There are no shortages of places to drink on the Carnival Magic, the cruise line’s newest ship. You can hang at the piano bar, go to the nightclub or grab drinks poolside whenever you want. But no on-board drinking hole approached the popularity of the RedFrog Pub, Carnival’s first pub, and the private label beer, ThirstyFrog Red.
The RedFrog Pub has a Caribbean-inspired theme with bar food, specialty cocktails and many different types of rum to sample. True to its pub theme, it’s a casual hangout, where shorts or khakis are the norm. Drinks and food that you buy at the pub are not included, but prices were reasonable: $3.33 for snacks and $5.50 for a pint of ThirstyFrog Red.
Chris wondered why so many people on Twitter were talking about the ThirstyFrog Red; it was so popular that the ship ran out of it on the first day. “Is it really that good?” she asked.
Nothing intrigues beer lovers more than a new craft beer. And the fact that the RedFrog Pub was a low-key, relaxing spot to hang out added to its popularity, as not everyone wants to go to a dance club or piano bar at night. In fact, many of the bar patrons would have gladly stayed put through the early morning hours, if only the bar would have remained open.
In my opinion, the RedFrog bar food was some of the best on the ship. Even though it’s not high end, the dishes were executed well and weren’t trying to be more ambitious than the venue’s capabilities.
Having sampled the good and the bad on several Caribbean islands, I knew what to expect from a good conch fritter, and the pub’s version did not disappoint. The fritter was nice and crunchy on the outside and somewhat moist on the inside, with ample bits of conch throughout.
Unlike the burrito-sized roti you find on some islands, the RedFrog roti intended to be finger food. About the size of a spring roll, the chicken-filled roti were tied shut with a green onion stalk and served with a green chutney. You could choose one of the pub’s authentic hot sauces if you wanted to kick up the heat a bit.
People also gravitated to the pub because of the entertainment. There was always music when I was there – and my group was there a lot – with two regular guitarists that provided the type of feel-good songs you know by heart. It never took long before the crowd started singing along or dancing (there’s also the hand-out tambourine for those who want to be part of the band).
Carnival Cruise Lines sponsored this trip, but the opinions are those of the author.
Don Faust | Partner, Contributor and Photo Editor of the travel site www.caroundtheworld.com, winner of 2010 Lowell Thomas travel writing award.