Just got back into town last night after a 5 night cruise on Celebrity Cruise’s Eclipse. First of all, it was a wonderful, relaxing, and warm experience. Living, as I do, in the “frozen tundra” a wintertime escape to a place where it’s over 30°C is amazing. But this is a blog about plant based diets and not travel, so I’ll stick to the points.
It’s hard to travel as a plant based eater. Sometimes really hard. Airports, forget it. Airplanes, not a chance. The best you can hope for is a small bag of peanuts or pretzels. But small towns are generally not good either, especially if you have to eat out. And even bigger cities can be challenging. We ended up in Miami for night and discovered a place called Jar + Fork. If you’re in Miami and are looking for some plant based food, it’s not a bad place to start. Really more of a paleo restaurant, but any decent plant based eater will find a home in paleo land.
One would think, though, on a gigantic cruise ship (121,878 tons) that there might be a little plant based love to be had. And the answer, I’m sorry to report, is that there is not unless you love salads. And I, my friends and readers (if there are any!) am not a “salad vegan”. Not that I don’t enjoy a salad from time to time, especially if I don’t have to do the preparation, but it’s not my favorite, by any means. If you’re diligent and look really hard, there are the occasional plant based treats. There was an “Indian” section that frequently had a dal and, if you looked between the chicken, beef, and lamb curries, there might be a vegetable curry. There was an “Asian” section that had a vegetable noodle dish, but typically flavored it with egg and getting some without egg was difficult. And there was an unadvertised vegetarian menu for the main dining room, but most every dish was loaded with cheese. So a plant based eater on a major cruise line can, with care and patience, find food to eat, but you better be OK with eating a lot of salad. And why is that? Clearly because we plant based eaters are too few and too silent. But I don’t want to have to go through the next 40 years eating an afterthought from the omnivore world. I want a world of tasty dining options that don’t include meat and cheese. And tasty food is out there, it’s not that hard to make, and it can not only taste great, but not make you sick! I want that!
Rant portion: But holy hell, the meat, cheese and dairy on display for the omnivores was impressive. Impressive, too, was the breadth and girth of a very large number of the passengers. It’s one thing to know that obesity is a problem in the world, but go on a cruise ship and watch very fat people eat enormous quantities of crappy food and it’s nothing short of impressive (and a little disgusting).