I was aboard the Carnival Vista, which was Carnival's first ship to sail from the US since 2020.
I spent my seven-day trip feasting at the ship's eateries, which included not one, but two buffets by Guy Fieri.
Guy's Pig and Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse was the only place on the ship where I was able to get comfort foods like mac and cheese.
I spent a week aboard the Carnival Vista, which was Carnival Cruise Line's first ship to leave the US since 2020.
The vaccinated cruisers I spoke with were excited to be back in the open ocean - and so was I.
And most of us were thrilled about the food. The Carnival Vista has more than a dozen places to eat - including not one, but two buffets created by celebrity chef and Food Network legend Guy Fieri. Both of Fieri's eateries were included in the cost of the cruise.
So on the third day of my trip, I navigated to deck five and hopped in line at Guy's Pig and Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, which, hence the name, is the chef's barbecue-themed eatery.
From pork butt and smoked andouille sausage to comfort foods like mac and cheese, the buffet seemed to have all the traditional fixings of a typical barbecue restaurant.
I'm a pescetarian, so I planned to skip the red meat. Luckily, I think the sides are always the best part of a meal, and I planned to try them all.
Crew members dished out hefty portions of the mac and cheese, coleslaw, and potato salad onto my metal plate.
I also tried the three barbecue sauces available at the time: bourbon brown sugar, spicy Sriracha, and a Kansas City smokey and sweet sauce.
First up was the mac and cheese. This was the only place on the ship where I found this dish, so I was happy to indulge in the comfort food. The noodles were cooked just right, and the cheese sauce was delicious.
However, the potato salad was unmemorable. I thought the potatoes were undercooked and the dressing was flavorless.
The buffet's coleslaw stood out the most. It had a nice crunch and just the right amount of creaminess.
Meanwhile, the barbecue sauces were the biggest disappointment. I thought the three flavors tasted nearly identical to one another.
After I finished my plate, I searched for passengers who tried the meat at the Pig and Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse. But Fieri had some tough competition, because many of the passengers I spoke to were from Texas and took their barbecue seriously.
Some passengers mentioned enjoying the buffet, while others told me that they planned to wait until they got back home before indulging in barbecue again.
Unfortunately, the nearby Guy's Burger Joint lacked veggie burgers, so I stayed clear of that buffet. But from the looks of the long line, it seemed worth the wait.
There, crew members cooked burgers on a flat-top stove, served up fries, and a topping bar awaited passengers with every addition imaginable.
Overall, Guy's barbecue added much-needed variety from the daily buffet and dining room. And as Insider previously reported, cruise superfans agree that it's always a good idea to explore all the dining options a cruise has to offer.
Read the original article on Insider