Carnival’s Mardi Gras: Fee for Free Dining?

carnival cruise line mardi gras cozumel

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Carnival Cruise Line has implemented a test regarding charging for a second meal at one of the restaurants found on its Excel class ships.

The restaurant in question? The Mexican/Chinese venue Chibang, which is unique to Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration. The test is taking place aboard Mardi Gras, but not on Celebration.

carnival cruise mardi gras chibang chinese mexican
Chibang! on Mardi Gras

In a post on Facebook, Carnival’s brand ambassador John Heald explained. “To give everyone an opportunity to dine in this unique venue, we are implementing a pilot project on Mardi Gras… All guests are welcome to enjoy a complimentary dinner during their voyage. A nominal charge of $8, per guest, will be assessed for additional visits.”

This means that everyone on the ship can have one dinner at Chibang free of charge, the same way it’s always been since the restaurant debuted with the launch of Mardi Gras.

But those who want to go back for dinner a second time (or more) will be charged a flat fee of $8 per person. Lunch remains complimentary for everyone, regardless of the number of lunchtime visits you make.

Though many may assume that the Chibang menu is comprised of Mexican/Chinese fusion dishes, that’s actually not the case. Instead, the restaurant has two separate menus: one for each cuisine.

It’s an interesting concept, but one that works because chances are everyone can find something they’ll like. And those who love both types of food can have an interesting smorgasbord of both Chinese and Mexican dishes!

chibang carnival celebration meal

Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration actually feature two restaurants that are considered specialty and have an upcharge on other ships, but are free on these two vessels. They are Italian venue Cucina Del Capitano and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse | Brewhouse. They remain included in the cruise fare with no changes.

Other free dining venues around Mardi Gras include Big Chicken, Guy’s Burger Joint, Street Eats, BlueIguana Cantina, and Pizzeria Del Capitano.

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