Does anyone know the best cruise to take for vegan food options?

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#1
19 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
My wife and I are looking to cruise in northern Europe in June or July and have heard many mixed reviews of which lines offer the best options for vegan meals. I am 6'1" and weight 170 pounds, but I eat like I weight 300 pounds, always have (even before becoming vegan 4 years ago). Anyway, I need options and not just salad, potatoes, fruit, pasta.... Anyone that can help, it would be very appreciated!
#2
Raleigh, NC
2,300 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I have never seen vegan options on any cruise that I have been on, vegetarian yes, but vegan no, not as prepared dishes anyway.

Other than the items that you mentioned, I don't know of any other options.
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#3
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Joined Mar 2009
i know vegans take cruises so i guess the question is who is willing to prepare meals for you or cater to your needs the most? what if you have allergies to dairy or egg? there has to be something, right?
#4
Little Rock, Arkansas
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Joined Mar 2005
A friend of mine is a vegetarian and has done research on vegan options on Carnival and recommends them. I will try and point him your way to give you advice but I think he is out of town this weekend.
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#5
19 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by wrp96
A friend of mine is a vegetarian and has done research on vegan options on Carnival and recommends them. I will try and point him your way to give you advice but I think he is out of town this weekend.
thank you very much for your help. one thing to point out is that carnival does not go to europe in the summer. boo. just my luck.
#6
Little Rock, Arkansas
37,374 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by librahi
thank you very much for your help. one thing to point out is that carnival does not go to europe in the summer. boo. just my luck.
I know but he might know about vegan options on other lines. I'm going to point him your way in the hopes he can help you.

I know that RCCL, my favorite line, is good in catering to vegetarians but I'm not certain about vegans. Sorry.
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#7
Florida
4,036 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
It is in the upper tier for pricing, but Crystal does both vegetarian and vegan. Vegetarian offerings are on the menu every day; vegan needs to be ordered a day in advance (but, many of the vegetarian offerings are vegan, anyway).
#8
GTA, Ontario, Canada
34,600 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Most cruise lines will do Vegan food but you have to notify them well in advance so they can order special foods.

A good TA can advise you if they have had dealing similar to your request & which lines are able to comply.
A more upscale or deluxe line may be able to accommodate your needs better than mass market lines
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#9
Decatur, AL, USA
517 Posts
Joined May 2002
I eat a vegan diet and have been on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Costa, Princess, and Celebrity.

Normally you need to have your TA inform the cruise line when you book, and perhaps also write and call to the cruise line 4-6 weeks out. Then the first day upon boarding I go to see the head waiter/maitre'd and let them know, and to make sure I am in the system for special meals.

Typically the head waiter will bring you the next day's menu at the evening meal and you can order or adjust what they may have on the vegetarian menu. If you want something else, let them know and they can fix that as well.

I usually ask for Indian food as I don't get it at home and many of the cooks are from India and they make great meals! It helps if you have a mental list of meals or sides you have in mind as they often look to you for guidance for what you want. They can make mushroom dishes, couscous, eggplant, stir fry, tofu items, all kinds of things. I have even asked for pie and had apple and cherry pie made for my table!!

Buffets are a bit more hit and miss. The pizza places in most cases can make a cheeseless veggie pizza. Carnival has veggie sushi in the evening. Ususally the grills have a veggie burger option.

Enjoy your cruise!!
#10
19 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by spaceguy
I eat a vegan diet and have been on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Costa, Princess, and Celebrity.

Normally you need to have your TA inform the cruise line when you book, and perhaps also write and call to the cruise line 4-6 weeks out. Then the first day upon boarding I go to see the head waiter/maitre'd and let them know, and to make sure I am in the system for special meals.

Typically the head waiter will bring you the next day's menu at the evening meal and you can order or adjust what they may have on the vegetarian menu. If you want something else, let them know and they can fix that as well.

I usually ask for Indian food as I don't get it at home and many of the cooks are from India and they make great meals! It helps if you have a mental list of meals or sides you have in mind as they often look to you for guidance for what you want. They can make mushroom dishes, couscous, eggplant, stir fry, tofu items, all kinds of things. I have even asked for pie and had apple and cherry pie made for my table!!

Buffets are a bit more hit and miss. The pizza places in most cases can make a cheeseless veggie pizza. Carnival has veggie sushi in the evening. Ususally the grills have a veggie burger option.

