How to Eat Vegan on a Carnival Cruise

by on October 4, 2016
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Cruising can be intimidating for vegans, but if you follow these 9 suggestions, you’re guaranteed to have a great vegan cruise.

Having a drink during departure is a cruise tradition.

Crusing is scary for most vegans. We’re used to being in complete control of what we eat, and the idea of being trapped on a ship and at the mercy of its cooks prevents many of us from considering taking a cruise. I know I would never have taken a cruise if it weren’t for the fact that my (non-vegan) parents and siblings love to cruise. They’re fans of “floating family reunions,” and I’ve come to agree that cruising is a great way to get the family together without worrying about who’s going to do all the cooking and cleanup. I’ve just returned from my third cruise with my extended family, and I had a great time. And I didn’t starve!

I’ve cruised once before on Carnival and once on Norwegian, and this 7-day trip aboard the Carnival Freedom was my best experience with vegan cruise food so far. I felt that the dining room personnel did a better job keeping track of my “special orders” and of making sure that I was satisfied than on either of the other cruises I’ve taken. For the first time on a cruise, I had dessert, not just fresh fruit. My meal often ended with sorbet, and on a couple of occasions the chef made me a special surprise.

Two desserts: A plate of fruit and a apple cobbler

Two desserts for me: A plate of fruit and an apple cobbler

If you’re planning a Carnival cruise in the near future, here are a few suggestions for coming away a satisfied and satiated vegan customer:

Eat in the dining room.

The buffet is chaotic, and finding an employee who knows whether a dish contains animal products or not can be time-consuming. You can usually get a decent salad or plate of fresh fruit, but most of the other dishes are not vegan. I went through the Mongolian Wok line for lunch the first day, and though the ingredients I picked out were vegan and the pan was freshly washed, none of the sauces I could choose from were vegetarian, so my stir-fry was made with just soy sauce. In the dining room, you will be waited on by the same staff every day, who should know you are vegan as long as you follow recommendation #2:

On the first night, tell the waitstaff your food restrictions in very specific terms.

Don’t expect them to know what vegan means. You will need to spell out exactly what you do and don’t eat. They should write down your instructions and have you check over them for accuracy.

Indian entrees can be veganized

Indian entrees can be veganized

Ask to speak to the dining room host or manager.

You will receive the best service if you involve the host or hostess of the dining room. After I told my waiter about my dietary restrictions, the dining room manager, Diana, came over to go through everything with me. Each night she would show me the next night’s menu and we would come up with ideas for vegan options for me. Often I simply had the vegan version of whatever Indian vegetarian entree was on the menu (Carnival includes one Indian vegetarian option at each dinner, and they are excellent). Other nights I let the chef use his creativity, and he came up with some interesting pasta dishes. Once I was even brought two entrees because the chef was interested to see which one I would like better!

This delicious sweet and sour was served for brunch

This delicious sweet and sour was served for brunch

Be sure to mention that you will also be eating breakfast in the dining room.

I have to say, breakfast was often the most interesting–and oddest–meal for me. I didn’t realize at first that the kitchen had standing orders to prepare a full vegan meal for me, and the first day I tried to order a bowl of oatmeal. Well, I got the oatmeal and then two more courses. Each meal started with a salad, until I finally told the waiter that I wasn’t really a salad for breakfast type and would prefer fruit. The main course was always tofu and vegetables, either prepared separately or together. The  slabs of tofu were a little underseasoned for my taste, but one morning I received a plate of sweet and sour tofu and vegetables that was one of the best meals I had on the ship. It was just a little strange that it was served at 8:30 in the morning.

Tofu: It's what's for breakfast

Tofu: It’s what’s for breakfast

Don’t waste your luggage space bringing your own plant-based milk unless you don’t use soy milk.

I brought a bunch of single-serving soymilks with me and wound up using only one or two of them because the dining room brought me soymilk when I requested it for my coffee. The coffee bar also has soymilk for lattes (but you’ll pay extra for those.) If you use another type of milk, you might want to bring some along. Many ships now have refrigerators in the cabins.

