Shaquille O-Neal To Open ‘Big Chicken’ Resto On Carnival Radiance

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Carnival Cruise Line announced today that the transformed Carnival Radiance will be the first cruise ship to feature ‘Big Chicken,’ a seagoing version of a new restaurant created by the line’s Chief Fun Officer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.  

The menu will feature a variety of oversized fried chicken sandwiches and fries, with flavours to match Shaq’s larger than life personality, all included in the cruise fare.

O’Neal opened his first land-based Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas in late October. The seagoing adaptation Big Chicken aboard Radiance will be among the many food, dining and entertainment innovations incorporated into the 102,000-ton ship following a US$200 million refurbishment in Cadiz, Spain, in 2020. 

”Shaq has brought so much to our brand as Chief Fun Officer and we are always looking for ways to expand on this wonderful relationship and provide our guests with new ways to ‘Choose Fun,’” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Knowing his passion for food and fun, we’re thrilled to work with Shaq to bring the first Big Chicken at sea aboard the totally transformed Carnival Radiance.”

“As Chief Fun Officer, I want to bring even more fun to every aspect of a Carnival cruise, including what guests eat,” said O’Neal. “Big Chicken has been a dream of mine and now that our land-based restaurant is open, it’s only natural to bring it to sea, as well. I’m really excited that Carnival Radiance guests will be able to enjoy my own delicious creations alongside all the other great food offerings on board.”

Located aft on Lido Deck, Big Chicken will offer meals developed and taste-tested by the NBA Hall of Famer himself based on his own recipes. A variety of fried chicken sandwiches will be featured, with playful monikers inspired by Shaq’s litany of nicknames for himself, along with his own take on traditional sides. Breakfast will be offered as well with choices including chicken and egg biscuits.

Big Chicken is among the many new culinary and beverage offerings that will be available on Carnival Radiance when it debuts in 2020.  Other outlets include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse developed by Food Network star and long-time partner Guy Fieri, a classic American steakhouse called Fahrenheit 555, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub. 

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.




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