Vegan Vacation


Brooklyn Dilley, Story Editor

From March 17 to March 24, it is safe to say that I ate at least 30 falafel wraps. For spring break, my family and I went on a Carribean cruise with some friends. While I had been counting down the days for the cruise since we planned it, a part of me had also been dreading it. What would I be able to eat? Would I be eating salads three meals a day for a week? Even me, a so-called grass eater, could never do that. I mentally prepared myself for the fact that eating salads might be my only option, and just hoped I would be pleasantly surprised. Sure enough, I was.

My family had gone on a cruise the previous year with the same friends, and we all reveled in the free, unlimited ice cream, pizza, and burgers. Available 24/7. I could count on one hand the number of times we actually sat down and ate a meal at a restaurant. An appropriate dinner at 6pm? We opted out of that and chose to eat pizza at 2am instead.

So as we approached the day we were to leave, I was filling my carry on bag with snacks, just in case I needed a break from all of the anticipated salads. I had crackers, candy, chips, you name it. I was ready.

After we boarded the boat and dropped our bags off in our rooms, my friend and I decided to do a little bit of exploring. We, obviously, first went to scope out the food options. We passed the ice cream machines, then the burger joint, then the pizza. The knot of dread in my stomach got tighter with every step we took. Besides fruit and french fries, I did not see a single vegan option. And then we discovered the deli.

While there had been a deli on the boat we were on the previous year, I did not eat at it once. Back to the whole pizza at 2am thing. But this time, I figured it would not hurt to at least check out the menu. I quickly scanned it, my hopes dwindling as I passed words such as ‘meatball sub’ and ‘chicken sandwich’. Just as I was about to walk away, I saw the words ‘falafel wrap’. I honestly think I squealed, I was so happy. My hopes restored, my friend and I walked away from the deli and continued our exploration of the boat. Time to search for the cute boys.

As we approached dinnertime that night, I immediately went to the deli. I ordered the falafel wrap with no cheese nor tzatziki, which killed the Greek in me. I, of course, ordered french fries to go with it. As I took my first bite, I very well might have moaned. It was even better than I could have imagined. Perfectly spicy, soft but with an occasional crunch of lettuce. I swore it was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted.

We returned to the dining hall later for a late-night snack, and I got another falafel wrap just before they closed. The following day, I decided I would experiment for lunch and try a veggie burger that I found at a different restaurant. It was terrible compared to the falafel wrap. So for the next six days,  I ate nothing but falafel wraps. By the third day, the amazing chef just made it automatically as soon as she saw me waiting in line. That woman and I came to be very good friends.

By our last day, I had not eaten a single salad. My expectations going into the cruise could not have been more wrong, and my dread had been completely unnecessary. Throughout the week on the boat, I did find many other vegan options, but nothing beat the falafel wrap. It still made me happy, though, to see tofu and different vegetable meals on menus at restaurants all across the boat. And even as we headed home afterwards, I noticed a majority of the restaurants at the airports had at least a veggie burger, if not more vegan options. No matter what people say, I know that veganism is spreading.