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27 Carnival Magic Cruise Tips



Perhaps the Carnival Magic is so wildly popular because it’s been around long enough to accrue a loyal following. Or maybe there’s just something special about the ship which keeps people coming back for more. Whatever the reason, the Magic is often cited by Carnival Cruise Line devotees as not only a favorite, but a ship that many have sailed time and again since first it was launched in 2011.

Certainly, there’s a lot to love. The Dream Class ships are, to many, an ideal size. Others love The Lanai, a half-mile promenade which wraps around an entire deck, something that’s increasingly rare these days. Whatever the reason, the Magic is as beloved as it is popular. Whether you’ve sailed her repeatedly or are considering booking the Magic for the first time, we thought we’d offer up some tips, thoughts and even a few secrets that will help make your trip on this amazing ship all the more special.

Carnival Magic

Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines

1. Book a Cove Balcony

If you like being close to the water, this type of stateroom — which was introduced on Dream Class ships — is ideal. Plus, you get all the benefits of a balcony at a lower cost. Their unique construction offers a lot of protection from the weather while also offering up a unique view, as the passing scenery seems almost framed by the surrounding bulkhead.

2. Get Your Morning Coffee Fix Even Before Breakfast 

Even if you want to have breakfast in the main dining room or lido deck area, consider ordering coffee from room service. After all… who really wants to face the day, let alone your fellow passengers, without caffeine? Best of all, breakfast room service is complimentary.

3. Get a Head Start on Formal Night

Consider leaving your cabin a few minutes earlier than normal on the formal night. Why? People are all dressed up with somewhere to go… and a whole lot of them want to get their pictures taken. Because there are various spots set up around the ship at which photographers are stationed, things can get a little congested as you make your way toward the Southern (aft) or Northern Lights (mid) dining rooms. (Plus, you might wanna get your picture snapped before dinner, too!)

4. Try Something Different For Lunch

It’s easy to hit the buffet come lunchtime, but there are a whole lot of options available… including Cucina Del Capitano. Yes, the restaurant is a for-fee spot at dinner time, but at lunchtime, they offer a variety of pasta dishes (and a decent Caesar salad), and it’s all complimentary.

5. Escape the Kids 

Located on the very top deck and at the very front of the ship is Serenity… aka a little slice of heaven. (And as it turns out, heaven comes with two hot tubs.) This adult’s only retreat is the perfect escape… and the further forward you go, the quieter the space you’ll be able to find. Get there early — especially on sea days — if you want a good seat. This is also a great place to relax in the evenings and catch the sunset.

6. Snack in the RedFrog

Food from the Red Frog Pub.

Everybody knows this favorite hangout offers a big selection of Caribbean rums and amazing beers, many don’t realize that it’s also a great place to grab some munchies like wings, sliders, conch salad, and grouper fingers. Yes, each snack will cost you $3.33 but they’re well worth it and the perfect thing to hold you over until dinner time (or to soak up some of those drinks)!

7. Eat Free BBQ

If you’re a BBQ fan, Deck 5 starboard (that’s the right side of the ship, for those who are nautically challenged) is the place you wanna head. That’s where you’ll find Guy’s Pig & Anchor BBQ… as well as a whole lot of people. This spot can get crowded, so it’s best to try and hit it as soon as it opens. (Check the Fun Times in order to figure out when that is.) My personal favorite? The smoked beef brisket, the chicken and the mouth-watering macaroni and cheese.

8. Check Lido Marketplace hours daily

Trust me when I say there’s nothing worse than coming back from an excursion, dawdling in your room for a while… and then finding out the Lido Deck Marketplace — where you’d planned to grab a bite — is closed. Make sure you know when they’re open and when they’re not… although truth be told, as on any cruise ship, you’re never going to go hungry. There’s always going to be something available… including room service.

9. Take Time to Walk The Decks

Carnival Magic

On many modern ships, it’s tough (if not impossible) to actually walk the entire circumference of a deck without encountering a road block of some sort. But on the Magic, deck five allows you to stroll to your heart’s content, completely unencumbered.

10. Be Careful Where You Book

This holds true for any ship but it’s worth remembering: Always check the deck plans carefully (and talk to your travel agent) before booking. Nobody wants to be directly above or below a nightclub but let’s face it… someone’s going to wind up there. Smart cruisers know that not every stateroom — even within the same classification — is the same. By taking the time to do a little research, you can make sure you’re exactly where you want to be.

