PHOTO: SkyRide on Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Vista. (Photo by Jason Leppert)
Are you planning to embark on Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista soon? Check out these suggestions before setting sail to maximize your time at sea.
Book a Havana Cabin for a Ship-Within-a-Ship Experience
Carnival Vista doesn’t have an outright ship-within-a-ship complex, but its Havana staterooms come very close. Not only do many of the cabins themselves feature outdoor cabanas along a private stretch of the promenade deck, but they also come with exclusive access to the Havana Pool over the stern during the day.
Bring Your Own Conditioner for the Cabin
One onboard oddity is that cabins include bar soap, shampoo and body wash, but not conditioner. Unless you want to buy a bottle in the gift shop, I’d suggest packing enough in your checked bag to supply your own. Or better yet: Carnival, please start including this.
Take Advantage of $15 Bag of Laundry Specials
If you’re not interested in doing your own laundry on board, sending it out for a la carte full service can be expensive. However, if you wait until about mid-cruise, the ship runs a $15 bag of laundry special wherein every piece that will fit in said bag will be cleaned for the flat rate.
READ MORE: Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Vista Review
Get Seated Early for the Liquid Lounge and The Punchliner Comedy Club
For different reasons, it’s advisable to enter the main show lounge and laugh fest as soon as possible. The poor design of the Liquid Lounge means sight-lines behind front row seats on the main floor or balcony level are obstructed, while the comedy club is so awesome that it fills up swiftly every time.
Arrive to the IMAX Theater 45 Minutes Prior (But After Cherry On Top)
The unique IMAX Theater onboard has a small candy stand, but for the ultimate in choice, go to Cherry On Top before arriving about 45 minutes early to the theater. There’s a very small waiting lounge that you can sit in if you’re first to arrive prior to the doors opening a half hour before showtime. Otherwise, you’ll be lined up in the elevator lobby.
Get In a Shorter Line for SkyRide on a Port Day
Queues at the SkyRide can get long. As with any popular activity, you can access them with less congestion on a port day when the bulk of passengers are ashore. Even better: Arrive right when the ship is first cleared because most guests will be departing then with next-to-no-one up on deck.
READ MORE: First-Ever IMAX Theater At Sea: A Booming Hit For Carnival Vista
Reserve a Dinner at Ji Ji Asian Kitchen Sooner Than Later
As specialty restaurants on cruise ships go, Ji Ji Asian Kitchen is so good that you’ll likely experience it once and want to make another reservation later on in the cruise. In order to maximize that option—or for any other premium dining venue—make your first booking on one of the sailing’s first days.
Make Do with Lots of Free Food
Alternative to booking any specialty restaurant with a surcharge, there are plenty of complimentary food options if you’d prefer. Besides the main dining room and buffet, Pizzeria del Capitano, Guy’s Burger Joint, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse and BlueIguana Cantina are all some of the best choices to enjoy freely.
Don’t Forget Seafood Shack at the Back of the Ship
One specialty diner that would be easy to bypass—if only because it’s more out of the way than the rest—is the Seafood Shack. Seek it out! Its a la carte-priced market fish offerings and favorites like lobster rolls and crab cakes are well worth the extra cost.