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Steakhouse or Chef's Table?


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2nd Cruise upcoming in April on the Magic. Going to surprise my wife for our 5th Anniversary with a few things.

 

We enjoyed the MDR food and variety, so don't want to miss out on trying different things. So, if you had to choose just 1 of the Steakhouse or Chef's Table, which would it be?

 

Also, I read the Chef's table reservation night is not provided until you get on the ship.  I would not want to do it if it's on elegant night, so we can still enjoy that and lobster in the MDR. Any way to make adjustments if it ends up falling on that night?

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Having done neither ourselves, we talked about it an opted for the Steakhouse, as it is fine dining an they serve......steak! From reading the board, I've read rave reviews about the Chef's Table. From what I gather it is more of a 'culinary experience' than anything else. I'm quite sure the food is fantastic, but it can be exotic. The chef's go all out on presentation of the food. And the courses become long and drawn out. It takes several hours to do the Chef's Table. So for that reason, and the exotic menu selections we feel the Steak House is for us, but as always, YMMV.

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For an anniversary, I would totally do the Chef’s Table.  I’ve done it a few times.  Its definitely exotic and more ‘foodie’ related, but what an experience.  It’s literally food theater.  🙂.   Exotic doesn't mean bugs or anything.🤣 Just how it’s prepared....olive oil foam is one Item I remember.  It does take a 2-3 hrs.  Champagne to start and then nonstop wine at dinner.  Small tour of the galley before you sit down to eat where they show how they make chocolate melting cake.  
 

You usually find out when your reservation is once you get on board.  You absolutely have to try it at least once.🙂

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DH and I eat regularly at the Steakhouse if our ship has one, or we order Steakhouse Selections in the MDR if there isn't a Steakhouse. We have also done the Chef's Table and loved it. I would do the chef's Table because it is very special and a great small group experience. Even if it's on elegant night you won't miss the tiny lobster tail in the MDR as you would have a wonderful culinary experience doing the Chef's Table.

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Chef's Table is great, recommend you try it at least once.  Not sure about the Carnival Magic but some ships host it in the library and the presentation isn't as good.  If you travel on Vista Class, they have a dedicated dinning room within the galley just for this event and I have to say the setup is fantastic.  Even for those that were hosted in the library, the food was tasty.  Steak House is always a solid experience on Carnival, just sailed twice with Royal and I was completely disappointed when visiting theirs.

Edited by Mr305
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Having done both on several ships, if I were faced with the decision of one or the other I would choose Chef’s Table.

 

Given that you say you’re adventurous, you should find the culinary uniqueness palatable.  We have (more than once) had tablemates who feigned regurgitation when presented with dishes.  They clearly didn’t anticipate (or appreciate) the menu.

 

In my experience Chef’s table hasn’t been scheduled on Elegant Night but that’s not to say it couldn’t happen.  You could cancel if it does (there’s almost always a wait list for someone to take your place) but doing so to avoid missing low-quality poorly prepared lobster tail would (in my opinion) be a poor one.  

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I've only done the Chef's Table once, and it was held on the first elegant night of the cruise.  Personally, we didn't care since we were on a B2B, but if it's something that matters to you, it might make sense to book the Steakhouse instead. There's no guarantee that yours would also be scheduled on an elegant night. But, as you pointed out, you won't know what night it's scheduled until you board. Of course, technically you won't know for sure what night(s) elegant night will be, either. But you can assume that it definitely won't be the first or last night, and book the Steakhouse for one of those nights. I love booking the Steakhouse for the last night since it's a good way to end a cruise.

Edited by bakersdozen12
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5 hours ago, 1019throw said:

2nd Cruise upcoming in April on the Magic. Going to surprise my wife for our 5th Anniversary with a few things.

 

We enjoyed the MDR food and variety, so don't want to miss out on trying different things. So, if you had to choose just 1 of the Steakhouse or Chef's Table, which would it be?

 

Also, I read the Chef's table reservation night is not provided until you get on the ship.  I would not want to do it if it's on elegant night, so we can still enjoy that and lobster in the MDR. Any way to make adjustments if it ends up falling on that night?

