Carnival Victory is in the midst of an extensive, multi-million-dollar dry dock that is adding what I call ‘the full treatment’ and what used to be called the Funship 2.0 upgrades.
The ship is currently in drydock at Freeport, The Bahamas, and is scheduled to complete the work on January 21.
The additions include:
• Guy’s Burger Joint: The best burgers at sea, anywhere. Trust me. Guy’s is a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries enjoyed amidst a décor that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture.
• New Accommodations: Several new cabin categories will be added to Carnival Victory, including 260-square-feet Scenic Ocean View staterooms and 320-square-foot Scenic Grand Ocean View accommodations as well as Captain’s Suites, spacious 820-square-foot cabins offer a large extended balcony, two full-size bathrooms, separate sleeping quarters and a large living room.
• RedFrog Rum Bar: Poolside bar offering the quintessential Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red.
• BlueIguana Cantina: a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar.
• BlueIguana Tequila Bar: the second poolside bar offering Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers.
• Bonsai Sushi Express: walkup window in the Lido Buffet area featuring an array of sushi, sashimi, California rolls, etc. (a la carte pricing)
• Re-Branded Deli: the ship’s deli has been completely renovated with an updated design and new menu offerings, including seven sandwiches such as meatball, buffalo chicken, and The Cubano, along with Southwest chicken, falafel and turkey wraps.
• Cherry on Top: The shop with bins of bulk candy, gifts, just-because novelties, colorful custom apparel and more.
Carnival Victory operates year-round three- and four-day cruises from PortMiami. Three-day cruises depart on Fridays and call at Nassau, while four-day voyages depart Mondays and visit Key West and Cozumel or Nassau and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.
Princess Cruises has officially announced its third annual Culinary Cruise Series, featuring famed Miami-based chefs Brad Kilgore and Scott Linquist.
Sailing on Regal Princess out of Fort Lauderdale from February 11 – 18, 2018 to the Western Caribbean, these two chefs will team up to offer guests a variety of curated culinary experiences and demonstrations for travelers looking for an exclusive foodie experience.
This seven-day, four-port Western Caribbean cruise will include a selection of daily activities and adventures for cruisers to participate in with the acclaimed chefs. Guests will be able to participate in chef-led cooking demonstrations, cookbook signings, Q+A sessions, experience special menus featured throughout the ship’s restaurant and bars, and learn valuable cuisine skills to bring home with them.
Guests will also be able to explore parts of the Caribbean and Mexico alongside these chefs as each lead a customized excursion. Noted for his Mexican cuisine, Chef Linquist will lead the Cozumel excursion in Mexico, while Chef Kilgore will lead the Jamaican excursion. Other port stops include Princess Cays Bahamas and Grand Cayman.
Named Food & Wine’s 2016 Best New Chef, Brad Kilgore launched onto Miami’s culinary scene in 2015 with the opening of Alter in Miami’s hottest new neighborhood – Wynwood. After winning countless awards with Alter including Restaurant of the Year by Eater, he set his sights on Downtown Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center and opened BRAVA by Brad Kilgore inside the famed cultural institution. Showing no signs of slowing down, Kilgore plans to debut two new restaurants in Miami in the next coming year. Bringing his progressive American cuisine to Regal Princess, Kilgore will showcase some of his favorites including Short Rib Wellington with Truffled Mushrooms and Free-Range Chicken, with Popcorn Hollandaise.
Joining Chef Brad Kilgore will be fellow Miami-based Chef Scott Linquist. Linquist, founder of the wildly successful Coyo Taco located in Miami’s buzzing Brickell Financial District, as well as famed Wynwood arts district, will bring his upscale Mexican flair to the seven-day excursion featuring some of his most unique taco creations such as Coyo’s charred octopus tacos with salsa veracruzana and pickled jalapeños. Chef Linquist plans to expand the success of Coyo Taco with new locations coming in Miami Beach, West Palm Beach and Panama.
