Vegan Dining onboard the Princess Cruise Majestic Princess

Cruising as a Vegan Onboard the Princess Cruises Majestic Princess - March 2024

My husband and I really enjoy cruises, there’s something about waking up at a different port each day, exploring a new city and coming back to a freshly made bed that makes travelling easy breezy! We also aren’t opposed to a game of bingo on sea days either 😉

So we decided to book a 14 day cruise around New Zealand departing from Sydney.

Pre-lockdown we had planned a New Zealand road trip, but fast forward to March 2024 and the cost of doing the road trip was going to be significantly higher than the original price we quoted and it worked out to be more cost efficient to jump on a cruise for 14 days.

This wasn’t our first cruise, but this was going to be our longest cruise AND it was my first cruise as a vegan. I’ll admit I was a little worried that I’d have little to no food options so as every vegan does, we go to Google and find out what passengers before us have experienced.

Most of the search results I found were from 2018-2020 and weren't current which wasn’t that helpful. But then I found a Princess Cruises article from October 2023 about them releasing a vegan menu for plant based cruisers (you can check out the article here). All hope was not lost but to be sure I called the cruise help desk and they confirmed this was true! Yay!

If you’ve never been on a cruise before you generally have a few dining options: dining rooms with set menus (included in your cruise package), speciality restaurants (Italian, seafood, steak/grill, chinese) which aren’t always included in your cruise price (unless you’re an elite member or there’s a deal), pop up food places around the ship (noodle bar or ice cream station) or the buffet. In the past we had tried them all but not as a vegan so it was time to put Princess Cruises to the test!

 

DINING ROOM PLANT BASED MENUS

There are 3 dining rooms onboard the Majestic Princess with a 7 day rotating menu. We alternated between the dining room, buffet and specialty restaurants so I got to experience 5 of the 7 vegan menus which I break down below:

Vegan Menu 1

Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 1 - March 2024

On night 1 I had the Creamy White Bean Soup (below) which was so delicious with lots of flavour. It was quite hearty so I was quite full but I had also ordered the pasta to accompany it.

Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 1 -Soup - March 2024
The Pasta alla Norma was pretty average to be honest and lacked flavour so I was glad I got the soup. The addition of some green vegetables would have added more to this bland dish.
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 1 -Pasta - March 2024

 

 Vegan Menu 2

Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 2 - March 2024
The Roasted Fennel and Mushroom Salad with Radishes (below) was nice and a good combination of textures and flavours to start night 2.
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 2 - Salad - March 2024
The Tuscan Tomato and Bread Soup (below) was amazing! Really great flavour and very filling.
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 2 - Soup - March 2024
The Pasta on night 2 was the Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and White Beans (below). With only one broccoli floret this was pretty underwhelming. It was also bland so after a couple of mouthfuls I was going to send it back but then I got the main...
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 2 - Pasta - March 2024
which was the Roasted Carrots and Shallots (below). This was a bit tastier so I decided to mix my pasta and main together to create my own vegan dish...
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 2 - Main - March 2024
This is the final result which was a lot more flavoursome and wouldn't have been difficult for them to create for the night 2 menu.
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 2 - Main - March 2024

 

Vegan Menu 3

Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 3 - March 2024
The soup was a winner again with the Thai Coconut Soup with Tofu (below) on the menu for night 3. It was very flavoursome and I could have gone for seconds!
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 3 - Soup - March 2024
The vegan pasta of the night was the Fettuccine with Walnut Sauce (below). This was ok, again a bit bland with the capsicum adding a bit of sweetness but I couldn't eat much of it.
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 3 - Pasta - March 2024
The main vegan meal on night 3 was the Buddha Bowl (below) and this was not at all what I was expecting. They got half way there but seemed to forget the addition of some rice, grains, lentils or quinoa which would have given it some more substance. This just felt like roasted vegetables. 
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 3 - Main - March 2024
Vegan Menu 4
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 4 - March 2024
Roasted Pears with Dried Apricots (below) was a nice and refreshing dish to kick off night 4. I mainly ate the pears and some of the kale which had a lovely dressing.
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 4 - Starter - March 2024
The Green Goodness Salad with Tofu (below) was amazing! The Tofu was so soft and it complemented the cold broccoli nicely which sat on a light dressing. Definitely my favourite vegan dish of the night.
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 4 - Salad - March 2024
The Lentil and Escarole Soup (below) was hearty and delicious. You can't seem to go wrong with their soups!
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 4 - Soup - March 2024
Pasta e Ceci (below) was ok. The carrots added some sweetness but overall it was still quite bland. I didn't eat the garlic bread as I assumed it had butter on it and I couldn't be bothered to check.
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 4 - Pasta - March 2024
The night 4 Main was the Walkaway Ratatouille (below) was also just ok. I mainly ate the cooked celery and zucchini but found it was a bit sauce heavy for my liking.
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 4 - Main - March 2024
Vegan Menu 5 - Not shown

Vegan Menu 6
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 6 - March 2024
I was excited to start night 6 with the Baja-Style Cauliflower Tacos (below). You got two tacos but unfortunately the shell was soft and not at all crunchy. The filling on the other hand was very nice and there was a touch of spice too.
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 6 - Starter - March 2024
Another winner with the Chickpea Noodle Soup (below). This was so hearty and had a lot of flavour, I was pretty full after having this.
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 6 - Soup - March 2024
The night 6 main was the plant based Shepherd's Pie. I am not a huge fan of mushy peas but when you got beyond that there was a delicious mix of mushrooms, jackfruit and sautéed vegetables. It was really good and I would definitely recommend!
Princess Cruises Majestic Princess Vegan Menu 6 - Main - March 2024
Vegan Menu 7 - Not shown

 

Overall the dining room vegan menu provided some great plant based options, but I just felt like a lot of them lacked flavour. The pastas were bland and not really very adventurous. But I definitely can't fault the soups and salads - they were great and I would definitely opt for them next time around.