Delicious vegan sushi appetizer

Delicious vegan sushi appetizer

Drop by the Deli counter for a veggie sandwich.

Ignore the menu and ask them to make you a vegetarian sandwich. When I did this the first time, the deli worker first told me that all he had was lettuce and tomato. But as my sandwich progressed, I found he had arugula, onions, peppers, and even sauerkraut available. With a little mustard, it was perfect. They’ll even grill it if you want, but be sure to ask for no butter. (There’s also a pizza counter where I hear you can get a veggie pizza, but it was always too busy for me to try.)

Bring your own Larabars or other snacks if you like to eat between meals.

Or stop by the buffet in the morning and pick up a bowl of fruit to keep in the fridge in your cabin. You’re allowed to bring packaged goodies onboard, but leave anything homemade at home.

Off the ship, vegan fajitas in Cozumel

Off the ship, vegan fajitas in Cozumel

Try to ignore all the meat-eating going on around you. And the wasted food.

Actually, this may be the most important thing to consider before you decide to book a cruise. I live in kind of a vegan bubble. My immediate family is vegan, and I spend my time on the internet chatting with vegans. Therefore, it was a shock to be surrounded by people, extended family included, piling their plates high with meat and never once considering a vegetarian option (which, admittedly, are very few on the printed menu.) I saw people ordering two entrees and three desserts and then leaving half that food untouched. People tend to overindulge when the food is “free” (included in the price of the cruise.) If waste bothers you or you don’t want to be surrounded by meat eating, you might not want to take a cruise.

Enjoy a break from cooking and cleaning.

Let go and let someone else take care of you. Look at each meal as an adventure: you will never know what to expect. One night your appetizer will be veggie sushi; the next you’ll receive two soups (I had both pumpkin and asparagus soup in the same meal.) Some meals you’ll love; others you’ll eat because you’re hungry. You can either regret not being in control of your meals or look at it as a vacation from worrying about all that. You’re paying for a vacation, so take it! (But please tip your waitstaff and praise them lavishly in your post-cruise survey.)

Lovely Roatan

Lovely Roatan, as seen from the Carnival Freedom

All in all, it’s gotten a lot easier to eat well as vegan on a cruise. As more and more vegans opt to take cruises and make their preferences known, it can only get better. Cruise lines will get more savvy about satisfying vegans and chefs will become more skilled. One day, I hope to have vegan pancakes or a tofu scramble for breakfast at sea!

If you want to see more of my cruise photos, join me on Instagram, where I’ll be posting some of my favorite shots.

Susan

 

 

 

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How to Eat Vegan on a Carnival Cruise


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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Veganopoulous October 4, 2016 at 4:47 pm

Great tips! I went on a cruise a couple years ago and it was mostly pitiful. On the first night I spoke to the head waiter in our section and they brought me the menu for the next day so I could choose something that could be veganised. After making my decision I returned the menu. The next night, no special meal. Apparently I was suppose to have ‘officially’ placed an order, as in the waiter writing everything down and submitting it. It seems me giving the menu back saying “this pasta looks good, I’ll have that” didn’t constitute an order. Also there was a mixup because it turns out my waiter had the same name as another and they asked the wrong waiter about me (so naturally he had no idea about my request!) So my tip would be to make sure you get the staff’s name and somehow check the order has gone through. This happened to me on a formal dining night so I was all dressed up and ended up leaving my family to go to the salad bar (yay more raw salad…) then back to my cabin in a grump to watch Love Boat reruns! Yes it was a Princess cruise 😛

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2 Mary Waldeck October 4, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Awesome! Thank you for sharing Susan. I have been on 15 cruises, (Norwegian is my favorite) but none since going vegan 2.5 yrs ago. I have been checking out cruises again and would like to plan one again in the very near future, your post gives me hope that I will eat well.

