We Tested Out Carnival Kitchen on Our Last Cruise – Here’s What You Need to Know!

Here's how we cooked the best meal we had on our Carnival Jubilee cruise ourselves in the cruise line's exclusive Carnival Kitchen!

We Tested Out Carnival Kitchen on Our Last Cruise - Is it Worth it?

For many, food and dining are synonymous with cruising. We agree, after all, our brand is EAT Sleep Cruise. Of course, the new Carnival Jubilee cruise ship is home to several diverse dining experiences. The ship has one of the best selections of casual dining at sea. There is also the main dining room with a rotational, three-course menu. But something unique, at least among mainstream cruise lines, is Carnival Kitchen.

We have been hesitant to try this up-charge experience in the past. But we gave one of the new classes a whirl on our last cruise. Find out if it is worth the money as we share everything you need to know about Carnival Kitchen.

Here’s What You Need to Know About Carnival Kitchen

What is Carnival Kitchen?

Carnival Kitchen is a unique offering that you will not find on the cruise line’s competitors. Essentially, Carnival Kitchen is a cooking class. However, it is so much more than simply watching the Food Network… even if we must admit that the Carnival Kitchen on Carnival Jubilee did resemble the set of a cooking show.

Carnival Kitchen is located on Deck 6 of Excel-class ships. This showcase kitchen features approximately 8 stands where cruisers and their families can learn brand-new skills and culinary techniques from one of the onboard chefs.

Carnival Kitchen on Carnival Jubilee

Each station is a complete kitchen with an oven and stovetop, along with a sink and counter space. Not to mention, all the utensils and gadgets needed to whip up whatever is on the menu for that day’s class are supplied.

With the glass walls looking out to the ship’s main walkway, onlookers can glimpse at what cruisers are cooking during a class. Honestly, it is hard not to stop for a minute when a class is in session.  

What Are the Carnival Kitchen Classes?

During our cruise, 17 classes were available, with only one class repeating twice. Besides Pasta Masters, which occurred on Day 2 and Day 7 of the cruise, all the other classes only happened once on a seven-night cruise from Galveston, TX.

Among the selections were the following:

  • Pasta Masters (Day 2 & Day 7)
  • Sushi 101 (Day 2)
  • It’s an Ice Cream Kinda Day (Day 2)
  • Cake Workshop (Day 3)
  • Pit, Grill, and Smoke (Day 3)
  • Tailgate Party (Day 3)
  • An Elegant Affair – Spanish Dinner (Day 3)
  • Pizza Master Class ( Day 4)
  • El Fuego – A Latin Incident (Day 4)
  • Morning Hustle (Day 5)
  • Mission Masala Tiger (Day 5)
  • Cupcake Academy (Day 6)
  • An Elegant Affair – Italian Dinner (Day 6)
  • Emeril’s Favorites (Day 7)
  • Bake Shop & Pie Town (Day 7)
  • Oriental Unknown (Day 7)

How Long Are the Classes?

The class length can vary depending on the topic. Many courses, such as the “Pit, Grill, and Smoke” or the “Cake Workshop”, are one hour long.

These short classes tend to focus on specific cooking or culinary techniques and tips. Some food is already pre-prepared, while cruisers learn about unique preparation methods or tricks to ensure the food tastes and looks great.

Other classes are more in-depth, running about an hour and a half to two hours, like the Elegant Affair dinner courses or Emeril’s Favorites (which is the class we participated in).

Onboard Chefs on Carnival Kitchen

During these classes, cruisers get hands-on cooking instructions. Starting from scratch, the onboard chef takes cruisers step-by-step through all of the directions to create the dishes from raw ingredients to the final meal.

How Many Individuals Can Participate in a Class?

The classes in Carnival Kitchen are capacity-controlled. There are 8 stations in total. A family can occupy a station; although, each member of the family will be charged for the experience.

When is Carnival Kitchen Offered During a Cruise?

On our seven-night Carnival Jubilee cruise, Carnival Kitchen was offered six days. So, there were classes every day except cruise embarkation day. Yes, the classes occur on both sea days and port days.

However, what classes were available and the times did vary, with classes in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

Carnival Kitchen classes

On most sea days, there were 3-4 classes, with classes at 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:30 PM, and 6:00 PM (except for the first formal night). On port days, there was an 11:30 AM class and a 6:00 PM class.

