When it comes to mealtime, snack time, or pretty much any time on a large cruise ship there’s always plenty of choices for where and what to eat. Carnival Breeze is no exception, having quite the variety of tasty things available. Most of the eateries on the Breeze have no extra charge to eat there including the ever popular Guy’s Burger Joint and Blue Iguana Cantina.
GUY’S BURGER JOINT
Determined to try Guy’s Burger joint this time even though they haven’t wised up enough to start offering people the option to swap the beef patty for a turkey or veggie patty, I decided to try just ordering bacon and cheese on the bun, hold the beef. Unused to special orders, the two guys behind the counter had great difficulties figuring that one out and kept trying to put a beef patty on the bun. Finally they came up with some sort of cold pressed meat that may have once been bacon, but looked nothing like it now. And no cheese. I’d expected a few slices of actual bacon hot off the grill and a slice of their super melty cheese. No such luck. At least they have a toppings bar to dress it up with. The addition of some grilled onions, mushrooms and lettuce certainly made it look edible.
If I could have replaced that questionable substance with actual bacon it would have been quite good. The grilled onions and mushrooms on the toppings bar were great. (They did have bits of actual bacon on the condiment bar, I’d have been better off with that.) My husband once got someone at Guy’s to give him just the bun with cheese and some fries, and he then took the bun over to Blue Iguana and got some chicken to put on it. That worked out a whole lot better for him than the bacon thing did for me.
The fries, though somewhat on the greasy side, taste good and are of a thick cut reminiscent of homemade. So the conclusion is, if you don’t eat beef, Guy’s really has nothing for you. If you do, then have at it, it seems to be quite a popular spot.
Carnival would like to accommodate all their guests, however they can’t add things to the menu without Guy’s approval. Perhaps after the bad publicity his New York restaurant got for refusing to serve veggie burgers he will wise up and acknowledge the large population of non-beef eaters. But don’t count on it. Bobby Flay’s Burger Joint anyone?
UPDATE 2015: Veggie burgers are finally available at Guy’s! They are not listed on the menu, but if you ask for one they will cook it for you. They said it would take 15 minutes, but had it ready in 10.
Cruise Ship Desserts
Desserts make the top of just about anyone’s list of favorite things to eat. Cruise food is no exception. Carnival has a variety of excellent desserts to choose from after each meal. The ones that cost extra at places like Cherry on top or the Plaza Café look mighty good too, but I can never see paying extra for even more desserts when we already have way too many for free, though I used to say that about the pay extra eateries before I tried them. My favorite Carnival desserts include the Bitter and Blanc and Chocolate Melting Cake. This time I’m adding a couple new favorites, the White Chocolate Bread Pudding (which rather reminds me of the Bitter and Blanc) and the Chocolate Gateau, served at lunchtime the day we ate lunch in the dining room. The daily menu offered more tasty desserts than any one person could ever eat. We also topped off our meal at their Italian place with a tasty dessert not seen elsewhere on the ship.
Cucina del Capitano
Carnival has a tradition of hiring all Italian captains, so having their Italian restaurant called the captain’s kitchen works out well whoever takes the helm on any given cruise. Located above the main Lido buffet area, this restaurant has a complimentary pasta bar at lunch time and dinner service for a nominal fee. Dinner starts with a fancy bread tray. A waiter rolls a wine barrel over to the table for an optional tasting. The dinner menu includes spaghetti carbonara, a piece of history as Carnival once served this tasty dish on their very first ship, the Mardi Gras. The portions are enormous. John liked my spaghetti carbonara better than the dish he ordered, and after we’d both eaten our fill more than half of this very rich and filling dish still remained on the plate. The Spaghetti Carbonara tasted so good we asked for the recipe, and the Breeze staff gave it to us. Their recipe says it serves 10, and considering the monstrous size of their servings it probably serves a lot more, so the average person would most likely want to cut down on the portions of ingredients this recipe calls for.
Carnival’s Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe
Cook 2 lb spaghetti in salted water for 8 minutes
2 lb bacon
2.5 lb yellow onion (soup diced)
1 oz fresh garlic (chopped)
Heavy cream 2 ea (sorry, this is what their recipe says. It does not say 2 what. I looked up some other spaghetti carbonara recipes and most did not have cream at all, but one had 1/2 cup cream in a recipe using one pound of spaghetti.)
1/2 liter half & half creamer
1 lb fresh parmesan cheese (grated)
10 fresh egg yolks
salt & pepper to taste
Heat frying pan. Dice bacon and add to hot pan. When 70% done drain excess fat and add onions and garlic. Saute until onions reach golden color. Remove and place in perforated pan. Make some crispy diced bacon for garnish as well.
Add egg yolks to creams, whisk until smooth texture.
Heat pan, add cream mixture and sautéed bacon & onion. Cook until sauce starts to form coating consistency. Reserve some sauce for serving before adding spaghetti.
Blanch spaghetti in salted water, add to the sauce. Stir in grated parmesan cheese, season with salt and crushed black pepper. Finish with olive oil.
Note: Do not overcook the sauce.
