Sunday, April 9, 2017

Living the Dream- Food

From Shark Feeding to Davis Feeding
Carnival Dream 2017

We are true foodies and love trying new things while on a cruise ship as well as enjoy our favorites. The Carnival Dream offered the FunShip 2.0 upgrades including Guy's Burger Joint and Blue Iguana Cantina but it also had Mongolian Wok and the brand new Guy's Pig and Anchor BBQ on the Lanai deck. This made for an amazing dining experience throughout the cruise. In addition, the Dream had the American Table and American Feast menus in the Main Dining Room. We also splurged and tried the Chef's Art Steakhouse on this cruise! We enjoyed every meal and the Carnival Dream is one of our favorite Carnival ships for dining! In fact, there was almost TOO much to choose from! 

I am going to highlight all of the Lido deck offerings individually as well as each night's menu from the MDR. Chris and I cruise frequently and enjoy "rating" each menu item from 1-5 with 2.5 being what you would expect from a restaurant on land. We consider a 4.0 to be about standard for most cruise food! I realize that food is VERY subjective but we enjoy reviewing these menu items to help us remember what we do like for future voyages. 

1- awful and would be fast-food level quality (McDonald's or Taco Bell)
2- decent on land offering 
2.5- par for land meals (Chili's and Red Lobster) 
3- Upscale land restaurant quality 
4.0- standard for cruise industry food 
5.0- One of the best foods (of the corresponding category) we have ever had

Guy's Burger Joint- Lido Deck 10 mid-ship
Guy's is always a huge hit with Carnival passengers so the lines are always long but they do move quickly. They are open from noon to 6PM! Tip- Get anything with the donkey sauce... you will not regret it!

The "Ringer" which featured an onion ring on top of the burger- YUMMY! 
Overall- 4.5

Blue Iguana Cantina- Lido Deck 9 mid-ship
I personally enjoyed the breakfast more than the lunch options. Tip- This dining venue is only open from 7-9AM and then 12-2:30PM but is an excellent choice for breakfast or lunch! They offered build-your-own burrito bar and tacos for both meals! Also- ask for a burrito BOWL. This was new to me and never seen except on this ship! It was a great option for trying to eat light and still taste good! Plus they offer an incredible salsa bar.

The Blue Iguana breakfast burrito became a staple on this cruise as the omelets were not cooked to our liking. 

Breakfast burrito perfection!

My very 1st Blue Iguana BOWL... This will be a new staple for me! 

Overall- 4.5

Mongolian Wok- Lido Deck 10 mid-ship
This was an Asian Mongolian BBQ style option that allowed you to choose your meats, vegetables and carbs to create an Asian bowl to your liking. Chris LOVED this but at first I had a hard time creating the perfect bowl. By the end of the cruise I was loving it. Tip- This gets REALLY BUSY, REALLY FAST. It opens at noon every day and that is the time to be there! Also, this was the main omelet station in the mornings. It too filled up quickly! 

My 1st and best bowl of the cruise! I love how they offer SEAFOOD as a meat option too! 
Overall- 5.0

Guy's Pig and Anchor BBQ- Deck 5 Lanai starboard 
Wow, this was an incredible addition to the Carnival Dream class ships. The meat was very tasty and well cooked plus they offered multiple BBQ sauces. TIP- This is venue that is not as well known during the 1st part of the cruise so the line got longer as the cruise progressed. It is only open on sea days and only from 12-2:30PM. The line looks very long but moves surprisingly FAST! 
It is a rather large venue considering it is on the side of the ship! 

The full Pig and Anchor menu! 

Guy's sauces were all unique and tasty in their own way! 

This is a serviced bar where the workers ask what you would like and then place it for you! 

The meat and sides were delicious! 

Overall- 4.5+

Pasta Bella- Deck 11 aft (just above the aft buffet)
This was a FREE lunch option that offered specialized and made to order pasta. It is a little unknown at the beginning of the cruise so try to eat there early. Plus it offers service lunch and not a buffet.
Pasta Bella times for our voyage. 

The garlic bread was AMAZING!

They even offer a full and lunch size portion of lasagna.
This lasagna had brisket in it which was well... interesting. 

Create your own pasta- 4.0

Overall- 4.0

Pizza del Capitano - Lido Deck 10 aft
This was the new style of pizza making for Carnival and it was great. The crust was light and crispy (and never burnt unlike before) and the toppings were fresh and authentic Italian.  Tip- If you go off of peak times, there is not a line. 