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3 SamuelS October 4, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Hello Susan,

All great tips! We cruise annually on Celebrity, and there have been very few challenges. I recommend that those of us with our requirements (or any other requirement to be sure) contact the cruise line 90 days before hand, then speak with the Maitre ‘d on embarkation…

My comment on our last cruise the chef was always preparing couscous in every form he could.. LOL, finally I had to send word that couscous was great, but not for three or four different meals. After that the kitchen got real creative and it was great… all dining rooms were equally as good at preparing something for me.

I endorse cruising big time! Fun, relaxing and experiential for sure… at least for me personally.

Thank you again…

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4 Samantha October 4, 2016 at 6:01 pm

Glad you had an enjoyable cruise! In the past few years I’ve been on a Royal Caribbean cruise and a Norwegian cruise and both times I ate very well as a vegan! And I didn’t even have to survive on fruit and salad. RC had an Indian option every evening that was easily made vegan (in fact our dining room waiter was also vegan so he knew exactly what I could eat). There was a large Indian staff on board so even the buffet had vegan dishes. I told Norwegian about my dietary restrictions when booking the cruise so the dining room manager was right there every night with a menu to help me plan the next meal (I was very impressed with the attention). There was also an Asian style dining room on the ship that had many veggie only dishes. Plant based eating is becoming a lot more mainstream so we can probably expect to see a growing number of vegan menu options on cruises and in landlocked restaurants as time goes by. It’s certainly a lot easier to be a traveling vegan now than it was ten years ago!

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5 maureen October 4, 2016 at 6:14 pm

What an appropriate post! Wish i had gotten it before we went to Alaska this August on the Crystal cruise line which is suppose to be top of the line. I was not impressed with what they had to offer me for vegan options. I had lots of oatmeal each morning. I tried to get tofu and it was impossible to get anyone to understand me. Dinner entrees were not as delicious looking as yours. I wanted to write a comment to them when I got home but for some reason did not get a comment card! I had a hard time believing that I was the only vegan among 1000 people. I also was appalled with what people were eating!!

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6 Cadry October 4, 2016 at 6:53 pm

What an interesting post, Susan! I’ve always been hesitant about a cruise – for all of the reasons you mention. And in general, cruises don’t really appeal to me. But it’s good to know that if for one reason or another I should ever end up on one, I won’t starve! 🙂 I’m glad that you had a good time with your family!

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7 Connie October 4, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Thanks for the well written and detailed post, Susan! Since becoming WFPBNO a couple of years ago, my husband and I have limited our traveling – at the same time we were fortunate enough to both retire. We would really like to travel more, and not just limit our trips to Dr. McDougall’s and Forks Over Knives weekends! Fear of being able to remain compliant to our way of eating has been holding me back in making plans. I hope cruising might work for us, especially as we live on the coast of Florida so are near many terminals. I have one concern – do you think we can stay true to our No Oil way of eating, as well as vegan food – or is that something that we just can’t strive for on a cruise? Thanks for your help.

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8 Susan Voisin October 4, 2016 at 9:36 pm

I believe it’s possible to do no oil on a Carnival cruise. I think the cooks are trained to work around dietary restrictions. However, you might have trouble getting food that is very tasty because they don’t seem to be very knowledgeable about cooking vegan food, and cooking without oil is many degrees of difficulty beyond that. Most of the dishes I had were not overly oily, but I’m afraid that if I had asked for no oil at all, I would have received steamed tofu and vegetables without much seasoning. Once you know how to cook without oil, it’s easy to make delicious dishes, but when you have no experience with it at all, even sautéing onions seems impossible. You might have to arrange to teach the chef how to do it.

