There are tons of included food options on Carnival Celebration.  This Excel-class cruise ship has restaurants and eateries all throughout the ship and many of them will cost you nothing extra.  So, even on a 7-day cruise it may be difficult to try them all.

Free dining options on Carnival Celebration. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

In this article we will highlight the food options that are included in the price of your cruise fare.  There’s also one food venue that we absolutely had to mention, even though it carries a very small extra cost.

After just sailing on Carnival Celebration last week, I had the chance to eat at all of the complimentary food places and enjoy all the activities available on board.

You won’t be hungry, and you won’t be bored on this ship.

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Carnival Celebration free dining options

Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que

Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Located at the “Summer Landing” in the back of the ship on deck 8 you will find some incredible BBQ.  This is one of my favorite parts of the ship as well, as it has a backyard patio feel, has access to a less-busy pool, and there’s an ice-cream station nearby.

Whether you order the 18-hour beef brisket, pulled pork, or Blue Ribbon chicken, if you love BBQ you can enjoy eating at Guy’s Pig & Anchor for no extra charge.   I really enjoyed trying all the sauces that can be found at each table as well.

You can eat here for lunch or dinner.  If showing up for dinner you can line up at the podium just before 5:30pm.  On my cruise last week I showed up just at 5:30pm and the line was pretty short and moved quickly.

As a side note, in your daily planner you will see Pig & Anchor listed as open for breakfast, but it’s pretty much the same breakfast you get at the buffet.  They just serve it in the same area behind Pig & Anchor.  So, no 18-hour smoked sausages here for breakfast.

Guy’s Burger Joint

Guy’s Burger Joint on Carnival Celebration.  Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

This is probably the most popular lunch option on the ship besides the buffet, and for good reason.  Many cruisers will say this is the best burger at sea.  These Guy Fieri burgers include French fries and all kinds of fixings.  Even when there is a long line, it moves quickly.  The only hard part is finding a good place to sit.  On Celebration there are some picnic tables along the side of the ship that are usually more readily available than the tables right next to the restaurant, although they are in the sun more often than not.

There’s also an ice cream/frozen yogurt station right there at Guy’s Burger Joint.  The location of this popular food venue is right above the main pool deck on deck 17.  I love that it’s not right on the lido deck as it makes the main pool area less busy.

By the way, if you are cruising with kids, they will be happy to know that the arcade is right across the way from Guy’s Burger Joint on the same deck.

Miami Slice

Miami Slice is the popular pizza place on Celebration, open until 4am. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Located on deck 8 and open from 11am until so late at night it doesn’t even matter any more (4am if you must know), this pizza place almost always has a line when hot pizza is coming out of the oven.  I never had to wait more than 6 or 7 minutes on my cruise though.   Once in a while, I could walk by at just the right time when there were only 3 people in line and pizzas were coming out.

Half a pizza is put on each plate and there’s a drink station just across the way.  You can also have this pizza delivered to your stateroom for a small fee.

There are several varieties of pizza to choose from including Margherita, Pepperoni, Quattro Formaggi (4 cheese), La Habana with ham and chorizo, and Picadillo.

Deco Deli

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Right next to Miami Slice on Celebration is Deco Deli.  If a variety of fresh breads and deli meats is more your style, you don’t have to go far.

Similar to the Carnival Deli found on some other ships with the cruise line, Deco Deli has classic sandwiches like Tuna, Turkey, Reuben, and meatball, and a Deco part of the menu which includes a roast pork Cubano on Cuban bread and an Americano, an herb grilled chicken sandwich on ciabatta bread.  You can also grab a hot dog with chili or sauerkraut on it too.

Deck 8 is my favorite place to be on Carnival Celebration.  Not only are there some great food venues, but there’s a quiet pool in the aft part of deck 8, with a couple large hot tubs, and that great Summer Landing area in which I felt right at home.

Big Chicken

Shaq’s Big Chicken on Carnival Celebration. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Shaq’s Big Chicken on Celebration was one of my favorite places to eat.  I highly recommend trying the Uncle Jerome, the chicken sandwich I had at least 3 times.  Located on deck 16 aft, Big Chicken is also open for breakfast if you want some chicken biscuits.

You can get fries with your order and dip them in a variety of sauces.  Personally, I really liked the Shaq sauce.   Other side dishes include chicken strips, potato salad, and jalapeno slaw.

With Shaq as Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer (CFO), you’ll notice his personal touch all around this place. There are life-sized pictures of him, his famous quotes on the walls, and even a handprint to show you just how big Shaq is.

By the way, if you like chicken biscuits for a late breakfast, you can order a breakfast sandwich at Big Chicken until 3pm.

The Uncle Jerome sandwich at Big Chicken


Chibang: the Mexican and Chinese food restaurant all in one. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

I still can’t believe it’s free to eat at Chibang on this ship.   But with over 6,000 potential passengers on the ship at any given time, it makes sense to spread out the guests at lunch and dinner, so the main dining rooms aren’t overwhelmed.

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This combination of Chinese and Mexican food on the same menu is a brilliant idea.

Chibang is open for lunch and dinner (lunch on sea days).  Lunch options include Chinese noodle bowls and Mexican burrito bowls in which you select the protein, veggies and sauces/salsa.

