Launching year-round service with the Carnival Miracle from New York today, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced a variety of new dining and entertainment choices, including The Taste Bar complimentary appetizer program, The Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez and The Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented also by George Lopez, will debut on the Miracle.

The ship will sail three different eight-day itineraries, each visiting destinations in the Caribbean.

Carnival’s newest casual dining option, The Taste Bar, is being introduced on Carnival Miracle with fleetwide implementation expected to be completed by summer 2013. The Taste Bar features complimentary bite-size offerings inspired by the newest and most popular “Fun Ship 2.0” dining venues, along with a signature cocktail tied to that eatery’s particular theme available for purchase for $5. Sample offerings may include:

Roasted pork tacos with green chili salsa and aged cotija cheese, and chicken, avocado, and lime tortilla soup, inspired by the BlueIguana Cantina that debuted on Carnival Liberty, with a refreshing Blue’s Blue Margarita as the accompanying drink

Nonna's meatballs and hand-whipped ricotta bruchetta, patterned after the family-style offerings at the Cucina del Capitano Italian restaurant introduced on Carnival Magic, with the eatery’s house Chianti served from an oversized barrel on wheels

Fried malanga (sweet potatoes) filled with ginger-scented pork and lime aioli, and pepper pot soup with cilantro sour cream, similar to what is served at Carnival Magic’s RedFrog Pub, with a Rum Jumper as the suggested beverage

Grilled ham and provolone cheese melt on buttermilk brioche and cream of tomato soup, from the new Comfort Kitchen option debuting on Carnival Breeze, served with Lynchburg Lemonade

Short rib croquettes with chipotle aioli and guava and tomato relish, served with pumpkin bisque with sour cream, available with a Manhattan cocktail representing Carnival’s classic American steakhouses

The Taste Bar cuisine samples will be offered on a rotating basis from approximately 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on sea days and select port days. Location will vary by ship, with Carnival Miracle’s Taste Bar selections offered on Promenade Deck in a recently renovated venue that formerly housed the vessel’s sushi bar. Sushi will be one of the featured Taste Bar themes and sushi will also be offered at the Carnival Miracle’s poolside restaurant nightly during dinner service.

Also making its Big Apple debut is the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez, part of a recently announced partnership with the popular comedian who serves as the line’s “curator of comedy,” acting as a consultant on the vetting and hiring of both established and up-and-coming comedic talent.

The comedy club will offer five 35-minute shows on multiple nights during each voyage, with at least two comedians performing each night. Two early-evening shows offer fun for the whole family while the later performances feature R-rated adults-only comedy.

Lopez has recorded a number of fun, light-hearted greetings that will be shown on Carnival Miracle’s in-cabin televisions and played during introductions of comedy club performances.

For those who prefer a little merriment in the morning, there’s the new Punchliner Comedy Brunch, which debuts on the Miracle and “offers up heaping servings of laughter along with a new twist on the traditional culinary feast,” according to Carnival.

Taking place on sea days in the main dining room, the comedy brunch is a free dining option that features five- to six-minute performances each hour by comedians.

Many items are inspired by Lopez’s Mexican heritage, including Carne y Huevos – filet mignon topped with two eggs and béarnaise sauce; Hen Alla Diavola, grilled chicken with lemon and pepper; and Mexican-style churros. Two special “George’s Recipes” dishes created by the comedian himself – his own take on Huevos Rancheros that features a chicken quesadilla topped with fried eggs and manchego cheese, and a breakfast burrito filled with scrambled eggs, beans and chorizo – are also offered.

Beginning April 12, 2012, the Miracle kicks off its year-round schedule of eight-day Caribbean voyages. Three distinctly different eight-day itineraries are offered: eastern Caribbean departures to San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk; Bahamas sailings featuring stops at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Nassau, and Bahamas/Florida cruises with port calls to Port Canaveral (Orlando), Nassau and Freeport.

Carnival Splendor will assume Carnival Miracle’s year-round eight-day schedule from New York in March 2013 when Carnival Miracle repositions to the West Coast to operate the line’s Alaska, Hawaii and Mexican Riviera programs.