11. Bypass The Casino To Avoid The Smoke

The casino can be pretty smoky, but it also happens to be smack-dab in the middle of deck five. But you can bypass it by taking deck four below or walking the hallways on deck six above it. There is a staircase just aft of the casino that will put you in the middle of the promenade so you can avoid it all together. You will just have to walk a flight of stairs to get there.

See Carnival Magic Deck Plans

12. Get Your Food On ASAP

Carnival Magic

Pig and Anchor BBQ.

If you’re like me, there’s probably some food item on board that you’ve been looking forward to pretty much since the day you booked the cruise. In my case, it’s something from Guy’s Burger Joint. If so, head there as soon as you get on board. While everyone else is still trying to figure out where things are (or stopping in the atrium for a vacation-starting drink), you’ll be able to enjoy your must-have treat without waiting in line. Plus, what better way to kick things off than with something you’ve been looking forward to for so long?

13. Take Advantage Of The Spa Showers

One of the benefits of visiting the spa is the shower. The stalls are bigger than your stateroom’s shower, and the towels are nicer, too. Fun fact: While most people work out before hitting the showers, nobody says you have to. Live it up!

14. Know Which Hot Tubs To Hit

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Carnival Magic has a whole lot of hot tubs… the secret is avoiding ones that are going to be overcrowded or have kids in them. Obviously, the hot tubs in the Serenity area are great for avoiding kids, given that that’s the adult’s only area. But there are also four hot tubs on deck five — two on either side of the ship — which are rarely crowded. In fact, it’s usually pretty easy to find one there that’s completely empty!

15. Bring a Sweater To The Shows

For some reason, the air can be pretty chilly in places like the theater and the comedy club. Better to have a sweater that you don’t need than to get there and find yourself shivering through the whole show!

16. Hit Ocean Plaza for Breakfast 

Carnival Magic

If you don’t want to fight the crowds in the Lido Marketplace at breakfast time — but also don’t feel like doing a whole sit-down meal thing — swing by Ocean Plaza. Right next to the coffee bar, you’ll find a great continental breakfast spread. It’s perfect for folks who want a little nosh to tide them over until their next meal.

17. Buy the Spa Pass, Pronto

If you’re thinking about getting a spa pass, purchase it before you set sail. They only sell a certain number, and they can sell out quickly, as the thermal spa is pretty popular. This is a situation where you need to commit early or risk missing out.

18. Make Sure To See The Shows

Carnival Magic

Carnival is once again moving towards using live musicians in their Playlist Production shows, and it makes a big difference. The shows offered on my recent seven-night sailing were Flick, Country Road, America Rocks, 88 Keys, and Lip Sync Battle.

19. Get to the Shows Early 

Both the production and comedy shows fill up fast, so it’s best to get there as soon as the doors open. There is usually a pre-show presentation in the main theater that starts 30 minutes before the show, and the comedy lounge opens its doors about 30 minutes in advance.

20. Download the Hub App

The Hub App will become your best friend over the course of the cruise, so download it before you even arrive at the port. The app will give you access to your photos, let you monitor your onboard spending, allow you to set up alerts so you don’t miss activities you want to take part in, look at menus and more. Once you’re on the ship, the app is free to use. (Just make sure your phone is set to airplane mode so that it doesn’t try to connect to the ship’s cellular network!)

Read More: 11 Reasons to Download the Hub App

21. Strike A Pose… Or Lots of Them

Every time you see a photographer, jump in front of that camera and let them snap your picture! There’s no charge, and who knows? They might wind up snapping a picture that you love so much you just have to purchase it! Plus, now that the Magic has switched to a digital system, you don’t have to worry that they’re wasting a lot of paper printing out photos you’re not going to purchase. And it’s crazy convenient to look at your portfolio either in the Pixels gallery or via the Hub app or even on the interactive television in your stateroom!

22. Enjoy The Silence 

If you’re looking for a place to chillax away from the hustle and bustle, then head to the front of the ship on decks five, six or seven. There are three levels that are easily accessible from the promenade on deck five from the port or starboard side. If you’re on deck six or seven, walk all the way forward and the doors will lead you outside. You may think it’s a crew door but it’s actually accessible to guests and will lead you to a spot most folks never even know exists.

