Vacation Edibles: The Food Of The Carnival Legend

Ahhhh food.

One of the big concerns cruisers have going into any week-long journey is whether or not the food will live up to expectations. With over two thousand people to feed on a daily basis, you’re going to get more than your fair share of positive and negative reviews.  Well…I’m going to try to do my best to give my opinions without going too far one way or the other.

At the end of the day, Sunshine and I thought the food on the Carnival Legend was “Good” to “Very Good” with some “Meh” thrown in from time to time. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was far from being awful.

In fact, there was only one meal where we walked away thinking, “That really wasn’t very good.” I figure if that’s the only time we did that over the course of a seven-day cruise, then we’re in pretty good shape.

MAIN DINING ROOM:

Without going through every single menu in detail, let me just say that the service 6 days out of 7 was very good and so was the food. There were only a couple of dishes that really “rocked my socks”, but the big thing to keep in mind is that I’m not paying top dollar to sail on a billion-star cruiseline. I’m paying a decent price for decent food, and I firmly believe that I got what I paid for. I don’t really have any complaints about the food in general.

FAVORITES:

Obviously, the chocolate melting cake is tops on my list. Carnival is known for the delicious dessert and there’s very good reason for that. I’ve seen pictures from some reviewers who dumped it onto their plate and then proceed to make fun of it, but that just seems dumb to me. Who cares what it looks like? It’s chocolate…it’s melting…it’s cake…it’s awesome!!

As somebody who lives in an area with (arguably) the best lobster in the world, I have to admit that I was REALLY impressed with the broiled Maine lobster tail and jumbo black tiger shrimp. Of course, I also had that on the evening of my engagement, so I might be a tad bit biased for the entire menu on that particular evening…especially where I had inhaled my meal before thinking about taking a picture.

On the last night of the cruise, I saw frog legs on the menu. When the dish arrived at the table, some of the looks I got from other people that were dining around me made for an uncomfortable moment. Having said that, the legs themselves were quite tasty. They really do taste like tiny chicken drumsticks. Just forget the fact that you’re eating a frog. Y’know…IF you can do that.

I’m lucky that I didn’t know about the vanilla milkshakes on board the Legend until there were three days left on the cruise because my Sail-n-Sign card would have been a LOT more expensive otherwise. Y’see, I’m not a coffee drinker and I was really trying to behave myself from a food point-of-view so snacks were out of the question. That meant that I didn’t go to the Coffee Bar very often…or at all…during the cruise. While waiting around for something (I don’t recall now), I happened to see that the Coffee Bar didn’t only service ice cream along with their other decadent treats, but they also served milkshakes. For $4, I was treated to a spectacular home-made milkshake made with French Vanilla ice cream and whipped cream on top. I immediately fell in love and had one the next two days (including the morning of our departure!).

Some of the other treats found at the Coffee Bar looked REALLY good, too…

SKIP THIS NEXT TIME:

Spicy alligator fritters. Trust me…these are little balls of mush in the guise of alligator meat. I mean, you really would have NO idea that you were even eating alligator if you weren’t called. I was disappointed primarily because I wanted to eat some alligator (I’ve only had it once before) and this, kids, wasn’t much of a sampler.

Shark and langoustino fire cracker roll. Ummm…see above about the alligator. Seriously…these looked exactly like the “alligator” and could have been them for all I knew.

Chicken breast on fettuccine noodles in a mushroom sauce.  Giant “meh” from me on this one. I just felt the dish was flavorless and bland. It looked nice, though…

LIDO DECK:

The buffets offered more than enough choices for me to pick from. On the Legend, there was a pizzeria, an oriental-style buffet, an Italian-style buffet, a salad bar, a sandwich/sub bar, and a burger/hot dog bar in addition to the buffet that changed from day to day. There was also a large dessert bar, but I didn’t visit there too often.

I was a little hesitant to try the pizzeria because I wasn’t sure if I’d like their pizza (I’m a pizza fanatic and it’s my favorite food). The styles of pizza were a bit odd, as well:

But there were a couple of days where I had a slice of pizza and a Caesar salad (made fresh in front of you) and it really wasn’t too bad at all. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but I’ve had a LOT worse pizza in my lifetime.

The burgers were good, too. Again, not great…but good. For a quick lunch to enjoy on the openness of Lido Deck, a nice burger and/or a salad is a great option.

The Italian food was normally decent, but not quite my cup of tea so I only tried it once or twice.

The oriental food wasn’t too shabby, either. In fact, out of all of the buffets on Lido Deck, the oriental food section was my favorite:

So again, at the end of the day, I don’t have any big complaints about the food on the Carnival Legend. To me, I got exactly what I paid for, and that’s not a knock on anything, that’s simply the reality of the situation.

My advice? Don’t go into a Carnival cruise with very high expectations because those aren’t fair to either yourself or to Carnival. I’m not saying to lower expectations, but just keep them reasonable. If you do that, you shouldn’t be disappointed in the overall product.

My other advice? DRINK THE CHAMPAGNE!!!

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11 thoughts on “Vacation Edibles: The Food Of The Carnival Legend

  1. I love food blogs because I LOVE food.

    And for the record, those pizzas aren’t odd at all! Margherita is my favorite!! 🙂

    I’ve never been on a cruise because of the nightmares I’ve heard about food poisoning. Between that and sea-sickness, eesh… no thanks.

    Still, ya gotta eat, right?!

    1. Really? Up this way we don’t have fancy-dancy names for our pizza. It’s a “pepperoni”, a “cheese”, a “meat”, or a “veggie”. There is no “Margherita”.

      😉

      But the topping combination isn’t normally what we have up here, either. Either way…it was decent pizza.

      And I’ve never heard stories of people getting food poisoning while ON a cruise. I’ve heard of people getting sick from food they eat at the ports they visit, but not from the cruise ship itself.

      And sea sickness? It’s not nearly as bad as you’d think. Between medications and patches, it’s fairly rare for folks to get sea sick on a cruise ship that you barely even know is moving.

      Just something to keep in mind.

      🙂

  2. I love me some food porn. 🙂

    I think that pizza list is pretty common for a cruise line. They are very European styles with a lot of lines tend to have on board. Margherita is also one of my very favs!

  3. You didn’t like the alligator fritters??
    Oh man, I loved those.
    And the chocolate melting cake – I even asked for the recipe!

    The food was definitely the best part of my cruise when I went and all of your photos are actually making me miss it!

  4. generally if you remember the ship, you can call the cruise lines customer service and ask for the recipe.. I have done this on a couple of Holland America cruises.. they had no problem having the ships chef send it to me.

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