Author Topic: Cruise Lines and Experiences  (Read 24223 times)

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Carnival Cruises tips and kosher
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2014, 10:41:41 AM »
What does carnival cruise provide in their kosher meal for shabbos?
grape juice?
where does one light candles?
habdala candle – grape juice?
bread challah per meal?
seauda shelishet?

any advice would help its my first cruise leaving this sunday
Check this out. I haven't gone with Carnival, but most things are the same.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Drago

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2014, 01:30:52 AM »
Anyone have any info about Israel cruises? Just heard aof a short-term 3 day going to cyprus. Looking for something similar after simchas torah?
Did you ever do the cruise?
Anyone have any leads on kosher cruises for this summer departing from Israel, or tips how to find discounted prices?

Offline robbie

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2014, 02:25:41 AM »
Has anyone had any experience with Kosherica cruises?

Yes, I actually worked as a mashgiach on a kosherica cruise. it was a one week cruise leaving and returning to Miami. It was a smaller group of kosherica members, only about 120 out of couple thousand passengers.
Just have in mind when you do go on a kosherica cruise you will be getting 5 star food. The food is literally incredible. (im not advertising for them at all, just did one cruise with them). You are also paying uton more then going on a regular cruise but the food is truly amazing. Passengers come just to have the food, sit and indulge in anything imaginable for one week. :)
As for the kosher products on a cruise line, as marco polo pointed it there are tons of kosher products. Its just a matter of getting in touch with someone who can help you , and all the staff on the boats are very helpful with dietary concerns. i have hard from plenty of people that if your not to picky about what you eat and not super strict on kasherous then it shouldnt be a real issue. (I hopefully will have a report to give soon on that)

As for the islands, I do not think it is smart to pre book a excursion with the cruise liner, with a bit of research before hand or even on the island you go to visit you can book it your self for probably a quarter of the price.


If you have never been on a cruise it is a amazing vacation. I cant stress enough that everyone should go!!! Its incredible.

any questions feel free to ask ill help with what I can.

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2014, 07:10:47 AM »
Yes, I actually worked as a mashgiach on a kosherica cruise. it was a one week cruise leaving and returning to Miami. It was a smaller group of kosherica members, only about 120 out of couple thousand passengers.
Just have in mind when you do go on a kosherica cruise you will be getting 5 star food. The food is literally incredible. (im not advertising for them at all, just did one cruise with them). You are also paying uton more then going on a regular cruise but the food is truly amazing. Passengers come just to have the food, sit and indulge in anything imaginable for one week. :)
As for the kosher products on a cruise line, as marco polo pointed it there are tons of kosher products. Its just a matter of getting in touch with someone who can help you , and all the staff on the boats are very helpful with dietary concerns. i have hard from plenty of people that if your not to picky about what you eat and not super strict on kasherous then it shouldnt be a real issue. (I hopefully will have a report to give soon on that)

As for the islands, I do not think it is smart to pre book a excursion with the cruise liner, with a bit of research before hand or even on the island you go to visit you can book it your self for probably a quarter of the price.


If you have never been on a cruise it is a amazing vacation. I cant stress enough that everyone should go!!! Its incredible.

any questions feel free to ask ill help with what I can.

Couldn't agree more with you. I have also worked as a Mashgiach on a Kosherica cruise, from Seattle to Alaska in the summer last year. Out of about 2,500 passengers there was a group of about 75 Kosherica guests. The food you will be getting if you are a guest with them, is amazing, complete 5-star service, the best food you will ever have in your life. I can't stop thinking about the braised boneless beef shorts ribs that we had friday night, out of this world.

Starting from breakfast, there is so much to choose from, whether you like classical cereal and milk, bread with cream cheese, tons of salads, omelets, eggs, hash browns, waffles, pancakes they have so much and it just keeps on coming out. Every lunch is a full on buffet, with 5-6 different hot dishes, always 1 or 2 soups, lots of different salads and so much more. And at dinner every night, you are given a real good menu to choose from what you like, they always have 3-4 appetizers, 2 soups, 3-4 main dishes, and about 3 desserts to choose from. The waiters are also all super friendly.

For any foodie out there (Dan?) - this is the best possible kosher vacation you can give yourself.