23. Buy The Internet Package In Advance

If you plan on staying connected while you cruise — and let’s face it, these days, who doesn’t? — make sure to purchase the internet plan before you get on the ship. Heading to the My Cruise Manager section of the Carnival website and buying the plan in advance will save you a few bucks. For example, the Social Plan is $5 per device per day onboard, but it’ll only cost you $4 per device per day if you purchase the package ahead of time.

24. Buy CHEERS! package ahead of time

Carnival Magic

The Alchemy Bar has the cure for what ails you.

Like with the Internet package, buying the  CHEERS! beverage package in advance offers a pretty significant savings. Pick it up before you sail for $51.95 per person per day. Wait until you’re on board to buy the exact same package, and it’s going to run you $56.95 per person per day.

Read More: Pros and Cons of Carnival’s CHEERS! Package

25. Keep Your Brain Sharp

Sure, you’re here to relax and veg out. But if you want to give your brain a daily challenge, head to the coffee shop to pick up the daily puzzles.

26. Enjoy A Free Glass Of Wine With Your Steak

Carnival Magic

Many people don’t realize this, but on every Carnival ship, if you make a reservation in the steakhouse for the first night of the cruise, you will get a complimentary bottle of wine with your meal. They pick the red or white wine you’re offered, or you can get a percentage off a bottle of your choice.

27. Be Quick to Snap Up Faster To The Fun

On a ship like Carnival Magic that holds around 4,000 guests, Faster to the Fun sells out quickly, usually months ahead of the sailing. If you don’t have priority status with the cruise line, consider using this to get on the ship quicker. For a seven-night cruise, it costs $69.95 per cabin, not per person. Some of the perks include priority boarding, express luggage service and a dedicated guest services line.

Read More: 9 Reasons to Buy Faster to the Fun

All prices and information quoted were accurate as of March 2018, but are subject to change without notice. 
What tips do you have for Carnival Magic? 


12 Differences Between Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista



Just because two ships are in the same class doesn’t mean that they are exactly alike. After all, even twin sisters have differences — some subtle, some blatant. In the case of ships, changes can be made for numerous reasons. Perhaps a new feature is being added, or the initial design didn’t work out quite the way everyone imagined it was. Each new ship in a specific class is like a chance to enhance on what came previously.  So it’s not surprising that when Carnival Horizon was being built, the company incorporated lessons learned from the first-in-her-class Carnival Vista while also adding completely new elements to the already successful formula.

So what differences have we noticed so far between the two ships? Take a look at our list below, and then hit the comments if you’ve spotted other differences between the sibling ships.

1. New Lighting in the Atrium

Carnival Horizon

Chances are good that upon entering the atrium, your eyes immediately will be drawn to the Dreamscape funnels and their beautiful, constantly-changing imagery. But take the time to really look around the atrium. You’ll notice that between each of the three levels, there’s a circle of track lighting which not only helps create the illusion of a bigger space, but adds an additional design element which is somehow subtle and striking at the exact same time.

2. Tap Entry to Staterooms 

Carnival Horizon

Your sign-and-sail cards now have RFID technology which allows you to enter the room without sticking your card into the slot. If you look closely, you’ll see a small wire running along the outer edge of the card that lets it communicate with your stateroom door when you get close. This is the same concept utilized by Royal Caribbean for their WOW bands and Disney — both in the parks and on their ships — with the Magic Bands.

3.  Bonsai Teppanyaki

Carnival Horizon

One of the biggest and most noticeable changes is obviously the Bonsai Teppanyaki restaurant. Based on our experience and the difficulty people have had in booking the space (which has limited seatings available), we won’t be a bit surprised if this restaurant is not only included on future builds, but perhaps even added to other ships in the fleet when they go through refurbishments.

READ MORE: Bonsai Teppanyaki Review 

4. The Speeds Bumps are Gone 

Carnival Horizon

On the Carnival Vista there were several areas on decks three, four and five which had slightly-raised edges around the fire doors. Anyone dragging their feet (or using a cane or other mobility device) would definitely notice (and possibly trip over) them. On Horizon, however, they seem to have addressed the potential problem.

5. There are More Havana Suites 

Carnival Horizon

As soon as renderings of the Carnival Vista began circulating, people went nuts for the new Havana Suites and their lanai-like balconies. Not surprisingly, once the ship was actually introduced, the entire Havana area — including the aft area which is reserved for Havana guests during daytime hours — proved crazy popular. So it’s not surprising that when it came time to parse out staterooms on Horizon, they added a few extra cabins in this category.

