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Carnival Cruise Line: Ultimate Food Guide

Carnival Food Guide

When it comes to cruising, Carnival Cruise Line has arguably some of the best food at sea. As one of the most popular cruise lines in the world, Carnival prides itself on offering a wide variety of complimentary, quick-casual eateries onboard.

Dining is a major highlight when taking a Carnival cruise, regardless of which ship you’re sailing on! Carnival’s newest and biggest ships in the Excel Class have the most options for dining to accommodate upwards of 6,000 passengers onboard, but that doesn’t mean the cruise line’s older vessels skimp in terms of dining.

You’ll still find more dining options than you might expect on Carnival’s oldest and smallest cruise ships, such as the Fantasy and Spirit Classes. Carnival Cruise Line has multiple dining options thanks to partnerships with celebrities like Guy Fieri, Shaq O’Neal, and Emeril Lagasse.

Dining Room

Signature Carnival venues include the always-popular Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina available across the fleet. Along with complimentary options, Carnival offers a variety of specialty dining restaurants for an additional cost. Unlike other cruise lines, the specialty dining options on Carnival are kept to a minimum.

Come along as we explore your dining options onboard Carnival’s fun ships! Consider this your ultimate guide to food on your Carnival Cruise Line vacation, including menus you can expect to find onboard.

Complimentary Dining Options


Carnival Cruise Line is known for having some of the most fun ships at sea while still boasting some of the most affordable cruise fares in the industry. Even better, you won’t feel like you’re pinching pennies once you’re onboard your Carnival cruise, as so much of the dining is already included.

Most Carnival cruisers won’t feel the need to splurge on specialty dining with so many tasty, included eateries onboard. Below is a breakdown of the complementary dining options on Carnival Cruise Line.

Main Dining Room

Dining Room

All of Carnival’s cruise ships have one or more main dining rooms onboard for sit-down lunch and dinner. Sea Day Brunch is also served in the main dining room while the ship is at sea. 

Although main dining rooms tend to be a more traditional cruise experience, this isn’t the case on Carnival Cruise Line. It’s a casual atmosphere, even on the more elegant formal nights. Most evenings have some sort of short entertainment that could involve your servers singing and dancing.

Carnival Mardi Gras

First and second entrees are included, but a fee for three or more entrees costs $5. The new fee was recently implemented by Carnival to cut back on waste. In all honesty, you likely will be too full to order anything more than a second entree!

Here is a sample of Carnival’s main dining room menu, where you will be served an appetizer, entree, and dessert each evening:

Appetizers: Pappardelle with Braised Lamb, Roasted Duck Rolls, Shrimp Cocktail, Caesar Salad, Roasted Tomato Soup, Wild Rice with Gruyere Chicken Soup

Entrees: Szechuan Shrimp, Cornish Game Hen, 12-Hour Braised Short Rib, Vegetable Wellington, Everyday Grilled Chicken Breast, Everyday Broiled Strip Loin Steak

Dessert: Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce, Navel Orange Cake, Carnival Melting Chocolate Cake

Lido Marketplace

Lido Buffet

The main buffet on Carnival Cruise Line is called the Lido Marketplace. Often located near the pool deck, you can find the all-you-can-eat buffet serving meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Breakfast usually includes a selection of breakfast meats (like bacon and sausage), potatoes, pancakes or French toast, and eggs. You can also find a continental breakfast selection of pastries, bagels, and fruit, along with made-to-order omelets. 

Lunch and dinner typically offer similar selections, including a variety of main dishes. This usually encompasses a few main entree meats and a carving station. You can choose from sides like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, pasta, and fresh vegetables.


Dessert is a highlight of the Lido Marketplace. Look for the multilayered cakes that rotate daily. If you’re sailing on Excel Class ships, the dessert station has freshly churned gelato each day with a new flavor.

In general, the Lido Marketplace tends to be busy for breakfast and lunch. Expect to find crowds and lines, along with difficulty finding a table for your party. Allocate extra time if you have an excursion in the morning, as this is a peak busy time for the Lido Marketplace.

