Shaq's new Big Chicken restaurant will be aboard Carnival Radiance

Fried chicken sandwiches and breakfast items like chicken and egg biscuits will be served at no charge in Shaquille O'Neal's first Big Chicken outlet at sea, aboard Carnival Radiance.

The 102,000gt ship, currently sailing as Carnival Victory, will be transformed in a $200m refurbishment in Cadiz, Spain, in 2020.

First Big Chicken just opened in Vegas

NBA Hall of Famer Shaq, who serves as Carnival Cruise Line's chief fun officer, just opened his first Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas in late October. This venture was chronicled in an eight-episode reality show for Facebook Watch.

The seagoing adaptation of Big Chicken will be among the many food, dining and entertainment innovations incorporated into Carnival Radiance.

Passion for food and fun

'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,”' Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said. '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.'

'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,' O'Neal said. '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.'

Lido Deck location

Located aft on Lido Deck, Big Chicken will serve fried chicken favorites, all developed and taste-tested by O'Neal, based on his own recipes. A variety of chicken sandwiches will be featured, with playful monikers inspired by Shaq’s litany of clever nicknames for himself, along with his own take on traditional sides.

Breakfast will be offered, as well, with choices like chicken and egg biscuits. Patrons will place their order at the counter and pick up their items right away—no waiting, Carnival said. All items will be free.

Plus, Guy's Smokehouse

Other new food and beverage outlets that will be found on Carnival Radiance include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse developed by Food Network star and longtime Carnival partner Guy Fieri, a classic American steak house called Fahrenheit 555, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub.  

Itinerary and homeport details will be announced shortly.

Posted 11 November 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review