Carnival Initiates Low-Carb Dining

April 21, 2004
Having sampled low-carbohydrate cuisine from menus at numerous hotel (Courtyard by Marriott) and chain (Ruby Tuesdays) restaurants across the U.S. in recent months, we were wondering how long it would take the cruise industry to jump on that particular bandwagon. Wonder no more. Carnival Cruise Lines is the first out of the starting gate, announcing today its plans to introduce low-carb items to fleetwide menus.

The new low-carb selections are created with diets like Atkins, South Beach and the Zone in mind. Each night, one low-carb appetizer, salad and entree will be offered. Examples, for instance, include appetizers such as vine ripe beefsteak tomatoes with Buffalo mozzarella (3 grams, carbs); hickory smoked Alaskan salmon (2 grams, carbs); and Escargots Bourguignon -- Burgundy Snails in Garlic Butter with an Infusion of Chablis and Pernod (5 grams, carbs). Entrees could be filet mignon with gorgonzola butter (8 grams, carbs), marsala-infused duck (6 grams, carbs), or jerked pork loin (6 grams, carbs).

Passengers may also partake in a "reduced carbohydrate" bread selection at the dinner table -- though they must request it.

At this point -- and a Carnival spokeswoman emphasizes that today's announcement only reflects phase one of a multi-pronged effort to incorporate the low-carb craze into a variety of dining options -- the new offerings are only available in ships' main dining rooms and only at dinner time. However, a spa menu -- already offered fleetwide -- is available at lunchtime in the ships' main dining rooms.

Stage two of Carnival's program will likely focus on desserts and on incorporating some low-carb dishes into the buffet set-up.

Carnival plans to launch the new menus first on Carnival Victory this week, with the rest of the fleet anticipated to incorporate the offerings throughout the next month.

Wondering which other cruise lines are working on plans to incorporate low-carb into onboard dining? Check out Cruise Critic later this week! We're launching our Carb Cruising 101 Guide, which will offer insight about other cruise lines that are creating special menus. But we will also offer some general tips on how to maintain a low-carb diet onboard -- even without the special menus.