If you’re a fan of cruise ships (as I obviously am) and don’t mind splashing out for a good meal every now and then I strongly recommend giving the Carnival Cruise Chef’s Table a try. This video offers a brief overview of the highlights of our Chef’s Table experience during our recent marriage anniversary cruise.

Our journey begins with an exclusive invitation to the ship’s kitchen – or galley, if you prefer the nautical term. Walking through a busy cruise ship galley at peak dinner service was an exhilarating experience with the sights, sounds, and aromas creating a palpable sense of excitement. It was like being thrown into a reality cooking show (minus an angry Gordon Ramsay) or, if you prefer Hulu prestige dramas, the kitchen of The Bear.

Our Carnival Cruise Chef’s Table Journey Begins in the Kitchen with Champagne and Entrees

Our Chef’s Table dinner kicks off in earnest with a glass of champagne and a series of tantalizing single-bite entrees prepared especially for the occasion. Although not every entree was met with universal acclaim from the assembled guests (some were more intriguing than delicious), it was obvious to all that they were prepared with the utmost care and attention to detail, setting the stage for the culinary journey ahead. Our guide peppered us with facts about the preparation of each item and offered helpful advice on how to properly consume each piece and when to take a sip of champagne to heighten the taste. May sound like overkill, but trust me, it actually works to enhance the flavors.

At one point we had a pastry chef come in and demonstrate how they make the world-famous Carnival melting chocolate cake. By now it was obvious we were witnessing a well-choreographed culinary team in action – they were putting on a performance and we had front row seats.

8 Course Meal and a Magician

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Moving from the kitchen, we were ushered into a separate dining area with large windows overlooking the busy galley. The view gave us a window into a busy cruise-ship kitchen’s frantic energy while enjoying the intimacy of the Chef’s Table setting. A recurring theme of our Chef’s Table experience is that it was not just all about the food, it was the entire sensory experience.

Our gastronomic adventure begins with a series of meticulously crafted dishes. Each course is a mini art piece on a plate that looked as good as they tasted. From dehydrated mushrooms coated in mushroom dust to a lean fish marinated with salt, pepper, olive oil, and grated lemon lime zest, every dish showcases the chef’s creativity and commitment. At a certain point during the dinner a magician made his appearance, captivating the audience with mind-bending tricks. Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this, but I was genuinely amazed at his “guess the phone PIN” trick,

Eye Popping Desserts to Top off a Great Carnival Cruise Chef’s Table Experience

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As dinner progressed, we made our way through the courses and eventually ended up with dessert. Since it was Erika and my anniversary, we really appreciated the specially prepared anniversary dessert and shoutout from the staff. It’s these little touches that make all the difference on a Carnival Cruise ship. The dessert items were somehow even fancier than the main course – from a pyramid-shaped chocolate with Bailey Irish cream ganache to a lemon meringue dusted with matcha tea powder, each bite was a joy.

The evening concluded with heartfelt gratitude from our intrepid host, thanking us for choosing the Chef’s Table. The entire experience left us feeling like royalty, appreciating the hidden gem that lies behind a seemingly random door in the cruise ship. We loved it, and I’m sure you will too!

Click here for more write-ups on our cruise-ship travels.

We recently returned from a 7 day Mexican Riviera Cruise on the Carnival Panorama. This was my 35 cruise and Erika’s 15th cruise.

Because we learned that the babysitting option, Carnival’s Night Owl’s program was still closed because of the pandemic we decided to bring our babysitter and got her an inside cabin close to our balcony cabin. That was a great idea and really worked out well.

If you didn’t already know we have three children, two boys ages seven and five and one girl who is 6 months old. In hindsight if we weren’t able to do a cruise with our babysitter I think we would have waited until the babysitting programs reopened. The interesting thing about Carnivals website is that it does show that the babysitting program is available. I finally found out that the babysitting program would not be available after messaging several staff members via social media.

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There was a group of passengers who were constantly late boarding the Carnival Breeze, and it annoyed our cruise director. The #carnivalcruise director announced all the names of the six missing passengers, especially the 2 guests who have been late for 3 times at every single port we stopped at.

I also get into a story about being late one time in Cabo with Erika but luckily we were there 1 minute after the deadline even though there was a 30 minutes window to be back before the deadline. 

In this video we will show you how we passed through the Panama Canal. With the size of our cruise ship and the width of the canal, it was literally like threading a needle. People were saying that crocodiles/alligators gather at the edges of the canal to feast on the fish that were trapped in those Panama Canal locks – unfortunately we didn’t see any. 

Our cruise had stops in Aruba, Cartagena, Colon, Limon, Grand Cayman. We disembark briefly in Cologne Panama, but couldn’t leave the enclosed tourist port-area since the rest of the country was shut off to cruise ship passengers. As you can see the whole area is gated in – for security reasons according to ship scuttlebutt.

We always enjoy #PrincessCruises You should give them a try. #CruiseVlog

We boarded the Carnival Breeze docked in Barcelona. It’s the first day of our 12 day Mediterranean Cruise and we were excited to get going. Since we were at the largest commercial port in the Mediterranean I got some quick footage of the cargo handling facilities around us.

Erika was preparing our drinks as we were going to the Casino to have some fun. We were able to bring our liquor without any issues using the Rum Runner Genuine Flask Kit that I bought on Amazon.

Here’s the start of our Mexican Riviera Cruise on Carnival Miracle. This will always be special to me because it was Aiden’s very first cruise!

I explain how to smuggle liquor on a cruise without any issues using a flask. I only brought 1 bottle this time because Aiden was with us and Erika was pregnant at the time. Once onboard we check out the arcade with Aiden, who had a blast. Other video highlights include a life boat drill and synchronized dancing on the deck!

Sadly my alcohol was confiscated. After I got our luggage, there was a letter stating they confiscated my liquor so it’s the first time the plastic flask trick didn’t work. I left the plastic flask sitting conspicuously in the middle of my suitcase, which obviously caught the attention of whoever was checking the baggage. I should have hidden it better inside a shoe or tucked it away on the edge of my suitcase.

Stay tuned for more updates on our Our Mexican Riviera Cruise!

Here are some highlights of our day in Mazatlán. Our cruise ship docked at the Port of Mazatlán, which is one of Mexico’s largest commercial ports that handles much of the country’s imports and exports. It is also a drop-off point for cruise ships, like the one we were on. Once our ship docked, we had to disembark and immediately hop on the waiting trams that took us to the cruise terminal. They don’t allow passengers to wander around on the dock, on account of it being a busy industrial port.

At the cruise terminal we hooked up with Julian Acosta, our local tour guide. Julian works for an outfit called Mazatlán Red Truck Group Tours – they offer guided tours of the city on the back of a pick-up truck. Our first stop was a liquor / convenience store where we picked up some adult beverages for ourselves and soft drinks for the kids plus a lot of ice to keep it all cold on a hot summer’s day. It was a little nuts, driving around Mexico on the back of a pickup truck drinking beer, but a ton of fun. Erika and I loved it, our guests loved it, and the kids had a blast.

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