Carnival steak house hands down. Not only is the price excellent but there are some perks you may not be aware of.

The price INCLUDES the gratuities and the first and second night. You get a FREE bottle of white or red wine. If you want a special wine, it is 50% off. Last but not least. Every time we ate in the Carnival steak house the food was EXCELLENT. I cannot say that for any other cruise line.

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Thanks for all the feedback.

 

We are likely going to get the Cheers package again, so the additional perks of the wine doesn't play into the decision. I made reservations to the Chef's Table, as my wife is definitely a foodie and I think will enjoy the experience.

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Agree on the comparisons,, done the Steakhouse many times, in our view the best meal at sea, certainly on the ship.  Done five CT’s, the menu is eclectic, and wOur describe it more of an evening experience.  Op, if the experience is the decided path choose the CT, if you want a really good meal, choose the SH.

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On 11/18/2019 at 2:05 PM, twodaywonder said:

Carnival steak house hands down. Not only is the price excellent but there are some perks you may not be aware of.

The price INCLUDES the gratuities and the first and second night. You get a FREE bottle of white or red wine. If you want a special wine, it is 50% off. Last but not least. Every time we ate in the Carnival steak house the food was EXCELLENT. I cannot say that for any other cruise line.

Gratuities included?? Wow then my server last Thursday night made a killing!

 

We did the steakhouse for the first time - and plan to do it from now on! Definitely a winner in my book. Haven't done the Chef's Table. Good news is it sounds like you can't go wrong with either one!

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On 11/18/2019 at 7:29 AM, 1019throw said:

2nd Cruise upcoming in April on the Magic. Going to surprise my wife for our 5th Anniversary with a few things.

 

We enjoyed the MDR food and variety, so don't want to miss out on trying different things. So, if you had to choose just 1 of the Steakhouse or Chef's Table, which would it be?

 

Also, I read the Chef's table reservation night is not provided until you get on the ship.  I would not want to do it if it's on elegant night, so we can still enjoy that and lobster in the MDR. Any way to make adjustments if it ends up falling on that night?

Hi we did the steakhouse and have a review if you would like to take a look.  Do not order the surf and turf if you are hungry...my two cents  🙂
 

 

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4 minutes ago, JQTravels said:

Hi we did the steakhouse and have a review if you would like to take a look.  Do not order the surf and turf if you are hungry...my two cents  🙂
 

 

The steakhouse imho is the best at sea. The meal you describe is accurately reflected in the menu in regards to size.  There certainly are other cuts if quantity rules supreme, just my cents worth.  😉

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1 minute ago, jimbo5544 said:

The steakhouse imho is the best at sea. The meal you describe is accurately reflected in the menu in regards to size.  There certainly are other cuts if quantity rules supreme, just my cents worth.  😉

I have heard I should have looked more closely... I had made up my mind about surf and turf before I got on the boat so I didn't even look....

😄

 

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If there is even a slightly picky eater, chef's table isn't the way to go.  A lot of seafood and raw dishes from the menus I've seen that's why we don't book it.  At the steakhouse you have choices, at Chef's table, they bring you what they are making.  I believe you can call ahead and let them know of any allergies or foods to avoid.  I would book steakhouse but be sure you have at least 2-3 hours because service is painfully slow.

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6 hours ago, jdemps said:

If there is even a slightly picky eater, chef's table isn't the way to go.  A lot of seafood and raw dishes from the menus I've seen that's why we don't book it.  At the steakhouse you have choices, at Chef's table, they bring you what they are making.  I believe you can call ahead and let them know of any allergies or foods to avoid.  I would book steakhouse but be sure you have at least 2-3 hours because service is painfully slow.

It certainly is an eclectic menu. 

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2 hours ago, coevan said:

We have never been in the Steakhouse longer than 1 1/2 hours. We thought the service was exceptional. 2-3 hours is how long the Chefs Table takes

Same results with us. On EVERY Carnival cruise we take, we ALWAYS do the first night at the steak house and it never disappoints. The price, the service and the quality of the food. All excellent!

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