Advice

How to Cruise as a Vegetarian

vegetarian vegan cruise ship food dining
Some cruise lines have more vegetarian options than others. - Photo by Thinkstock

Not sure how to communicate with your cruise line that you’re a vegetarian or a vegan? Follow these helpful line-by-line instructions to make sure you get what you need at every meal. 

 

Tip: Haven't booked yet? Keep in mind that small ships and premium/luxury lines typically have a better selection of vegetarian options. Once you're on the ship, remember to ask, ask, ask. Ask your waiters in the restaurants, and have a manager follow you around the buffet so you can confirm that dishes were not prepared with meat. The ship's staff will be more than happy to work with you if you make your preferences known, and if you ask politely, sometimes the staff will go off-menu to prepare you a special dish.

 

Carnival Cruise Line

Discuss your diet requirements with the head waiter of the main dining room on the first night of the cruise. Whenever you eat in the Lido Restaurant, which is a buffet, ask to speak to a member of the senior dining staff, and that person can walk you through your choices. For more information, contact their special requests department at specialneeds@carnival.com.

Celebrity Cruises

Inform the line at the time of booking by emailing special_needs@celebrity.com.  In addition to including vegetarian dishes on the main menu, there’s also a 7-day vegetarian menu available. Once you board on the first day of the voyage, discuss your diet requirements with the head waiter of the main dining room.

Costa Cruises

All ships offer vegetarian menus, which include options for vegans. In the evening, remind your server of your requirements.

Crystal Cruises

All dining areas offer vegetarian options. The line suggests that you talk to your waiter at dinner the first night to discuss your preferences. In addition, if your diet is further restricted, you can request special options through reservations or with guest services prior to sailing.

Main Dining Room sample menu

List of restaurants with sample menus

Cunard

Advise your reservations representative that you are vegetarian or vegan at the time of booking, and it will be added to the reports that are sent to the dining rooms. Or, you can call the Customer Contact Center. Your server will be advised in advance; however, you can also check in with the maître d’ after boarding.

Cunard's sample vegetarian menu (vegetarian options are marked with a carrot)

List of restaurants with sample menus

Disney Cruise Line

All main dining rooms feature vegetarian options on the menus. However, the line encourages you to attend an Onboard Dining Session during embarkation, and to discuss your requests with your server during each meal.

Holland America Line

Inform the cruise line ahead of sailing that you are vegetarian, and then speak with the dining room manager once you board the ship.  There is a vegetarian menu in the main dining room, as well as vegetarian options on the regular menu. The lido buffet also includes vegetarian dishes.

Sample vegetarian menu with vegan options

Norwegian Cruise Line

Ahead of your voyage, contact the Access Desk and inform them that you are vegetarian, then speak to the restaurant manager the first night onboard. They will make a note in the reservation when you check in at any restaurant. In addition, be sure to discuss specific restrictions with your server.

Princess Cruises

Use the Cruise Personalizer to inform the line of your dietary restrictions no less than 35 days before the cruise for US-based cruises, and 65 days anywhere else. Once you board, confirm your request with the maître d’ the first night of the cruise, and remind your server at meals.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Tell the cruise line in advance of your sailing, so that the culinary team can obtain special ingredients in advance. All menus, however, do feature vegetarian options, and you can discuss your choices with the chef once onboard.

List of specialty restaurants with sample menus

Royal Caribbean

All of the lines’ restaurants offer vegetarian options, and vegetarian meals are available on all menus in the main dining room and Windjammer Cafe every day. Guests can also communicate any dietary restrictions to the maître d’ in the main dining room. Guests do not need to make a special request for these meals. 

Seabourn

Complete a Special Requirements Information Form in advance of your sailing. On embarkation day, speak to the dining staff about arrangements. The main dining room includes vegetarian options on each menu.

Seabourn's sample menu (vegetarian options are marked with a “V”)

More information on specialty restaurants

Silversea

All of the daily menus offer a selection of vegetarian and vegan choices. If you have specific requests, contact Silversea at least 75 days prior to departure.

 

Updated on April 26, 2017.


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