Food + Travel: South Caribbean

It’s been the wettest winter in—I don’t know how many years, but here’s to hoping at the end of the season, Southern California can lift its drought status and my 9-year-old won’t give me the stink eye when I forget to turn off the water while brushing our teeth. Given this cold and water logged winter, Matt and I partnered with Carnival and took the kids on a Southern Caribbean cruise


OMG – where to start? There’s so much to share, but I’m going to start with the food, because face it, next to the excursions the food is best part of any cruise. 

For this Carnival Cruise we sailed on Carnival Vista, Carnival’s newest ship. Like any ship, there are all kinds of complimentary foods that you can enjoy, but today, I’m sharing the premium bites. By premium, I mean the ones that cost a few more dollars (and worth every last penny) to enjoy.

I’m starting with Bonsai Sushi. We ate here more than any other place. Mainly because it was open for lunch and dinner and it also allowed for takeout (more on why we did so much takeout over on Matt’s site, where he’s sharing the best things to do around the ship).



It sounds crazy, but my little guys have never had sushi before this trip. At home when given dinner choices for going out they usually stick to a standard list of frequent places. On the ship, and when on vacation, I don’t give them a choice—trying new things is a must. They tried everything, while sushi may not have been their favorite, below are a few of the things they did go crazy for. 


So after a night of sushi rolls and ramen bowls, we headed over to the other Asian offering, JiJi Asian Kitchen, where we enjoyed regional specialties from across Asia. We went for everything from Bo Kho Slow-Braised Wagyu Short Rib to Hakka-style Noodles. This was definitely my favorite spot because the flavors were so reminiscent of what I grew up on – bold and strong, but not overwhelming or overpowering to what was being showcased.





Next up we let Cole choose the place to dine. He went with Cucina del Capitano because of their macaroni and cheese offering. Smart kid. It was a hit with all of us along with all the other Italian-American dishes that were served up family-style.



From Asian to Italian, Matt decided we needed some seafood. I agreed. What’s a cruise without seafood? We hit the Seafood Shack for the freshest catch and some classics that the boys needed some introduction to, specifically Lobster Rolls. OMG – their messy faces tell the story better than any written word can. Then there was the clam chowder, how is that my boys have never had clam chowder (???)—another first for them.




I’m beginning to think more frequent vacations are needed. It seems to be the only place I can get the boys to try new things without a battle and I’m not just talking about the food. Hit the jump here to see what Matt has to say about all the fun things to do with kids on a Carnival Cruise. And stay tuned, because the next installment in this series will feature all the awesome bites from around the ship that aren’t premium. 

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over.

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  1. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonShashi at RunninSrilankan says

    Wow – what fantastic eats! I love your’s and Matt’s rule of getting y’alls kiddos to try ALL the new foods on vacay!

  2. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says

    Wow! What an array of food options Naomi! Everything looks wonderful.Sounds like you all had a great time getting away from the CA rain and enjoying some nice weather, food and family time!

  3. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonGerry Speirs says

    Sooooooo many good eats going on with Carnival right now. Can’t wait to see the premium!!

  4. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonLauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain says

    I have never been on a cruise and now I know I need to go!!

  5. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonGina @ Running to the Kitchen says

    That’s some seriously good looking cruise fare! I’d be all about the sushi and ramen!

  6. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonTaylor @ Food Faith Fitness says

    This trip looks AMAZING! All of that food! I wish I was in your suitcase!

  7. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonJennifer Farley says

    I love Carnival!!! JiJi Asian Kitchen was my favorite. Also, mad props for your styling at the restaurants. I was too busy shoveling in the food most of the time. 😀