In my experience, one of the most important things on a vacation is the food and drink. Before I went on my first cruise with Carnival Cruise Line I was researching and trying to get a feel for the lay of the land. The thing is that there’s so many choices I wanted to make sure I understood it all…was everything included, would my family enjoy the food available at different times of day…I had so many questions.
As we are counting down the days to heading onto our next cruise on the Carnival Magic with 15 other amazing bloggers for the Let’s GO! Retreat on July 9th, I find I’m answering questions from friends regarding the food and drink. I’m going to share some tips I’ve learned along the way…oh and be sure to keep up with our antics on the retreat by watching the #LetsGOCarnival hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
Please note that although I don’t drink alcohol, my husband does so I’ll be discussing that a wee bit but won’t be covering it in detail as it’s never the focus on our cruises.
With Carnival Cruise Lines, you can drink all of the water, lemonade, iced tea, coffee and tea that your heart desires. There are beverage stations around the ships where you can either fill a cup provided or one you’ve brought along. We do prefer to bring larger cups to reduce our trips.
Bottomless Bubbles Package
If you’re a soda lover, you’ll want to consider buying the Bottomless Bubbles package. This gives you unlimited soda and juice during meals, during shows, in the casino…anytime/anywhere on the ship you want. The cost is $6 a day for adults and $4.50 a day for children.
Dining Room for Breakfast or Lunch
On cruises there is a buffet which is open most of the time but few think of heading to the Dining Room. On embarkation day, avoid the crowds and head to the Dining Room to enjoy a delicious meal. On sea days the Dining Room is open from 8:30am-1:00pm for Brunch and on Port Days it’s open 7:30am-9:30am.
Dining Room Assigned Seating
This dining option offers guests a pre-set dining time for the duration of the cruise as well as the same table assignment each evening in the Main Dining Room. Guests who choose this option will not be able to reserve ‘Your Time’ open seating once on board.
Dining Room ‘Your Time’ Open Seating Dining
Guests on ‘Your Time’ open seating may dine any time in the Main Dining Room between 5:45pm and 9:30pm and are able to request any table size or waiter. Guests are seated on a first come, first served basis depending on party size. Pagers are provided if a modest wait time is required so guests may relax elsewhere on the ship until their table is ready; in most cases, guests are accommodated within 20 minutes. Advance table reservations are not accepted on board. All guests must be present before the party is seated.
Dining Room – Eat As Much As You Want
It’s true friends, there’s no limit to the amount of dishes you can order. This threw us off at first…I mean who DOES that? Well apparently we do now. It was when the lobster was on the menu that my husband happily ordered 3 lobster tails and enjoyed them all. There is a great variety of meals and each day there’s special dishes on the menu to reflect the port you’re in.
24 Hour Room Service
As if the Buffet, restaurants and dining rooms aren’t enough…Carnival has 24 Hour Room Service. There is a full menu of options which are free such as sandwiches, salads and desserts and also a paid menu. It’s perfect for those afternoons when we’ve decided to rest up for the evening and don’t feel like a full lunch. You can see the full menu HERE.
The Taste Bar
When you’re cruising, take time to check out The Taste Bar. It features complimentary bite-size offerings inspired by the newest and most popular dining venues on board, along with a signature cocktail tied to that eatery’s particular theme for purchase.
The Taste Bar cuisine samples will be offered on a rotating basis from approximately 5:00pm to 8:00pm on sea days and select port days. Location will vary by ship.
There are many bars on Carnival Cruise Ships but the Alchemy Bar takes the cake! Using fresh ingredients, it serves up a tasty series of Mocktails and cocktails at this unique vintage-themed cocktail ‘pharmacy’. Let the mixologists prescribe you something from the bar with both nonalcoholic and alcoholic elixirs to remedy what ails you. Or, create your own custom concoction from a variety of unique ingredients.
Guy’s Burger Joint
Looking for a great burger? Hit up Guy’s Burger Joint where you’ll be tasting the creations of Guy Fieri! It’s my husbands FAV! delicious fresh-off-the-grill burgers designed by Fieri, or they can make their own at a condiment bar by adding a variety of tasty toppings. Burgers are complemented by hand-cut fries.