You know you are on a cruise when the topic at breakfast is what will you have for dinner. We always ate dinner in the Elation Dining room. We chose any time dining instead of the scheduled dining, so dinner is served in that room. The two scheduled dining times were held in the Destiny Dining room.
I really like how Carnival does the anytime dining. Once you are ready to eat, you use the Carnival HUB app and request a table. You can request a table just for your party or select the “share a table with others” option. If you don’t have the app, you can go to the maître de and he/she will seat you when a table is available.
The app will tell you approximately how long a wait for your table will be and then announce when your table is ready. If you change your mind about the time, you can cancel your request.
Once the app has announced that your table is ready, you have 10 minutes to go to the dining room or they will give your table away. Only once did we have a wait for a table that was longer than 15 minutes. We like the flexibility of going to dinner when we want to go.
The menu for the dinners is also on the app, or the waiter will give you a paper copy on request.
I know food is subjective and what I thought tasted good, others might not, but we were pleased with our dinners in the main dining room.
I did hear people complaining. Typically, the complaints I heard centered around the small portion sizes. Also, people were complaining that you had to pay $5 for every entree you ordered over two. Personally, I thought the portion sizes were fine. I did witness some people ordering more than one entree. However, they usually didn’t finish either entree, so food waste was an issue. With food costs continuing to rise, I can see why cruise lines are trying to find solutions to waste.
Because we had anytime dining, we were seated in various sections of the dining room over the course of the cruise. We only had the same servers once or twice. I thought they were all very friendly and did their jobs as fast as possible. I don’t know how they carried so many dishes back and forth to the kitchen without dropping them especially the nights the ship was really rocking.
If you want the same table every night or the same servers and you have anytime dining, you can make the request to the maître de, but he/she may or may not be able to grant the request or you might have to wait for it longer than normal when you are ready to eat.
In addition to all the work the waiters do to serve the guests, periodically the lights dim and the waiters are called upon to perform. I don’t know if the performance happens every night, but we saw it on two different occasions.
The dinner menus repeated themselves on the two cruises, so I was able to choose different meals. The only meal that I repeated was the pork chop dinner. It was so good the first week, I wanted it the next week too.
I only received one meal that I didn’t order, and it was on the last night of the cruise. I could have sent it back, but it had been my second choice on the menu, so I kept it and enjoyed it.
The Paradise doesn’t have a separate Steak House like some of the other ships, but you could order some selected “Steak House” items for an upcharge – lobster tail, lamb chops, or steak. We didn’t order any of these items so I can’t comment on their taste.
Various appetizers we ate:
Various Entrees we ate:
Most nights we skipped the dessert offerings, but we did order the cheese plate a couple of times and I ordered the grilled pineapple twice:
Cruise attire is a hot button issue with some cruisers. Every cruise line we have traveled so far publishes their information on clothing. Some ships adhere to their information. Others do not.
The suggested attire for the evenings is found on the Carnival website and the daily program (either paper or on the app) will let you know what type of night it is – casual or dressy. I can tell you that I saw all types of attire, except swimwear and obvious sleepwear, in the dining room every night.
For casual nights, we both wore shorts and a shirt. For dressy night, I wore a sundress and Chuck wore khaki slacks and a sports shirt. The most interesting attire I saw was a large group who came in one night dressed in hippie clothing – bell bottoms, stacked shoes, long flowing shirts, fringed vests, mini dresses, maxi dresses, and lots of beads. All the men in the group had long, flowing obvious wigs. They were having a good time.
The only other change I noticed in the dining room was that there were no tablecloths on dressy night. They used to have tablecloths every night. Then they changed it to only on dressy nights. Not sure if they have been eliminated completely or just on the short cruises like these were. Know it must save on laundry time and costs not to have the tablecloths.