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What's happening to vegetarian food?

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  • BinleyBilly, Binley, Coventry
    started a topic What's happening to vegetarian food?

    What's happening to vegetarian food?

    A number of people have recently written posts expressing disappointment with the vegetarian food served up on cruises that they have just returned from, especially when compared with the food served up for their fellow meat-eaters. The quantity, quality and variety of vegetarian food has all been found to be wanting.

    We recently came back from a Queen Victoria cruise and found the same - previously vegetarian food served in the restaurants had been excellent, both in terms of quality and variety. Not this time - not only was it bland and repetitive but it was sometimes not even cooked properly. Fellow diners were delighted with their meat courses and I can vouch for the fish but clearly the vegetarian cook on board was not up to it.

    Now, ok, all lines will sometimes have to replace cooks who cannot meet the required standards but does anyone know why it seems that various cruise lines are now not able or willing to provide good vegetarian food? Could it be that proper vegetian cooks are quietly being dispensed with as a means of saving money? It's all very well we the publice being chuffed at the huge discounts being made on cruises this year but, somewhere along the line, cruise companies will have to make cuts to compensate - cuts that will reduce standards. Maybe this is a sign of things to come?

  • DUETTO, Staines
    replied
    Are all the chefs on cunard and P&O english, I know some ships have employed ex tv chefs. The reason I ask is that previous ships not had english chefs and they speak english but cannot grasp the difference between vegetarian and vegan and that these meals need protien too not just a plain salad or fruit.

    Leave a comment:


  • BinleyBilly, Binley, Coventry
    replied
    Originally posted by Blondie, Oxford View Post
    I have to agree with you regarding the vegetarian food on Cunard. I have sailed with Cunard many times and enjoyed the food. My last cruise on Queen Elizabeth was a huge disappointment as the vegetarian food was really poor. I think we must have had the same chefs as you had on QV. They simply did not have a clue and vegetarian dishes contained bacon and fish. Dishes were regularly sent back to the kitchen.

    As a general rule, I think vegetarians get a very poor deal on the majority of cruise ships, with unimaginative menus and poor quality ingredients.
    Valid point. On our last QV cruise, when the veggie food was so poor, our fellow diners were tucking in to large steaks and an assortment of other meat goodies, none of them especially cheap and cheerful.

    I did make the point in a subsequent Cunard survey - which I was assured - would be taken very seriously at head office.

    To hear that the QE vegetarian food is also poor is of concern - the quality of the dining class food is an important part of our reason for chosing Cunard!

    Leave a comment:


  • Blondie, Oxford
    replied
    Originally posted by BinleyBilly, Binley, Coventry View Post
    Allie

    Surprised you were disappointed in the Eclipse as far as vegetarian food is concerned - we have been on either the Eclipse or the Equinox and we found vegetarian options to be good. We were very disappointed, however, by the sweetness of the food (and drinks) duie to the fact that the ship catered mainly for Americans. They seem to have to have a sackful of sugar added to their food. Apparently the Celebrity boats out of Southampton serve food more suited to European taste ie not buried under sugar or sacharin.

    Regarding the QM: the QV operated the same policy on a cruise we did with them last year and they were happy to do any dish that we chose - and they did them all extremely well. Unfortunately our last QV cruise was very disappointing with regard to the vegetarian food, this being down to the supposedly veggie chef (who clearly hadn't a clue about veggie food) and of course to the main chef. It was a major grievance for us in an otherwise excellent cruise.
    I have to agree with you regarding the vegetarian food on Cunard. I have sailed with Cunard many times and enjoyed the food. My last cruise on Queen Elizabeth was a huge disappointment as the vegetarian food was really poor. I think we must have had the same chefs as you had on QV. They simply did not have a clue and vegetarian dishes contained bacon and fish. Dishes were regularly sent back to the kitchen.

    As a general rule, I think vegetarians get a very poor deal on the majority of cruise ships, with unimaginative menus and poor quality ingredients.

    Leave a comment:


  • BinleyBilly, Binley, Coventry
    replied
    Allie

    Surprised you were disappointed in the Eclipse as far as vegetarian food is concerned - we have been on either the Eclipse or the Equinox and we found vegetarian options to be good. We were very disappointed, however, by the sweetness of the food (and drinks) duie to the fact that the ship catered mainly for Americans. They seem to have to have a sackful of sugar added to their food. Apparently the Celebrity boats out of Southampton serve food more suited to European taste ie not buried under sugar or sacharin.

    Regarding the QM: the QV operated the same policy on a cruise we did with them last year and they were happy to do any dish that we chose - and they did them all extremely well. Unfortunately our last QV cruise was very disappointing with regard to the vegetarian food, this being down to the supposedly veggie chef (who clearly hadn't a clue about veggie food) and of course to the main chef. It was a major grievance for us in an otherwise excellent cruise.

