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Dining Onboard Carnival Celebration

Food is one of the more important parts of vacationing for me. It is a chance to really immerse yourself in the culture and atmosphere of your destinations. The allure of a plethora of onboard specialty dining options is a huge factor when picking a cruise ship and the Carnival Celebration delivers on this in spades.

The main dining room on a cruise ship can be hit or miss, but the Celebration offers a variety of menu options that change daily, ensuring even the pickiest eaters can find something enjoyable to eat. On ‘Elegant Night’ you can even look forward to dishes like Prime Rib, Lobster and Beef Wellington without incurring any extra charge.

For those who don’t mind paying a little more, there are some great specialty dining options to truly delight your taste buds.

Specialty Dining Venue: Bonsai Teppanyaki

table setting at Bonsai Teppanyaki, one of the specialty dining venues on carnival celebration
Bonsai Teppanyaki table setting

Meal Time: Lunch | Dinner

Cost: Lunch: $38 | Dinner: $42

If you love Japanese food, you will be delighted with the flavors presented at Bonsai Teppanyaki, the ship’s onboard teppanyaki restaurant. As is common with these dining experiences back on shore, Bonsai Teppanyaki provides a multi-course meal prepared in front of you by a trained chef.

You will start your meal with the choice of several appetizers AND miso soup or ginger salad. We had the Pork Belly Yakitori and the ginger salad, which were both delicious.

Next, a main course that is served with stir-fried vegetables and fried rice. For this course, we had the choice of either a single protein or one of the combos. I went with the Filet Mignon and Shrimp, my go-to dish whenever I order hibachi food. Bonsai did not disappoint here. The shrimp was perfectly seasoned and the Filet melted in my mouth.

The final course was a bento box of desserts. By the end of the meal, we were pretty full but we really enjoyed the green tea ice cream that was served with it.

desert bento box in bonsai teppanyaki, one of the specialty dining venues on carnival celebration
Dessert Bento Box at Bonsai Teppanyaki

All in all, Bonsai was a really great specialty dining option at an affordable premium that ticked all the boxes for me.

Specialty Dining Venue: Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse

Filet and Lobster at Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, the specialty dining steakhouse on Carnival Celebration
Photo: – Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse
Dining Room for Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, the specialty dining steakhouse on Carnival Celebration
Photo: – Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse

Meal Time: Dinner

Cost: $49 | Kids 11 and under – $15

A culinary journey onboard the Celebration isn’t complete without visiting the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse. If you’ve never dined at a steakhouse on a cruise ship, you must not miss this experience. The meal includes an appetizer, salad, main course, side dish, and dessert.

I started my meal with fresh oysters, presented in a smoky display over a bed of ice. This was my first time trying oysters, and the added smoke pleasantly surprised me with a wonderful layer of flavor.

Next, the staff served me a Caesar salad, which tasted much fresher than the version served in the main dining room. I also enjoyed a generously sized gin and tonic from the specialty cocktail menu at this venue.

For my main course, I chose Filet and Lobster, the perfect combo to test the chef’s skills. The steak arrived cooked to a perfect medium-rare, and the lobster was a generous and delightful portion. I selected mushrooms for my side, but I found them forgettable and might try a different side next time.

Dessert was a must, especially at the steakhouse. All the options sounded amazing, but I settled on the “Chocolate Sphere.” The presentation of this dish was breathtaking. Following the magical unveiling of the sphere, my taste buds soared to Cloud 9, rounding off the dining experience perfectly.

If you’re deciding between the Steakhouse and Teppanyaki, choosing Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse will not disappoint.

Specialty Dining Venue: The Chef’s Table

passion fruit celebration at chef's table, the premium specialty dining experience on Carnival Celebration
Passion Fruit Celebration
Steak Tartare at chef's table, the premium specialty dining experience on Carnival Celebration
Steak Tartare

Meal Time: Dinner

Cost: $90-$150

The Steakhouse and Teppanyaki specialty dining experiences that I’ve described above are great. I thoroughly enjoyed them and believe you won’t go wrong with either pick. That being said, if you are like me and want to enjoy the BEST culinary experience a cruise ship has to offer, look no further than the Chef’s Table. This is not a venue that you will easily find on the map. In fact, you can’t even walk in to make a reservation. There is a very good reason for this.