Finish & Presentation
Place tossed pasta in bowl, pour 1 oz of sauce on top and garnish with crispy diced cooked bacon and parsley sprig. Serve hot. Serves 10 (probably more since their idea of one serving was more than 2 people could eat)
Fahrenheit 555 Steak House
Unlike Guy’s Burger Joint, the steakhouse does have options for non-beef eaters. We tried their delightful pan-seared sea bass, and also went to a cooking demonstration where they made a meal featuring chicken. Of course they have plenty of beef options too. The steak house has its own chef and an open grill where guests can watch meals in preparation. The décor is more elegant than the rest of the ship, and the seating limited in this reservations only eatery, where the tasty food does cost extra.
Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ
This very popular eatery on the starboard side Lanai on deck 5 has very limited hours of operation. It just opens for lunch on sea days, but only in nice weather. We even had a calm sunny beautiful sea day where it did not open for reasons unknown. When it did open it had quite the line-up the entire 2 and a half hour time of service. We had a sudden brief shower and even that did not dissuade those in line from reaching their barbecued goal. We thought the pulled pork sandwich was the best thing on the menu, and found it worth the wait. The grilled yams tasted pretty good too. Since I have a huge aversion to lines, saying anything is worth a wait is high praise from me. At the buffet my choice of food is usually whatever I can get without waiting in line.
Located on deck 5, the sushi bar has nice décor and inviting tables. Unlike last year’s cruise on the Liberty where the Sushi was free, on the Breeze it costs extra. They do have a more extensive menu though. Sushi sells by the piece for those who just want a taste, or for a meal passengers can buy a whole boatload. Seriously, it comes in a little boat shaped dish.
Red Frog Pub
In addition to the Red Frog Rum Bar on the Lido deck, the Breeze also has a Red Frog Pub on deck 5. The Red Frog Pub serves excellent food, always fresh and hot because it is cooked to order rather than made ahead to serve a crowd of people. Depending on a person’s appetite, one or two of their appetizers makes enough for a whole meal. The cost on these is very nominal. They make their own delicious sauces. The coconut shrimp comes with an excellent pina colada sauce, and the hot wings come with a rum barbeque sauce to die for. The sauce is not spicy so it tempers the hotness of the wings a bit as well as adding wonderful flavor. For dessert they have a delicious little cake called Icky Sticky Coconut Cake. It lived up to the sticky part, but we found nothing icky whatsoever about that tasty morsel. Red Frog Pub has some of the best food on the ship, and the cost per item is quite low. We did not particularly care for the conch, but loved everything else we tried there.
Blue Iguana Cantina
All the non-beef eaters who found nothing to eat at Guy’s can go just across the deck to the Blue Iguana. They have a number of choices of everything from a selection of tortillas to numerous fillings and toppings to have your taco or burrito your way. Take it over to the nearby salsa bar for a large selection of sauces to top your meal. They serve tacos and burritos. Blue Iguana opens for breakfast as well as lunch, with breakfast burritos making a tasty change from the usual breakfast fare. And unlike Guy’s “My way or the highway” attitude, you can have things however you wish at the Blue Iguana. Make sure you pick up something to drink before visiting the Blue Iguana or Guy’s because there’s no free drink stations out by the pool where they are located. (The Red Frog Rum Bar and Blue Iguana Tequila Bar are nearby if you want drinks that cost extra.)
Lido Marketplace Buffet
The Marketplace Buffet on the Lido has a number of different stations serving a variety of different foods. Many of the stations change not only from one meal to the next, but sometimes also from one day to the next. A station that served full meals one day becomes the chocolate buffet the next. One might change from comfort food to Caribbean food on a given day. You can always find a variety of things for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some stations have food ready to grab and go, and others like the Mongolian Wok or at breakfast time, the waffle station, cook things hot and fresh to order while you wait. Other Lido food includes the Deli, and out on the back deck the Pizzeria, and Tandoor – where you can find late night sandwiches after the other food venues close.
Stop by the taste bar on at the Plaza on deck 5 for a sample of what’s for dinner. At lunchtime they serve full meal size soup and sandwiches. Come by in the morning for continental breakfast.
Sapphire Restaurant/Blush Restaurant
The main dining rooms on board the Breeze are the midship Sapphire Restaurant and the Blush Restaurant at the stern. Passengers are assigned to a particular dining room and level depending on whether they choose early or late seating or the your time dining where you eat dinner at any time during the hours of dinner service. We dined mainly at the Blush Restaurant downstairs on your time dining, but did get a chance to make occasional visits to the Sapphire for tea, comedy brunch and lunch. Dinners include a variety of excellent choices for multi-course meals and desserts with menus that change daily, and usually include lobster on formal night. Carnival’s wonderful signature dessert, the chocolate melting cake, appears on the dinner menu nightly.
If all the tasty treats served at meals or teatime isn’t enough, you can buy some really fancy goodies at the Plaza Cafe. They make nice gifts for your onboard friends or relatives too.
I was unaware this food venue existed during our cruise on the Breeze, but according to Carnival’s website there’s hot dogs available at SportSquare up on top of the ship.
In case all that food isn’t enough, 24-hour room service is available for free. For days with early shore excursions, the menu cards that you fill out and leave on the door for breakfast served at your chosen time come in quite handy. There’s also a room service menu to call and order from whenever the mood strikes.