Adding a touch of sweetness to this cruise will be one of Princess Cruises culinary partners, Norman Love, owner of Norman Love Confections, based in Fort Myers, FL. Trained in France, and named the Inaugural Inductee into the Chocolatier Hall of Fame by Dessert Professional Magazine, Love’s creations blend premium quality chocolate, unique flavors and artful designs that are perfect for chocolate lovers. Love will be leading several cooking demonstrations and curate chocolate tastings.
Guy Fieri – a member of the American Royal National Barbecue Hall of Fame whose namesake burger joints are featured on 19 Carnival Cruise Line ships – will introduce a brand new full-service barbecue venue aboard Carnival Horizon when it debuts in spring 2018.
An expansion of Fieri’s casual barbecue eateries on several Carnival ships, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse combines the best of both worlds: authentic, down-home smoked-on-board barbecue and traditional sides created by the renowned chef, along with a selection of distinctive craft beers brewed on board at a brewery located within the restaurant.
The announcement will be made by Fieri at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas during the “Carnival’s BBQ Challenge with Guy Fieri” event during which kids from the local 4H Club were tasked to come up with unique barbecue recipes inspired by Pig & Anchor.
The three finalists will each receive a free cruise and Carnival is making a $20,000 donation to the 4H Club of Texas in support of its mission of engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development.
The new dining venue will feature Guy’s favorites such as brisket custom-smoked for 12 hours, Memphis-style baby back ribs, dry-rubbed and grill-finished chicken, pulled pork, and cedar-smoked salmon with an apricot glaze. All Smoke House items are served with coleslaw, sweet pickles, and golden honey cornbread or Texas toast.
The restaurant will also offer Fieri’s signature dishes like Dragon Chili Cheese Fries featuring smoked beef brisket, cheddar cheese, onions and jalapenos; Trash Can Nachos topped with pulled pork, Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ sauce and melted cheese; and The Smokehouse Melt, with pulled pork, sliced brisket, double smoked pork belly bacon, two slices of cheddar cheese, homemade pickles and donkey sauce.
Side dishes feature Longhorn Cheddar Mac & Cheese, Beer-Braised Cowboy Pinto Beans, Sweet Potato Bourbon Mash, Mashed Potatoes with Red Eye Gravy and Burnt Ends, and Buttermilk Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Almonds.
BBQ fans can spice up their dishes with the chef’s own sauces, including Kansas City (smoky and sweet), Sriracha BBQ (spicy and tangy), Carolina #6 (tangy and sweet heat) and award-winning Bourbon Brown Sugar (sweet and sticky), along with exclusive-to-Carnival sauces like Smokey Chipotle, Gold Coast Yellow Mustard, Black Pepper, and Burning Tomato.
Paired perfectly with barbecue is a delicious and refreshing craft beer created by Carnival’s award-winning beverage team which includes Colin Presby, the only brew master in the North American cruise industry. Presby and team are developing four distinctive micro-brews specifically designed to pair with the venue’s wide-ranging menu. Specific details will be announced at a later date.
Classic desserts like freshly baked cobbler, banana cream pie, and pecan pie will top off the meals.
The new 138-seat BBQ venue will be located along the ship’s Promenade with indoor and outdoor seating and authentic touches like ceiling tiles made of weathered galvanized siding, red brick walls, hardwood floors and booth and high-top seating with Fieri’s signature FLAVORTOWN catch phrase illuminating the full-service bar.
The restaurant will be open from 5 pm ‘til late every night of the cruise with menu items offered on an a la carte basis and live music nightly. Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse will offer a free-of-charge self-service BBQ lunch buffet from noon to 2:30 p.m. on embarkation day and sea days.
Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse will be among the dozens of different dining and beverage venues available aboard Carnival Horizon. These include the line’s first teppanyaki restaurant, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, the Mexican-themed BlueIguana Cantina serving authentic tacos and burritos, the 24-hour Pizzeria del Capitano, and the New England-inspired Seafood Shack.
Other features include the groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre, and the first Dr. Seuss-themed water park at sea
A wide range of accommodations will also be offered, including spa cabins with exclusive privileges at the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, extra-roomy staterooms in Family Harbor, and tropics-inspired Havana staterooms and suites with exclusive daytime access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool.