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9 Donna Hopper October 4, 2016 at 9:47 pm

I went on my first cruise in June, a Disney cruise, with my family who are not vegans. It was great! We had the same wait-staff for all of our dinners. We were assigned one of the three restaurants every evening but our wait-staff served us at each one. We had two gentlemen. The first night they learned our preferences, that I was vegan, for example. My 18 month old granddaughter’s favorite food is broccoli. Every evening they would bring her a good size bowl of lightly steamed broccoli. They knew my grandkid’s drink preference, that one grandson loves catsup on everything. The vegan dishes they brought me were for the most part delicious. They surprised me with a few special desserts. I always had breakfast in the dining room where I was served fresh fruit, oatmeal, and toast. They had soymilk available. I had brought one quart of hemp milk that I kept in the refrigerator in my cabin so I used that sometimes (when I remembered to bring it.) I took individual serving nut butters with me (Artisana brand -great for travel), packets of chia seed and stevia to stir into my oatmeal. I also took lots of fruit nut bars and other vegan snack foods. The meals that were included on the excursions were not very good and I wasn’t sure if they were vegan. That’s where my healthy snack foods came in handy. Castaway Cay had a huge buffet with lots of fresh fruits. It was a wonderful experience and we hope to do it again.

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10 Maria October 4, 2016 at 10:05 pm

I have to say, I was on that exact ship in July 2015, and I found the exact opposite to be helpful … my dining room servers seemed to seize up when I mentioned my dietary restrictions, and the heads of the dining room were barely more helpful … they offered me the EXACT same Indian dish for dinner for the first 3 nights in a row, with no other options given even when I mentioned I’d really enjoy to have some other choices on my week long cruise. By the time I was served that on the 3rd night, I was actually a little depressed that we were on a cruise.

In contrast, I was able to get a personal chef-guide when my husband and I hit the buffet on the 4th night (I really just couldn’t do the SAME dish in the dining room AH-GAIN, even if it meant only salad galore!). It was like having a key to the world. He even told us to ask for him the rest of the time whenever we wanted buffet. Although I certainly missed the formality of having a nice served dinner, it was far more enjoyable to have a very decent amount of options each night and personal service that was highly accommodating.

Finally, the highlight was the dinner at the Sun King Steakhouse (ironically) … the chef there made us a PLETHORA of delicious food that was completely vegan, from soup and appetizer to main course and dessert (yes, we were completely stuffed that evening!), and he even came out to be sure we weren’t missing any flavors we were craving. It was true service, and I was super grateful!

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11 Susan Voisin October 4, 2016 at 10:32 pm

That is so interesting! How did you get the personal chef guide to the buffet?

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12 Maria October 4, 2016 at 10:43 pm

Great Post Susan–really practical advice! Wow, 3 courses for breakfast! Really interesting about the meat eating and food waste. I guess I am in a pretty neat little vegan bubble myself. Your photos were lovely. Glad you had such a great time! xo

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13 susan October 5, 2016 at 2:17 am

Holistic Holiday at Sea has a cruise that has a vegan menu along with the regular menu. It also has cooking classes for vegan and macrobiotic dishes

http://www.atasteofhealth.org

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14 Di Pugh October 5, 2016 at 4:27 am

That’s a really helpful article, many thanks. With these tips I would consider trying another cruise (husband loved it) . I went on a Thompson cruise and struggled. You are right about the waste too – I found the greed and waste appalling. They had a midnight buffet which featured things like suckling pig with apple in mouth. Lots of people came to take pics but the whole thing was pretty much left untouched. I asked the staff what would happen to it and they said it would mostly be thrown away!

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15 Marda De Wet October 5, 2016 at 4:41 am

Thank you for a most interesting article. I would like to share my experience on a Princess Cruise in 2012. When I booked I stated that I was vegan. The first night on board, in the dining room, I asked our waiter which of the items on the menu were suitable for vegans. He told me to wait a minute and shortly after that, he was back with the0 Maitre D – he knew all about the vegan and I was served the most superb 4 course vegan dinner every single night of our 14 day trip! On the last night, the kitchen staff came out and the Maitre D’ introduced me to the Sous Chef who had been in charge of preparing my meal every day! I enjoy my food so much and took loads of pictures, but unfortunately was so carried away by the deliciousness, that I failed to write down each dish! But pretty much vegan heaven!

