VeggieBoards banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my in-laws are doing this family cruise thing for 7 days that I am obligated to do. Prior to purchasing tickets I was told by the travel agent not to worry that they would have options for me and would be able to accommodate a vegan, but after reading some info on cruises I requested a special form to make sure that I would be accommodated. Prior to having my husband send out my form I read up on their cruise info and it looked like I would have no problem being accommodated, but here is the email I got back:

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 1:32 PM
To: XXXXXX (my husband's email address)
Subject: RE: Special Needs Form

Hello,

Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry. Unfortunately, while we can accommodate some special dietary needs, such as food allergies and gluten-free, vegetarian, low-fat, low sodium, Lactaid/soy milk, Ensure and kosher meals, at no extra charge, we cannot accommodate vegan or lacto-ovo vegetarian. We apologize for any disappointment this may cause.

On all our daily menus, we offer a vegetarian selection (an appetizer or soup, salad and main entre). This does not have to be ordered in advance.
Please note, these meals are not specific to any style of vegetarian preparation and do contain dairy. Additionally, we do not provide vegan or macrobiotic meals of any kind and do not have access to organic food items.

Best regards,
Access Staff
GM

[THREAD ID:1-UD4Q9E]

-----Original Message-----

From: XXXX (husband's email address)
Sent: 5/19/2011 11:24:59 AM
To: <[email protected]>
Cc: XXXXX (my email address)
Subject: Special Needs Form

Hello,

Attached please find the Special Needs form for our trip in July. FYI, I had tried to fax this form over per the instructions this morning on four occasions and it would not go through.

Please let me know that this has been received and if you need any additional information from us.

Thanks,

XXXXX (husband's name)

Now to me this is like almost a direct attack on vegans. I don't understand how they are not willing to accommodate us but pretty much everyone else. What should I do? I really am supposed to go on this trip but why should I have to bring all my own meals which would probably be mostly bars and things that don't require being heated or refrigerated. I've heard that cruises were mostly very accommodating and this cruise line was as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,293 Posts
I wonder if they would have any problem accommodating you if you had allergies.

This, to me, seems downright ridiculous; every cruise I've been on has prepared special meals for me with no fuss, and with no notice whatsoever. They're the ones getting your money, you should be able to eat something for the duration of your seven days. I would send a strongly worded e-mail back, explaining that you should be able to eat something on the holiday that you are paying for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it makes me mad that they are willing to accommodate something unimportant like low-fat but not vegan (which to me I just have a real strong belief that it is wrong to eat animal products).

This is a real expensive cruise and its already been paid for and if I don't go then my in-laws will be pretty furious with me. If it was a trip just for me and my husband I would say well, if you refuse to accommodate me than I refuse to pay you but I don't know if I should put my foot down and not go or suck it up and go and pretty much starve myself.

AeryFairy-yeah, I will definitely send them a strong worded email back. I doubt it will do anything though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,408 Posts
how can they accomondate vegetarian when they can't accomondate lacto-ovo vegetarian? i bet their idea of "vegetarian" includes fish.
i wouldn't go and get a refund if there will be no food. you've done all you can and if your in-laws want to be angry then they can be angry at the cruise line for failing to provide what they said would be no problem
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
zirpkatze-i was thinking that myself. yeah, i think i might just cancel if they refuse to do anything. the cruise is a lot of money.

btw, my hubby wrote what's below without me prompting him to. he is awesome!

Hello,

I am concerned by this response regarding my wife's nutritional needs.

Are you saying that she would have no options to eat on this cruise? Our travel agent assured us that you would be able to accommodate such a simple request. What are her options? I am assuming you do not expect your vegan customers to starve while on your cruise lines.

If nothing can be done, we would have to cancel our trip of 6 people and 3 rooms. Our agent informs us that other cruise lines can accommodate vegans.
I am quite surprised by this response, especially considering the needs of gluten-free individuals are much harder to accommodate than vegans, and this accommodation would be very similar to someone with certain food allergies.

Please let me know ASAP so that we can adequately prepare for our family vacation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,408 Posts
nice reply from the husband.
i could think of several dishes they could make with simple ingredients. they'd be basic but filling. pasta (pre-purchased) with steamed veggies in tomato sauce or grilled veggies tossed in some olive oil, rice or risotto and grilled/steamed veggies, fruit for dessert, some basic tofu recipe, quinoa with veggies, vegan burgers (pre-purchased or handmade).
none of those things would require even any special knowledge from the chef, just slightly altered ingredients. i'm sure you're not expecting them to make 5-star vegan food, just something reasonably varied, tasty and filling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
Your husband is awesome for writing that.
If they do not want to accommodate you, then they want to lose business.

You're free to do whatever you want, if you don't want to go that's your choice; if anyone in the family gets upset that you don't want to go then that's their choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,254 Posts
My understanding is that they have to say that to cover their asses, but once you show up, you just let your server know what you eat, and you'll be taken care of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,014 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by zirpkatze View Post

how can they accomondate vegetarian when they can't accomondate lacto-ovo vegetarian?
Yeah, that was my first thought. And they even mention that they have soy milk. It really sounds to me like they have no clue what they're talking about.

--Fromper
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
908 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

I empathize with your cruise frustration.
I love you
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,641 Posts
I don't know why your in-laws would be furious with you. Everyone who knows me knows I wouldn't put up with a response like that. I would have insisted on an immediate refund and I would blast the heck out of them on Google reviews, the BBB and whatever other media I could find. And I'm not just saying that. I have done it many times in the past.