Carnival Horizon is scheduled to make its maiden voyage April 2, 2018, with a 13-day Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona – the first of four round-trip departures from that port. Carnival Horizon will reposition to the U.S. with a 14-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to New York May 9-23, 2018.
Following its summer schedule of four-day Bermuda and eight-day Caribbean departures from the Big Apple, Carnival Horizon will shift to Miami and kick off a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning Sept. 22, 2018. Carnival Horizon will also offer a special two-day cruise to Nassau from Miami Sept. 20-22, 2018.
Carnival is on a roll (pun intended) with new menus lately. Yesterday John Heald announced new menus for the steakhouse and Cucina Del Capitano trattoria. Today he featured the new menu for Carnival’s very popular deli sandwich venue on his Facebook page.
I love the deli on Carnival ships. It’s often my lunch choice on embarkation day because new cruisers don’t know about it and they just see the main buffet and queue up there. It’s also very good. The new menu doesn’t have one of my favorites on it – pastrami – but corned beef remains with the Reuben, and they will still make you a regular corned beef on rye. Even if it’s not on the menu the deli staff has always made what you wanted as long as they have the ingredients in front of them. I’ve often wondered why they didn’t have sandwich classics such as the BLT or a meatball sub. I’m happy to report that both are now on the menu.
The new menu also adds potato salad and french fries. One thing missing for years was a side item for the sandwiches so I’m glad to see these additions.
The new menu is currently on Carnival Vista, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Conquest and Carnival Glory with more ships coming soon.
Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has unveiled the new menus for the cruise line’s steakhouses and “Cucina Del Capitano” Italian restaurants. John posted the new menus today on his hugely popular Facebook page.
The new steakhouse menus offer some exciting things that one doesn’t often see on a cruise ship, such as a bone marrow appetizer and a Wagyu steak. This is remarkable given the cost for this premium dining will remain at $35 per person. The new menu is currently used on Carnival Vista and Carnival Magic and will come to other ships “soon” according to Mr. Heald.
Cucina Del Capitano Menus
Cucina Del Capitano is a trattoria style eatery that costs $15 per person for dinner and offers a free pasta bar at lunch that is hugely popular. John didn’t mention the timeline for this new menu being introduced to the fleet.
As I said above, there is a free pasta bar at lunch. Here is that menu:
Carnival Cruise Line will introduce its first-ever teppanyaki dining venue when the new 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon debuts in Europe in spring 2018.
If you’ve ever wondered about the meaning of Teppanyaki, the name is derived from the combination of the words “teppan” or iron plate with “yaki” meaning grilled or pan-fried.
Located on Carnival Horizon’s Promenade Deck, Bonsai Teppanyaki will offer a wide-ranging menu with authentic delicacies from the Far East prepared by highly skilled chefs who will create tantalizing dishes on custom-built stations that form the center of the venue’s two eight-seat tables. With only 16 seats available reservations will be highly recommended. The restaurant will offer both a lunch and dinner service.
In keeping with Carnival’s atmosphere of spirited and participatory fun, dinner at Bonsai Teppanyaki will be a fun culinary experience with chefs engaging with diners and dazzling them with their amazing knife skills and other performance elements.
Each meal will begin with an appetizer sampler of five items such as Miso Soup, Pork Belly Yakitori with Sesame Asparagus Fries, and Spicy Tuna on the Rocks with Onion Sesame Sauce and Den Miso. Guests will then choose an entree with choices including Lobster Tail with Yuzu Cream and Citrus Kosho, Filet Mignon with Truffle Salt, Garlic Chips and Champagne Cognac Flambe, and Black Cod with Soy Reduction, plus other items. For dessert a Chocolate Bento Box with Green Tea Ice Cream will be featured.
“Carnival is all about providing our guests with a wide array of choices and that, of course, includes a seemingly endless array of delicious culinary options,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “The new Bonsai Teppanyaki promises to be a wonderful addition to the Carnival Horizon, offering delectable cuisine from the Far East enhanced by show-stopping performances by our talented and engaging chefs,” she added.