Family vacations have changed over the years, particularly family cruise vacations. It used to be enough for ships to just have kids and teens programs. Now, cruise lines have come to understand that families are vacationing differently than in the past.
Family cruise vacations now often involve grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even friends and schoolmates. All of them are seeking more excitement, adventure, enrichment and fun. To meet the vacation expectations of this changing market, cruise ships need to offer programs, amenities and attractions for every interest and age group.
Carnival Cruise Line knows this market well. The cruise line carries over 700,000 children per year and has been a perennial family favorite for decades. So it should come as no surprise that Carnival’s newest ship, the Carnival Vista, reflects this new view of family travel perfectly. “Multi-generational travel is one of the fastest growing segments of the cruise industry and we’ve designed the Carnival Vista to appeal to guests of all ages with on-board features that can be enjoyed by the entire family,” says Caroline Lombardi, Carnival’s Director of Youth Experience.
Here are five of Carnival Vista’s most innovative features that are sure to be a hit with families and multigenerational groups:
1. Sky Ride. Carnival has decided to use every available inch of its new ship to deliver a family vacation fit for its “Fun For All, All For Fun” motto – including the sky. This first-of-its-kind attraction lets cruisers ride along an elevated 800-foot-long track at speeds up to 18 miles per hour, affording beautiful vistas of the sea 150 feet below. Carnival understands that part of truly enjoying a family vacation is not worrying about how much everything costs, so there is no charge for Sky Ride. Parents, grandparents, children and others are free to ride to their hearts’ content.
2. Massive WaterWorks featuring Kaleid-O-Slide. Studies have shown that kids (and kids-at-heart) want their family vacation destinations to have great pools and waterparks. Carnival Cruise Line has gone over the top with their latest ship. They’ve designed the Carnival Vista to have the largest WaterWorks aqua park in the fleet. What makes this water park even better is Kaleid-o-Slide, Carnival’s first inner-tube slide. This awesome slide features 455 feet of corkscrew twists and turns along with music and cool kaleidoscopic colors and effects. The Vista’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. Little ones will love Carnival’s kiddie water play area with 30 different types of water spray toys and mini-racing slides.
3. Awesome Onboard Entertainment. Carnival’s newest ship offers a wide array of family activities, both day and night. Carnival Vista will feature the first IMAX Theater at sea as part of its Carnival Multiplex. This pioneering attractions area is sure to be a major hit with families. Guests will be able to watch IMAX classic movies and documentaries along with recent Hollywood blockbuster movies and family favorites. A popular guest favorite, the Carnival Thrill Theater, is also located in this area. Kids love being totally immersed in their movie experience as their seats move back and forth, bubbles appear and they’re sprayed with water. Fun video and arcade games at The Warehouse complete the Carnival Multiplex line-up on the Carnival Vista. Families will also enjoy participating in Hasbro, The Game Show and the family-friendly comedy shows at the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez. Topping off the family vacation experience will be the Carnival Vista’s premium ice cream parlor located inside the Cherry on Top store – always a sweet treat.
4. New Family Friendly Accommodations. As we all know, parents and kids often need a bit more family room on vacation. Families like to hang out, spread out, and spend plenty of time together. With this in mind, Carnival has designed an innovative area called Family Harbor on the Carnival Vista, featuring a new set of 96 “family ergonomic” accommodations. Some of these are family suites for five with two bathrooms, a must-have for vacation harmony in some families. Guests staying in Family Harbor can use the Family Harbor Lounge, a cool hangout with large screen televisions, board games, and complimentary breakfast and snacks. A family concierge caters exclusively to Family Harbor guests, providing assistance with dining and shore excursion reservations, youth program activities, and age-specific recommendations for attractions in ports of call and onboard the ship. Family Harbor rooms come with special amenities such as free meals for children under age 12 in specialty restaurants, one free evening in the late night Night Owls kids program at Camp Ocean, and ‘round the clock access to the Family Harbor Lounge.
5. Cool Play Areas for Kids. Carnival Cruise Line’s fleetwide program, Seuss at Sea, has been a major hit with families. This fun program includes the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends, easily the best value character breakfast on land or sea. Kids love the Seuss-a-Palooza Parade and Story Time and Dr. Seuss Bookville, a colorful family reading and play area that will be available on the Carnival Vista. In addition, families will be thrilled with the ship’s 4,000-square-foot Camp Ocean play zone with programs and engaging activities for children ages 2-11. Older kids will have their own brand of fun on the Carnival Vista in the fully supervised Circle “C” club for 12-14 year-olds and Club O2 for 15-17 year-old guests.
For more information about Carnival Vista, visit Carnival’s website at www.carnival.com.