Friday, 7 October 2016

#FoodieseekerFriday - Fun Around the Pool and Food!

Before we went on our holiday with Carnival one of the things that the children were looking forward to was playing in the pools. I knew that the outside areas would be where we would spend a lot of our time while onboard Vista.

The main, central hub of the ship was on deck 10 at the Beach Pool. This was where the majority of the activity was. There was a quieter pool on the same deck at the rear of this ship, Tides Pool.

This was our favourite pool. As it was a quieter pool it was ideal for the twins to become more adventurous in the water. However J spent most of the time at the Carnival Waterworks water park. This was the place for water slides, water fall and splashing fun!

J is a confident swimmer so he loves to be off. In the past Little I was the more confident in the water so I did not have any real worries but Little T, on the other hand, really was not sure. When he was smaller he did not like loud noises and seemed to have sensitive ears, he hated water being near them. As he got older he became more tolerant of water and even enjoys showers. So before we left for our holiday I got thinking about how I could make swimming more exciting for him. What would give both the twins more encouragement to get into the water. This led me to SwimFin.

I had heard a great deal about SwimFin via various social media platforms so I was curious to learn more. What stood out for me and the twins was the SwimFin design. When I showed them the pictures they immediately became excited and wanted to be sharks. Even Little T was wanting to try them. SwimFin have combined fun and safety together with this product. It is fun for the kids to wear and be sharks but for us parents we can feel confident in the knowledge that they are safe. There is no worry of them deflating as with arm bands, there is no worrying that they are going to let go of the dongle, once you have strapped the SwimFin onto the child they are safe. Unlike other swimming aids the SwimFin can be used to learn all strokes. Their arms are free to move thus making it easier to teach front crawl or breast stroke. I simply cannot speak highly enough of these swimming aids. We went on holiday with a little boy who was really unsure of the water and came home with a boy who was so confident he was jumping in the pool and shouting "I can do this all by myself!". This holiday Little I was more cautious about the water but this was mainly down to the cold water, but once she was in, she was really enjoying it. Now that we are home I am determined to continue swimming with the children. As swimming lessons are so expensive and we have two to pay for I am going to use the SwimFin to our full advantage and teach the children to swim myself. So keep an eye out for future updates!
Thanks to SwimFin we had an amazing time in the swimming pools with the twins and gave them so many memories that I am sure they are going to treasure. For Little T this is going to be the holiday that he fell in love with the water! The SwimFins also became a huge focal point for fellow travellers! We lost count how many people pointed and said "wow, look at you, you're a shark!" they really did cause a great interest and I even had other parents asking me what they were and how great they looked!

Around the pool areas were also plenty of places to eat! As both the Beach Pool and Tides Pool was on deck 10 the Lido Marketplace was literally in the middle of the two areas. This made eating so much easier as if one wanted a burger but the other wanted a burrito, it was no problem! All families know how hard it can be to please everyone when it comes to meals. But Carnival Vista makes this one issue that will simply not arise. There were numerous occasions that we would visit the Lido Marketplace and get meals for the twins, who loved the variety of dishes, I visited Blue Iguana Cantina for some Mexican cuisine, then the hubby would go to Guy's Burger Bar and J popping to Pizzeria del Capitano for some freshly made pizza. Everyone was happy as we knew we could get the foods that we wanted but still eat together.

I have previously told you all about Guy's Burger Joint in my Taste of Carnival post and even shared a recipe. So this week I thought that I would tell you about two of the other poolside eateries, the Blue Iguana Cantina and the Seafood Shack.

Before we were even onboard Vista I was looking forward to trying food at both all of these eateries. Ok, I admit it, I was looking forward to eating in all of the eateries! But both the Blue Iguana Cantina and the Seafood Shack stood out. I adore both Mexican cuisine and seafood so they were both on my "must try" list and I was not disappointed!

