Updated April 19, 2017 at 4:53 p.m.
Following the success of the popular Bonsai Sushi restaurant on several of its cruise ships, Carnival Cruise Line has added pop-up sushi venues to four of its ships.
Carnival Conquest, Carnival Valor, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Glory have added a stand-alone eatery on their Lido Decks to serve sushi, sashimi and rolls. Pricing is a la carte basis.
As at other pop-up venues, customers place their order at the counter and then are paged when their food is ready, so they do not have to stand in line.
Sushi and sashimi – including Ebi (shrimp), Sake (salmon), Maguro (tuna) and Hamachi (amberjack) – are offered at $1.50 per piece; California Rolls and Spicy Tuna Rolls are $5 per roll; and Bang Bang Bonsai Roll and Tempura Roll cost $7.50 each.
Complimentary sushi is also being offered at the Taste Bar and the Lido Restaurants on select nights, and for a fee in the Bonsai Sushi full-service restaurants on Carnival Breeze, Carnival Dream, Carnival Legend, Carnival Pride, Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Vista.
Most travel agents seemed to like the idea. “I think this is a wonderful add-on for ships that are not scheduled for dry dock in the near future,” said Justin Wolfson at Chubit Travel. “Sushi has become very popular and I’ve seen the venues on other ships always filled. Can’t wait to try it!”
Beverly Falley of Island Dreams Travel was not so sure, though. "Personally, I don't like the idea of adding 'premium' items for a fee. This is a way of enabling the cruise line to price itself low to appeal to the budget traveler while simultaneously adding 'luxury' items to appeal to higher-end clients in order to promote the availability of these features on their ships. The price-conscious clients will see it as 'nickel and dime-ing' them and the luxury traveler is accustomed to having these kinds of options as part of the cruise. Neither will be happy."
But Ashley Morris, owner of Alpaca Your Bags Travel, said, "Any option that creates more variety for guests is welcome! Those who want to pay will pay. Those who don't still have plenty of choices."