There are lots of foods available that are kosher, but it won't be anything like the real thing. Fruit and veggies are usually ok, kellogs cereal, cholov stam chocolate milk, soft drinks, and some of the bread. This was from past Norwegian cruise experience.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2014, 08:54:06 AM »
Yes, I actually worked as a mashgiach on a kosherica cruise. it was a one week cruise leaving and returning to Miami. It was a smaller group of kosherica members, only about 120 out of couple thousand passengers.
Just have in mind when you do go on a kosherica cruise you will be getting 5 star food. The food is literally incredible. (im not advertising for them at all, just did one cruise with them). You are also paying uton more then going on a regular cruise but the food is truly amazing. Passengers come just to have the food, sit and indulge in anything imaginable for one week. :)
As for the kosher products on a cruise line, as marco polo pointed it there are tons of kosher products. Its just a matter of getting in touch with someone who can help you , and all the staff on the boats are very helpful with dietary concerns. i have hard from plenty of people that if your not to picky about what you eat and not super strict on kasherous then it shouldnt be a real issue. (I hopefully will have a report to give soon on that)

As for the islands, I do not think it is smart to pre book a excursion with the cruise liner, with a bit of research before hand or even on the island you go to visit you can book it your self for probably a quarter of the price.


If you have never been on a cruise it is a amazing vacation. I cant stress enough that everyone should go!!! Its incredible.

any questions feel free to ask ill help with what I can.
One can check out cruisecritic.com for ideas and vendors other cruisers have used at particular ports.

One may also potentially want to book an excursion through the cruise line if you are planning a long trip and may miss the departure time (if you are with the cruise excursion, you will be fine).
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline smbalt

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2014, 10:45:24 AM »
I took a Royal Caribbean (RC) regular (not kosher-specific) cruise in the Mediterranean.

First off -- I found this article very helpful when dealing with the halachos of cruising -- but a few more issues came up that were not mentioned in the article -- which I will share below.
http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-trav-cruise.htm

FOOD:

Royal Caribbean stocks up on its kosher foods when the ships are in this side of the world, then travels with the kosher food in deep freeze until needed.  RC uses Weberman's for their meals.  We found the selection to be much better than expected and the meals themselves better than airplane meals.  To speed things up each, we pre-ordered for the following meal so we would not have to wait for them to pull the food from deep freeze, thaw and cook time.  We made sure to explain that we needed the food brought to us sealed.  In a previous post someone mentioned that each person was entitled to a single kosher portion per meal.  We did not find this to be the case on our RC cruise.  Even though we each ordered a single meal, our head waiter kept ordering extra options for us at each meal.

While they did not specifically offer kosher breakfasts, there was, in actuality a lot to eat.  Even though we were in the Mediterranean, the small boxed cereals hailed from the US with hechsherim on the boxes (for thos non-world travelers, you will often find familiar looking products in other countries produced by unfamiliar manufacturers and without the hechsher you expect -- always check first).  They also had kosher peanut butter/ jelly/ some saltines (some were/ some were not) and fresh fruits and veggies.  Between that and the supplies we brought along, we definitely did not starve.

We were very impressed with how RC treated us with regard to our food situation that we made sure to tip our waiter/ head waiter above the official tip scale.

SHABBOS FOOD:

We brought small grape juice cartons with us (I believe from Trader Joe's) for kiddush.  We ended up eating shabbos meals with other frum people we met on the cruise (and you will meet other frum people) and they ended up ordering kosher wine for the seudah.

The cruise also had deep freeze rolls for lechem mishnah.

One issue we encountered that we had not thought about (or asked a shailah before the cruise) was regarding having food warmed up for us on shabbos.  Typically, they will pull the kosher food out specifically for you and warm things up specifically for you before the meal -- and we just assumed that this would be an issue on shabbos.  On Friday, we met with our waiters to ask if they would warm things up for us on Friday and then refrigerate it for us for the shabbos meals (so no hot food but no cooking on shabbos issues).  They said that according to the food safety regulations, once the food gets cooked past a certain temperature, they cannot re-refrigerate.  Understandable and we did not want to cause any issues.  In the end, we had the food heated on Friday and we left the Fri night food cooling on ice in our rooms and had someone in a suite refrigerate our shabbos day food.  Ask your LOR before your trip.

SHABBOS MINYAN:

In the daily newsletter they announced that they would have Friday night services, should there be interest.  They said they would provide 'Torahs'.  FYI, Torahs were, in fact, photocopies of Friday night davening.  RC provided a room and had a bunch of chairs set up.  Many more people showed up than I expected.  Poeple sat where they wanted, some separate, some family.  A frum man led davening in our case, but your situation may be different.  If you would only be comfortable with a frum person leading, make sure to get there early and offer your services.

After Fri night davening, RC provided some Manischevitz wine for a group kiddush.  They also provided a challah that they baked (not kosher).

We made a stop on shabbos (we can't get off, see above article or research tchum shabbos) and the frum folks who were left did not make up a minyan.

CANDLELIGHTING -- I believe we lit/ made havdala via non-fire methods.  Ask your LOR.

