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Review: Carnival Cruise Line’s BBQ Joint



Back in 2012, Carnival Cruise Line used Carnival Breeze to launch a venue that their guests were longing for – an outdoor barbecue restaurant. The venue, then named Fat Jimmy’s Seaside BBQ, would be open on sea days and serve up a variety of meats and home-cooked side dishes.

Since then, Carnival has expanded their BBQ experience as well as their partnership with Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri, with the result being Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse. As of now, the venue can only be found on the Carnival Magic, Dream, Breeze (April 2017) and Vista (as well as the latter’s upcoming sister ship, the Horizon.).

On most other ships in the fleet, BBQ lovers can satisfy their cravings at an eatery called Ol’ Fashioned BBQ. Both offer essentially the same menu, with Guy’s upping the ante by adding andouille sausage to the mix. Of course, this BBQ lover had to give it all a try, so this is my review.

Guy’s Pig & Anchor BBQ

The Location

Where you should head for BBQ depends on what ship you happen to be sailing on. If you’re on a Dream or Vista-class ship, the BBQ joint will be outside. When I recently sailed on Carnival Liberty, her BBQ venue had set up shop where the Fish & Chips station had previously resided on the upstairs section of the Lido buffet. Thanks to the fact that it was a bit removed from the rest of the offerings, this spot proved to be a hidden gem.

On our cruise, the BBQ joint was open every day and there was never much of a wait to be served. The longest we waited was a few minutes. However, on the Dream-class ships where the venue is located outside, expect to stand in line for your BBQ. In fact, you’ll want to get there very early in order to avoid waiting in line all afternoon.

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Ol’ Fashioned BBQ


It’s no secret that I love BBQ. Anywhere I travel, I have to check out the BBQ scene. So when I found out that Carnival Liberty had a venue onboard, I was excited. And the food didn’t disappoint.

The menu offered pulled pork butt that was dry rubbed and slow braised, grilled chicken, and a smoked beef. All the meats were seasoned well and served up in generous portions. You could pick one, two, or three meats. I went with the trio to see how consistent the meats were, and they were pretty spot-on every day.

The restaurant also offered a nice selection of sides that included mac ‘n’ cheese, potato salad, homemade cole slaw, baked beans, and rolls. I was impressed with all of the sides except the baked beans, where they opted to use kidney beans, giving this dish what I found to be an odd taste.

Ol’ Fashioned BBQ food

Of course, the true measure of a BBQ joint comes down to the sauces, and there were three types available here: brown sugar, Kansas City, and spicy sriracha. The spicy sauce had a kick to it and was unique. All three had great flavor, but for me, the real winner was the sriracha.

Final Thoughts

Carnival gets high marks from me just for having a BBQ shack on their ships. The fact that they have legit BBQ meats, filling sides, and a variety of sauces makes it that much better. I recommend getting a small sampling of all three on the very first day so you can determine what you want for the rest of the cruise. If you’re a BBQ fan, you’ll love this. If you’re not, give it a try. It’s not often you can say, “I ate at a barbecue restaurant on a cruise ship!”

Featured photo: Carnival

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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Raises Faster to the Fun Price



The good news: When sailing on most Carnival Cruise Line ships, you can still purchase the Faster To The Fun package. The bad news? On many of those ships, taking the happiness highway’s express lane is gonna cost you a little extra.

How Much Faster To The Fun Went Up

Carnival quietly boosted the price earlier this week, although news of the change spread quickly across social media. Some proclaimed that they didn’t mind paying the extra fee for the program — which offers numerous benefits, including priority embarkation — while others thought there were better ways in which they could spend the money.

So how much did the price go up? Previously, the cost — which is per cabin, not per person — ran between $49,95 to $79.95, depending on the ship and the length of the sailing. The price has now gone up to between $69.95 and $99.95.

The Breakdown


Screenshot via Carnival.


  • The program will cost $69.95 on 5-day sailings, except on the Sensation, where the price is $59.95.
  • For 4-day cruises on Carnival Conquest, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Valor and Carnival Vista is $69.95.
  • For 6- and 7-day sailings, Faster To The Fun will cost $89.95.
  • On sailings lasting 8 days or longer, the package will now cost $99.95.

