Over the past few years, vegan diets have sky-rocketed in popularity. The world is undoubtedly developing a growing awareness for the health, environmental and ethical benefits of choosing a meat and dairy free diet. Of course, the trend has been helped along by celebrity endorsements such as Jay Z and Beyoncé’s famous 22-day vegan experiment and Al Gore’s admission to being a ‘newly turned vegan.’ Great work guys!
Now, the Vegetarian Resource Group estimates that around 2.5% of the US population is vegan while the Vegan Society has confirmed that in the UK, there are over 150,000 converts. Understandably, people are going to want to keep up their eating habits on holiday which leads us to the question… Can I cruise as a vegan? Want to know the answer? Read on for our guide to meat and dairy free sailing!
1. Talk to your cruise line beforehand
Our number one piece of advice is to get in touch with your cruise operator well before your trip. Ask to speak to a customer service officer and inform them of your special vegan dietary requirements. Most lines will be more than happy to cater for vegan diets. In fact, some lines such as Princess Cruises even have special vegan menus that give you a surprising amount of choice. You can then rest assured that you’ll have access to vegan friendly meals, as well as everyday essentials such as soy milk.
2. Stick with the same dining room team
The great thing about cruising is that staff are sticklers for attention to detail. If you make an effort to try and sit at the same table, at the same time, your wait staff will get to know your requirements and do everything they can to cater for you.
3. BYO snacks
Unfortunately, not all cruise lines will offer vegan friendly options when it comes to snacks and unconventional dining. This means that it can sometimes be a good idea to stuff your suitcase full of your favourite vegan treats for when you get the mid-afternoon munchies.
4. Get connected
Downloading apps to your smartphone or tablet can be a great way to streamline your vegan cruising experience. Animal-Free is a fantastic resource that has won a handful of awards for its intelligent in-built barcode scanner function that lets users check for animal ingredients. BNB (Be Nice to Bunnies) is another favourite for checking if beauty products and toiletries are furry friend approved.
5. Don’t be scared to ask
Fancy a pizza from that divine smelling Italian restaurant but feel a little awkward asking for no cheese? Love the look of that Greek salad but would rather it be feta free? Or maybe you’d love a milkshake but aren’t sure if they stock almond or soy milk. Don’t be scared to ask! Cruise ship staff are there to make your holiday as enjoyable as possible and will usually be more than happy to cater for easy requests, especially if they’re not insanely busy.