Offline davidmal

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2014, 02:06:48 PM »
ok for all you looking for some info on Carnival Cruises feel free to reply to me at any time.
Kosher Food.
i looked into a few things but all of this you would have to look into again at your cruise.
1. Ice Cream, Milk, Butter, Margarine(Dairy!) Chocholate Milk, Lox (Caf K), Cereal. Lemonade. Hot Chocolate.
all these products can change in a blink of an eye so you must check again.
Other things we had daily was freshly sliced Cucumbers tomato mushrooms carrots and peppers and fresh fruit. We brought a NONSTICK pan to get eggs on the 9th floor egg station. just make sure you do some of the cooking like throw salt on it.


If you have kosher meals from Pomegranate or Seuda Double Wrapped you have to arrange with Guest Relations to get it delivered to the Boat. Bring a clear list with you for them and for yourself. You will have to go to the Hostess and tell them before hand 5:30 worked for us  to heat up what you want daily or tell her the night before.

They have Kosher Food. from Weberman. you can review it on their website.
Top Meal
Pot Roast with Kishke

OK Meals
Chicken with Apple Kugel
BBQ beef with Mash Potatos and Pesto Sauce
Chicken veal something? with sweet potatoes

Do not recommended Meals
Turkey Shnitzel
Cheese Lasagna

For Shabbat they offer you to buy a Manishevetz Grape Juice for $14
THEY DO NOT OFFER CHALLA Bread in all situations so prepare to bring. Weberman did not provide it!
I found it better when i got off the plane in Miami i took a taxi to Walgreens at 41st and Pine Tree where you can pick up Kosher Wine and MANY MANY KOSHER PRODUCTS. Cheese Deli Cream Cheese. even a selection of a few kosher wines. (My Choice Barkan Cabernet Sauvignon) Buy Water bottles and Gatorade as they charge on board for these things.
Then went to lunch at house of dog (2 blocks down) Take a taxi to the ship. (DO NOT TAKE THE SHUTTLE THEY OFFER YOU it's $30 per person - 2 taxi's was $54)

For lighting Candles use a app called iZman which can tell you candle lighting times based on your current location at sea add a few minutes to that. lit on window sill. but stayed in room till went out. maybe you want to talk to your steward call him in your room and he will surely put it out after 30 mins or so and your ready to leave. just don't say anything ask him a question about the window or something.
for havdala and friday night don't forget to bring a tea lights and besamem spices. The Champagne glass was a nice glass to use for kiddish and havdala as it was around 5.5 ounces and a pretty cup you can order one free from room service.

Heating up food on Shabbat can be an issue so We decided to have a early dinner at 6:15 as oppose to 8:15 so we can be sure the food started heating up before shabbat. For shabbat day we had veggies lox and then cold cuts.

BUT i thought of a very good way you can get hot food if you want on shabbat for lunch if you want just make sure to confirm with your rabbi before hand as i will not take responsibility for this or anything I'm writing here this is only what i did and you can verify with your rabbi prior to the time of your voyage.

They have warming cabinets in the dining hall - you can ask them to heat up your food in there for a few hours as this is not a normal way of cooking it might be allowed.

Enjoy! and any questions let me know. I did Western Caribbean on Carnival Conquest.
Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay, Grand Cayman.


ps. Tips they pre-charge you $11 per person per day. when you get to the boat go to guest relations and tell them you want it refunded and you want to give the tips yourself.
Recommended Amounts ($20-30 for your steward, $20 for your Waiter and $30 for your hostess) (I also gave $10 to maître d' and assistant maître d' and $5 to the bus boy that did my table) around $100 in tips as appose to $160 that i wonder if it goes to the right people. 8)
-DMC
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Offline davidmal

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2014, 11:24:46 AM »
If you want to book a cruise 3 days before sometimes they have kosher food on board even if you didn't book it like they asked 14 days before
but you need to confirm they will have kosher food on board
they we're able to get guest relations on the phone and confirm with the boat (12 hours...... but the next morning i had a response that they did have enough kosher food on board for us) and i went thru with the booking
-DMC
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Offline mordyl19

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2014, 12:15:10 PM »
Has anyone tried to order pre-packaged meals from Pomegranate, Noahs Ark...ect to bring on their cruise? I am taking

Norwegian Cruise Line to Alaska in the summer and was thinking to order a few of these meals to bring on the Boat.

Anyone have experience with doing something like that on a cruise line?

Thank you 
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Offline Yaalili

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2014, 05:04:56 PM »
Has anyone tried to order pre-packaged meals from Pomegranate, Noahs Ark...ect to bring on their cruise? I am taking

Norwegian Cruise Line to Alaska in the summer and was thinking to order a few of these meals to bring on the Boat.

