Travel

Carnival Brings the Vista and All it Has to Offer to Galveston

I highly recommend poking around an empty cruise ship if you get the chance.
I highly recommend poking around an empty cruise ship if you get the chance. Photo by Cory Garcia
The amazing things we’ve created as a society quickly become mundane, and that’s a shame. Cruise ships stand out as a prime example of this. How do you look at these behemoth hotels on the water and not feel a little awe? Even if you think cruise culture is dumb, mobile, floating structures such as these should at least impress you a little bit. But, like every other industry, the cruise business is not immune from the need to build things bigger and better.

Take the Carnival Vista, the 3,934 capacity ship now calling Galveston home. Think your ship is cool because it’s got alcohol? The Vista has a working brewery on board. Yeah, your ship has ample places to work out, but does it have the SkyRide, a set of bikes that hang up in the sky that you can take around the upper deck of the ship? Your ship shows movies and the Vista has an IMAX theater on board. The Vista does not play around when it comes to special features.
click to enlarge There's some lovely design on the Vista. - PHOTO BY CORY GARCIA
There's some lovely design on the Vista.
Photo by Cory Garcia
And yet, it does maintain that weird intimacy that you find on other cruise ships. For all the things it has, it never feels overwhelming. Even navigating the food options before the ship set sail was fairly easy, with your humble writer able to snag a pretty solid piece of funfetti cheesecake as he wandered the ship. Yes, there were lines, but all told, it wasn’t any more hectic than your average Vegas buffet.

Carnival had plenty of big names in town to celebrate Vista’s first trip out of Galveston, including Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy and ship Godmother Deshauna Barber. In an act to show just how much they love this part of the country, Carnival donated $10,000 each to the Houston SPCA and Houston Food Bank. The city of Galveston celebrated things by giving Duffy the key to the city and proclaiming September 23 “Choose Fun Day,” after Carnival’s current big tagline.
click to enlarge It's hard not to be impressed by the Vista's lobby. - PHOTO BY CORY GARCIA
It's hard not to be impressed by the Vista's lobby.
Photo by Cory Garcia
Galveston wasn’t Vista’s first home, but it is its new home, and it looks like it has all the tools needed to be a smash in the Gulf. At least everyone that was on the ship seemed like they were already having a blast, whether or not they had a fancy colored drink in their hand to help get them in the right mindset. It should serve the region well, at least until the next big upgrade comes along.
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Cory Garcia is a Contributing Editor for the Houston Press. He once won an award for his writing, but he doesn't like to brag about it. If you're reading this sentence, odds are good it's because he wrote a concert review you don't like or he wanted to talk pro wrestling.
Contact: Cory Garcia