Guy’s Burger Joint

Guy's Burger Joint

One of the most popular eateries onboard a Carnival cruise ship is Guy's Burger Joint, which features tasty burgers inspired by celebrity chef, Guy Fieri. The sinful burgers are crafted and piled with toppings and sauces. Fries are freshly cut and fried. They're arguably some of the best you’ll find.

You can typically find Guy’s Burger Joint near the lido deck, making it the perfect spot to grab lunch or a poolside snack. The menu consists of Guy-inspired options that you can order or you can make your own burger with a hefty toppings bar. 

The food is fresh and served quickly. Don’t be intimidated by the long line, as it moves quickly. You can find Guy’s Burger Joint on nearly every cruise ship in Carnival’s fleet, except Carnival Luminosa. On Costa by Carnival ships, including Carnival Venezia, you'll find an exclusive Italian-inspired Guy's Burger menu. 

Jubilee Burger

Everything at Guy’s Burger Joint is fantastic, but the worst part (which is minor) is deciphering the menu lingo and acronyms on the spot. Here are the standard burgers offered at Guy’s Burger Joint, which are all served with hand-cut fries and Guy’s signature seasoning:

  • Plain Jane: Optional cheese. 80/20 ground chuck on a grilled roll.
  • Straight Up: Cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, and a liberal slathering of donkey sauce (jacked-up secret sauce)
  • The Ringer: The “Straight Up” burger with cheese, Guy’s Bourbon and Brown Sugar BBQ sauce, and a righteous Rojo Ring (Crispy Spicy Onion Ring)
  • Chilius Maximus: This is for the pursuit… “Straight up” (with no lettuce, tomato, onion, or pickle), Rojo Ring, cheese, donkey sauce, and topped with chili
  • Pig Patty: The “Straight Up” burger with cheese topped with a patty made of crispy bacon

BlueIguana Cantina

Carnival Mardi Gras

Another very popular venue on Carnival’s ships is BueIguana Cantina. Also located poolside, BlueIguana Cantina has some of the best quick Mexican food at sea. You can find a smaller menu with tacos and burritos served on homemade tortillas. You can also find a massive selection of toppings, such as cheese, sour cream, pico, and salsas.

Breakfast and lunch are served at BlueIguana Cantina. Breakfast includes a selection of eggs, meats, and breakfast-style toppings. The breakfast burritos are hearty and filling, especially before disembarking for a day of exploring. Here are the current menu offerings available at BlueIguana Cantina:


Breakfast Burritos: Mexican style scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs, chicken sausage, ham, skillet hash browns, Monterey jack cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, roasted tomato salsa, pico de Gallo, cream Fresca, tomatillo salsa. Breakfast also includes arepas and huevos rancheros.

Burritos: Chicken, beef or shrimp. Refried beans, cilantro lime rice, black beans, tomato, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, roasted corn, sauteed onion, iceberg lettuce, charred green peppers, salsa roja, tomatillos, roasted tomato salsa, pico de gallo.

Tacos: Fresh-made tortillas filled with your choice of chipotle-rubbed chicken, ancho roast pork, or seasoned battered fish

BlueIguana is available on every Carnival ship, except the Italian Fun Ships (Firenze and Venezia), Carnival Luminosa, and Carnival Splendor.

Big Chicken

Big Chicken

In another celebrity partnership, Carnival Cruise Line partnered with Shaq O’Neal, who serves as the cruise line’s Chief Fun Officer, to bring a new casual eatery onboard. Big Chicken serves up some seriously delicious chicken entrees, including crispy sandwiches, tenders, and fried baskets. Fries are also freshly cut and expertly seasoned.

Don’t forget the sides, though, such as potato salad and jalapeño slaw. You won’t want to miss the selection of homemade sauces for dipping and slathering either. 

Big Chicken is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, although the newer venue is only found on a few ships in the fleet. Breakfast includes chicken biscuits and cheesy, meaty omelets with biscuits.

Big Chicken

Available on: Carnival Celebration, Carnival Jubilee, Carnival Radiance, and Mardi Gras.