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16 Helyn October 5, 2016 at 7:08 am

This is just GREAT, Susan! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

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17 Dazzle October 5, 2016 at 7:40 am

Thanks for the tips, Susan! I plan to celebrate my 60th birthday in 2019 by taking a vegan river cruise in Europe. Check out the site! http://www.veganrivercruises.com

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18 Susan Voisin October 5, 2016 at 11:51 am

I am envious! I would love to do that some day!

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19 Sandra October 5, 2016 at 7:57 am

This post is right on time as we are going on a Carnival cruise at the end of this month. I will be contacting them now to let them know of my dietary restrictions. I also didn’t think about bringing snack bars. I don’t usually buy them because they contain too much sugar. But in time of crisis, they would become my fallback. I will be sure to take pictures and hope to write about my experience as you did.

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20 Kristin October 5, 2016 at 8:51 am

This is great, Susan. It can be frustrating (as you know) trying to find this sort of info online before cruising. Glad you had a great time, and glad you made it back before the hurricane!

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21 Janet Cox October 5, 2016 at 9:09 am

We have been on 26 cruises, many different cruise lines. Some even have separate menus for Vegan (vegetarian). The secret is letting the dinning room staff know so that they can service you. They all have soy milk but you have to ask for it.

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22 Lorna October 5, 2016 at 9:43 am

I went on a cruise several years ago and told our waiter I was vegan, and explained what that means. I don’t eat oil, so my dinner consisted of 1/2 cup steamed carrots, plain, next to 1/2 cup of white rice. It didn’t get any better for the rest of the cruise. So much for cruising for me.

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23 SamuelS October 5, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Lorna – I Am so sorry that your culinary experience was not positive on your cruise.. I wonder, which line were you sailing?

Maybe, if you choose to try it again, letting the Maitre ‘d know in advance, as they would know how to best service our requirements.

bon voyage

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24 Maril October 5, 2016 at 10:56 am

Thanks for this interesting and timely article — my husband and I are newly vegan and going on our first vegan cruise in late October.
I’m wondering if it would help to let the cruise line (Norwegian) know ahead of time that we’re vegan?

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25 Susan Voisin October 5, 2016 at 11:50 am

Check with Norwegian. Carnival says it isn’t necessary, but we let the travel agent know. I don’t know if that info was passed on to Carnival. When I traveled with Norwegian, calling ahead didn’t make a difference (I still had a difficult trip) but things may have changed.

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26 Genki Kitty October 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Such great information! Whenever I book a cruise, I always put down that I am vegan and have never really had an issue (minus the salad thing which I always get too). I then mention to the host or manager of the dining room that I am vegan just to make sure also. It has been over ten years since I have been on one, looks like the food selections are getting more creative, I might have to book another cruise to see if eating has even gotten better. Thanks.

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27 April G. October 5, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Thanks for the tips! I will be going on my very first cruise on the last voyage of the Dawn Princess in May 2017. The cruise is from Fremantle, Australia to Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi, Phuket and Singapore. I was thinking of changing my diet to Pescatarian for this vacation just to give myself a wider range of foods to choose from.

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28 Oscar Morata October 5, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Hi Susan, last February I cruised with APT (Australian Pacific Tours) from Saigon to Siem Reap. It was a much smaller boat (30 cabins tops) and it was the best donning experience ever in a cruise. We informed the maître about or food requirements (wfpb no oil) and they met our requirements. Every day we had lovely meals!

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29 Amy October 5, 2016 at 7:40 pm

I enjoyed this post. We have cruised twice on RC and both times they accommodated my special diet as I am not only vegan but gluten free as well. The pizza place gave me a gluten-free vegan pizza with lots of veggies on it. I was more than happy with the vegan choices.

