Video of the SkyRide
Well, what a pleasant day to go for a cycle ride. Blue skies, warm breeze, the ocean softly lapping 150ft below me…
Ah yes, below me. For I’m on SkyRide, the spectacular new attraction on Carnival’s latest ship, Vista.
The streamlined bikes are suspended from two rails which allow a pair of riders to race each other round an 800ft circuit of the sports deck. But, if you wish, you can take a much gentler pace, enjoying the views of the sea and ship high above deck.
You pass above the SportSquare, SkyCourt and Clubhouse which between them offer activities such as basketball, a ropes course, crazy golf, mini bowling and pool.
At the other end of Carnival Vista are two waterslides – an inflatable ring ride and the aptly named Twister flume, great for cooling off when the sun’s beating down.
For the less adventurous, there is the sparkling main pool surrounded by sun loungers with rum and tequila cocktails available from opposite sides of the deck.
Peckish? You’re only a few feet from a juicy burger with serve-yourself toppings, or a burrito with a variety of salsas.
Here’s a slideshow of the RedFrog rum bar, the BlueIguana tequila bar and Guy’s Burger Joint.
Simply enter the bustling buffet restaurant for lots more food choice or head to the stern to enjoy 24-hour pizza or fresh fish at the Seafood Shack.
To wash it down, Vista even brews its own varieties of beer on board, served at the RedFrog pub.
It’s easy to think Carnival is all bright colours, excitement and food on the go. But adults who want to get away from it all can head to Serenity on the top deck with its seats and ‘clamshells’.
Passengers really wanting to escape can stay in Havana suites with their own deck space, swinging chairs and private daytime pool.
And everyone, of course, is invited to treat themselves at the spa.
Food isn’t all fast, either. You can take your time enjoying a meal at the excellent Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, where a spread of delicious dishes are brought out for each course to be shared by the whole table. Here’s some of what we had…
Other venues include an Italian, steakhouse and sushi.
After dinner, Vista offers a variety of shows and bars. Our favourite, on a short trip from Barcelona to Rome, was the Piano Bar where the talented and quick-witted Ben played wide-ranging requests and improvised hilarious songs about members of the audience – plus a few ‘adults only’ numbers as the night wore on.
Here’s s a slideshow of the Alchemy, sports and piano bars.
Then it was on to the Havana Bar (pictured below), with its lively Latin music, and the Liquid Lounge for thumping beats.
In fact you don’t have to walk far to find a bar on board – there’s even one in the library and serve-yourself beer on tap in the buffet.
One of the other innovations on Vista is the three-storey first IMAX cinema at sea, showing new box office and 3D films with stunning visuals and booming soundtracks.
Next door, in the Thriller Theater, we saw – well, experienced – a movie about sardines narrated by David Attenborough with ‘5D’ effects including wind, sea spray and even bubbles.
Carnival never stops trying to entertain, impress and surprise – the first thing you gawp at when boarding is the ever-changing DreamScape artwork in the atrium.
On top of that, newcomer Vista carries you to some of the most beautiful and historic ports and cities in Europe. In November it will cross the Atlantic to offer voyages from New York then Miami.
Wherever it goes, Vista is certain to be a centre of fun and laughter.
All photos, except exterior one of ship, copyright Dave Monk 2016. To read my article on the new cruise ships of 2016, please click here