Halal-Friendly Food On Cruise
Trying new cuisine and eating great food are highlights of taking a cruise, but for Muslim travelers with halal food, requirements can be a challenging task. On the other side, cruise lines are getting better at adjusting to passengers’ preferences in a constantly changing culinary environment.
For the best possible halal-friendly food in the cruise experience, the below 10 tips can turn any sailing into a halal-friendly trip tailored to your needs.
1. Deliver Prior Notice
Most cruise lines can provide food for vegetarian, vegan, kosher, and halal diets. Cruise lines have limited supplies, which are only brought onboard in certain ports, so they must procure special ingredients. As soon as you book, inform the travel agent or cruise line of your dietary needs.
For most lines, food requests must be made 45 to 90 days in advance; get in touch with the line’s accessible travel department.
2. Get in Touch With The Dining Area Onboard
Ask the chief chef or restaurant manager to make sure your dietary restrictions are recorded before you set sail. Find out where the halal food is kept and how to get to it if a cruise line offers it.
3. Meatless Options
Every cruise line has created a wide range of vegetarian and even vegan food alternatives. In addition to the buffet, which offers a wider variety of cooked and raw greens, the main dining rooms’ menus for lunch and dinner also include at least two vegetarian hot entrees. The proper menu choices are marked with helpful icons next to the vegetarian and vegan food options.
4. Keep The Same Dining Room Staff
Maintaining a consistent waiter in the main dining area can make your life simpler because you won’t have to repeat your religious dietary requirements to them each time you eat. Select the option for set seating if it is available on your ship. If you prefer open seating, ask to be seated in the same location in the dining room every night so the waiter will get familiar with your dietary needs.
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5. Ordering Meals In advance
Although many cruise companies identify menu items that are vegetarian or suited for a particular religion, the list may not be exhaustive, and substitutes may not always be available. Instead, ask to see the following day’s menu in advance to discuss choices and adaptations. This will give you plenty of time to inquire about hidden or haram ingredients and ensure you enjoy a meal.
6. Be Careful At The Buffet
Buffet items sometimes are not labeled. Fellow passengers could be careless while mixing utensils or preventing food from spilling into the plate next to their own. The restaurant manager can help you navigate the buffet stations and determine which items are safe to eat.
Don’t be afraid to request new serving utensils or gloves from the personnel. Request food that has not been on display if cross-contamination is still a worry for you. Keep in mind that if you order from an omelet or pasta station, you can choose to have the meal prepared in a different way.
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7. Be Wary Of The Snacks In The Cabin
Be careful of room service bread baskets, canapes, welcome presents, and chocolates. Most likely, they are conventional fare that might contain some haram ingredients.
Let your cabin attendant know when you board so that he may take away any welcome presents that contain food ingredients you can’t consume. Be specific about what you can and cannot eat if your reservation is at a cabin level where you might receive afternoon canapes or tea service. It’s acceptable to ask for absolutely no treats.
8. Own Snacks To Bring
This is always a good backup plan to bring your own snacks on board. However, passengers cannot get most food items onboard, except nonperishable snacks and food or formula for babies, so be careful not to pack perishable items thinking you can eat them on board.
9. Go For The Luxury Cruise
If you’re organizing a memorable vacation, you might want to splash out a little extra cash on an unforgettable experience. Luxury ships tend to be smaller than their mainstream equivalents, and the level of individualized care offered is often praised. For very particular dietary options, a luxury cruise ship is more likely to provide highly individualized treatment for vegetarian or religious-restricted diets.
10. Never Assume
You can’t assume that everyone on board will know your needs when there are hundreds or thousands of passengers. The fact that a chef at the buffet once prepared your food perfectly does not guarantee that he will do so in the future. Always remind wait staff and watch chefs not to add a prohibited ingredient without thinking automatically.
Related: Cruise Lines That Serve Halal Food