Your guide to Royal Caribbean Vegan and Vegetarian cruising onboard Harmony of the Seas!
In February 2020, I had the privilege of embarking on a 7 day Royal Caribbean cruise onboard Harmony of the Seas. I was very excited to experience what was once one of the largest passenger ships in the world. Royal Caribbean had recently promoted a new vegan menu on their ships, which is one of the reasons this company was chosen for our cruise. Throughout the course of my cruise, I put together this Royal Caribbean Vegan Vegetarian guide. Enjoy!
In August 2019, Royal Caribbean announced a new four course vegan menu would be available in the main dining room on all of their cruise ships. Royal Caribbean requests that you give notice before your cruise date to allow the staff to be able to prepare for the special orders. There is a new menu available every night, and you will preorder the night before to allow extra prep time for the kitchen.
The new vegan menu was very hit or miss. Some of the items were truly delicious, while some were not so great. I enjoyed the fact that they didn’t just make salads, but actually tired to produce something interesting. From burgers to pasta, polenta fries to vegan chocolate cake, the new menu definitely was an enjoyable part of the cruise.
I was told by my server that if there was nothing on the vegan menu that interested me, the kitchen is able to accommodate special requests if given plenty of notice. She offered to bring a non menu item but for the sake of the blog and my curiosity I decided to stick to the provided vegan menu.
One main thing I was very impressed by was the service staffs attention to the special menu. Not only was our server very knowledgeable and friendly, a manager stopped by nightly to assure the vegan options were prepared to our liking and to check on quality. Be sure to order the Peanut Butter Rice Crispy for dessert. It was one of my favorites.
The windjammer buffet is the main buffet onboard. Offerings for vegans are pretty limited; I would likely just recommend the salad bar. There is an Asian food section that has some noodles and tofu, which is a nice option. The salad bar is nicely stocked with plenty of choices, including nuts, seeds, beans, but they could really up their game by adding grilled tofu or tempeh.
Honestly, the Windjammer buffet was pretty disappointing. Buffets aren’t meant to be fine dining quality, but the food was not very good at all. I only came to the Windjammer twice and both times was massively underwhelmed by the food. It’s a great place if you just want to be quick, maybe the morning of an excursion. But other than that, I can’t really recommend it.
Park Cafe, located in the Central Park neighborhood onboard, is a quick service restaurant offering breakfast and lunch dining options. With indoor and outdoor dining, this restaurant is a great spot to grab a quick meal before an excursion or before enjoying one of the many activities on the ship.
For breakfast, Park Cafe offers a nice continental style breakfast with oatmeal, fresh fruit and vegetables, breakfast sandwiches and more. Here you will also find coffee, tea, juices, filtered water and more. Soy milk is available upon request but is not sitting out with the rest of the milk.
For lunch, Park Cafe has a soup station, salad bar, sandwiches, wraps, flatbreads, and much more. On any given day, there will always be a vegetarian soup available and sometimes vegan. Be sure to ask, as some of the soups are cream based. My favorite was the vegan black bean soup!
Be sure to try out their flatbreads and paninis, many of which come vegan or vegetarian. These are prepared fresh and delivered directly to whichever table you sit at. I loved their whole wheat vegetable pita pocket!
Park Cafe was definitely one of my favorite places to eat onboard mostly because the Central Park neighborhood is absolutely beautiful. Offering al fresco dining really allows you to enjoy the beautiful Caribbean weather and truly forget that you are even at sea.
Coastal Kitchen is a specialty dining room available only to “suite-class” guests and Pinnacle Club members. “Tuscan Fare With Cali Flair” is how Royal Caribbean describes this specialty restaurant. I was lucky enough to be traveling with a group who was staying in a suite, so I had access to this restaurant for just a few meals.
Vegan options at the Coastal Kitchen are not as plentiful as I would hope, but there are many vegetarian options in each food category on each day’s menu. I’m sure that if you made a special request, Coastal Kitchen would accommodate you with a vegan meal. Keep in the mind that the menu changes regularly, so just be sure to ask your server any questions. The service staff is very knowledge and accommodating.
The restaurant itself is very attractive with a California style interior and phenomenal service. My favorite meal I had at Coastal Kitchen was definitely the Parmesan & Truffle Tortellini. This dish had amazing flavors. The food at Coastal Kitchen is definitely several steps above the provided food at non-suite restaurants. If you have the opportunity, don’t miss out on this rather unknown gem!
Vitality Juice Bar
The Vitality Juice Bar is located outside of the fitness center near the spa onboard. The juice bar offers fresh-squeezed juice, smoothies, protein shakes, café drinks, and small bites like fruit. I was planning to enjoy a protein shake after my workouts, but they use whey protein with no plant-based protein option.
Instead, I enjoyed one of their fresh-squeezed juices. I ordered the carrot lemonade, a blend of carrots, apple, lemon and ginger. This was quite delicious and a really nice treat after a good workout. For the price of $6.25, I thought this was worth the one time treat. Keep in mind if you have the deluxe drink package, all drinks at Vitality Cafe are included except for the protein shake which would have an up-charge.
Veggie Options Overview
Overall, I found the Royal Caribbean vegan menu to be kind of hit or miss. The vegetarian options were plentiful, with some vegan options as well. Although I wouldn’t say that their new menu is amazing, it’s nice to have several options throughout the ship. Also, I always felt very informed about what the options were without any confusion.
Vegetarian options were available in just about every restaurant on Harmony of the Seas. Vegan options were not nearly as widely available, but there was still usually something at all locations. A hidden gem is the Solarium Bistro, offering Mediterranean cuisine and one of the most gorgeous salad bars on the ship. This bistro is a great option for Whole Food Plant Based diners, as the salad bar offers great greens, grains, nuts, and beans.
There is a Starbucks onboard, offering all of the usual favorites that you already enjoy from home. Starbucks offers many plant-based milks. Depending on your specific cruise, your Starbucks may offer coconut-milk, oat-milk soy-milk, and almond-milk. On my cruise, Starbucks was the only place I could find almond-milk. Keep in mind that Starbucks is always an additional charge, even if you have a drink package.
As the plant-based movement continues to grow, we will be seeing many of these industries add vegan options. Royal Caribbean has taken a really great start to trying to appeal to this demographic. Of whom, people who previously would not have been interested in cruising because of limited options. Although they still have a very far way to go this was a great step in the right direction. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or just plant-based, you will find something enjoyable on a Royal Caribbean cruise!
Thank you all for checking out this Royal Caribbean Vegan Vegetarian guide. Also, if you enjoyed the content, be sure to follow me on social media to stay updated on all of my latest content and travels!