Traveling Mamas

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  • One the aspects I love about cruising is that I don’t have to cook for days! On the Carnival Breeze, there’s a wide array of dining options to fit every craving and taste. Here’s the complete list of where to nosh while cruising on the Carnival Breeze cruise ship. These venues are in addition to reserved dining in the two main dining rooms on board and the no-added charge 24 hour room service.

    Shrimp cocktail served daily in main dining rooms on Carnival Breeze cruise

    Bonsai Sushi – This is Carnival’s first full-service sushi restaurant offering a variety of sushi, sashimi, and rolls along with bento boxes and even their own version of a sushi boat. Carnival makes the sushi experience accessible for those who haven’t had the chance to try it while at home, giving guests a ways to broaden their culinary experience. Check out our review of Bonsai Sushi on the Carnival Breeze.

    Shrimp tempura roll at Bonsai Sushi on Carnival Breeze cruise

    Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ – Currently only offered on sea days, guests on the Carnival Breeze can enjoy authentic down-home BBQ. While everything on the menu is pretty darn tasty, the pulled pork sandwich has to be my favorite.

    Buffet at Fat Jimmy's C-Side BBQ on Carnival Breeze cruise

    Guy’s Burger Joint -This has to be one of the most popular dining venues that Carnival has introduced during their FunShip 2.0 initiative. I know it’s one of my favorites and its the first meal I had when stepping onto the Carnival Breeze for a quality control check. Yeah. It’s still as good as I remember from the Carnival Liberty. When Guy’s Burger Joint was first introduced, the daily number of burgers served was 400. Now on the Carnival Breeze, 1200-1500 burgers are served each day.

    BlueIguana Cantina – Most cruisers don’t realize they can get breakfast from this Lido Deck venue located near the Beach Pool. The freshly made tortillas can be prepared however you want, be it a burrito or a soft taco. I not only enjoyed a breakfast burrito one morning, but on another afternoon I sampled the fish tacos and chicken tacos. This venue is convenient and I love the salsa bar.

    Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez – On sea days, the Punchliner Comedy Brunch is a nice and luxurious alternative to the Marketplace Buffet breakfast. The menu is extensive and offers either a breakfast or lunch menu, depending upon your cravings at the time. There is also a Bloody Mary bar if you’d like an eye-opener to enjoy during the brief comic relief offered by the comics booked on the Carnival Breeze. I was pleasantly surprised to see cheesy grits on the breakfast menu — and the dish was delicious!

    Eggs Benedict at Punchliner Comedy Brunch by George Lopez on Carnival Breeze cruise

    Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse – Carnival ships always have a nice steakhouse and the Carnival Breeze is no exception. The steaks are always consistent from ship to ship in the entire fleet and offers a romantic setting for a quiet high-end meal while on the ship. Fahrenheit 555 is a California inspired steak restaurant offering an extensive and top-notch wine list. There is a premium of $35 per person but does include a four course meal.

    Crab cake appetizer at Fahrenheit 555 steak house on Carnival Breeze cruise

    Cucina del Capitano – First introduced on the Carnival Magic, Cucina del Capitano brings an old Italian homestyle kitchen on board certain Carnival ships in the fleet. It pays homage to the heritage of Carnival’s captains, serving Italian cuisine and special dishes made from many of the captains’ family recipes. A fun aspect of this dining venue is the singing waiters and the Chianti cart. This is a premium restaurant with a $12 charge and the Chianti is $5 per glass ordered from the cart. It’s a very good value for family-style dining and the portions are enormous. Check out our review of Cucina del Capitano.

    Lido Marketplace -This is a casual, pool-side eatery and has international offerings from paninis to Indian Tandoori. If you are craving pizza, it can be found here. A Mongolian wok station is always ready to cook your choice of ingredients and almost everything else can be found at this buffet.

    Pizza from Lido Marketplace Pizza Pirate on the Carnival Breeze cruise (Beer tube from RedFrog Rum Bar)

    “The Comfort Kitchen” – This is a new venue located in the Lido Marketplace offering American-style “comfort food”.