Menu items include the following:

  • M.D.E (Most Dominant Ever): Shaq sauce and pickles
  • Shaq Attack: Pepper jack cheese, jalapeño slaw, and spicy chipotle BBQ sauce
  • Shaq Daddy: Swiss cheese, country ham, Carolina honey mustard BBQ sauce
  • The Big Aristotle: Muenster cheese, crispy fried onion, sweet & smoky Memphis BBQ sauce
  • Sides: Potato salad, housemade sweet & spicy slaw, jalapeño slaw
  • Sauces: Shaq sauce, buffalo hot, BBQ, honey mustard, buttermilk ranch
  • All Day Breakfast: Chicken & biscuit, biscuit & egg, three cheese omelet

Pizzeria Del Capitano / Pizza Pirate


Pizza is a staple on Carnival Cruise Line, so you can be sure to find a pizzeria on every ship that’s open almost 24/7. Whether you crave pizza for breakfast or you want a late-night bite after hitting up the nightclub, the onboard pizzeria is available for you. 

Carnival’s cruise ships have five prepared pizza options, which include a variety of toppings and sauces. You can choose pizza by the slice or even an entire pizza to be prepared to your liking.

Carnival’s pizza menu typically includes the following, although it could vary by vessel:

  • Margherita: Tomato Sauce, Basil, Fresh Mozzarella
  • Funghi: Tomato Sauce, Mushrooms, Fresh Mozzarella
  • Pepperoni: Tomato Sauce, Pepperoni, Fresh Mozzarella
  • Quattro Formaggi: Roasted Garlic, Gorgonzola, Provolone, Parmesan, Fresh Mozzarella
  • Prosciutto: Roasted Garlic, Rucola, Prosciutto, Fresh Mozzarella

Carnival Deli


Serving up some of your favorite sandwiches, Carnival’s ships also feature a made-to-order deli onboard almost every one of their ships. Far better than your average Subway, Carnival’s deli rivals a neighborhood sandwich shop. You can order old-time favorite sandwiches from their menu. Meat is freshly carved too!

Available on all Carnival ships, although the name might differ based on the ship.

Hot Deli Sandwiches: Buffalo Chicken, Meatball, Grilled Ham & Cheese, Reuben, Cuban, Steak & Cheese, Hot Dog, Veggie Burger

Cold Deli Sandwiches: Tomato & Mozzarella, Classic Chicken Salad, Tuna, BLT, Turkey & Swiss, Southwest Chicken Wrap

Sides: Fries and Coleslaw

Swirls Ice Cream

Ice Cream

Ice cream is perhaps the most popular included item on a Carnival cruise! You can find self-serve ice cream stations throughout every Carnival cruise ship. You’ll be able to serve yourself unlimited ice cream and frozen yogurt throughout your cruise, enjoyed in a cone or cup.

Flavors include classic chocolate, vanilla, and/or strawberry. Swirls is open nearly 24 hours each day, closing for just a few hours in the early morning. Available on all Carnival ships.

Street Eats

Street Eats

Located on the Lido Deck of Carnival’s biggest Excel Class ships is Street Eats. Serving up quick bites in a food stall, Street Eats has a small variety of snacks available. There are three food stalls: Steam Dream (think bao buns), Mad Sizzle (kebabs and satay), and Time Fries (loaded fries).

Street Eats is not open the same hours each day, so make sure to check your FunTimes daily schedule. In my experience, Street Eats has more limited hours than other dining locations.

Available on Carnival Excel Class ships: Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee

Guy’s Pig and Anchor BBQ Smokehouse

Pig and Anchor

Partnering with Guy Fieri has been lucrative for Carnival Cruise Line! With the smashing success of his burger joint, Guy Fieri is also the creative mind behind a new BBQ smokehouse onboard named Guy’s Pig and Anchor Smokehouse. The smokehouse serves complimentary lunch regardless of which ship you’re sailing on, although dinner is not always included.

Dinner is available a-la-carte for an uncharge, unless you’re sailing on an Excel Class ship where dinner is included.

Available on: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Celebration, Carnival Dream, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Jubilee, Carnival Magic, Carnival Panorama, Carnival Radiance, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Vista and Mardi Gras. Excel Class ships also feature a Brewhouse with in-house brews.

