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Mardi Gras Planning: Must-Have Reservation on Carnival’s New Ship

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With Carnival’s newest ship, Mardi Gras, set to sail soon, future passengers are starting to excitedly plan their voyages.

One big question: With so many options when it comes to dining, what are the must-do hot spots and which should I make sure to reserve in advance?

Put a Smile On Your Face and Your Plate

carnival cruise line mardi gras

Mardi Gras (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Anyone who has ever cruised knows that every ship has numerous eateries guaranteeing you’ll never go hungry, day or night. But over the past few years, one of the biggest decisions passengers must make is whether or not to shell out a little extra money to eat in a specialty restaurant. After all, the main dining room serves excellent meals every night, and those are included in the cost of your cruise fare. On top of that, there are plenty of other venues at which you can eat a little or a lot at no extra charge.

Could you spend a week on the Mardi Gras and not pay for a single meal? Easily. And many likely will.

But the ship will also offer a plethora of alternatives for those looking to elevate their foodie game. Chief among them is a first for Carnival, Rudi’s Seagrill. “Wait,” you’re asking yourself. “Isn’t there already a Seafood Shack on board?” And while there most certainly is, the seafood served up at Rudi’s takes things to a whole other level both in terms of quality and presentation.

Chef Rudi (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

As it happens, celebrity chef Rudi Sodamin is a perfect fit with Carnival’s new Fun Ship, because he’s a big believer in making mealtime fun. Many of the dishes in this new restaurant will be served with a smile… looking back at you.

Dinner at Rudi’s will cost $38 per guest, and advance reservations are strongly suggested. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that restaurants that offer a unique experience — especially one not available on any other ship — quickly make their way to the top of everyone’s “must-do” list. He who waits may find himself having to pick another spot.

Rudi’s Seagrill rendering aboard Carnival’s upcoming Mardi Gras. (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Fortunately, Mardi Gras will have you covered in that department…

Another New Option on Mardi Gras

The other highly anticipated, new-to-Carnival venue comes from another celebrity chef, Emeril Lagasse, called Emeril’s Bistro 1396. It probably goes without saying that this joint — which will offer some of the chef’s most well-known treats — will be located in the ship’s New Orleans zone.

The restaurant — whose 1396 refers to Mardi Gras’ hull number at the shipyard — will be serving up a variety of offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu is broken into four sections: Small Plates, A Little More, A little Sweet and Breakfast.

“I just wanted to contribute those little flavors that make a party right in your mouth,” LeGasse said in a promotional video for the restaurant.

MORE: Full Menu for Emeril’s Bistro 1396

Mardi Gras will offer a whole slew of food options, including new-to-Carnival venues (such as Street Eats, which brings a food truck sensibility to the Lido Deck) and longtime favorites (of course there will be a Guy’s Burger Joint on board!). In other words… whether you hit a hot spot requiring a reservation or want something in the grab-and-go vein, you’ll definitely find it on this ship.

READ NEXT: Why I’m Breaking My Own Rule to Sail Mardi Gras

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