Family Harbor New Option On Vista

In another life, the Carnival Vista would’ve been a perfect ship for our family cruise. When you have a family of five, as we did when the children were children, it’s not always easy to find accommodation on vacation.

Once, we smuggled one of them into a hotel in France, because most hotels in France allow only four to a room, and two rooms was out of the question. On our inaugural (and only) family cruise, which happened to be a Carnival ship, there was no smuggling allowed…so we had two rooms apart. It happened that there was a problematic room between them, but that’s another story.

Oh yes, the Vista.

One of the features on the new Carnival ship — still 11 months away from its inaugural cruise — is the Family Harbor, where the whole family can hunker down for the night in one room. There are options, from inside to suite, and they are priced accordingly. The OceanviewFamily Harbor room in the picture is a deluxe oceanview, probably the one we’d have taken, cosy as it would be for five people (hey, five in a French hotel wasn’t exactly palatial!).

At what cost?

The Vista will spend its first six months in Europe, starting May 1, then cross the ocean to New York at the end of October before settling in Miami. To research prices, we opted for a couple of Caribbean cruises in late 2016 and early 2017, one of five days, the other eight days. The cost was about the same for each cruise when you break it down…between $80 and $85 per person, per day.

Booking two oceanview (non-deluxe) rooms on the same cruises would cost more: $640 for the 5-day cruise and $1,400 for the 8-day cruise. And, there are things not included that come with residing in Family Harbor…like access to a lounge only for Family Harbor passengers, free specialty-restaurant meals for kids under 12 and an exclusive family concierge.

There still are families of five. We see them all the time, and we reminisce. If they’re looking for that family cruise that keeps everybody behind one door and if they have a budget, as we did, the Vista will soon be a new option.

In the news…

• Star Clippers building largest sailing ship to be launched in 2017
• On Regent's Explorer: luxurious spa, infinity pool, state-of-the-art fitness

Today at portsandbows.com: Alex Trebek, finally an adventure cruiser in the Arctic

Celebrity Millennium
7 nights
July 24, 2015
Anchorage, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan, Vancouver
Oceanview: $649
Cost per day: $92
www.celebritycruises.com

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