By Eileen Ogintz
ABOARD THE CARNIVAL VISTA (Day 6) — IMAX movie or Sky Ride? No, we’re not in Orlando. We’re in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea aboard Carnival’s new and largest ship VISTA.
There’s the new SkyRide, a breakthrough open-air cycling experience around an 800 foot track suspended from 150 feet above the sea. “It wasn’t scary,” reported Thomas Skeen, 11, here from Tampa FL on his first trip to Europe. “You’re strapped in the whole time!”
Nearby is SkyCourse, a suspended ropes course that’s part of an expanded outdoor activity park complete with mini golf, mini-bowling, ping-pong, basketball, video games and more.
Adults seem to like the Kaleid-O-Slide as much as the kids. “Very fast!” reported one mom of the 455 foot ride of twists and turns.
And if the weather isn’t ideal for the ship’s five pools, including one for adults and another with an oversized screen showing movies, there is an expansive two-deck Cloud 9 Spa with Carnival’s first Infrared Heat Chamber (less hot and more consistent heat than a traditional sauna). There are special “experience showers”, a high tech indoor cycling studio and, exclusive to this ship, the Hammam Chamber developed during the Ottoman Empire as a place for regeneration and inner peace. There is also a big Thermal Suite with individual heat therapy suites, and Aromatic steam grotto and a variety of treatments. (For real spa lovers, you can book a spa stateroom with special spa packages.)
You won’t want to miss the first IMAX at sea ($12.95, $9,95 for kids 12 and under and seniors, $5.50 for documentaries )—part of the Carnival Multiplex which also includes a Thrill Theater, a multi-dimensional experience where seats move back and forth and you are sprayed with water bubbles designed to make you feel like you are inside the movie. If your gang includes those 17 and older, there’s also Thrillogy, a multi-sensory horror movie experience.
Take your pick of live shows including Amor Cubano, a Caribbean Dance Romance and Flick: The Power of Motion Pictures with some of the most famous movie themes and theatrical illusions.
There are deck parties, 13 bars including Alchemy where the mixologists will create special creations for you and RedFrog Pub &Brewery with hand-crafted beers brewed on board, the line’s first online breweries. If smoothies are more your speed, try the Shake Spot.