In communications sent to travel partners, Carnival Cruise Line has announced some permanent changes to onboard dining venues across the fleet.
Many of these changes, which have been in place for some time already due to crew staffing shortages, will not have dramatic impacts for guests’ experiences, while others will be sorely missed.
Effective as of August 1, 2022, Carnival is cutting back on a wide range of dining services, venues, and operating times. These cutbacks are not as extreme as they may at first seem, however.
Carnival cruise ships will no longer have a 24-hour pizzeria. Instead, the Pizza Pirate or Pizzeria del Capitano (depending on the ship) will operate from 9 a.m. until 4 a.m., and will be closed for the five least busy hours of the 24-hour period. These operating hours, or a similar closure, have been in place for many weeks due to staffing shortages.
Guests craving a late night snack will no longer be able to enjoy Late Night Snacks in the Lido Restaurant, which had often been light fare from a single buffet line, but will be able to get Pizza Plus options instead. This includes the late night pizza as well as pasta, Caesar salad, and sandwich options from the pizzeria.
The popular Sea Day Brunch with its exclusive offerings in the main dining room, always a guest favorite, will be shortened by one hour, concluding at noon instead of 1 p.m. As with the pizzeria’s new shortened hours, this late hour is typically the least popular for brunch guests, and therefore will not impact many cruisers.
The fun vibe of Ocean Plaza, a fixture onboard seven Carnival vessels – Breeze, Dream, Horizon, Magic, Panorama, Sunshine, and Vista – will no longer be available with a light snack menu for breakfast and lunch.
Room service door hanger menus will no longer be available for placing outside stateroom doors to request breakfast. While room service offerings will not change, guests must now call room service to place their orders. This change may be one of the most missed for frequent cruisers who enjoy setting up a room service breakfast, but will be easily adapted for stateroom phone ordering.
Complimentary occasion cakes – popular for birthdays and anniversaries – will no longer be available during dinner in the main dining room. Instead, happy occasions will be marked by candles in a guest’s dessert of choice, ordered from that day’s menu selections – such as the popular warm chocolate melting cake.
While this may seem an extensive list of closures, cutbacks, and changes, it is not actually quite so drastic, and Carnival cruise ships still offer many tasty and tempting options for all tastes.
Gone – But Not Forever
Two popular dining treats are still paused throughout the Carnival fleet, but may be returning soon.
The extraordinary and delicious Chocolate Extravaganza buffet, typically offered on the last Fun Day at Sea, will continue to be paused at this time, but may return on future cruises.
This decadent buffet often includes a range of chocolate cakes, mousses, cookies, truffles, and more, as well as a chocolate fountain and graceful swans crafted from pastries and ice cream.
The Afternoon Tea Time, an elegant snack time and social hour, is still on hiatus, but will be returning. Similarly, the post-Military Appreciation event snacks will also return soon.
No firm dates have been established for these events to resume, but are likely to be brought back onto individual ships as staffing permits.
Two very popular dining options that were initially halted in mid-May have already returned – the exclusive Chef’s Table event resumed at the end of June, and the specialty restaurant Cucina del Capitano will reopen fleet-wide on August 6, 2022. Both are great hits with guests.
Chef’s Table is available on every Carnival ship, while Cucina del Capitano is available on nine vessels – Breeze, Horizon, Magic, Panorama, Radiance, Sunrise, Sunshine, Vista, and Mardi Gras.
Both will also be featured on the upcoming Carnival Celebration, as well as Carnival Jubilee in late 2023.