best vegetarian friendly ships/ lines?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 02:04 PM.
#1
shaker hts. Ohio
1 Posts
Joined May 2008
i wasn't sure where to ask this, but i'm curious as to which ships or lines are the best for vegetarians. i have been on many cruises, but have only recently become vegetarian, and so my memory isn't serving me very well as to what kinds of options any of those ships had.
any thoughts would be appreciated.
#2
Harrisburg,PA
150 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
From what I know, NCL has the "Freestyle," so if you want, you can have vegetarian dishes. I do believe that every restaurant on the ship has at least one vegetarian dish. If not, just let them know of your diet, and they can accomodate you. Don't be afraid to ask the cruise lines directly.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
05-03-2009 Norwegian Dawn
#3
287 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
vegatsea, I am a vegetarian and cruise NCL often. I have never had a problem finding food on their ships and each restaurant has at least 1 vegan selection on the menu. If you don't see something you like, for instance I am not fond of eggplant and that was the vegetarian dish on the menu at the restaurant we chose, I asked for pasta with tomatoes and they made it for me.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Sarah
Upcoming Cruises
10/18/08 SPIRIT Circle The Caribbean
11/29/08 GEM to Bahamas
Recent Cruises
10/6/08 SKY to Bahamas, Balcony
9/7/08 PEARL to Alaska, Garden Villa
8/18/08 SKY to Bahamas, AA
#4
Hillsborough, NC
1,383 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
I have enjoyed vegetarian entrees on Princess, NCL, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Voyages of Discovery. I can't remember if they had specific veg. entrees on Carnival, but I think so.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Tarheelbelle

Upcoming: Norwegian Sun, South America, 1/2018

SS Constitution, Hawaii, 11/1985; MV Stardancer, Mexican Riviera, 6/1986; SS Queen of Bermuda, W. Carib., 4/1990; SS Emerald Seas, Bahamas, 11/1991; Seawind Crown, S. Carib., 11/1996; Sovereign of the Seas, Bahamas, 4/2001; Grand Princess, W. Carib., 7/2001; Dawn Princess, S. Carib., 11/2001; Celebrity Horizon, W. Carib, 4/2002; Sea Princess, S. Carib., 11/2002; Carnival Sensation, W. Carib., 4/2003; Sovereign of the Seas, Bahamas, 6/2003; Carnival Victory, New England/Canada, 6/2003; Sun Princess, S.Carib., 11/2003; Sovereign of the Seas, Bahamas, 10/2004; Coral Princess, Panama Canal, 11/2004; Coral Princess, Alaska, 5/2005; Norwegian Dawn, W. Carib., 11/2005; Sovereign of the Seas, Bahamas, 9/2006; Norwegian Sun, W. Carib, 11/2006; MV Discovery, Antarctica/Falklands/South Georgia, 1/2008; Flamingo I, Galapagos, 5/2009; MV Discovery, Norway, Russia, Arctic Ocean, 6/2011; Victoria Katarina, Yangtze River, 9/2012; MS Oosterdam, Australia/New Zealand, 1/2014.; Carnival Valor, Caribbean, 10/2014.
#5
Ontario Canada
4 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
We just returned from the Carnival Glory. The dining rooms each had one veg entree each night (2 one night). There was a pizzeria that had cheese, mediterranean, and mushroom options. The Asian booth had lots to choose from, but very limited hours.
The Red Sail restaurant usually had fresh fruit, but beware that the yogurt has gelatin in it.
If you tend towards whole grain foods, you may be a bit uncomfortable by the end of the 7 days as most items use white flour (pasta, breads, rice, etc.). A little box of Cheerios helped a bit.

If you are vegan, you may be out of luck--best to contact Carnival directly.
#6
New York
478 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
I cruised on the NCL Spirit in october and noticed several indian families eating several indian dishes every day in the dinning room. I also saw 2-3 veg options on the regular menu. At the buffet they had a Vegitarian indian section and a few veg options in the reg buffet. If you like indian Vegitatian food you will not be disapointed with the Spirit.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Rebecca
<O></O><O></O><O></O><O></O>
<O></O>
<O></O>


Upcomming
Carnival Glory 4-28-2013

Past
Carnival Victory 1-23-2011
Carnival Victory 1-16-2011
Carnival Victory 2/22/2009
Norwegian Spirit 10/18/2008
Carnival Destiny 2/22/2008
Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas - November 2006
Royal Caribbean April 2001
Celebrity 2000
Big Red Boat 1999
#7
57 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Having sailed with Disney Cruise Lines, multiple times, I pulled out a menu from one of the cruises, and these were the vegetarian offerings for that evening's dinner.

