During the development of the new dinner concepts, the cruise line’s management team spent time interacting with the leadership at Union Square Hospitality Group, a leading New York-based entertainment, food, and hospitality organization, to observe best practices and the organization’s approach to culinary excellence. Taking inspiration from that interaction, Carnival’s culinary team developed the new dinner concepts, which will be offered during a pilot period with some variation in the dishes, presentation style, and other elements to gauge additional guest feedback before rolling out the program fleetwide in the latter half of 2014 and 2015. Other ships included in the pilot are Carnival Liberty beginning in January, and Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration starting in February.
American TABLE, offered on Cruise Casual nights, is designed to evoke a modern restaurant experience with an emphasis on American cuisine featuring a mix of familiar regional, fresh and contemporary dishes. Menus will change each evening and will feature an expansive array of appetizer, entrée, and dessert choices. Menu selections will feature a wide variety of new and inventive dishes, along with plenty of Carnival favorites that are exceptionally popular among the cruise line’s past guests.
Meals will begin with a stand-alone cocktail menu featuring a variety of drink specialties such as the Raspberry Mojito, the Carnival Cosmo, and the Sunset Serenity, which provide a unique twist on some favorite classics. Featured wines will also be offered by the glass, in addition to a wide-ranging list of wines available by the glass and bottle. The new American TABLE experience offers a full appetizer menu including selections such as Fried Calamari, which can be served family style for the table, as well as soup and salad options. Special selections called ‘Rare Finds’ for the more adventurous, such as Spicy Alligator Fritters and Frog Legs Provencal with Herb Butter, are available as well.
Entrée choices include pasta and poultry dishes such as Free Range Chicken with Salsa Verde and Charred Lemon or Cornmeal Crusted Chicken Breast with Black Bean, Corn and Tomato Salsa, as well as meat and seafood options such as Seared Tilapia with Capers and Parsley or Rosemary Braised Lamb Shank. Carnival favorites such as Flat Iron Steak with Pepper and Herbs, and Veal Parmigiana with Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce will continue to be offered as well.
“Port of Call” entree selections are inspired by the destination on the ship's itinerary that day. For example, when calling at St Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the day's ‘Port of Call’ entrees will include dishes such as Tropical Salad of Ripe Mango, Spicy Grilled Chicken Strips, Crispy Carrots and Red and Green Peppers on a Bed of Fresh Greens Drizzled with Tangy Raspberry Vinaigrette, and Island Chicken Curry with Potato Crisps and Sweet and Sour Mango Chutney. ‘From the Grill’ entrees such as Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions and Stewed Apple will be available every evening to provide diners with even more variety and choice.
Every exceptional meal should end with a fun dessert and the American TABLE dining experience will feature a special dessert menu with options such as S’Mores Parfait as well as a divine pie of the day option served whole for the table and a la mode. A variety of featured after-dinner drinks will also be available.
In addition to American TABLE, a second dining concept, American FEAST, will also be offered in the main dining room one or two times per voyage on Cruise Elegant nights. American Feast has been designed to create the feel of an elegant, elaborate special occasion celebrated by all guests in the restaurant. The American FEAST menu features a full selection of appetizers such as Mojito Cured Salmon with Minted Cucumber Slaw, and Crispy Crab and Corn Fritters with Pineapple, Coconut and Cilantro Salsa, followed by a savory pasta dish, served as the second course. Guests then choose their entrée from a selection of meats, seafood, and vegetarian choices such as Slow Cooked Prime Rib, Broiled Maine Lobster, and Miso Marinated Salmon Filet. Desserts such as Sticky Toffee Brioche with Whipped Crème Fraiche, Chocolate Nib Crunch, Toasted Coconut-Lime and Strawberry Compote will top off the meal in style.
“Dining has always been a hallmark of the Carnival cruise experience and we’re constantly looking for new ways to provide our guests with exceptional meals and service that become a highlight of their vacation, bringing people together while creating fond memories,” said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. “With our new American TABLE and American FEAST concepts, we have sought to create a delicious, fun, welcoming and highly satisfying main dining room experience and look forward to our guests’ feedback as we refine the program to take it fleetwide next year.”
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