With more than 30 dining and bar experiences onboard, there’s no shortage of places to eat onboard the new Carnival Vista. On our recent sailing, I made it my duty to try them out — research purposes, of course.
From an expanded menu at Bonsai Sushi to fresh lobster rolls and premium ice cream treats – I tried some ‘new to me’ places each day and loved exploring new foods too.
Here’s a look at some of my favorite new dining experiences available on the Carnival Vista —
The Seafood Shack may be the biggest hit of the ship for me – fresh lobster rolls, crab cakes, crab legs and even New England clam chowder served in a bread bowl. You’ll also find peel-and-eat shrimp and raw oysters served by the pound on the menu. And while it is an additional cost for this meal, I think it’s extremely worth it.
Food is made to order and fresh. Place your order, receive a pager and grab a drink at the adjacent Tides Pool Bar.
PRO TIP: The portions are pretty large – my husband and I opted to share our meals. When ordering lobster rolls, be prepared as it comes with two rolls plus a side of French fries. It is delicious, but definitely shareable.
Serenity Bar – Salad and Wraps
The serene, adults-only Serenity Area is such a peaceful getaway. I usually find myself there in the afternoons with a fruity, umbrella drink ready to unwind.
New to the Serenity Deck on the Carnival Vista is the serenity bar featuring salads, sandwiches, wraps and other light bites. The menu features both specialty salads and also ‘make your own’ salads. I didn’t have a chance to experience it, but I hope they choose to expand the hours as its only available on sea days.
The Chef’s Table
While the Chef’s Table VIP experience is available on every Carnival ship, the Vista takes this dinner to a new level of greatness and it is only available for 14 guests. Take a tour of the galley and then enjoy an impressive evening of appetizers, entrees and desserts not found on the regular menus – all while enjoying views of the kitchen around you.
We toured the new Chef’s Table area and it is just incredible to see. There is an additional cost of $75 per person and I’d consider that a bargain. Menu items include olive oil poached seabass, Berkshire pork belly with shrimps, quail, veal and wine pairings with each course.
PRO TIP: If you are interested in this dining experience, inquire about it as soon as you book your trip. During our sailing, we were told the Chef’s Table was booked for the next four upcoming sailings.
Bonsai Sushi – Expanded Menu
Bonsai Sushi can be found on many of the Carnival Cruise Line ships, but the new Carnival Vista has an expanded menu including cooked-to-order items like Shrimp Tempura, Chicken Katsu, noodle bowls and a variety of new sashimi and sushi rolls.
I’m a big fan of the ‘Ship for Two’ – it comes with two miso soups, two side salads, Bang Bang Bonsai rolls, California rolls, and six pieces of sushi (2 tuna, 2 salmon and 2 shrimp). It is a ton of food and perfect for grabbing a late night snack with a friend. PRO TIP: Plan accordingly, Bonsai Sushi is open for mid-afternoon lunch on sea days, otherwise it is only open in the evenings.
Premium Ice Cream at Cherry on Top
I’m a big fan of ice cream – especially when toppings are involved in the mix too. Cherry on Top shop features a huge variety of candy and treats, but new to the Carnival Vista is the addition of premium ice cream with ingredients mixed in by hand. Choose from the menu or create your own concoction.
I tried out the Birthday Bash featuring cake batter ice cream, mini marshmallows, hot fudge and sprinkles. PRO TIP: Another favorite is the Brownie Buoy – hand-selected by the kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a donation is made each time someone orders this tasty snack.
Ready to Set Sail on the Carnival Vista?
Carnival’s newest, largest and most innovative ship, Carnival Vista is set to operate a series of Mediterranean voyages through October before repositioning to New York for a series of departures in November 2016.
Carnival Vista will launch year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean service from Miami in December 2016.
Where Would You Like to Eat on Carnival Vista?
** Carnival Cruise Line hosted my husband and I on this press trip. Thoughts and opinions here are my own. **