Entree
Roasted Portobello Triangoli Pasta
Vegetable Wellington
Asiago and Asparagus Risotto

And there was always two or three different vegetarian entrees each evening for dinner. But, if those don't tempt your palate, you can stick with the appetizer, soup, and salad. At least one each night being vegetarian.

Appetizers
Sundried Tomato Spinach and Feta Cheese Galantine
Golden Pineapple Cristobal

Soups
Chilled Apple and Watermelon Gazpacho

Salads
Gourmet Mix of Salad Leaves

As for the buffet restaurant, I never ate there for dinner, always eating in the dining room, but for lunch they always had a choice of vegetarian salads, soups, entrees, etc.

And even the snackbars up on deck had your choice of vegetarian offerings.

Whenever you cruise, enjoy your cruise.
#8
1 Posts
Joined May 2009
I am a life-long vegetarian. Until recent years, this made traveling a challenge! Up to about 5-10 years ago (depending on region) veg dining options were limited...again and again, I was offered the same boring iceburg salads and carbs, carbs, carbs! However, the GOOD NEWS is: restaurants (and cruise lines) have become increasingly eager to cater to the health conscious consumer. Not only are they offering healthier menu choices, they are also becoming more sophisticated in vegetarian cuisine!


TRAVEL TIPS FOR VEGETARIANS & VEGANS:



DISCOVER HIDDEN MENU SECRETS:
  • Many restaurants (and chefs) offer vegetarian and vegan dishes that they DO NOT PUT ON THE MENU.
  • I have discovered there is often an underground secret menu for vegans and vegetarians!

HOW TO HANDLE SPECIAL REQUESTS - DINING ETIQUETTE:

Selections vary, but most chefs are happy to accommodate vegetarians and they frequently have a personal repertoire of veg dishes they enjoying creating by special request. However, the most important thing impacting your service and selection as a vegetarian is your attitude and approach...
  • Do NOT start off by telling them what you don't want. Give the server a chance to realize you are not being difficult, you simply need help!
  • I usually say, "I am having a bit of a challenge. I am vegan (or vegetarian) and looking for a low-carb dish. What would you suggest?"
  • Remember...the server is your ambassador to the kitchen. Make them your ally! Everyone wants to be a hero. I have found the staff will knock themselves out to please you if you approach them as your partner in this food adventure.
BE FLEXIBLE:
  • Another thing I have noticed is that the less restrictions I put in the request, the more the staff asks questions...which allows them to feel like they are involved and in the end, you still get to communicate items you like or dislike: but they feel like it was all their idea!
  • One nice open-ended way to get your server engaged and inspired is to ask, "What is in season?" and they usually start offering you all sorts of wonderful options.

INSPIRE THE CHEF:

Take a positive approach. Don't restrict the chef...inspire their creativity
  • Sometimes I say, "Does the chef have any special dishes they like to make for vegans?" Or, "I see so many wonderful vegetable and side dishes on the menu. Could the chef create something vegan?"
  • Many chefs get bored with the routine menu and will jump at the chance to create a special dish! I have had some amazing and gorgeous plates put before me! One meat-eating companion in particular has started saying, "I'll have the same" because they have discovered I end up with better service and better food!
  • This is one request Chefs seem to love: "Just surprise me." or "I can't wait to see what the chef creates." Nine times out of ten, the chef and staff will bend over backwards to impress you!

THANK THE STAFF AND ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR EXTRA EFFORT:
  • Don't forget to thank your server!
  • Suggested remarks: "This is delicious and I really appreciate your extra effort" or "Thank you for your excellent suggestion. I am really enjoying this dish."
  • Also, be sure you send a message of appreciation to the kitchen. "Tell the chef this is fabulous." or "Tell the chef I just love the meal they created for me."