Pig and Anchor

Menu items include a variety of smoked meats and home-style BBQ sides:

  • Meats: Championship Pork Butt, Blue Ribbon Chicken, Smoked Beef and Andouille Sausage
  • Sides: Mac n Cheese, Scratch-Made Slaw, Old School Potato Salad, Collard Greens, Molasses Baked Beans

Cucina Del Capitano*

Cucina del Capitano

Serving up your favorite Italian food in a fun, family-style is Cucina Del Capitano. The menu includes classic Italian dishes, including antipasti, entrees, pasta, and desserts. The ambiance is warm and welcoming, making it a lovely spot for dinner during your cruise. 

Cucina’s menu items are inspired by the cruise line’s Italian captains’ and officers’ childhoods with family recipes. The walls are also covered with classic Carnival photos throughout the years with a mix of family photos from the ship captains and old Carnival ships. 

*Cucina Del Capitano is an included restaurant on Excel Class ships only for your first meal. Additional meals are $8. Carnival Jubilee includes unlimited visits during her inaugural season. Other vessels require a cover charge of $24 per person or $11 for children 11 and under.



One of Carnival’s newest included restaurants is ChiBang! This restaurant takes a unique approach with a fusion of Mexican and Chinese. There are two separate menus with Chinese and Mexican items, meant to invite you on an unexpected culinary journey across the Pacific Ocean.

Guests are encouraged to mix and match with options from each menu. The ambiance is colorful and bright, yet modern and sleek at the same time. ChiBang is open for lunch and dinner on Excel Class ships.

*ChiBang is included as your first meal on Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration. Additional meals are $8 per person. Unlimited meals are included on Carnival Jubilee during her inaugural season.

JavaBlue Cafe*

Java Blue

If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat for lunch or dinner, JavaBlue Cafe is a great spot for grab-and-go food. Don’t miss the breakfast sandwiches in the morning as a nice alternative to other breakfast venues. Black coffee is also available for free at JavaBlue Cafe if you aren’t wanting to splurge on specialty lattes.

*While the cafe has other for-charge items, including specialty coffee and decadent desserts, there are plenty of hot items included in your cruise fare.

Room Service


Continental breakfast through room service is free onboard Carnival Cruise Line each day from 6am to 10am. You can choose from a selection of pastries, muffins, cereals, bagels, fruit, yogurt and more. You can also order juices and drop coffee delivered right to your stateroom. Room service will cost extra if you order anything other than continental breakfast, but it's available 24/7.

Specialty Dining Restaurants


Although Carnival’s included dining is quite expansive, you might be looking for a more elegant dining experience onboard. If you’re willing to pay the extra cost, you won’t be disappointed in Carnival’s selection of specialty dining options onboard.

As you might expect, Carnival’s newest and biggest ships will have the most options for specialty dining. The smaller ships in Carnival's fleet will usually have at least one or two specialty dining options, but this varies by each ship. Here is a breakdown of Carnival’s specialty dining restaurants onboard.

Steakhouse: Fahrenheit 555


One of Carnival’s signature specialty dining options is its onboard steakhouse. Most of Carnival’s ships feature Fahrenheit 555, although the steakhouse naming can vary by vessel. Onboard Carnival Conquest, for instance, it's called The Point. The ambiance is upscale and refined with tasteful decor. You won’t have any dancing or singing performances like you find in the main dining room!

On the menu is a nice selection of USDA Prime steaks. Sides are steakhouse classics, along with hearty appetizers and decadent desserts. Each meal comes with one starter, one entree with two sides, and one dessert.


Cost: $49 per adult. $15 per child (11 and under)

Starters: Smoked Oysters, Stuffed Mushrooms, Beef Carpaccio, Pork Belly, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Risotto, Tuna Tartare, Maine Lobster Bisque, Baked Onion Soup, Caesar Salad, Spinach & Mushroom Salad, Young Lettuce

Entrees: New York Strip Loin Steak, Prime Cowboy Steak, Spice-Rubbed USDA Prime Ribeye, Broiled Filet Mignon, Surf & Turf, Grilled Lamb Chops, Farm Chicken, Broiled Lobster Tail, Colossal Shrimp, Cover Sole

Sauces: Three Mustard, BBQ, Béarnaise, Red Wine, Chimichurri

Sides: Baked Potato, Fresh Mushrooms, Buttered Broccoli, Yukon Gold Mash, Onion Rings, Mac N’ Cheese, French Fries

Desserts: Chocolate Sphere, Cheesecake with Hazelnut Biscuit, Apple Tart Tatin, Fresh Fruit

Bonsai Teppanyaki

Bonsai Celebration

With the cover charge at Bonsai Teppanyaki, you’ll get dinner and a show! You’ll enjoy a full hibachi experience at sea with Carnival’s Japanese restaurant. Sitting around the grill, your chef will dazzle you with party tricks before you indulge in a selection of starters, grilled meats with sides, and a bento box of sweets.

