Kosher on Cruises

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Old Jun 6, 12, 12:16 am
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Kosher on Cruises

Can I order Kosher food on Cruise ships like I order KSML on airlines? What about shabbos with room keys etc.

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Old Jun 6, 12, 3:19 am
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Every cruise line is different, but many of the popular do have KSML options. I don't know about Shabbat arrangements.
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Old Jun 6, 12, 7:33 am
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Originally Posted by joshwex90 View Post
Every cruise line is different, but many of the popular do have KSML options. I don't know about Shabbat arrangements.
I was on the Norwegian Pearl last year to Alaska and their Kosher arrangements are similar to what is on most main line cruise ships.

You must pre order the Kosher meals up to 90 days in advance depending on the line (check their website). The food is pre cooked, frozen and reheated before serving. They are not trayed meals like you get on a plane.

The Maitre D' will show you a list daily of all individually packaged items, Dairy, Parve, Meat, soups , appetizers, cakes, entrees, etc. and you choose what you want for the next days meals. You can order as many portions as you want.

Most lines use Webermans Foods from Florida, but not all lines have the same items. For instance, NCL did not have any prepackaged bread on offer, but there were OU bagels at the buffet for your taking (more on that later)

The items are double wrapped in very heavy plastic. The waiter is suppossed to open it for you tableside, but there is a problem if he uses his knives as it is very hot and there could be a halachic issue with steam transfer. My advice bring 2 childrens scissors with you and use them for meat and dairy meals.

The disposable cutlery is not of the highest quality, at least on NCL, so bring some better stuff from home. It will make your meal experience much better. When I complained to the Hotel Director about it, he sent a bottle of Maneschewitz wine to my cabin.

You can supplement the items with fresh fruits and vegetables, cut or uncut, according to your beliefs.

They will also double foil wrapped fresh salomon or veggies for you. Again according to you custom.

Some lines like RCCL have snack and room service options. NCL does not.

At the buffets, especially for breakfast there is plenty of Kosher items. You have to check everything as suppliers do change, but there is usually certified milk, chocolate milk, juice, hot chocolate mix, yogurt, jelly, bagels, cereals etc. The Maitre D's are aware of the Kosher issue and all you have to do is ask to see the original packaging. They brought the boxes out to me as they would not allow me in the storage area.

The ice cream, hard and soft, and the cones were OU.

You of course could eat in the main sit down dining room and then hit the buffet afterwards.

The bottom line is-- its not gourmet, not on the level of the food that is served to the other guests, but you definately won't go hungry

The only alternative is to take a Kosherica cruise but that is about 3 times as expensive as a regular cruise and I am not sure that the price difference is justified. It will be the most expensive meals that you ever ate.



Shabbat is a whole nother ball game, and I suggest you consult your LOR (Local Orthodox Rabbi) on how to act regarding keys (there are no regular keys availabe) , asking a gentile to open the door, warming etc

There is usually a chapel were they have passenger led Shabbat services, which are "advertised" in the ships paper. On NCL they even baked Challah (which was technically not Kosher) and put it in the Chapel Friday night along with a bottle of Manischewitz. Nice gesture.


Enjoy your cruise. I did and I am now hooked on it. Sending my son on a Honeymoon cruise soon. Bon Voyage

Last edited by badatz; Jun 6, 12 at 7:40 am
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Old Jun 6, 12, 11:22 am
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Thanks for the info
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Old Feb 16, 19, 5:05 am
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Does anyone have any tips on how to request special dietary needs aboard a sailing? Whether Kosher, Halal, gluten-free, etc...looking for special tips beyond just alerting the cruise line and maitre d' in advance. Thanks!
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Old Feb 18, 19, 2:17 am
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Originally Posted by SkyTeam777 View Post
Does anyone have any tips on how to request special dietary needs aboard a sailing? Whether Kosher, Halal, gluten-free, etc...looking for special tips beyond just alerting the cruise line and maitre d' in advance. Thanks!
If your point of embarkation is the USA, then your chances of kosher food are far better. So many standard food products are OU or some other hashgacha.
If your point of embarkation is Europe you won't be able to get kosher food.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 5:52 am
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Originally Posted by hnussbacher View Post
If your point of embarkation is Europe you won't be able to get kosher food.
That's strange, I have never heard that. You can on airlines, why are cruises different? Or are you saying it's just not as good?
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Old Feb 18, 19, 7:45 am
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Air carriers are easy. Even in F, the food is pre-packaged, reheated, and then plated. Or not. The carrier's catering company simply maintains a contract with a kosher caterer which delivers food, fully sealed and ready to heat and serve.

On a cruise, it is about ingredients, cooking facilities, and expertise.

This is not to suggest that you cannot find a niche capability.

Last edited by Often1; Feb 18, 19 at 1:00 pm
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Old Feb 18, 19, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by SkyTeam777 View Post
That's strange, I have never heard that. You can on airlines, why are cruises different? Or are you saying it's just not as good?
I think hnussbacher's point was that ex-USA many of the standard products are kosher, which can augment the special kosher meal. This is not the case ex-Europe.
Incidentally, other than ex-Israel, the only place I think has a similar (if not better) variety of kosher general products is South Africa.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 1:01 pm
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Interested to know about other religions. Why is there a key issue.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 1:35 am
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Originally Posted by sds1493 View Post
I think hnussbacher's point was that ex-USA many of the standard products are kosher, which can augment the special kosher meal. This is not the case ex-Europe.
Exactly!
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Old Mar 15, 19, 8:18 am
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Keys in hotels are usually electronic cards rather than mechanical, and observant Jews do not turn on (or off) electricity on the Sabbath other than with a preset time switch. So, a hotel which cannot provide a mechanical key for rooms is going to prove difficult for observant Jews.

A very well respected Dayan (religious judge) in Manchester UK, did permit the use of electronic keys as they tended to work using a magnetic circuit to withdraw the lock so there was a 'delay' between applying the card and the lock opening. He was also not concerned about the little LED lighting up to show the door was unlocked as the application of the card was not for the purpose of the very limited illumination provided by the LED.
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