Friday, June 18, 2010

Eating on the Lido Deck

As promised, here is my cruise food review!  On our cruise ship, the Carnival Fascination, there were two dining options: Lido Deck and Sensation Dining Room.  The Lido Deck is composed of mini-restaurants including: Pizzeria, Deli, Buffet, Grill, Mongolian, and a Salad Bar.

One benefit of eating on the Lido Deck is the freedom to wear just about anything.  Tons of people went through the lunch line wearing their bathing suit and flip-flops.  Whereas to eat in the Sensation Dining room, you have to meet a general dress code.

The Lido Deck operates on a typical time schedule, serving meals based on the time of day: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Midnight Snack Bar.

Breakfast Bar

We only ate breakfast on the Lido Deck once.  The options were just about the same whether you ate on the Lido Deck or in the Sensation Dining Room, and we preferred the atmosphere of the dining room.

I loved the lemon poppyseed muffins.  Unfortunately, they were only available on the first day! 

The breakfast bar offered a selection of cheeses, meats, danishes, bagels, muffins, melons, grapefruit, bananas, apples and oranges.

Other breakfast selections were omelettes, french toast, waffles, pancakes, sausage, bacon, etc.

It's a good thing coffee was available 24/7, or else Grandpa might not have gotten on the ship!


In my opinion, the best food on the Lido Deck came from the deli.  I ordered this amazing sandwich twice. 

Fresh Mozzerrella Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato & Pesto on Foccacia.  It was supposed to have Argula instead of iceburg lettuce, but I'm not complaining because it was still incredibly tasty!

Austin ate at least one Grilled Reuben a day.  I may or may not have eaten a few bites every time, too.

Corned Beef, Sauerkraut, and Swiss Cheese melted on Rye bread.  Yum.

Mongolian Grill

We ate at the Mongolian grill for our first meal on the ship.

Then we went back again another day because it was quite tasty!

The best part about Mongolian Grill is the option to choose your own veggies, meat, noodles and sauce.

Veggie options included: carrots, onions, bok choy, mushrooms, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, bean sprouts, peas, and more!

Meat choices varied from day to day, but included: beef, chicken, shrimp, pork, and clams.

There were also a couple of different noodles and sauces to choose from.

Lunch Buffet

My least favorite food on the Lido Deck was the buffet.  Not because the food was horrible, but because I am buffet-challenged.  I always fail at compiling an appetizing plate when the options are endless.  See below if you don't believe me.

My incompetency at the buffet can be credited to my attempt to try a taste of everything.  The results?  I have a bunch of random food that doesn't go together, and I am left with only a tiny bite of the items that I truly like.  Sure, I could go back for seconds of the food I liked; but at that point, it's more tempting to just fill up on dessert.

Austin enjoyed the buffet much more than I did.  Then again, as I've said before, he'll eat anything.  Who even needs a garbage disposal when you've got him around?

Clearly I need to take a few lessons from him in the Art of Buffet Eating.

Salad Bar

The salad bar makes a great lunch.  And the best part is, if you're still hungry, you can always grab a sandwich from the deli.

There was an assortment of components for making the optimal salad.  I was so happy to find raisins and sunflower seeds!


The longest line always formed at the Grill counter.  I guess this is the real-American food: hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and fries.

Burger toppings were typical: cheese, mushrooms, onions, lettuce, and tomatoes!

Everyone loves a burger!

Actually, Annie is chowing down on a piece of cardboard slice of pizza.  You won't see any pictures of the pizza here, though.  Frankly, the pizza on the cruise ship was pathetic.  And I'm not just saying that because I'm a pizza snob.  Austin ate a slice and he never went back for more.  That never happens, trust me.

Dessert Bar

I saved the best for last: dessert.

We consumed our fair share of ice cream cones.  Soft-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt are available 24/7.

Any flavor combination you like: strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla!

Desserts, desserts, desserts!

Apple crumble cake with vanilla ice cream on the side.

After a day in Key West, we had to try a slice of key lime pie!  Again, complimented with a side of ice cream.

My overall score for the food on the Lido Deck was B+.  My favorites were the deli and the dessert bar.  I never got bored with the food options because the buffet was ever-changing, and we mostly only ate on the Lido deck for lunch.

Do you like eating at a buffet?
I don't prefer buffets.  The food is usually mediocre, at best.


  1. i would have lived at the Mongolian Grill! never would leave <3 omg the DESSERTS!!! usually i avoid buffets too... but ive had some good food at some.

    im just ooing and ah-ing over ur eats lady! YUM

  2. Mongolian Grill looked amazing, I think that would of been my fave! Im not really a buffet girl, but the breakfast buffets in Las Vegas, I love!!!!!!!!!!!

    Love that you could get icecream 24/7 , that would of been heaven for me!!!

    Have a great weekend!!!

  3. Oooh, I love food reviews of cruise ships! The hubster and I went on a cruise a few years ago and I was fascinated by the food options but a bit disappointed in the actual taste. Maybe I should've focused on the soft serve like you did? :)

  4. if i went on a cruise i think i would gain 20 pounds! all of the food looks great :)

  5. I just went on the Carnival Legend in April. I very much enjoyed the food. I can also be a bit incompetent when it comes to buffets, especially a salad bar. I think "oh that looks good", and suddenly I end up with tuna and Italian grilled chicken on the same salad.

  6. Nice re-cap! I am a sucker for desserts too!
    I don't really care of buffets either for much the same reason as you- sensory overload and the the desire to try it all!

  7. Your eats look so good, and your pictures are amazing! I love mongolian grills! I just like picking everything and creating your own dish. Hope your having a blast cruising!

  8. okay i dont even know if i like key lime pie and i'm drooling over the one pictured in this post! ha.

    my bf is EXACTLY like austin..garbage disposal. when they don't get another slice of pizza, you KNOW its bad haha!

  9. Seriously I need to go on a cruise now!