Enjoy your cruise!!
Wow, thanks for your help (everyone). Which line would you say was the best? Carnival doesn't go to Europe in June, so that is ruled out.
#11
The mountains of NC
899 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by librahi
Which line would you say was the best? Carnival doesn't go to Europe in June, so that is ruled out.
I know Princess accommodates celiac (gluten-free) dieters with varied menus and gracious service, so vegan meals shouldn't be any problem for them as long as you let them know in advance. I'm not saying they're the best, but I know from experience how well special meals were handled on Crown Princess.

Caro
#12
TMZ
7,341 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by librahi
i know vegans take cruises so i guess the question is who is willing to prepare meals for you or cater to your needs the most? what if you have allergies to dairy or egg? there has to be something, right?
Hey there!
I'm the friend that wrp was talking about!

Here's a bit of my backstory, so that you know where I'm coming from...

Me and my brother have been cruising since we were babies, on several different lines.
I'm a Vegetarian/Vegan, and my brother is a "hoity toity" Certified Chef (worked at major places in Beverly Hills)...
So we're both familiar with cruise food in general, Vegetarian/Vegan options on several different lines, and he always brings the major Professional Foodie Critiques to all the cruiselines!

That being said...
I know that for your particular itinerary, Carnival is not sailing Europe in June, but for future reference on your cruising - they do my personal best at Vegan cuisine.
Tied for second place behind Carnival would be Celebrity and RCCL.
I'd choose between one of those two in your particular case.

Just be aware for cruising Vegan...
Originally posted by spaceguy
I usually ask for Indian food as I don't get it at home and many of the cooks are from India and they make great meals! It helps if you have a mental list of meals or sides you have in mind as they often look to you for guidance for what you want. They can make mushroom dishes, couscous, eggplant, stir fry, tofu items, all kinds of things. I have even asked for pie and had apple and cherry pie made for my table!!
I agree with this in a lot of ways.
In general, if you can find the Indian and also the Asian crew on board, they are generally very conscious and aware of both Vegan and Vegetarian Cuisine.

(On Carnival in my recent cruises, the Indian guys always make sure that they have specially cleaned, and keep a separate cooking area for the Vegetarian food! They're awesome!)

So, look into both Celebrity and RCCL for your cruise.
See if any of those work.

Plan to bring some prepackaged Protein options of your choice with you.
The Vegan protein is the one thing that can get "tricky", so to have some with you just to supplement, or for snacks makes a nice difference.
(On Carnival I don't need to do this, but on others, sometimes it's good to have some TVP Jerky or something that doesn't need to be refrigerated or cooked).

Once you are sure that you have your Vegan Protein options on hand (just for nutrition sake, to be sure), then they will make some absolutely wonderful meals.

Also be aware, that cruising Northern Europe (I say this as a Swedish/Irish Vegetarian) will have less seasonal options as Mediterranean itineraries.
There should be a lot of seasonal summer fruit and vegetables for their ingredients though!

I'll add some pics of various Vegan cruise food later on, when I have some spare moments - but in the meantime, please feel free to ask any further questions!
Vegan/Vegetarian cruising is very do-able!
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#13
Orlando, Florida
3 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
I hear you on the difficulty of finding a cruise where you can eat healthy; especially for us Vegan Nutritional people. Almost impossible so far and we have not seen anything for EU.

There are some travel/gourmet dining trips for Vegan but no cruise except the Holistic Holiday at Sea (every year for the past 9 years) but currently it goes only to the Caribbean.

Actually I just found out that the folks at 'a taste of health' (www.atasteofhealtlh.org) who put on the Holistic Holiday at Sea are checking into a Mediterranean cruise package for next year (2013).

If you find something, please message me! We would be interested! As more concern over dietary health & wellness increases I hope we see more Vegan cruising options!

Cheers,

Skip Stein
Whole Foods 4 Healthy Living
#14
more or less in TX
10,419 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by ab0si
It is in the upper tier for pricing, but Crystal does both vegetarian and vegan. Vegetarian offerings are on the menu every day; vegan needs to be ordered a day in advance (but, many of the vegetarian offerings are vegan, anyway).
I strong recommend Crystal. I have allergies to shell fish and only trust Crystal when it comes to cruise line food preparation and safety. I would post your question on the Crystal Cruises topic on CC.
#15
3,183 Posts
Joined May 2006
Originally posted by librahi
My wife and I are looking to cruise in northern Europe in June or July and have heard many mixed reviews of which lines offer the best options for vegan meals. I am 6'1" and weight 170 pounds, but I eat like I weight 300 pounds, always have (even before becoming vegan 4 years ago). Anyway, I need options and not just salad, potatoes, fruit, pasta.... Anyone that can help, it would be very appreciated!
My daughter, who is vegan, tells me that Celebrity now have a vegan menu.