Read More: Carnival Horizon Trip Report: Embarkation Day

6. The Pig & Anchor Smokehouse

Carnival Horizon

Yes, the RedFrog Pub is gone… but before you get your knickers in a knot, know that the Pig & Anchor Smokehouse/Brewhouse is most definitely a worthy replacement. The food is amazing, there’s plenty of cold beer on tap and entertainers keep your toe tapping. This is a very welcome addition to the Carnival fleet… so much so that I actually heard people say the Pig & Anchor alone could sway them to choose Horizon over Vista.

READ MORE: 35 Tips For Sailing The Carnival Vista

7. Entertainment In The Steakhouse

Carnival Horizon

Sometimes, the smallest ideas can have the most surprising results. Who would have thought that simply flipping the locations of Piano Bar 88 and The Library Bar would make such a difference? But because the piano bar is now directly next to the steakhouse, diners can enjoy the smooth sounds of someone tickling the ivories while they enjoy their meal. And as far as I’m concerned, the more live entertainment, the better.

8. The New Doors 

Carnival Horizon

You know how sometimes when you would go outside on deck 5, there’d be a gust of wind and the door might actually be hard to open? Sometimes, depending on the weather, you could hear doors slamming all day and into the night. Well, thanks to the airlock-style doors installed, it’s now a much smoother inside-to-outdoor transition. It may seem like a minor change, but it makes life easier, and isn’t that what we all want out of a vacation?

9. Taste Bar is Gone 

Carnival Horizon

Change is good… usually. But the jury’s still out on this one. Word is that Taste Bar will eventually be eliminated fleet wide. On Horizon, it’s already a gone pecan. You can still grab some limited food here at breakfast time, and on sea days they set up a salad bar, both of which help disperse the crowds at the Lido Deck Marketplace. Personally, I’ll miss the Taste Bar, which often offered samplings of foods from some of the specialty restaurants on board.

1o. A Larger Guest Relations Area 

Carnival Horizon

Frankly, we hope that you never have to visit the Guest Relations deck… at least not because you’re having trouble on your cruise. But if you do, the expansion of this space on deck 3 is a good thing, as it’s created more work stations at which the crew can try and make right whatever has gone wrong. Not only is the space larger, but it has a much more open feel did the same area on Carnival Vista.

11. Additional Seating Outside 

Carnival Horizon

A big reason many of us cruise is to connect with the ocean. There’s something about sitting outside — whether reading, eating or napping — and feeling the sun on your face as you gaze off into the distance that’s about as peaceful as life gets. So it’s only fitting that on a ship named Horizon, they’ve created a lot more spaces from which to… well, gaze at her namesake.xThis is especially true on the starboard side of deck 5, which on Carnival Vista was home to Guy’s Pig & Anchor. Here, the space has been freed up for more seating. In fact, that’s something we noticed at every turn on this ship: There are all sorts of areas, both indoors and out, to sit, whether by yourself or with a group. There are cozy nooks and loungers and quiet corners everywhere.

12. Smart Elevators

Carnival Horizon

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Carnival Horizon rolled out smart elevators that are often used in busy land-based buildings. These elevators eliminate the stop-and-go at every floor. Instead, you walk up to the elevator and push which floor you’d like to go. From there, the elevator’s brain picks which lift is quicker for you and assigns your an elevator. The new elevators also expedite disembarkation by moving 1,000 guests per hour. The new elevator system is scheduled to be implemented on Carnival Panorama and eventually retrofitted to Vista.

Have you noticed any other differences between the Carnival Horizon and the previous ship in her class? With the Carnival Panorama currently being built, are there any changes you’d like to see implemented on her? 



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Everything Carnival Horizon, Part 5: The Bars



A word of advice: When traveling on the Carnival Horizon, don’t make plans with your friends by saying, “I’ll meet you at the bar.” Why? You might never find one another! Heck, even saying, “I’ll meet you at the bar by the pool” could lead to confusion, because there’s more than one… actually, there’s more than one pool and more than one bar! But never fear, because in Part 5 of our series exploring everything about this massive ship, we’re finally getting around to doing a bar crawl.

The Perfect Place To Start

Carnival Horizon

The Atrium Bar.