    Ocean Plaza – This indoor/outdoor cafe serves cappucinoa, lattes and espressos, along with pastries and other sweets (for a charge). During morning hours, a light continental breakfast is offered (at no extra charge) at The Taste Bar, which is adjacent to the Ocean Plaza. In the evenings, cocktail service is available.

    RedFrog Pub – When one is at the RedFrog Pub, sometimes the munchies sneak up on you. For a very minimal charge, Caribbean-inspired fare can be found in this themed pub. It’s always a fun atmosphere with live music going on at various times. It has a British-West-Indies-meets-Key-West feel to it and is always a great place to chill.

    Serenity – This adult only retreat area used to only serve drinks at the bar, but on the Carnival Breeze salads, sandwiches, wraps and other light fare can be found for those relaxing in this area connected to Cloud 9 Spa.

    The Taste Bar – A new aspect of the FunShip 2.0 enhancements introduced on the Carnival Breeze is this complementary appetizer program located in the Ocean Plaza. Each evening, bite sized offerings inspired by different dining venues are available to guests during cocktail hour. There are also signature cocktail specials tied to the theme of the evening.

    Sea Dogs – Coming in November on the Carnival Breeze, guests can enjoy American hot dogs served from a hot dog-shaped cart located in the SportSquare outdoor recreation area. I’m confident this will be a hit with kids and adults alike.

    For more information on the Carnival Breeze or to book your next cruise, visit Carnival.com or contact your favorite travel agent.

    Carnival Cruise Lines hosted international media, including this outlet, on a media junket for editorial research.

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  • Carnival Cruise Lines made an exciting announcement this morning regarding a new ship renovation, and my favorite cruise port — New Orleans, Louisiana.

    Growing up with the stories of Mark Twain and living on the Mississippi River, there’s nothing more beautiful than cruising down Old Man River as the sun sets and the moon rises, passing into the Gulf of Mexico with a glass of Champagne in hand. If you haven’t already taken a cruise from New Orleans, I highly suggest you add this departure port to your bucket list.

    Moonrise on Cruise down Mississippi River from Port of New Orleans

    This morning, Carnival Cruise Lines announced they will rename the Carnival Destiny to the Carnival Sunshine, after a $155 Million refit in 2013. This makeover will include all of the Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements that we love, and it will also add 182 cabins to the ship’s layout.

    From February to April 2013 the Carnival Destiny will go into drydock with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to undergo this extensive renovation and be renamed the Carnival Sunshine. The Sunshine will enjoy April through October 2013 with Mediterannean itineraries and then will reposition in her new home port of New Orleans, Louisiana in November 2013. She will replace the Carnival Conquest which is currently in New Orleans.

    The new additions include the Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements that were revealed on the Carnival Magic, the Carnival Liberty, and the soon to launch Carnival Breeze. But the fun doesn’t stop there with Carnival. Some of these newer additions caught my eye:

    Dining

    Fahrenheit 555, a classic American steakhouse offering mouth-watering steaks and gourmet appetizers, entrees and desserts, all enhanced by understated ambiance and impeccable service (venue will carry a surcharge consistent with other steakhouses in the Carnival fleet)

    A stunning new full-service Asian restaurant inspired by the line’s popular Mongolian wok casual eateries that will feature an extensive menu of delicious favorites from the Far East, along with a striking Asian-themed décor (no charge for lunch with a nominal fee for dinner)

    A new casual dining option, “The Comfort Kitchen,” located within the Lido Marketplace and offering a tempting array of American-style “comfort food” entrees and side dishes.

    Bars and Lounges

    An exciting new lounge, Havana Bar, a tropical-inspired nightspot located aft within Lido Marketplace featuring a panoramic ocean view from its floor to ceiling windows and offering a unique and memorable venue for cocktails, live Latin music and dancing

    A new cigar bar concept, with plush, comfortable surroundings, along with fine cigars and a variety of brandies, cognacs and liqueurs, ideal for pre- or post-dinner drinks and conversation

    Outdoor Fun and Relaxation

    Carnival’s first three-deck-high Serenity adults-only retreat, an oasis of tranquility offering plush chaise lounges and chairs, a whirlpool, a cascading waterfall, teak-planked decks, a pool, a complimentary dining area with freshly made salads that can be customized by guests, and, of course, magnificent sea views

    An All New Thrill Ride as part of the classic WaterWork’s area.

