Eating Vegan on MSC Cruises (2024)

As a vegan, I’ve found that cruises are the best holidays because you can be sure that there will be lots of delicious vegan food to enjoy on the ship.

So, can you eat vegan on MSC Cruises?

I’ve cruised with MSC Cruises four times between 2018 and 2024 and the vegan catering has gotten better every time!

So, read on to find out what I thought of the vegan options, as well as some tips to make cruelty-free cruising a little easier…

MSC Cruises vegan food

Can You Eat Vegan on MSC Cruises?

MSC Cruises caters for vegans very well. You can request a vegan menu in the main dining rooms and you’ll find plenty of options in the buffet too with mock meats used in certain dishes and plant-based milks available on request.

Dining Options on MSC Cruises

Like most cruise ships, MSC Cruises’ ships have three dining options:

  • Main Dining Rooms – Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, here you can enjoy three-course sit-down meals in elegant surroundings.
  • Buffet – A casual self-service restaurant that’s open around the clock for meals and snacks
  • Speciality Restaurants – For an extra charge, you may opt to dine in a special restaurant such as Japanese or Mexican

Booking an MSC Cruise as a Vegan

When you booked your cruise, just advise your travel agent you’re vegan and they will add a note to the booking. This is always a good thing to do with any dietary requirements or other special requests.


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Vegan Options in the Main Dining Rooms

The main dining rooms on MSC Cruises are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

When I cruised in 2023 there was no vegan menu, so on my latest cruise on MSC Euribia in 2024, I was really surprised to see that there was indeed a vegan menu available!

The menu shows today and tomorrow, which is perfect because you can base your decision about where to eat tomorrow based on what’s on the menu.

MSC Cruises vegan menu...

The food was delicious and the portion sizes were very generous too.

Here’s an example of the food at dinner… Yum!

Even if you have the vegan menu, ask to see the regular menu too. You’ll often find that there’s a vegan option on there too, so you’ll have a nice choice.

Here’s an example of a dinner menu…

As my 2024 MSC Cruise was only two nights, I didn’t eat breakfast in the main dining room. So I can’t comment on if they have any thing special for vegans there now.

But, here’s an example MSC breakfast menu from last year…

MSC Cruises breakfast menu

Possible vegan breakfast options in the main dining room:

  • Bread or toast with margarine or jam
  • Cereal with soya milk
  • Vegetables and potatoes
  • Fruit

Again, I’m not sure if there’s a different vegan menu for lunch, but I expect there would be. I did eat in the main dining room for lunch on the first day, but I had no idea to ask for a vegan menu as it’s not mentioned anywhere online.

Still, I managed to find accidentally vegan options on the regular menu – spring rolls, a veggie burger and fries (minus the cheese) and some sorbet.

The three-course lunch menu in the main dining room changes every day. Anything vegan is labelled as such, and you can ask the waiter to adapt anything else.

Usually, a starter could be adapted to be vegan. This usually meant a salad without any meat, cheese, and substituting the dressing for olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sometimes, the soup is accidentally vegan, but not labelled as such.

Here’s an example MSC menu for lunch:

MSC Cruises lunch menu

Example vegan mains at lunch

  • Stuffed calzone with vegetables, tomato and soft tofu
  • Steamed jasmine rice with red beans, crispy tortillas and sweet potato puree
  • Couscous Moroccan-style with vegetables, raisins and almonds

This vegan calzone I had was lovely. It was more like a pasty than a pizza, but I really enjoyed it.

vegan Calzone on MSC Virtuosa

The Bread Basket

At the start of your meal, a basket of bread rolls will be offered.

On my 2024 cruise on MSC Euribia, the waiter would just leave the whole basket of bread on the table for us to enjoy!

The bread is so delicious that I sometimes opted for two or three pieces of bread instead of a starter.

Butter is given by default, but you may instead request vegan margarine or olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The oil and vinegar are delicious with the freshly-baked bread.

TIP: Ask for oil and balsamic vinegar with your bread

MSC Cruises Main Dining Room Food Photos

The food in the main dining room on MSC Cruises is almost always delicious, in my opinion.

I found that servings can be a little on the small side sometimes, so if you have a large appetite you may wish to ask for a side serving of vegetables or chips. The chips are really good!

