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Vegetarian and alcohol free on NCL


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OP….as others have said, you have to have a general idea of what you want and to ask for it.  I can go to any bar on board and ask for a beer.  They don’t know what kind, and will quiz me as a result.

 

If you want non-alcoholic drinks, they have sodas, tonics, juices, teas, coffees, etc….lots of them, actually.  You can even get milkshakes without alcohol in them.  Just ask.

 

Food…again, it’s next to impossible to have them try to be mind readers.  Tell them what you want.  I find they’ll do everything within their powers to accommodate.

 

Not being negative.  Just trying to show how you can focus on what you want, and ask them to make it for you.

 

But, be realistic.  If you’re going to a steak restaurant or the Brazilian restaurant, which both specialize in meat, you’ll likely be disappointed.  Not sure why you’d want to go to either of those places knowing they specialize in meats.  La Cucina?  Probably not a bad bet.  You can get pizzas with no meats whatsoever on them.  You can get pastas with just vegetable/tomato/herb sauces.

 

These are just a few examples.  A little forethought and realistic expectations and I’m sure you’ll find something you like.

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On 8/31/2021 at 11:31 AM, SteveH2508 said:

"Virgin Long Island Iced Tea" - posh name for cola with sweet and sour mix.:classic_rolleyes:


and it’s only a “splash” of Coke to give it the tea color.  Really, just order lemonade.  Add seltzer if you want to be exotic.

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Cagney’s has a bunch of vegetables on its menu - asparagus, creamed leeks, sautéed spinach, creamed corn, potatoes lots of ways.  Tomato soup (unless it’s meat broth based) and a salad.  And dessert.  There’s probably bread at the table.

 

Cruising is going to be that fine balance of assertiveness without apologizing or accepting bleh.  Everything I listed is being prepared, perhaps as a part of a plate, but not having to be defrosted (I certainly hope).

 

And go in believing that 4 sides (basically a vegetable plate) are about the same price as an entree - and expect that to be in addition to soup, salad, potato.  “I’m a vegetarian and would like to order a vegetable plate as my entree.”  I believe that would work.  You are not ordering anything they have to “make special;” it’s just a different plating. 

Edited by alohayall
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As for alcohol, welcome to the world of those who aren’t fans - or who were too big of fans.

 

There are a lot of high calorie, sugary drinks out there; seems a handle of go-to standards would be useful.  (Does AA material have any suggestions?) I’ve never been in settings where having a drink was the thing to do; it is just the liquid to accompany food - coffee or milk for sweets, coke, tea or water for savories and juices for breakfasts or picnics.

 

Perhaps tea or coffee drinks from Starbucks.  Put it in a bar glass and just blend right into the crowd.

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On 8/31/2021 at 5:37 PM, sanger727 said:

Just FYI; I’ve read several of your posts anc have had trouble understanding what you wanted. So it wouldn’t surprise me if a communication problem exacerbated this. 
 

you wanted mock tails but not juices. You wanted a vegetable dish but the one you got wasn’t the quality you wanted…

 

as far as how to improve your cruising experience. 1. Mock tails are less commonly ordered than cocktails. She could research some mock tail recipes ahead of time. 2. As far as the food, I don’t think NCL does a great job of food to begin with. Our last cruise was half wonderful and half inedible. And that’s ordering off a full menu. It’s easy to make steak covered in gravy with French fries tasty. It takes a much more skilled chef to make vegetables and tofu tasty. I personally prefer the food on celebrity.

Celebrity is the best food I have ever had at sea. But compared to Carnival, I prefer NCL food. And IMO, RCCL and NCL are comparable with food. 

But I do love Turkey night on Carnival. 🙂

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I'm currently on the Encore. My daughter is a vegetarian, and while she's not with us on this trip, I've been looking at the menus to see how she might fare in the future. The Haven has exactly one vegetarian entree for dinner, and the menu doesn't change throughout the cruise. When I asked about this, they said that you could reserve other meals one day in advance so they do try to accommodate but yeah, it's going to be a challenge and/or a lesser experience for a vegetarian on NCL, no question about it.

 

I wouldn't expect them to provide a vegetarian extravaganza (I haven't been blown away by the overall food experience in any case), but they really should offer a bit more as standard.

Edited by JYDCruise
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1 minute ago, JYDCruise said:

I'm currently on the Encore. My daughter is a vegetarian, and while she's not with us on this trip, but I've been looking at the menus to see how she might fare in the future. The Haven has exactly one vegetarian entree for dinner, and the menu doesn't change throughout the cruise. When I asked about this, they said that you could reserve other meals one day in advance so they do try to accommodate but yeah, it's going to be a challenge and/or a lesser experience for a vegetarian on NCL, no question about it.

