On my last Carnival Cruise, I received a complimentary Carnival Steakhouse Dinner for my husband and myself. As always, all opinions remain my own. This dinner was so good, and it was a fun change from the dining we had been enjoying.
I love food. I love trying new restaurants and new foods, which is part of what I love about cruising with Carnival. There are so many options to eat that you almost can’t enjoy them all on a single cruise. Of course, that’s just my excuse to start immediately looking at another cruise once I get home, right?
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On our last cruise aboard the Carnival Dream, we enjoyed the Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham breakfast (and I shared about our fabulous brunch experience) one morning, which was the only other for pay option on the cruise. At $5 per person for the brunch, it was well worth it. The Carnival Steakhouse dinner is a little more expensive at $35 per person (with a $10 children’s menu available, though we had no children while enjoying our dinner), it is fantastic and a great choice to enjoy one night of your cruise.
I live in Chicago, land of good steakhouses, and the Carnival Steakhouse dinner stands up to any of them easily. Thirty-five dollars is a pittance (and you’re on vacation with everything included – this is a fun indulgence to add) for so many great options. The Carnival Steakhouse dinner includes an amuse bouche from the chef, a starter, salad, main course, sides, and dessert, in addition to coffee and teas. There are wines and after dinner drinks available for the standard bar charge, as well.
Honestly, I could have eaten any of the starters. I was tempted to ask for six of them, but I restrained myself, knowing that I would walk out of this dinner absolutely stuffed. It was hard, but I wanted to ensure I enjoyed my steak and the fantastic dessert, as the portions are not tiny for any of the courses.
Eventually, I finally settled on the lobster bisque with vintage cognac, fleuron, and fresh cream. While many restaurants offer a lobster bisque with the lobster somewhere in the broth, you can see the gorgeous lobster in the middle. Carnival does not skimp on any portion of this meal.
My husband (at my request) chose the beef carpaccio. The raw beef tenderloin was sliced perfectly thin, and the shaved Parmesan made a perfect complement along with the marinated mache lettuce.
Of course, I also wanted the ahi tuna tartare (dices of sashimi grade yellow fin tuna belly) and the New England crab cake on a roasted red pepper remoulade. And the baked French onion soup sounds amazing. My daughter would hands down have gone for the jumbo shrimp cocktail or the escargots bourguignonne baked in a garlic herb butter. And who can forget the grilled portobello mushroom marinated with virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar?
Choosing a salad is easier, as there are only four choices instead of seven. I love a good Caesar salad, and this did not disappoint. The tangy Parmesan cheese topped the traditionally prepared dressing coating the Romaine hearts. It was not the largest Caesar salad I’ve eaten, but it was perfect for a large steak dinner.
My husband enjoyed the baby leaf spinach and fresh mushrooms with blue cheese dressing and warm bacon. As with all courses, the plates were gorgeous. I loved the variety of offerings and how each plate matched the dish so well.
The main course offers not just a variety of steaks but other choices, as well. If you are not a steak lover (how?), you can choose a broiled lobster tail, grilled lamb chops, lobster ravioli, broiled chicken, or a grilled fish. Both my husband and I chose steak, of course. We knew we had to enjoy the signature offerings from the Carnival Steakhouse dinner.
I loved my 9 ounce broiled filet mignon with the 3 peppercorn sauce. The Carnival Steakhouse dinner offers three sauce options: 3 peppercorn, wild mushroom, and Bernaise – of course at no additional charge.
My husband chose the 14 ounce broiled prime New York Strip loin steak. He almost chose the spice-rubbed prime ribeye steak, an 18 ounce option from the center of the prime rib, but he switched at the last minute. Both steaks were cooked as requested and served perfectly. As with any steakhouse, the Carnival steakhouse dinner offers a selection of delectable sides. The creamed spinach with garlic tasted as authentic as any you would find in Chicago. My husband loved the Yukon gold mashed potatoes with wasabi horseradish. We could also have enjoyed a baked potato with all the fixings, a sauteed medley of mushrooms, or steamed broccoli.
The dining room itself is quiet, without as much ambient noise as you have in the main dining rooms. The wait staff is more plentiful and very attentive. My water glass never got below half full throughout the entire meal. We loved the peace of enjoying the sunset while eating dinner.
After the not tiny portions of three courses, we almost didn’t have room for dessert. This is not a time to fill up on bread during your meal. Fortunately, our lovely waitress talked us into enjoying dessert, while I enjoyed an herbal tea and my husband sipped coffee. There are of course a selection of cheeses and homemade sorbets and ice creams, as well as fresh fruits. The cheesecake with a hazelnut biscuit sounded fantastic but too rich after our dinner. I chose the caramelized Washington apples baked in a puff pastry dome. This was the perfect light and just sweet enough dessert to complement the Carnival steakhouse dinner.
My husband selected the chocolate sampler. Chocolate lovers, take notice! This comes with four small glasses of delicious chocolate inspired desserts. His favorite was the banana panna cotta, while I loved my taste of the chocolate marquise. The bittersweet chocolate cake and tiramisu did not disappoint, but we were hard pressed to finish dessert.
Part of the attraction of a cruise is that everything is included, for the most part. There are some places where you can splurge just a little for an experience that is well worth it. We would not trade any of the excursions we’ve done on any cruise. The Green Eggs and Ham breakfast was fantastic, and the Carnival Steakhouse dinner was well worth the $35 pricetag.
Carnival Steakhouse Dinner Details
How much is it? The dinner costs $35 per person, with a children’s menu available for $10 per child. Children must be 12 or under.
What ships offer the steakhouse experience? You can find this on the Carnival Spirit, Carnival Legend, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Pride, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Valor, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Dream, and Carnival Magic. The steakhouse has different names on the different ships.
Do you need reservations? Yes! While there may be some walkup availability, the Carnival steakhouse dinner is a popular option. Many nights (especially sea days) tend to fill up. If you plan to go, choose your date and time early and call to make the reservation as soon as you know.
Can I book it before the cruise? Reservations are only available once you board the ship. Don’t worry, there is plenty of seating, but unlike excursions, the Carnival steakhouse dinner can’t be booked ahead of time.
Is the steakhouse open for lunch? No, this is a dinner only option.
What is the dress code? This is a cruise casual/cruise elegant restaurant. It is a nice steakhouse dinner. Dress up just a little!
Have you ever tried the Carnival Steakhouse dinner? What is your best cruise splurge?
Check out more cruising fun. We have absolutely loved every cruise we’ve been on, and we aren’t alone. Krystyn shared her thoughts on her recent cruise with a thorough rundown of her experience aboard the Carnival Magic.