The 6 Best Places to Eat on Carnival Ships

by Sherri Eisenberg

The 6 Best Places to Eat on Carnival Ships

by Sherri Eisenberg

Carnival's cruises have gotten more attention for the party scene on board than the culinary scene, but the line has really evolved over the years from one with some of the more forgettable food to one that really delivers, especially when it comes to casual and yummy. Read on for our favorite places to eat on these ships. Just be sure to check what’s available on your ship before you book — not all vessels have the same restaurants.

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Guy's Burger Joint on Carnival Breeze / Carnival Cruise Line / Andy Newman
Cheeseburger and fries from Guy's Burger Joint
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1. Guy’s Burger Joint

The best burgers at sea? They’re actually free. Better still, the meat is hand-ground, the buns are freshly baked, the fries are hand-cut, and the toppings bar comes with everything from tempting bacon to virtuous mushrooms. Sure, some of the names on the menu are cheesy, but the food’s good enough to make you shut up and, well, eat.

Our Advice: Order the Pig Patty, which comes with a crispy ring of bacon, and ask for yours with S.M.T. — otherwise known as Super Melty Cheese.

Fee: Complimentary

The best burgers at sea? They’re actually free. Better still, the meat is hand-ground, the buns are freshly baked, the fries are hand-cut, and the toppings bar comes with everything from tempting bacon to virtuous mushrooms. Sure, some of the names on the menu are cheesy, but the food’s good enough to make you shut up and, well, eat.

Our Advice: Order the Pig Patty, which comes with a crispy ring of bacon, and ask for yours with S.M.T. — otherwise known as Super Melty Cheese.

Fee: Complimentary

Tacos at BlueIguana Cantina
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2. BlueIguana Cantina

The tacos and burritos at this spot are made to order. Get yours with some fresh-from-the-fryer tortilla chips and top it all with radishes, lime, and one of a dozen salsas from the toppings bar.

Our Advice: Go at breakfast for the best morning option on board, the breakfast burrito. In the afternoon, look for the Baja-style fried fish tacos, our favorite thing on the menu.

Fee: Complimentary

The tacos and burritos at this spot are made to order. Get yours with some fresh-from-the-fryer tortilla chips and top it all with radishes, lime, and one of a dozen salsas from the toppings bar.

Our Advice: Go at breakfast for the best morning option on board, the breakfast burrito. In the afternoon, look for the Baja-style fried fish tacos, our favorite thing on the menu.

Fee: Complimentary

Seafood Shack on Carnival Vista
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3. Seafood Shack

This new dining option on the aft end of the pool deck on Carnival Vista is a great place to grab lunch on a sea day. The menu, inspired by New England seafood shacks, includes everything from creamy clam chowder to lobster rolls and baskets of fried shrimp.

Our Advice: You can order the catch of the day — literally whatever was caught in port that morning — by the pound, and have it sent to any restaurant on board at dinnertime, prepared any way you like.

Fee: À la carte

This new dining option on the aft end of the pool deck on Carnival Vista is a great place to grab lunch on a sea day. The menu, inspired by New England seafood shacks, includes everything from creamy clam chowder to lobster rolls and baskets of fried shrimp.

Our Advice: You can order the catch of the day — literally whatever was caught in port that morning — by the pound, and have it sent to any restaurant on board at dinnertime, prepared any way you like.

Fee: À la carte

Shakes at JavaBlue's Shake Spot on Carnival Sunshine
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4. Shake Spot

This milkshake bar, attached to the Java Café on some ships, serves a wide variety of classic options from chocolate to strawberry, black and white, and coffee.

Our Advice: The boozy milkshakes are as good as you would imagine, and the perfect alternative to dessert.

Fee: À la carte

This milkshake bar, attached to the Java Café on some ships, serves a wide variety of classic options from chocolate to strawberry, black and white, and coffee.

Our Advice: The boozy milkshakes are as good as you would imagine, and the perfect alternative to dessert.

Fee: À la carte

Chef at Tandoor
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5. Tandoor

Sure, you may know that you can order a vegetarian Indian dinner with dal and all the condiments in the main dining room, but a few of the line’s ships also have this aft deck lunch spot. It’s the real deal, with everything from vindaloo to saag, appropriately spiced and made by Indian chefs.

Our Advice: Sometimes you have to wait for naan — steaming hot Indian flatbread — to come out of the oven, but it is so worth it.

Fee: Complimentary

Sure, you may know that you can order a vegetarian Indian dinner with dal and all the condiments in the main dining room, but a few of the line’s ships also have this aft deck lunch spot. It’s the real deal, with everything from vindaloo to saag, appropriately spiced and made by Indian chefs.

Our Advice: Sometimes you have to wait for naan — steaming hot Indian flatbread — to come out of the oven, but it is so worth it.

Fee: Complimentary

Pulled pork sandwich from Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse
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6. Guy’s Pig and Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse

We can’t wait to try the new barbecue spot from Guy Fieri, who is actually a proper pit master on the barbecue circuit and a winner of the American Royal World Series of Barbecue. Here, all of the meats — including smoked Andouille sausage and smoked chicken — are smoked on board. There are also plenty of sides to choose from, from mac and cheese to collard greens and potato salad.

Our Advice: We’re hearing good things about the pulled pork, which Fieri is calling the “real deal.”

Fee: Complimentary

We can’t wait to try the new barbecue spot from Guy Fieri, who is actually a proper pit master on the barbecue circuit and a winner of the American Royal World Series of Barbecue. Here, all of the meats — including smoked Andouille sausage and smoked chicken — are smoked on board. There are also plenty of sides to choose from, from mac and cheese to collard greens and potato salad.

Our Advice: We’re hearing good things about the pulled pork, which Fieri is calling the “real deal.”

Fee: Complimentary

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