If You Cruise With Royal Caribbean, You Can!
It’s been a while since I blogged and even longer since my first BLOG – The True Healing Process. Since curing myself of Grave’s disease and Hashimotto’s a great deal has happened. My practice, Partners in Healing morphed from an acupuncture practice to a full holistic healing center complete with acupuncture, chiropractic, sound and color healing, massage therapy, lymphatic drainage, cranial sacral therapy and, of course my beloved detoxification and rejuvenation program. My staff and I put together a 4 day detox retreat in South Florida in early 2015 and are planning another in 2017. We opened a branch to Partners in Healing called Healing Arts Studio where we teach detox cooking classes, meditation, stretch and also have a vegan support group and detox support group. And finally this past summer I have also been fortunate to write and publish my first book, C.U.R.E. – Cultivating Unlimited Rejuvenating Energy.
With all of that going on my husband (and wonderful vegan partner, detoxifier, computer guru, athlete and all around amazing guy) decided we needed a little break from hustle and bustle of life, so we headed out to Port Everglades (a lengthy 20 minute drive) to catch a cruise ship to the eastern Caribbean. Living in South Florida it is remarkably easy to take a cruise vacation. There are numerous companies available to sweep you off of your feet and allow you to break away for a day, a long weekend, a week or even longer! Anthony and I opted to go away for a week. Our next decision was to choose which cruise line we should take.
Our decision was less based on destination and more based on our life-style. After-all being vegan for nearly 25 years leaves us quite certain that we are not going to “cheat” on our diet with some cheese, fish or dairy. We also know that fruit is extremely important to us and while we have been able to get some fruit on cruise lines such as Carnival or Princess, they did not offer us the variety we had found on our cruise line of choice. We dabbled with the idea of sailing with Norwegian but after viewing their menus on line, we decided to stick with what was tried and true for us and booked with Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and here is why…
Over the past 6 years since I became ill and subsequently found healing through detoxification and rejuvenation, I have worked with hundreds of individuals experiencing health crisis' from thyroid disease to diabetes and from heart disease to cancer. Most of them have been incredibly dedicated to the detox process once they understand how their body got sick and how it can heal.
But there are a certain number of people who, even though they want to get well, have found one excuse after another as to why they cannot stick with the diet. I have heard it all folks, from "I have a wedding to go to" to "it’s the holidays", "its summer break for my kids", "the kids are going back to school" to…(wait for it) "I am going on a cruise vacation!!!!" DING, DING, DING, DING!!!! That’s it! That is the perfect reason to write this BLOG. To prove that you can go ANYWHERE and do ANYTHING and still stay true to your detox and to YOU!
So here it is folks. Here is the complete, unedited day in the life of 2 vegans on a cruise including a mostly detox menu. Enjoy!
We arrived on the ship by 1:00 pm, headed to our room to drop off a few things and unpack. And then we headed to the gym. No, not to work out, but to visit our favorite bar on the ship! That's right, the Vitality Bar, equipped with a state of the art high speed blender, large capacity fresh citrus juicer and extra large centrifugal veggie juicer! Once at the juice bar we met our "bar-tender" from Indonesia where we purchased our drink pass. Yes we could opt to pay $8 per juice each time we visited, but that could add up quickly if one is serious about detoxing on a ship. So, for just $26 per day per person, we could have unlimited juice, coconut water, bottled water and any drink from the on-board Starbuck's. (While coffee is not allowed on detox, Starbucks offers steaming hot water and a wonderful mint tea for our afternoon and evening treat to be discussed later).
Think about it...if you decided to juice fast at home and wanted to purchase the juice already pressed it could cost you $40 per day at my favorite local juice bar, Raw Juce. That would get you about 4 -14oz bottles of juice a day. Granted, Raw Juce uses organic produce as opposed to conventionally grown produce on the ship, but the point is you could drink fresh juice all day long for just $26! You could potentially drink 2 gallons of juice a day for just $26! WOW! Who would have thought to go on a cruise to detox???
So we charged our room card for a weeks worth of unlimited fresh veggie juice and fruit smoothies and placed our first order: Green juice with lemon and ginger! Mmmmm good!
After our juice feast we headed out to explore the ship and of course, all of the places we could eat. We discovered that there were a tremendous amount of vegan and gluten-free options (not all detox approved, but wonderful if you are just wanting to remain vegan while traveling) in both the specialty restaurants as well as the all inclusive ones. The list of choices seemed endless from the main dining room where each night provided a different vegan option (and with just a few requests of minor tweeks to the menu, one could enjoy a detox-friendly meal) a to the Windjammer buffet to the Solarium (a more adult style, spa-like atmosphere and cuisine). If you wanted to pay for a meal above the cost of the cruise, there were several specialty restaurants to make reservations with. Again some special requests ahead of time gave the chef an opportunity to prepare a meal for us to enjoy! Giovanni's, 150 Central Park and Izumi Japanese restaurant all had vegan options on the menu and with a little flexibility on our part, were willing to accommodate a detox diet.