She contacted the Special Needs department and was informed that, for her cruise on Celebrity Eclipse, she will be shown the vegan menu each evening, so that she can choose her meals for the following evening. Whichever cruise line you choose, you should notify your dietary needs in advance and then check with the maitre d'hotel in the dining room once you get on board.

From our previous experience, expect to frequently have to explain your dietary needs once on board. Many people do not know what vegans eat. some think that if you don't eat meat you will eat chicken or fish. Others don't understand that no animal products are allowed. (The chef on one ship prepared a "special dessert" for my daughter. It looked milky. When she enquired about its ingredients, she was told: "It's not milk. It's only tinned milk."
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#16
Indonesia
2,204 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Please read http://www.hollandamerica.com/news/N...ReleaseId=1009

It is very welcoming to know that more and more option for vegetarians (and vegan) cruises. HAL is a good option for Europe.

Both DW and myself are vegetarians, and we are happy with the choices offered by Crystal.
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#17
49 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
I'm so happy to hear that there will be lots of vegan options with Carnival! I'll be on the Legend July 8-15. I've only cruised once before on the Golden Princess. They were sweet about having me order off the vegetarian menu at dinner, except that there was still only (if I remember correctly) ONE *vegan* option on the menu (pasta). One or two nights they had some other vegan option listed on the regular menu and I would try that.

I didn't starve by any means, but I also had virtually *NO* protein for a whole week. I was so lethargic by the 2nd and 3rd day and had no idea WHY until I pieced it together. If I had known that would be an issue, I would have brought some protein bars or peanut butter on board with me.

They did have veggie burgers at the grill.

I'm a little paranoid this time around, so I've packed a jar of peanut butter. Better safe than sorry. I sure don't want to waste days of my vacation being tired and just wanting to nap! And I'm SURE not going to do sugar, salt, and caffeine as a "substitute" for energy again!
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#18
2,177 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
[quote=celle;34207031]My daughter, who is vegan, tells me that Celebrity now have a vegan menu.

She contacted the Special Needs department and was informed that, for her cruise on Celebrity Eclipse, she will be shown the vegan menu each evening, so that she can choose her meals for the following evening.

Friends went with us on Celebrity. They are vegetarians. They had a terrible time getting vegetarian dinners in the D. R. They were never given a menu the night before.............twice the Maitre' D came to the table and yakked about vegetarian choices. It was all yak. Twice, they just brought items from the appetizer section, asrranged differently on the plate. They were served the same three things on a rotation; it was awful.
At lucchtime they would get veggies on a plate from the sandwich station and take them to the pizza station where they asked for pizza with those plated veggies. That worked.
#19
Las Vegas
11,031 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I would imagine that there are vegan oriented travel agents somewhere. There are enough of you to keep them in business. Try Googling them.

DON
#20
3,183 Posts
Joined May 2006
[quote=KAYEF;34352774]
Originally posted by celle
My daughter, who is vegan, tells me that Celebrity now have a vegan menu.

She contacted the Special Needs department and was informed that, for her cruise on Celebrity Eclipse, she will be shown the vegan menu each evening, so that she can choose her meals for the following evening.

Friends went with us on Celebrity. They are vegetarians. They had a terrible time getting vegetarian dinners in the D. R. They were never given a menu the night before.............twice the Maitre' D came to the table and yakked about vegetarian choices. It was all yak. Twice, they just brought items from the appetizer section, asrranged differently on the plate. They were served the same three things on a rotation; it was awful.
At lucchtime they would get veggies on a plate from the sandwich station and take them to the pizza station where they asked for pizza with those plated veggies. That worked.
You do have to be pro-active and assertive! Insist you are shown the promised menu. (Say: "Where's that menu, then?") Make suggestions. Even without a special menu, there is always a choice of vegetarian dishes on the main menu. I know. I've been on 6 cruises with Celebrity and I am vegetarian!

"They just brought . . . " Who just brought, and why didn't your friends ask for something else?

At lunch-time, there are plenty of options - salad with cheese, nuts, beans, bread, vegetables. Even if you're vegan, you can still construct a perfectly balanced meal.

If you have special dietary requirements (from choice or medical necessity) you do have to learn to speak up and make you needs known - in normal daily life as well as on a cruise - or you will end up having "a terrible time."
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