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Culinary Changes on the Horizon

Slurping down a pair of oysters, ordering a side of sauteed mushrooms, and cutting through the blow-torched golden brown top crust of an elegant crème brûlée; my own foodie evolution from last month, from a glorious week spent cruising the Med on the glistening Carnival Horizon, was not insignificant.

However fab it was, my personal culinary growth — served up at the warm and welcoming dining room tables of JiJi’s Asian Kitchen, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and the Meridian Restaurant — wasn’t the only change as clear as the gorgeous spring days we enjoyed along with 4000 additional guests and 1400 international crew from 66 countries, as the Carnival Horizon, the new flagship of the fleet, be-bopped from Barcelona to Italy and back again.

There’s much differentiating the foodie experience guests will have on Carnival’s second Vista class ship from its brilliant predecessor which gave the fleet its name.

Here’s part one of an examination of this exciting evolution at sea, focusing solely on the culinary changes involving food, food venues, and the soundtrack to enjoying some of that food while cruising on the Carnival Horizon in Europe now and come late May, to Bermuda and the Caribbean from U.S. ports.

Culinary Changes on the Horizon

One of the small but meaningful changes being floated on Horizon is Jeffrey Munks, in the piano bar, with his top hat and penchant for nimbly transforming Foo Fighters songs into elegant dinner fare without ever giving his audience the feeling of being trapped in an elevator (even a whipsmart destination-based one — ooooh that’s a sneak peak at part 2 of this post coming soon!)

On the Carnival Horizon, the piano bar opens up into the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse until 10pm with live music from the extremely talented South African pianist flowing like a house red into the most elegant of Horizon’s 12+ dining destinations. After that, the partition is sealed up and the piano bar comes alive in a traditional, rousing sense.

Carnival-Horizon_Jeffrey-Munks-Piano-Bar

Carnival Horizon pianist Jeffrey Munks takes a break, pinky out, for a sip of tea.

Munks’ interpretations of popular rock and pop songs you probably know the melodies of and probably wouldn’t think would work at all as instrumental piano solos give Fahrenheit 555 a new kind of energy, steering the filet and Bearnaise and the surf and the turf and the shrimp and the cocktails away from stoicism and towards something newer, more spirited, more youthful and alive but not at the expense of the venue’s classiness — a clever trick performed beautiful by Jeffrey Munks on keys on the Carnival Horizon.

Carnival-Horizon_Bonsai-Teppanyaki

Speaking of clever tricks, there are open flames (!!!) inside a brand new dining spot on board Horizon!

Bonsai Teppanyaki, the nightime-only offshoot of the wildly popular and delicious Bonsai Sushi (speaking of changes and memorable firsts: the Vista’s Bonsai Sushi was the locale of my daughters’ first ever sushi experience two years ago!)

This is the first ever Teppanyaki dining venue for Carnival, offering a $25-30 dinners with, gasp, open flame! The response has been overwhelming, meaning, you better make your Teppanyaki dinner reservation early if you want any chance of enjoying this tasty culinary show on the Horizon.

The patented erupting onion volcano hibachi trick is included 100% free of charge.

Carnival-Horizon_Bonsai-Teppanyaki

Hope you saved space for one more entree-sized foodie evolution from Horizon to Vista (I’d say it’s just a wafer thin mint of a change, but I’d be lying and you’ll likely explode):

Carnival Horizon Pig and Anchor at night 2

Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse has added Colin Presby’s famous craft beers to become, at night, a full-service, finger-licking, authentic a la carte BBQ joint with live music, cloaked in weathered red brick and dark woods, and bathed in evocative light that serves to make the copper barrels of the brewmaster’s transparent process just about the most sensual beer-drinking-barbecue-eating experience available at sea or on land.

Carnival Horizon Pig and Anchor at night 2

Oh yeah, the brisket, mac-n-cheese, collards and the rest of Pig & Anchor’s southern, barbecue-lathered comfort food is still insanely delicious.

Carnival Horizon Pig and Anchor at night 2

Fear not BBQ lovers, lunch at the Pig & Anchor on Horizon is still free, still a buffet, and still finger-licking fan-freaking-tastic.

Finally, a few more foodie quick bites of news from the Carnival Horizon:

  • Breakfast in the main dining room has a refreshed menu featuring, among other things, homemade granola and avocado toast. Sadly, the chance to sneak in an extra piece of steak with a pair of over-easy eggs to start your days at sea has gone to make way for healthier, more inspired AM eats.
  • Baked Alaska is back! Enjoy this classic, outlandish ice creamy-cakey dessert during your Carnival Horizon cruise after dinner in the Meridian and Reflections dining rooms.
  • There’s cotton candy on the Carnival Horizon! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!! THERE’S COTTON FREAKING CANDY IN THE LIDO MARKETPLACE SWEET SPOT!! You know what to do.

Alright, did that wet your appetite to cruise Carnival? Hope so, ’cause I’m both starving and want so badly to climb back on board, like, yesterday.

Meridian Restaurant Carnival Horizon

The Meridian Restaurant

Come back for part two next week when I’ll run down the other meaningful bar-raising changes found on the Carnival Horizon.

*Carnival graciously had my family on board the Horizon press cruise in Europe in April 2018. All opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, and mouth-watering, as always.

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2 Comments

  1. Everything sounds delicious, and looks beautiful!

  2. Pingback: The Easiest Hard Sell, The Shiniest Diamond in the Bay

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