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6 Best Cruises for Your Special Diet

Posted by on April 4, 2012

Food is omnipresent on cruises where every activity seems punctuated by another opportunity to eat. This is great if you can work your way through any given buffet without fear or favor, not so much if you have a special dietary requirement.

Here are 6 cruises that have already given thought to your dietary needs:

1) Vegetarian Dining

As common as vegetarianism is, some cruises deal with vegetarian customers better than others.

Royal Caribbean stands out from the crowd with several choices of vegetarian foods on all of their menus in their dining room and café. This includes a tantalizing selection of Indian-style dishes. Best of all, there is no need to put in a special request for those meals.

Crystal Cruises also caters well to the veggie crowd and has included vegetarian choices on the menu in the elegant Crystal Dining Room, offering vegetarian cooking workshops. Also, for those who eat fish, there is a sushi bar.

Royal Caribbean delicious and vegetarian friendly mushroom puff. Photo by Ambernectar 13.

2) Vegan Choices

With vegetarian guests sometimes struggling to be catered for, vegan diners can find the offering even more meager. However, Celebrity Cruises is on top of the vegan dining concept. This cruise line offers a separate menu that, although designed for vegetarians, comprises a minimum of one vegan selection per night from each course category, meaning one soup, salad, appetizer and entrée to choose from.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a cruise that specifically caters to vegans where every dish is to your taste, the Holistic Holiday at Sea could be for you. Sailing on the MSC Poseida, vegans can dine on vegan food 100 percent of the time in two elegant dining rooms with the food prepared under renowned natural food chef Mark Hanna.

Celebrity Infinity Dessert! Photo by Tom Mascardo.

3) Gluten-Free Food

MSC Cruises has gone all out to offer gluten-free meals. Several of its ships offer gluten-free choices in all of the restaurants. The line’s menus have been designed in conjunction with the Italian Coeliac Association and are prepared by specially trained chefs. On top of that, MSC offers a gluten-free bar list and can provide a lunchbox for excursions.

Adults aren’t the only diners with special dietary requirements, and Disney Cruises recognizes that. Pizza, pasta, waffles and pancakes are all offered by Disney within its gluten-free range, but don’t worry, adults searching for gluten-free foods can enjoy them too. Disney has been catering for gluten-free guests for over 10 years, so you can be confident your dietary requirements will be covered with taste included!

Disney understands gluten-free needs. Photo by MPR529.

4) Kosher Cruises

Kosherica is one of the leading Glatt Kosher cruise providers and promises its guests five-star Glatt Kosher, Chalov Yisroel Pas Yisroel cuisine prepared by award-winning Israeli and European chefs.

Kosherica’s cruises utilize some of the world’s best cruise ships, including Oceania and Holland America, and offer a wide range of destinations around the world. Each meal on Kosherica’s cruises includes a meat, poultry, fish or vegetarian option while breakfast and afternoon tea also promise to impress your taste buds.

Beyond Kosherica, Celebrity Cruises offers complimentary kosher meals as well as having introduced a premium kosher menu. Though charges apply to go premium, a full menu is offered. Celebrity’s dishes are Glatt Kosher certified and made from scratch under the supervision of the Orthodox Union and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Confidence in Kosher. Photo by missy & the universe.

5) Healthy Options

An increasing number of cruise lines are coming to understand that as enjoyable as holiday dining is, extra pounds aren’t something people want as a souvenir. Regent Seven Seas Cruises recognizes that healthy eating isn’t just about salad and since 2010 has included health-conscious gourmet dining options.

Regent’s award-winning Canyon Ranch cuisine has been developed by chefs and nutritionists to offer healthy carbs and fiber and protein-rich foods that are savvy with salt. Fats are healthy and sweeteners used in moderation and are never artificial.

Lunch on at the Pool Grill–protein-rich fish for lunch. Photo by georgeogoodman.

6) Organic Ingredients

Sadly, the main cruise lines don’t offer much by way of organic food and, given the higher costs, are unlikely to any time soon. However, this doesn’t mean those with a preference for organic food can’t take to the water.

Macrocruise specializes in ethically-minded charters and offers cruise itineraries to match different holiday needs. The line’s Organic Holiday package sees your chartered boat stocked with certified organic ingredients and includes a menu adjusted to a Mediterranean diet as well as a cookbook ready for experiment. Whilst not your traditional cruise, fun and great food is on the menu.

Fruit carvings are often on the menu but they’re rarely grown organically. Photo by najjie.

Do you have any tips for taking a cruise with special dietary requirements? If so, share them in the comments below. 

If you liked this article, you might also like: 50 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Cruise.

Main photo: Cruise dining–inviting but not always suitable for special diets by roger4336.

3 Responses to 6 Best Cruises for Your Special Diet

  1. suzanne

    I would need at least 7 days, even 14 days. I would like to become a raw foodist, Is there classes on the cruise?
    What are all the focuses on the cruise. No gambling, and yoga for example.

    Thank you

    Ready to go

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