Celebrity Cruises are known for their good food and beautiful ships – show me a person who doesn’t appreciate the Lawn Deck found onboard the Solstice class ships. Celebrity have been known for healthy options too, especially in the Aqua Class restaurant BLU, and for having a separate vegetarian menu for guests. Yet feedback from fellow vegan cruisers hasn’t always been most encouraging. In fact, my own 2017 day visit to Eclipse and the meal served in the MDR left a lot to hope for. But things are changing for vegans onboard Celebrity Cruises fleet. Health And Travel Guide first reported on the vegan options in early 2018. I am pleased to share with you a guest post review from a fellow vegan cruiser, the lovely Lisa. She sailed vegan onboard Celebrity Equinox in the summer of 2018 and shares her experience with us. I am so encouraged by these changes and vegan options she had, and I think you will be too. See the Celebrity Cruises vegan menu she was offered onboard the Celebrity Equinox – Lisa has kindly given us photos of the dishes too.
Celebrity Equinox surprises with vegan options
“Hi there, my name is Lisa. I’m from beautiful Northern California and have been eating Vegan/plant-based for 9 months. Since, I have been on two cruises, my latest being on the Celebrity Equinox, sailing from Miami, FL to the Caribbean Islands.
This was my first time sailing on Celebrity, therefore I had no idea what to expect. While booking my cruise, I made sure to have my travel specialist (from Celebrity), indicate on my reservation that I was vegan. However, she did not confirm whether they would be able to accommodate my diet or not. Based on my last experience sailing on Princess, I assumed I was not going to have many choices, especially in the dessert department. Therefore, I brought with me a couple of my homemade cookie bars, just in case I had a sweet tooth. Once on the Celebrity Equinox, I did not meet with the maitre’d, nor did I receive any information in my cabin to say the galley crew was aware of my dietary needs. (As you do on Princess, or some other cruise lines – Sanna)
My first meal was lunch at the ‘Oceanview Cafe’ buffet. As with my last cruise, the choices there were limited. However, I did see the potential of putting a few things together to make it work. The buffet offered few build-your-own stations: taco, sandwich, pasta and a salad stations. By taking ingredients from these different stations I was able to make a better meal for myself. For example, adding guacamole from the taco station to a sandwich with veggies from the sandwich station. I could also grab beans from the salad bar for a protein-packed pasta dish. However, when it came to dessert, all I could find was sorbet. They did have a few different selections of it, however, I am not a sorbet girl.
For dinner, I figured I’d have better luck at the Silhouette main dining room (MDR). I went in remembering other vegans telling me they’d been able to order from a vegetarian menu. I figured with that, I could ask staff to veganize items I wanted to eat. Once seated, I asked if they had a vegetarian menu. To my surprise, I was presented with a 3-course Celebrity Cruises VEGAN menu! I was in total shock and smiling like a kid in a candy store!
I had appetizers, soups, and main entrees to choose from. Yes, there were 2 choices in each category!!! For each of the seven evenings, I was presented with a different 3-course vegan menu. In addition, though not on the menu, a special vegan dessert was prepared each night. I was surprised with each dessert offered at the end of my meal.
On my 2nd night aboard the ship, I finally asked if there was a vegan menu for lunch at the MDR as well. My waiter went to ask the chef and came back with a few day’s worth of menu items. Apparently it’s available, however, you’d have to pre-order them. I did so for one lunch during a sea day. It was three courses, with no dessert option.
On most days, I ate at the buffet and was happy with the Indian dishes, Southeast Asian dishes, cheeseless pizza, and the vegetarian burger with no cheese, etc. The food was fine at the buffet, but nothing to write home about.
Breakfast was the one meal with the least amount of choices for me. Based on my last cruise experience, I ate at the buffet rather than in the MDR, hoping for more options. For the most part, I had baguette slices with peanut butter, fresh fruit, crispy fried potato hash browns, oatmeal, or an English breakfast with grilled tomato and mushrooms. To my liking though, there was a spread of non-dairy milk (soy and almond) available for self serve in the mornings for coffee or tea.
After reading so many negative reviews and having low expectations for having decent vegan meals on the Celebrity, I came out a huge fan of the company. The dinner options were anywhere from average to above average in taste. I went in hoping to use the opportunity to lose a couple of pounds, came home to find I did not. Oh, and the cookie squares in the fridge that I bought on the ship… my kids ate them.”
Hope you enjoyed Lisa’s review and the excellent images of MDR menus and meals. It has been so exciting to see this welcome change and plant-based options available onboard. I am definitely now curious again about sailing with Celebrity – certainly, the brand new ship Edge has piqued my interest. If you are going on Celebrity Cruises soon or have been, please do share your vegan dining Celebrity experience with other readers of this blog! Let us know if the other ships in Celebrity Cruises fleet are as good at catering for us vegans.