The most active section of my website is, without a doubt, the pages dedicated to mainstream vegan travel tips and the recaps of my vegan experiences on various vacations. After hunting around on Facebook, I noticed that while there are a number of pages dedicated to vegan travel (most of these more for the backpacker-workaway-city specific types of experiences), nothing existed to assist those doing more "mainstream" sorts of vacations such as Disney vacations, cruises, resort packages, etc.
Fear no more, fellow vegans! Yesterday I launched a new group for this style of travel, and I invite all of you to come join us for feedback and reviews, photo shares, and q&a. It will be a friendly place, led by yours truly, to share our concerns and excitement for seeing the world as a vegan!
Spread the word, and come join us!
Vegan Mainstream Travel
In June 2015, my husband and I visited Secrets Silversands for three nights before relocating north to Cancun for four nights at the luxurious and sophisticated Secrets the Vine. I had visited the resort in 2013 for on-site travel agent training in honeymoons and destination weddings, and had been anxious to return on vacation for quite some time. A complete review of our stay here will be posted to the "my travels" section of the website, but for now, here is a look at my vegan food consumption.
Similar to the other Secrets resorts properties, Secrets the Vine offers a variety of dining venue options featuring cuisines from around the world:
- Barefoot Grill (sandwiches and simple sides)
- Bluewater Grill (grilled specialties)
- Dragons Oriental Dining (Far East Cuisine)
- Market Café (buffet for breakfast and lunch, Mexican restaurant at dinner)
- Nebbiolo (Italian)
- Olio (Mediterranean)
- Sea Salt Grill (grilled items, seafood)
- The Vine Bazaar (coffee, pastries, small sandwiches, fresh fruit)
Breakfast at the resort was a similar experience to other all-inclusives I have visited: the vegan options readily available included cereal (request soy milk from your server), toast with jam and peanut butter, a wide array of fresh fruit, and many freshly prepared juices. I am always fine sticking with the basics, but ultimately fell in love with my creative buffet concoction of steamed rice, soy milk, dried fruit, granola, and fresh fruit on the side. It was filling and delicious - the perfect combination to fuel me for a day of turning pages in my book while enjoying a sea breeze. (Yes, we were rather lazy on this vacation.)
Lunch in the buffet was suitable for vegans, and the staff was willing to make special preparations if necessary. I absolutely loved the salad bar at this resort with its assorted vegetable and fruit Carpaccio and many flavored oils and vinegars. Items on the buffet were labeled with their main ingredients, and each day many single-serve specialty salads were available for sampling. Sautéed veggies and pasta can be requested from the made-to-order station in addition to the premade foods available.
Dinner options were plentiful, and we chose to dine at the following restaurants during our four-night stay: Dragons (twice), Mexican, and Nebbiolo. The quality and presentation of the meals were remarkable, and I dare say these dinners might be the best I have experienced at a resort in Mexico.
Dragons Oriental Dining - Far East Cuisine
Having both visited and stayed at other AMResorts properties, I was not at all concerned about my dietary needs during our three-night stay at Dreams Riviera Cancun, a family-friendly all-inclusive resort located approximately 25 minutes from the Cancun airport. My experiences with the resorts within this company have always been fantastic, and our three nights spent at Secrets Silversands prior to our arrival here further proved that dining like a vegan princess is possible when enjoying such a mainstream vacation.
Before You Depart
Making arrangements before traveling isn't necessary - I merely showed up at breakfast and lunch and was easily able to fend for myself with the many choices presented in the buffet, or sat down to dinner and spoke with the restaurant's chef to see what my options might be. The staff all speaks English well, so there shouldn't be any language barriers when working with the restaurants to find options, and since these resorts are more upscale, the chefs and supporting staff working in food service are quite knowledgeable about various dietary needs and restrictions.
(buffet, served in the World Cafe)
vegetarian beans with guac and pico de gallo on rolls
oatmeal prepared with water and toppings
cereal and soy milk
vegetarian beans and toast
(buffet, served in the World Cafe)
large salad with a Mexican flair (kind of similar in style to what I eat at Chipotle)
steamed broccoli and cauliflower
vegetable stuffed zucchini with rice served with tortillas, guac, lettuce, and pico de gallo
pasta loaded with vegetables and tomato sauce
El Patio (Mexican)
fresh guacamole and chips
fruit and veg salad
veggie molcajetes w/ corn tortillas
fruit and vegetable salad
grilled sweet potatoes
teppanyaki vegetables with rice
made mock "French toast" with walnuts, raisins, banana, syrup, hot tea
Hawaiian oatmeal, fruit salad
coffee drink from Starbucks
1/2 bagel, fruit salad
mixed plate: potatoes, tofu, bean sprouts, green onion, cabbage, cucumber
(sounds strange, but it was tasty!)
oatmeal with assorted toppings, 1/2 bagel with jam, kiwi, potatoes with veggies on top, miso soup
(sounds like a lot but I had very small servings of each!)
potatoes, orange slices, PB&J toast, oatmeal
(again, small portions!)
dal over steamed rice, green beans (made-to-order, no butter), salad with veggies and cous cous
variety of cold salads, cooked vegetables, fruit salad, tofu and veggie wrap
miso soup, roasted red pepper hummus and pita, asian braised broccoli
veggie burger w/ toppings, french fries, mixed salad
large salad, hummus with tortillas, veggie burger, french fries
"chicken"with plum sauce, rice, mixed salad, jicama and mango salad, tofu dish, few nachos with beans/rice/guac/lettuce
several Indian dishes, rice, 1/2 vegetable sandwich, grilled veg panini
artichoke and eggplant tart
soft shell tortillas w/ roasted veggies and TVP chili
pineapple, strawberry, kiwi starter eaten for dessert
featured salad with balsamic instead of the original dressing
(later had a vegan pizza)
chilled mango and pineapple soup
summer fruit plate
bosc pear and arugula salad
cherries jubilee with soy ice cream
(buffet dinner in lieu of formal night)
lentil salad over traditional salad
green been salad
rice with tempura vegetables
eggplant and kalamata tartare with hummus and pita
sweet and sour "chicken" with veggies over jasmine rice
chocolate cake with bananas
Don't be afraid of mainstream travel!
I will provide you with plenty of tips and tricks for delicious eats, and also share reviews of my personal experiences so you feel confident about your vegan vacation plans!