From the moment the MSC Divina sets sail from the port of Miami, the Holistic Holiday at Sea is an adventure like no other. While this cruise is a physical trek that takes passengers to exciting destinations, the 10-day holiday is also a journey to greater knowledge and understanding of ourselves and fellow vegans thanks to an array of plant-based foods, author appearances, and late-night parties. Here are a few reasons why we think every vegan should book this trip as their next vacation.
For the most recent Holistic Holiday at Sea, many passengers were not expecting to see the James Cameron co-produced film The Game Changers. However, guests were pleasantly overjoyed to discover that triathlete Rip Esselstyn was presenting the full Sundance cut of the feature (which will be altered before its national release).
Decadent but healthy meals
Unlike other cruises in which passengers have to special-order vegan food and have other dishes adapted to meet their needs, Holistic Holiday at Sea tailors its menus specifically for vegans, and the many creative meals are beautiful to see and taste. Guests are served three daily meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) in beautiful dining rooms, and some of the delicious meals served included creamy fennel soup, smoked tofu, vegetable risotto, and tomato mushroom tofu quiche. While no consensus was found regarding favorite dishes, nearly everyone loved the vegan eggplant parmesan over fettuccine and the carrot cake with vegan cream-cheese frosting.
What’s better than a vegan cruise? A vegan cruise with its own vegan bookstore! How cool is that? And when guests weren’t lounging by the pool reading a newly purchased book, they could have said books signed thanks to appearances by authors such as Jonathan Balcombe, PhD; Jessica Porter; Neal Barnard, MD; Ingrid Newkirk, Esselstyn; T. Colin Campbell, PhD; Deanna Minich, PhD; Michael Finkelstein, MD; Robert Cheeke, Sandy Pukel (the founder of Holistic Holiday at Sea); Julieanna Hever; Joel Kahn, MD; Kim Campbell, Mark Hanna, and Matt Frazier.
The opportunity to see vegan heroes
In addition to the aforementioned authors, Holistic Holiday at Sea also included appearances by Gene Baur; Michael Greger, MD; Warren Kramer; Keiichiro Kita; Melissa Karpel; Sheldon Rice; Bob Carr; Marcus Gary; and Nina Villalonga (to name a few). If you’re vegan, and you admire these people’s works, seeing them together in one place is an opportunity you don’t get every day!
Fun gatherings from morning ‘til late night
Are you a morning person? If so, you could choose between a self-massage therapy session, a harmonic massage, a yoga session, a natural-movement session, and a half dozen others. For night owls, the cruise offered a Coconut Bliss Vegan Ice Cream Bar Social, a pizza party with Follow Your Heart cheese pizza, and a nacho party. And, for times when passengers felt like relaxing, they could do that without the pressure of having to participate in activities.
Robin Raven is a journalist and the author of Santa’s First Vegan Christmas.