Five of the best cruise line BBQ restaurants will be discussed in this article.
You see, barbecued meats slathered with BBQ sauce and hearty southern-inspired sides are an incredibly popular cuisine, especially among Americans. It only makes sense, then, that United States-based cruise lines would catch on and begin adding barbecue restaurants to their ships.
Interested to know more about the best cruise ship barbecue restaurants? If so, then let’s explore them across four different cruise brands!
In this article:
1. Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que (Carnival Cruise Line)
Ships: Carnival Breeze, Dream, Horizon, Magic, Panorama, Radiance, Sunrise, Celebration, Jubilee, and Mardi Gras
Because of Guy’s Burger Joint’s success and popularity, Carnival Cruise Line added another venue bearing Fieri’s name to its ships: Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que.
This complimentary open-air, counter-service barbecue venue is only open for lunch on sea days, so be sure to take advantage of dining here when you can.
Guy’s Pig & Anchor is cafeteria-style. The dishes include chicken, smoked andouille sausage, smoked beef, pork butt, mac ‘n cheese, potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, and collard greens.
2. Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse | Brewhouse (Carnival Cruise Line)
Ships: Carnival Horizon, Panorama, Celebration, Jubilee, and Mardi Gras
Once Carnival Cruise Line saw the success of Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que, it quickly introduced a sit-down version of Carnival Horizon, complete with a bar, an in-house brewery, and a stage for live music.
The interior design combines country western and industrial, with wooden tables, flooring, and silver and red metal chairs. Entrées include dry-rubbed chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, Pig & Anchor Melt sandwich, and prime ribs.
They have a trash can, nachos, mac & cheese, sweet potatoes, french fries, and chicken wings for appetizers and sides. For dessert, apple cobbler and banana cream pie are on the docket. Menu items here are a la carte.
The venue’s brewery also offers signature Parched Pig craft beers, including the Parched Pig Smoked Porter, the Parched Pig Farmhouse Ale, and the Parched Pig West Coast IPA. Additional beers, as well as cocktails and whiskeys, are also available.
3. Q Texas Smokehouse (Norwegian Cruise Line)
Ships: Norwegian Bliss, Encore, and Joy (Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva also have a version of this restaurant, but it’s counter-service style, located in Indulge Food Hall)
Q Texas Smokehouse, considered one of the best cruise line BBQ restaurants, is Norwegian Cruise Line’s western, ranch-inspired barbecue restaurant that first debuted on Norwegian Bliss.
Meats include brisket, pulled pork, beef short ribs, turkey breast, smoked sausage, chicken, and pork spare ribs. Q Texas Smokehouse also offers citrus honey salmon and cajun shrimp skewers for seafood fans.
Appetizers and sides include fried green tomatoes, chopped salad, baked beans, baked potatoes, coleslaw, chili, crab cakes, mac n cheese, grits, corn on the cob, and potato salad. They offer a warm skillet brownie, bread pudding, pecan pie, peach cobbler, and banana pudding for dessert. This restaurant is a la carte.
In addition, the cocktail menu includes Q’s specialty — the smoked peach margarita — and other options like a basil julep, Moscow mule, and sidecar. An extensive menu of scotches, whiskeys, and bourbons is also available — perfect for enjoying while listening to the band play country tunes on the venue’s live music stage.
4. Portside BBQ (Royal Caribbean)
Ships: Oasis of the Seas
Portside BBQ in Royal Carribean is a bit of a cross between a counter-service venue and a casual sit-down restaurant. It has a counter for ordering and a large dining area with tall tables, picnic tables, tables with booth seating against the wall, and counters along the windows. This venue is open for dinner and features an a la carte menu.
The seating and tables resemble Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse, with wooden tabletops and red and silver metal chairs. During select hours, the venue features live music.
Meats include spare ribs, brisket, pulled pork, smoked turkey, and BBQ chicken. Some are also available as sandwiches, such as beef brisket and pulled pork.
Sides include baked beans, corn on the cob, and cornbread. For dessert, they have chocolate brookie or banana dream. The kid’s menu includes chicken fingers or 1/4 a BBQ chicken, plus one side for $4.
The drink menu is simpler than most specialty cruise ship restaurants, featuring sweet tea, Arnold Palmers, fountain soda, and beer.
5. Planks BBQ (Princess Cruises)
Ships: Caribbean and Emerald Princess
Planks BBQ in Princess Cruises isn’t a standalone barbecue restaurant but rather a pop-up specialty in the World Fresh Marketplace buffet area. Planks BBQ is available every other night of the cruise, alternating with a specialty seafood concept called Steamers Seafood. Both have a cover charge of $12 per person.
The menu for Planks BBQ is simple but covers most barbecue favorites. You can craft their plank with four types of meat: pulled pork, chili-spiced roasted tri-tip, smoked sausage, chicken drumsticks, BBQ pork ribs, or chipotle barbecue meatballs.
Their meal comes with wedge-cut fries, three-bean chili, confetti slaw, charred toast, and dill pickles on the side. Sauce choices include tangy apple butter & cider sauce and steakhouse smoky bourbon & ale sauce.
For appetizers, they have loaded wedge salad and baked potato chowder, and they have banana pudding and chocolate cake for desserts, complete with caramel drizzle and candied pecans.
A handcrafted cocktail list, wines, and beers are also available at Planks BBQ for an additional charge.
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