Can cruise ships accommodate Vegans?
We are going on a Carnival cruise this summer. *****
I have inquired via my travel agent about vegan diet requirements.
She says that Carnival carries soy milk products and that I just need to inform my waiter of my dietary requirements.
Have you had any experience with this and if so do you know if they are good at accommodating?
While I have not been on Carnival specifically, we have been on 2 or 3 other cruise lines. I believe most cruise lines these days carry soy milk. You usually just have to ask them for it.
I think they keep it in the belly of the ship, though, because every time we would ask for some (for cereal, for instance) it would take someone about 20 minutes to return with it, usually by the glass-full. So be sure to ask for more than one glass, if you need it. Try to slip them a small tip for helping you out.
Here are some more tips if you'll be cruising as a Vegan:1.
First, we always bring some prepackaged foods with us such as various bars, dried McDougall soups (just add hot water), and those pasta meals that you add water and microwave. (I'm not a fan of the microwave, but when you're desperate...)2.
It's nearly impossible to find vegan food in most cruise ship dining rooms. We NEVER eat in the dining room. It's quite pathetic. Although I understand it is always a beautiful place to be, and you may want to go at least occasionally for the ambiance.3.
The best place to find vegan food is at the buffet. Some days they have lots of vegan food to choose from, and we just gather what we like and make a meal out of it. Some days the buffet doesn't have as much, and that's when we will have a salad and some of the soups/meals we brought along.
When the buffet managers would get wind of our vegan situation, they were always SO gracious, always coming up to our table to ask if we had found enough to eat, and to let them know if we ever needed some help finding food.4.
If your cruise ship has a pizza place, you can gather up all sorts of fresh veggies from the salad bar and ask the pizza people to make you a cheeseless pizza with the ingredients you have piled onto the plate.
At first they look at you like you're from another planet "NO CHEESE?!?!?!?" (haha) but after a while they got used to it. (And I personally think it helped to break up the monotony of their gig.) We usually would give them a tip ($5) for their trouble, although they didn't always accept it.
Just be sure you try to hit them up for this special service when they're not SLAMMIN' busy, just out of respect.5.
Although they don't have any signs posted, on those days when the grill is making burgers, most cruise ships have veggie burgers and are very happy to accommodate you.6.
I find that if you're very patient and kind, the people that work on the ship respond. I'm sure they are not always spoken to nicely by some travelers.7.
Of course, one of the suckiest parts is there are no vegan desserts! booooooo!!!
I say bravo to all vegans who can make it work on a cruise ship. (Tim Gunn would be proud!) If you can cruise as a vegan, you can pretty much be vegan anywhere. ;O)
By the way, if you're totally new to cruising and really feel in over your head, this book (Cruising With Special Diets
) is a good choice. While Mark doesn't cover any particular diet in detail, he does a really good job guiding you about who to talk to and how to make it all work, from the time you book your cruise all the way through mealtime on the ship. Plus, it's FREE! Highly recommended.
Have fun! Enjoy!!!