The Pizzeria menu is the same as before with only a few changes. 

The pepperoni pizza was VERY good, especially for Carnival, which we have found to be less tasty than other cruise lines. 

Overall- 4.5

The Carnival Dream Deli- Lido Deck 10 aft starboard (at the end of the buffet)
This was a typical deli and offered a variety of hot and cold sandwiches. It was open 11AM-11PM so it was a great choice for a late night snack. We didn't frequent the deli much since there was SO MUCH more to choose from but I found a new snack I like which was the Turkey Wrap.

(This deli service was the fastest we have experienced!)

The Carnival Dream Chef's Art Steakhouse- Deck 12 aft(we will rate each item individually on this venue)
This is an additional fee restaurant that offered high quality steaks and seafood. It was INCREDIBLE. The steaks were perfectly seasoned and cooked and easily the best we have ever had. The side dishes and other food were also superb and the atmosphere was perfect for a romantic evening. TIP- It is $35/ per person and reservations are required. 

Cocktail menu and mission statement.

Appetizer and Entree menus 

Dessert and After dinner drinks menu. 

The steak display... That 10 ox lobster was HUGE! 

Compliments of the Chef- Chicken Salad appetizer 

This was a very unique appetizer but we enjoyed it.

The bread offered. 

New England Crab Cake
Kellie- 4.5+
Chris- 4.5

Lobster Bisque with Vintage Cognac (Kellie)- 5.0
The best I have ever had!

Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail (Chris)- 4.0

Surf and Turf (Kellie)- 5.0
Absolutely incredible!

Spiced Rub Prime Ribey Steak (Chris)- 5.0

Kellie's Side Dishes
Creamed Spinach- 4.0 (interesting)
Yukon Gold Mash with Wasabi Horseradish- 4.5

Chris's Side dishes
Baked Potato with trimmings- 4.0
Yukon Gold Mash with Wasabi Horseradish- 5.0+

Even the butter for the lobster was served in high style. 

Wasabi for the Yukon Gold Mash

This was seriously the best steak I have ever had! 

Carmelized Washington Apples (Kellie)- 4.0
This was not what I expected but still pretty good!

Cheesecake with Hazelnut Biscuit (Chris)- 5.0

This was the biggest piece of cheesecake we had ever seen. 

Happy Anniversary- Compliments of the Chef
Chocolate Praline tart- 4.5
Carnival sure does know how to spoil us! 

The chef even gave us a complimentary glass of champagne!
Again, we were HIGHLY impressed with the service on the Carnival Dream. They truly went above and beyond for us! 

Some of the best $70 we have spent at sea! A "must try" for steak and food lovers! 

Crimson Dining Room- Deck 3 mid-ship
We had Your Time Dining and this allowed us to eat in the dining room anytime from 5:45PM to 9PM. You did not have to have a reservation and you could eat with other couples or passengers. This voyage was completely sold out with over 4,000 passengers so there was often a wait but never longer than 20 minutes and they would give you a pager. The service was the absolute best we have experienced with Carnival and was superb. The Carnival Dream offered the American Table and American Feast menu and we really enjoyed them! 

American Table Night #1 (New Orleans Embarkation) 
Appetizer Menu

Main Entree Menu

New Orleans "Port of Call" menu 

The Bread basket- Carnival is lacking in this department for SURE!

Fried Calamari
Kellie- 4.0
Chris- 4.5 (both sauces were really good) 

Tomato Soup (Kellie) - 4.0

Chilled Vietnamese Roll (Chris)- 4.5
Peanut butter sauce and noodles were awesome. 

Sweet and Sour Shrimp
Kellie- 4.0
Chris- 4.0

Roasted Chicken (Chris)- 4.0

Bacon Mac and Cheese (Kellie)- 2.0
I must have hit the jackpot on the Triumph becasue this was awful!

Nutella Tiramisu (Kellie)- 4.0
This is still not as good as regular tiramisu and VERY rich! 

Strawberry bisque from the appetizer menu (Kellie)- 5.0
They perfect this more and more each voyage! 

Apple Pie (Chris)- 4.0

American Feast- Night #2
Feast Menu 

Fried Oysters
Kellie- 4.5, these were perfect and sauce was great!
Chris- 4.0

Mushroom Soup (Kellie)- 3.5, just not as good as I hoped for. 