 

BUFFET VEGAN OPTIONS

As soon as we got onboard we went up to the ‘Marketplace’ also known as the buffet. This is an overwhelming experience in itself as people run to pile their plates sky high with food like we are about to face a zombie apocalypse!

I noticed a lot of the signs above the food had a ‘V’ on them but after talking to the chef learnt that the 'V' stood for vegetarian. The chef took me on a quick tour of the buffet and pointed out some of the vegan options.

There weren’t a lot of vegan options but they assured me if I wanted something in particular all I had to do was ask. They genuinely wanted to make this experience good for me and as he said ‘as long as you’re happy, I’m happy.’ I grabbed a light snack but before I left he brought me out a dark chocolate vegan mousse (below) which was so kind and delicious! It was rich though so I couldn't finish it all but it was a lovely gesture to start my vegan culinary onboard experience.

Princess Cruises Buffet Vegan Dessert March 2024

In the days to come I took their advice and asked for different things on more than one occasion. Most of the time for breakfast I would have fresh fruit or muesli with almond milk (which was not out so I had to ask for it). One morning though I was craving avocado on toast so I asked one of the chefs and within 10 minutes I had a freshly sliced avocado which was so fresh (below) - it was the perfect way to start the day!

Princess Cruises Buffet Fresh Avocado - March 2024

A few days later they had created an Avocado Toast Station so I had avocado on toast with cherry tomatoes and balsamic dressing (below).

Princess Cruises Buffet Avocado Toast Station - March 2024

On sea days my go to snacks were corn chips with guacamole and salsa (below) or hummus with flat bread. This was always at the buffet and one of the healthier options. 

Princess Cruises Buffet Corn Chips and Guacamole - March 2024

The one night we went to the buffet for dinner I had an Indian Vegan Curry which was so good! The great thing about cruises attracting an international audience is that they cater cuisines to all different nationalities.

There is also the dessert station at the buffet and while they have gluten free options they don't have any vegan desserts on display. But ask and you shall receive. I had a few different desserts brought out to me: sorbet, a berry compote crumble, the dark chocolate mousse again. It's kind of annoying to have to ask all the time and sometimes I felt like a nuisance but I paid a fare just like everyone else and just because I am vegan doesn't mean I don't like dessert!

 

SPECIALTY DINING

One night we booked into 'Alfredos' the Italian restaurant and sadly they didn’t have vegan cheese so I opted for minestrone soup and a vegetarian pizza with no cheese. Both were delicious and it was just one example of how you have to be flexible if you want to enjoy other dining experiences onboard the ship.

 

Princess Cruises Alfredos Specialty Dining Restaurant - Vegetarian Pizza - March 2024

There were no vegan dessert options there but I was pretty full from dinner so that was ok with me. I was surprised they didn’t have at least a sorbet option though, that would have been a good alternative.

 

DRINKS AND PLANT BASED MILK OPTIONS

I don’t drink coffee so I made my way through their herbal tea menu and on the odd occasion I went down to the cafe for a chai. The plant based milk options onboard are almond, soy and coconut which were listed as 50 cents extra but upon checking my final bill I didn't get charged for this while I was onboard.

I also brought my own herbal tea blends onboard the cruise without any problems. Sometimes it is nice to have some creature comforts when you're travelling abroad.

 

ONSHORE DAYS

Before we arrived into each port I would visit Happy Cow to look for vegan cafes and food establishments in the areas we were visiting. This app is SO helpful and has never led me astray. If you want you can follow me here and explore my favourite places I have saved under 'Trips'.

 

SUMMARY

I’m pretty sure I was the only vegan at sea but I did meet other passengers who had gluten-free and dairy-free requirements so the vegan menu was helpful for them too.

Overall I was pretty satisfied with the plant based options available, some were a little bland but in most cases I had more options than I would at my local cafe so it was nice to have vegan options while cruising.

It is great to see the cruise food menu evolving to cater to more dietary requirements and I can only hope it continues to grow as time goes on.

 

Have you been on a cruise or travelled abroad as a vegan? Share your experience or tips below.

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4 comments

You’re very welcome Cheryl, if you do decide to go on a cruise I hope you have a great time and never be shy to ask what is in the food to ensure your vegan needs are met while you’re onboard.

Marisa (W&CF)

I love this. Thanks for sharing. I haven’t been on a cruise before and was concerned about vegan options

Cheryl

You’re welcome Jamie, I did a lot of research before the cruise but struggled to find any reviews about the quality of the vegan food so I am glad you found it helpful. We have just booked our next Princess Cruise to Japan and am looking forward to another good vegan cruising experience.

Marisa (W&CF)

Thanks for sharing your experience. We are vegan and looking at a cruise vs land vacation. If we cruise, we will probably go with princess. Food options are of course something we are considering. This was very helpful.

Jamie

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