Stand up for yourself. Expensive cruises are supposed to be luxurious and the staff is supposed to happily do whatever it takes to make your cruise pleasurable. They have already started out on the wrong foot. It probably won't get any better. Save your money or find another cruise line that will volunteer to provide you with gourmet vegan meals. Don't settle for energy bars and salads. It's your money and you have a choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,026 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fromper View Post

It really sounds to me like they have no clue what they're talking about.
I think they don't know what lacto-ovo vegetarian means, not necessarily that they think fish is vegetarian.

Yeah, if this cruise is important to you, I'd suggest an email that explains exactly what kinds of vegan meals you expect. Say you want meals without meat, dairy, eggs, or honey. And then clarify meat for them by saying no meat also means no fish or poultry. Explain that it's ok if they use the same cookware and dishes, just no animal-based oils or creams, no butter or lard. Offer to give/loan them a vegan cookbook or two.

However, if you are concerned about trace ingredients (for example, you want to look at the soy milk container and make sure it doesn't have animal-derived vitamin D or something) then just take them at face value when they say they cannot accomodate vegans.

And if you want to go on a cruise that doesn't have dead animals on it, check out:
http://www.atasteofhealth.org/vegan-cruise.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,229 Posts
I also was puzzled by their comment that they could provide vegetarian meals, but not ovo-lacto-vegetarian. Huh?....

And cruises are supposed to be very solicitous to their passengers as regards food preferences. They should be, considering how expensive they can be. Vegans these days aren't exactly a rarity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
888 Posts
It would be so easy for them to make you some tomato pasta, mixed bean salad, stir fried veg with rice, cheeless pizza, bruschetta, baked potato with baked beans, roasted veg with couscous, lentil soup, nachos with salsa and fruit salad. Surely any chef's kitchen would already contain the ingredients for most or all of those things unless they are serving frozen ready meals?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,950 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by creep View Post

My understanding is that they have to say that to cover their asses, but once you show up, you just let your server know what you eat, and you'll be taken care of.
but if youre wrong, no food for 7 days!

that is a bizarre email, i had to read it several times. I would agree that maybe they dont exactly know what a Vegan is (since they cater for vegetarians but not lacto ovo vegetarians). Maybe they do just have a load of precooked meals that get microwaved, blergh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks for all the support guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepydvdr View Post

I don't know why your in-laws would be furious with you. Everyone who knows me knows I wouldn't put up with a response like that. I would have insisted on an immediate refund and I would blast the heck out of them on Google reviews, the BBB and whatever other media I could find. And I'm not just saying that. I have done it many times in the past.

Stand up for yourself. Expensive cruises are supposed to be luxurious and the staff is supposed to happily do whatever it takes to make your cruise pleasurable. They have already started out on the wrong foot. It probably won't get any better. Save your money or find another cruise line that will volunteer to provide you with gourmet vegan meals. Don't settle for energy bars and salads. It's your money and you have a choice.
i have no problem standing up to companies that won't cater to me but this situation is a bit different since it involves my in-laws. they didn't like me for the first 8 years of my relationship with my husband, they are very much about appearance, and they already think that i care more about animals than people. essentially, by not going i am ruining a trip that they planned for the whole family since if i don't go my husband also won't go. the tickets have already been booked and everyone is already excited. to be honest, i never wanted to do a cruise. i get motion sick in cars, so the idea of being on a boat kinda freaks me out. this was all my mother-in-laws idea that i had pretty much protested against since the beginning. if i don't go, i'm pretty sure she will think i did this on purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

I think they don't know what lacto-ovo vegetarian means, not necessarily that they think fish is vegetarian.
Yeah, if this cruise is important to you, I'd suggest an email that explains exactly what kinds of vegan meals you expect. Say you want meals without meat, dairy, eggs, or honey. And then clarify meat for them by saying no meat also means no fish or poultry. Explain that it's ok if they use the same cookware and dishes, just no animal-based oils or creams, no butter or lard. Offer to give/loan them a vegan cookbook or two.
on the special needs form i filled out and my husband emailed for me, i explained vegan in detail. so, they do have a pretty good idea of what i can and can't have. they just don't want to deal with it. the form was pretty extensive, so they are willing to cover a lot of different needs some even at great expense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate Ferret View Post

but if youre wrong, no food for 7 days!
yeah and i don't think i could live off of salad with lemon for that long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
I don't have any advice, but this sounds really rubbish for you! I'd wait for a reply to your husband and go from there, even if something is resolved though I'd probally take some food just incase there are any problems whilst on the cruise - you don't want to end up going hungry! Do you go off anywhen? I've never been on a cruise or anything but I think on some you go off onto mainlands for days sometimes, so you could also try to buy some food then if worst came to worst.

I went on holiday for a month where I was provided food (and similarly didn't have an option of fending for myself) and was told countless times they could cater for vegans easily - it even said "can cater for vegans" on their website: well I turn up and after a week realise I'm eating the same meal, twice a day (carrots and green beans with either rice or pasta) almost every day. I felt awful and it did tanish an otherwise amazing trip (things got better towards the end, but I did get unwell after a couple of weeks) So anyway my advice would be BE PREPARED just incase, before I went I was so sure the food would be fine that I ignored my parents/boyfriends worries and didn't bring any extra food and I really regretted it! It doesn't hurt to bring things like nuts, dried fruits, snack bars, etc just in case and then not use them and bring them back home!

Hope it all works out - it sounds like a bit of a nightmare anyway with your inlaws
!
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top