Carnival Breeze cruise ship at a beach

Top Tips for Healthy Eating on Cruises

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Have you been wondering about healthy eating on cruises? Many people flock to cruises with the express purpose of enjoying the food… or even overeating. Let’s look at ways to enjoy healthy food while cruising.

Filling your plate with fresh, whole plant foods can help you feel full from the fiber. While there will be lots of rich foods, tropical drinks, desserts, and other delicacies, try not to go “overboard”: there are many ways to make good choices.

Fresh Fruits

First, you can find a variety of delicious fruit on the breakfast menu and buffets for each meal. Fruit soups and fruit plates for dessert are often available. Even avocado toast may be served. In fact, I was on one cruise with a yogurt buffet with fruit and granola toppings. I would imagine some have smoothie bars: has anyone seen this?

Enjoy New Options

Why eat French fries, soft-serve ice cream, or white rolls on a ship, when there are so many better and healthier options? How about vegetarian sushi, Indian food, delicious whole grain rolls, and bean burritos? Chinese and Japanese specialty restaurants offer a variety of vegetables in salads and stir-fries. Many ships rotate buffet areas and restaurant menus to include different ethnic cuisines in the course of a week-long cruise, in addition to dedicated space for some concepts, like the Mongolian wok.

Legumes and Vegetables

A large variety of vegetables are found on lunch and dinner menus and buffets. Check the salad bar for chickpeas and cooked beans, Tofu is sometimes part of daily vegetarian dinner entrees. Vegetable, bean, and lentil soups may be served. Indian and Southeast Asian vegetarian menu items or a buffet may be available: check these out for more plant-forward dishes.

Plant milk has become very popular, but I have not seen them out on a buffet yet. Ask your server as almond and soy milk may be available in the kitchen for people with food allergies. I have found soy milk on cruises.

Beverages on Cruises

Finally, let’s talk about drinks. Higher calorie beverages include alcoholic mixed drinks, soft drinks, milkshakes, and sweetened coffee drinks. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, which is more than the 4 calories per gram in carbohydrates and protein. If you choose an unlimited drinks package, there is a tendency to drink more to make it worthwhile. Of course, the healthiest option is water, especially in the heat. Additionally, plain iced tea is free and refreshing. In moderation, light beer, beer, wine, or a mojito are lower-calorie alcoholic options.

Yellow frozen daiquiri in tropical beach
Frozen Daiquiri

Healthy eating on cruises can help you feel energetic and enjoy every minute! You can search the internet and sites such as Cruise Critic for menus if you like to peruse the menus before your trip. Contact guest services before you leave for special dietary needs like food allergies and gluten-free options. Plus, there are lots of ways to be active. I think I move around more on a ship than at work for sure: walking the hallways, taking steps, swimming, exploring ports, not to mention the many fun excursions available.

Related Travel and Nutrition Posts

Hopefully, these ideas will help you enjoy self-care with good nutrition on your next cruise. Will you need a long drive to get there? Here are some healthy snack ideas for the road!

If you’re staying at a hotel overnight before your cruise, maybe for a stay and park special, here are some tips for finding healthy choices at hotel breakfasts.

Check out these ideas for healthy eating at indoor water parks.

Please share your tips for healthy eating on cruises in the comments!

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