Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Vista, aerial Aerial view of Carnival Vista Kristen Boatright
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What's the best Carnival ship?

by Sherri Eisenberg | October 08, 2016

Unlike with wine, cheese, and relationships, when it comes to cruise ships, newer really is better. New ships tend to have the cruise line’s latest innovations, the best technology, fastest internet, freshest designs, and the best new cabin configurations.

That’s certainly true of Carnival Cruise Line's 3,934-passenger Carnival Vista, which launched in April 2016 in the sunny Mediterranean and is now the largest ship in Carnival's fleet. If you’re looking for the energy and nightlife of Carnival and you want to try the very best the line has to offer, this is the ship.

What makes Carnival Vista so special? Sure, it has a lot of the restaurants and activities Carnival fans have come to know and love, regardless of which ship they’re on. You’ll find the Guy Fieri burger bar by the pool, where burgers are hand-ground and buns are baked daily. Also by the pool is the BlueIguana Cantina taco bar, where the tortillas are fried to order and the burritos and tacos come with a wide array of salsas and other authentic toppings, such as sliced radishes, fresh cilantro, and pickled red onions. (Our advice? You’ll want to visit this spot in the morning for the breakfast burritos, too.) Next door is the BlueIguana Tequila Bar, home to frozen margaritas and, at times, a boisterous, shot-fueled scene.

To appeal to adults, the ship also has the adults-only Serenity lounge (a welcome escape from the noise of the festive main pool deck), the impressive Alchemy cocktail bar, and the more-elegant-than-you'd-expect modern take on a traditional steakhouse. For kids, there’s the Dr. Seuss partnership, which means the popular "Green Eggs and Ham" sea-day brunch (home to the Instagram-worthy actually green eggs with ham dish, as well as a "Cat in the Hat"-inspired stack of red velvet and white pancakes), plus a children’s reading room with Dr. Seuss books in a variety of languages, and a whimsical, Dr. Seuss-inspired design. Older kids tend to flock to the multiple twisting, turning waterslides, minigolf course, ropes course, basketball and volleyball courts, and family-friendly karaoke that’s backed by a live band.

Beyond the Carnival-style amenities, there’s also a Carnival-style atmosphere, with buckets of long-neck bottles of beer and a DJ by the bustling main pool, bars and clubs that stay open late, and plenty — seriously, plenty — of families with kids of all ages during the summertime and on school holiday weeks. For cruisers who like options, nightlife, and energy, this is a great ship to consider. Plus, the unpretentious clientele means you can dress as up or down as you like without worrying about being judged.

But Carnival Vista, which now sails in the Caribbean after an inaugural season in Europe, also has a wide range of hot new features you won’t find on any other Carnival ship, at least for now. (Carnival’s next Vista-class ship, Carnival Horizon, is scheduled to launch in the Mediterranean in May 2018.)

Read on for what Carnival Vista has that no other ship has, making it the best of the line's ships.

Sherri Eisenberg

Sherri Eisenberg is the New York City-based editorial director of ShermansCruise.com.

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