 

I wouldn't expect them to provide a vegetarian extravaganza (I haven't been blown away by the overall food experience in any case), but they really should offer a bit more as standard.

Here is what I do...  Depending on what type of Vegetarian you are  ( You do know there are different types of Vegetarians, right?) ...Try:

 

Teppanyaki,,  - the chef will mix you up a GREAT dinner - Tell him what you like...also Sushi Veggie Rolls!

 

Mexican food  - Los Lobos; Beans , guac , salsa , lettuce , chips/tortilla  , peppers, etc.= a MEAL- DELICIOUS!!

 

The Italian Place  - Pasta : Pesto, Alfredo, Marinara... SAUCES= YUM

 

Asian/Indian - In the Buffett; and tell the Food Manager he will set you up!! FAB! Love!!

 

There are many choices - just be creative!! Haven does make it easier.

 

Always bring Trail Mix from home!

 

(They always have good Oatmeal and Cream of Wheat for Breakfast - Remember NO SUGAR  - little honey;  if she can have DAIRY -  Yogurt and fruit for breakfast, also)

 

I think the problem is  some people are not an actual Vegetarian and do not know how to eat in a Meat eating world!  

 

(Not saying your daughter IS NOT a Vegetarian, She probably knows all of these things as she deals with them on a daily basis...)

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On 8/31/2021 at 6:08 AM, leblais said:

So... My wife has adopted an alcohol free and vegetarian life style. We assumed that since the NCL website specifically mentioned to let them know about her dietary needs well in advance, that there would be some comparable options for her to eat. I contacted them multiple times and was assured that there would be great options.  When we got aboard, the options were extremely limited. I had mentioned prior to cruising that we had reservations at Le Bistro, Cagney's etc., and was told that there would be, and I want to stress this COMPARABLE options for her.   Most of the places had a vegetarian(ish) dish available, but they were not good. They were visually unappealing and I tasted them and they were terrible. On top of that, it was pretty much the same dish in every place!  I made sure to call the day before we went to Cagney's since there was obviously nothing on the menu that she could eat (yes, I am aware it is a steak house but NCL told me that they would accommodate her,  which, to be fair, they did, but not in a comparable way).  When we arrived at Cagney's I reminded the Hostess that my wife was Vegetarian. When the waiter came, I mentioned it too.  We had a person that obviously was in charge of dietary needs come over and offer 1 choice to my wife, which she obviously took.  It was grilled vegetables with tofu.  Let me tell you it looked terrible and it tasted WORSE!  It was literally a small amount of frozen mixed vegetables (low quality/variety mix too), with some uncooked slices of tofu on top.  She smiled and ate her dinner, but it was terrible. All in all, she hardly ate for the whole week and actually lost weight while on a cruise. I typically gain 8lbs (hey, don't judge me, lol) and prior to being a vegetarian, she would too!  

 

The next think I wanted to bring up is about her being alcohol free.  I asked the bar tenders if they had any mocktails or anything they could offer as a non alcoholic drink.  NOTHING!  They all kept saying things like "frozen daiquiri or a pina colada", which are low quality but passible IF you are having alcohol in them.  I finally found that I could get her a virgin mojito, which she liked, but she would have liked some additional options. 

 

All this said, what could we have done to get a better experience?  I understand that she is not the norm, but there should be more options that are of a higher quality.  Did we just get a single bad experience or is this the norm?  Are there non alcoholic options that they just didn't know about and we obviously didn't either? 

What have been your experiences with these issues?  We would like to continue to cruise and to utilize NCL but I want my wife to have a similar experience and not have to have sub par food with few choices on said food as well as little choice of non-soda/alcohol options to drink.

 

Thanks in advance!

-Tony

Did you try Onda? 

They have margherta pizza & a veggie pizza called contadina. They have a market salad which has shaved seasonal vegetables, truffle pecorino, champagne vinaigrette. They have a creamy polenta with mushrooms. They have spaghetti with tomatoes & basil. They have a mezzalune pasta made with ricotta, spinach, truffle butter & sage. Lots of sides. Fingerling potatoes, wilted spinach, roasted carrots, rosemary lentils. 

SOOOOO many options on the buffet. I had veggie egg white omelettes & fresh celery juice. They will make a veggie burger. Lots of fresh salads. Delicious grilled veggies. All kinds of Indian options. Fruits of all kinds. 

Lots of non alcoholic drinks at Starbucks. Or get Pellegrino with a splash of fruit juice. What type of mock tails does she drink at home? Order that. 

I could go on and on. Too many options to list. 

Good luck & hope you enjoy the rest of the cruise. I was on the ship last week and had the time of my life.  

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