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Holland America Ups the Veggie Fare

Hands up, if you know somebody who has or has had cancer. Hands down, if you've thought about eating better because of it.

We've never been vegetarians. One of us (hands up) is more of a carnivore than she is. Yet we have both felt the urge, or need, to become "more vegetarian" because, frankly, it's healthier.

Holland America's like that, too.

This week, the venerable cruise line that's sometimes linked with the most senior of cruisers blew the lid off the veggie pot and introduced a vegetarian-only menu and 30 new vegetarian dishes to the main dining room menu. For the most senior of cruisers this might be like an event most will remember…when non-smoking rows in planes suddenly became non-smoking  planes.

Translation: Vegetarians are growing, and not in the same way junk-food addicts are. On all 15 Holland America ships, you'll find a difference: here a veggie, there a veggie, everywhere a veggie.

Rudi Sodamin, who last month was named the Best Cruise Line Chef by Porthole Magazine for the second year in a row, is the designer of Holland America's new menus. Decorations and plaudits aside, there is a good reason for this. Rudi is Holland America's Master Chef.

He has come up with a 22-dish vegetarian and vegan menu that highlights…wait for it…vegetables! Appetizers, main courses, soups…the while nine yards. They're all available (upon request) for either lunch or dinner. And guess what?

No extra charge.

Holland America calls Chef Rudi's creations "vibrant, flavorful culinary selections." The key word there is flavorful.

Just ask the resident carnivore. If Rudi can succeed there, he might have a convert.

Norwegian Jade
7 nights
May 26, 2012
Venice (return): Naples, Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos, Olympia
Inside: $449
Cost per day: $64

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