Vegan dining choices on a cruise? Really?
I’m not vegan, but when I’m on a cruise and someone else is doing the cooking, I find it fun to try a vegetarian or vegan diet. I may not go vegan the entire cruise, but I feel good on a plant-based diet even if only for a day or two.
However, it’s not always easy. While I can find and choose one or two options on main dining room menus, more times than not, I’m at the buffet scanning my options. Don’t get me wrong, I like grazing at cruise ship buffets. Sometimes though, it would be nice to eat in the dining room with a variety of vegetarian and vegan dining choices and not juggle food-laden plates while I look for a place to sit.
Oceania Cruises to the rescue
This small fleet, premium cruise line with a heavy culinary focus recently introduced an expansive list of vegan menu choices along with the only cold-pressed raw juice and vegan smoothie bars at sea.
Juice and smoothie bars are currently available onboard Marina and Riviera and vegan menus are available fleet wide on Oceania’s six ships – Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, Marina, Riviera, and Sirena. This cruise line already offers a nice selection of vegetarian, gluten-free, and kosher meals.
New vegan menus are featured in the Grand Dining Room at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. More than 250 dishes are offered; from appetizers and soups to salads, entrees and desserts.
What’s being offered and when
Head over to the Grand Dining Room or Terrace Café. Each day at breakfast, you can choose from five different dishes and four sides. Examples include Vegan Tortilla Española with potato, onions, and tofu. There are vanilla waffles with fresh berries or apricot and pistachio muffins. Maybe hot cream of wheat or oatmeal served with cinnamon powder, organic sugar and choice of nuts is your preference. Side dishes always available that include grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, vegan link sausage and Lyonnaise potatoes.
At lunch, choose a Tuscan-style bean soup with garlic croutons and an Italian salad with assorted greens. There’s roasted bell peppers and toasted garlic bread with an involtini stuffed with tofu, spinach, and capers served with pasta and olive tapenade sauce. If your sweet tooth persists, for dessert there’s an Italian chocolate vegan-ricotta pie with vanilla and raspberry sauce.
Dinner offers a selection of varying five-course meals. Menu items might feature a quinoa salad and vegetable tartare, creamy truffle flavored parsnip soup with chopped tarragon. Kick it up a notch with Thai red vegan curry with steamed jasmine rice. For dessert, try a vegan strawberry sable or a shortbread with passion fruit cream and strawberries.
Raw Juice and Smoothie Bar
Located on the pool deck and adjacent to Waves Grill. You can sip raw, cold-pressed juices and vegan smoothies all morning from 7:00 AM until 11:00 AM. Choices include nine different juices or smoothies for vegans and vegetarians.
Love to indulge in heaping plates of greasy bacon and processed scrambled eggs, rather than a cool and colorful vegetable juice drink and a plate of crispy waffles and maple syrup? Then you’re probably not ready to try vegan dining on a cruise, or even one day with a vegetarian diet.
But if your cruise vacation is a time when you want to try new culinary experiences, modify your diet even if only for a few days and return home without that dreaded cruise weight, Oceania Cruises vegan dining option is perfect.
I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels, collecting recipes along the way. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath…stop for a local meal and a glass of wine along the way.