Reservations are limited because of the confinements of the teppanyaki grill, so make sure you book early if you’re interested in Bonsai Teppanyaki.

Available on: Carnival Celebration, Carnival Firenze, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Jubilee, Carnival Panorama, Carnival Venezia, Mardi Gras.

Cost: $42 for dinner. $38 for lunch.

Starters: Teppanyaki White Shrimp, Pork Bellu Yakitori, Spicy Tuna on the Rocks. Served with Miso Soup or Kabuki Salad

Entree: Teriyaki Salmon, Lobster Tail, Shrimp, Shichimi Spiced Grilled Chicken, Grilled Tofu, Black Cod, Filet Mignon. Served with fried rice and stir-fried vegetables.

Dessert: Chocolate Bento Box

Bonsai Sushi


If you’re looking for affordable sushi at sea, look no further than Bonsai Sushi. The sit-down restaurant has a nice variety of sashimi and sushi rolls for you to order a-la-carte. In addition, you can also choose soups and sakes at reasonable prices.

Available on: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Celebration, Carnival Dream, Carnival Firenze, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Jubilee, Carnival Legend, Carnival Panorama, Carnival Pride, Carnival Radiance, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Venezia, Carnival Vista and Mardi Gras

Starters ($2 to $4): Salmon Tiradito, Tuna & Mango Tartare, Wagyu Kauai, Bonsai Noodle Soup, Side Salad, Miso Soup

Sushi Sashimi ($1.50 each): Abi, Sake, Maguro, Hamachi

Rolls ($5 to $7): California Roll, Spicy Tuna, Bonsai Triple E Roll, Tempura Roll

Rudi’s Seagrill


Enjoy a curated menu of seafood entrees at Rudi’s Seagrill, which was created by chef Rudi Sodamin. The menu features an expansive selection of all things seafood, including items like lobster bisque and crab cakes. The restaurant is meant to feel more upscale, so this is a great place to have a special celebratory dinner during your cruise.

Available on: Carnival Jubilee, Carnival Celebration and Mardi Gras

Cost: $49 per adult. $15 for kids

Starters: Wild Caught Tuna, Blue Mussels, Coquilles Saint-Jacques, Seared Shrimp, Oysters, Lobster Mac N’ Cheese, Calamari, Seafood Bisque, Copping, House Salad, Baby Romaine

Entrees: Crab Stuffed Lobster Tail, Roasted Halibut, 9oz Lobster Tail, Grilled Colossal Shrimp, Crab Cake, Red Snapper, Dover Sole, Free Range Chicken, Pork Chop, Prime Rib Steak

Dessert: Apple Cheesecake, Chocolate Truffle Cake, White Chocolate Bread Pudding and Key Lime Pie

Emeril’s Bistro

Carnival Jubilee

Serving up creole favorites from Emeril Lagasse, this quick-service specialty dining has a lovely menu with reasonably priced items. The menu is inspired by New Orleans and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Menu items include classic Southern dishes like ceviche, po-boys, jambalaya, shrimp, andouille gumbo and more. Don’t miss out on Emeril’s breakfast, as the restaurant has a small selection of sandwiches, waffles crepes and even beignets!

Available on: Carnival Jubilee, Carnival Celebration and Mardi Gras

Chef's Table

Chef Table

If you're looking for an unparalleled dining experience on Carnival Cruise Line, consider indulging with Chef's Table. You will enjoy a multicourse meal in an intimate group of 12-16 other guests. 

The meal is hosted by the Master Executive Chef, who will walk you through the evening experience. The meal rotates, although you can expect incredible appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The evening starts with a champagne toast and hors d’oeuvres as well.

Cost: $90 - $119 per person

Carnival Cruise Line Food Guide
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