Can you have a lovely vegan experience on a Royal Caribbean cruise? Absolutely! We've done it several times.
2. Sign up for a specific dining time and stick to it. Things will go more smoothly if you sit at the same table with the same servers every evening. They will know what to do and you will save lots of time explaining things to multiple servers.
3. Tell your head waiter when you show up for dinner the first night. They will communicate to your server as necessary.
4. Be patient. Servers have to travel farther and stand in line for your special food, so enjoy the time with your companions. We bring small toys or art supplies to keep our kids busy.
5. Expect to preorder your food for the next evening. This makes life easier for the chefs. We were given a paper menu and were asked to circle our choices. Sometimes we got a surprise anyway, but generally they were very flexible. One time we wrote, "Tofu?" and it appeared the next night.
6. Ask kindly for what you'd like, such as for margarine and soy milk (they have it). Once the assistant server figures out what you prefer, it will magically appear every night thereafter.
7. Ask for dessert. They will rock it!
8. The Starbucks has soy milk for lattes. We get the nonalcoholic drink package and enjoy good coffee all week long!
9. If you don't know, ask a chef. I eyed the baked beans at breakfast in the Windjammer for days before I asked. Yep, vegan!
10. Tip well for good service. I don't just mean the required tips at the end of the cruise. Hand them some extra cash for their excellent work. Also, mention it in your survey after the trip. This helps them advance within the company.
11. If you're worried about it, bring your own snacks. But really, we only used these for excursions once or twice. We like to grab an extra box of dry cereal at breakfast to throw in a backpack for later.
So we generally eat at the Windjammer buffet for breakfast and lunch. There is always salad at lunch, and oftentimes a spicy curry with rice, fresh vegetables, and always fruit. FYI, the pasta has eggs in it, so save that for a dinner request if you crave it. They will make you vegan pasta then, but it's a lot to ask at the buffet.
Some items on the dinner menu were so good that we were questioning their vegan-ness! They had excellent soy meatballs and soy sweet and sour chicken. And these things were straight off the menu. Meatless meals are really getting more available!
Check out this slideshow for a look at what we ate. If you have any questions or comments, just let us know! Bon voyage!