Carnival to Launch New Cruise Ship Dining Programs Next Week

December 3, 2013
carnival-cruise-lines-new-dining-concept-american-table (2:30 p.m. EST) -- Carnival Cruise Lines will debut its new American TABLE and American FEAST dining concepts next week as part of a test to see how cruisers respond to meals that will be more contemporary, more locally themed and, if desired, served family style.

Starting December 8 on Carnival Glory, the line will roll out the new menus, which will rotate daily. The menu for American TABLE, offered on casual nights in the main dining room, will include items like fried calamari and frog legs provencal with herb butter as appetizers; free-range chicken with salsa verde and charred lemon, and rosemary braised lamb shank as entrees; and offerings like s'mores parfait for dessert.

American TABLE will also boast "port-of-call" entrees, locally inspired dishes (like mango salad, spicy grilled chicken strips, and island chicken curry with potato crisps and sweet-and-sour mango chutney in St. Thomas) that vary by each day's port of call. Line representative Vance Gulliksen tells Cruise Critic that, although the dishes will be port-inspired, the ingredients will not be locally sourced in port. Grill items will be available, too, including dishes like pork chops with caramelized onions and stewed apples.

On formal nights, the main dining room will feature the American FEAST menu, consisting of more elegant fare: mojito cured salmon with minted cucumber slaw; crispy crab and corn fritters with pineapple, coconut and cilantro salsa; slow-cooked prime rib; broiled main lobster; chocolate nib crunch; and toasted coconut-lime and strawberry compote.

Additionally, Carnival favorites like flat iron steak and veal parmigiana with spaghetti and tomato sauce will stick around, along with a choice of vegetarian options. Diners can also choose from a large list of featured cocktails and an extensive list of wines, available by the glass or bottle.

The line currently has plans to test the concepts on four ships: Carnival Glory in December, Carnival Liberty in January, and Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration in February. If the new menu items win over passengers on sailings in the early part of 2014, the new concepts are slated to go fleetwide through the remainder of 2014 and into 2015. Gulliksen says passenger feedback will be collected via onboard focus groups and post-cruise passenger surveys.

Click the links below to see menu examples. (Please note that these are sample menus, and they're subject to change.)

American TABLE Wine Menu
American TABLE Cocktail Menu
American TABLE Dinner Menu (St. Thomas)
American TABLE Dinner Menu (Cozumel)
American TABLE Dessert Menu
American FEAST Menu

--by Ashley Kosciolek, Associate Editor