Several hours after our veggie juice (allowing for proper food combining timing) , we returned to Vitality Juice bar for an afternoon fruit smoothie. We were able to choose 4 ingredients out of 8 or so different kinds of fruit (the options varied a bit each day) so Day 1's pick was pineapple, strawberry, blueberries, raspberries, mango and orange. Mind you this fruit is not organic so one must make some trade-offs when traveling.
That evening Anthony and I opted for a quite dinner so we ventured to Izumi where the chef prepared a nice salad which we dressed with fresh lemon juice. As a main course we had a variety of vegetables rolled in nori seaweed wrap! A vegan and non-detox choice could be seaweed salad with some stir-fried vegetables. But that night we kept our choices detox-friendly.
As the week went on our days went something like this:
Wake up between 6:30 and 8:30 (no rules, we just listened to our body and our island excursion schedule).
Head to the nearly 1/2 mile running track for an average walk of 3+ miles. From there we opted to enjoy a run or just head to the juice bar.
1st visit of the day to Vitality Juice Bar: Fresh fruit smoothie. No milk, no protein powder. Usually orange juice or bottled coconut water as a base and whatever fresh fruit looked good.
Solarium restaurant for a fresh fruit salad. Our choices includes a variety of melon; pineapple, grapefruit, strawberries, red and green grapes, oranges; apples; bananas and raisins. We often left with a "to-go" cup filled with raisins, a few bananas and 2 apples for later.
Around 11:00am-Visit to the Vitality Bar for a fresh green juice (including celery, spinach, cucumber and green apple with add-ins of lemon and ginger) or veggie juice with a choice of up to 4 vegetables (spinach, carrot, celery, cucumber, beets with add-ins of green apple, lemon or ginger). We always included fresh ginger for our immune system and digestive tract "just in case." Remember we are on a ship for 7 days with 6000 guests and over 2000 crew! The opportunity for coming in contact with a not nice bug is always a possibility EVEN WITH the blend of Doterra oils (Purify and On Guard) mixed with water in my *spray bottle that I carried everywhere, one can not be too careful. ;)
1:00 pm Lunch either at the Windjammer or the Solarium. If I wanted a slightly less detox meal, I opted for the Solarium where I could put together an amazing salad and add a touch of fresh red pepper hummus.
Afternoon snack was usually a piece of fruit we brought back to our room from breakfast (keep in mind that the room was equipped with a small minibar refrigerator, just perfect for storing small snacks.) We also stored 1 or 2 coconut waters from the Vitality Bar which went great with our fruit snack.
Depending on our afternoon and evening activities, we would either grab another veggie juice or even a fruit smoothie.
Dinner was usually enjoyed at the Windjammer buffet because we felt we could get the greatest variety of raw vegetables for our salads, fresh lemon and steamed vegetables often consisting of carrots, broccoli, green beans and celery. Again, if we wished to stay vegan but veer off of detox, there were always numerous choices ranging from Indian dal or chana masala, basmati rice, papadum (lentil crackers) to ratatouille, roasted root vegetables, steamed vegetables, roasted and spiced potatoes and roasted eggplant. I also had the ability to concoct my own dressings using olive oil and balsamic vinegar with sun-dried tomatoes, sliced red onion, olive tapenade or capers. For detox dressing I was able to procure fresh lemon juice and an avocado from the Mexican restaurant on the Oasis Boardwalk and mash into a heavenly dressing!
While vegan dessert items were difficult to come by at any of the restaurants, there were always offerings of fresh fruit. A vegan (though not gluten-free) peach tart was offered at Giovanni's Italian restaurant. Anthony and I usually have a back up plan for dessert and have been know to carry with us some dark chocolate (certainly not a detox item) or some of The Whole Food Fairy's scrumptious balls ( http://wholefoodfairy.com/ ). If you did not prepare the on board Starbucks has Kind Bars that can fulfill that evening sweet tooth (again, not detox-approved) some of which even sport a layer of dark chocolate!
Depending on how late we were out and about, we often got one final veggie juice and somewhere in the day we got a hot mint majesty tea to which we added a heaping teaspoon of our wonderful Heal All Tea.
We also revisited Izumi's and even had a vegan (though not completely detox) meal at Giovanni's which included a splurge with gluten-free pasta!
Anthony and I returned home 7 days later relaxed, rejuvenated and totally energized! As soon as we got home, we loaded our Weimaraner, Nero into the car and drove to our favorite walking spot where we walked 4 miles before returning home to unpack. Most people need a vacation from their vacation. While Anthony and I tend to enjoy an active vacation like hiking or snowshoeing, this cruise was a much needed change given our recent hectic life-styles. Yet all of the "relaxing" in the world, if coupled with poor food choices food and alcohol, does not make for a revitalized feeling. The ability to eat the way we did, consume fresh pressed vegetable juice and blended fruit smoothies was the key to coming home feeling amazing! Disconnecting from technology helped as well! ;)
We would like to thank Royal Caribbean for their ability to provide us with wonderful and varied vegan options AND the ability to keep a detox diet if we chose to! We certainly will be returning to the Oasis of the Seas or maybe even the new Harmony of the Seas!