Anyone have experience with doing something like that on a cruise line?

Thank you 

Are you going on the pearl? I did this cruise before and they do have some very strict rules about food being brought on, call up ncl.

Offline CS1

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2014, 06:31:33 PM »
Couldn't agree more with you. I have also worked as a Mashgiach on a Kosherica cruise, from Seattle to Alaska in the summer last year. Out of about 2,500 passengers there was a group of about 75 Kosherica guests. The food you will be getting if you are a guest with them, is amazing, complete 5-star service, the best food you will ever have in your life. I can't stop thinking about the braised boneless beef shorts ribs that we had friday night, out of this world.

Starting from breakfast, there is so much to choose from, whether you like classical cereal and milk, bread with cream cheese, tons of salads, omelets, eggs, hash browns, waffles, pancakes they have so much and it just keeps on coming out. Every lunch is a full on buffet, with 5-6 different hot dishes, always 1 or 2 soups, lots of different salads and so much more. And at dinner every night, you are given a real good menu to choose from what you like, they always have 3-4 appetizers, 2 soups, 3-4 main dishes, and about 3 desserts to choose from. The waiters are also all super friendly.

For any foodie out there (Dan?) - this is the best possible kosher vacation you can give yourself.

There are lots of foods available that are kosher, but it won't be anything like the real thing. Fruit and veggies are usually ok, kellogs cereal, cholov stam chocolate milk, soft drinks, and some of the bread. This was from past Norwegian cruise experience.
Been telling Dan this for years. I discussed this in depth with him at a wedding over a year ago and described the 16 floor central lobby atrium with the 6 glass elevators, casinos, amazing quality and quantity of food, great minyanim and programming, and wonderful, friendly down-to-earth Kosherica owners.

If Dan loves Hawaii, then he'll really enjoy the Carribean. No packing, unpacking; no runway delays, airline noise/ear pressure.
Challenging for children, however I think that it's such a great fit of travel, food, people, and paradise for Dan that I'd assist with finding the right babysitters for them to enjoy an amazing week on a Kosherica cruise. I've done the Celebrity, Norwegian, and Costa. Great experiences 24/7.
Literally.
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Offline Yaalili

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2014, 09:14:52 PM »
Been telling Dan this for years. I discussed this in depth with him at a wedding over a year ago and described the 16 floor central lobby atrium with the 6 glass elevators, casinos, amazing quality and quantity of food, great minyanim and programming, and wonderful, friendly down-to-earth Kosherica owners.

If Dan loves Hawaii, then he'll really enjoy the Carribean. No packing, unpacking; no runway delays, airline noise/ear pressure.
Challenging for children, however I think that it's such a great fit of travel, food, people, and paradise for Dan that I'd assist with finding the right babysitters for them to enjoy an amazing week on a Kosherica cruise. I've done the Celebrity, Norwegian, and Costa. Great experiences 24/7.
Literally.

I would probably do a western cruise faster than a Caribbean cruise, cleaner and fresher air. Like a cruise to Alaska in the summer or a cruise to Cabo/Mexico in the winter, Kosherica has both of them ;) But definitely any cruise will be a great experience, i could personally only speak for NCL which i have done, but supposedly others (RC etc..) are great as well.

Offline kangarruu

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2014, 10:01:02 PM »
I would probably do a western cruise faster than a Caribbean cruise, cleaner and fresher air. Like a cruise to Alaska in the summer or a cruise to Cabo/Mexico in the winter, Kosherica has both of them ;) But definitely any cruise will be a great experience, i could personally only speak for NCL which i have done, but supposedly others (RC etc..) are great as well.

We did a Kosherica cruise to the Greek Isles last year and it was spectacular. It's every bit as good as people say it is.

Offline whacked1

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2014, 10:14:30 PM »
How much does a kosherica cruise cost? (Avg, I'm trying to convince my wife to go on one)

Offline kangarruu

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Re: Cruise Lines and Experiences
« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2014, 10:39:25 PM »
How much does a kosherica cruise cost? (Avg, I'm trying to convince my wife to go on one)

We took the most basic room, which on our cruise was $3000 per person (we only paid for one person because of a promotion). Then we paid something like $250pp in port fees and taxes. We were responsible for getting to and from the the point of departure (which we did on points) and lodging before and after the cruise. All of the excursions, whether through the cruise or Kosherica, are additional. The Kosherica ones were between $40-$150pp, but we really planned most of our own excursions and IMO had a much better time of them than the people who did the organized ones. Alcohol and activities on board are mostly additional as well. All told, we paid something like $5000 after all was said and done. It's way more than we would normally pay on a vacation, but the half-off promotion was too good to pass up for something that we would really never otherwise do.