6 Things You Never Thought You Could Do On A Carnival Cruise

Carnival Cruise Lines has a loyal base of travelers who adore the trademarks of Carnival's "Fun Ships." The hairy back competitions by the pool. Line-dancing waiters during dinner. Endless soft-serve ice cream for the kids. But look a little deeper and you'll find some unexpected perks and amenities onboard Carnival ships. Here are six things that surprised me on a recent sailing onboard Carnival Liberty.

Things to Do on a Carnival Cruise | Eat Breakfast with the Cat in a Hat | Suess at Sea
Eat breakfast with the Cat in a Hat: Carnival's "Seuss at Sea" program means your little ones can dine on green eggs and ham while the famously furry friend is there to say good morning. Other Dr. Seuss activities include a character parade, storytelling and arts and crafts. | Courtesy Carnival Cruises
Things to Do on a Carnival Cruise | Concert Cruises
See a headlining band up close: Carnival's "Live" series brings A-list bands onboard to perform one night only on select cruises. You haven't lived until you've heard Journey perform "Don't Stop Believin'" 10 feet away from the stage in an venue that only holds about 1,000 fans. There's not a bad seat in the house. | Courtesy of Bruce Northam/americandetour.com
Things to Do on a Carnival Cruise | Make your Own Mofongo
Make your own mofongo: Don't worry ... it tastes better than it sounds. Mofongo is practically the Puerto Rican national dish. It combines mashed fried plantains with tasty seasoned meat. On the Old San Walk, Mojito and Mofongo Tour, you make the dish yourself. An apron is suggested; those plantains put up a pretty good fight. | Photo by Steve Spears
Things to Do on a Carnival Cruise | Alchemy Bar
Learn a lot about mixology: Yes, it's the tropics and frozen drinks are usually the perfect prescription to hot muggy days, but don't be surprised if you find yourself landing nightly on a stool at the Alchemy Bar. Serving only craft cocktails, Alchemy resembles a Harry Potter-esque establishment on Diagon Alley, with head bartender Daniel serving as wizard in charge. Dressed like a Prohibition-era pharmacist, Daniel will walk and talk you through the steps of each creation. And if he trusts you enough, you'll be allowed to set an orange rind or two on fire. (Bonus booze tip: If you make a reservation for Diamonds steakhouse for the first day of the cruise, you get a free bottle of wine!) | Steve Spears
Things to do on a Carnival Cruise | best sports bar
Have a drink with a Heisman Award winner: Okay, so Tim Tebow is probably not going to join you at the EA Sports Bar, but his autographed jersey will. While you're waiting on Tim, grab some a beer and some snacks and either watch live sports on the big-screen TV or play the latest video game titles from EA Sports for free. | Photo by Steve Spears
Things to Do on a Carnival Cruise | Breakfast Burritos
Get your burrito fix on for breakfast: If you want to escape the rush at the morning buffet lines, try a breakfast burrito instead at poolside Blue Iguana. The burritos are made by hand, and there's rarely a line to compete with. | Steve Spears