“The first thing you see is that there is a big difference in the engine control room (ECR). The video wall is a great improvement for the officer of the watch, he can monitor all the automation system readouts and the cameras in the engine spaces,” said Cesare Boldrini, chief engineer on the Carnival Vista.
“On the video wall we can bring up 300 pages (i.e. display areas) from the automation system,” he continued.
Another major innovation is the so-called tactical table, located dead center in the ECR – essentially a gigantic iPad that can control the displays in the room and allows the team leader to make adjustments throughout the ship. The ECR is also notably bigger than those on other newbuild cruise ships.
The ECR is divided into two sections on the Vista. The operational side of the room is where the officer of the watch stands, with full controls to the engines, propulsion and other mechanical items. Behind that is the safety and maintenance console, with all safety systems and software and mechanical switches for emergency shutdowns.
The ship hit a top speed of 23.6 knots during sea trials, which Boldrini attributed to the hydrodynamic design of the hull.
“The hull is completely re-designed. It may look the same but underneath it is completely different. It has been designed to improve water flow to the pods and maximize their efficiency.”
On green aspects of the ship, the Vista has the latest and best incinerator available, according to Boldrini.
“We have an advanced wastewater system which can cover 25,000 people. We only have 5,000 or 6,000 people at a time onboard,” he said. “The system is also certified to discharge in Alaska, which is the most restrictive area.”
To make water, the ship has two evaporator plants and two reverse osmosis systems. The latter have new filter systems that are said to be more reliable. “The efficiency of those is very high. In one day we can make up to 1.2 million gallons of water."
“Energy conservation is emission reduction and fuel saving,” Boldrini explained. “We are generating extreme steam when we are sailing. We were at the point (on other ships) where we were dumping steam overboard. The Vista has a steam turbine that recovers waste steam and we make 1.5 MW with it when sailing. It is the first time for this system on a Carnival ship.
Hotel power has been optimized since Carnival’s last ship, the 2012-built, 130,000-ton Breeze.
“The Carnival Breeze needed 12 to 12.5 MW when in port. The Vista needs 9.5 to 9.8 MW,” said Boldrini. The Vista is slightly larger too, at 135,000 tons. “It’s a huge step forward.”
Another big step in saving fuel aboard the Vista is not only the latest generation of MAN diesel engines, but enhanced software mapping solutions on the powerplant.
“So far we have two (software) maps,” Boldrini explained. “One map is optimized for the engines at 55 to 65 percent of load, and the other for 80 to 85 percent load.”
He called it a secret. “We can use the maps to achieve the best emissions and best fuel consumption. We might have one engine at 85 percent on one map and another engine running at 65 percent on another map. And between the two we have optimal emissions and consumption.”
Further software lets Boldrini input the ship’s route and estimated required power load for the propulsion and hotel, which will advise on which engines maps to use on which diesel generators.
Go in-depth with an expanded version of this story and more on the Carnival Vista, in the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine, Winter 2016-2017, due out Jan. 2.