Cruising is a great choice for family vacations. Today’s ships offer programs, amenities, and entertainment designed to please all ages and interests. This is particularly true for the industry’s newest cruise ships, such as Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista. In addition to attractions like the thrilling SkyRide and massive WaterWorks aqua park featuring the Kaleid-O-Slide, Carnival Vista has nearly 30 distinctive dining and bar venues with diverse flavors and food choices from around the globe. Guests can enjoy a wide variety of activities simultaneously taking place around the clock on this action-packed ship. Family members can do as much as they want – or nothing at all.
Parents and kids like to have fun on vacation, both together and apart. Carnival’s complimentary Camp Ocean youth program keeps kids and teens entertained with a wide variety of daily age-appropriate activities and events. While the kids are having fun, parents can enjoy their favorite activities on Carnival Vista. Parents and kids will also make great vacation memories together onboard the ship and in exciting ports of call.
Carnival understands the family market well. The cruise line carries an industry-leading 700,000 children each year and has been a family favorite for decades. Carnival knows families want lots of opportunities for family fun. That’s why they’ve loaded Vista with lots of options for making fantastic family memories with kids of all ages.
Families cruising aboard Carnival Vista can enjoy fun attractions and experiences together such as watching movies on the three-deck-high screen at the first IMAX Theatre at sea, dining with Dr. Seuss characters, playing cool arcade games at The Warehouse, and much more. While some incredible family experiences on the ship come with a small additional charge, many of them are offered at no extra cost. Here are seven fantastic family friendly experiences that are free of charge for all Carnival Vista guests.
1. Racing each other on SkyRide.
Carnival Vista’s SkyRide is a cool first-of-its-kind attraction that lets families ride along an elevated 800-foot-long track above the ship at speeds up to 18 miles per hour, providing gorgeous views of the sea 150 feet below. Parents and kids have fun racing each other on SkyRide’s dual tracks. Riders must be at least 52 inches tall and SkyRide’s weight limit is 300 pounds. Closed toe shoes are required, so make sure everyone has the proper footwear before getting to the front of the line.
2. Viewing Dive-In Movies by the pool at night.
Families cruising on Carnival Vista enjoy getting together in the evenings to watch movies on the ship’s massive LED flat screen overlooking the pool. These shows feature both family-oriented and action-packed recent releases, and they’re popular with guests of all ages. Freshly popped popcorn is served as well.
3. Enjoying the Seuss-A-Palooza Parade & Story Time together.
As part of an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Carnival launched Seuss At Sea – a series of shipboard family focused dining and entertainment experiences. Families have fun participating in the free Seuss-a-palooza Parade & Story Time event. Bookville, a colorful area located in the Camp Ocean space, is the perfect place for parents and grandparents to read with children and play together. While Vista’s Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends is not free, at just $5 per person it’s easily the best value character breakfast on land or sea.
4. Having pizza from Pizzeria del Capitano.
Located on Carnival Vista’s Deck 10 aft near the Tides Pool, Pizzeria del Capitano is Carnival’s branded pizzeria inspired by the cruise line’s Cucina del Capitano Italian-style restaurant. Five types of delicious artisanal pizzas are available 24 hours a day, and the staff will usually customize them a bit for guests. Families can dine outdoors at tables with a beautiful sea view. If your family loves great burgers, barbeque and burritos, don’t miss Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina and Carnival Vista’s Oceanside Barbeque. They’re all free as well.
5. Being entertained family-style.
Families sailing aboard Vista don’t need to pay for tickets to awesome Broadway-quality shows. The ship’s high-tech Playlist Production shows are superb, and the uniquely themed productions are offered multiple times throughout each cruise. Families will also enjoy participating in Hasbro, The Game Show and attending the family-friendly comedy shows at the Punchliner Comedy Club.
6. Flying down the cool Kaleid-O-Slide.
Carnival Vista is equipped with the largest WaterWorks aqua park in the fleet. What makes this water park even better is Kaleid-O-Slide, Carnival’s first raft-type tube slide. This awesome slide features 455 feet of corkscrew twists and turns along with music and cool kaleidoscopic colors and effects. Guests must be at least 48 inches tall to ride the Kaleid-O-Slide, and the weight limit is 265 pounds. The ship’s huge aqua park also has Carnival’s signature water features, including a 300-foot high-speed Twister slide and the 300-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket that drenches and delights younger guests. Guests must be at least 42 inches tall to ride the Twister waterslide and the weight limit is 265 pounds. Younger kids will love Carnival Vista’s kiddie water play area with 30 different types of water spray toys and mini-racing slides. Children must be toilet trained to play in Carnival’s WaterWorks aqua parks, and diapers or swim diapers are not allowed.
7. Getting an adrenaline rush on SkyCourse.
Thrill-loving families should head for Carnival Vista’s SkyCourse, a 270-foot-long aerial ropes course located atop the ship at SportSquare. Family members are safely strapped into a harness and can choose from two levels of course difficulty, testing their abilities to the fullest. Guests must be at least 48 inches tall and weigh no more than 275 pounds to participate. In addition, closed toed shoes are required. There’s even more family fun available at SportSquare. Families can enjoy competing with each other in mini-bowling and ping-pong at the indoor Clubhouse, trying for a hole-in-one at the SkyGreens miniature golf course, and playing basketball and other sports together.
For more information, contact your favorite travel agent or visit Carnival’s website at carnival.com.
Nancy Schretter is Managing Editor of the Family Travel Network.
Photo: Nancy Schretter