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Now cruise lines offer Impossible Burgers and other vegan dishes

Regent Seven Seas vegan menu
Sweet and sour vegetables with tofu are served aboard Regent Seven Seas ships.
(Regent Seven Seas)

Vegans, if you’re worried about what you’ll eat on your upcoming cruise, you may not need to be. More cruise lines are jumping on the plant-based foods merry-go-round all the time.

Royal Caribbean will serve new vegan dishes in the main dining rooms across its fleet of 26 ships, it recently announced. And Regent Seven Seas Cruises earlier revealed plans to serve more than 200 plant-based menu items across its fleet, including the increasingly popular Impossible Burger.

On Royal Caribbean, vegan meals are three-courses and include desserts.

Among the options are edamame-stuffed portobello mushrooms, vegan spaghetti “Bolognaise” and orzo pasta stew with green vegetables. Travelers can end the evening on a sweet note with desserts such as a toffee “cheesecake” with dark chocolate and a peanut butter crust.

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Regent said vegan fare would be available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. “We’re offering imaginative selections of bold, flavorful appetizers, entrees and desserts,” said Jason Montague, Regent Seven Seas Cruises president and chief executive, when announcing the menu changes. He said that the new menu set “the highest benchmark in luxury cruising.”

The list of new dishes is provocative: wild mushroom tart, falafel fritters, spiced potato and green pea samosas, and summer berry pudding chantilly. The new items reflect cuisines including Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Mexican. Other menu highlights include power bowls, hearty pastas and noodles, light salads and soups.

With these changes, some people, including the publication the Economist, predicted 2019 would be the Year of the Vegan.

Not all cruise companies are in tune with the trend, of course, and it makes sense for vegans to contact their cruise line in advance to let them know their dining preferences.

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Another good idea: Watch for theme cruises that promote a vegan philosophy. Also check out the list below of lines that are vegetarian- and vegan- friendly, courtesy of Cruise Critic.

Summer berry pudding is one of the dessert options on Regent Seven Seas.
Summer berry pudding is one of the dessert options on Regent Seven Seas.
(Regent Seven Seas)

Norwegian Cruise Line won first place from the website. It has several dining venues and offers vegetarian and vegan items on most menus. You can even dine in a steakhouse and order something special that fits your dietary restrictions. The chef will make it for you or order it from a neighboring restaurant.

Carnival Cruise Line cames in next on the Cruise Critic list because, like Norwegian, it’s a big fan of giving passengers choices. The main dining room always has one or two vegetarian entrees, as well as starters. “Indian food-lovers will adore the Indian vegetarian dish that is consistently offered on Carnival’s American Table menu (typically in addition to another meat-free option),” said Cruise Critic. Additionally, passengers can find veggie burgers at Guy’s Burger Joint and bean burritos at Blue Iguana Cantina.

Celebrity makes the list because it offers vegetarian menus in its main dining room, marking vegetarian and lactose-free dishes with colorful icons on its regular menus. And there are 14 days of variations, so you’re not stuck eating the same veggie burger every night.

Cruise Critic added the Italian line Costa to its list because it revamped its menus in 2015 to include new vegetarian and vegan items, making sure all regional menus include options, “a nice touch considering that most cruise line regional sections tend to be meat-heavy,” says Cruise Critic.

Oceania, known for its gourmet restaurants, added an expanded vegan menu in 2017, featuring more than 250 dishes in the dining room at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Early risers can tap into a vegan juice bar on the line’s newest ships, Marina and Riviera, where raw, cold-pressed juices and smoothies are available, in addition to energy bowls with ingredients such as acai berries and chia seeds.

SeaDream, Cruise Critic said, makes a point to pamper everyone, vegetarians and vegans included.” The line’s lunch buffet includes a DIY salad area with organic vegetables, plus pepper spreads and tapenades. Also, the daily soup is often meat-free. Dinner features a raw, organic and vegan meal option, with a starter, main dish and dessert.


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