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30 Jill October 5, 2016 at 8:20 pm

I’ve only been on two cruises, one was Norwegian with my best friend and her 83-year-old dad. It was three years ago and we only ate in the dining room for dinner, not for breakfast and lunch. Our chef was very open to creating vegan dishes for me which included things like veggie curries, fettucine with grilled asparagus and peas, Szechuan noodles and veggies, and some other creative and delicious dishes. My friend was vegetarian so she was one step away from me in terms of the food, and the chef often brought us the same dish but veganized for me and vegetarianized for her. For breakfast and lunch I just ate oatmeal and/or fruit and salads or AST sandwiches (avocado, sprouts, and tomato). They had a sandwich bar on our cruise, which was pretty awesome because the choices were incredible! Thee were also baked potatoes available for lunch if I recall.

I did a cruise a year ago that was on one of the small boats, it was about 50 passengers and basically the meals were custom, you told them in advance what kind of restrictions or food choices you had, and you were assured to get those items when you were served. The food was incredible, and the smaller group on the boat made it a more intimate experience. A little more pricy but well worth it if you prefer your “floating building” to be a little smaller!

Cruising generally isn’t my type of travel but I had great experiences both times. I agree the amount of food I saw people eating was mind boggling. We were told many people do these cruises specifically for the food.

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31 Jim Twamley October 7, 2016 at 9:43 am

Hi, nice article about vegan eating on cruise ships. I recently did an Alaskan cruise on Norwegian (my least favorite cruise line by the way) and I took along my bullet to make blended smoothies for breakfast. I like to include romaine lettuce in my morning smoothie so I would just take my bullet carafe through the buffet salad bar and load it up, stow it in the mini fridge in our cabin and then the next morning I would go back to the buffet and get a bowel full of nuts, berries (usually by the hot cereal section) and fruit, go back to my cabin and spin up a delicious breakfast. The rest of the day I was able to find plenty of vegan selections at the buffet and also in the main dining room. I also ate at some of the specialty restaurants which were more difficult to navigate as a vegan. I also would walk around the promenade deck each morning doing 3 to 5 miles. The only problem with the walking is that smokers would routinely come out to put another nail in their coffin and you can’t help but catch a whiff now and then. Just returned from a two month birdwatching trip to Australia (the best kept secret in ultimate travel destinations in my humble opinion). The Aussies are very accustomed to providing vegan meals which are quite good. Even pub fare usually has a vegan or vegetarian selection or two. In every metropolitan city we visited there were plenty of vegan restaurants. In Adelaide I went to a vegan market on a Sunday that offered all kinds of vegan dishes. Aussies love salad and one of the best ingredients is the Queensland pumpkin. It has a light blue skin with a bright orange flesh. It is roasted and refrigerated, then cut up into chunks and served as a main salad ingredient – simply marvelous! The produce in Australia is fabulous! We stayed in Air B&Bs which had kitchens so preparing your own meals was easy.

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32 Sandy October 11, 2016 at 1:47 pm

I want to share about my cruise on Holland America to Alaska last month. In the dining room, they had a separate vegetarian dinner menu that included vegan salads, soups, and entrees. I was also given the menu each night to pre-order for the following evening. My order was written down with my room number so it did not matter where I sat in the dinning room. I just had to tell the waiter my room number. I thoroughly enjoyed my dinners. There was delicious sorbet for dessert. Breakfast was easy at the various buffets: oatmeal with fresh berries and soy milk. Lunches at the buffet were delicious salads, black beans with rice, and fresh fruit. I have been on more than a dozen cruises and this was my easiest and best cruise for vegan meals.

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33 Arleen wobser October 20, 2016 at 7:28 am

I love cruising and find eating vegan fairly easy. I have recently cruised with Celebrity and found them very responsive. My favorite lunch was to go to the salad bar and load my plate with things I would want on a sandwich then go to the sandwich area and have them make a sandwich for me with my ingredients. It also helps to go to the buffet area at off times.

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34 Joyfulveg October 21, 2016 at 3:19 pm

We went on a Holland America cruise last year, and they had a special vegetarian menu, with vegan options as well. The vegan options weren’t super-varied, but in addition to the options on the daily menu, it was possible to eat well! We had delicious spring rolls, salads, bruschetta, chili, rice-veggie dishes, Asian curry w coconut milk, etc. Plus, they were more than open to make us anything we requested. We looked at the menu and ordered our meals the day before. Very nice!!!

