Carnival ships have both flexible dining options as well as casual alternative restaurants.
Although the tradition of two set mealtimes for dinner prevails on Carnival ships, the line’s open seating concept—Your Time Dining—is available fleet-wide.
Choices are numerous, and the skill of Carnival’s chefs has elevated the line’s menus to an unexpected level. Although the waiters still sing and dance, the good-to-excellent dining room food appeals to American tastes. Upscale steak houses on certain ships serve cuisine comparable to the best midrange steak houses ashore.
Carnival serves the best food of the mainstream cruise lines. In addition to the regular menu, vegetarian, low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, low-salt, and no-sugar selections are available. A children’s menu includes such favorites as macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers, and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. If you don’t feel like dressing up for dinner, the Lido buffet serves full meals, including sandwiches, a salad bar, rotisserie chicken, Asian stir-fry, and excellent pizza.
More high-energy than cerebral, the entertainment consists of lavish Las Vegas–style revues presented in main show lounges by a company of singers and dancers.
Other performers might include magicians, jugglers, acrobats, passengers performing in the talent show, or karaoke. Live bands play a wide range of musical styles for dancing and every ship has a nightclub, piano bar, and a comedy club. Adult activities, particularly the competitive ones, tend to be silly and hilarious and play to full houses. With Carnival’s branding initiative, look for Hasbro, The Game Show, and performances created by Playlist Productions.
Fitness & Recreation
Manned by staff members trained to keep passengers in shipshape form, Carnival’s trademark spas and fitness centers are some of the largest and best equipped at sea.
Spas and salons are operated by Steiner Leisure, and treatments include a variety of massages, body wraps, and facials; salons offer hair and nail services and even tooth whitening. Fitness centers have state-of-the-art cardio and strength-training equipment, a jogging track, and basic exercise classes at no charge. There’s a fee for personal training, body composition analysis, and specialized classes such as yoga and Pilates.