Of course, the times and classes can vary depending on the sailing. But rest assured, there will be several Carnival Kitchen classes during your Carnival Jubilee cruise.  

Which Ships Have Carnival Kitchen?

Carnival Kitchen is a newer activity on Carnival Cruise Line ships, so it is not available on many vessels in the fleet. Currently, the experience is only available on four cruise ships.

What It's Really Like on the New Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship

The concept debuted on Carnival Panorama and has been a success since then. So, along with that ship, all three Excel-class ships also have this venue. Cruisers can find Carnival Kitchen on Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and Carnival Jubilee.

What Can You Make in Carnival Kitchen?

As mentioned above, various classes focus on appetizers, entrees, desserts, and snacks. The nighttime courses start at 6:00 PM and are the most comprehensive offerings. They often include how to prepare a themed starter, entrée, and dessert, all within the same class.

The other classes might cover a specific technique or cooking style. So, cruisers might learn about finishing the perfect meal with dessert-focused classes. Or, knead into how to make the ideal pizza.

Overall, the cooking classes in Carnival Kitchen provide the opportunity to learn how professional cooks prepare various foods on a Carnival cruise ship.

Thus, depending on the class, cruisers can learn how to make pizza, pasta, desserts, or an entire three-course meal.

Cooking Gumbo at Carnival Kitchen

How Much Does Carnival Kitchen Cost?

Prices for Carnival Kitchen vary depending on the courses. Some of the more basic classes, like the Cupcake Academy or the Tailgate Party, start at $45. Prices increase to $65 for the longer evening classes. However, these classes include the opportunity to prepare the dishes and enjoy the meals as that evening’s dinner.

During our Emeril’s Favorites class, we learned some of the famous chef’s recipes and indulged in the fruits of our labor. So, our class included all of the directions and the ability to enjoy all three courses once we were done. This was perhaps the best part: dining on the amazing food we made ourselves during this 90-minute class.

We also walked away with a commemorative spatula, which all guests receive after completing a class.

Do You Need to Know How to Cook?

No, participants do not need to know how to cook.

The onboard chefs walk everyone through each step. Further, tablet computers at each station have all the meal preparation steps. Before the class begins, the chef has prepared all ingredients in the right proportions in separate containers at each workstation.

Once the class begins, the chef takes his time reviewing all of the essential steps. Additional kitchen staff make the rounds to assist cruisers as they make their culinary masterpieces as well. Thus, cruisers can take their time and appropriately create their individual culinary masterpieces.

Everything is thoughtfully laid out, from all of the individual ingredients, along with the proper cookware, utilities, and even the wash cloths and clean-up accessories.

Is Carnival Kitchen Worth it?

For us, the ability to prepare a three-course meal and then dine on the finished product was well worth the $65-a-person upcharge. Along with the souvenirs, recipe cards, and the close-to-two-hour class, the complete experience was a fun and unique cruise activity.

For our Emeril’s Favorites class, we (by that, I mean 95% me) made some of the celebrity chef’s most famous dishes. These included his world-renowned New-New Orleans Pasta, Shrimp & Okra Gumbo, and Strawberries Romanoff.

Emerils Favorites

Our chef was informative and helpful. He ensured all of the guests understood each step and made the rounds to ensure each course was progressing appropriately. Along with learning some new cooking skills, we had fun with other cruisers in a unique onboard activity that few cruisers can experience on the ship.

Overall, we think the Carnival Kitchen is a hidden gem on Carnival cruise ships. Heidi and I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up for one of the nighttime classes to learn some new recipes and dine on one of the Spanish, Italian, or Latin specialties.

We highly recommend this onboard activity, as it will be one of the most memorable aspects of your cruise and something you will tell everyone about when you return home.  


Have you sailed on Carnival Jubilee yet? Have you taken one of these Carnival Kitchen classes? Drop us an anchor below with your latest reviews of this unique onboard experience.

Don Bucolo, or “DB”, loves everything about cruising- the ocean, the food, and the atmosphere. While he may be obsessed with doing extensive amounts of research on ships and all elements of a cruise, Don enjoys sharing his new found knowledge with fellow cruisers. When he is not sailing the high seas, he does whatever his wife tells him to do-it only took 10 years to realize this.
Don Bucolo
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We Tested Out Carnival Kitchen on Our Last Cruise – Here’s What You Need to Know!

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