I love to eat on a cruise. I always tell myself I am going to eat healthy, too. Here is the thing- that is completely possible. There are plenty of great choices for healthy eating. It just never works out that way because, er, well, there are a lot of choices. I like them all. Unfortunately, on my cruise last month I was able to keep my healthy eating options at breakfast. Carnival Dream breakfast options are good, but they aren’t great. That helped a lot with the willpower.
What options were available?
Carnival does a good job of having a lot of smaller places open at lunch. I really enjoyed the lunch options on the Carnival Dream. For breakfast, however, there were three primary options. You could eat in the main dining room(MDR), the Blue Iguana Cantina, or the buffet.
The MDR was actually quite good. It is only available on sea days, and it is labeled “Sea Day Brunch” in your daily planner. You will be served a plated meal from a fairly wide menu. I had the steak and eggs. It wasn’t great, but it was good. There was also no extra fee. Having a plated meal also helped tremendously with portion control and my lack of willpower.
I love formal dining at night. Unfortunately, I don’t enjoy it early in the morning. The casual breakfast options on the Carnival Dream weren’t great. There were two casual options- the Blue Iguana Cantina and the buffet.
The Blue Iguana Cantina offered breakfast burritos. The actually looked good. The salsa on the salsa bar was watery, but it actually tasted nice. There were two problems, however. First, lines could get quite long. Second, some of the choices were… weird. Watch the video above. In a literal translation, “huevos rancheros” means “ranch eggs.” They were offered offered as an additional option at Blue Iguana, and they actually tasted very good. However, and I am struggling to figure out how to say this… There. Were. No. Eggs. They brought some out a half hour later when I was walking by, but they served me egg-free ranch style eggs. Bless their hearts.
But the buffet was a safe choice, right?
My wife and I lived in Mexico City from 2004-2006. It was an amazing experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I still have a lot of incredibly clear mental images from that time. One of them was an Argentine steakhouse off Presidente Masyryk (a prominent boulevard). To get to the bathroom, you had to go to through the kitchen. They had their fire escape plan posted there. Unfortunately, digital photography was not yet a thing. I wish I had a picture. However, the fire escape plan had everyone run around in circles and then converge in the kitchen. The Carnival Dream breakfast buffet worked on the same basic principle.
The buffet had several strengths, of course. You could get a custom omelette. They also had a decent selection on the regular buffet. Here is the problem, though. The buffet lines were long, and they pointed at one another. It reminded me for all the world of the fire drill at the Argentine steak place in Mexico City. It was crowded and didn’t work well. For comparison. I would encourage you to watch the video above. After you do that, watch a video of the breakfast buffet on the Liberty of the Seas. That ship had more choices, and they were better organized with shorter lines.
Final judgment on the Carnival Dream breakfast options
So does this mean I liked Royal Caribbean better than Carnival? Errr, no. That is way too complex a question for a blog post about breakfast. This post also doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy my cruise on the Carnival Dream. It was delightful, and there was a great deal I enjoyed. Many of the food choices were very good. However, this ship had a problem with line management. They also didn’t have great casual options for breakfast. The Carnival Dream breakfast choices were not a great part of my cruise.