The 10 Best Grab-and-Go Cruise Eats

grab and go cruise eats food snacks
These are quick bites that you can take with you! - Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

Feeling hangry during a cruise, but don’t want to endure the process of putting on nicer clothes, finding a sit-down restaurant, ordering, and waiting for your food to arrive? If you’re having fun on the run, sometimes your tasty treat needs to keep up with you. That’s why we’ve put together this list of delicious (and popular) menu items, which are perfect to just grab, and go!

1. Sushi from Bonsai Sushi Express - Carnival Cruise Line

carnival bonsai sushi express
Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

You may have heard of Bonsai Sushi, a casual sit-down sushi restaurant on a number of Carnival ships. But did you know that the line has introduced a grab-and-go version? Bonsai Sushi Express was introduced in 2017, and is the popular venue’s takeaway counterpart. Open during lunch and dinner, you’ll find a pared down version of the same quality options that the traditional Bonsai Sushi restaurants offer such as sushi, sashimi, and rolls, all packaged up in a brown paper box to go. 

What a Member Said:

“Sushi was fresh and delicious.” - AdeGuz

Ships: Carnival Ecstasy, Fascination, Freedom, Imagination, Inspiration, and Sensation

Cost: A la carte

 

2. Kummelweck Roast Beef Sandwich from Park Cafe and The Cafe @ Two70° - Royal Caribbean

royal caribbean cafe two70 kummelweck roast beef
Photo by Royal Caribbean

Sometimes you just want some comfort food without having to sit down in the dining room or the busy buffet. If that’s the case, check out the Oasis class ships’ Park Cafe in Central Park, or The Cafe @ Two70° aboard Royal’s Quantum class ships. While the venues are different, they serve similar fare including wraps, made-to-order salads, soups, warm paninis, and a crowd favorite: the Kummelweck Roast Beef Sandwich. Popular in western New York, the roast beef sandwich with an au jus dip has made its way onto many of Royal Caribbean’s largest ships. Sliced slow-roasted beef is nestled inside a house-made roll with a secret sauce, served with a dill pickle, fries, and optional horseradish.

What Our Members Say:

“We kept coming back to this Café for lunch for their specialty sandwich (an odd name I can't remember) but it was like a roast beef that they cut in front of you. One of my favorite meals on the boat.” - rhondasfunlife

“I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this venue. It offered delicious and fresh food. The scenery was also very nice, and it was never too crowded. This is my favorite venue to eat at on Oasis by far.” - Brianna215

Ships: Oasis, Allure, Harmony, and Symphony of the Seas at Park Cafe; Quantum, Anthem, Ovation, and Spectrum of the Seas at The Cafe @ Two70° 

Cost: Complimentary

 

3. Gelato from Venchi Gelateria & Creperie - MSC Cruises

venchi gelato creperie msc cruises
Photo by Sarah Bretz

If you’ve taken a cruise on MSC Seaside or Seaview, you were surely lured by the aromatic and delicious smell of chocolate onboard. The ships actually have two sumptuous Venchi outposts, in partnership with the Italian gourmet chocolate company of the same name. Each ship offers two locations to choose from: one inside with a focus on hand-crafted chocolates and thick, coffee-based drinks, and another outside near the aft South Beach pool, serving up crepes and rich gelato, among other things. Both locations are incredible, but for the purpose of this article we’re focusing on the smaller outdoor location. Venchi Gelateria & Creperie features crepes made to order, dipped gelato bars, hand-scooped gelato in a cup or cone, gelato milkshakes, and more. There are tables near the walk-up counter, but many people take the treats back to their lounge chair or enjoy a scoop while wandering the ship. 

What a Member Said: 

“A must do the Cuban hot chocolate is awesome, the gelato is amazing.” - HeroG

Ships: MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview

Cost: A la carte

 

4. Princess Cruises' Poolside Pizza

princess cruises slice prego pizza
Photo by Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises arguably has the best pizza on the high seas in their sit-down restaurant Alfredo’s, but did you know they have poolside pizza too? Alongside Alfredo’s, the poolside venue (which has different names on different vessels) won “Best Pizza at Sea” from USA Today. While Alfredo’s has a more extensive menu with gourmet slices, the poolside counter is the casual cousin that offers quick slices to-go on the upper deck. If stopping by the pizza counter is your weakness, be forewarned that the poolside pizza option is sure to be a favorite. So far, Princess reigns supreme for doing Neapolitan-style slices right. 