For a lot of cruisers — us included — the first thing they do upon boarding a ship is grab a drink with which to toast the beginning of their vacation. On the Carnival Horizon, a lot of people wind up doing so at the Atrium bar… which makes sense on a lot of levels. After all, those gorgeous Dreamscape funnels are the first thing you see, and they draw us in like moths to a flame! And while we’re big fans of everything about the atrium, we suggest coming back later. Why fight the crowds when there’s a whole big ship — jam-packed with bars — waiting to be explored?

Carnival Horizon

Pig and Anchor aboard Carnival Horizon.

Our suggestion?

Head to the Pig & Anchor! After all, it’s not just a smokehouse, but a brewhouse, too… and in fact, takes the place of the beloved RedFrog Pub on this ship. For many cruisers, ourselves included, heading to the Pub to kick off the vacation is a long-standing tradition. Well, trust us… the Pig & Anchor is a fine, fine substitute. (This is also a great place to hit after dark, especially if you prefer your music on the more countrified side.) Lest you think a brewhouse has nothing but beer on tap, belly up to the bar and take a look at the specialty cocktails such as the Blackberry Bourbon Fizz or the Smoky Manhattan (and yes, it automatically became our favorite because it’s topped with a crispy slice of bacon and everybody knows bacon makes everything better).

Lounging By The Pool

Carnival Horizon

Lido deck on Carnival Horizon.

Pick your poison: Tequila or rum? Whichever you prefer, you’ll find a potent potion available at the BlueIguana Tequila Bar or the RedFrog Rum bar, both conveniently located within shouting distance of the main pool. And if you’ve opted for the quieter Tides pool — located at the back of deck 10 and offering killer views of the wake — there’s always the appropriately named Tides Bar. And if you want to get away not only from the typical poolside madness but kids altogether (hey, no judgment here!), there’s a nice little bar up on the Serenity Deck where you can grab a cocktail and then meander over to one of the very, very comfortable loungers, clamshells, or hammocks. (Although careful, because after a couple drinks, those hammocks can be downright dangerous… especially when trying to get out of one!)

A Drink Before Dining

Carnival Horizon

Alchemy Bar on Carnival Horizon.

The pre-dinner (or pre-show) cocktail is, for us, one of the joys of cruising. And if you want to elevate it to the next level, the best place to do so is the Alchemy Bar. A word of warning, however: Don’t go here looking for a beer or a soda, as you will be politely but firmly sent elsewhere.

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Carnival Horizon

The Alchemy Bar has the cure for what ails you.

This spot is all about the hand-crafted cocktails lovingly prepared by lab coat-wearing mixologists. Another word of warning: Many of the drinks on this limited menu are as potent as they are delicious. Looking to ease your way in? Give the refreshing (and popular) Cucumber Sunrise a try. And if you can’t find something on the menu that sounds appealing, tell the mixologist what ails you (and what you think might cure it), and they’ll whip up something specifically for you.

READ MORE: 5 Reasons To Visit Carnival’s Alchemy Bar

Carnival Horizon

Casino Bar on deck 4.

Alchemy is also a great bar to hit up after dinner and before a show. But you could also swing by the casino bar (home to a second Dreamscape funnel, which comes as a surprise to many people) to get your literal pre-game on. Need to check on the latest sports score? The Skybox Sports Bar, located just off the casino, is a safe bet. (Sports… bet… see what we did there?)

Carnival Horizon

Sports Bar on Carnival Horizon.

After dark, all of the ship’s bars come to life, many featuring live entertainment. If you feel like grooving to a Latin rhythm (or simply watching others do it while you sip a Cuba-inspired drink), hit the Havana Bar. Had a few cocktails and feel like singing (but not quite brave enough to attempt karaoke)? Hit the piano bar, where the only person required to have talent is the piano player, while everyone else can sing along with no fear of judgment from their fellow crooners.

Now that you’ve figured out all the best spots to get your drink on, let’s take this in an entirely different direction. Here’s hoping you don’t have too much of a hangover, because we’re going to be dealing with kids — and all the ways to keep them occupied — in our next entry.

Read our past entries:

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Carnival Horizon Bonsai Teppanyaki Review



When Carnival rolled out the Horizon, it didn’t just introduce a new ship to its fleet… it also introduced a new dining option into its rotation. Already having had great success with their Bonsai Sushi restaurant, they expanded the brand by introducing Bonsai Teppanyaki. So how does the restaurant stack up to some of the other specialty restaurants on board? We swung by to check the place out, and here’s what we found.

