Friday, July 22, 2011

South Caribbean Vacay, Installment Three

Aboard the beautiful "Serenade of the Seas" (Royal Caribbean) we were amazed daily at the bountiful offerings. This is a shot of the restaurant where we ate most of our breakfasts and lunches. That's little McKenzie in the foreground in her sunhat.

As any good vegan should, I had called Royal Caribbean ahead of time to discuss what I should expect in the way of food and to take any suggestions. I spoke to a lovely lady who described in detail what I would find at the buffets and mentioned that at every meal there would be vegetarian, and gluten-free offerings. I told her that was impressive, but pressed further to ask about vegan offerings. The spokesperson was perplexed to find in the bylaws "absolutely no vegan meals will be prepared". She and I both agreed there must be more to that story, some kind of history/previous lawsuit or somesuch.  I explained that I wasn't expecting tempeh, or even tofu on the ship, only that I would like the assurance that I could find food not covered in dairy products. While I have my favorites at home (whole grains like quinoa or wild rice with lots of dark green leafies) I can subsist on many different side dishes as long as dairy is not involved. I told her I was actually surprised that "lactose intolerant" was not honored in the way that "gluten intolerant" is. The gluten-free lobbyists must have been more vocal.

In any event, I was assured the buffets would provide plenty for me to choose from, and it was suggested that I speak with the maitre'd in the dining room about supper. I never did the latter, preferring to relax and "roll with" the offerings at hand. As it turned out, I had a vegetable curry with naan every night (the name of the dish and the veggies featured changed every evening) except for the night that pasta with marinara was featured. I was able to find a bit of variety at dinner with the salads and soups (an amazing green gazpacho was a highlight) The server asked why I chose the same thing every night and I explained that I'm vegan. Then she understood. I wanted for nothing actually. I was grateful for the curries, which were delicious, and I was mainly there to enjoy the experience and the pleasure of my family's company. I did eat something different at every breakfast and lunch, with salads, fruits, grains and beans of every kind featured prominently.

This was our first cruise and we were all bowled over by how much fun and how elegant it was.

Look what I found in the on board art gallery! "There's my girl!" I said (Alicia Silverstone's "The Kind Diet" initially inspired my veganhood). So I had to take a photo of the photo.

Here, 'Kenzie and Wynne prepare to do some on board rock climbing. I think that's St. Thomas in the background.

Britton and Cathy at dinner

Hans and Braedon

Andres and my Dad clean up pretty well, don't they?

We enjoyed making friends with the staff, who hail from all over the world. Look at how our Stateroom Attendant, Elida, welcomed us back to our room one night! She utilized my daughter's Ray Bans. Elida lives in Managua, where my husband was born, and where we all have visited, so we had a lot to talk about.

A view off our balcony . . . A sailor's life for me!!


  1. Oh Cheryl, I smiled ear-to-ear this whole post! First and foremost, I am always awed by how gracious you are when the "planned" arrays aren't as accommodating as they might (should) be---we have numerous vegans where I work, and we ALWAYS make sure to note what options are vegetarian and which are vegan (as you've said a BIG difference!) on the lunch tables. Then the photos of your gorgeous---and much missed---family! SOOO wonderful. Looks like a fantastic time. LOVE YOU!