What Our Members Say:

“This is a gem on the ship. They have fresh pizza all day. Their menu is margarita, pepperoni and one specialty pizza which changes everyday. The pizza is very very hot and fresh and nice and thin crusted. They cut fresh for you and you go up and tell them how big a piece you want.” - craziecruisers

“Great pizza..... definitely a favorite afternoon stop while relaxing at the pool.” - sheltonmaine

Ships:

  • Prego Pizzeria: Diamond, Golden, Regal, Royal, Sapphire, and Star Princess
  • Slice: Sky, Caribbean, Crown, Discovery, Emerald, Enchanted, Grand, and Ruby Princess 
  • Princess Pizzeria: Coral and Island Princess
  • Pizzeria: Pacific Princess 

Cost: Complimentary

 

5. Burritos from BlueIguana Cantina - Carnival Cruise Line

blueiguana cantina burritos carnival cruise mexican food
Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

We all know about Carnival’s beloved Guy’s Burger Joint, which we mentioned in our Best Burgers at Sea article, but did you know that just across the lido deck is another fan-favorite among passengers? BlueIguana Cantina is the line’s poolside Mexican eatery, serving up some seriously delicious chicken, pork, and fish burritos and tacos. The best part is the fully-loaded toppings and salsa bar to customize your grub just the way you want — we recommend trying the watermelon salsa! And don’t forget, they serve up hearty breakfast burritos in the morning, too.

What Our Members Say:

“My wife and I had breakfast there a few times and it was amazing. they sure can make a huge breakfast burrito.” - Roncst

“Loved the shrimp burritos!” - CruisinCajuns

Ships: All ships

Cost: Complimentary

 

6. Mad Milk Shakes at Coco’s - Norwegian Cruise Line

mad milk shake coco's norwegian cruise
Photos by Norwegian Cruise Line

Though Coco’s serves a variety of things like coffee, chocolates, and ice cream, they’re best known for their ginormous, over the top milkshakes. These iconic milkshakes have become popular at countless landside restaurants over the past several years, and Coco’s is no exception to the trend. Norwegian aptly named theirs Mad Milk Shakes, and they come in tummy-tickling flavors like Snickers, Cookies ‘N Cream, Banana Praline, and more. If you’re taking these on the run, be aware: they are stacked pretty tall with garnishes and you may need to eat a few bites first to prevent leaving a topping trail.

What Our Members Say: 

“You must try this place! To say it’s ice cream is an injustice. The desserts are a work of art and worth the cost!!” - CruiselineMich

“Amazing shakes and desserts!! Really friendly crew here too.” - UncleBeer

Ships: Norwegian Bliss and Encore

Cost: A la carte

 

7. Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Lunch - Carnival Cruise Line

carnival cruise guy's pig anchor barbecue lunch
Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

During lunchtime on sea days (and occasionally port days), head over to Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que for mouth-watering chicken, beef, pork, and sausage along with sides you’d expect at a casual barbecue joint: baked beans, mac n cheese, potato salad, and more. After the success of Guy’s Burger Joint, Carnival expanded their partnership with chef and Food Network star Guy Fieri to develop a new walk-up, open-air barbecue venue. Seating is available nearby, but you can easily take your plate to go, too. Lines form quickly because of its limited hours, so be sure to steak it out early if you’re extra hungry! 

