I have been dying to do the Chef’s Table since a friend told us about it at our time on the Carnival Magic. When I had booked our Glory cruise, I also booked our Chef’s Table reservation, which can be done through email. I tend to plan way ahead, so yes, my reservations were a year in advanced. Do not feel like you need to be on the ball as much as me – they were still taking reservations on the ship.
C wasn’t sure if he would be interested in the experience. He tends to be picky when it comes to food and hates almost all vegetables. He was also concerned because I have a food intolerance and he didn’t want me to get sick.
The Chef’s Table confirms with you many times if you have any food allergies or dietary needs. I actually did not tell them about my intolerance until right before we went back to start. When the food I could eat was included in the meal, they made a small substitution so I would still get all the flavor.
Part of the Chef’s Table is a tour of the kitchen area. It is not the whole kitchen area, as you are not allowed in where they do most of the cooking. You do get to see waiters and cooks getting orders ready and hearing the multi-lingual culture that is the ship! Everyone was so friendly and stopped to say hello to our group. One dessert chef showed us how to make Chocolate Melting Cake (Carnival’s signature) and as a bonus, we were able to take the recipe home.
This is an exclusive experience on Carnival. They used to only do it once a sailing, but now do to demand will do it a few times on a week long cruise. The groups will always stay small at 12 people. This gives you a lot of personal attention. We peppered the chef and other staff with questions!
Most important part – the food! I want to tell you all about the food and describe each piece as it was described to us. But I won’t. I do not want to ruin that experience for you. I will say, it was an explosion of flavor. I love food; I just didn’t realize how amazing food could be until this experience. Many of the items take hours to cook or make, so you will not find them at the lido buffet or the main dining room.
It is A LOT of food. 3 appetizers in the kitchen and then an 8-course meal. Whatever you do, DO NOT EAT before you go. Rookie mistake.
It was a presentation as well as a meal. We savored each bite. The wine poured freely. Can you tell by this picture?
Besides my food intolerance, I tend to eat everything. I’m not picky. I’ve been known to drink burnt coffee (my tastes have evolved somewhat since my early 20s). Eating at the Chef’s Table made me understand why being picky is sometimes a good thing. The Sea Bass was to melt for. C practically licked the plate on everything but one item.
By the time dessert came out, it was hard to eat. It all looked so good though!
We had a fantastic time, we haven’t stopped talking about it. Now that we are home, we are bummed that we cannot cook like that. Chef did tell us that if we won the lottery to remember him and that he ‘came cheap’, he just wanted to be educated at the Cordon Blu in Paris! Maybe we will have to start playing the lottery. Although, I am not sure I could eat like that everyday. It would lose the special feel.
The cost was $75 a per plus gratuities. Altogether it was about $190 for the two of us. We will not be able to do it every time we cruise, but we do hope to be able to do it again in the near future!