WHAT TO DO IN RESTRICTED MENU SETTINGS:

If it is a more straight off the menu setting, try:
  • "I am looking for a vegan dish and I noticed all the side dishes on your menu entrees look delicious.
  • "Is it possible to put together a vegan plate from the side-dish selections?" Most kitchens and servers seem equally eager to create a beautiful meal in this manner.


OTHER MENU SECRETS:

1) Many short-order menus have vegetarian burgers that are not always on the printed menu. Be sure to ask: "Do you have a Gardenburger or vegetarian patty?"

2) Some of the cruise lines offer vegetarian Indian meals for Hindi cruise passengers...but you have to know to ask for it. They might already be making an Indian menu for other passengers and so you can benefit from the wonderful and exotically tasty selection!

3) Sushi restaurants are always happy to offer cucumber and avocado rolls and usually some creative variations on tofu and vegetable rolls. Once again, I have discovered that sushi chefs enjoy showing off their artistry with exotic vegetable combinations and beautiful presentation.


CRUISING TIP:

I called the Princess Cruise customer service number and asked them if they could email me some menus or provide me with information that would help me plan in advance. They have a special person that handles special dietary requests. They said you can get pretty much anything you want...just alert them in advance. They will also customize meals to meet your needs. They are also happy to provide info on what the various on-board restaurants and food venues offer as their vegetarian menu selections.

Good luck and Bon Appetite!
#9
Connecticut
194 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
we were on the carnival triumph last month, and my 11 yo daughter has been vegetarian for 2 yrs. she had no trouble finding lots to eat. in the main dining room there was a vegetarian option on the menu every evening, a few i remember were veg lasagna, veg enchilada and indian lentils, also one night she asked for pasta and they made a cute face with mushrooms, peppers and cherry tomatoes. maybe an adult wouldn't think it was so great but it made her laugh

there seemed to be lots of yummy options but not a lot of whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat pasta. she got a veggie omelet every morning with fresh fruit- as a family we don't go too heavy on breads and we had no problem overeating

personally I was happy that i was able to keep to my usual breakfast of fresh fruit, plain yogurt and plain oatmeal- that keeps me regular and i can splurge for the rest of the day while on vacation
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

#10
Ontario, Canada
1,296 Posts
Joined May 2008
We are both vegetarian and have been really happy with the selections while taking our cruises with Princess. There are always veg options in the fine dining rooms and buffets.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
~Lauren
My Travel Blog ~ Justin Plus Lauren
Coming up:
Ruby Princess - California Coastal, 7 day roundtrip LA, November 2017
Holistic Holiday at Sea on MSC Divina, 10 day roundtrip Miami, February 2018

Past Cruises:

Fathom Adonia - Dominican Republic, 7 day roundtrip Miami, November 2016
Carnival Sensation - Caribbean, 5 day roundtrip Miami, April 2016
Caribbean Princess - Eastern Caribbean, 7 day roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale, March 2015 (*cruise with my sister*)

Emerald Princess - Southern Caribbean, 10 day roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale, Jan. 2014 (*our first cruise together!*)
Crown Princess - Western & Southern Caribbean, 14 day B2B roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale, Jan. 2012
Caribbean Princess - Southern Caribbean, 7 day roundtrip San Juan, Dec. 2008
Sun Princess - Southern Caribbean, 10 day roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale, Dec. 2006
Golden Princess - Southern Caribbean, 7 day roundtrip San Juan, Feb. 2006
Big Red Boat - Bahamas, 4 day roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Spring 2000
#11
london
3 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
i appolozige if you think my personal words is different. I will never forget going to my personal very first wedding as a vegetarian. It was at a tony a2z nation membership, using the reception on a lakeside outdoor patio. I asked the waitress in the event that there have been any vegetarian products one of the hors d'oeuvres and he responded, sweeping his arm out to the actual lily patches and pond low herbage, "Sir, there is a whole smorgasbord here for a person. All you have to perform is eat."

