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Is cruise giant Carnival going upmarket?

You might think so after a peek at the low-cost cruise operator’s most current shipboard destination, a high-end cooking classroom of the sort that’s normally only found on the fanciest cruise vessels.

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Called Carnival Kitchen and situated on Carnival’s just-unveiled Carnival Panorama, the space provides 9 advanced, marbled granite cooking stations for 2; a tricked-out instructor’s station; a cooking show-like closet filled with cooking gizmos; and a dedicated dining area.

(Photo by Gene Sloan/The Points Guy)
( Picture by Gene Sloan/The Points Person)

As I saw during a preview of the Los Angeles area-based vessel in advance of its very first weekly sailing to Mexico, Carnival Kitchen is a serious cooking location. Attending the very first class to be kept in the space– a lesson in baking apple pie– I watched as an instructor and a number of assistants took participants on a hands-on, hour-long journey through every action of the pie-making procedure from hand-making a crust to cooking the filling.

In a high-tech touch, the trainer’s station was covered by a video camera that forecasted what she was doing onto iPad-size screens at every participant’s cooking station. Each station had all the ingredients and cooking accoutrements needed for the pie-making job, and every participant made his or her really own pie as the hour went on, ending with a completed (though not yet baked) product.

(Photo by Gene Sloan/The Points Guy)
( Photo by Gene Sloan/The Points Person)

While making an apple pie isn’t the most intricate of culinary jobs, this was a surprisingly advanced and improving experience for a Carnival ship. Carnival is, after all, the line that has made its name with such fun-focused frivolity as poolside hairy chest contests.

Related: How to prepare a cruise with points and miles

Consulting With me after a ribbon cutting for the room, Carnival president Christine Duffy stated the concept was straight driven by interest from clients. The line had used some cooking classes in the past utilizing existing area in onboard steakhouses that turned out to be a hit, she stated. Plus, Carnival constantly is getting requests from customers for the dishes for its onboard dishes.

” It is because of popular need,” Duffy said. “We have such fantastic skill in our culinary group … [so] we said, let’s just develop a dedicated area where people can in fact come cook themselves and have an excellent experience with their family or whoever they’re traveling with.”

Located on one of the main interior decks of Carnival Panorama, between the ship’s gambling establishment and comedy lounge, Carnival Cooking area will be home to more than a lots distinct classes where you can find out to make such timeless Carnival primary restaurant dishes as the perfectly gooey-on-the-inside Warm Chocolate Melting Cake that has actually become legend amongst Carnival fans and the saffron risotto served in Carnival’s Cucina del Capitano Italian restaurants.

There likewise will be courses in sushi rolling and pizza making, in addition to pie baking. Classes will last one to two hours and expense in between $30 and $59 per person.

Carnival Kitchen area’s dining location will be used in the evenings for presentation classes that include a themed supper.

Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line.
Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line.

Duffy stated Carnival’s next ship, Mardi Gras, will have an even bigger cooking classroom. Mardi Gras is because of debut in August 2020.

While several lines have used cooking demonstrations on ships for many years, high end cruise operator Oceania Cruises generally gets the credit for revealing the first really hands-on, customized cooking class at sea. Both the line’s 1,250- traveler Marina and sister ship Riviera, revealed in 2011 and 2012, respectively, debuted with a 12- station Culinary Center.

Other lines that have since added multi-station cooking classrooms on ships consist of luxury operators Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises

The launching of Carnival Kitchen is just one aspect of a larger focus on cooking offerings at Carnival as it prepares to unveil Mardi Gras, the first of a new series of Carnival ships that will be considerably bigger than the line’s present vessels.

Related: The best credit cards for booking cruises

Christened last month in Long Beach, California, by Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna White, Carnival Panorama is the very first new Carnival ship to be based on the West Coast in two years.

Feature picture courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line.

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Gene Sloan
has actually blogged about cruising for more than 25 years and for several years oversaw USA TODAY’s acclaimed cruise site, USA TODAY Cruises. He’s sailed on nearly 150 ships.

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Husband and father of two children under age 5, Marco also enjoys walks in nature, squash, running road races, and photography. He regularly contributes significant time and resources to the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the MSPCA and other animal rights organizations, and the Bitran Charitable Foundation. Marco has also volunteered and consulted for public housing support organizations such as the Somerville Homeless Coalition, created by the local community’s grassroots response to the social crisis of homelessness.