A First For Carnival Cruise Line

Given that cruise ships have a limited amount of space available, the decision to devote prime real estate to something new —as opposed to simply sticking a tried-and-true venue into the spot — is not undertaken lightly. That is especially true when the restaurant in question is a revenue-generating specialty venue, requiring that guests be willing to pay for the experience. So clearly, Carnival had both a lot on the line and complete faith in the idea of a Teppanyaki-style restaurant.

Teppanyaki restaurants are nothing new. On land, Benihana has been using the concept of knife-wielding chefs putting on a show while making a delicious meal since 1964. Variations on the theme have also been introduced on cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, over the past few years. So while Carnival’s not necessarily breaking new ground, it’s managed to turn Bonsai Teppanyaki into a pretty sure-fire hit by using the laws of supply and demand: The restaurant only holds 16 people per seating, meaning that on any given sailing, a relatively small number of passengers will have the opportunity to try the hot spot.

It’s that intimacy which also makes Bonsai Teppanyaki a special experience, and one particularly suited to families and groups of friends. Which, again, means this is one of the first reservations you should make when planning your cruise. You snooze? You will definitely lose… your opportunity to eat here.

About The Dining Experience

Carnival Horizon

From the moment you enter, you’ll be caught up in the aura of Bonsai Teppanyaki. The decor plays on that of Bonsai Sushi, yet steps everything up a notch. This is an absolutely gorgeous space, dominated by warm orange and red colors. Upon arriving, you’re greeted by the chef who’ll be both cooking for and entertaining your table, as well as the server who will provide everything not dished out by the chef.

After the introductions are made, our chef — Edgar, from the Philippines — did a quick check to see if anyone had allergies, and then they took our entree order. This is a seven-course meal, so there’s pretty much always food in front of you. And although it is all prepared at the same time, this is not served family style. (Although if someone in your party isn’t into rice or vegetables, it means you can score some extra… but be quick to stake your claim.)

Remember, this isn’t just dinner… you’re getting a show, too. From the moment we sat down, Edgar had our entire group laughing (and occasionally gasping at some of his knife play).

What’s on the Menu?

Carnival Horizon

As mentioned above, the meal is served in seven courses, but don’t think this means you’re going to spend a lot of time hemming and hawing over what to get… six of those courses are basically pre-determined, with the entree being your only big decision. So what’s on tap?

You can view the full menu here.

Course 1: Teppanyaki White Shrimp

Carnival Horizon

Course 2:  Pork Belly Yakitori

Carnival Horizon

Course 3: Spicy Tuna on the Rocks

Carnival Horizon

Course 4: Miso Soup

Carnival Horizon

Course 5: Salad with Ginger Dressing

Carnival Horizon

Course 6: Here’s where you make your big decision between the various options available for your main course.  I went with the Steak and Shrimp, which is served with fried rice and grilled vegetables. There are also three sauces for dipping: a mayo-based shrimp sauce, ginger sauce, and a Worcestershire-based sauce.

Carnival Horizon

Course 7: Dessert, a chocolate bento box with ginger ice cream.

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Carnival Horizon

Is it Worth the Cost?

With a cost of $25 to $30 per person — depending on the selected entree — this is a pretty great bargain, especially since you’re getting dinner and a show. With the 15 percent added gratuity, my bill came out to be $34.50. As always, you’re free to bump-up the gratuity if you’d like to show the service team a little extra love.

The focus here is amazing food that is perfectly seasoned and entertainment that will have you laughing long after the meal is over.

Final Thoughts 

Carnival Horizon

After we’d finished eating, I asked everyone around the table what they thought of the meal and the experience. The consensus was that a good time was had by all. (One thing several people mentioned was that their water glasses were constantly kept full… something that’s been a little lacking in some venues around the ship on our sailing.)

It is worth noting, however, that since there’s a price tag attached to the meal — and the menu is somewhat limited in options — you should make sure everyone in your party knows what they’re walking into. This might not be a great spot for picky eaters.

Carnival Horizon

It’s worth stressing again that Bonsai Teppanyaki should really be booked in advance, because with only three seatings per night and 16 guests per seating, this place fills up quickly.

Forget to book in advance? Check the Hub app to see if any slots open up. It’s rare, but hey… it happens. This is especially true on days where the ship has a long day in port. People sometimes come back later than they thought they would (or fuller, having sampled the local foods) and wind up cancelling their dinner reservations.

Would I do this restaurant again? In a heartbeat.


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