It had been a typical sort of response, and I really couldn't blame him for it. After all, the majority of non-meat eaters now utilize their dietary plan through choice, therefore it is a little much to anticipate the globe to always keep a good potato-cauliflower curry around the stove in case we visit. However, cruise companies are a service-oriented business in whose bread-and-butter is satisfying their own passengers' every wish. And when vegetarians take presctiption panel, our wish is usually for Boca hamburgers as well as vegetarian lasagna.

Based on my study of 18 U.Utes.-based cruise companies, only Two to 6 percent associated with passengers identify themselves as non-meat eaters. Those numbers seem to be holding steady, though a small however growing trend in America's diet plan is including a few variability -- as well as providing cruise companies further incentive to plan non-meat meals. "Based on meal matters, the number of non-meat eaters all of us serve could be about 6 %,Inch says Karl Muhlberger, NCL's director associated with culinary procedures. "However, the dpi could be greater once we also provide non-vegetarians purchasing veggie meals for that health and weight-loss advantages."
#12
Central Virginia, USA
21 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Princess always has a vegetarian section on its dining room menus with appetizer, entree, salad, and dessert selections. I have never gone hungry, and I have never been disappointed in the food. We have also been told that the chefs are happy to prepare dishes that are not listed on the menu. My favorite is the Moroccan Vegetable Ragout. If I could take a pot home with me, I would!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
--Beadweaver06
Caribbean Princess, Eastern Caribbean, 12/06
Caribbean Princess, Western Caribbean, 5/07
Ruby Princess, Western Caribbean, 2/09
Crown Princess, Southern Caribbean, 4/12
#15
NC
74 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
I wouldn't recommend Royal Caribbean. Every night pasta with sauce is available BUT it isn't even very good. On the regular menu there is only ONE vegetarian entree option. My 3 vegetarian kids liked it less than half the time. They would eat a couple of bites and declare it "NOT GOOD".

The menus were not correct. One night they noticed a starter that was tomatoes and feta but it didn't have the "V" vegetarian symbol. So they asked and was told it wasn't vegetarian. I asked our server why it wasn't vegetarian. I was told, "It has cheese!"

The staff seemed clueless at times.
#16
Alberta
22 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
We have cruised both Celebrity and Holland recently. There were always vegetarian options,however - choices are very limited. There are always salads but not creative options with varied ingredients. We found that the serving size of the veggies are small. It is hard to find whole grains breads, pastas, or rice. The pastas and omelets were cooked with lots of oil. We are going to try aqua class on Celebrity next and may have healthier food.
#17
Indiana
1 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
I am vegan and cruised on Royal Caribbean to Southern Caribbean/ I informed them ahead of time. Although I didn't enjoy my entire cruise, I can say that the food I got was pretty good. One night I enjoyed an eggplant and artichoke tart which was delicious. Another night I had an entire vegetable plate. Our server was excellent in facilitating my request and I actually enjoyed my dinners in the evening. Once we stopped in San Juan by the little shacks on the beach, we got to enjoy mofongo and arroz con gandules which was vegan.
#18
Texas
52 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by momof3hungryboys
The menus were not correct. One night they noticed a starter that was tomatoes and feta but it didn't have the "V" vegetarian symbol. So they asked and was told it wasn't vegetarian. I asked our server why it wasn't vegetarian. I was told, "It has cheese!"

The staff seemed clueless at times.

FYI, a lot of cheeses are actually made with animal rennet, so it's quite possibly accurate that the starter with feta isn't strictly vegetarian.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
“The open road is a beckoning, a strangeness, a place where a man can lose himself.” –William Least Heat Moon

(past adventures)
Voyager of the Seas (2002) - Western Caribbean
Grand Princess (2003) - Christmas in the Western Caribbean
Grand Princess (2005) - Western Caribbean
NCL Pride of America (2009) - Hawaii
Pacific Princess (2011) - Mediterranean Holy Lands
Caribbean Princess (2011) - New Year's in the Eastern Caribbean
Ruby Princess (2012) - Eastern Caribbean

Azamara Quest (2013) - New Year's in the Caribbean
Paul Gauguin (2014) - French Polynesia
(what's next)
Emerald Princess (2015) - Western Mediterranean
#19
FL
370 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
52 vegetarian dishes featured, largest selection at sea


Seattle, Wash., May 2, 2012 — Holland America Line has introduced a new alternative, vegetarian-only menu, as well as 30 new vegetarian dishes to their main dining room menu, furthering the line's commitment to providing exceptional dining experiences for all guests.

