If you think a Vegas buffet is insane, wait until you cruise seven days on Carnival Vista. The ship has a 24/7 kitchen and produces 22,000 meals per day. Now that is mind boggling for a ship that holds just under 5,500 passengers and crew members. When you cruise with Carnvial they make sure to have every cuisine possible and change the buffet offerings daily.
My best advice is to make reservations for dinners and stick to the buffets and restaurants included in your cruise tickets for breakfast and lunch. The dinners are worth the splurge. You'll see my photos for each place I dined and I'll say I was much more into the experience and my company than taking photos.
ON-BOARD DINING FOR AN ADDITIONAL FEE:
Cucina del Capitano - this Italian-themed restaurant transforms in the evening to a fine dining Italian restaurant. The ambiance is romantic and the food is authentic.
JiJi Asian Kitchen - Asian fusion dishes are served at JiJi's from Mongolia, China, Indonesia the Philippines, Indonesia, and more. Tour your taste buds from north to south Asia. This is one of the most popular places to dine, so make your reservation in advance to secure your seating.
Seafood Shack - Right off the Tides Pool on Deck 10 is the best clam chowder soup and fresh king crab. Get your seafood fix and a pina colada while sunbathing.
Bonsai Sushi - The one thing I was craving while aboard was sushi. I didn't realize they had a restaurant dedicated to sushi until after my craving changed. This restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. The menu includes sake, soups, sashimi, sushi and dessert.
Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse - This is a MUST for an intimate fine dining experience on board. While the menu includes seafood and steak, the presentation and exquisite tastes sets Fahrenheit 555 apart from all the dining options on board.
JavaBlue Cafe - get a "latte" caffeine while walking through Deck 5 - The Promenade. They serve Intelligentsia Coffee and offer milk alternatives such as soy, oat, and coconut milks.
Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast - I didn't eat here because it was geared towards the kids but I did get to see the Dr. Seuss characters parade through the Promenade.
ON-BOARD DINING INCLUDED IN YOUR CRUISE:
24 Hour Room Service - I thought this was a lie but it is true, room service is available 24 hours and is included in the price of your ticket unless you order off the additional charges menu. I ordered room service for breakfast, had it delivered with a fresh pot of coffee. It was delightful to enjoy breakfast on my patio while watching the sunrise.
Lido Marketplace - Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served buffet style. Bottomless coffee, juice, soft serve and fro-yo make this one of the hottest places to dine. Open 24 hours and offers everything from salad to carvery stations. It's off Deck 10 - Lido, which has the largest party pool area. The people watching can't be missed here.
BlueIguana Cantina - I ate here almost every day because of the salsa bar, bottomless burritos and tacos. They don't serve chips so I ordered a taco salad shell and made it into nachos. Yummy!!!
Guy's Burger Joint - I still can't believe how amazing the burgers are. Fresh cut potatoes and juicy burgers can be smelled throughout Deck 10 - Lido. Located off the Lido Pool, outside, the burgers are sizzling all day long.
Red Frog Pub & Brewery - there's a brewery on the ship! This alone states how much space the Carnival Vista ship has. It is North America’s first-ever brewery at sea with great pub food.
Pizzeria del Capitano - hand tossed dough and wood fired pizza attract lines of people throughout the day. Want pizza late night? They even deliver to your room (for an additional fee)!
The Carnival Deli - a day at sea calls for a taste of home, a good ole afternoon sandwich. Juicy cuts of meat and fresh sliced breads make this spot one to not miss at the Lido Marketplace.
Swirls - Gelato machines are swirling the best flavors for lunch and dinner at the Lido Marketplace. Choose your flavor and add all your fancy toppings like piroutte sticks, caramel sauce, fresh berries, and more.
Dining Room - It was surprising how much I loved the dining room. It could've been Martin and Memis, the servers who greeted me every time I ate there or the three courses of rotating daily menus that I couldn't get enough of. On the last night of our cruise, Executive Chef Rahul made the most amazing, off-the-menu Indian meal for our group. He made his moms traditional samosas and seven main dishes, in addition to dessert and appetizers. I was blown away by this!
Carnival Cruise has all dietary restrictions covered. I traveled with dairy free and gluten free friends who were given special attention from the servers and the culinary staff to avoid any contamination. Vegetarians, Kosher, Indian Vegetarian, Cholesterol-free and more are a few of the common diets that are easily accommodated. Check Carnival's specialty diets page here.
Grab your stretchy pants or t-shirt dresses because you will want to eat EVERYTHING aboard the Carnival Cruise. I haven't even shared the meals I ate from the countries I visited, so there is more food to come!