Advice

How to Keep Kosher on a Cruise

how to keep kosher cruise jewish
Look for Jewish classics on Kosher menus, including matzoh ball soup (shown), kugel, and brisket. - Photo by Tetra Images / Thinkstock

Keeping kosher on land isn’t easy, and it certainly doesn’t get any easier on a cruise. While companies like Kosherica charter the ships of mainstream lines and turn them into kosher-friendly paradises, cruisers who wish to keep kosher aren’t necessarily limited to those special sailings.

On regular sailings, you won’t find freshly prepared meals from a dedicated kosher kitchen like you would on a Passover cruise, as many lines have prepackaged kosher meals delivered to the ships by various suppliers; no line offers 100-percent kosher facilities. Still, some, like Crystal Cruises in particular, have excellent programs that give passengers more options and flexibility in how, when, and where they can order their meals.

Here is our list of how the mainstream lines accommodate kosher passengers: 

Cruise Line Supplier Overview How to Notify
Azamara Club Cruises Sterling Kosher  Kosher items, like the options on this menu, can be ordered in any restaurant during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Send an email with your dietary requests to Azamara Access Department 40 days in advance of U.S. sailings and 80 days in advance of all other sailings.
Carnival Cruise Lines Webermans Traditional Foods  Kosher meals — such as Caribbean spiced snapper with vegetable marinara and spinach kugel, or roast chicken with potato kugel, carrot tzimmes, and gravy — can be ordered in the main dining room during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Requests for kosher meals are accepted up to two weeks before the sail date.
Celebrity Cruises Sterling Kosher  Kosher meals — such as challah French toast, eggplant parmesan with kasha and vegetables, short ribs with burgundy sauce, and chicken marsala with rice pilaf — can be served in the main dining rooms (with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition) at any time. Let Celebrity know 40 days in advance by contacting its Special Needs Department.
Costa Cruises Kosher meals are not provided. Guests can bring their own frozen prepackaged dinners, which servers will heat up in the main dining areas. n/a
Crystal Cruises Hermolis and Kosher Club Los Angeles  Crystal has an extensive Kosher-style cuisine at sea program. The line does not have a separate kosher kitchen, but it does have kosher methods of preparation, including kosher pots, pans, and utensils that are washed separately. The kitchen staff has also been trained in kosher food preparation. Inform Crystal 90 days prior to sailing by contacting Onboard Guest Services.
Cunard Line Hermolis  Menus are supplied in advance, and your choices will be passed along to the supplier. Meals can then be served at any time in all restaurants onboard. Let Cunard or your travel agent know you would like to keep kosher when you book.
Disney Cruise Line Webermans Traditional Foods Kosher meals — such as cheese omelets with home fries, matzoh ball soup, brisket with gravy, honey glazed chicken, cheese lasagna, baked salmon, and chocolate layer cake — are served in all full-service dining locations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Notify Disney’s Special Services department when you book.
Holland America Line Webermans Traditional Foods Kosher meals are chosen in advance of the cruise and are served in the main dining room for dinner. Boxed cereal, fresh fruit, and breads are available for breakfast and lunch.  Fill out this Kosher Request Form 90 days before sailing.
Norwegian Cruise Line Sterling Kosher All restaurants offer kosher meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Kosher meal requests must be made 30 days in advance by contacting the Access Desk.
MSC Cruises Not provided. Kosher meals, like the options on this menu, are ordered in advance and can be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the main dining room.

Contact MSC at least two months in advance.

Oceania Cruises Not provided.

Guests are given menus with an extensive selection prior to the voyage, including breakfast offerings — cheese blintzes, omelets, hash browns, and pancakes — and dinner entrees like fillet of salmon and honey glazed chicken. If you place your request at least 90 days in advance, the line also offers appetizers, soups, and desserts. The choices are served in the main dining areas at all times. The kitchen is not kosher, but meat is butchered onboard in a sanitized space in the butcher shop and there are also separate pots and pans. 

Let Oceania or your travel agent know about your desire to keep kosher during the booking process at least 90 days in advance, as additional options are available.
Princess Cruises Sterling Kosher Kosher meals are available for lunch and dinner in the main dining areas and alternative restaurants, and boxed cereals are available for breakfast. Meals include beef jardinière, vegetarian stuffed cabbage, goulash, chop suey with egg rolls, pot roast, roast turkey or chicken, Moroccan couscous, fillet of sole, and Salisbury steak. Selections are chosen the night before with the maître d’. Specify that you would like to keep kosher on the online Cruise Personalizer.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Not provided. Guests are given menus with an extensive selection prior to the voyage, including breakfast offerings — like cheese blintzes, omelets, hash browns, and pancakes — and entrees like salmon and honey glazed chicken. If you place your request at least 90 days in advance, the line can also offer numerous appetizers, soups, and desserts. The choices are served in the main dining areas at all times. The kitchen is not kosher, but fresh meats are butchered onboard in a sanitized area in the butcher shop with separate pots and pans. Let RSSC or your travel agent know about your desire to keep kosher during the booking process at least 90 days in advance, as additional options are available.
Royal Caribbean International Webermans Traditional Foods Kosher items can be ordered in any restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Kosher meal requests must be received 45 days in advance — 90 days for South American and European itineraries — to be accommodated, and should be sent to the Special Needs Department.
Seabourn Webermans Traditional Foods and Empire Kosher. Kosher meals such as veal or lamb rack, steak, turkey breast, and hot dogs are available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in all restaurants. The meats are kosher, but the preparation is not 100% kosher because the line doesn’t have a separate kitchen.  Seabourn keeps these standard kosher items in stock, but notify staff at least 60 days before sailing for additional selections of vegetables, soups, and desserts.
Silversea Cruises Sterling Kosher  Kosher meals are available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in all restaurants. Inform Silversea of your desire to keep kosher on the Guest Information Form at Silversea.com/MyVoyage at least 75 days before you sail.
Windstar Cruises Kosher meals are not available. Guests can bring their own prepackaged meals and have them heated up in the main dining area. n/a

Join the discussion

Which lines have you kept kosher on?

Posted by Shlomo

That takes care of the food issues, I guess. What about sailing on Shabbat (I think if the boat doesn't dock it's OK, but a non-kosher cruise can change the plan based on conditions)? What about lighting Shabbat candles (it's prohibited for safety reasons)? Also, most ship toilets flush with an electric mechanism, so you can't flush on Shabbat, which is very unsanitary!



I cannot imagine taking a non-kosher cruise as a Torah Observant Jew; I would just not fit in! Also, there are countless issues of halachah. Imagine a non-Jew asking you to hand him a cheeseburger and I have to tell him I'm not allowed to touch it (ironically, you can hand him bacon or ham as long as you don't eat it).


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