    Leave a comment:


  • allie, Isle of Wight
    replied
    Not sure if I wrote this before, but the QM2 had a separate vegetarian menu - the drawback was that they liked you to order the day before (usually after your meal and therefore nothing appealed!).
    However, there were usually one or two options on the main menu, and these were far superior to those on the Celebrity Eclipse.
    We were made to feel like nuisances wanting to eat something that didn't have meat in. The Maitre D' told us that he had contacted "head office" to "allow additional menu options" for us, but we had the feeling it was all flannel!

    Leave a comment:


  • DUETTO, Staines
    replied
    BinleyBilly, Binley, Coventry


    marco polo is no good for vegans, no vegan options, their specially preparred vegan meal on request is a runner bean curry with boiled rice or a baked apple on its own, none of them could grasp vegans need protein in their diet like other people.
    most of the buffet food was mixed with ham,cheese,mayo etc. our best vegan meals so far were on RCL.

    Leave a comment:


  • BinleyBilly, Binley, Coventry
    replied
    Originally posted by Harvey, Bristol upon Cream View Post
    A genuine question:- why do some Vegetarians eat fish (which was, prior to being cooked, very much alive)?
    You're quite right - I'm not a genuine 100% vegetarian because I do eat fish. More of a quasi-vegetarian I suppose. But my original point remains the same and it seems that (real) vegetarians and vegans are being increasingly ignored. And, as I said originally, quite a few meat eaters also like to eat vegetarian options at times. If these are then bland or poorly cooked or ill conceived then it won't encourage diverse eating.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cooke, Ashby
    replied
    Originally posted by Paddy, Soton View Post
    Cunard (Queen Victoria) always had one vegie option on the menu - but often bland. More options were available if I ordered the night before. A reasonable compromise I suppose.
    Not a reasonable compromise, but second rate service. Your meat eating companions had the choice from, I assume, a comprehensive menu. You were not treated equally and should have made this point clear to Cunard.

    Leave a comment:


  • Blondie, Oxford
    replied
    Originally posted by Harvey, Bristol upon Cream View Post
    A genuine question:- why do some Vegetarians eat fish (which was, prior to being cooked, very much alive)?
    Harvey, If people eat fish, they are not true vegetarians, they are sometimes referred to as 'pescetarians'. I do not eat, meat, fish or eggs and therefore consider myself to be a vegetarian. I would refer to people who eat fish, but not meat, as non-meat eaters.

    Leave a comment:


  • DUETTO, Staines
    replied
    harvey a lot of vegans get no vitamin 12 in their diet some take marmite/vegimite [contains yeast very tech a animal not plant, others take cod liver oil again fish origin]

    did you know cider contains meat in the fermention vat in the process to get the tart flavour

    Leave a comment:


  • Harvey, Bristol upon Cream
    replied
    A genuine question:- why do some Vegetarians eat fish (which was, prior to being cooked, very much alive)?

    Leave a comment:


  • Paddy, Soton
    replied
    I agree with Allie. I have also never understood why fried rice is usually served with chopped ham in it. Fried rice is just a tastier version of boiled rice. As a "vegie" I have to pick out the ham (as presumably do moslems and jews) and dispose of it.

    If meat was served separately from vegetables as oppposed to being mixed in with them, then food providers would find it a lot easier to cater for all tastes.

    I'm a chess player, an even smaller minority than bridge players. On one cruise a ship chess tournament was announced to be held in the library. Two players turned up. We held a grand final and drew the game! Catering for minorities is not difficult.

    Cunard (Queen Victoria) always had one vegie option on the menu - but often bland. More options were available if I ordered the night before. A reasonable compromise I suppose.

    Leave a comment:


  • allie, Isle of Wight
    replied
    Good to see others on this forum who are making waves ('scuse pun) about vegetarian options.
    I posted on the forum about this and just got sarcastic replies!

    The veggie options are often popular with meat-eaters from my experience, so why do ship chefs seem to think that it's necessary to put meat in everything?
    Whoever heard of WALDORF SALAD having chicken in it? Chef on Celebrity Eclipse should watch Fawlty Towers then he would know it contains: Celery, Apple, Walnuts, Grapes - in a mayonnaise sauce!
    Apart from anything else, if it's cost they're thinking about, vegetables are much cheaper than meat!

    Leave a comment:


  • dwhe, W Midlands
    replied
    Originally posted by PG of A, A View Post
    What's happening to vegetarian food?


    In the UK less than 3% of the population are vegetarian. I should imagine that some vegetarians might refute this number but it is taken from "The Vegetarian Society" web site. Vegetarian Society - Fact Sheet - Statistics - Number of UK Vegetarians

    Cruise lines are cutting back, and obviously the minorities are losing out. We are keen bridge players; again there are probably only around 3% of the passengers who play bridge, so the bridge directors are disappearing, probably along with vegetarian cooks.

    Why should the majority subsides the minority, it is your decision to not eat meat, which is as you say excellent on most cruise lines.
    What a pompous attitude.

    Leave a comment:


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