Carnival Cruise Line vs. Disney Cruise Line: Food Edition

I had the opportunity to take a cruise at the end of January on Carnival Cruise Line’s Elation.  Exactly one year prior, I was aboard Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic ship.  I thought I would do a comparison of both lines, just to see which I liked better.  You can see my stateroom comparison here.


I found lots of interesting starter courses aboard CCL.  One evening I had a cold strawberry cream soup with mint that was out of this world.  There were spring rolls with a lovely dipping sauce, escargot, and salads.  I enjoyed all the starters I tried.


All the entrees I ordered were very attractively arranged and were delicious.  I had maybe one or two that I wasn’t totally impressed with, but I also had the same experience aboard DCL.  One thing that I did like about CCL’s menu is every night there was a “Didja” option as in “Didja ever try…?”  That option was a more exotic dish, like fried alligator or escargot. And on the flip side, there was a comfort food option.  One night they offered meatloaf and mashed potatoes which I had to have.  I love a good meatloaf and theirs was pretty good.


I love dessert.  All the ones I tried were really great.  The apple pie CCL offered was amazing!

Breakfast and Sea Day Brunch

We had breakfast every morning in the main dining room and it was such a treat!  Since we had two sea days, we got to have Sea Day Brunch twice.  You can’t go wrong with omelettes prepared anyway you like, not to mention the Eggs Benedict and the Blueberry Pancakes!

Buffets and Pizza

We only ate at the poolside buffet twice on our sailing on CCL.  I found it pretty good, but the burgers were not the best I’d had.  The pizza was fair.  We never ate at the indoor buffet, but that was only because we wanted the pampering of the main dining room.


On CCL, soft drinks are not free like they are on DCL.  We (really I) started jonesing hard for a Diet Coke, so we decided to spring for the Bottomless Bubbles program.  For $6 per day (based on your length of cruise, paid in one payment) you can have all the soda you like.  I have to admit, having to pay extra for Diet Coke really bums me out.  DCL’s got a good thing going with that.

Specialty Dining

Our CCL cruise did not have any specialty dining options like Palo or Remy.

Overall, I felt like CCL and DCL were comparable on food taste, food presentation, and quality.  However, I have to give DCL the advantage because a) they have complimentary soft drinks, b) I prefer their rotational dining set up, and c) Palo.

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6 thoughts on “Carnival Cruise Line vs. Disney Cruise Line: Food Edition

  1. I have only cruised on Carnival (but aim to try DCL soon, too) and I also loved all the food!! And, if you didn’t like your first entree pick you can just pick another entree to try until you find something you love!! Cruising is a blast, and the food is by fay my favorite part.


    • Yes, that’s definitely true and I don’t think a lot of people realize that you can get as many dishes as you want. I love cruising too!


  2. We loved the dessert selections on CCL , although my wife orders the molten lava cake with every meal. We are not big soda drinkers, so that doesn’t effect us. One thing I personally like about dining on a cruise is trying new food selections. I know that if I don’t care for what I ordered, the wait staff will happily bring me a different selection. Now I need to get in a Disney Cruise and make my own comparison.


  3. We’ve cruised Carnival but hoping to do Disney next year – loved their food! The ship I was on did have a specialty restaurant which was quite good, but I’m really looking forward to DCL.


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