Carnival Cruise Dining: Restaurants and Food You Must Try

carnival cruise food
Tandoori Grill gives cruisers the chance to order authentic Indian cuisine without leaving the lido deck. - Photo by Carnival Cruise Lines

Just how far has Carnival come from the days of bland buffets and wan salad bars? Well, if you book a cruise on one of the line’s newer ships, you’re bound to be pleasantly surprised. Not only are there more options than ever before, but many are a big upgrade from years past. Check out our favorites and see if you agree:

1. Blue Iguana Cantina

blue iguana cantina carnival restaurant

Photo by Carnival Cruise Lines

Situated right on the pool deck, this Mexican joint overflows with diners lining up at lunchtime on sea days, dripping in their swimsuits. The menu is made up of tacos and burritos, and you’ll find a large salsa bar with plenty of choices to dip your house-made tortilla chips into.

You Should Order: The fried fish tacos — they’re as good as any we’ve had at roadside stands in Mexico.

Located on: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Liberty, and Carnival Sunshine.

2. Fahrenheit 555

carnival sun steakhouse 555 fahrenheit

Photo by Carnival Cruise Lines

This steakhouse can hold its own with most similar spots on more expensive ships at sea. Stick to the classics, and expect to be as impressed by the imaginative plating as the food and high-quality service.

You Should Order: The chocolate sampler is an elegant end to the meal, whether you’ve ordered steak or lobster.

Located on: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Legend, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Magic, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Pride, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Sunshine, and Carnival Valor.


3. Tandoori Grill

tandoori grill

Photo by Carnival Cruise Lines

Sure, all Carnival ships offer a vegetarian Indian dinner option in the main dining room, but this on-deck lunch spot serves up authentic Indian fare — such as lentil soup, saag paneer, and tandoori chicken — with all the proper condiments.

You Should Order: The fresh naan is made in a proper tandoor oven. If there isn’t any ready, be sure to ask the staff to bring some to your table when it’s hot from the fire.

Located on: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Magic, and Carnival Splendor.



4. Guy’s Burger Joint

guys burger carnival

Photo by Carnival Cruise Lines

Celebrity chef branding aside, this spot is a big upgrade from the grills on older ships. Here, the meat is ground onboard and the soft, bakery-style buns are put in the oven daily.

You Should Order: Go beyond the basic with the Pig Patty, a classic cheeseburger topped with a ring of crispy bacon, or the Ringer, served with bourbon barbecue sauce and crowned with an onion ring.

Located on: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Liberty, and Carnival Sunshine.

5. Taste Bar

carnival taste bar restaurants cruise

Photo by Carnival Cruise Lines

This cocktail hour favorite is the perfect accompaniment to a pre-dinner drink. Each night, the kitchen puts out small tastes of dishes served in the specialty restaurants. If you’re on a ship with all of the Fun Ship 2.0 improvements, then it’s a chance to taste around before deciding where to book your next meal. If you’re on a ship that doesn’t have them, these may just be the best bites you eat all week.

You Should Order: If they’re serving up Blue Iguana’s pork braised in red chili sauce, it will be pretty hard to resist.

Located on: All Carnival ships. 



Join the discussion

What’s your favorite restaurant on Carnival ships?


Posted by MrChocoholic

My experience eating the sushi on Carnival is little: only tried it twice and the pieces were minuscule. Reminded me of those nouvelle-cuisine places where the artistry and plating take precedence over portion and flavor.

Posted by WeCruiseToo

We couldn’t agree more with giving Blue Iguana Cantina the top spot. We were constantly amazed at the quality and variety available from this little venue aboard Carnival Sunshine! We’d love to see that and the Tandoori Grill available on all their ships!

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