The Seafood Shack serves freshly caught fish just the way you imagine it to be in New England coastal towns. However you like your seafood to be served you will find something to eat. Selecting which dish to order is the hard part! The Seafood Shack does have additional costs but they are well worth it as the portions are huge! I decided to go for a bucket, simply because I could not decide whether to have shrimp or clams, so I had them both!

The portion was enormous, thankfully I did have some help from the kids. The bucket was full of fried buffalo shrimp and fried clam strips, they came with a side serving of chips that have been coated in a smoky spiced seasoning along with a dish of homemade coleslaw and dips. This meal cost just $6 which I think is fantastic value. Every dish is made freshly to order. So that you are not hanging around while they cook your meal you are given a pager so that once you meal is ready they can page you to go and collect it. The hubby tried their Fish and Chips which he said was equally delicious and was, again, a large portion. Eating the meal, while looking out over the ocean, what more could you want? It was such a peacefully relaxing experience that was like no other.

Now onto the Blue Iguana Cantina.

I love Mexican food, I love the vast array of flavours combined with herbs and spices. The Blue Iguana Cantina serves up freshly made tortilla wraps and are ready to fill with any of the fillings they have on offer to create your own bespoke burrito or tacos. For me it was the burritos that called to me and I will definitely be having a go at making some at home! The burritos are created in four steps...
  • Step one - Choose your tortilla from wheat or jalapeno
  • Step two - Select chicken, beef or shrimp
  • Step three - The hard part, what to fill it with! You can choose from refried beans, cilantro lime rice, black beans, tomato, roasted corn, sauteed onion, iceberg lettuce or charred green peppers.
  • Step four - Select your topping from salsa roja, tomatillos, roasted tomato salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream or monterey jack cheese!
After you have your dream burrito you can move onto the salad bar! But to be honest the burritos are that big you probably will not need any side orders!

How good does that burrito look!! I will definitely be making these bad boys so keep an eye our for a future "Taste of Carnival Vista" post!

As you can see there is so much around the pool areas onboard Carnival Vista you will want to pass the hours away relaxing in the sun, taking a dip and digging in to some amazing food!

At night time the pool areas transformed into places to party and even their very own "Dive In Theatre". One of our most memorable night has to be after a delicious meal in Ji Ji Asian Kitchen we went out to watch Star Wars The Force Awakens on the big screen. We collected some Dive In blankets, popcorn and drinks and settled down on sun loungers to watch the movie as we sailed with the sun setting over the ocean. This holiday has given us hundreds of magical memories but this was one (of many!) of my favourites! By the end of the movie the sky was black and all you could see was the stars twinkling in the night sky. The children were transfixed to the big screen and we had a night to treasure!

Once the movie has finished the Beach Pool turns into the place to party. Having the children with us meant that we did not spend time at the parties apart from one night when the twins stayed at the Night Owls club and J went to party with the friends that he had made! Being on a ship meant that we could safely allow him to have more freedom and I think that it really did do him the world of good and made his holiday more special!

From morning to night time there is something going on that you will not want to miss!

What would you enjoy the most around the pools?

Enjoy x

Disclosure: We went on holiday as Carnival Cruise Lines Foodieseeker Family. All words, views and opinions are my own and 100% honest. You can read more of my cruise posts here. There are a variety of post before the cruise and after the cruise through the eyes of first time cruisers. For more information about Carnival visit


  1. I cannot imagine holidaying on a cruise, I am always worried I will be bored, but there looks so much to do and such a great variety of food available x

  2. Ah wow it looks amazing! Ive always wanted to go on a cruise, maybe one day in the future!

  3. Carnival cruises are supposed to be the best to go on with a family; so much to do and so much to see. Looks like they're living up to their reputation!

  4. Kian and Hubby are missing the burgers and burrito's badly and my efforts to recreate them have failed badly. I need to be back on the Vista, I miss it

  5. Looks like you had an incredible time. The burritos do look good, can't wait for your post on how to recreate them!

  6. That burger and chips looks so amazing! Really want to eat that right now lol x


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