What Our Members Say:

"You cant miss the Fun day sea when [it] is open, sure there is a Long line but is worth the wait." - Razor78

"We had buffet style lunch during embarkation and it was good! Sausage, brisket, shredded pork, Mac n cheese, coleslaw bread." - GMY78

Ships: Carnival Breeze, Dream, Horizon, Magic, Panorama, Sunrise, Vista, Radiance, and Mardi Gras

Cost: Complimentary

 

8. Gourmet Hot Dogs from Dog House - Royal Caribbean

gourmet hot dogs dog house royal caribbean
Photo by Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean’s hot dog venue’s name varies by ship and location, with Oasis class ships being home to the Boardwalk Dog House. On the Quantum class ships, it’s called the SeaPlex Dog House. Regardless of the name, the concept remains the same: the Dog House serves up a variety of gourmet hot dogs and sausages for busy cruisers stopping for a bite between activities. Some choices include The German with pork bratwurst on a caraway seed baguette, The Wünderdog with a traditional Austrian style veal frank, and the Coney Island, which is a traditional hot dog and bun.

What Our Members Say:

“Good place for a quick lunch or snack, lots of variety. Overall a good dog joint!” - HappyCruiser21

“Love the hot dogs always. Every time I walked by I couldn't help but stop and get a hot dog.” - ajcitro02

Ships: Oasis, Allure, Harmony, Symphony, Quantum, Anthem, Ovation, and Spectrum of the Seas  

Cost: Complimentary

 

9. Lobster Rolls from Seafood Shack - Carnival Cruise Line

lobster roll seafood shack carnival cruise
Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

Though there’s plenty of seafood to be found in various dining venues on Carnival, if you’re looking for even more variety hit up the Seafood Shack. The New England-inspired counter service restaurant is open-air, with tables nearby for those looking for more of an eat-in experience. Menu highlights include clam chowder, fried buffalo shrimp, raw oysters, steamed lobster, and fish and chips. The all-around fan-favorite at the Seafood Shack undoubtedly is the lobster roll, which is also the easiest item to take-away, but given the shack’s prime seaside spot, you probably won’t want to!

What Our Members Say:

“For $12 the two lobster rolls and fries was a pretty good deal, especially being the size they were. Carnival did good with this one.” - othelduren

“The lobster roll is perfectly executed.” - dylanjahner

“Aft deck and worth the extra $. Fresh cooked seafood without the lines.” - mango75

Ships: Carnival Breeze, Conquest, Dream, Freedom, Glory, Horizon, Liberty, Magic, Panorama, Sunrise, Valor, Vista, Radiance, and Mardi Gras

Cost: A la carte

 

10. Tacos from El Loco Fresh - Royal Caribbean

royal caribbean el loco fresh tacos mexican food
Photo by Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean recently debuted their very own fast-casual Mexican dining venue, which includes tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and salad. You can customize your choice with a variety of toppings including salsa verde, mole sauce, cheese, lettuce, and the like. You can even grab some tortilla chips to make your own loaded nachos. In our opinion, one of the best parts is that — like Carnival’s BlueIguana Cantina — El Loco Fresh is open for breakfast, serving up classics like scrambled eggs and sausage along with breakfast pastries and Ranchero Eggs and Salsa Rojo. 

What Our Members Say:

“The convenience alone is great. Add on to that delicious grab and go Mexican food. Whenever I needed a snack, I would go up to El Loco Fresh and grab whatever they had out.” - ajcitro02

“Hot and fresh food with a great selection. Sometimes the lines were long but well worth the wait!” - Diamonds1

Ships: Navigator, Symphony, Oasis, and Allure of the Seas

Cost: Complimentary

 

BONUS: Dessert From Dinner To-Go

royal caribbean chocolate cake dessert dinner
Photo by Royal Caribbean

If you’re so full from dinner you feel like you could explode, but don’t want to miss a dessert you had your heart set on, fret no more. Simply ask your server to make your dessert order to-go! (We’ve not come across a cruise line yet where the restaurants won’t do this for you.) You won’t get it in a disposable container like you would at a landside restaurant; it will likely be plated exactly the same but with plastic wrap on top. This way you can enjoy the tasty treat later in the evening once you have more room, as a midnight snack, or, dare we say, even breakfast the next morning.

 

READ MORE: Make your favorite cruise dishes at home with these popular cruise line recipes!

 

Join the discussion

What cruise grab-and-go dish is your favorite?

Post A Comment

Post a comment

Loading...