Countdown to Carnival’s Mardi Gras: Dining is a Big Thing!

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It’s only a few more days until Mardi Gras embarks on her first-ever cruise. This week we look at everything that makes Mardi Gras the most anticipated cruise ship in the world right now. Earlier this week, we looked at the first-ever roller coaster at sea Bolt; we covered the newest excel suites and a premium retreat on deck 19 called Loft 19.

Yesterday, we reported the newest dining venues onboard to offer complimentary breakfast outside of the Lido, including the Palm dining room, Shaq’s new Big Chicken Restaurant, Blue Iguana, Cucina del Capitano, and more. While breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, we check what’s included and not and what’s new and exciting about meals onboard Mardi Gras.

Specialty Dining On Mardi Gras

The policy onboard Mardi Gras does not differ from other Carnival Cruise Line ships, so guests can expect the same as usual regarding what is included and what is not. However, if you come on board for the first time, this is what you can expect to get.

Mardi Gras Docked in Rotterdam
Photo Credit: Edwin Muller Photography /

Most dining venues are included onboard Mardi Gras, and only a select few have an additional cost. The restaurants that do cost extra are the so-called specialty dining venues which are great, but you will certainly not be missing out if you don’t decide to splurge a few nights. We’ll cover the specialty dining venues first:

Emeril’s Bistro (Lunch & Dinner): Located in Mardi Gras‘ French Quarter, Emeril’s Bistro 1396 offers guests authentic bayou flavors and fun from New Orleans. Expect fried oysters, BBQ shrimp, duck & sausage gumbo, po-boys, muffuletta sandwiches, fresh ceviche, jambalaya, and more. Here’s the menu:

Emeril’s Bistro Menu
Emeril’s Bistro Menu

Rudi’s Seagrill (Dinner): Rudi Sodamin has long been associated with Carnival Corporation, and there can be no surprise to see Rudi’s Seagrill onboard Mardi Gras. Situated on Deck 8 between La Piazza and Summer Landing, as the name suggests, Rudi’s Seagrill offers guests the best the ocean has to offer. Think seafood bisque, lobster tail, and Dover Sole. For those looking for a more land-based fare, you can choose from free-range chicken, a Berkshire pork chop, or a New York strip. Check out the full menu here.

Rudi’s Seagrill
Rudi’s Seagrill Menu

Bonsai Sushi (Lunch & Dinner):  Located next to the Atrium, Bonsai sushi is sure to satisfy your craving for some sushi and soy sauce onboard Mardi Gras. And it’s not just sushi either; here is the menu.

Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse (Dinner): While it is certainly not the only place to get a decent steak onboard, it is by far the most mouthwatering menu onboard! With only the prime cuts offered, Steakhouse gives meat lovers everything they’ve ever wanted! Think Cowboy steaks, Lobster Surf and Turf, Filet Mignon, and Wagyu Beef, but also iced oysters and beef tartare! Below is one of the tables that seats up to 14 people:

Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse
Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse

Bonsai Teppanyaki (Lunch & Dinner): Together with Bonsai Sushi next to the Atrium on deck 8, expect an interactive meal full of surprising spectacles, delicious food like teriyaki Salmon and pork yakitori, and that food flying through the restaurant! Check out the menu below:

Bonsai Teppanyaki Menu
Bonsai Teppanyaki (Photo Credit: John Heald)

Seafood Shack (Lunch & Dinner): Imagine a New England-style seaside spot with the best the ocean has to offer! Think Maine Lobster, Crab Cakes, and of course, New England Clam Chowder in a bread bowl. Check out the menu!

Chef’s Table (Dinner): This is not just a dinner. This is an experience that is sure to blow you away. Available to only 14 diners per seating, you’ll have to be early with making a reservation for this meal prepared by the executive chef. The menu? Nothing you’ll find anywhere else onboard.

There are other venues where an additional cost does apply to certain items, such as top-shelf beverages or souvenir items, but these will be clearly marked.

Free Mardi Gras Dining Options

The list of restaurants onboard Mardi Gras is quite incredible. Carnival Cruise Line certainly understands the need for great food onboard a cruise ship and makes sure it doesn’t disappoint with the variety onboard its newest and first mega-ship, Mardi Gras. We won’t cover all of them (seriously, there’s a lot!), but here are the ones you need to check out onboard!

Also Read: Carnival’s Mardi Gras Cruise Ship – Everything You Need to Know

Guy's Burger Joint on Mardi Gras
Guy’s Burger Joint on Mardi Gras (Photo Credit: John Heald)

Lido Marketplace

Classic and always a popular choice, and for a good reason! With choices like a BBQ section, a deli counter, salad bar, Asian station, and a pasta bar, not forgetting about the chef’s daily specials, the Lido is the buffet choice for many onboard Carnival’s ships. Something that will likely be the same onboard Mardi Gras.

Big Chicken

The first Big Chicken at sea comes courtesy of Carnival’s Chief Fun officer Shaq! So what’s on offer? Think chicken sandwiches like the Shaq Attack, crispy chicken strips, or juicy fried chicken baskets with side dishes like potato salad and jalapeño slaw. Check out the full menu here.

Guy’s Burger Joint

You cannot miss one of the most popular spots on board any of Carnival’s ships. Guy’s Burger Joint serves up some of the best burgers at sea! Want to know why they are the best? Read the ten best things about Guy’s Burgers here!

And this is not all; of course, there is Chibang! The Chinese and Mexican fusion restaurant we reported on earlier, 24-hour pizza from Pizzeria Del Capitano, and of course that other restaurant from Guy Fieri, ‘Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse”, the multi-award-winning BBQ restaurant and bar will have complimentary dinner each night.

Mardi Gras Chibang!
Image Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Let’s not forget about Mardi Gras’ own take on classic street food in ‘Street Eats’ where three ever-changing open-air stations serve up everything from steamed buns, to overloaded fries. And, last but definitely not least, don’t miss the Sea day Brunch with Huevos Rancheros, Eggs Benedict, Steak and Eggs, and much… much more.

Also Read: Free Carnival Cruise Dining Options

Main Dining Rooms

The main dining rooms onboard Mardi Gras offer the same high-quality food served on all the ships in the fleet. With three courses and mains like steak, duck, scallops, and lobster, you certainly do not need to spend extra to have a great meal. The Palm Dining Room offers assigned seating, and the Flamingo Dining Room is also available for Your Time Dining.

Whatever your choice will be for your meal options onboard Mardi Gras, you’ll be sure not to be disappointed. Let us know on our Facebook page which restaurant you are looking forward to the most onboard Mardi Gras!

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