Carnival Cruise Line has announced that it will be returning a popular benefit for the most loyal cruisers, those in the “Diamond” tier of the cruise line’s loyalty program. Beginning in August, the special lunch for Diamond cruisers will be reinstated, with a revamped menu sure to entice discerning cruise travelers.
Loyalty Lunch to Resume
Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald has announced that the Diamond Lunch for the highest loyalty level of VIFP (Very Important Fun Person) guests will be returning after feedback and requests. The lunch, which was a mainstay benefit for years, was recently discontinued to become a cocktail party rather than a full lunch.
Guest reaction and feedback, however, showed how popular the lunch is among Carnival cruisers, which prompted Heald to take the matter to the cruise line’s executives for reconsideration.
“I had a few of you write to me saying how much you missed the lunch,” Heald said. “I sent those comments to my colleague and our wonderful Senior Vice President Beard of Food and Beverage who has told me that as of cruises starting on or around August 1st he will reinstate the Diamond Lunch with a new menu.”
This reaction shows that Carnival Cruise Line does in fact monitor and take into account guest feedback to continue improving their offerings and bringing travelers the experiences they want to have.
While Heald confirmed the lunches will begin on or around August 1, 2023, there is no firm date for exactly when each ship in the Carnival fleet will resume the Diamond Lunch. Only Diamond levels guests receive the “special event invitation from the Captain” for the lunch, which is separate from the Diamond and Platinum VIFP Party that is offered on sailings of five nights or longer.
New Diamond Lunch Menu
The revamped menu for the Diamond Lunch includes appetizers, entrees, and desserts, with a range of delicious options for all food preferences.
To whet the appetite, guests will be able to choose from Tuna and salmon crudo with a wonton crisp; natchitoches meat pies from Emeril’s Bistro, or Caesar salad as appetizers.
This is followed by a choice of grilled jumbo shrimp with butternut-cauliflower gratin accented with creamy sun-dried tomato sauce; bacon-wrapped filet mignon with roasted potato and asparagus; or baked vegetable casserole with cheddar and parmesan gratinate and pumpkin garlic bread.
For dessert, guests can opt for rich chocolate decadence with lemon gratin and raspberries; pear almond crostata with mascarpone cream, or fresh fruit with pineapple sorbet. For each course, a vegetarian option is available, and guests can also let their servers know of any food allergy concerns.
Previously, the Diamond Lunch menu had similar options, such as filet mignon but without the bacon-wrapped accent, and chocolate hazelnut icebox pie rather than the chocolate decadence dessert. The menu tends to be refreshed approximately every quarter (four times per year), but favorite dishes do generally remain available.
Becoming a Diamond Guest
Guests reach Diamond level VIFP status when they have cruised with Carnival for at least 200 nights. At this time, Carnival Cruise Line does not offer extra “points” for booking suites, special cruises, or using special offers, but Heald has hinted that the loyalty program is due for an overhaul and such changes may be coming.
In addition to the Diamond Lunch, other benefits exclusive to the highest loyalty level include unlimited Wash & Fold laundry service, guaranteed seating time requests for dinner in the Main Dining Room, and priority reservations at onboard specialty restaurants.
One-time benefits are also provided to guests who have achieved Diamond status, including charitable donations in the guest’s name and a complimentary meal for two at a specialty restaurant of the guest’s choice.