    Of course, this is all in addition to the already amazing Fun Ship 2.0 lineup that we know and love. I’m so excited that Carnival Cruise Lines is investing in the travel and tourism of my home state of Louisiana. This announcement is a testament to the growing number of visitors to Louisiana that have rediscovered what we have to offer as a destination.

    For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com. Be sure to check out all of our articles on TravelingMamas.com past cruise travel experiences.

     

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  • Yesterday Carnival Cruise Lines announced they  would be offering an extended program on the Carnival Legend with departures from the UK and Barcelona in 2013. The schedule will feature a variety of itineraries, including the line’s first Norwegian fjords cruise. I’m so excited about this announcement and hope to experience at least one of these new itineraries on the Carnival Legend.

    The official word from Carnival Cruise Lines:

    In total, Carnival Legend will operate 17 European cruises between April 22 and Oct. 31, 2013, visiting 34 ports across 18 countries.

    “For the Carnival Legend’s 2013 European season, we’ve assembled a truly outstanding collection of ports that offer our guests an exciting diversity of experiences, from viewing breathtaking Norwegian fjords and the lush Irish countryside to visiting centuries-old landmarks and exploring UNESCO World Heritage cities such as St. Petersburg and Tallinn,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.

    For the first time, Carnival Legend will offer an extended series of voyages from Dover (London) with 12-day cruises to Norway/Western Europe, the British Isles and the Baltic, each offering a spectacular array of interesting and awe-inspiring ports of call, from quaint villages to cosmopolitan cities.

    The program includes a “Norway & Western Europe” cruise offering a unique combination of ports, as well as the unforgettable experience of sailing the Norwegian fjords. The voyage will operate Sept. 1-13, 2013, and visit Alesund, Bergen, Stavanger, and Oslo, Norway; Hamburg, Germany; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Zeebrugge (Bruges), Brussels, Belgium; and Le Havre (Paris), France.

    A “British Isles, Norway and France” voyage will depart Sept. 13, 2013, and feature stops at Stavanger, Norway; Edinburgh, Invergordon, and Glasgow (Greenock) Scotland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; and Le Havre (Paris), France.

    Six “Baltic Wonders & St. Petersburg” cruises will also be offered, visiting Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia (overnight call); Tallinn, Estonia; and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Departure dates include June 21, July 3, 15 and 27, and Aug. 8 and 20, 2013.  The June 21 departure will visit Zeebrugge (Bruges), Brussels, Belgium, instead.

    12-day Mediterranean Cruises

    Several different Mediterranean cruises will also be offered, providing guests an opportunity to experience and explore some of the region’s most popular and picturesque ports of call and enjoy a wide variety of dining, shopping and sightseeing choices.

    The schedule includes 12-day cruises from Venice to Barcelona departing May 4 and 28, and Oct. 31, 2013.  On these voyages, guests can tour medieval castles, sample delicious local cuisine, and marvel at ornate churches and other historic architecture as they visit Dubrovnik, Croatia; Messina, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome), and Livorno, Italy; and Marseilles, France.  The May 4 and Oct. 31 departures also include Athens, Greece; and Izmir, Turkey; while the May 28 voyage stops at Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

    Carnival Legend will also operate 12-day Western Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona to Dover June 9-21 and from Dover to Barcelona Sept. 25-Oct. 7, 2013.   These cruises offer guests the chance to sample all the region has to offer with extended visits to stunning seaside destinations in five countries, including Marseilles, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Livorno and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Malaga, Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal.

    Also featured are three “Grand Mediterranean” voyages sailing from Barcelona to Venice April 22, May 16 and Oct. 19, 2013.   These voyages feature stops at Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Marseilles, France; Livorno, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Messina, Italy; and Dubrovnik, Croatia, along with an overnight call in Venice to provide guests with ample opportunities to explore this world-class city. The Oct. 19 voyage will include a stop at Olbia (Sardinia), Italy, instead of Monaco.

    Rounding out Carnival Legend’s 2013 Europe program is a 12-day voyage round-trip from Barcelona Oct. 7-19, 2013, with calls at Marseilles, France; Livorno, Civitavecchia (Rome), and Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Venice (overnight call) and Messina, Italy.

