Fun alert! Biggest Carnival ship ever begins sailings from Miami
Another new giant of the seas is now calling Florida home.
Carnival Cruise Line's six-month-old Carnival Vista on Sunday began year-round sailings from Miami.
At 133,500 tons, Vista is the "fun ship" line's largest ship ever, if only by a tad. The 3954-passenger vessel is about 4 per cent larger than the four-year-old Carnival Breeze, on which its design is based and with which it shares many features.
Vista is Carnival's first new ship since Breeze, which debuted in 2012.
New on Vista is an 800-foot-long sky ride around the top deck and an IMAX Theatre - both firsts for the industry. The vessel also has a pub with a working brewery on site - a first for a line catering to North Americans.
Among other notable new features: A record size, 455-foot-long water tube attraction that is part of the largest water park in the Carnival fleet. Passengers are able to ride it on inflatable rafts.
Built in Italy, Vista sailed an initial season of Europe cruises before crossing the Atlantic. It'll now operate an indefinite schedule of six- and eight-night Caribbean voyages out of Miami. The six-night trips will feature calls at Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; and Cozumel, Mexico. The eight-night trips will vary between several itineraries that stop in such islands as Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Grand Turk, St. Kitts and St. Maarten.
Vista is just one of several new ships that are taking up residence in Florida this month after an inaugural summer in Europe. Royal Caribbean's five-month-old, 226,963-ton Harmony of the Seas, the world's largest cruise vessel, just began sailing out of nearby Fort Lauderdale on November 5. Holland America's seven-month-old, 99,500-ton Koningsdam kicked off trips out of Fort Lauderdale on November 9.
Also arriving in Florida this month from Europe was Norwegian Cruise Line's 155,873-ton Norwegian Epic, the world's ninth largest cruise ship. It's now sailing out of Port Canaveral.