Until March of 2012 we had never been on a cruise and had no interest in ever going. We have friends and colleagues who have gone, and love it, but when asked about the experience the mostly mentioned over-eating, gaining weight, gambling in the ship’s casino, shopping at ports-of-call, and perhaps some good entertainment. That, plus being surround by a LOT of water just didn’t sound like a good time. However, a few months after we made the switch to a Whole-Foods Plant-Based way of eating, Linda spotted an ad in Vegetarian Times for a cruise that looked like it might be a bit different.
The Holistic Holiday at Sea is a very special cruise experience organized by A Taste of Health. Started in 2004, the HHaS cruise currently sails the first full week of March each year on an MSC Cruise Lines ship. The cruise itinerary is slightly different each year, but has always departed from south Florida and sailed some part of the Caribbean. We went for the first time in March 2012 and returned in March 2013.
What is so special about this cruise? A number of things, in no particular order:
- 8 days, 7 nights, 3 or 4 ports of call.
- It’s a program, not just a cruise, with big name speakers and a wide range of topics and activities. We were engaged from 7 AM to 11 PM every day.
- All of the food is vegan; breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening. The program provides its own executive chef who plans all of the meals. It also provides the sous chefs who supervise the kitchen staff.
- The attendees and speakers are on the same food/health journey you are which makes for unique, comfortable, positively reinforcing conversation.
We went the first time because we thought the experience would be educational (it was) and motivating (it was), and we would pick up some ideas about food and cooking (we did). We enjoyed it so much we decided to go again in March 2013. It is more expensive than a “normal” one-week cruise on the same ship, but it is worth every penny. We would go every year if we could, but it doesn’t dovetail well with our RVing.