    15-Day Transatlantic Crossings in April and November 2013

    Carnival Legend will operate a 15-day transatlantic crossing departing Tampa on April 7 and arriving Barcelona April 22, 2013.  Featured ports on this voyage include King’s Wharf, Bermuda; Ponta Delgada (Azores), Portugal; and Malaga and Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

    Following its European schedule, the ship will operate another 15-day transatlantic crossing from Barcelona to Tampa Nov. 12-27, 2013, calling at Palma de Mallorca and Malaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.

    From Tampa, Carnival Legend will sail on a special four-day cruise before resuming seven-day Caribbean service Dec. 1, 2013. The week-long cruises call at Half Moon Cay; Nassau, The Bahamas; and Key West, Fla.; or George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; Mahogany Bay, Roatan; and Belize City, Belize.

    For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.  Carnival can also be found on:
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/
    Facebook Fan Page: 
    Flickr:  
    www.flickr.com/photos/carnivalcruiselines/

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  • Georgetown, Grand Cayman is one of those cruise ports and destinations that offers a number of excursions for the adventurous. A few years ago I went on a 4×4 Adventure around Grand Cayman which ended up turning into a race against the Go Galavanting Gals.

    During the recent Fun Ship 2.0 introductory cruise on the Carnival Liberty, I opted to stay onboard the ship so that I could sleep in and enjoy one of the port day spa specials. Little did I know that later in the day I would end up in Hell.

    Hell, Grand Cayman

    It all began with lunch at Hammerhead’s restaurant, when a colleague took all of our phones and wouldn’t allow any of us to tweet or update our Facebook status during the meal. A few drinks later and I was talked into exploring Grand Cayman with Nancy Schretter and Doug Parker. We hailed a taxi and asked for a quote to Hell. Getting to Hell is relatively cheap, with a beach stop on the way for only $15 per person.

    Beach at Grand Cayman

    We arrived in Hell and took the obligatory photos.

    Hell Grand Cayman photo opp

    And don’t worry about keeping in touch with family and friends in Hell, because there is a post office.

    Post Office in Hell

    Hell is similar to Hawaii. If you take any rocks, you’ll be damned.

    Hell Rocks SignFortunately, by the end of our day we were able to quench our thirsts and redeem ourselves in Paradise, within walking distance of the tender boats. I never knew Hell could be so much fun, but glad to end my Grand Cayman adventure in Paradise.

    Caybrew at Paradise in Grand Cayman cruise port stop

    Special thanks to Carnival Cruise Lines for providing this trip to Hell. This was part of the Fun Ship 2.0 media introductory cruise. It was tons of fun and if you plan on a cruise with Grand Cayman on your itinerary, a trip to Hell is a must. At least once.

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  • This just arrived in my inbox and I wanted to share information about Carnival Cruise Lines‘ New York cruise offerings on the Carnival Miracle.

    As part of its new Land vs. Sea marketing campaign, Carnival Cruise Lines has unveiled a massive billboard in Times Square that promotes the line’s new year-round departures from New York aboard the Carnival Miracle, which kick off in April.

    Located at the corner of Broadway and 49th Street, the colorful billboard features a shot of a Carnival “Fun Ship” with the New York skyline on one side and an image of a tropical destination on the other.

    A smaller billboard with the words “The Caribbean Is Closer Than You Think – Cruising from Midtown” – reflective of the Carnival Miracle’s eight-day Caribbean sailings from the Big Apple – is also featured.

    The billboard is part of a new multi-channel campaign designed to promote the quality and value of “Fun Ship” cruising versus traditional land-based vacations. Created by the line’s advertising agency, Boston-based Arnold Worldwide, the multi-channel campaign began December 26, 2011, and blends national and regional executions across TV, out-of-home (billboards) and on-line media, all in an engaging and often-humorous way.

    Carnival Miracle’s new year-round schedule from New York begins April 12, 2012, and encompasses three different eight-day Caribbean and Bahamas/Florida itineraries that feature some of the region’s most beautiful and popular destinations.

    20120111-063255.jpg

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