Carnival Cruise new ships

Carnival Vista(5:25 p.m.) - When Carnival Cruise Line's newest Fun Ship, the 3, 954-passenger Carnival Vista, launches May 1, 2016 in the Mediterranean, it will feature a bevy of new spaces that take onboard entertainment - a segment for which the line is famous - to a new level. An IMAX theater, 450-foot-plus-long water tube slide and the suspended open-air SkyRide are just some of the fun additions the ship will boast. Other new spaces will include an onboard brewery, aft pool, the New England-inspired Seafood Shack and a dedicated families-only zone with lounge and cabins.

Carnival Vista sets sail with a 13-night inaugural sailing departing Trieste, Italy. It will be the first Carnival ship to sail in Europe in three years.

SkyRide"Our goal was to make this our most innovative ship to date, " Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations, told assembled guests at a launch announcement in Lincoln Center's JAZZ performance space in New York City. Carnival transformed the venue into several Carnival Vista restaurants and bars including Havana Bar, Seafood Shack, RedFrog Pub, Cherry on Top and Bonsai Sushi.

"Carnival Vista is so high energy, so much fun; the most amazing stage for our members to bring to life that fun vacation Carnival is famous for, " Tamis said.

Tamis also emphasized the ship's connection to the ocean, apparent in its many indoor/outdoor spaces. Most restaurants onboard will offer outdoor seating.

Outdoor Fun

You don't have to be a cyclist to enjoy the industry's first pedal-powered, open-air aerial ride, though you best not be afraid of heights. With SkyRide, participants climb onboard hanging recumbent bikes to "cycle" their way around the 800-foot suspended track, measuring in at up to 150 feet above the sea. Two tracks are available so passengers can challenge friends and family to a race.

MultiplexIf the SkyRide doesn't provide enough adrenaline-pumping action, the suspended SkyCourse ropes circuit should do the trick.

Both SkyRide and SkyCourse are part of SportSquare, which also offers an indoor hangout, The Clubhouse at SportSquare, featuring mini-bowling, Ping-Pong, arcade basketball, sports video gaming and more.

More outdoor fun can be found at the line's largest WaterWorks water park, including the enclosed water tube Kaleid-O-Slide, on which riders make their way around 455 feet of twists and turns on one- or two-person rafts. Kaleidoscopic visual effects give the ride an extra dose of dizziness.

Seafood ShackCarnival Vista will have three pools: A main pool in the center of the ship and the Havana Pool and Tides Pool at the aft of the ship.

Cinematic Fun

Continuing its penchant for thrills both indoors and out, Carnival is upping its cinematic offerings, introducing the Carnival Multiplex, with both a Thrill Theater and a first-at-sea IMAX theater. Passengers will be able to watch the latest Hollywood flicks, IMAX classics and IMAX documentaries on the three-deck high screen. Pricing for IMAX is tiered and varies by film, with current films costing more than museum-style documentaries, Tamis told Cruise Critic. Prices will be less than on land, he added.

The Thrill Theater, which Carnival debuted on Breeze, gives moviegoers a multidimensional special-effects experience with 3-D images on the screen and seats that move with the movie's action. A concession stand will offer popcorn and movie snacks priced a la carte.

Next door to the Carnival Multiplex, passengers will find The Warehouse, featuring a selection of video and arcade games.

Culinary Fun

Seafood lovers will want to check out the New England-inspired Seafood Shack, a casual indoor/outdoor eatery located on a top deck. The menu will include lobster rolls, steamed lobster, fried shrimp, crab cakes, fried clams and other delicacies from the sea. Seafood Shack will serve lunch and dinner and will be priced a la carte starting at $4.

Library Bar Havana Cabana

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New cruise ship: Carnival Vista
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