Here are the vegan dinners I enjoyed in the main dining room during my cruise MSC Virtuosa…

Day One:

Day Two: Elegant Night

Day Three: Mediterranean Night

Day Four:

Kids Menu

There weren’t a whole lot of vegan-friendly options on the kids’ menu, which is the same every day. If you have vegan kids you’ll want to speak to the main dining room staff to make sure that they can make something for your children for the following day.

Aside from the vegetable soup, mixed vegetables, roast potatoes, chips and fruit, you could always request something from the adults’ menu if you wish.

MSC Cruises kids menu

My kids are vegetarians and very fussy eaters. So my usual plan is to take the kids to the buffet early in the evening, and then drop them off in the kids’ club while we head to the main dining room for late dining without them at 8.15 pm.

Review of MSC Cruises Vegan Options in the Main Dining Room

All of the food that I ate in the main dining room was delicious. Everything was very fresh and healthy.

A few times I have had non-vegan food placed down in front of me by mistake, so I would advise anyone to always check before tucking in if you’re unsure of anything.

The first time you visit the main dining room, be sure to ask your waiter to see a vegan menu. It’s also good to plan your meals for the next day. If you’re not keen on salads and sorbets, you can ask in advance for something else.

Vegan Options in the Buffet

Another fantastic change that I’ve noticed on MSC Cruises in 2024 is that there are now vegan labels in the buffet. Hooray!

MSC Cruises vegan labels in buffet

I’m so happy that MSC Cruises has made this change, as it makes choosing food so much easier.

Some things that you would expect to be vegan, are labelled as vegetarian. Sometimes, I would think – “What on earth could be in this that’s not vegan?”

I wonder if some of these may be a mistake, or perhaps cross-contamination by being prepared in the same area as milk products that has led to vegetarian rather than vegan labelling on some items.

The breakfast buffet is the same every day, so this can get a little boring by the end of a longer cruise. That said, I do like a vegan full English so I could have explored more of the cereal and pastry options.

Tip: Look out for the hash browns as they taste just like McDonald’s hash browns!

Vegan breakfast
Vegan breakfast

On MSC Cruises you can get soya milk or rice milk for your coffee or cereal but there are no other kinds of plant milk like oat milk or almond milk, which would have been nice.

The free coffee in the buffet isn’t great, so if you have a drinks package I would request that you order a latte or Americano coffee with soya milk and they will make you one which tastes much better!

soy milk latte on MSC cruises

There are lots of different kinds of bread which can be toasted for you. If you ask you can also get vegan margarine instead of butter.

Buffet Lunch

The lunch options in the Marketplace Buffet change every day and on our cruise there were always lots of different vegan things to choose from.

I always like to look along the whole buffet to decide what I want before I start adding things to my tray to avoid ending up with a random selection that doesn’t go together.

Here are photos of the vegan lunches that I ate in the buffet on MSC Virtuosa…

Penne arabbiata
Penne arabbiata
Asian buffet
Asian buffet
Mexican salad
Mexican salad

There’s a pizza station and the pizza is absolutely delicious. There was always one without cheese, which is great because pizza this good doesn’t need cheese in my opinion.

MSC Cruises vegan pizza at lunch
Vegan pizza and pasta

If there’s no vegan pizza available, just ask the pizza chefs if they can make a pizza without cheese.

On a previous cruise, they were happy to oblige and even asked what toppings I would like.

MSC Cruises vegan pizza
Vegan pizza with no cheese

I didn’t eat dinner in the buffet, but I expect it would be similar to lunch.

Buffet snacks

On MSC Cruises, the Marketplace Buffet is open for around 20 hours per day. Between meals, you can get snacks and freshly-baked pizza slices.

Aside from fruit, I didn’t really see any vegan-friendly snacks like cakes or cookies.

Vegan Options in the Speciality Restaurants

Each MSC Cruises ship has a number of different speciality restaurants in which you can dine for an additional charge. The exact restaurants vary depending on the ship, but on MSC Virtuosa there were four.

Speciality restaurants on MSC Virtuosa:

  • Indochine – French-Vietnamese
  • Hola! – Latin American and Mexican
  • Kaito – Japanese Teppanyaki and Sushi
  • Butcher’s Cut – American steakhouse

I didn’t eat in any of these restaurants. As I like to cruise on a budget, I thought that £50+ per head for a meal was very expensive when there is plenty of food that I could enjoy for free.

