In keeping with the growing cruise industry trend to offer passengers more wow factor food that just massive buffets or ordinary cuisine Carnival Cruise Lines is stepping up to the plate, so to speak with the expansion of the culinary offering on board by chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri– whose Guy’s Burger Joints on Carnival Cruise Line ships have earned a reputation as the best burgers. Guy will be creating Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, a new authentic smokehouse and barbecue venue aboard Carnival Magic. The casual open-air eatery located on the ship’s lanai on Promenade Deck is free for passengers and dishes out a selection of BBQ favorites smoked right on board over hickory and cherry wood using Guy’s signature recipes, rubs and spices.
Fieri is pleasing palates with such smokehouse favorites as bone-in, dry-rubbed, slow-smoked and pulled Championship Pork Butt, dry-rubbed and grilled Blue Ribbon Chicken, smoked Andouille sausage and Sliced Smoked Round of Beef cooked “low and slow” and thinly sliced. There is also creative side dishes such as Mac Daddy Mac n Cheese, Old Skool Potato Salad, Scratch-Made Slaw, Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey, and Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon and Burnt Ends. And to amp the flavor up even more there’s a choice of Fieri’s signature BBQ sauces, including Award-Winning Brown Sugar (sweet and sticky), Kansas City (smoky and sweet), and Sriracha BBQ (spicy and tangy) and Carolina #6 (tangy with sweet heat). A hot sauce bar, as well as a wide range of ice-cold beers and sodas, will be available, as well. “Everyone knows that it takes the finest meats cooked ‘low and slow’ to create truly righteous mouth-watering barbecue. My new ‘Pig & Anchor’ eatery on Carnival Magic is gonna be off the hook! Be sure to grab lots of napkins — it’s gonna get mes,’ said the chef.
The eating venue is pen sea days from noon to 2:30 p.m. and is part of Carnival Magic’s extensive multi-million-dollar renovation that spanned three weeks and added other new dining and bar concepts such as two poolside bars – the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar – along with the BlueIguana Cantina serving authentic Mexican tacos and burritos, Pizzeria del Capitano offering hand-tossed artisanal pies, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, and a “candy and more store” called Cherry on Top. While a sampling of Fieri’s Pocono Mountain, PA, restaurant proved disappointing for this writer, his offerings are very popular with many folks who enjoy his unique take on recipes.
Carnival Magic continues a seven-day schedule from Galveston through April 10, 2016 then reposition to Port Canaveral to launch year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises April 23, 2016. Prior to launching its new seven-day schedule from Port Canaveral, Carnival Magic will operate a special three-day cruise to Nassau April 20-23, 2016. Passengers can choose from two distinctly different week-long itineraries from the Space Coast – a western Caribbean route featuring Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan) and Costa Maya; and an eastern Caribbean option calling at St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk and Nassau or Amber Cove.
Carnival Cruise Lines has come a long way in enhancing the onboard cuisine of the fleet, as has so many cruise companies in the last few years.