Carnival Cruise Line's Chef's Table

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Carnival Cruise Line's Chef's Table Reviews

callieklacy calliekl…
1 reviews
Save your money - skip the Chef's Table! Dec 04, 2012
Save your money - do NOT do the Chef's Table!

We did the Chef's Table in 2011. Although we only thought the food was slightly above the food in the dining room, it was still pretty cool to tour the galley AND we thought the Chef really sold it when he talked about the menu. He told us that all the dining menus are chosen and approved by Carnival so he cannot deviate. However, he has the Chef's Table as an outlet for creativity because he can plan that. We were led to believe that this was a specially created menu by our Chef.

Based on both the positives and negatives from our first experience, we decided to do the Chef's Table again in 2012, almost exactly one year later. The Chef was different and acted a little strange when he first met us and found out we had done this before. The reason why became apparent soon thereafter. Our special menu from 2011 was the SAME as the 2012 menu (and again the food was disappointing although more so the second time around). It was disappointing to learn that it was actually just a standard menu for this experience as well, but it got worse. I had told the dining staff that my brother-in-law (BIL) had a serious pine nut allergy when I booked the Chef's Table. They called my BIL to confirm the allergy. Nevertheless, we showed up that night and they had a pesto sauce on one of his plates. The Chef came over and quietly asked again about the allergy and my BIL confirmed it again and said he was fairly certain that the sauce had pine nuts (he can tell from them just being near him). The Chef seemed surprised that it was such a severe allergy and then quickly left the dining area. He returned and advised my BIL not to eat the sauce because he couldn't guarantee what was in it because it came from a jar. It is distressing that they served him something we mentioned several times was a serious allergy in this setting but also horrifying that at $75 per person, you are getting sauces from jars that the Chef and staff don't even bother to make!

Last note about the food - they served us what was listed as Wagyu beef on the menu. The Chef kept calling it Kobe beef. First, the difference isn't that substantial since Kobe is Wagyu cattle but it must come from Kobe, Japan to get the name Kobe beef. However, the more distressing point was that this beef, whatever it was, was cooked in a heavy gravy. It could have been Kobe beef, a phenomenal piece of beef just ruined in a thick gravy, or it could have just been a tender pot roast (sadly, I am not kidding). It really resembled a pot roast given the gravy saturation and presentation that one makes with a chuck roast - hardly worthy of Kobe beef.

If you have chosen Carnival for whatever reason, just utilize the regular dining room. The Chef's Table is not what is promised!
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ahtibat17 ahtibat17
266 reviews
A Unique Dining Experience Mar 06, 2011
Carnival Cruise Line now offers a special dining opportunity, the Chef's Table. It is an evening limited to 12 people, that allows a tour of the galley, led by the chef and includes a 7-course meal prepared especially for this dining experience.I was aboard the Sensation, but it is my understanding that the Chef's Table is available on all Carnival cruises.

The tour of the galley is very interesting and informative, but no photography is allowed. The tour of the galley is timed perfectly to be between course services in the dining rooms.

The food for the Chef's Table is unbelievable. We were served everything from beef carpaccio to aged filet mignon and dessert was their signature chocolate melting cake that was demonstrated during the galley tour.

The Chef's Table is an extra cost: $75 per person. It includes the meal, wine and the gratuity. I just looked at it as an onboard shore excursion. Keep in mind, it is limited to only 12 people, and is offered only once on the cruise. The experience is definitely worth it!
2 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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