[Updated post on Aug 7th with menu images] On August 1st (2019) I received a short e-mail from Royal Caribbean US sales team to notify me about a new Royal Caribbean vegan menu going live. I was excited but cautious, so I didn’t go public with the news straight away. Instead, I immediately replied asking for more detail to give my readers. When was this menu going live exactly? Is the new vegan menu for the full Royal Caribbean fleet? Are there any menu examples to show? It has taken Royal a week to respond, with more exciting info. I am pleased to share with you the new Royal Caribbean vegan menu of 2019!
The vegan offerings in the past:
It used to be that Royal Caribbean fleet improvised meals for every vegan guest (see my 2016 review of dining onboard Vision of the Seas). In the last couple of years, some of the Royal ships developed their own unofficial vegan menus. Below you can see an example of a recent (Summer 2019) vegan menu from Ovation of the Seas. Apparently, on this sailing Ovation couldn’t offer a 7-day vegan menu and rotated menus after three days. Imagine if omnivore cruisers had just three days worth of meal options? At least with this new official fleetwide vegan menu, no Royal Caribbean cruiser is facing that problem.
Disappointingly, this menu above also offers sherbet as dessert. Sherbet is not the same as sorbet, it is not just an alternative spelling. Sorbet should always be dairy-free (but can contain egg). Sherbet is a sorbet-like frozen dessert that contains dairy for extra creaminess. Either whoever wrote the menu has mislabelled the dessert item, or doesn’t realise that sherbet isn’t vegan – unless using plant cream instead. In which case it would be best if they labelled the menu to say so. But what about desserts on the new menu?
The new Royal Caribbean vegan menu:
It is so exciting that Royal Caribbean is finally responding to the rising demand for plant-based vegan options with a fleetwide menu. The surprise menu announcement from August 1st states that a 7-day dinner menu will be available ON REQUEST, in the main dining room across the Royal fleet. This menu became available on the next turnover day (when the ship returned to her homeport). Considering it has been a week since the launch, most ships should hopefully be live with this new vegan menu.
[Sep 2019: Just received a report from a friend onboard Navigator on the Seas, that it doesn’t serve this new vegan menu. They have their own vegetarian/vegan menu, still require 24h notice on dishes and staff aren’t entirely helpful]
Unfortunately, Royal Caribbean have not released any images of dishes served, but I am pleased to share with you the full, 7-day vegan menu!
Seven days of vegan dining on Royal Caribbean
Dinner menu day 1
After the MDR couldn’t make me banana nice cream on my last RC cruise (how hard is it to blitz frozen banana?) this tahini banana soft serve sounds just like the thing. Could be improved by some dairy-free choc chips, surely. Happy to see beans for protein source too on the main courses.
Vegan dinner menu: day 2
How excited am I about the vegan cheesecake? My highlight of the whole seven-day menu… No-egg omelette is no doubt chickpea flour/gram flour and again good for protein. Whether the bolognese has any soy mince or other plant-based mock meat, remains to be seen. Surely there is something there other than just tomato sauce and some vegetables – if you try it onboard, do tell what it contained!
Vegan dinner menu: Day 3
Tacos, tofu and choc-chip cookies? Sounds heavenly – also means there may be choc chips onboard that could be used in that banana soft serve….?
Vegan dinner menu: Day 4
So there is soy yoghurt for cooking – might this mean that soy yoghurt will also be available at breakfast time in the Windjammer? I shall try to find out!
Vegan dinner menu: Day 5
I do like my eggplant/aubergine, especially vegan eggplant parm.. but a burger? When Impossible or Beyond Burger would offer an amazing ready-made mock meat burger patty. One can only hope either burger patty becomes available as a specialty dining option. Together with vegan cheese. Meanwhile.. eggplant it is.
Vegan dinner menu: Day 6
Vegan dinner menu: Day 7
I’m a little confused again by the vegetable pakora main course. Those are normally served as a starter where I am from, perhaps with some dipping sauce maybe. Never as a main course. The description does not state if there is salad or rice to go along with the pakora. Again, if you order this, do share what you were given!
I am so excited to see that the menu offers some choice – with two options each for an appetiser and the main course. Actual vegan desserts too, and not just the dreaded sorbet. Or a potentially non-vegan sherbet, as offered on the ship menu above (the pre-vegan menu).
I am so looking forward to sampling this menu – even if there is no Beyond Burger listed. What do you think – is this new Royal Caribbean vegan menu better than what Royal offered before (have served you)? And how would you improve this new vegan menu, if you had your say?
What about the Windjammer buffet?
In addition to the evening dining room menu, plant-based options will be served in the Windjammer buffet too, say Royal Caribbean.
It shall be interesting to see if those buffet dishes will be clearly labelled, as I found onboard my last Princess cruise. But as Royal Caribbean steps up the game with this separate vegan MDR menu, I would imagine clearly-labelled Windjammer provision must follow too.
No vegan spread was available on my two Royal Caribbean cruises as a vegan. I used jam, or fruit, to moisten my breakfast bread. I have now queried with Royal Caribbean to see if this has changed, and if other vegan-friendly items have now been made available. An update will be posted here as soon as I hear anything.
This recent news about a Royal Caribbean vegan menu finally bringing easy dining choices to the Main Dining Room (MDR) is so welcome. Such a win for accessibility. Not just for vegans but for those with egg and dairy allergies too. This menu makes life easier for ship crew as well.
If you are on Royal shortly, do get in touch! Please share your experience of the Royal Caribbean vegan menu with me and the readers of this blog. Sharing is caring, after all. Happy vegan cruising!
PS. If you liked the above post and think it’s cool that there is a vegan cruise blog out there sharing plantbased cruise info, please consider giving me & my blog a vote in the Wave Awards 2020. This is UK cruise industry annual awards by World Of Cruising magazine. You can WIN A CRUISE holiday just for voting. I have been nominated in the BEST CRUISE BLOGGER category for the third year running and am hoping for my fellow vegans’ support.
Please do vote, am so chuffed to be included. If you scroll down, you’ll find me at the end of the drop-down menu of all nominees. I know I won’t win as vegan cruising is still a niche, but it’s great to see the industry recognising vegan cruisers – and a vegan cruise blog.
Cast your vote on the Wave Awards site for the chance of winning a 7-day Aegean cruise!