When Carnival first rolled Faster to the Fun out in 2012, it was $49.95 per stateroom across the fleet. In 2016, the line switched to the tiered pricing system which remains in effect to this day.

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What does Faster to the Fun include? 

A limited number of Faster To The Fun passes are sold, which is one of the reasons many believe it to be worth the price, as it allows for faster boarding thanks to separate security screening lanes and an express boarding lane upon embarkation. Those who purchase FTTF also have immediate access to their staterooms, which generally are not available immediately upon boarding. The perk also includes priority luggage handling, access to priority tendering in ports where applicable, a choice of disembarkation times and priority dinner-time assignments.

Do you generally purchase Faster To The Fun? Will the change in price impact your decision to do so in the future? 

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Queen Latifah Named Carnival Horizon’s Godmother



The newest ship to join the Carnival Cruise Line fleet also just became the coolest with the news that Queen Latifah has been named the Carnival Horizon’s godmother.

When The Queen Will Reign

Carnival Ho

Photo: Carnival

Beloved by millions, the actress/singer/author/businesswoman said it was “an honor” to be selected, especially given the line’s longtime association with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, “a cause that is very near and dear to my heart.”

Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, said that “with her fun-loving spirit and positive, can-do attitude, Queen Latifah embodies our brand and knows how to Choose Fun in everything she does. Knowing that she is a long-time supporter of St. Jude and has performed on and won Lip Sync Battle made her the ideal candidate to serve as godmother on our newest ship.”

READ MORE: Sneak Peek At The Carnival Horizon [Photos]

Latifah will officially assume her duties at the naming ceremony, which is set to take place during an invitation-only overnight gala being held on the Carnival Horizon in New York City on Wednesday, May 23. During the ceremony, St. Jude will be presented with a check representing funds raised at various Carnival events, both on ships and on shore. The atrium-grounding Dreamescape funnel will also feature artwork created by dozens of St. Jude patients.

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The gala will also see Latifah taking part in a special event titled Lip Sync Battle: Horizon which will showcase the ship’s authentic reproduction of the hit TV series.

Over the past few years, Latifah has… well, pretty much done it all. She’s won awards from groups as diverse as the Teen Choice Awards and the Screen Actors Guild, not to mention a Grammy, an Oscar nomination and two NAACP Image Awards. She was also the first hip-hop artist to be honored with a star on the world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, and now runs a production company — Flavor Unit Entertainment — which produces a wide variety of programming.

After The Gala

Following the naming ceremony and Gala on May 23, the Carnival Horizon will spend the summer sailing out of New York City before relocating in September to Miami, where she’ll sail year-round cruises to the Caribbean.

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Carnival to Offer New Cuba Cruises in 2019



Carnival Cruise Line will be offering 17 new sailings to Cuba aboard Carnival Sensation in 2019. The five-day voyages will be the line’s first to operate round-trip from Miami and feature a day-long call in Havana as well as stops in other popular ports.

The voyages complement a series of sailings to Cuba departing from Tampa aboard Carnival Paradise taking place in 2018 and 2019. Sensation‘s Cuba schedule includes:

  • four 5-day sailings to Havana and Grand Turk departing May 20, Sept. 9, Nov. 18 and Dec. 16, 2019
  • five 5-day voyages featuring Havana, Nassau and Half Moon Cay departing June 17, July 15, Aug. 12, Sept. 23, and Nov. 4, 2019
  • a 5-day cruise to Havana, Nassau and Princess Cays departing April 22, 2019
  • seven 5-day cruises to Havana and Grand Cayman departing May 6, June 3, July 1 and 29, Aug. 26, Oct. 7 and Dec. 2, 2019

A Cuban taxi driver, piloting a vintage car, pulls up to the El Morro Castle while the Carnival Paradise cruise ship is docked in Havana, Cuba. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

The 2,052-guest Carnival Sensation underwent a massive dry dock last year and a variety of venues were added, including Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, BlueIguana Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, Alchemy Bar, and Cherry on Top. Already onboard was a Serenity adults-only area, 24-hour pizza, the WaterWorks aqua park, and the Seuss at Sea program.

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Guests sailing on Carnival’s cruises to Cuba can choose from almost 20 shore excursions that showcase the island’s culture, beauty, and architectural landmarks. There will also be Cuba-themed parties, games, and activities onboard. To learn more, visit

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