Holland America Line’s award-winning Master Chef Rudi Sodamin has designed an exclusive 22-dish vegetarian and vegan menu that highlights vegetables and other naturally healthy ingredients in vibrant, flavorful culinary selections. The alternative menu includes a full range of appetizers, salads, soups and main entrées, and is available upon request at no extra cost for lunch and dinner in the main dining room aboard all 15 ships in the fleet.

"Many more people are choosing a vegetarian culinary experience, yet the options can be limited," said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line’s executive vice president of marketing, sales and guest programs. "By offering a complete vegetarian-only menu and the largest vegetarian selection at sea, we are ensuring that all guests can take part in an exceptional dining experience while cruising with Holland America Line.”

The savory collection of dishes on the new vegetarian-only menu include Portobello Mushroom and Chipotle Quesadillas, Vietnamese Vegetable Spring Rolls, Curried Vegetable Empanadas, Spicy Lentil and Garbanzo Salad, Sweet and Sour Vegetable Tempura, Vegetable Jambalaya, Grilled Vegetable and Tofu Kebobs, and Baked Cheese Polenta with Mushrooms and Artichoke Hearts.

In addition to the new vegetarian-only menu, 30 new vegetarian dishes will be added to the main dining room menu. These offerings also will be featured as a second vegetarian option in the casual Lido buffet during lunch. Additionally, every dinner menu will now offer guests the option of one appetizer, one soup or salad, and at least one vegetarian entrée each evening, increasing the total number of vegetarian options on board to 52 delectable dishes.

Some of the newly expanded vegetarian selections on the main dining room menu include Corn and Zucchini Pancakes served with Southwest-style cous cous salad, Asparagus and Zucchini Torte with wild rice and sun-dried tomato coulees, Carrot and Parmesan Risotto topped with a lemony arugula salad and crispy carrot ribbons, and Grilled Eggplant and Bell Pepper Masala braised in yogurt with Indian spices and served with coconut-pistachio basmati rice. Gloria
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Gloria



Upcoming Cruises

Vantage ms River Venture and ms River Discovery II
Treasures of France: A Grand River Journey From Normandy to Provence - 22 Days

American Queen Steamboat Company, American Queen Boat, October 10-18, 2015 "Fall Colors"

HAL ms. Amsterdam 1-5-2016 Grand World Voyage - 115 Days

Recent Past Cruises

HAL Amsterdam 12-8-2014 14-night Panama Canal
HAL Amsterdam 9-21-14 78-Day Grand Pacific & Far East Voyage
Carnival Liberty, May 24, 2014
MSC Divina, February 1, 2014
Allure of the Seas, December 8, 2013
Carnival Dream, October 19, 2013
Celebrity Summit, September 7, 2013
Celebrity Summit, September 1, 2013
Crown Princess TA April 16, 2013
MSC Poesia, February 2, 2013
Carnival Breeze, November 6, 2012
RCCL Oasis of the Seas, September 1, 2012
Carnival Freedom, June 30, 2012
Celebrity Constellation, April, 2012
Carnival Sensation, March, 2012
Carnival Dream, January, 2012
#20
Victoria BC Canada
8 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
I've sailed on Celebrity and Princess and they were amazing in the dining room for giving me vegan (not vegetarian) options. Both had a vegetarian menu and some dishes were vegan, some could be made vegan and if not they would make something special just for me! I was very impressed! Eating in the buffet area you have to be a bit more careful as sometimes the staff don't know every ingredient in the dishes but most times they were very good. Vegetarian dining is quite easy, vegan a little harder but was always totally satisfied with my meals, fine dining even! On Princess the Head Maitre d showed me the next days menu each evening so they could have a bit of a plan for the next night.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Past Cruises

Celebrity Silhouette - Med Aug 22 2012
Ruby Princess - Caribbean Nov 11 2012