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A Taste of Carnival's Food Concept Branding

This one's for carnies. Not the people who coax you into trying to toss a ring around the neck of a Coke bottle or deflate a balloon with a dart to win a four-inch stuffed pig for the little one in your family…but the people who make Carnival their cruise line of choice.

The dictionary defines carnies as employees of a Carnival, but what do dictionaries know anyway? Every cruise line has its loyalists, so Carnival's are going to be Carnies, for better or for worse.

This news is for them…

Because Carnies have been asked for their feedback on food, the cruise line is floating a change in concept for dinner. Actually, two concepts. One is calledCarnival Dream dining roomAmerican Table, the other American Feast. More than anything, it appears to be an attempt at branding Carnival's food offerings, the way many cruise lines do with styles of eateries.

Carnival's doing it with menus in the dining rooms of four ships: Glory now, Liberty in January, Imagination and Inspiration in February. If it's a success — and that's where you Carnies can continue to have a say — the concepts will blanket the entire 23-ship line by the end of 2015.

American Table is being offered on Cruise Casual nights, which is most of them, and will feature an "exceptional American cuisine" like a modern restaurant with menus that the patrons designed. The entrees are being inspired by the ports of call…most of which are in the Caribbean.

American Feast is simply kicking it up a notch. It's scheduled for Cruise Elegant nights, once or twice a voyage. No mention of black ties and long gowns, because such things are rarely in the luggage of Carnival cruisers, but Carnival is promising a "more elegant, more elaborate" style of serving. That will be reflected in the menus (mojito cured ham, broiled Maine lobster, etc.) and it's safe to assume if you did wear a black tie, you would be more than welcome.

In the final analysis, Carnival is saying the decision to take American Table and American Feast fleet-wide will be made by its people.

Yes, the Carnies.

Norwegian Sky
4 nights
January 6, 2014
Miami (return): Grand BahamaNassauGreat Stirrup Cay
Inside: $149
Cost per day: $39
www.ncl.com

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