The Chef’s Table experience (and I refer to it as that because it is truly so much more than a twelve course meal) actually takes place inside the ship’s galley (kitchen). Carnival designed a special dining room at the heart of its kitchen to showcase culinary artistry at its finest.

We started the experience by meeting the hostess for the evening at Java Blue, the ship’s coffee shop. After filling out a short health declaration, the chef joined the group to lead us toward the galley.

Galley Tour

Once in the galley, we were ushered toward some tables that were set up with champagne glasses and a name card designating where we should stand. After we were all in place, and bubbly was poured, the chef introduced himself and led a toast to kick off the festivities.

The first round of courses were artistically crafted small bites:

  • tajin salmon, balsamic pearl, amaranth
  • savory rosemary cookies served with corn milk horchata
  • shrimp cracker, beetroot, popcorn shrimp, garlic aioli
  • dehydrated mushrooms, truffle white chocolate, mint moss
Petite Harvest Greens at chef's table, the premium specialty dining experience on Carnival Celebration
Petite Harvest Greens
Shrimp Cracker at chef's table, the premium specialty dining experience on Carnival Celebration
Shrimp Cracker

Following the canapes, one of the chef’s assistants gave a demonstration on the main dining room’s signature dessert, the warm chocolate melting cake. Following the demonstration, we were led into the stunning Chef’s Table Dining Room.

The Chef’s Table Dining Room

As we entered, a large table set with name cards and personalized printed menus awaited us. Once all of us took our seats, the chef’s team went around the table and asked each individual if they would like red wine, white wine, or both wines to enjoy with the meal. On many tasting menu experiences, wine is an additional cost but on Carnival’s Chef Table, wine is included with the cost of the meal.

Meeting Our Fellow Guests

Following the pouring of wine, we went around the table introducing ourselves. This was a great opportunity to connect with the other guests that were enjoying the experience. It is always fun to see where people are from and how their different experiences led them to visit the same ship and choose the same dining experience.

Four Courses Down, Eight More To Go

After the introductions, the dining staff presented the next course: A wooden box topped with a honey butter in the shape of a flower petal. Inside the box: freshly baked bread. The exterior was hard but not tough and the inside of the bread was very soft. The imaginative presentation definitely impressed.

After the bread course, the chef came to the table side and demonstrated his preparation of a beef tartare. The impressive demonstration made me want to dive right in and lick the bowl. Luckily I wouldn’t have to as the next course as you might guess was just that: Steak Tartare. This was served with double beer battered fries, cleverly served on a whisk.

A Magical Evening Continues

The next course was something truly special. At first glance, one might think it a dressed up soup, yet this seemingly simple looking dish had another trick up its sleeve. After having these placed in front of us, the chef came around with a strange machine and topped each plate with a rosemary smoke bubble. As the bubble burst, an aromatic experience enhanced the flavor of the salad of Petite Harvest Greens.

Through the rest of the experience, each course was as impressive or more so than the course it followed. Here are a few more of the dishes to intrigue your senses:

  • Garlic Rubbed Spot Shrimp | sweet potato croissant, limoncello sabayon, balsamic nage, Gruyere & parmesan beignets
  • Pan Seared Black Cod | saffron beurre blanc, grilled asparagus, spring peas, parmesan carrot, lemon relish
  • Herb Crusted Lamb | balsamic onion, asparagus, sweet peppers coulis, sourdough pumpkin bites, maple dijon glaze
  • Beef Short Rib | 12-hour braised, smokey red chimichurri, 30-layers black garlic dauphinoise
  • Passion Fruit Celebration | chocolate petals, honey tuile, berry compote, elderflower latte

The meal is just one part of the 3 hour experience. Our night also included a performance by the ship’s magician and a photograph of the entire group, signed by the Chef.

sweet treat dessert at chef's table, the premium specialty dining experience on Carnival Celebration
Sweet Treat
beef short rib at chef's table, the premium specialty dining experience on Carnival Celebration
Beef Short Rib


The Carnival Celebration hosts a number of exciting specialty dining venues outside of the standard offerings. You really can’t go wrong with any of them. In my opinion, the best of what Carnival offers can only be had in the Chef’s Table. If you are a foodie and love to experience flavor, go for the Chef’s Table. If you enjoy a great steak, Fahrenheit 555 will serve you that along with an enjoyable evening. Finally, if you love a fun Teppanyaki meal, check out Bonsai.

Continue reading our blog to discover all of the fun that you will find onboard during your cruise.

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