Carnival, the owners of P&O and Cunard announce new sister ships to the Carnival Vista.  The new Carnival Horizon starts sailing in April, and then in 2019 comes the third Vista-class ship, the 3,960-passenger Carnival Panorama, sailing from Long Beach to the best destinations along the Mexican Riviera. This will be the first new Carnival ship to base in Southern California for over 20 years and will make fly cruising to LA and Mexico a treat for British cruisers. The ship will feature the popular American fan-favorite dining, entertainment and relaxation experiences but they promise ‘new stuff too!’ So what is the new stuff?

First the ports, because we have been featuring the excitement of new ports and destinations, but for those ‘pushing tin’, by that we mean those finding where to dock all these ships on itineraries that work, you need more ports and bigger ports. The ship will herald a grand re-opening California’s revitalised 146,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Long Beach Cruise Terminal. This will mean more ships will be able to base there. To add to the growing ports that are visited, there is also a a multi-million-dollar port development project in Ensenada, Mexico, which promises to provide guests with a ‘one-of-a-kind’ experience ashore.The Doris Visits amazing – Deals all on ‘one page’Carnival President Christine Duffy said, “this is a momentous occasion for both Carnival and the City of Long Beach”. Carnival own both P&O and Cunard, the later now trades in US dollars on board.

Robert Garcia, mayor of Long Beach said that the, “…expansion of the terminal and arrival of this exciting new ship is great news for the city of Long Beach”. The terminal features a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountain range inside and the world’s largest, free-span geodesic dome with a 1980s-style arcade.

All these new features need paying for and costs are starting to creep in on all lines in places like room service. Carnival recently announced fees on late-night room service new orders.

So what is different about the Carnival Vista class of ships? Flying bicycles? Yes you can cycle round the ship to keep fit, but not on the promenade deck. SkyRide at SportSquare is a twin-track suspended bike course — strap in and race around for the win or just cruise for great views. The Havana Bar & Pool look very special, an island retreat on board. This classic Cuban-style lounge has the emphasis on style and the views. Then there are the water slides – the Kaleid-O-Slide also has light and colour effects. It is an American ship, so you will find diners to match, Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse. If you want a little more peace, there is the usual adult only area that most large ships cherish. As with other ships it is called the Serenity Retreat, here the food station is chopped salad.

So these are the Vista class ships, and already they are far from the largest. Even Carnival have larger ships on order and one heading for P&O.

The expanding marketing to find millions of new cruisers is a problem. With a dozen new HUGE ships at sea every day within a few short years over one million new cruisers are required. That marketing problem is wonderfully discussed in the romantic cruise adventure novel, AMERICAN PORTRAIT (click title of picture, on Kindle or paperback). 

There is less of a dress code on some American ships, the UK ships still do enforce dress codes. What ever ship you choose it is worth investigating the dress code. This can be done via the chat sites – click here for a list of chat sites.