UP CLOSE WITH HISTORY
When Carnival Cruise Line took delivery of Carnival Vista this week, the 133,500 ton ship officially became the newest, largest and most innovative of all Funships. The 3,954 ship will sail a summer schedule in Europe that runs through October 2016. Following a 13-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Vista will operate a pair of 11-day cruises from New York in November 2016 then launch year-round Caribbean service from Miami later that month. So far, the story sounds about as anticipated and typical of most new fish in the water. But the game has changed a bit since the last new Carnival ship arrived. Today’s cruise traveler wants more. Keys in hand, today’s Carnival drives Vista. Now, where will they go with her?
Carnival Vista has more and offers a number of unique features, including a groundbreaking suspended cycling experience called SkyRide, the first IMAX Theatre at sea and the RedFrog Pub & Brewery offering three different kinds of beer brewed on board. Also new is Family Harbor with special family accommodations and a family concierge, along with the tropics-inspired Havana staterooms and suites featuring a dedicated pool area. The ship’s outdoor spaces include a massive WaterWorks aqua park, highlighted by the 455-foot-long Kaleid-o-slide, the longest slide in the fleet. But that’s not enough.
Carnival Drives Vista- Dedicated Family Zone
The first new Carnival ship since the intense industry-wide effort to attract families at all costs began, Carnival Vista’s design reflects the trend. Exclusive to Carnival Vista is Family Harbor, located within a dedicated family zone aft on Deck 2 with 96 specially designed “family ergonomic” accommodations, including extra-large family suites accommodating five guests and featuring two bathrooms.
The Family Harbor Lounge is a secluded space designed as the ultimate family hangout with large screen TVs, board games and complimentary breakfast, cookies and other snacks. An exclusive family concierge maximizes the fun on board, assisting with dining, spa and shore excursion reservations, registering kids for the youth programs and making recommendations on and off the ship for families with kids of all ages.
Nice, But Not Enough
By the time Carnival Vista is launched, I believe Carnival Cruise Line will have the hardest part of delivering a superb onboard experience locked down and positioned ahead of other lines by The Way They Interact With Passengers On The Ship… in all capital letters.
The Way They Interact With Passengers On The Ship
Carnival played a big role in defining the cruise experience of the past. With FunShip 2.0, Carnival proved they were not a one trick pony, incapable of varying much from their tried and true ways of doing things. Still, the selling points of a cruise vacation, in general, have varied little over the last few decades; a great value compared to land travel, unpack once and see multiple places, a flexible experience that has something for everyone…all this and more have travelers lined up to try a cruise for the first time and past cruise travelers sold on the idea of a cruise as their go-to travel option. That won’t change anytime in the near future.
Do They Get Us Too?
The Secret Ingredient No One Talks About
It makes sense for Carnival Cruise Line, if not the Carnival Corp family of brands, to take the lead on adding an additional ingredient to the success formula; one that will touch each and every passenger, regardless of their interest. Again, that would be: The Way They Interact With Passengers On The Ship… in all capital letters.
Cruise lines are starting to get it…really get it in this area and are consistently exceeding our expectations as passengers. Signs that Carnival Vista will set a new standard in this area are hidden throughout promotional information but there, nonetheless. The ship’s layout supports interaction with passengers in a more personal way as opposed to the already-mastered the art of moving hordes of people from place to place, Disneyland-style.
Wishful thinking? You bet. But considering all the options available, an extreme focus on customer service is absolutely the right move at the right time. If Carnival drives Vista in this direction, it could be the first big ship to bring it home.
Carnival Drives Vista- The Story Continues
We’ll find out in short order. Stay tuned as we board Carnival Vista for a preview sailing in May. Reservations are currently being accepted for Carnival Vista, as well as other ships in the Carnival fleet. The company also has another yet-unnamed 133,500-ton ship under construction and scheduled to enter service in 2018.
Cover Photo- Carnival Cruise Line