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For dinner you can get anything from egg drop soup, pot stickers, beef and broccoli and Kung Pao chicken on the Chinese side.  And on the Mexican side you can order sopas, quesadillas, tacos, steak rancheros, pescado fritos and all kinds of other delicious dishes.

You can mix and match your order as well.  Get an appetizer from the Chinese menu, order a main course from the Mexican menu, and figure out if you want flan or the famous Chocolate “C-Bang” for dessert.

Even if you’re not in the mood for Chinese or Mexican food one night, you can also order popular Carnival dishes on the “& More” menu.

You will need to use the Carnival Hub app to make a reservation for Chibang.  This was an easy and seamless process while I was on board.  You simply show up at the restaurant when a table opens up, indicated on the app.

And in case you’re wondering, “Chibang” means “wings” in Mandarin.

Cucina Del Capitano

Cucina del Capitano, the Italian restaurant on Carnival Celebration

Another free dining option is the Italian restaurant on board.  This restaurant also requires a reservation on Carnival Celebration.  I ate here twice during my 6-day cruise, ordering the chicken parmesan and the baked rigatoni.   I ate the tiramisu both times for dessert, as it was just too good to get just once.

Cucina Del Capitano is located on deck 8 mid-ship and offers alfresco dining as well.  There is plenty of seating and there’s always a little Carnival entertainment during the course of the meal.

Menu items include entrees like linguine, spaghetti carbonara, grilled fish, chicken parmesan, short ribs, grilled shrimp, veal marsala, pork chops and more.

During my visits the dessert menu included apple crostata, tiramisu, lemon frozen torte, and Baba Napoletano.

Screenshot of the menu at Cucina del Capitano from the Hub app.

Street Eats

The concept of Street Eats on Carnival Celebration is to give passengers a food truck vibe.

Located on deck 16, right next to the main pool on lido deck, Street Eats consists of three different food stations: Time Fries, Mad Sizzle, and Steam Dream.   Each offers something unique, from curly fries to pork-filled dumplings and kebabs.

You will want to check the times of operation for Street Eats because its times are somewhat limited.  Some days it may be open from 11:30am to 5:00pm, and other days it might only be open from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.  And not every station will be open, so I recommend checking it out each afternoon to see if there’s something you might want to try.  If you spend a lot of time on the lido deck and by the main pool you’ll find this free food venue very convenient, since you can grab a bite to eat without having to dry off and visit the buffet.

BlueIguana Cantina

Also, right near the main pool, you will find another Carnival favorite.  BlueIguana is open for breakfast and lunch and offers tacos and burritos made with fresh tortillas.

This is a great breakfast option for breakfast burritos as the line is not usually very long in the mornings, in my experience.   And you can get great ocean views from a table right next to the food venue.

The salsa station has all kinds of flavors to choose from to spice up that Mexican treat too.

Java Blue (special selections)

Technically, this is not a complimentary food option perse, but I’m mentioning it here because there are several pastries and baked goods that are completely free to try.   Even if you don’t buy a specialty coffee at Java Blue you can try a myriad of treats for free.  But yes, there are several food options that do carry an extra charge too.

During breakfast times you can try a breakfast sandwich or muffin, and at lunch you can eat a chicken pot pie or other kind of sandwich.  There’s a separate line for specialty coffees and for the pastries you see behind the glass, so usually you don’t have to wait very long to grab a quick pastry.

Lido Marketplace Buffet & Main Dining

And of course, you can always visit the Lido Marketplace buffet or have a more formal dining experience at Carnivale Restaurant and Festivale Restaurant, the main dining venues on board Celebration.

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I really enjoyed the décor and feel of the buffet area on the ship.  The Havana-style shutters provided nice little segments of space for dining, and at least four different buffet areas provided ample room to make it feel less crowded.   During peak operating hours the Lido Marketplace was a bit hustle and bustle for me, so I typically only strolled through the area when looking for a late snack.

On one occasion I was pleasantly surprised to find salted caramel gelato being served in the buffet, and it was outstandingly good!

Emeril’s Bistro 1397

Emeril’s Bistro 1397 on Carnival Celebration. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

This is not a complimentary dining option, but I had to include it in the list because it’s so inexpensive and overlooked that if you were only looking for free dining options you would miss it.

This was my favorite place to eat breakfast.  Each item on the breakfast menu was $6 and the amazing beignets (served with chocolate sauce) were just $5.  I thought the sweet potato waffles were so good I ordered them on several occasions.  This quiet area on deck 6 was perfect for a leisurely morning.

After you order your food at the counter you choose a booth to sit in, and in about 6 or 7 minutes your delicious meal is brought to you.  On my next visit to an Excel-class ship I will probably be eating here almost every morning.

Extra charge dining options on Carnival Celebration

Bonsai Teppanyaki
Bonsai Sushi
Seafood Shack
Taste the World (Emeril’s Bistro 1397)
Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse
Rudi’s Seagrill
Carnival Kitchen

Where is your favorite place to eat on a Carnival cruise ship?  Let us know in the comments below.

Read more: 12 biggest dining mistakes you should avoid on your cruise

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