Lobster tails x2 (Kellie)- 4.5
Chris- 5.0

Prime Rib (Chris)- 4.5

American Feast #1 Desserts

Vanilla Creme Brulee
Kellie- 5.0, the best I have ever had on Carnival. 
Chris- 5.0

Anniversary Chocolate Cake (Kellie)- 4.0, too much chocolate

American Table Night #3- Key West
(We were in the steakhouse) 
Night #3 Full Menu 

American Table Night #4- Freeport 

Appetizer menu 

Main Entree Menu

Freeport "Port of Call" menu

Cajun Flatbread
Kellie- 4.5, interesting mixture of textures and tastes
Chris- 4.5

Spring Rolls
Kellie- 4.5, never disappoint
Chris- 4.0

Crab Soup from Port of Call
Kellie- 4.0, not quite a "gumbo" but really good. 
Chris- 3.0- I didn't like it as much 

Greek Salad (Kellie)- 4.0

Meatballs (Chris)- 4.0

Oysters Rockerfellar
Kellie- 2.5, not good flavor
Chris- 2.5

Junakoo POt from Port of Call (Kellie)- 4.5, WOW... new Port of Call FAV 

Veal Parmesean (Chris)- 3.0
The whipped potatoes were also good 4.0

Succotash (Kellie)- 2.0, good but basically just grilled veggies so nothing to brag about!

Night #4 Desserts 

Vanilla Ice Cream (Kellie)- 2.0, not Blue Bell
(MAN, Carnival LACKS SO MUCH in the desserts category). 

Rhubarb Pie (Chris)- 3.5

American Table Night #5- Nassau

Night #5 Full Menu

Kellie- 4.0, more bacon and peas than I remember
Chris- 4.0

Conch Fritters from the Port of Call
Kellie- 5.0, the best I have had
Chris- 4.0

Kellie- 4.5, this dish is so EASY but is ALWAYS good!
Chris- 3.5

Swordfish Steak (Chris)- 2.5
Rice Pilaf (Chris)- 3.0

Mashed potatoes with Berenice sauce (Kellie)- 4.5, new found favorite side from Steakhouse

Sticky Toffee Brioche
Kellie- 4.0, not as good as I remember from the Valor but still good. 
Chris- 3.0
International Cheese PLate (Chris)- 3.0

American Feast- Night #6
Night #6 (2nd formal) Full Menu 

Clam Chowder
Kellie- 4.0, too much potatoes
Chris- 4.0

Crab Cake
Kellie- 5.0, on standard with the one in the Steakhouse
Chris- 5.0

Short Rib Duo
Kellie- 2.5, meat was too fatty and tough. I was not impressed
Chris- 3.5

Spanokipita (Kellie)- 4.5, surprisingly good

Special St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef (Chris)- 4.0

Grand Mariner Souflee
Kellie- 4.0, better than usual 
Chris- 4.0

Special St. Patrick's Day cheesecake- 4.0

American Table Night #7

Ricotta Ravioli (Kellie)- 4.5, can be ordered as an appetizer size

Mango Cream Soup (Kellie)- 5.0, another chilled soup victory 

Steamed Mussels (Chris)- 4.5

Tiger Shrimp Creole
Kellie- 3.5, not near as good as I remember 
Chris- 3.5

White Chocolate Banana Pudding (Kellie)- 4.0. excellent with the vanilla sauce

Carrot Cake (Chris)- 4.0

We chose our favorites from these menus: 

Favorite Appetizer- Conch Fritters (Port of Call) and Crabcake from Steakhouse 
Favorite Entree- Surf and Turf from the Steakhouse
Favorite Dessert-  Vanilla Creme Brulee 
Biggest Surprise- Junakoo Pot and Spanokipita
Biggest Disappointment- Bacon Mac and Cheese 

Favorite Appetizer- MDR Crabcake 
Favorite Entree- Ribeye from Steakhouse
Favorite Dessert- New York Cheesecake from Steakhouse  
Favorite Side Dish- Yukon Gold Mash with Wasabi 
Biggest Surprise- Yukon Mash & Vietnamese Roll 

Biggest Disappointment- Swordfish Steak 

We love cruising and EATING on cruises. We use this blog as means for us to know what to order and it is fun to look through and get our mouth watering while we are dieting! 

Thanks for following along! 

Until we meet again... Keep calm and CRUISE ON! 

God is good... All the time! 

1 comment:

  1. i love food. this is helpful. thanks!