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Food Tips While on a Cruise Ship

By Ashley Carpenter, RD


Going on a cruise? So, your plans include seeing the world, maybe bringing along a first mate and sailing off into the sunset. But be sure you don’t hit the waves without your trusty, seaworthy companion: a written, healthy eating plan. Before you begin your voyage, here are a few travel tips to keep your nutritional resolve onboard. 



  1. At breakfast your best choices are: small boxes of cereal (higher fiber, lower sugar types), low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, skim milk, eggs, unbuttered whole grain toast, or oatmeal. Avoid the pastries, muffins, and high fat breakfast meats such as bacon and sausage.
  2. The lunch and dinner menus are usually posted at breakfast. Study them so you will know if you’ll need to request something special. Treat mealtimes as you would at your favorite restaurant. Go over the menu thoroughly and make your best choice. Most cruise lines will offer a “lighter-fare” or “spa” menu with lower calorie/fat choices. If you don’t like anything else on the menu, you can always special order broiled chicken breast or fresh fish, and steamed veggies without butter.
  3. Stay away from creamy/buttery sauces, pastas, fried foods, hot dogs, pizza and desserts.
  4. At the buffet, use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate to control portions. Choose a lean protein and then fill the rest of your plate with salad and vegetables (avoid those in cream or butter sauces).
  5. Instead of eating indulgently at every meal, look at the week’s menu to decide when you might want to indulge. You may also choose to share or ask for a smaller portion. One high calorie meal won’t hurt you, but high calorie meals everyday can add up to unwanted extra pounds that could stowaway with you for weeks after you return home.