Monday, April 16, 2012

Cruise News: New Dining, Entertainment Options Debut Aboard Carnival Miracle

Punchliner Comedy Brunch
When Carnival Miracle departed Jacksonville, Florida on her inaugural voyage in 2004, it was a festive—and traffic stopping—event. With pizza slices from the buffet in hand, a friend and I watched from the Lido deck as her stack cleared the Dames Point Bridge by a mere six feet as onlookers lined the bridge and waterfront waving and cheering. It was a thrill outside as well as inside where we discovered the features of the last of the ships to be introduced in Carnival Cruise Lines’ Spirit class of vessels.

We loved our pizza slices, but at the time those were about the only snack options available to us before dinner (sushi was available inside a bit later). With the passage of time and evolving passenger tastes and expectations, several new complimentary dining and entertainment choices, including The Taste Bar appetizer program, The Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez, and The Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez, have been introduced on Carnival Miracle to offer an even more appealing experience. Carnival Miracle has also launched the line’s first year-round schedule from New York, featuring three different 8-day itineraries, each visiting a diversity of tropical destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Florida.

Here’s what passengers now find on board:

The Taste Bar — New Complimentary Appetizer Program
Carnival’s newest casual dining option, The Taste Bar, has been introduced on Carnival Miracle. The Taste Bar features complimentary bite-size offerings inspired by the newest and most popular “Fun Ship 2.0” dining venues, along with a signature cocktail tied to that eatery’s particular theme available for purchase for $5. Sample offerings may include:

• Roasted pork tacos with green chili salsa and aged cotija cheese, and chicken, avocado, and lime tortilla soup, inspired by the BlueIguana Cantina that debuted on Carnival Liberty, with a refreshing Blue’s Blue Margarita as the accompanying drink.
• Nonna's meatballs and hand-whipped ricotta bruchetta, patterned after the family-style offerings at the Cucina del Capitano Italian restaurant introduced on Carnival Magic, with the eatery’s house Chianti served from an oversized barrel on wheels.
• Fried malanga (sweet potatoes) filled with ginger-scented pork and lime aioli, and pepper pot soup with cilantro sour cream, similar to what is served at Carnival Magic’s RedFrog Pub, with a Rum Jumper as the suggested beverage.
• Grilled ham and provolone cheese melt on buttermilk brioche and cream of tomato soup, from the new Comfort Kitchen option debuting on Carnival Breeze, served with Lynchburg Lemonade.
• Short rib croquettes with chipotle aioli and guava and tomato relish, served with pumpkin bisque with sour cream, available with a Manhattan.
The Taste Bar cuisine samples will be offered on a rotating basis from approximately 5 pm to 8 pm on sea days and select port days. Carnival Miracle’s Taste Bar selections are offered on Promenade Deck in a recently renovated venue that formerly housed the vessel’s sushi bar. Don’t worry about missing your sushi fix—sushi will be one of the featured Taste Bar themes and it will also be available at the Carnival Miracle’s poolside restaurant nightly during dinner service.

Debut of Punchliner Comedy Club Presented by George Lopez
Also making its debut is the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez, part of a recently announced partnership with the comedian who serves as the line’s “curator of comedy,” acting as a consultant on the vetting and hiring of both established and up-and-coming comedic talent. The Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez will offer five 35-minute shows on multiple nights during each voyage, with at least two comedians performing each night. Two early-evening shows are tailored for the entire family while the later performances feature R-rated adults-only comedy. Although Lopez won’t be on board himself, he has recorded a number of light-hearted greetings that will be shown on Carnival Miracle’s in-cabin televisions and played during introductions of comedy club performances.

Laughter, Pancakes and More Served Free at Punchliner Comedy Brunch
For those who prefer a little merriment in the morning, there’s the new Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez, which debuts on the Carnival Miracle and offers up heaping servings of laughter along with a new twist on the traditional culinary feast. Taking place on sea days in the main dining room, The Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez features five- to six-minute performances each hour by comedians who entertain guests as they enjoy a variety of mid-morning favorites prepared by Carnival’s master chefs.

Many items are inspired by Lopez’s Mexican heritage, including Carne y Huevos, filet mignon topped with two eggs and béarnaise sauce; Hen Alla Diavola, grilled chicken with lemon and pepper; and Mexican-style churros. Two special “George’s Recipes” dishes created by the comedian himself are also offered—his own take on Huevos Rancheros that features a chicken quesadilla topped with fried eggs and manchego cheese, and a breakfast burrito filled with scrambled eggs, beans and chorizo.

Appropriately enough, menu item descriptions have a comedic slant with playful interpretations of traditional brunch offerings listed under categories such as Opening Act with dishes that include Flamin’ Tomatoes Soup and Caesar Salad; Headliners featuring Funny French Toast, Pappardelle Pasta, and Mac and Cheese available with applewood smoked bacon, chicken or steak; and Punchline, a decadent dessert menu with caramelized cheesecake, banana crème pie and other confections. A variety of custom-made omeletes, as well as standards like Eggs Benedict and sides, are also available. The menu features a Bloody Mary Bar offering several variations of the traditional brunch-time favorite for purchase.

Eight-Day Cruise Itineraries
Carnival Miracle’s three distinctly different 8-day itineraries from New York are: eastern Caribbean departures to San Juan, St. Thomas, and Grand Turk; Bahamas sailings featuring stops at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, and Nassau; and Bahamas/Florida cruises with port calls to Port Canaveral (Orlando), Nassau, and Freeport. Each itinerary offers beaches, shopping and dining experiences, world-famous landmarks, historical sites and attractions, and myriad sightseeing and shore excursion opportunities, including snorkeling, scuba-diving, and water sports.

Image Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

1 comment:

Luxury Cruises said...

All the new options sound fantastic.