the restaurant will include a free bottle of wine with your dining experience. The steakhouse is $35 per person.

29. Plan time on board 

So much to do, so little time. Activities onboard are offered one after the other. To make sure that you squeeze in everything you want to do make sure you check out the daily itinerary the night before.

30. Take brewery tour 

For $12.95, you can take part in an hour-long brewery tour in the RedFrog Pub and Brewery. Colin, the brewmaster will walk you through the beer brewing process, the different flavors, gives you a tour of the beer cellar, all while sampling the four different beers offered in the brewery – three of which are brewed right on the ship.

31. Free ice cream bar inside Lido deck market place 

Still offered on the Lido deck is soft serve and frozen yogurt swirl machines, but for a more rich and flavorful option, check out the Sweet Spot where two different unique flavors are made daily, like popcorn, and cookie. A variety of toppings are also offered all free of charge.

32. Dine outdoors 

As mentioned before, the ship has a true connection with the water. Many of the restaurants, bars, and even at the Lido deck offer seating outdoors. Take in the views and enjoy the breeze while you dine.

33. Catch sunrise/sunset 

Its not often that you can catch both a sunrise and sunset daily. The views are breathtaking. It’s worth the early rise, I promise.

34. The muster drills are held inside for a lot of the ship.

35. The ship uses facial recogition for the photos, you can now pull up your picture from your phone.

photo: Andy Newman

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