The Cruise Line Dietary Requirements Guide


The information in this article was last updated in August 2016.

Anyone who suffers from a food allergy or has special dietary requirements will understand just how difficult it is to source great tasting food in everyday life – let alone on holiday.

Thankfully, most contemporary cruise lines accommodate dietary requests well – providing a range of special meals and catering solutions for those who suffer allergies or simply can’t eat certain foods.

To help you choose the cruise line with the most appropriate dining menu for your requirements, here’s a guide to how individual cruise lines accommodate specific dietary requests.

Food Allergies Gluten-free Vegetarian/Vegan Lactose-free Kosher Halal Low-fat
Azamara Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes* Yes
Captain Cook Cruises Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (extra $150pp) Yes (Extra $15pp) Yes
Celebrity Cruises Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cunard Cruises Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
MSC Cruises Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes N/A Yes
P&O Australia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Princess Cruises Yes** Yes** Yes** Yes** Yes** Yes** Yes**
Royal Caribbean Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Only from Singapore or Dubai Yes
Silversea Cruises Yes Yes Yes*** Yes Yes*** Yes*** Yes

*Azamara don’t stock halal food, so it needs to be requested at the time of booking your cruise.

**Princess Cruises require that passengers inform them of any dietary requirements between 35 and 65 days prior to embarkation, depending on the destination – check at time of booking.

***Silversea doesn’t guarantee that food on-board is vegan, halal, or kosher on all cruises – please check at time of booking.

As demonstrated on the table above, cruise holidays are a great choice for those with specific dietary requirements – providing complete flexibility no matter what your gastronomic necessities may be.

To give you complete peace of mind when it comes to dining, here are some useful words of wisdom to help you avoid any dietary pitfalls during your cruise.

Alert the Cruise Line Promptly: Forget booking flights and packing; the first thing you should do once you’ve booked a cruise is alert the cruise line of your specific dietary requirements. Many cruise lines stipulate they need forty to fifty days notice to meet certain dietary requirements, so be sure to make contact with them as soon as possible to ensure any catering requests are put in place.

Contact the Catering Manager After Boarding: Once you’re settled into your cabin, your next port of call ought to be the main dining area, where you should arrange to speak to the catering manager regarding your dietary needs. If they’ve done their job properly, any and all dining requests should be in place – leaving you free to enjoy your cruise. Day one is also the time to make additional dining requests if needs be.


Don’t Be Afraid to Explore Other Dining Venues: Whilst any special meals are initially stored and served in the main dining area – don’t be afraid to branch out and explore new eateries. Cruise catering is extremely flexible, and other chefs will be happy to serve specialist dishes provided they’re given enough advanced notice. Keep in contact with the catering manager, and let them know when you plan to try other eats on-board.

Be Weary At the Buffet: Perhaps the one place where you should be most cautious about food is in the buffet. Cross-contamination from utensils and chefs not using the appropriate gloves can occur easily during buffet dining, so be fastidious and question anything you’re not comfortable with. Again – the catering team will be happy to answer any queries you have about specific dining qualms.

For more tips and advice on dining aboard a cruise ship, be sure to check out the rest of our blog. Alternatively, if you have any specific queries, please don’t hesitate to contact the Cruise1st team on 1300 857 345; our advisors are on daily and are happy to help with any and all cruise enquiries.


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