In preparation for our recent cruise on the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship, my friends and I played a game in our group-text: we would find pictures of cruise menus online and do a “rapid-fire” menu ordering. You see, on cruise ships, the laws of restaurants don’t exist. You have paid for the cost of your meals (with the exception of specialty items or the fancy restaurants) in the price of the cruise, and thus all of your food is included. This is your time to go crazy. Order the things you never thought you’d try, because if you don’t like it, you can just order another one. Here are the things we did frequently:
- Pre-meals/post-meals at the various buffets. We probably ate 7000 calories a day, and I don’t regret it
- Order two or three appetizers
- Order an appetizer as your entree
- Order multiple entrees
- Order an entree as your appetizer
- Order multiple desserts
- Get a chocolate melting cake “to-go” so you can eat it in your bed in your room later
- Get something “for the table” to share, but eat most of it yourself (especially at sea-day brunch)
We ate in the Sunset dining room on our Carnival Sunshine cruise. We had late-dining, which I personally prefer, because the waitstaff aren’t rushing to make room for the next dinner group. Speaking of the waitstaff: Make friends with them. They will be with you every day, and they will learn your names and your preferences. They learned that my friend Jason uses copious amounts of butter, so they would bring him his own little pat. They learned that we love trying new foods, so they’d bring random dishes “for the table.” They knew about Kelly’s birthday, so they gave her a cake and sang a song. It was amazing. Meet them. Know them. Love them.
So anyway. We planned our meals. We looked at menus everyone else posted online and learned their formats. Carnival recently re-did some of their menus, particularly the breakfast and sea-day brunch menus, so these are the most updated ones I am aware of, from April 2018. This post will include menus from the dining room, some of the specialty restaurants or extra-cost restaurants, and one of the bars.
Let’s start with the dining room menus. First of all, the menus all had the same format. The first page was appetizers, including one exciting and daring option. They change every day and did not repeat on our cruise. This page also has a wine list. The second page has entrees – some that change each day, and a few options that remain the same (for those who know what they like and don’t want to experiment). This page also has some side dishes listed. The third page was tailored to our ports-of-call, featuring local dishes like conch fritters and pepperpot stew. This page also has some fancier options (for an additional cost) like lobster tail and filet mignon.
So this post doesn’t get weighed down in photos, please click these thumbnails for full-size pics.
Let’s start with all the menus from the dining room.
Day 3 (we skipped the 2nd night in the dining room to go to Chef’s Table instead):
Regular Breakfast Menu:
OK, next round of menus. There are several specialty restaurants throughout the cruise ship. Some of them are part of the all-inclusive package (Blue Iguana Cantina, Havana Bar, Guy’s Burger Joint, etc). Some of them are quick items that cost extra – although the Shake Spot and the Java Blue Cafe are both included in the Cheers package (which I had, and let me tell you HOW MANY SPIKED COFFEES I HAD – in another post). If you do not have the Cheers package, you must pay with your sign-and-sail card. And then there are the super fancy extra restaurants, like the steakhouse and the sushi restaurant. I will also do a post at a later point about the Chef’s Table private tour and dinner (UPDATE: HERE IS THAT POST.). I didn’t remember to take pictures of all of the menus, but here are the pics I did take.
Bonsai Sushi (extra cost):
Java Blue Coffee (Extra cost, or included in Cheers)
Shake Spot (Extra cost, or included in Cheers)
Alchemy Bar (not food, but it was a cool menu)
Alright guys, so there you go. I hope that this helps you prepare for your own meal-planning on your future cruises.