Food on Carnival Vista

homemade cruise ship ice cream

making homemade ice cream at lunchtime in the Lido buffet

Carnival Vista has a variety of food for passengers to choose from. Some food venues are included in the price of the cruise and others cost extra.

pork and kale tart

appetizer in the dining room

The main dining room and Lido buffet are of course included. For no extra charge passengers can also eat at Guy’s Burgers or the Blue Iguana Cantina. At lunchtime there is a free pasta bar at Cucina del Capitano, and Ji Ji Asian Kitchen turns into the Mongolian Wok. On sea days Fresh Creations salads on the Serenity deck and Guy’s Pig and Anchor Barbecue on deck 5 are also open for lunch. The Lido deli stays open late. The pizza place and the ice cream machines are available 24 hours. At lunchtime the lido buffet serves free homemade ice cream in addition to the soft serve and yogurt available from the machines. Some items on the room service menu are also free other than the voluntary tip that should be given to the delivery person. The Taste Bar on deck 5 serves continental breakfast, light lunch, and taster portions of some dinner items. On sea day afternoons the dining room serves afternoon tea. Food and plain tea are free, but like at all other times flavored tea costs extra on Carnival so I just bring my own.

cruise food

Seafood Shack is a new pay-extra food station on the Lido

To add more variety to the menu there are some premium restaurants for those who want to pay anything from a few bucks at the Red Frog Pub for the Pub Grub to $35 dollars for dinner at the steakhouse. Other pay extra places include Bonsai Sushi, the Lido’s Seafood Shack, Cuban Bites at the Havana Bar, and at dinner time Italian food at Cucina del Capitano or Asian at Ji Ji Asian Kitchen. There’s also sundaes at Cherry on Top and specialty coffee or tea, milkshakes, and sweets at JavaBlue cafe. There are of course lots of bars about the ship serving a variety of drinks. Anything from a bar costs extra even if is just juice or soda.

cruise ship salad

Fresh Creations salad from the Serenity Deck


We didn’t try everything, but did try a variety of things. Of the new additions to the Vista my favorites were the lunchtime salads on the Serenity deck and homemade ice cream on the Lido. The pasta bar is also a good spot for lunch because the food is good and it’s usually not as crowded as the Lido. None of these cost extra.

veggie burger

Guy’s veggie burger – not on the menu, but available on request

Blue Iguana serves breakfast and lunch. While the line is usually for the burritos, the tacos they have at lunchtime are served on fresh hot tortillas made right there. The burritos come on pre-made tortillas. I tend to skip the burrito line and go with the taco which you can normally walk right up to the window and get because there is rarely ever anyone waiting. Tacos don’t come with all the topping options that burritos do so when you get the taco you know what the salsa bar with no chips is for – though it would still be nice if there were chips. Guy’s Burgers opens for lunch and closes about the time other venues open for dinner.

cruise ship sushi

Bonsai Sushi on deck 5 – you can get a little taster or a whole boatload of sushi for a price

We tried to have lunch at the Mongolian Wok one day. They give you a paper to fill out for what you want on the way in and then you find a place to sit and they are supposed to come around and take the paper to make your order. This has worked for us in the past at the pasta bar, but at JiJi’s I seem to have spread my cloak of invisibility over John because we waited and waited and nobody ever came around to take our order. I’m often invisible at food venues, whether it’s a restaurant where the waiter takes everyone else’s order and then walks off like I don’t exist, or a place where you wait in a line, but when I get to the front they ignore me and help the next person, then the one after them and so on. Normally they see John though. At Ji Ji’s we watched them wait on other tables, and go around collecting orders from people all around us then bring them food, but no waiter ever came near our table. A bus boy walked by and I asked how to get service, but he just said they’d come around and walked on. They came around again shortly after to every table but ours so we just gave up and left. Of course they tried to make amends on the way out and said they’d rush the order if we went back in, but we were soured on the place by then and went somewhere else, never to return.

pork chop dinner

pork chops are on the dining room’s every day menu

Unlike Ji Ji’s, we got great service in the dining room. The first leg of our back to back we had Your Time dining. One day we even got through from start to finish in half an hour when we asked for speed service because we had something we wanted to go that evening that started early.  The second leg we switched to early dining because other people we knew on the ship wanted us to join their table there. It was a big table with a large group of people so dinners took longer there, but we got a chance to meet new people and visit with the ones we already knew. That leg was an ocean crossing with lots of sea days and not many ports so we had the time to linger over dinner.

if you haven't tried this sauce, you're missing out

hot wings with the best rum barbeque sauce ever

One formal night nobody at our table felt like dressing up so some went to the Lido and some to the Red Frog Pub. The charge at Red Frog is nominal and the food is made to order so it’s always served fresh and hot. We like the food there, but some of the people who came there with us didn’t seem all that happy so I guess it’s not everybody’s thing.

dining room food

spinach and artichoke dip appetizer

We’ve heard a lot about the milkshakes from the cafe so we gave those a try one day. They were good, but a bit overpriced. By the time they add tips and taxes to your bill it’s a lot more than you would normally pay for a milkshake. I’m not sure if the taxes were because we sailed out of Europe or if they always have those because there were taxes on a lot of things purchased on board that cruise that don’t normally have them. The price wouldn’t be so quite bad if it’s not normally taxed though.

carnival steak house

looking into the steakhouse through the glass

We didn’t eat at any of the other pay-extra places this cruise, but have enjoyed Cucina del Capitano  and the steakhouse on previous voyages and both were quite good. They had tastes of some of the dinnertime food from Ji Ji’s Asian Kitchen at a cooking demonstration on the Vista. The tidbits they served there were far to spicy for my liking so rather than enticing me to want to try dinner there they had the opposite effect.

cruise ship barbecue

Pig & Anchor barbecue is open for sea day lunches

The barbecue had the best mac & cheese on the ship. The menu has pretty much the same things as they served when it was called Fat Jimmy’s C-Side so I’m not sure why the name change, which probably came with a licensing fee to Guy Fieri. Speaking of Guy, Guy’s Burgers, which originally served nothing but beef, does have veggie burgers on request now. They are not on the menu, but if you ask they will cook one for you. It’s about a 10 minute wait, but you get it hot and fresh.

bread pudding

one of Carnival’s dessert favorites – Bitter & Blanc

Overall there’s enough choices for food that there should be something for everyone whether they want to indulge on their vacation or look for healthier options.

Click here for a comparison of American Table to the old menu.

Copyright My Cruise Stories 2017


About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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1 Response to Food on Carnival Vista

  1. So many delicious details 🙂 💜 Jackie@KWH

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