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35 Connie October 22, 2016 at 7:10 am

Seriously?
Two Atkins ads on the blog.

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36 Susan Voisin October 22, 2016 at 7:50 am

I can’t control the ads that appear, and I can’t afford the cost of running the blog without them. It’s a dilemma. But other than writing posts sponsored by companies trying to sell products (which I won’t do), it’s the only way to pay the bills. My advice is to laugh at them and how they’re wasting their money advertising to vegans.

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37 Platt College October 22, 2016 at 10:21 pm

It is super tough to eat good on a cruise. So much food and desserts!

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38 Gee October 24, 2016 at 8:15 pm

I love your site. Thank you for the time you spend on here for us.
WE cruised with Disney. There were two us us in a group of 11 that were vegan. We got special treatment, and VERY special deserts and fabulous food. Disney is more expensive, but the service is fabulous. We are trying Royal Caribbean in January.
I’m not as impressed so far. They would let me register ahead as vegetarian, but Vegan wasn’t an option until I get on board.
I will let you know!

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39 T J Valdriz October 30, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Great advice, Susan. It’s difficult to try to explain to staff aboard ship exactly what your dietary requirements are, so enlisting the dining room manager is a brilliant idea.

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40 trijbits November 2, 2016 at 1:32 am

What a great post! I was fortunate be on a Mexican Riviera cruise on the Carnival Miracle in August. We had assigned seating in the main dining room for dinner and lucked out with the best wait staff ever! Our servers took such wonderful care of us, and after a couple of days, I just said “Chef’s choice, please” and was always served something different and interesting. There was a vegetarian Indian option on the main menu as well, which I did try once. It was good, but unfortunately exactly the same vegetarian Indian dinner was offered every single night!

It seems that soy milk is commonly available on all the cruise lines, but I only had it once because it turned out to be the sweetened kind. I also had amazingly good veggie pizzas from the pizza counter in the buffet area! Please try it next time!

I didn’t know what to expect on a Carnival cruise, but the food rocked! I had taken some “emergency” rations with me and ended up bringing most of it back.

I think that in recent years the cook staff have become accustomed to travelers’ various dietary requests, especially for those with allergies or other medical conditions.

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41 Jan November 28, 2016 at 10:16 am

Thanks for this helpful info! I was avoiding cruises, figured there would be nothing on the menu for me to eat.

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42 alwin December 1, 2016 at 11:14 pm

Continue motivating us. LLL care has much obliged on your sweat!

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43 Moon December 2, 2016 at 12:40 pm

I have cruised with Celebrity a couple of times as a vegan a couple of times, and have eaten phenomenally. Your tips are great, but between the pasta, stir fry and pizza stations at the buffet and the veggie burger at the pool grills, there are loads of options between standard meal times too!

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44 Sue December 9, 2016 at 8:11 am

Glad your cruise worked out well for you! I also just had a phenomenal experience on Norwegian cruise line. I had my personal maitre’d. He was phoned when I entered the dining room. And he told me he switched to a plant-based diet 6 months ago, so he was especially vigilant and proud of all the food he served to me.

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45 Debbi February 2, 2017 at 6:15 pm

If you cruise with a vegan child, I suggest bringing your own soy milk. I was assured that it would be on board. As soon as we left port, they discovered it had expired and they tossed it all. Once ships leave the initial port, they cannot take on any additional items at other ports so, no soymilk for the entire cruise for my vegan child, various dairy intolerant children onboard, or for adult vegan coffees. Since there were not a lot of vegan meal options, this was particularly hard on the children. For the first time in my vegan child’s life, I actually had to worry about where her protein was coming from!

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46 Gina February 9, 2017 at 3:53 pm

Thanks for this informative post! I take my first cruise in a few months and started to panic about eating vegan on the ship. This made me feel so much better and now I’m definitely looking forward to the trip!!

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