Carnival Breeze presents guests with a wide variety of dining options. I asked Hotel Director Pierre B. Camilleri to comment on Breeze's various dining venues.
The Main Dining Rooms
“We have two main dining rooms. Sapphire is the forward dining room. Blush is the aft dining room.”
With the exception of disembarkation morning when it is open for breakfast, the Blush restaurant is only open for dinner. The Sapphire has a comedy brunch on most sea days. It is open for breakfast on port days and for breakfast and lunch on those days when there is no comedy brunch. All of these are done on an open seating basis.
Both restaurants are open for dinner. “Service is the same, menu is the same, Within one hour and 40 minutes, you have had your beautiful three or four course meal and you are ready to enjoy the rest of the night.”
Each night, the dinner menu has two pages. One page remains the same each night and presents an array of popular favorites. The other page changes each night. You can order from one side or mix and match, taking an appetizer from say the favorites page and a main course from the nightly page. Can't make up your mind between two items, the waiter will gladly bring both.
“Blush is, upstairs and downstairs, traditional seating, which is 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.” Each guest is assigned to a specific table at one of the two seatings.
“The forward restaurant, downstairs, which is the biggest area, is Your Time Dining, open from 5:45 to 9:30 in the evening. Upstairs is traditional dining six o'clock and 8:15.”
This arrangement is a change from previous Carnival ships where the balcony level of the forward restaurant was Your Time Dining and the main floor was traditional seating. “The [capacity of the] balcony is half of downstairs. When we saw the experience of the Dream and the Magic where the demand [for Your Time Dining] was every year getting higher, here from the word go we switched it.”
With Your Time Dining, guests have no specific table assignment and can come to dine whenever the restaurant is open. “If a table is available when you arrive at the door, we will seat you straight away. If a table is not available, we will give you a beeper. Usually you wait 10, 15, 20 minutes maximum. We ask you to go have a drink. We beep you wherever you are, you come, we seat you.”
“Is it popular? Are the guests requesting it before they come aboard? Yes, very much, especially our Spanish-speaking guests. They like the idea that they can dine any time they like.”
It should be noted that dining in the main restaurants is not all about the food. Maitre 'ds sing, waiters dance. Thus, it is an experience as well.
Carnival Breeze's top-of-the-line specialty restaurant is the sophisticated Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse. It specializes in premium steaks but also offers lamb, chicken, lobster and other seafood. Appetizers include such favorites as escargot, Black Tiger shrimp cocktail, New England crab cakes, and baked onion soup.
“We have steakhouses on most of the ships in our fleet. Our steakhouse is branded and in future, most of our steakhouses will be called Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouses. So every time a ship goes to drydock and gets upgraded, if they have a steakhouse that steakhouse will be re-branded to Fahrenheit 555.“
“What is different from the other ships is the décor, the uniforms, and the name. The menu is practically the same with minor changes.”
There is a cover charge for this venue.
Around the corner from the steakhouse on Promenade Deck is Bonsai Sushi. With its Asian-inspired décor, this venue includes a sushi bar as well as tables and chairs. It is open to the indoor promenade which connects the public rooms on Deck 5.
“Bonsai Sushi is the first in the fleet. It is top quality sushi and we have a team of chefs who were trained to prepare the sushi for us. That is what they do their entire contract. I have a team of five servers up there, one of whom is the person in charge, and I have a team of five cooks. The location is amazing because it is in the heart of the [high] traffic area.”
“During sea days, we open during the day and the evening. During port days, we are open only in the evenings. There are no reservations; first come first served. We open around five o'clock in the evening and we close at midnight. If a guest would like to have the sushi take away, they can order, pick it up 15 minutes later and eat it wherever they like including in their cabins. We have all the boxes and all the amenities to provide such a service. So far, both in Europe and the first few cruises out of Miami, big success, big success.”
“Bonsai Sushi is a revenue outlet for us where we charge for our sushi. Its affordable. It is definitely a value for money.”
“So what happened to the free sushi that we used to have before? We still serve that sushi. Instead of [serving it at a counter] along the Promenade Deck , we serve it on Lido Deck during the dinner at the buffet. So six p.m. To 9:30 p.m. the sushi that we used to prepare before is now available in the buffet. We shifted the free sushi from one place to the other. [Now, in addition, there is] an opportunity for top class, hand-made sushi for our guests at the minimum charge. For $15, you can have a sushi meal and you will be full for a day.”
“Then we have Cucina del Capitano. Very popular Italian family-style dining. $12 per person, which is nothing for what you get. It is our third specialty restaurant after the Bonsai Sushi and the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse.”
“Every guest that goes there tells us: value for money, good Italian food, and a great experience because of this family style sharing. What is family-style sharing? You order your main course but the vegetables and potatoes are placed on the middle of the table and you help yourself. Even when it comes to starters. Three or four people order the starters and we place them in the middle and everybody helps themselves.”
“What is also nice is the ambiance. There is this Italian, wooden, red and white checked ambiance which gives you the feeling you are in a very comfortable restaurant. It is different from the commercial restaurant that we have downstairs. Plus there is not a thousand people with you in this restaurant. There are 80 people at any time with you.”
Located on Deck 12 above the buffet restaurant, the Cucina becomes a pasta bar during lunch. It offers a variety of pastas, different sauces, salads, and specialties such as lasagna. “That is also very popular.”
“During the day, it is zero cost, you do not pay extra for it. In the evening, it is a specialty restaurant $12. What we have seen is that for the guests who cannot afford $35 [per person] to go to the steakhouse, this [is] a good option for them to celebrate the celebration - - the birthday, the anniversary, the honeymoon, the graduation.”
Click here for our interview with the captain of Carnival Breeze
Click here for our interview with the cruise director of Carnival Breeze
Cruise ship dining guide - - Carnival Breeze - - Carnival Cruise Lines