Dining at Sea: Best Cruises For Dietary Accommodations

Have you ever wanted to cruise but were unsure whether your dietary needs could be accommodated? While prior research makes your trip less stressful, knowing which cruise lines cater to a variety of dietary needs can be difficult. In this blog, we’ll explore cruise lines that offer a variety of accommodations for those with dietary restrictions.

To learn more about dietary accommodations onboard, keep reading ! 

Disney Cruise Line

Photo by Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line caters to various dietary needs, from egg allergies and vegetarian options to Halal and Kosher meals. The cruise line will do its best to accommodate allergies that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consider common (e.g. egg or tree nut allergies) as well as those that the FDA does not consider common (e.g. lactose intolerance and gluten allergies). However, these services cannot be guaranteed and the cruise line requests that any guest needing special dietary accommodations complete the special services form, at least 3 days before your departure date, to ensure that the cruise line can accommodate passenger needs. For Halal and Kosher meals, the cruise line requests at least 5 weeks’ advance notice to ensure availability. When onboard, inform the dining team when in any of the dining halls, even if you noted a request before boarding the cruise, because they can direct you to the meal options that accommodate your dietary needs. Please visit Disney Cruise Line, for more information. 

MSC Cruises

Photo by MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises strives to accommodate a variety of dietary needs, from gluten-free meals to Kosher and Halal products. The cruise line provides gluten-free meals on all of their ships, but this accommodation is based upon availability. The cruise line advises guests to check  the availability of gluten-free meals when booking. There are a limited number of pre-packaged gluten-free snacks (e.g. muffins, biscuits, croissants etc) available onboard several of the ships, but the availability of these snacks is not guaranteed. The cruise line requests that guests with food intolerances and/ or allergies complete the Special Needs Form, and once onboard, confirm with the reception guest services and/ or with their Maître d’hôtel. For those requiring Kosher meals, it is best to request this service at least 3 weeks prior to the departure date, but the kosher meals may  be available onboard for a slight fee. As for those requiring Halal meals (poultry, lamb, and beef), these should be requested at least 2 months before departure to ensure availability. For more information, please visit MSC Cruises.

Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line 

Photo by Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean  is dedicated to catering for the dietary needs of all their guests. The cruise line accommodates dietary restrictions ranging from vegetarian food options to low-fat and sodium options. Vegetarian meals are available in all dining halls without needing to be requested prior to departure while vegan meals are available upon request at the Main Dining Hall. Other special dietary requirements such as lactose free meals or Kosher meals are available but must be requested at least 45 days (90 days for European and Asia cruises) before departure to ensure availability.

 To submit a request for dietary accommodations, guests can contact their travel advisor to ensure that the information is included in the reservation details. Additionally, guests can email with information about their names, booking number, ship name and sail date, so that the cruise line can add it to the reservation and accommodate passengers’ needs. Guests who book online at royalcaribbean.com, can add their special requests to the ‘update personal information’ section on the website. Please visit Royal Caribbean for more information.

Carnival Cruise Line

Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line caters to a variety of dietary needs, from vegetarian meals, to low-sugar and gluten-free options. The cruise line chefs will provide meals to accommodate dietary restrictions, but informs guests that these meals may take longer to prepare as they are made fresh. There are a variety of gluten-free options that are available upon request, such as gluten- free pizza, pasta, hamburger buns, and cakes. Additionally, the yogurt and frozen desserts are gluten-free. Once on board, the cruise line requests that guests with special dietary needs speak to the head server or dining room host as soon as possible so that they can adequately prepare the meals for the duration of the cruise. For those requiring Kosher meals, the cruise line requires at least  2 weeks’ notice. As for allergies, the cruise line will ask guests about allergy restrictions when onboard. For more information about dietary options, please contact Carnival Cruise Line.

Seabourn Cruise Line

Photo by Seabourn

Seabourn strives to accommodate the dietary needs of all its passengers, but to do so, they request guests inform the cruise line at least six weeks before departure. Guests are encouraged to complete the Special Requirements Information Form if they have any severe or life-threatening allergies, as well as any other dietary requests. Furthermore, Seabourn also encourages its guests to take advantage of the ‘My Seabourn’ feature so that you can add your dietary requirements to your reservation. For more information about dietary options, please visit Seabourn.

Photo by MSC Cruises

As you can see, there are many cruise lines that cater to a variety of dietary restrictions. Wherever you go, and whatever cruise line you choose, know that there will be accommodations for you. What are you waiting for? Sail away and journey the seven seas today!

By Kashaf Rashid