Cruising while Vegan on Carnival

Welcome Aboard!

Welcome Aboard!

Recently, my husband and I went on a Carnival cruise to the Caribbean to celebrate marriage of a very good friend in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It was also around the same time as our third wedding anniversary, so we turned it into a celebration for us as well. This was our first big cruise and one of the questions for me was would I be able to eat vegan.

Contact your travel agent or Cruise Line: At the time, I didn’t think to check with our travel agent, but while reading through Carnival’s contract, I read a section on dietary restrictions. I called them and they gladly entered dietary restrictions on my account. On our first evening of dine-in seating, I informed our head waiter of my restrictions. Michael, who was totally awesome during our evening meals, would always be sure I was totally satisfied with my requests. At the end of each meal, he would present the menu for the next night to get my order. Whatever I chose that was not plant-based but looked amazing, he would check with the chef to be sure it could be veganized. Check out some of the pics below.

The Buffet: For years, I had heard from people that went on cruises say that there is food 24/7. OMG! For many, this is like being a kid in a candy store. I found it to be overkill, and wasteful. But I’ll leave that rant for another time. So, it’s easy much easier to eat vegan at the buffet. The salad bar was always fresh with mixed greens, carrots, tomatoes, beans (kidney, garbanzo), onions, etc. Most of the sides were vegan.

Breakfast offered several options which included fresh fruit, cereal, potatoes. My husband and I don’t drink dairy milk. We asked for non-dairy milk and they gave us a carton of soy milk which put in our refrigerator. It was not an option on the bar, so you must ask for it. The staff was very accommodating and friendly.

Other Restaurants: The ship had several other restaurants that offered many vegan options. Some cuisines offered were Indian, Mexican, Italian (pasta station), and Asian. The Mongolian Wok was my favorite. You grabbed a bowl and added all the ingredients you wanted the chef to prepare. Yummy!

Quinoa Stuffed Tomato with Potato Croquettes

Quinoa Stuffed Tomato with Potato Croquettes

Sauteed Vegetables in Black Bean Sauce.

Sauteed Vegetables in Black Bean Sauce.

Desserts: I must say this area lacked for the vegan sweet tooth. The buffet always had plenty of fruit and fruit salads. I was looking for a bit more. However, in the dining restaurant, I was brought a delicious fruit sorbet and flavored rice pudding. I could almost taste the mango sorbet as I write. It was like taking the mango right from the tree and blending it into a sorbet. Creamy! Delicious! Naturally sweet! It was the best sorbet I had ever had.

Mango Sorbet with Mango Rice Pudding

Mango Sorbet with Mango Rice Pudding

Snacks: We purchased health snack bars and trail mix before our trip. I’m a label reader, so be mindful of your choices because many of the snack and protein bars are loaded with sugars and preservatives. Also, we grabbed some fresh fruit from the fruit and dessert bars while on the ship to munch on while in the room or off the ship.

Note: Gluten options were available.

 

This cruise experience has convinced me that all dining or mostly all dining experiences are possible. My husband and I are looking forward to the next one and we’re hoping to get our kids to cruise along with us. If you would like to try a fully loaded vegan cruise experience, check out the Holistic Holiday at Sea. They set sail once a year.

What’s been your experience on a cruise? What has been your best cruise line and ship? Share with us in the comments.

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