The MSC speciality restaurant menus didn’t have any vegan options. However, if you speak to the restaurant manager on board, they will be able to advise whether any of the dishes can be adapted to suit your plant-based diet.

Vegan Drinks

As our cruise ship departed from the UK, we had a kettle in our cabin to make tea and coffee. You won’t find this on every ship, but MSC Cruises recognises how much Brits enjoy a cup of tea!

If you’d like soya milk, you can request it from room service and they will give you some to keep in your fridge.

None of the drinks menus had vegan labelling and the staff were (understandably) not trained in which drinks were suitable for vegans.

Suggested read: MSC Cruises Drinks Menus with Prices

I would advise checking which beers are vegan before you go, so that you know what to order.

With wines, it’s much more tricky. If you have wifi, you can use a website such as to look up wines on the wine list. Otherwise, you may wish to steer clear of wine during your cruise.

While some cruise lines allow you to bring your own wine on board, MSC Cruises does not.

wine fridge

My personal choice (no judgement, please) was to drink the wine regardless, knowing that I try my best most of the time and I’d rather have wine than no wine on a cruise.

Similarly, with fruit juice, there’s no way to know if the fruit was waxed with beeswax before being juiced. My choice was to drink it anyway rather than worry about the orange juice in my cocktails.

As nobody can be 100% vegan, I believe that all we can do is make our own decisions about what is acceptable to us as individuals given our circumstances. On the whole, I felt that MSC Cruises made it easy enough for me to make those decisions.

The Verdict

I was very happy with the vegan options on my MSC cruise and thoroughly enjoyed the food. I’m SO happy that MSC Cruises has added vegan menus and labelling in the buffet. These things make such a big difference to plant-based cruisers.

If you’re a vegan who has cruised with MSC, I’d love to hear about your experience or any tips in the comments below…


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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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10 thoughts on “Eating Vegan on MSC Cruises (2024)”

  1. Thank you for the information. We are on MSC Seashore out of Port Canaveral right now. There is no vegan menu 🙁. I was hopeful that there might be. The head waiter (Rajesh) did a great job of making sure we did not go hungry at dinner. Some items on the lunch buffet are labeled “vegan” (like the vegan burger), but many vegan items are labeled “vegetarian.” Most dishes include ingredients, making it easy to find accidentally vegan lunch options.

  2. Interesting that MSC offers The Holistic Holiday At Sea Plant based cruise. Yet they make plant based travelers struggle throughout all their other cruises.
    I have been on many other cruise lines and it never has been easy eating plant based.
    Wake up cruise lines. We are willing and waiting to cruise. There is an ocean of information out there. Make it easy for everyone.

  3. I’m just back from a cruise on the Euribia. The buffet signage is a disaster. I saw ‘vegan’ on items that clearly weren’t (crepes with mascarpone cheese!) and vegetarian signs on items that clearly were vegan (lettuce!). So be sure to ask and you should be ok. The margarine is awful so I suggest bringing your own favourite vegan butter from home and storing in your cabins mini-bar. They say you can’t bring food onboard but they never stopped me at security.

    The main restaurant for lunch and dinner was fantastic. As the post says though order the night before! In fact our table’s supervisor visited me during our meals to discuss the next nights vegan options which we’re usually pretty good although definitely not gourmet.

    • Great tips, thank you!

  4. Thanks

  5. Thanks for this. I am on the. Virtuosa in August for their Norwegian cruise. First ever cruise, so as a vegan, this had caused me to wonder what I would be facing. Thanks for your detailed article, it has put my mind at ease.

    Can I just check, you mentioned that the buffet and restaurant stuff didn’t always seem to understand why you meant by ‘vegan’. Are they Italians (as is MSC)? I will refresh my Italian vocab if so.


    • Hi Chris. The staff are from all over the world, mainly Asia. You’ll just need to explain that you can’t have milk, eggs etc as not everyone is trained on exactly what a vegan diet means. Thanks! Jenni

  6. Super helpful review. I don’t eat vegan all the time, it like to know I have the choice. we are cruising on MSC Preziosa in Dec 2022, and your article had reassured me after the negative reviews I have seen regarding MSC dining

  7. Thanks Jenni, this was a really good overview of the catering onboard – really useful!

    • Thanks, Jim!

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